Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Sunday, March 30, 2014

create an app/ database friendly resume/ Peter van Stolk

Mar. 10 Create an app: It must be the law of attraction, because yesterday I was thinking about creating an app.  Today I read an article in Metro called “No, you don’t have an app for that.”  They talked to Matt Coombe, co-founder of the Toronto-based app development company Get Set Games.

You have to learn how to code. He says it’s getting hard to get noticed in Apple’s App store and the Google Play marketplace for Android apps.  

“In the early days, it was basically, if you could make a decent app and get it out on the App Store, you had a very good chance for success. You wouldn’t necessarily become a millionaire overnight but you could make a decent salary for yourself.

“I think those days are over because there’s so much quality out there. There’s absolutely an opportunity there. It’s still available and people are still doing really great stuff and having a lot of success, but it’s a lot harder.”

“There are a couple of really great things about making free apps. One is you absolutely get to reach out to the most people possible with zero barrier to entry. Everyone is willing to give your game a try,” Coombe says.

“That means your download numbers and people who get to know about your game and your brand are several orders of magnitude larger than a paid app. The second thing is, when you have a large user base and a lot of people playing your games, then you get to introduce those same people to your next games and your next games, which is obviously a fantastic way to market your whole (roster) of games.”

My opinion: I don’t want to create a game; I want to create something that helps people.

Database friendly resume: I cut out this 24 article called “Secrets to a killer resume: kept it ‘database-friendly” on May 28, 2012.  The info is from the book Knock Em’ Dead by Martin Yate.  It’s about using words and phrases to describe the job you want and then your resume will be favored by algorithms. 

When you mention your skills the 2nd or 3rd time, it will double your resumes ranking in a search of those words.

Understand what your customer is buying- focus on the skills and experience you have to a specific target job.

50% of your success is in the prep work- Pick one single target job that you have experience and credentials for.  Collect 6 job postings and prioritize the common requirements.  “Capture all the words and phrases used to describe the job you want in your resume to enhance the probability.”

Use a target job title- 7 out of 10 resumes to have a job title.  By having one, it gives a focus.

Ditch the job objective- use the right words up front can stand out in a database.

My opinion: What’s the difference between a target job title and job objective?  I Google it and it says this: 

“There is a difference between a target and an objective. Objectives define an endpoint of concern and the direction of chance that is preferred. Targets are established first, this is where one wants to be in the end.”

Performance profile- Take the most common requirements from the “success is in the prep work” and rewrite them as your performance profile.  Make it a list of bullets so it’s easier to read.

Professional skills- or core competencies.  If you put these at the top, each word and phrase has to suit the job.

At the beginning of last year, I was like brainstorming what the year would be like and one of the titles was “The Year of the Office Job.”

Keyword scatter- “Repeat each skill listed in the Professional Skills section in the context of the jobs where that skill was developed and applied.”

Social media website: I remember writing about this back in 2012.  You don’t have be original to be in business.  Facebook was not the first social media website.  Prior to it there was Myspace.  Now there is also Twitter and Linked In.  

I don’t want to create another one.

Mar. 11 Clickbait: In the Metro, they have a section called “Clickbait.”  It’s where writers write about an app and what it’s used for.

Fax machines: Do people still use fax machines?  They don’t seem very common.

Mar. 18 Ikea: I was reading in the Edmonton Journal on Mar. 15, 2014.  The article is “Ikea light bulbs to help refugees.”  Ikea has partnered with UNHCR to raise money to light refugee camps.  Until Mar. 29, Ikea will donate $1.50 to UNHCR for every “ledare” LED light bulb sold.  The camps need light for safety, income, and education needs.

Mar. 20 Peter van Stolk: I cut out this Edmonton Journal article “City entrepreneur tapped pop culture” by David Finlayson on Sept. 24, 2010.  The quotes I bolded, I’m going to put in my inspirational quotes.   

Here’s an excerpt of the article:

When you decide to take on two of the biggest companies on the planet in Coca-Cola and Pepsi, you're either crazy or extremely smart.

Peter van Stolk turned out to be very smart when he founded the Jones Soda Company in Edmonton in 1996, but he also did a lot of crazy things to get his product noticed.

Instead, he sold fresh fruit on Edmonton streets, then started distributing fresh, flash-frozen orange juice and other beverages with his Urban Hand company, which by 1996 was bringing in $7 million a year.

"I hated it because we were selling other people's product," van Stolk told the Junior Chamber International conference Thursday in Edmonton.

"So I sold everything and started Jones.

"The world doesn't need another soda company, or another company of any kind. It does need a great company."

"It's all about thinking differently, especially as your competition is not in Edmonton anymore, it's in China and India."

"Write down the 10 things that make you happy, and then the 10 things that make you happy at work, and see how fast you become successful." 

"The most important factor in creating change is understanding the future, not reacting to the present. If you do the same things you did yesterday, why the hell would you change?"

