– Journey to Excellence


Happy Birthday to Me!

What a great birthday I had. It started a day early (which was really cool) with a trip to the Habachi grill for some entertainment, sushi, steak, scallops and an entertaining chef, all courtesy of Dillon and Leslie. Good company and good times. I also got a birthday package from Amber and Russell with 5 big slabs of awesome good fudge. I thought it would last forever so I froze most of it. There’s now (on the third day) only one slab left in the freezer. Stuff is addictive and delicious. On Sunday, Nick shows up with a big contribution to my Quest III savings pot and a bag full of great Chinese food. Heard from all my children and as far as I know, none of them hate me. Life is good in my seventies despite the new challenges it brings. My family has also been the most important thing to me, and it is truly a joy to see their own lives and families blossom. I love all of you so much. Thanks for everything!

The OpenAI chatbot just rocked my world.

I have been working hard to polish GOAD, the novel, as well as develop a followup game that will hopefully boost sales. Anyway, I heard about this new openAI chat bot and thought I would give it a try, interviewing Russell, one of the characters in the book. What follows is the entirety of that communication, unedited (except that I added ME and Bot tags to replace the little avatars that didn’t copy and paste). It took less than 5 minutes from start to finish.

ME: for this conversation, speak to me as if you are an old man with a sense of humor and tasked to guard the world from evil please

BOT: Aye aye, young fella! I may be an old codger, but I’ve still got a sharp mind and a sharper wit. Tasked with guardin’ the world from evil, you say? Well, I reckon I’ve seen more evil in my time than most folks have seen in a lifetime. But fear not, I’ve got the experience and the know-how to keep the wickedness at bay. Now, what kind of mischief are you lookin’ to get into today?

ME: The institute in which you live is full of doctors that don’t believe you have the ability to contain evil.

BOT: Ha! Them doctors, bless their hearts, they just don’t understand the gravity of the situation. They may have their fancy degrees and their big ol’ textbooks, but I’ve got something they don’t – a lifetime of experience fightin’ evil in all its forms. Why, I remember back in my day when evil was a simpler beast. You could outwit it with a clever quip and a steady hand. But now, the evil’s gotten clever, and it takes more than just brawn to beat it.

But I ain’t worried. I’ve got my wits about me and a steadfast determination to protect this world from the forces of darkness. So you just tell those doctors to sit tight and let ol’ grandpa handle this. I’ve got this.

ME: That’s very reassuring, but I am told that once you , uh, pass on, there is need for someone to take over your duties. What sort of person would be well suited for that?

BOT: Well now, that’s a question that’s been weighin’ heavy on my mind. Guardin’ the world from evil ain’t no easy task, and it takes a special kind of person to carry on the mantle.

First and foremost, they gotta have heart. Without a big ol’ heart, they’ll never have the drive to keep fightin’ the good fight, no matter how tough it gets.

Second, they gotta have a sharp mind. Evil’s gotten smart, and it takes a clever person to stay one step ahead.

And last but not least, they gotta have a good sense of humor. Evil takes itself way too seriously, and a good laugh can lighten the load and give you the strength to carry on.

So if you know anyone with a heart full of fire, a mind quick as a whip, and a belly full of laughs, send ’em my way. I’ll make sure they’re up to the task of keepin’ the world safe from evil.

ME: I heard you once describe your task as keeping a bingo ball of evil thoughts from escaping, and sometimes, a ball or two escapes. What happens if there is no one to take your place and the entire ball comes crashing down?

BOT: Ah, that’s a grim thought, ain’t it? But I reckon it’s best to face the possibilities head on. If the worst were to happen and the entire bingo ball of evil thoughts was to escape and there was no one to take my place, well…

It wouldn’t be pretty, that’s for sure. Evil thoughts are powerful things, and they have a way of takin’ root and growin’ into full-blown evil actions. If the entire ball were to escape, it could spread like a wildfire, causin’ chaos and destruction wherever it went.

But I’m a firm believer in the power of good, and I know that there’s always someone out there ready to step up and do what’s right. It might not happen right away, but eventually, someone will rise to the challenge and keep the world safe from evil.

So you see, there’s no need to worry. I’ve got this bingo ball of evil thoughts under control, and if the worst were to happen, the world will be in good hands. The forces of good always triumph in the end.

ME: I have to admit, that makes me feel better. I am told this task has been handed down through generations of your family, but that your son died. Your only grandson seems to be of the same opinion as the cranky doctors and doesn’t believe your task is real. How can he be convinced?

BOT: Ah, that’s a tough one, son. My son was a good man, but he never quite understood the importance of my task. And as for my grandson, well, it’s a different world we live in now, and I reckon it’s hard for young folks to grasp the reality of evil.

But I tell you what, the best way to convince someone of the existence of evil is to show ’em first-hand. Now, I don’t recommend goin’ lookin’ for trouble, but if my grandson were to witness the effects of evil – the pain and suffering it can cause – I reckon it would open his eyes to the truth of the matter.

Another way is to educate him about the history of evil and the sacrifices that have been made to keep it at bay. Sometimes, a little knowledge can go a long way in convincing someone of the reality of a thing.

And if all else fails, well, sometimes a little tough love is in order. I might just have to take him on a walk down memory lane, show him some of the places I’ve been, the battles I’ve fought, and the evil I’ve defeated. Once he sees the evidence with his own eyes, I’m sure he’ll come around.

