28 December 2010

Pennwriters Workshop

Online Course

INSTRUCTORS: Jason Jack Miller and Heidi Ruby Miller

DATE: April 1 – May 2, 2011


COURSE DESCRIPTION: The easiest way to engage your reader is by using concrete nouns and action verbs. In this one-month online course, Seton Hill University creative writing faculty Jason Jack Miller and Heidi Ruby Miller will show you how to analyze your writing and use easy techniques that will increase the authority of your voice.

Participants will:
* Discover how to spot passive voice
* Scrutinize their writing for generic nouns and indefinite pronouns
* Learn to avoid weak verbs and overuse of “be” in all its forms
* Practice using strong synonyms to find the best action verb
* Apply word cloud research to make their plot come alive

FREE BONUS: Course participants will receive a free excerpt (.pdf) from the new writing guide, MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT: LESSONS IN WRITING POPULAR FICTION (Headline Books, Inc.) edited by Heidi Ruby Miller and Michael A. Arnzen with contributions from Jason Jack Miller et al.

TUITION: $79 ($89 non-Pennwriters members) $89 ($99 non-Pennwriters members)

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS: Heidi Ruby Miller is the co-editor of the writing guide, Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction. A graduate from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Program, she has authored dozens of publications. Before becoming a full-time writer and adjunct faculty at Seton Hill University, Heidi worked as a contract archaeologist, an educational marketing coordinator, a foreign currency exchanger, and a world language teacher. To learn more about Heidi Ruby Miller, visit http://heidirubymiller.blogspot.com or email her at heidirubymiller@gmail.com.

Jason Jack Miller is a writer, photographer and musician whose work has appeared online and in print in newspapers, magazines and literary journals, and as a smart phone travel app. He has co-authored a travel guide with his wife Heidi and served as a photographer-in-residence. Jason is an Authors Guild member who received a Master’s in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University where he is adjunct creative writing faculty. To learn more about Jason Jack Miller, visit http://jasonjackmiller.blogspot.com or email him at jasonjackmiller@gmail.com.

* Subscribe to the Pennwriters Online Courses announcement list for email on our latest workshops:

26 December 2010

WILCO, 2009.05.29 Festival Territorios, Sevilla, Spain

This is a little Christmas present for everybody I didn't get anything for. The show is one I listen to a lot because of the good sound quality, and it's a nice sampler of one of my favorite bands.

Wilco has been called an American Radiohead, but I'm not sure that label fits. Radiohead is Oxford, Wilco is community college. And I think Wilco doesn't take themselves so seriously. They started back in the 90s as an alt-country band--another label that doesn't apply to the band in 2010. At best, Jeff Tweedy's a songwriter who isn't afraid to put a little too much of himself out there, Neil Young for those of us who graduated high school to the sounds of NEVERMIND and BADMOTORFINGER. His lyrics are full of clever cynicism and muffled optimism--things aren't great but at least I'm not dead. He's the kind of guy who'll yell at people in the audience for talking during a song--which I think is awesome.

The band takes liberties with our conceptions of what a rock band should be. Even though we don't hear a lot of it in this show (probably because it's a short set to a foreign audience) the band let a song build layer by layer. Acoustic, rock, alt-country, electronica, traditional... Guitarist Nels Cline isn't afraid to let a squeal of electronic jibberish wail over a delicately strumming acoustic guitar. (see: I AM TRYING TO BREAK YOUR HEART) Somehow it fits.

Wilco, to me, is a lot like Gorgonzola. I couldn't conceive of liking it ten years ago. Now I can't get enough of it.

Only criticism of this show--the DJs are annoying as poop on your shoe.

Check them out at http://www.wilcoworld.net/




Live 2009.05.29
Festival Territorios
Sevilla, Spain

RNE3 FM Broadcast


Analog FM >> [PC >>] Goldwave (WAV) >> dBpowerAMP (FLAC - lowest compression, level 0) >> DIME

As usual with RNE3, this broadcast includes annoying comments from DJs that don't stop even when Jeff has started singing (i.e. "Walken") - I've kept those comments as separate tracks.
The sound is better than the Black Crowes' show I uploaded a couple of weeks ago. Sample included (see comments)