IT jobs: I got an email from Job Boom that they will open a new Information Technology and Multimedia employment sector.  They will call it Digital Technology and Media.

Savings: I was reading in the Metro article “Protect savings from life’s surprises" on Feb. 11, 2014.

“According to actuarial statistics, the average Canadian has a one-in-three chance of becoming disabled for 90 days or longer, at least once before the age of 65.  The average length of a disability longer than 90 days is almost 3 yrs.”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

writing style/ living in your head/ Twitter to book

Mar. 3 Writing style: I was reading “Looking back on an exciting first year as The Globe’s Travel Concierge” by John Lee in the Globe and Mail on Dec. 28, 2013.  He answers questions about travel like “I’m planning on going to New Zealand.  What should I go see?”

He says this: “And I now realize what a slow writer I am: too long spend obsessively rereading sentences everyone else sensibly scans in microseconds.”

My opinion: Sometimes I write fast, sometimes I write slowly.  It depends on the topic.  Of course, I do copy and paste articles and I then type my comments on it so it’s fast.  When I write a synopsis of a TV show, I write slower.

Mar. 4: I went to work today and looked for a job.  Now I’m bored and I need a break, so I’m going to write about TV shows.

The Vampire Diaries: Did you know this show had aired their 100th episode?  That’s great.  A month ago I came home and turned on the TV.  The Queen Latifah show was on and I was listening to it as I was checking what was on that night.  The actor Ian Somerhalder (Damon from The Vampire Diaries) was on and mentioned how there was a 100th ep. 

Criminal Minds: I watched Criminal Minds 200th episode called “200.”  Here’s a little recap.  JJ and Cruz from the FBI team went to Iraq to stop terrorists back in 2011.  There was a translator named Michael Hastings (Tahmoh Penikett from Dollhouse).  Hastings got killed when their car got hit by a IED.  JJ and Cruz are now back in Washington DC in present time. 

They both get kidnapped and are tortured to get authorization codes.  Later Hastings appears and it turns out he wasn’t dead at all. 

I was on and said this:

“I thought the episode was good.  Then I came here and I see all the plot holes. 

I didn't predict that Hastings was the double agent.  I really thought it was going to be Cruz. 
I did predict Hastings couldn't really be killed.  I was thinking about Prentiss supposedly being dead when she was really alive.

I also want to add that I really thought Cruz was playing JJ and the BAU.  I have seen on Alias where Sydney is being tortured and kept in a cell with another man.  The other man was pretending to be tortured.  I thought Cruz was pretending to be tortured.

Cruz is one of the two agents to open the account, so I thought he wanted to get JJ with him.

When Tevon mentions the miscarriage and JJ looks at Cruz, I thought Cruz told Tevon.  But really, it was Hastings who overheard.”

Here’s a good recap of the episode:

International Festival of Authors: I was reading this National Post article I cut out called “Michael Chabon and Junot Diaz living on the page” on Oct. 27, 2012.   It’s about the authors Michael Chabon and Junot who are at this festival.  I went to website and it’s held in Toronto in October.

Living in your head: Here is the excerpt of the article.  It’s the ending of it.  You can read the full article where I provide the link at the bottom:  

There’s a scene in “Otravida, Otravez,” one of the stories in Díaz’s new collection, when the narrator, looking at her friend, who gave up both her husband and children when she came to the United States, says she “understands what has to be sacrificed on a voyage.” I ask if either of them have sacrificed anything to make it.

“There’s few people who would argue that one does not have to cut a deal with reality to spend so much time on these projects,” Díaz says. “Whether you’re a young artist, or you’re an artist late in their career, you have made a f–king deal with reality. You’re not going to be in the world as much as a normal person, I don’t think. Ninety-nine per cent of my life has been lived in pages. It’s OK. One wins, one feels like they’ve published books, we get reviewed, we go on tour. That’s wonderful. But let’s be real: You give up a lot of s–t to keep your nose in a book for 16 years. I’m not crying. I’m not a victim. But when I think about the larger things, I think about the years of lived life that have gone into [the books].”

“And you lose the ability, after a while, to actually live life, to engage,” Chabon says. “It becomes to such a habit to remain at a certain distance that it can be hard to bridge that distance, to come back out again. You’re always observing and note-taking.”

“You can never account for the things that you have lost when you weren’t paying attention,” Díaz says. “All my relationships that have gone away from me — how many of them were because I wasn’t paying attention to them instead of paying attention to the books? And there’s no accounting for some stuff. I don’t even have a full bill yet.”
“It will be presented in time, no doubt,” Chabon says.
Díaz agrees. “It certainly will.”

Mar. 7 Twitter to book: I cut out this article “Gaining readers one tweet at a time” by Misty Harris on Jul. 31, 2011.  Here are excerpts from the article:

“As recently as five years ago, authors would create an online presence to stay connected with existing fans; today, an online presence is what's generating fans in the first place, with readers discovering novelists' work after becoming besotted with their tweets.”

