Happy Holidays 2021!

Hello Readers!

Let me first wish everyone a happy holidays and healthy new years! I hope everyone continues to think positive thoughts and stay safe during these unprecedented times on our tiny planet we call Earth.

2021 is coming to close and what a year it has been. It almost feels like we are all living in a nightmare at times. 2020 was a bad year, but I never thought 2021 could top that in terms of what everyone is going through.

Here are some of my commentary on the concerns and events with a look back at 2021:

James Webb Space Telescope

I’ll start off with some great news. It’s Christmas day here in Canada when writing this article and the James Webb space telescope has not only lifted off successfully on its launchpad but is on its way to the L2 LaGrange point behind earth’s orbit to begin its scientific journey for 10 years of seeing in the infrared of the distant time of galaxies far far away as well as some planetary observations not possible from earth. Over 10 years on the project and billions of dollars later with numerous people who worked anxiously awaiting the launch day, the launch success wait is finally over. It made it. Now we just have to wait for it to arrive at its destination.

I for one cannot wait to hear all of the scientific results that this one of a kind gigantic telescope will detect. Since the telescope’s mirrors were so large it had to be folded up into the largest Rocket on the planet to be sent up. it was the most complicated and largest observatory ever in space.

I’d also like to shoutout to Neil DeGrasse Tyson, my favorite Astrophysicist who does an excellent show called Startalk on YouTube

as well as another youtuber friend named:

Christian Ready

who’s Youtube channel Launchpad Astronomy

which now has a subscriber count reaching over 129,000 subscribers as of today’s count! Congratulations Christian!

The exploration of space and knowledge will continue thanks to the efforts of the Canadian, American (NASA) and European space agencies that contributed to this project. It truly is an engineering marvel and history in the making.

Coronavirus / Covid19

The pandemic continues. We had a brief bout’ of optimism in the summer but we are now exactly where we were a year ago in December. Shutdowns.

For me and my family, it has been a challenging year. I can only imagine what others less fortunate and workers such as front line retail and health care workers working through this pandemic have gone through…

If I were to sum up a word for 2021 the word would be Mental Health. As this pandemic continues to rage, it is affecting the very social fabric of our societies in ways no one saw coming. The physical and mental toll has been incalculable on everyone.

I say this knowing that change must come. No longer can any government ignore this mental health crisis and must look to provide more financial supports for the poverty stricken and vulnerable sides of our populations. Everyone should have free access to unlimited mental health support. I am going to go further on this thought and say that the fundamental perfect storm is approaching with record poverty in some places. Living has become too costly and work needs to be done to put back a fundamental bottom level of decency. The governments workers benefits was a start but did not go far enough and also did not help everyone. I would like to see the basic income become a reality in canada and the world in a strategic way of helping the poor with the cost of living. The top 1% have way more than is necessary and they need to share it or at least put in place systems that feed back into the ones without whether that’s more opportunities with less strings attached or direct access to capital. The business community and government need to start to take income generation seriously and engineer our future not just for themselves or shareholders but for people. Smarter business people than I have already started thinking about this. It needs to continue until it becomes action. Equality for all people of all needs, backgrounds and financial status need to happen at a minimum level. Access to decent housing and more green space and nature.

With words like “we are all in this together” being just a slogan at the moment, it needs to change to resonate into reality through truth and actual useful and meaningful actions, policy and planning on part of the leaders, privileged and wealthy who are the only ones that can engineer real change in this day and age.

Unfortunately I have joined the poverty class (again, hate the word class) myself these past few years pursuing artistic and creative endeavours trying to work on things that one day may see the light of day and change my own situation throughout all of this and still try to live a relatively normal comfortable life as everyone was promised but never delivered.

Being an artists means that I must suffer the inevitable tradeoff that one endures as an artist in our society (except the extremely smart and lucky ones). Poverty.

Our economy runs on business and finance. it controls our daily lives. Your worth determined by a select group of people who choose whether you or your work is valuable or not. A financial decision. Valued by finance versus artistic endeavour, the age old pattern. In some cases, hopes and dreams unrealized for most until death. Let’s hope not and let’s try to change it shall we? it is the 21st century.