Wilco (The Song)
Handshake Drugs
One Wing
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
A Shot in the Arm
At Least That's What You Said
You Are My Face
Bull Black Nova
Jesus, etc
Impossible Germany
You Never Know
Hate It Here
I'm the Man Who Loves You
Spiders (Kidsmoke)

T.R.T.: 1h. 22' 28" (WinAMP)
31 Tracks - 15 songs

Tracks 01, 03, 05...= DJ comments

1. Wilco - TS01 (0:04)
2. Wilco - TS02 - Wilco (The Song) (2:58)
3. Wilco - TS03 (0:26)
4. Wilco - TS04 - Handshake Drugs (5:35)
5. Wilco - TS05 (0:45)
6. Wilco - TS06 - One Wing (3:28)
7. Wilco - TS07 (0:31)
8. Wilco - TS08 - I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (5:51)
9. Wilco - TS09 (0:22)
10. Wilco - TS10 - A Shot in the Arm (4:19)
11. Wilco - TS11 (0:31)
12. Wilco - TS12 - At Least That's What You Said (4:57)
13. Wilco - TS13 (0:46)
14. Wilco - TS14 - You Are My Face (4:11)
15. Wilco - TS15 (0:28)
16. Wilco - TS16 - Bull Black Nova (5:40)
17. Wilco - TS17 (0:35)
18. Wilco - TS18 - Jesus, etc (3:50)
19. Wilco - TS19 (0:28)
20. Wilco - TS20 - Impossible Germany (5:53)
21. Wilco - TS21 (0:32)
22. Wilco - TS22 - You Never Know (4:03)
23. Wilco - TS23 (0:39)
24. Wilco - TS24 - Hate It Here (4:18)
25. Wilco - TS25 (0:41)
26. Wilco - TS26 - Walken (4:20)
27. Wilco - TS27 (0:42)
28. Wilco - TS28 - I'm the Man Who Loves You (3:49)
29. Wilco - TS29 (0:26)
30. Wilco - TS30 - Spiders (Kidsmoke) (10:54)
31. Wilco - TS31 (0:26)




TRADE FREELY - Anyone can upload this on a different tracker, you don't need to ask me for permission, but I'd appreciate it if you let me know.



23 December 2010


Check it out at http://manygenres.blogspot.com/

The book, co-edited by Heidi Ruby Miller and Michael A. Arnzen, is an instructional guide for writers with lessons from pop fiction luminaries like David Morrell, Tess Garritsen and Jason Jack Miller. Yeah, that's right, I make a contribution or two.

21 December 2010

RADIOHEAD, Victoria Park, Cheshire, Warrington, England 10/02/2000

Here's a sweet-sounding show from the month KID A was released. 1999 was a tough year for the group-the success of OK COMPUTER brought a lot of unwanted attention. Some in Britain called saw KID A as a chance to fail in order to wipe the slate clean, calling the record a "commercial suicide note" and "intentionally difficult".

Thom Yorke denied all the hype, saying, "I was really, really amazed at how badly [Kid A] was being viewed ... because the music's not that hard to grasp. We're not trying to be difficult ... We're actually trying to communicate but somewhere along the line, we just seemed to piss off a lot of people ... What we're doing isn't that radical."


Radiohead, Victoria Park, Cheshire, Warrington, England 10/02/00

Disc 1
01. The National Anthem
02. Morning Bell
03. Airbag
04. Karma Police
05. In Limbo
06. Optimistic
07. Paranoid Android
08. Permanent Daylight
09. Egyptian Song
10. Street Spirit
11. Climbing Up The Walls
12. Dollars And Cents
13. Talk Show Host
14. Lucky
15. Idiotheque

Disc 2
01. Just
02. Everything In Its Right Place
03. Exit Music (For A Film)
04. The Thief
05. The Bends
06. How To Disappear Completely
07. Motion Picture Soundtrack
08. My Iron Lung

A few from Austria for Christmas...

I'm always amazed by how many pictures I haven't posted here. So here are a few from Salzburg that remind me of winter. Even though we visited in July, the cold air from the Alps made a jacket necessary. Heidi had to buy a pair of Kniestrümpfe in Königssee before going into Berchtesgaden National Park.

20 December 2010

15 December 2010

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the Main Point, Bryn Mawr, Pa, 02/05/1975

Hard to believe this show is almost 35 years old. The sound is exceptional--sounds like it was taped last night. The soft opening of INCIDENT ON 57th STREET demands an absolutely silent audience, something that'd be hard to come by in arenas. This is Bruce-the-icon at his best.