"I (have) had people show up to readings saying that they didn't even know I wrote books, and that they were followers from Twitter," says Crane, who joined the site 2-1/2 years ago. "The proof is already in the pudding right there."

Crane, whose tweets might be described as Dorothy Parker meets 90210 (a show for which she's written), is hoping to see a Twitter salesbump for her latest book With a Little Luck.

“…publishers won't spend money on promoting you unless you are one of five people," says Crane, wryly noting she isn't one of those five. "So I trot my wares out there like the Little Engine that Could."

"a bit like a pyramid scheme of publicity,"

"There is something wonderfully liberating about being social with tens of thousands of people at once, without actually having to be around any of them," Crane quips.

Bestselling Canadian author Neil Pasricha says he's regularly approached by people at readings who first discovered him on Twitter - a phenomenon he finds amusing, given that the micro-writing site traffics in the tiny.

"A giant piece of dead tree in a local library is not instant, you have to go somewhere to get it, it's thick, it doesn't update - it's pretty much the exact opposite medium," says Pasricha, author of The Book of (Even More) Awesome. "But there's an important similarity, and that's that people on Twitter like to be entertained and they're willing to read."

"I don't invent characters. I invite strangers. Out of my subconscious.  Then cut them slack, to see what they'll do."-@greatdismal (William Gibson)

My opinion: I like the above tweet.  I’m going to put that in my inspirational quotes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cindy Klassen/ The Other Russia/ Romanian orphans

Mar. 3 Cindy Klassen: I read in the Metro today that Canadian speed skater Cindy Klassen opened a women’s gym for Palestinian women in Bethelehem.   It costs $1.3 million and the 1,300 square metre gym was funded by Canadian Luteran World Relief and Calgary’s MT. Calvary Lutheran Church.

My opinion: That’s good to open a gym and promote fitness.  Though I would probably open a homeless shelter because homes are more important than fitness.  At least to me.

Slashing spree: I read in the Metro today “Chinese officials blame separatists for slashing spree.”  29 people were killed and 143 people were wounded at a train station in Southern China on Mar. 2, 2014.  The police shot and killed 4 of the slashers.  There were supposed to be at least 5 more.  Two of the assailants were women, and one of them was detained.

Warehouse stabbing: I read in the Metro today “Warehouse stabbing victims remembered” by Stephanie Dubois.  Someone stabbed and killed Fizroy G. Harris and Thierno on Feb. 28, 2014 at a West Edmonton Loblaw’s warehouse.  The assailant is believed to be another warehouse employee.

Mar. 4: Jayme Pasieka has been arrested with 2 more attempted murder charges on him.

Mar. 8 Winnifred Stewart: I found this charity while I was looking for a job.  They help people with disabilities.

“Winnifred Stewart Association is dedicated to connecting individuals and their communities. We believe in empowering people and inspiring dreams. Through a variety of programs, individuals can focus on discovering their own desired adventures, and through stories, reflect on the milestones they achieve.

Customized support offered through Winnifred Stewart Association's various community and facility-based programs assist individuals with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives and become integral members of their communities. These programs include, Day Services (recreational and leisure options and enclaves-paid or volunteer), Residential Services (variety of residential options) and Community Pathways (individualized employment, volunteering, living arrangements and recreational options.)

Winnifred Stewart Association is also dedicated to changing public perspectives through the work of the Winnifred Stewart Foundation. Fundraising programs, including Empties to WINN and Green Goods, create opportunities to increase public awareness.”

The Other Russia: I was reading this article called “The Other Russia” by Alex Strachan on Mar. 1, 2014.  It’s a documentary: 

“Hunted, originally made for Britain's Channel 4, profiles Russian gangs that hunt gay men for sport.
Gang members track down and abduct gay men, harass and humiliate them - or worse - and then post footage on the Internet. One such victim, a shy, unassuming man named Dima, was left blind in one eye after a homophobic attack and has since become the human face of Hunted in Russia.

In an especially revealing moment late in the film, Dima says he doesn't blame his attackers alone.
A culture of anti-gay propaganda and recent laws curtailing freedom of speech have created a climate of hatred and fear that inevitably leads to violence. Some of the most harrowing scenes are emotional, as when a lesbian couple, Svette and Yulia, admit they live in constant fear that the authorities will seize their three children from previous marriages, under the pretext of the newly passed propaganda law.

Hunted in Russia is hard to watch, but it's the kind of hard-hitting documentary that makes one feel better informed for having seen it.”

My opinion: That’s serious and scary.  That is harsh.  I didn’t know that’s what happens in Russia.  Even if you don’t know that it happens there, you know now.

This documentary is educational.  By telling people about it, people know about it so then there could be a solution to it.