Although my path started many years before the pandemic and I am fortunate to have had a career path before art that I made good choices while young financially. I also bought a house before things got crazy. Others are not so lucky.

But today, being part of the Gig economy and trying to focus on high value projects struggling at a time when the pandemic hit has been challenging to say the least. Plans shattered, misery ensues and time keeps dragging on.

The last two decades have seen unprecedented obstacles both in the economy and social changes to set most of us midlifer’s back a great deal. Even social changes, (some good, some not so good) and the unrelenting acceleration of technological and environmental changes putting pressure on everything are causes major issues for my generation and the generations that came after me. Sorry Justin Trudeau, It doesn’t look like sunny days are ahead but I appreciate your optimism.

On a personal note: I do like Justin and I understand what an impossible task he has at the moment keeping all of canada from ripping itself apart. I do not envy him or anyone in office however someone has to stand up and lead us out of this. There is no silver bullet. I get it. To quote a favorite star trek reference “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.”

Back to me: Producing good quality content on a zero budget has proven difficult. My mood has been affected my reality. I will admit giving up a few times. I won’t bore any of you with the mundane excuses but covid19’s spin off effects have also played a role.

The end result is in change in perspective. I have been been virtually nonexistent in doing what I used to love, creating videos but other things have now shifted my focus (more on this later).

Is there any positive news for 2022?

But I want to focus on the positive of what I hope and think will happen in 2022.

I feel need to try to lift all of our spirits at least a bit here.

2022 is looking to be a year of recovery or at least the start of one. Even though Omicron has dominated the news and sent everyone into a panic, one thing I take away from the news is that because the virus is mutating rapidly, it’s also likely that its becoming less lethal.

I heard news from a neighbour that Pfizer, the maker of one of the vaccines predicts the virus will start to die off in 2024 and possible start to become endemic by then…I know…two more years of this crap…

I know this is little comfort to those that have lost family members during this or also had loved ones become severely sick and their long term dreams and goals put on hold or destroyed due to illness. To everyone affected, you all have my deepest sympathies.

COVID Optimism?

As most viruses mutate, they usually become less lethal. This seems to be the evolution and pattern of things in nature. The tradeoff to becoming more lethal is that they become more infectious, a way the viruses are able to spread more to survive.

Now that may not sound like a good thing. Omicron is still circulating the globe and is still a lethal pandemic virus killing people everyday due to the increase in it’s transmissibility.

Let’s take a moment to tell everyone who are unvaccinated and can be vaccinated, to go get vaccinated and get your booster as soon as you are able. Those that truly can’t take it, hang in there. It’ll be rough ride but the train will make it to the station eventually.

What all of this means is that the virus is starting to change in our favour. It’s not killing us as much.

Disclaimer Note: I am not a health professional nor a virologist or doctor, just someone who follows the news and science discussions where I can. Seek proper medical or scientific research on this. consider all you read as speculation at this point.

The fear of course (amoung many) is that another variant will mutate in the unvaccinated parts of the world or in the animal kingdom again and create a more lethal or different type of virus that our vaccines will not work on. That would be catastrophic. We had hoped this whole ordeal would burn out faster.

Time is always an enemy when dealing with this type or many other things in life. These things we have learned from the original virus to Delta to Omicron. After all it was the corona virus that allegedly came from animals like bats and pangolins in the first place according the WHO but the fact that the virus is less lethal is an important road sign.

There is cause for slight optimism that we should take away from this.

So, yes. We all have to get the 3rd shot (the booster) because it will kill the spread of the virus quicker and protect us more at least for a little while. The entire world also needs vaccination including the regions like Africa and more impoverished regions. This remain paramount to humanities winning the battle of COVID and burning the virus numbers down far enough it won’t pose a threat or mutate. That should be all Earth’s health government officials focus right now.

We will beat the virus at some point, we just do not know how long it will take but it will end! We did not even have that certainty in early 2020. so take that little bit of optimism and hold on to it.