My first Bruce record was BORN IN THE U.S.A.. So when I had extra money
for records I could only go back in time--THE RIVER was a double album, leaving me with GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, NJ, BORN TO RUN, THE WILD, THE INNOCENT AND THE E STREET SHUFFLE. I played those tapes out, and the songs in the setlist for this show, are to me, the Golden Era which I could never be a part of. By the time I got to this music the era had already passed and arenas were the norm.

It's a beautiful radio broadcast. Enjoy. The debut of THUNDER ROAD (who's Angelina?) alone makes this a download worth keeping.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA
February 5, 1975

source: Soundboard (WMMR FM Broadcast)

Liberated Bootleg, "You Can Trust Your Car to the Man Who Wears the Star"

CD's -> EAC (secure, w/ logs) -> FLAC (6)

Disc 1: (75:20)
01. (10:38) intro -> Incident on 57th Street
02. (03:21) Mountain of Love*
03. (04:47) Born to Run
04. (12:57) The E Street Shuffle
05. (06:54) Thunder Road "Wings for Wheels"*
06. (06:29) I Want You
07. (06:23) Spirit in the Night
08. (06:37) She's the One
09. (03:18) Growin' Up
10. (04:07) It's Hard to be a Saint in the City
11. (09:49) Jungleland

Disc 2: (73:38)
01. (11:43) Kitty's Back
02. (19:57) New York City Serenade
03. (11:24) Rosalita
04. (06:44) 4th of July, Asbury Park
05. (08:32) A Love So Fine
06. (08:30) For You
07. (06:48) Back in the U.S.A.*



Disc 1
Publisher: Labour Of Love
Reference: Love 022
Date: 1997
Quality: Vg/Ex
Total duration: 75:33

Disc 2
Publisher: Labour Of Love
Reference: Love 023
Date: 1997
Quality :Vg/Ex
Total duration: 75:27

Bruce Springsteen Live at the Main Point, Bryan Mawr, Pennsylvania, February 5th, 1975 FM Broadcast WMMR - Main Point benefit show. This was the premiere of Thunder Road, actually called Wings For Wheels at this time and of both Back In The USA and Mountain Of Love.
Also with early live versions of Born To Run and Jungleland, and a amazing cover of Dylan's I Want You.

10 December 2010


Been listening to this amazing show for the last few weeks. The sound is amazing--just enough break-up to remind you this is vintage. The sound of the guitar blows my mind. "Crazy...twang, twang, twang... Crazy for feeling, so lonely..."

Willie Nelson with Leon Russell 4/1/79 Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ
source: FM reel master taped by Jerry Moore
lineage: wnew simulcast>10.5" reel @ 7.5 ips, dolby b technics rs-1506>teac an-180>hd-p2 24/96> cd wave>adobe 2.0 16/44>flac reel (ampex) baked, transferred & seeded by Rob Berger

disc one: 59:56
01: dj intro
02: Whiskey River>
03: Stay All Night
04: Funny How Time Slips Away>
05: Crazy
06: Night Life
07: If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time
08: Sweet Memories
09: Bloody Mary Morning
10: Gotta Get Drunk>
11: Shotgun Willie
12: Time Of The Preacher>
13: Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
14: The Red Headed Stranger
15: Instrumental
16: Heartbreak Hotel
17: Trouble In Mind
18: A Song For You

disc two: 65:07
01: Come In My Kitchen
02: Detour
03: Will The Circle Be Unbroken
04: Amazing Grace
05: Land Of Uncloudy Skies
06: Instrumental
07: One For My Baby And One For The Road
08: Blue Skies
09: Georgia On My Mind
10: All Of Me
11: Stardust
12: Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys>
13: Take Back The Weed>
14: Willie & Waylon>
15: Whiskey River>
16: Instrumental encores:
17: Good Hearted Woman
18: Sioux City Sue
19: White Lightning
20: One Night Of Love
21: Truck Drivin' Man>
22: Whiskey River//(outro instrumental missing)
notes: a mandatory download situation


08 December 2010


It’s a bit embarrassing to admit this, but I didn’t discover The Beatles until about ten years ago.