Romanian orphans: I was reading in the Edmonton Journal on Mar. 1, 2014 about Romanian orphans.  Here’s an excerpt by Dene Moore:  

When the Iron Curtain was torn down almost 25 years ago, the images shocked the world: tens of thousands of Romanian children warehoused in cold, grey institutions, sometimes stacked six to a bed.

"Three-year-olds didn't chew because they'd never had solid food," says Lucy LeMare, an associate professor at Simon Fraser University, near Vancouver. Under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the number of state orphanages had swelled to more than 600 grossly underfunded institutions. After he was executed by his own people on Christmas Day in 1989, childless western families flooded the country to adopt. Canadian families took in more than 1,400 children from Romania in 1990 and 1991, roughly half of them from orphanages.

The research so far has reaffirmed - in the extreme - that the scars of early neglect run deep. The most recent survey, published in 2007, found that about 40 per cent of Romanian adoptees had been diagnosed with a mental disorder, compared with 15 per cent among the general youth population in Canada.

Over the next few years, through her charitable organization, she would help 350 Canadian and U.S. families adopt about 500 children.

There are 2 more articles by Dene Moore:

Rape culture: I was reading in the Metro on Mar. 3, 2014 called “Ottawa student says she is a ‘rape culture’ victim.”   Anne-Marie Roy is 24 yrs old and a student union leader and she got an anonymous email where 5 male students had a sexual banter about the sexual activities would have with Roy. 

Roy got an emailed apology from the men and that the comments were not actual threats against her.  She thought the apology wasn’t enough and planned to distribute copies of the conversation to the board of administration. 

Four of the five individuals sent her a letter warning her that the conversation was private and that sharing it with others was a violation of their rights.

My opinion: That’s good she reported it.  It’s about safety.

Predator: I was reading in the Globe and Mail essay called “The Nest Robber” by Marlene O. Maier.  It’s not her real name to protect her daughter’s identity.  In the essay she writes about an older family member who tried to seduce her daughter when she was 14. 

He started making comments on how she was acting “older” and she thought that was a good thing.  Later he says to her: “I guess I should kiss you know.  It’s getting pretty weird in front of your parents.”

Later the daughter says: “I am so thankful I had people in my life supporting me in order to get to a place where now I feel stronger than ever.  It has taken me years to feel okay speaking openly…only maturity has helped relieve my sense of remorse.”

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tell Obama: Put women in the driver's seat in Saudi Arabia

Who's driving President Obama in Saudi Arabia?

Take a drive for Saudi women's rights, Obama

A Saudi Arabian woman taking the wheel in support of the women2drive initiative in Saudi Arabia.
Next week, President Obama will meet with the leader of Saudi Arabia.

Who's going to drive his car? Will it be a woman? And why does it matter?

Women in Saudi Arabia are banned from driving – and face severe restrictions on their ability to do many things in public without a male guardian. Selecting a female driver would send a powerful message about women's rights.

Join us in urging President Obama to push hard for significant human rights reforms during his visit to Saudi Arabia – starting with choosing a woman driver.
Take Action!

Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter.

Dear Tracy,

Did you know that Saudi Arabia is the ONLY country in the world in which woman are not allowed to drive?

Let's support Saudi women's struggle to change this.

That's not the only way Saudi women are treated as second-class citizens. Women must gain permission from a male guardian to get married, travel to most countries, undergo certain surgeries, get a job or enroll in higher education.

Saudi women are punished for exercising the freedoms you and I enjoy every day.

President Obama is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia next week. Let's make sure he puts women in the driver's seat during his trip, literally and figuratively.

Tell Obama to speak up for human rights on his trip to meet King Abdullah – starting with selecting a woman driver.

For too long, the US relationship with Saudi Arabia has prioritized politics and oil over human rights.

Saudi Arabia has a repressive government, yet it has been spared the blunt criticisms U.S. officials make of some other regimes.

Amnesty International is calling on President Obama to take these 3 specific public steps during his trip to send a message that human rights matter:
  1. Select a female Secret Service officer to drive his car in Saudi Arabia

  2. Meet Saudi Arabian women who protested the driving ban

  3. Meet family members of activists Mohammad al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid, men who have been imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their political beliefs.
We need to hit the gas on this now to make an impact BEFORE President Obama's trip. Take action now.

Thank you for your using your rights to defend the rights of others. It can make a world of difference.

In solidarity,

Sunjeev Bery
Director, Middle East and North Africa
Amnesty International USA

Northern Gateway pipeline should not go ahead without consent of First Nations

The Northern Gateway: Urge Canada to listen to First Nations 

The majority of First Nations whose lands and waters might be affected by the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline have called on the federal government to reject the project.

Amnesty International believes the government must listen to First Nations.

See 4 reasons why the pipeline should not be approved against the wishes of First Nations.

Amnesty International has heard from First Nations along the pipeline route in northern BC about the continued vital importance of salmon and other wildlife to their cultures and livelihoods. We have also heard about the lasting harm that is still being experienced as the result of a long history of government decisions imposed on their communities – and the deep rift of mistrust that this has created.