Political & World News

More and more I find myself wondering why I comment on political matters anymore. January 6th was the free world’s and my worst day in more ways than I care to share. The effects of that day still being felt by everyone in the western democracies. The near miss of toppling the symbol and physically of a falling democracy was too much to bare. Luckily we have come back from the brink at least a little. The politics of the world right now isn’t good mind you and is driven mostly by economy, inflation, resources, coronavirus and the extreme environmental effects of climate change. All subjects directly linked to the fall of major civilizations in the past. That’s a sobering reality.

So these discussions these days don’t really bring me much joy or sense of accomplishment and I usually take flack for any and everything I say on the subject. However I do feel I have a voice and need to share some of my thoughts on things as it is part of our democratic rights and I feel it’s important to say. I am a writer after all.

Peace and good will towards neighbours?

Cooperation and Communication. That is something the world leaders needs to focus more on. Earth and humanity is at a crossroads. There is simply too much to do to fix the planet’s issues right now but it needs addressing. We all need to sit down and talk about things in productive ways if humanity is going to survive. We need to reduce our greed and think about others a little more. More balance is needed.

The news of increasing tensions in the world over land, resources and global climate initiatives that are counter productive are harming human cohesiveness. There are some big issues right now. Globalization may have been the catalyst but I refuse to accept that every and all measures on all sides are being done to ensure that peace, safety and wellness rather than war, destruction and chaos take over. We need to do more as a whole to prevent the next War. The last one killed over 70 – 85 million people (source: wikipedia) and that doesn’t mention the injured or the social and economic fall out of peoples lives or the misery and hunger people had to go through. The next one would be far worse. It must be prevented at all costs.

Compromise. All sides need to compromise which means not everyone is happy with the outcomes. I get it. Everyone has a different approach to living, everyone is in different living situations and has different neighbours. Everyone has different wants in life but everyone and I mean everyone has to make some changes or compromises if the future is to arrive in healthy order. Change is hard. The problems we face are harder. For the greater good of everyone, keep working at it. I cannot stress this enough. Losing peace in the world is costly in both lives, money and the environment. It is simply unfathomable that we have to settle these differences with unnecessary violence. There is a way forward. Find it.

Expansionism, unrelenting greed and extremism in all forms are contributing to an unbalanced and dangerous planet and need to be curbed. We need to do better as a species and figure out a better way forward. Remember the blue dot.

Inequity / Inequality (a lengthy perspective)

A civilization is only as good as they treat the poor and underprivileged. The bottom and middle class ( I hate to have to even use that term – class) are falling further behind. Rising inflation, Housing prices being pushed up to crazy levels creating a large void where only the privileged can afford is creating such inequality that eventually if left unchecked with collapse.

The level at which people make change will depend on how much of an impact and resources everyone has. The rich cannot expect the poor to contribute to even a fraction of the amount but there are things everyone can do and that includes working towards something in life whether that’s going to work on time or writing a new novel hoping to create value to the world. All it takes is will power and a choice and possibly a little creativity. For the working or unemployed poor we have less choices, less resources and ultimately less time to devote to higher pursuits or efficiencies because we are spending more time simply trying to survive and take care of families as example. The middle class ends up balancing between the two classes falling on a wide scale between them. The middle is also under attack and is disappearing therefore rebuilding it is also essential and not hollowing out society any further. The pursuits of those at the top who have others to help and resources and people to help them should do more. that is logical.

I will also say that being rich is very subjective. If you have $1.00 more than I does that make you richer than I? Yes it does.

When I say the rich I am talking about the extreme wealth.

I will also point out that the rich are constantly targeted in today’s world. There are fundamental reasons this happens but sometimes it’s unwarranted and sometimes it is warranted. It depends on whom you are upset with and why doesn’t it?

The rich are constantly bombarded and asked to sacrifice for everyone and that can be draining at times both on a mental and financial level for those more inclined to contribute. They get attacked either way. That is a little unfair at times but it does come with the territory.

Do the rich have a more moral obligation to help you than you do to help yourself? I would argue they do but only to a point and its very circumstancial. Remember a lot of rich people made their own success and they value you creating your own yourself, but what if you can’t? It’s interesting to look at both sides of the coin.

Think about that and self examine yourself before being too critical and don’t lose sight of the goal.

You don’t win fixing poverty without a wealthy class. As much as I hate to admit that, it’s true.