NEVERMIND came out when I was a junior in high school. That album’s release was supposed to have been the shot heard through the Gen X world, but I got into Pearl Jam a whole lot more than I ever did Nirvana. And as far as I was concerned, the kind of music I listened to sprang from seeds like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. The Beatles, and the Beach Boys, and Chuck Berry were oldies radio. Background. My mom liked The Beatles. That’s who we were rebelling against.

So yeah, my youthful naivety deprived me of the greatest band I’d ever hear. I don’t have a problem with that, because I believe I found The Beatles exactly when I was supposed to. In my thirties and unsatisfied with the life I’ve been living. The music I loved becoming the background noise I resented so much in high school. My passion to pick up my guitar waned as I felt myself plateauing as a player. Strumming out riffs on my porch swing with a glass of bourbon was relaxation, not the passion it’d once been.

I can’t remember how I got into The Beatles. May have been LET IT BE…NAKED in 2003, or a random Yonder Mountain String Band Beatles’ cover. Must’ve been the LET IT BE, because DON’T LET ME DOWN stands out as the song that changed everything for me. It didn’t sound like The Beatles I knew about--sock hops and cruisin' (without the ‘g’) or whatever. It was like I stumbled upon an entirely new genre.

And when I watched video from the Rooftop Concert, it made me sad to learn the stuff I liked came so close to the end. And even though I went backwards and bought the whole catalog and downloaded concerts and studio outtakes with esoterica like multiple versions of STRAWBERRY FIELDS and THE ESHER DEMOS, I couldn’t help feeling like I was getting to the scene a little too late. Like, if I’d gotten PLEASE, PLEASE ME first I would’ve experienced a rise and fall with each successive album I bought. But as it was, starting at the bottom of the discography only reminded me that no matter what happened, it all comes to a sad, inevitable end. It was like I got to experience the break-up all by myself. I couldn’t ask anybody if they heard rumors, if the band would get back together, if Lennon had fired Allen Klein yet. Because I already knew the Rooftop Concert was the last.

And I knew exactly what was going to happen when I started buying Lennon’s solo albums. The bitter strength and sadness of WORKING CLASS HERO and IMAGINE would only, always, give way to The Lost Weekend, and the birth of Sean and John’s return to the studio in the late 70s. And no matter what happened, no matter in what order I bought his albums, December 8, 1980 would always come rushing up at me.

During the recording of NEVERMIND, Kurt Cobain refused to double-track his vocals. Butch Vig eventually got Kurt to agree by telling him that his hero, John Lennon double-tracked his vocals. I couldn’t hear John in Nirvana way back in 1992. But I hear John when I listen to Nirvana today. I hear John in The Clash, in Radiohead. I hear John almost every time I hear music.


07 December 2010

THE CLASH Bond's International Casino, NYC 1981-05-29

Listening to this show right now-sound is a little tinny and thin, but the energy is crazy. LONDON CALLING is as fast as I've ever heard it. You could tell the band loved their residency in New York. SAFE EUROPEAN HOME is phenomenal. WHITE MAN IN HAMMERSMITH PALAIS is one of the best I've heard.

This is the second of 17 shows the band played. They were scheduled to do 8, but the fire marshals, fearing trouble, changed the capacity of the club. Rather than disappoint fans, The Clash played until all ticket-holders were satisfied.

Disc 1
2.London Calling
3.Safe European Home
4.The Leader
5.Somebody Got Murdered
6.White Man In Ham Palais
7.The Guns Of Brixton
8.This Is Radio Clash (corrupt file missing from sugarmegs stream)
9.The Call Up
10.Complete Control
11.Junco Partner

1.Lightning Strikes
2.Ivan Meets GI Joe
3.Charlie Don't Surf
4.Bank Robber
5.The Magnificent Seven
6.Wrong 'Em Boyo
7.Train In Vain
8.Career Opportunities
10.One More Time
11.Brand New Cadillac
12 Washington Bullets
13.Janie Jones
14.Armagideon Time
15.Police & Thieves
16.I'm So Bored with the USA

Listen to show here :

29 November 2010

St Vitus Gargoyle

The Feminista Files: FEM farewell: The Publishing Dinosaurs

Awesome post that sums up publishing for a lot of people.

The Feminista Files: FEM farewell: The Publishing Dinosaurs

Yinz Coin Any New Words Today?

I can't believe this is still largely undefined.