Despite a lengthy public review of the Northern Gateway proposal, fundamental issues of Indigenous peoples’ ownership of the land, and their right to make their own decisions about its use, have never been properly addressed.

What the federal government does next will be a crucial test of its willingness to uphold human rights standards vital to Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world.
 Please write to Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources, urging his government to live up to its human rights obligations by guaranteeing that the project will not proceed against the wishes of affected First Nations.

Thank you for taking action. What Canada does at home matters for human rights in Canada and abroad.



Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada

P.S. After an environmental review process that – although shorter than the Northern Gateway Review – was more careful in its consideration of Indigenous rights, the federal government has rejected a proposed mine on the territory of the Tsilhqot’in people in British Columbia. Read more about this positive decision for Indigenous rights

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Annual Travel Infamy Awards/ One Simple Wish

Mar. 3 Annual Travel Infamy Awards: This was “The Hall of Infamy Awards” by John Lee in the Globe and Mail on Dec. 28, 2013.  Here are a few of my favorite ones:

The Girls Aren’t Everything Award

… goes to 19-year-old Joe Stuttle, a British backpacker who left his bike, passport and personal belongings at a notorious Tasmanian suicide spot – then headed off to party with some young women he’d just met. When he returned the next morning, everything was gone but – handily – a large contingent of police officers was nearby. Reporting his missing possessions, the teen discovered the authorities were just about to begin a large-scale ground search for him. Stuttle’s parents later told the Daily Mirror: “Anyone who knows Joe will not be in the least bit surprised by this story – we certainly weren’t.”

The You Think You’re So Clever Award

… goes to U.S. TV producer Elan Gale, who kept the Twittersphere engrossed with a live blow-by-blow account of his battle with Diane, a fellow passenger on his Thanksgiving flight who was rude to attendants and everyone around her. Their spat swiftly escalated – he sent a note telling her to eat a part of his anatomy and she later slapped him – while thousands giddily retweeted everything as it unfolded. Several days later, Gale – who accrued 150,000 Twitter followers during the argument – admitted he had made the whole thing up. In a rare show of social media unity, the entire Internet curled its lip and called him a jerk.

My opinion: Oh look, another person make something fake and put it up on the internet.  That’s common.

The Traveller’s Revenge Award

… goes to Steph Strayer, a passenger travelling on a train from Philadelphia who endured two hours of noisy cellphone chatter from a group of men bragging loudly about fooling their “stupid wives” over their multiple affairs. Bored with the blowhards, Strayer snapped a photo of one of them and posted it on Facebook along with a caption that started, “If this is your husband … ” and went on to describe his swaggering boasts. She asked followers to repost, and the image was eventually viewed by 183,000 people. No word on whether one of them was the wife in question, waiting for the lothario at the next stop.

My opinion: That’s good to stop those men from cheating.  I have watched a lot of Maury and the TV show Cheaters.

Mar. 6 Cute baby sign: I was on Yahoo news and I found this.  It has gone viral. 

'Hey, I just met you, this is crazy ... my name's Harper, and I'm your baby!'

Tape: I have finished using up a roll of white electrical tape.  I found this roll at the bus stop in my neighborhood way back in 2006.  I use it to tape up pictures and my collages on my walls. 

This shows how much I have used.  It also shows how the years go by.

Pixel of cat: This was quite a few months ago, but I had found this randomly on Youtube.  I don’t watch cat videos, I watch music videos.  I mainly listen to music.  I went to it and now it’s not on Youtube anymore.  This one doesn’t work:

Here’s one that works.  I like the screen cap.  It’s cute.

Mar. 7 One Simple Wish: I was checking what’s on TV and I saw a bit of Katie Couric’s talk show.  It talked to the charity creator Danielle Gletow who made One Simple Wish.  I went to their website:

“Wishes aren’t stuff. Wishes make happy memories. Wishes can change a childhood. For foster kids and at-risk youth across the US, these wishes represent hope. Below you can browse through hundreds of their wishes, starting at just $10, and find one that speaks to your heart and your budget.”

It talked to this young black man who was a foster kid.  His mom died of cancer when he was 12 and he was in and out of foster homes.  He got a bus pass which he describes was “like gold” to him.  He can then go see his friends, look for a job, and when it’s too cold out, he can take the bus to school.  He is now an intern at a radio station.

On the show, a organization donated $5000 worth of school supplies to Wish.  That’s great.

Libation: I was reading the newspaper and read this word.  I looked it up on

1. a pouring out of wine or other liquid in honor of a deity.
2. the liquid poured out.
Marriage article: This was a long time ago, but I think it was my cousin who put this article on her Facebook and I’m putting it here now.  Here is an article about “The Girls You Should be Marrying.”

They are:

The 30-yr old girl with a graduate degree, the best of both worlds, the girl who’s got her own.

It’s a good and fun article to read.