Take an economics course and you will see why. most of it has to do with tax revenue. Capitalism also requires it in our economic system however I am more concerned with extreme capitalism and how it is a cancer on all free democracies over time. Extreme’s in any form is usually a bad thing except perhaps star trek or star wars.. but I digress.

The demands in the world are vast and the inequities of life are driving much of this resentment forward but we should not resent the rich, we need them as much as we need everyone (but they do need to pay their fair share of taxes and start thinking of ways to give back).

Like climate change, things are changing rapidly and we must all make sacrifices and change. A lot of this is mindset change on the part of the individual and there are those that simply choose not to help and that in my opinion is simply not going to help humanity move forward, rich or poor. It will even result in the rich becoming less rich over time.

The world does need investment and that means money. That can only come in the form of the start of the process which is financial help.

For those that choose not help and have a large financial bank account. I would argue to you that you may be depriving yourself of opportunities but also of your own happiness by choosing not to help.

One of my favorite tales I chose to watch on christmas eve was a christmas carol, the one with Patrick Stuart playing Ebenezer Scrooge. There are many lessons in that classic Dickens film for those who are of similar mindset. There is simply no room for the extreme Humbugism anymore.

That is not to say no rich or high middle class are not doing anything to help, some donate a lot of their money and time and for those of you that do, you mean everything to the people and communities you help. It all starts with asking yourself and then investing the time to figure out how you can best help others in your own way. Sometimes that dollar investment and sometimes its tagging the right people you know who can help. Even just being with others at this time of year can make a world of difference.

Although Christmas is considered a christian holiday, I don’t think much about the religious reasons the holiday exists on a conscious level butIdo feel the good energy of it and see things differently in that this time of year is simply a time for family, a time for remembrance and time of joy before a start of the new year. It’s not truly about gifts but is about giving, it’s not about commercialization but recognizing that commercialization created jobs and value and that is worth something. It is a time of friendship, a time of fellowship and time to think about others above ourselves (however this shouldn’t be the only time of year – but I digress). I think as long as everyone continues to try in their own way we can make a difference.

My Progress in 2021

Okay, lecture and sentiments are done for the year. Let’s talk about what I’ve been up to and what my goals are for the year.

Last year was hell but in that hell I managed to start something new. I took a break from YouTube (as I have this past year) and started to focus on pure creative pursuits. Call it selfish or call it, trying to long term plan to create value. Over the last couple of years I have been studying the film and television industry as many of you have seen my articles on this website. I wrote a teleplay for a fictional Star Trek script as a educational adventure.

I was proud of that accomplishment and it taught me a lot about structure and started my thinking about developing more skills towards the film script area. I joined a most prominent Screenwriting group on Facebook and have met many wonderful and talented people on there. I continued in my pursuits and wrote a screenplay based in the fantasy genre and this past year worked on it until I was able to enter it in the Nicholl Fellowship contest, a contest for new screenwriters with a large prize amount. That script being the culmination of 8 months of hard work of day in and day out writing.

What started out as an interesting idea sparked by many of the wonderful children in our lives and after hearing about another contest for the action adventure and fantasy genre sparked my motivation to try to write and idea and submit it. This blossomed into a what I consider a great fantasy-action adventure story and script however was not ready for the Nicholl (it was only a working set of ideas with a 1-page at that point). Needless to say without a finished script and no real track record, I didn’t win the Imagine-Impact Netflix contest either. After working for 8 months more I submitted to the Academy Awards Nicholl Fellowship in 2021 in early May. I also didn’t win that. At 159 pages, the script wasn’t ready but it was close in my opinion. The script had barely squeezed into the contest rules being under 160 pages. Needless to say I was quite upset for about a month or so. I took a break for a couple of months reflecting on my shattered financial and writing dreams, thinking like most first time screenwriters do with starry-eyed expectations however I soon got over that quickly. I had my heart set on winning the large prize value as I desperately needed the cash and had my next two years all planned out. During that time, I read Bob Saenz’s book “That’s Not The Way It Works” and I came back down to reality. I was also desperately needing some validation that I was on the right track and that all this time working on this script wasn’t a waste of time and consequently money and stress to my family. I was hoping I would survive financially for the next two years off the winnings but it didn’t happen.