Member of Pittsburgh's yinzer elite. Membership requirements include, but aren't limited to forever rejecting Rolling Rock for leaving Latrobe, being able to recite the play-by-play of the Francisco Cabrers's two-run single in the Pirates' 1992 NLCS playoff loss to Atlanta, knowing the #1 Best Seller at Primanti's isn't a sandwich, thinking Kennywood is better than Walt Disney World, thinking Joe Grushecky is better than Springsteen, having worked at National Record Mart at some point in their life, shedding a tear during a reminiscence of Mr. Rogers, going to Monroeville Mall to reenact scenes from DAWN OF THE DEAD on a date.

Honorary members include Roberto Clemente, Mario Lemieux and Bill Cowher, who's membership was revoked in 2009 when he sounded the pre-game warning siren at a Penguin-Canes NHL playoff game.


You ain't no yinzerati if you go to Primanti's and ask for fries on the side.

Aw, man. I made too many pierogies. Call up the yinzerati to help me eat 'em.

Me and the yinzerati are going to the Slovak Club if you want to come.
by JJMiller on Nov 29, 2010

20 November 2010


Book Deal: Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction
Book Deals

I am happy to finally announce that Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction has been picked up by Headline Books, Inc.. This is the writing guide that Mike Arnzen and I are co-editing.

Michael Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller signing the contract for Many Genres, One Craft
Photo by Jason Jack Miller

Lots of news to come, including a list of contributors, a new website, and a tour schedule.

This has been two years in the making, so I am very excited about the project coming to fruition in such a great way.

10 October 2010

Arnzen is Chumming for Snark!!!

Michael A Arnzen interviewed by The Snarky Avenger. He talks about Audiovile, 100 Jolts e Books and playgrounds...of pain. Check out the podcast here: http://thesnarkyavenger.com

And many thanks for the shout-out! Somehow I'm going to turn that into a blurb.

Philly, Chinatown, October 2005

In Philly to see Yonder Mountain String Band at the Trocadero. Had enough time to for a quick bowl of phở and a few pictures. Left right after the show to head to DC. Graveyard shift lights from the docks and factories along the river barely made it through the fog. Ended up stopping in Delaware for the night.

03 October 2010

Another from October 2005

Jeff Austin, Yonder Mountain String Band, State Theater, Falls Church, Virginia, October 22, 2005.


Yonder Mountain String Band, State Theater, Falls Church, VA
October 22, 2005

Set I

01) Bloody Mary Morning
02) Sideshow Blues
03) Shenandoah Valley Breakdown
04) Long Time
05) Red Rocking Chair
06) Kentucky Mandolin
07) The Bolton Stretch
08) Darkness And Light
09) This Lonesome Heart
10) Traffic Jam >
11) Ten >
12) Traffic Jam

Set II

01) High on a Hilltop
02) Steep Grade Sharp Curves >
03) Troubled Mind >
04) 20 Eyes >
05) Troubled Mind
06) Jesus On The Mainline >
07) Little Rabbit >
08) Jesus On The Mainline
09) Finally Saw The Light
10) Idaho
11) Yes She Do
12) 40 Miles From Denver
13) It Takes A Lot To Laugh, A Train To Cry
14) Snow on the Pines
15) Goodbye Blue Sky


01) Granny Woncha Smoke Some
02) Four Walls of Raiford

21 August 2010

McCartney @ Consol Centert

And the article... http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=536204

And from the Detroit Free Press, with a few hilarious comments from Red Wings fans... http://www.freep.com/article/20100820/BLOG09/100820059/Paul-McCartney-draws-ire-of-Pens-prez-Pittsburgh-mayor-with-Wings-sticker

1. Venus And Mars/Rock Show
2. Jet
3. All My Loving
4. Letting Go
5. Drive My Car
6. Highway (The Fireman cover)
7. Let Me Roll It / Foxy Lady (Hendrix cover)
8. The Long and Winding Road
9. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
10. Let 'Em In
11. My Love
12. I've Just Seen a Face
13. And I Love Her
14. Blackbird
15. Here Today
16. Dance Tonight
17. Mrs Vanderbilt
18. Eleanor Rigby
19. Ram On
20. Something
21. Sing the Changes (The Fireman cover)
22. Band on the Run
23. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
24. Back in the USSR
25. I've Got a Feeling
26. Paperback Writer
27. A Day in the Life / Give Peace A Chance
28. Let It Be
29. Live and Let Die
30. Hey Jude Play
31. Encore:
31. Day Tripper
32. Lady Madonna
33. Get Back
34. Encore 2:
34. Yesterday
35. Helter Skelter
36. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
37. The End