Crowdfunding to get IVF: I was reading in the Metro on Feb. 27, 2014 “Crowdfunding the creation of new life.”  Nadine White wanted a baby and tried IVF 3 times.  She then went to GoFundMe and created “Donate to Create Baby White.”  She and her husband were on the site since June and got $2,900.  One batch of IVF is $10-$15000.

Robin Thicke: Did you hear that the singer Robin Thicke is separated?  His wife/ actress Paula Patton has filed for divorce after 9 years of marriage.  Thicke had cancelled a couple of concerts to go see Patton who’s filming a movie.  He’s trying to get her back.

That is so sad.  I really thought this marriage was going to last because he seemed so in love with her, they’ve been together for 9 yrs, and they have a son.  I hope they work things out.

Justin Beiber: I saw a little bit of his video a couple of times when I was checking what’s on Much Music.  Here’s his video “Confident” feat. Chance the Rapper.  JB is standing by his car at a gas station and sees a hot girl walk into the convenience store.  He enters and follows her into the hallway.  They stop the music a bit so he can hit on her as she buys this bag of chips.

He then follows her and his back up dancers are dancing with him on the street as she’s walking.  She then climbs on a motorcycle and drives away.

Cut to the club and he’s dancing a bit.  Between all this, they show him dancing with his dancers on another set.

He approaches the girl from behind and then they kiss.  There is rap by Chance.  They are in this Chinatown street with all these neon lights.   

My opinion: I love this song and video.  The song I can totally dance to and I love the hip hop dancing in the video.  The lights and atmosphere in the video is good.  When JB is talking to the girl and asking her about the chips she’s buying, it really does seem like what he would really say to her.  Check out the video:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

blog/ Veronica Mars/ crowdfunding

Feb. 28 Blog: I was thinking about how to get my TV script The Vertex Fighter produced. 

I had Tracy’s Blog for 7 yrs and at the top it says this:

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

I had The Vertex Fighter blog for 2 and a half years and at the top it says this:

I'm Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I'm an aspiring screenwriter. This blog is used to promote this TV movie The Vertex Fighter. If the ratings are good, it could be turned into a back door pilot. It's used to attract producers, directors, investors, cast, and crew who want to be part of this project. It’s also to attract the same people who will hire me to write for your TV/ movie. I have another blog

I’ve had these blogs for years and still there are no investors and producers coming.

Kickstarter: I then thought about this.  I have written about this before:

I then reread the article that Roxanne McAnn sent me “8 Tips for Raising money through Kickstarter.”  Here are the tips.

  1. Set your goal lower than you think you need.
  2. Have a record of accomplishments.
  3. Look at successful and unsuccessful campaigns.
  4. Give good rewards.
  5. Make a short, well-produced video.
  6. Offer updates.
  7. Thank contributors as they donate.
  8. Promote your project everywhere.

Veronica Mars: This TV show was turned into a movie because of Kickstarter.  I decided to check it out.  The 5 min. video was funny with Kristen Bell (who played Veronica) waking up and seeing Ryan Hansen (Logan’s friend Dick) on the show watching TV and eating cereal.  Jason Dohring (who played Logan) comes with a box of donuts.  Enrico Colantoni (Veronica’s dad Keith) is in the kitchen drinking coffee.  The creator Rob Thomas is performing a puppet show in the living room.  This is great success.

It was achieved because they were on TV for 3 yrs and had a big fan base, and the fans were willing to donate money to get this movie made.  

Crowdfunding: Richard Botto wrote a blog post on Sept. 30 about crowdfunding on Stage 32:

“The crowdfunding revolution has taken hold and is showing no signs of slowing down.  Seems as if every creative you run into from actors, to producers, to playwrights, has a campaign rolling.  This past weekend, while speaking at Screenwriters World West, I was fascinated by how many aspiring screenwriters wanted to talk to me not about landing a manager or hooking a producer, but for tips on how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.

And why not?  Seems simple enough.  Write a killer synopsis, splice together a cutting edge trailer, and watch the dollars roll in.
If only it were that easy.

The reality is, raising money through crowdfunding requires business and marketing skill.  It requires intricate strategy that goes well beyond “Yo, dude, check my IndieKickGogo campaign” posts on Twitter – which never works, by the way.  It requires constant attention to detail – and to your supporters.  It’s an investment of time that has nothing to do with the pre-production, production, and post production of your project.  It’s a job in and about itself.

Further, the competition is fierce.  How people go about getting eyes on their campaign is as important as what they show them once they get there.  Well, more important in fact, for without eyes, the cash register remains empty.
So how do you cut through all the clutter and stand out amongst the pack?  How do you plan a pre-campaign strategy.  How do you hit that all important 30% of your raise in your first week (which leads to about an 80% success rate)?  How do you create fans and keep them engaged?

We asked John Trigonis - Film, Web, and Video Manager at Indiegogo and author of the critically acclaimed book, Crowdfunding For Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign - if he would be willing to speak on all of these subjects as part of our Next Level Webinar series.  He graciously accepted.