After Coronavirus and the year I and many others have had this year, it seemed like everything was a failure in my life. Starting over time after time with nothing tangible to show for it. So, I went back and read over the reader comments from the Nicholl Fellowship contest. At first I was not sure of what to make of it. I soon realized after my emotions had settled during those months that the comments were indeed right on every account and even posted about how great the comments really were coming out of the contest. The surprising thing there was that there was little negative feedback. In fact the feedback was telling me something more valuable and obvious and it was a huge revelation. I should write the novel version of the script.

Because the readers comments are a paid service for the Nicholl (better than most competitions feedback i’m told) it was a great opportunity to test the waters with the story and characters. The readers have to sign NDA’s (non disclosure agreement) and they don’t know who the screenwriters are. As a fallback, I had thought to myself when I entered the contest that if didn’t win, at least I might get some idea of whether the story was good enough and that is exactly what happened. The comments were beneficial and set me on my path. I dove in, to committing to writing the novel and trying to get it published. I had originally resisted this idea because of the work involved and lack of knowledge about the industry. What I started to learn about the publishing industry through various other authors Youtube channels was key information in terms of matching my goals. So far the info has proven invaluable so far.

Fast Forward to today where I am continuing to write the novel version of the screenplay and I have been enjoying almost every minute of it but it is definitely hard work.

Currently I am about 75% of the way through a first draft but based on 3 drafts previous of the screenplay, the novelization has set me free to write more than I could for this story in a screenplay. Having all the structure, story and dialogue worked ahead of time in a tight concise way helped me to write the novel from the screenplay in ways I didn’t expect. Usually one writes the novel and then adapts to a screenplay. I’m doing it backwards but its proving interesting (although time consuming). It has helped me focus those screenwriting skills to make my story and dialogue more concise and visual by seeing and blending elements of the characters thoughts and changing slightly to add more detail in the story in prose form. There are still challenges like trying to keep the novel from being too flat however I am generally enjoying the process. The word counts are right on track as well using this method. Not forgetting the screenplay rewrite, writing both the novel and editing the screenplay to match some changes allows me to create both pieces as I continue to rework both.

I still love the writing and working in the screenplay format. It’s very much a visual arena which I thrive in but it’s hard work as much as a sculptor is never satisfied with his statue. I continue to try and shrink this enormous story smaller. It’s going slowly.

So why a novel then? I came to the realization that writing this story in a novel has a few benefits that may open up down the road. Film rights for one reason. I may get paid the film rights to it if it gets made anyways later on. Yes the novel you may get paid to write but once you write it you as the author retain the world rights. Publishers retain the imprint license. In the screenplay world screenwriters usually do not end up keeping the World Intellectual property rights and sell those when the script is sold. The only way to maintain control is by writing the novel first.

So all positive win-win situation right? Well, the one constant beating drum in my life is time. It takes even more time to write a novel then a screenplay. there is an art to prose, page layout and tweaks of the story and internal dialogue that screenwriting doesn’t have. good work requires time and time is going by so fast.

It’s now a year and half into this project and I am no closer to an income then I was before. The life of a writer is not for the faint of heart and I am feeling the pinch but I can’t stop now.

Half The Battle

Because writing the novel is only half of the battle. Yes. half the battle.

The next challenge after completing the manuscript (novel drafts are called manuscripts). Finding and agent, a publisher and getting the proper marketing and advance for a novel, so that it has an even remote chance of breaking though and becoming a success is mind boggling.

these are the necessary next steps and goals to achieve success.

Originally when this project started income was not a primary concern. the story and learning about the process and craft was. I had a burning story and idea and couldn’t put it down. My every waking moment was fixated on it. In fact whenIthought about income or business it actually gives me anxiety and tends to lower my creativity at times. That is not to sayIdon’t dream of success, I do but while in the moment of creating it can be counter productive. That is the constant fight in my mind however. I have high hopes for this project to succeed and only time will tell if they materialize. It would be a relief to earn a living off of it and be able to say I accomplished something truly great with it and left a legacy behind. People I hope will like it and remember me. It would also alleviate the economic and creative stress and pressure to succeed that artists like me feel as they go through the motions of trying to survive each and every day.