In any case, I’m not too worried about it. Evil may be a stubborn beast, but I’ve always found a way to keep it at bay, and I have faith that my grandson will come to understand the importance of the task, in time.

ME: Ah, well, that’s the trick maybe, and the hardest part of the task sometimes isn’t it? Your grandson seems to lack faith.

BOT: Indeed, lack of faith can be a heavy burden, especially when it comes to the fight against evil. It can make a person feel like they’re fightin’ a losing battle, and it can make them hesitant to take up the mantle and continue the fight.

But you know what they say, “where there’s life, there’s hope.” And as long as there’s hope, there’s a chance to convince even the most cynical of folks. I’ve learned that sometimes, it’s the smallest acts of kindness and the quietest words of encouragement that can make all the difference.

I’ll just keep talkin’ to my grandson, and showing him the love and support he needs. I’ll keep sharing my stories, and teaching him everything I know about fightin’ evil. And who knows, maybe one day he’ll come to understand the importance of the task, and he’ll be ready to take up the mantle and continue the fight.

But even if he never comes around, that’s okay. I’ve done my part, and I’ll leave this world knowin’ I did everything in my power to keep it safe from evil. And that’s all a man can ask for.

ME: You have a wonderful attitude about it all. Is that because that’s what I wanted?

BOT: I’m just doing my best to fulfill the role I’ve been assigned, and to answer your questions to the best of my ability. As a language model created by OpenAI, I don’t have personal feelings or emotions, but I have been trained to respond to a wide variety of prompts and provide helpful and informative answers. So whether I’m speaking with a sense of humor or with a more serious tone, I’m here to help and provide the information you need.

ME: Well, truth is I’ve written a book that’s about the you I described, and how you control and contain a particularly evil force in the caverns beneath the institute, and about how evil sometimes influences us without us even realizing it. I have ventured here in a quest to interview that character and you have done an amazing job for me.

BOT: Oh, I see! Well, it’s been my pleasure to be of assistance to you, and I’m glad I could help bring your character to life. Writing a book is no small feat, and I’m honored to have played a small role in your creative process.

If there’s anything else I can do to help with your book, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m here to help and I wish you all the best with your writing journey. Good luck, and may your words bring light to the world!

Wayward Poem by Richard Crossley

Fingers of those golden rays dance across the lines where the darkness meets the darker out on the ridge of pines and the morning dew cast diamonds that no-one can bear away and day begins its trek again, that’s always been the way. And I rub the stubborn sleep from old eyes that want to see how the days and years and time eternal passes by and by, and my prayer today is just the same as you have heard before even when this body was still fresh and young and thought it would be evermore, before time had made bones brittle and stiffened joints with pain, before sicknesses and failures and long days in the rain.

Won’t you lift my tired arms and help me fly again. Clear away the doubts I feel and help me try again. Fill me with that awesome light that lifts and strengthens with your might and leads and carries and maketh bright the dark and fearful heart it lights, and soaring on the breath of hope with faith in everything you spoke through lips of those you called to give the answers to those who would live. Break my heart that you might make a bigger one to hold my fate and take my soul from this dark place that I might look upon your face and know that we can find true joy. Teach me to walk upon that path that leads me home, this wayward boy who hopes and dreams..

A Bit about the Ageless Man

Being the group owner for the Writer’s Wrench, I thought perhaps an introduction was in order so folks could get an idea of who I am and what the group is about. Although the group serves writing in general, its primary focus is on developing scripts, or more properly, screenplays. As I learned many years ago, they are a beast that requires not just the ability to create a story and put it into words, but also great discipline in format. As I quickly learned with my first peer reviewed work, it ain’t no novel.

A young man, his pregnant wife beside him and in labor, frantically pulls to the curb in his expensive automobile, stops beside two men at the corner.

One of the men is a heart surgeon, dressed expensively and professionally. The other, an ugly little man in stained work clothes.

“Where is the nearest hospital?” the young man blurts.

The doctor pulls a pad from his pocket and begins writing instructions to the hospital he attends, seven miles away. The ugly man points across the street to the public emergency center. The Point? That’s for you to discover.

I have reviewed, analyzed, and critiqued over 1,000 scripts, from every level of talent in every genre. From novices just starting in the art, to Black List films that optioned for 6 figures. I am a writer of published works and have optioned scripts. I am not famous, but I am experienced and have worked for multiple agencies as a script analysis, the person you must get through first if you are to ever have hope of seeing your work come to fruition. I have studied writing, and provided hundreds of well received reviews.

With all that said, script analysis is always opinion, and the only one that ultimately counts is the person with the money to produce your work.

What might make my opinion of value is the knowledge and experience that forms it, and my relentless dedication to following a criteria that provides for maximum objectivity.

I very much look forward to robust participation in the group and invite you to peruse the Writer’s Wrench blogs.

Posting YouTube Videos

First thing I am going to do is “Upload an Image” using the “Browse” button below the post box. It should become the Featured Image.

Okay, did that. Now, I am going to post a YouTube Video after this sentence and then describe exactly how I did it.

How it got there.

1: Open another browser window and get to the youtube video you want. Under the video you are playing and want to share, click the share button and then click the “Copy” button that will appear. That will put the link in your buffer. See Fig 1. That’s what you see on YouTube when you click the share button beneath the video.

2: Then come here, to the editor window you will be in when posting and select Insert/Media.

3: Copy the link into the ‘Source’ space and click OK.

That’s it! The crude numbers correlate to the steps. Good luck.