On October 16th, John will lead two sessions of Cutting Through The Noise – The Keys to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign at 1PM and 7PM PST.  If you have ever run a campaign or plan to do so in the future, this is an event you will not want to miss.  You will increase your odds of success significantly and eliminate frustration from what should be a very enjoyable and rewarding process.”

Here is RB’s Oct. 3, 2013 post:

“On October 16th, John will present two 90 minute sessions of Cutting Through The Noise - The Keys to a Succesful Crowdfunding Campaign.

According to various crowdfunding studies:

Over 90% of all film crowdfunding campaigns fall short of the intended goal

Over 75% of those which fail do not even reach 50% of their goal

Raising 30% of your goal in the first week of a campaign leads to a nearly 90% success rate

87% of those who post a film crowdfunding campaign do not have a pre-campaign strategy

93% of those who do not have a pre-campaign strategy do not reach their goal

85% of all those running a campaign do not use social media effectively to market and promote their campaign

Some might say that these are sobering statistics...I say they're inspiring. Many are doing it right. There's a way. A process. A formula to success. But it requires time, patience, and knowledge.”

My opinion: The above is my research.  I read an article and 2 blog posts, and watched a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Mar. 2 Rewards: I thought about it some more.  There is supposed to be like a gift for every donation.  Here are some examples if I were to create this campaign.  I have talked to MMA fighter Kit Cope and the actor Giles Panton.  They have read my script.  What if:

For a $10 donation: You can get an autographed picture from Kit Cope OR Giles Panton.

For a $25 donation: You can get an autographed picture from Kit Cope AND Giles Panton.

Panton is a Canadian actor.  I first saw him as a detective on the TV show Flash Gordon.  I watched it because my favorite Edmonton actor Eric Johnson is the star.  Panton has done a lot of TV work.

Here is Kit Cope:

Mar. 20 Update: I checked the Veronica Mars movie and it got a 7.8/10 rating from 8,800 users.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

No means no. Not "I do."

Don't let rapists off the hook

Stand with women and girls in Mozambique.

A Mozambican woman from Vinho village. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Can you imagine if a rapist could avoid being charged for his crime by marrying the woman who survived his attack?

Mozambique lawmakers are debating a bill that would allow exactly that, unless human rights activists like you take action right now.

Raise a ruckus! Help Amnesty ratchet up the pressure on Mozambique authorities to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of women and girls.
Take Action!

Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter.

Dear Tracy,

This month, lawmakers in Mozambique will debate revisions to the Criminal Code that would allow a rapist to escape punishment – by marrying the woman he attacked.

No means no – not "I do.”

Please, help Amnesty stop this assault on the rights of women and girls in Mozambique. It forces survivors to endure the unthinkable.

If you were a woman or girl in Mozambique, not only could this law greatly increase social pressure to marry your rapist, it would actually prevent police from launching an investigation unless you (or a parent or guardian if you are a minor) made an official complaint.

It's a gross violation of women's rights.

Shine a light on this draconian bill and help Amnesty stop it before it becomes law.

Morocco had a law like this. It was repealed in January.

Why? How?

Because of outrage over the case of Amina Filali. She was forced to marry a man whom she said had raped her. In 2012, Amina lost all hope and swallowed rat poison and died shortly afterward.

She was just 16 years old.

When we raise our voices together, we can make a difference. Raise a furor over this bill – take action with Amnesty.

Thank you for standing with women and girls in Mozambique.

In solidarity,

Cristina M. Finch
Managing Director, Women's Human Rights Program
Amnesty International USA

Take Action! Donate Now!

pregnant at 11/ friend advice

Feb. 20: I’ve told you this before.  I only watch Dr. Phil if it’s about teen pregnancy.

Pregnant at 11: On Dec. 27, 2013 I saw that the episode was about a girl named Hope and she got pregnant at 11.  I had to watch it.  I’m gong to tell you about it and then give you my opinion.

Hope is 11 yrs old.  Her mom Lisa says she hasn’t even gotten her period yet.  (She must have if she got pregnant.)  Lisa didn’t know Hope was pregnant until she saw that her stomach was sticking out a bit.  She was shocked to find out she was pregnant at 6 months.

Bailey is the 13 yr old boy who gathered the baby Ashlynn.  The baby is raised by Lisa’s sister.  CPS put the baby there.

A lot of people are talking about Lisa condones the pregnancy.

Lisa: I told Hope the sex talk and she was embarrassed.

Bailey’s mom Sharon: I gave the talk to Bailey and he was like “Ew.”

Hope was hemorrhaging, rushed to the hospital.  She gave birth within 25 min when she was there.

Kailyn (fiancé/ step mom to Bailey’s dad): Hope almost died.

Bailey’s dad is Rod.
Hope’s dad is Mark.

The question is where did they have sex?  Possibly under the bridge or at a skate park.