Much like George R.R. Martin (Game of thrones – A song of ice and fire novel writer) – I too need to take a long time to finish a book. In the fantasy genre creating an entire world takes time. Creating a great world and story, takes a very long time. That balance between commercial and artistic sensibilities comes into play.

That is why writing tends to be a long game. You don’t actually get paid for a very long time after your advance and sometimes if its a multi book deal the payout comes yearly (source: Alexa Donne’s videos on youTube – check her out!). If you don’t write a good enough book, you simply can’t continue in the profession especially if you have other obstacles (like a physical disability) or other responsibilities like a family to take care of.

Unfortunately the market doesn’t care about that at the moment but who knows in the future. Financial people who control most of the world see a balance sheet not the people attached to those numbers. Success feeds upon itself, failures although human and natural still have real world consequences and are less tolerated by finance. it is fair? No. Its just the way it is.

What does all of this mean for me and other writers who may be reading this at this time in history?

What it means is that you need to prioritize and realize that the business reasons will always trump your expectations but you can minimize your disappointment by learning the business side of everything you do.

Being knowledgeable can save you some of the pitfalls and allows you to ask the right questions. If you are lucky and you are the “unicorn” writer you can live that fantasy you’ve dreamed about but realize that hard work is a certainty and it will take moving mountains to get it for most of us.

Generally, lowering expectations will be better for your mental health in the long run. There are those whoever are very lucky and will hit the easy street. That is the dream – you can still hold on to that – dreams are good!

That being said learning to say no when you recognize an unfair deal when you see it, and realize that writing isn’t easy and it will take you a long time to produce something the market will like. Never submit unfinished works until they are ready either.

Ultimately it has to be a project you like or love in order to keep going. If you don’t like what you do, ask yourself why are you doing it?

Also, do not write for the market unless you are sure you can make it worth your discomfort and possibility that chasing a market will end in being the last place as markets change however if you love something enough, it will have its day when others see it to, you just need to be patient.

Another thing is that ideas are only as good as the 75,000 words or so you’ve actually written and copyrighted instead of in your head. You also need to protect yourself and be ready to show your work to anyone.

Recognize that even the influential people or a marketing team will end up deciding your fate with you having little control over your own fate in some cases. You should not stop writing or giving up your dream.

These are all things I have learned as of late without experiencing them for myself, at least yet. Stay tuned.

Goals for 2022

Creatively my goals are to finish the novel. Although I can’t give anything away about the story, the plot or even the title at present, I will continue to write my novel until completion in 2022 until I am satisfied with an initial draft. After which I will go through possibly a couple of drafts or edits before shopping it around to an agent who is willing to accept new clients in the fantasy genre.

My hope is that I can find an agent that I can work with and understands my needs and issues and is willing to fight for me and my book to achieve the success I and it deserve. My hope is that by the time the novel is ready for publication (hopefully soon after the agent is found) the book will go through a quick submission process and hopefully become a bestseller.

It sounds odd to quote myself in my own public post but that last part is a dream of mine and it is something I personally hold on to during the lows we had as of recent. Keeping focused allows me to try and forget and escape for a while and to be productive.

As far as Youtube goals for 2022,I do not have any concrete ones as of yet however I am thinking about doing a video if or when the book does go into Publication however that is quite a ways off yet. If other interesting enough topics come up I may decide to do more videos but for now, back to writing. I also need to do some more thinking in this area about where the channel is heading.

If you have anything you’d like to see feel free to drop me a line in the contact section. I’d love to hear from all my subscribers on what they are working on or what they like seeing on my channel! Drop me a line!

To the 970ish followers who are still hanging around:

Thank you immensely for watching and sticking around! You are and will not be forgotten about!

What are your goals for 2022? Starting a fish tank? Painting a painting? Writing a book?

Have a happy holidays and wonderful new year and we will see you in 2022

Keep creating and building your dreams and do what you can to help others!

Till next time.



Site Owner and Administrator of www.karrgalaxy.com

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