From setlist.fm


I'm not going to review the show. It was awesome. I got goosebumps too many times to remember and had tears in my eyes once. Any attempt by me to put it into words would only minimize the overall experience. I will say that it was a surreal event, like STAR WARS without Han and Chewie. Or like an Alfredo sauce without butter. I got the same feeling I get any time I read something about John or listen to the B side of ABBEY ROAD. I wonder what could've been and wish I had been there in '64.

Many, many thanks to the Regas for letting me tag along.

06 August 2010


Posted partially because I'd been perusing Peter Doggett's YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY and because of UNCUT's story on Lennon post-1970.

07 July 2010


Yeah, yeah, I know the hardcore MOON PENNSYLVANIA CAMPING fans are saying '...but it was released in 2006!'

It's true, the book was released in 06, but we began writing it in the summer of 05. The cover above is one of the alternates MOON sent us prior to publication.

23 March 2010


Email from Adventure's Edge:

Dear Past Attendees:

We are pleased to announce that the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will be returning to Morgantown at the Morgantown High School Auditorium, Thursday, April 8, 2010, 7 PM...

Tickets are now available at:

Adventure's Edge

131 Pleasant Street

(304) 296.9007


Mon-Friday 11 am to 7pm; Sat 10 am to 5 pm

Note: on the day of the Banff show, April 8, they will close at 4 PM

Tickets are $13 in advance ($10 students with school ID) or $16 (students $13) at the door.

Tickets will also be available at the door on the 8th but buy in advance at Adventure's Edge and save.

To see the awesome new 2010 Banff Intro video go to



France, 2008, 6 minutes
Directed and Produced by Guillaume Broust
Website: http://kyom.blogspot.com/2008/02/og-team.html
Classification: General – no advisory
Focus: Multi-sport, humour, family-friendly

Filmed in the Mont Blanc range, this short features six different mountain sports: climbing, skiing, snowboarding, speed riding, paragliding and BASE jumping.

Kranked - Revolve

Canada, 2009, 11 minutes
Directed and produced by Bjørn Enga
Website: www.radical-films.com
Classification: General - coarse language
Focus: Mountain biking

The coolest human-powered adrenaline tool ever invented -- the mountain bike? "Revolve" blasts in cinematic glory from the French Alps to the lush coast of B.C., incorporating dirt jump, trail, freeride, slopestyle and downhill.

Take a Seat

Special Jury Mention

UK, 2009, 46 minutes
Directed by: Ed Stobart, Dominic Gill
Produced by: Lucy Wilcox
Website: www.ginger.tv ; www.takeaseat.org
Classification: General - nudity
Focus: Human story, adventure, biking

Dominic Gill’s mission is to cycle the 32,000 kilometres from the northern coast of Alaska to the southern tip of South America, on a tandem bike, picking up random strangers on the way. A gripping tale of two years and two continents, full of extraordinary characters and incidents.

The Ultimate Skiing Showdown

Canada, 2009, 4 minutes
Directed and produced by David McMahon
Website: www.xczone.tv
Classification: General - no advisory
Focus: Nordic Skiing, Family-friendly

The final sprint showdown between the fastest skiers on Earth in juxtaposition with a stunt performer showing some of the sickest moves on Nordic skis. A lot of fun!

Rowing the Atlantic

USA, 2009, 26 minutes
Directed and produced by JB Benna
Website: www.journeyfilm.com
Classification: General – no advisory
Focus: Sea-kayaking, adventure, human story, family-friendly

A few years ago, Roz Savage gave up what for many would be an ideal life (husband, great job, big house), picked up a few pairs of rowing oars and a boat to go with them and set off across the Atlantic Ocean – alone – in a rowboat.


Japan, 2009, 3 minutes
Directed and Produced by Masaki Sekiguchi
Website: www.ebisfilms.jp
Classification: General – no advisory
Focus: Powder skiing, family-friendly

"Shinsetsu" means deep powder in Japanese. This short film expresses a typical day in the mountains in Japan.

