Sunday, February 26, 2012

Websites and the person…

This week I’ve decided to do something a little different. I’ll be writing on one topic but as two people: Ken La Salle, the person here and the writer over on the Ken La Salle blog.

The topic is websites.

Recently, I’ve been encouraged by my publisher and my agent and, hell, just about every other right thinking person on earth, to get my own website. Writers these days have websites and it appears to be time for me to step up to the next level and get one.

What will this website have? Blog feeds, twitter feeds, information on my plays and books, appearances and upcoming projects, and a store where you can buy Ken La Salle stuff. It’s all about branding and marketing and existing in the digital age.

And I know this. I do. But here’s the thing. I spent most of my life being told by people that I was too big for my britches (my mom), full of myself (my brother), arrogant (my old friend, Tim), and on and on. For most of my life, I was told that confidence meant cockiness. I was told that believing in myself was a bad thing. I was insulted for trying to achieve something in my life.

Cut to now, when those very traits are exactly what I need. I need confidence. I need to believe in myself. And yet, after being smacked down for so many years, I have found it really difficult. Vicky and I were in this room where I write and she watched as I worked myself up into nearly throwing up just over the idea of purchasing a domain name for a website. Just the first small step made me sick, because I heard all those voices say “You’re no good,” “You’re shit,” “You’re arrogant,” and on and on and on.

I never realized just how toxic all that negativity was in my life and if I could go back I’d smack the negativity right out of their mouths. These were people who were supposed to love me, who were supposed to be my friends.

Fortunately, now I know better. Just as I write every month on Recovering The Self about following your dream, I know there’s nothing wrong with doing just that. There’s nothing wrong with working towards a goal, even if it’s one only you can see.

With Vicky’s encouragement, I purchased the doman name for You’ll hear more about this as the weeks progress and I look forward to being about to share it with you and with the world.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad… Wait…

One of my favorite movies of all time is It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. It’s a veritable “Who’s Who” of mid-20th Century Hollywood. It’s a terrific California time capsule. But most of all its construction is perfect. The way it builds and builds is sublime.

So… how come it isn’t funny?

Seriously, I have loved this movie all my life but it almost always puts me to sleep. I love it on an intellectual level. As a comedy writer, I love the efficiency and technique; it’s beautiful.

But nobody’s funny.

Is it because of all the years that have passed? Is it dated? No, that can’t be it. Many silent comedies still hold their charm and wit. They make me laugh. Comedy does not need to come with an expiration date.

Is it familiarity, the fact that I’ve seen it so many times? No. Again, I’ve seen those silent films many times, too.

This wouldn’t bother me so much if this movie wasn’t so beautifully put together. But the fact is its construction is on the money. It makes sense. It builds. It surpri…


I was going to write that it surprises. Like with Dick Shawn comes running after his mother after being so obviously high with a girl. Or when the cops get into the “game” of it. But, you know, those are the exceptions. I realize now that may be the problem with it

It’s like a gothic cathedral of comedy. Everything is where it should be, where you expect it. It’s a shout out to the classic jokes and actors – but without its own jokes. And maybe that’s where it goes wrong.

It may be Mad, Mad, Mad… but there’s very little that’s really crazy about it.

Still, I’ll watch it and enjoy it’s perfect lines and solid construction. After all, it is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Climbing Maya: An Exploration Into Success --- PDF EBOOK - Solstice Publishing Inc

The Climbing Maya ebook has it's own Coming Soon page over at Solstice Publishing. A print version is also being released but, for now, I thought I'd share this with you just as proof that it's not all some grand hallucination on my part.

Please feel free to share it with your friends, spread the word, and ready your book-buying dollar for Climbing Maya!

Climbing Maya: An Exploration Into Success --- PDF EBOOK - Solstice Publishing Inc

Sunday, February 12, 2012


As a writer, I have had a changing relationship with books. There was once a time in my life when I would buy and read books voraciously, never allowing the sun to set between finishing one book and starting another. Then, more recently, I eschewed reading for writing. I spend so much time writing that I hardly read at all. That said, they say a writer must be a reader as well and it’s been a very tight line to walk.

Vicky knows very well how I am about books because I have two huge bookcases crammed with books I never read. I read them once, though, and they tell quite a story about my reading history. One bookcase is packed with novels. This goes back to the days when I loved fiction and would read whatever I could get my hands on. True, I tended more towards science-fiction and fantasy novels but there’s also plenty of horror and mystery and just play commercial fiction in there, too. Once I began to write a lot of fiction, however, I really began to see how these books were written, what strings were being pulled, and once I understood the workings behind the scenes (if you will), my interests moved away from fiction… and that takes me to the second bookcase, which is filled with non-fiction. Most of the second bookcase is stuffed with philosophy and history but there’s plenty of other stuff in there as well. I use quite a bit of it for reference but mostly I hold onto it, as well as the other bookcase, because I dream of the day when I can go back and reread all those books!

I mention all of this because Vicky and I were at Costco today and Vicky found this stack of the most incredible, general knowledge kinds of books you can imagine. Two books covered philosophy and psychology and were called something like the “Big Book of Psychology” and the “Everything You’d Ever Want To Know About Philosophy.” (I’m not sure about the exact names but it doesn’t really matter.) There were also history books called “Amazing History” and “Bizarre History.” I had the hook in my mouth and Vicky could see I was biting down. I might as well have been spurting blood.

But the thing is, I’m already reading two books. I’ve been reading them for some time, too. Hell, I never have time to read – all I do is write! The first book is a thick tome we picked up in a second-hand shop in Cambria called The Hundred Most Influential Books Ever Written. I’ve been reading that monster for over a year! The second is Isaac Azimov’s I Azimov, a wonderful autobiography by a hero of mine. I bought that back in July from a beautifully dusty old used book store in LA.

The thing was, I couldn’t justify buying any new books – no matter how cheap they were! (They were only about $10 each, which these days is a great price.)

Vicky being Vicky, though, made it sound as though we would also buy them for her. Now, if you don’t know, Vicky is 100 times busier than I’ll ever be. If I don’t have time for reading, she’ll NEVER have time!

We ended up buying them, of course. Now, I have six books I need to read… one of these days…

Monday, February 06, 2012

Climbing Maya gets a cover...

The non-linear nature of dreams and Climbing Maya...

This month, I decided to use my monthly article over at Recovering the Self to talk about the journey I took in getting Climbing Maya published. Believe me, it was not as straight a path as you might image. Few things seldom are!

Read about how dreams rarely take you in a straight line over on the Recovering The Self site by clicking this line.