Kailyn: Hope is boy crazy.
Lisa: She grabbed a boy’s butt at the dance.

Jennifer Berman from the TV talk show The Doctors was on.  She went to Boston med school and UCLA.  She talks about girls who give birth at this young of an age are more likely to have premature labor, deliver mostly through c-section because they can’t push it naturally.  

Ashlynn was born prematurely, 2 pounds and 2 ounces.
Bailey’s parents Sharon and Rod can only see the baby 10-15 min. at a time.

Lisa: I want my sister to raise Ashlynn.  My sister is a mom and married.  Ashlynn will be the kid.

Lisa: Hope is out of control.  She assaults people, she will scream and yell to get what she wants.

The show mentions it takes $250,000 to raise a kid 0-18 yrs old.

Dr. Phil then talks to Hope and Bailey backstage.  They don’t show the kids’ faces.

Hope: I slept with him after a year.  I had sex with him 6 times.
Bailey: People at school call me Baby Daddy.  Sometimes people say it to be funny, or to be mean.

Dr. Phil: Did you use protection?
Kids: No.
Dr. Phil: Were you happy when you found out you were pregnant?
Hope: No, I was scared.

Hope doesn’t want to have another baby.  They’re not dating because they don’t like each other.

Hope’s dad Mark cries: I let Hope down.  I wasn’t there for her and she is the way she is partly because of me.

Bailey’s parents: Bailey is good at math and numbers and can put a motor together.  He could be autistic or have a learning disability.

Dr. Phil arranged a team of experts to work with Hope.  They will take Hope out of her home and put her into a centre called the Centre of Discovery.  The audience applauds.  After the show Hope is crying and saying she doesn’t want to go to it.  She is brought to the car and driven away.

My opinion: As soon as I saw that “Pregnant at 11” title, I was compelled to watch.  I was kind of surprised the girl actually had the kid.  If she knew she was pregnant earlier like within the first 3 months of pregnancy, and told her mom, then they probably would have gotten an abortion.

This reminds me of Jenny Jones show with the out of control 13 yr old girl.

Jones: So you got pregnant when you were 13?
Girl: Yeah.
Jones: And you got an abortion?
Girl: Yeah. 

At least the girl on Jenny Jones was smart enough to have an abortion.  Hope will probably get help at the centre.  I also hope the parents of both kids get counseling if they need it.

Onto Bailey: When he said kids at school call him Baby Daddy, I thought: “What a fitting name.”  If I was in jr. high school, and a 13 yr old boy had a kid, I would have thought “Baby Daddy.”  Most of the time when a girl gets pregnant, there is stigma.  In his case, there’s a stigma too.

Mar. 18 Friend advice: I was thinking about this old advice column by Ed the Sock from Much Music.  He was a sock puppet and he was giving advice to teens. 

One teen girl wrote this: “I am friends with this cool and fun girl, but whenever we make plans to do something, she doesn’t confirm with me until the very last minute, in case someone else invites her to do something more fun.  How do I get her to confirm plans with me?”

Ed the Sock: Stop making plans with her.  You will never be a first choice to her.

My opinion: That reminds me of an a manners quiz in a teen magazine.  It was:

Guy #1 asks you out to go rollerblading with him on Saturday.  You say yes, and then Guy #2 comes and he asks you to go to a movie with him on Saturday.  You would rather go with Guy #2.  You:

  1. Go with Guy #1.
  2. Go with Guy #2.
The correct answer is to go to Guy #1 because you already made plans with him.  If you start breaking plans with people and people find out, then you will start getting less invites.

When I first read the teen girl question, I immediately thought of the manners quiz.  It’s not like the friend is totally rude because she doesn’t confirm plans with you.  What would be rude is if she confirms it with you, and then she breaks them when she would rather do something else with someone else.

Though I’m sure a lot of you guys may be thinking: “That girl is so rude that she wouldn’t confirm plans with you until the last minute in case something more fun comes along.”

When I read the advice column, I was a teen and the above opinion was that the girl wasn’t totally rude.  Now that I’m 28 yrs old, I’m thinking this girl is kind of mediocre friend.  She is somebody you call to have fun with, but not have a real connection with.  That’s fine.  It’s one of those take it or leave it situations.  You can lower your expectations of her.

If you have low expectations of people and things, you are less likely to be disappointed.  There are times I want to spend time with a friend, but they don’t agree with the activity I want to do.  Remember how I mentioned about I invited my friend Sonia to the scary movie Pulse?  She doesn’t want to see scary movies, so she turned it down.

I remember this time way back in 2006, I was calling all my friends to go to Capital Ex/ Klondike days with me.  My friend Angela says yes, but I would have to pick her up at her work.  I didn’t know how to get there.  So we didn’t go together.

It was in 2010 when I started learning how to use Google Maps and the ETS to go to all these job interviews.  Now I can see how easy it is to go to her work.  Take a bus and an LRT.