First Ascent: Alone on the Wall

USA, 2009, 24 minutes
Directed and produced by Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen
Website: www.senderfilms
Classification: General – coarse language
Focus: Rock Climbing, free solo climbing

After gaining international climbing renown for his landmark free-solo of "Moonlight Buttress" (V, 5.12+, 9 pitches) in Zion National Park, Utah, in April 2008, 24-year-old Alex Honnold moves on to his next big challenge: the first free-solo of the "Regular Northwest Face" route (VI, 5.12a, 23 pitches) on Yosemite’s Half Dome.

Project Megawoosh
Special Jury Mention

Germany, 2009, 4 minutes
Directed by Minh Duong
Produced by Nikolas Hannack
Classification: General, no advisory
Focus: Humour, spoof

Come early (after 6:30 PM) and hear, back by popular demand, the Legendary Woodticks (www.thewoodticks.com) … on fiddles, guitars, and banjo as they play traditional old-time string music. Inspired by the stories told through the songs, the harmonies both sweet and discordant, and the infectious rhythm of the music, they set off to pick up where generations before had left off. The tunes they play are traditional and tell a tale of a time long ago. They will also play during the intermission.

The Sixth Annual Morgantown Film and Photo Festival

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is the kick-off to the Sixth Annual Morgantown Adventure Film and Photo Festival presented by Adventure's Edge. The festival provides an opportunity for local filmmakers and photographers whose hearts and souls abide in West Virginia to showcase there adventures from near and far. Artists are invited to submit films, slide shows, or photographs featuring adventure sports or the outdoors. The festival includes a "locals'" film festival, gear swap, photo exhibit, and climbing shoe demo.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

7 pm: Banff Mountain Film Festival at Morgantown High School

April 14-21, 2010

Every day Photo Exhibit at Black Bear Restaurant at 132 Pleasant Street

Thursday, April 22, 2010

7 pm: Morgantown Adventure Film Festival & Photo Exhibit at 123 Pleasant St.

Saturday April 17, 2010

10 am-4 pm: Used Gear Sale at Adventure's Edge (call 304.296.9007)

Additional Info at: www.theadventuresedge.com

22 February 2010

Just finished THE FARTHER SHORE by Matthew Eck, the first 'real' book I've read in a while. It was the kind of book that made me feel like I have a way to go as a writer. It was written in a very real kind of way. I haven't figured out how to crack that code just yet.

I just finished what I thought was a final draft of my new novel, by after a lot of discussion with Heidi over the weekend I think I'm going to work on it over the summer and get it out before school starts again in the fall. I feel like I've been sucker punched and have to pick myself up out of the dirt. But I don't want to send out something mediocre.

07 January 2010

The Eight Writing Questions

1) Do you type or write by hand?


2) Do you save everything you write?

I save 90% of what I write. I'm not sure why because I rarely refer back to old versions or drafts. Maybe I figure a biographer will want it all one day. Or the CIA.

3) What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?

The first chapter of my most recent novel. It came out exactly as I'd conceived it--the pacing, the voice, the right amount of quirkiness. I'm very proud of it.

4) What character have you written that’s most like yourself?

I don't like this question, so I'm going to ask myself 'What's your favorite character of those you've created?'

My favorite character is Paulie Pallini. He isn't a main character, and he always says what's on his mind, which is not like me at all. And he's a little dense, which I certainly am not. One of my all-time favorite characters is Fermin from Zafon's SHADOW OF THE WIND. When I finished it I knew I'd write my version of Fermin.

Paulie is a mutated form of Fermin. My favorite Paulie line is "...I’ll tell you what, it’ll be like choosing a new pope. If I’m drinking Mountain Dew you’ll know I give a crap. And if I’m drinking iced tea you know I don’t."

5) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?

I think plots come to me before characters. My characters usually come as a result of the plot by thinking about how various people would react to particular situations.

6) Do you ever write based on your dreams?

No. For good or bad, I don't often remember my dreams.

7) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?


8) Does music help you write?

Music is a very important part of the process for me since music has played a crucial role in two of my plots. I like to open up Pandora and create playlists for scenes or characters. Since September I've had playlists devoted to Motley Crue, Django Reinhardt, Rise Against, Radiohead, Leoš Janáček and Ralph Stanley. Sometimes I'll pop in music for different reasons. Sometimes I listen to The Beatles when I'm feeling a little flat. The Clash when I need to get a little mad. But I need music, absolutely and always.