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Randy Baker: On Location

Along with my mentor and dear friend Randy Baker (above left, and that’s me on the right), I am very proud to announce the release of our book, “Randy Baker: On Location” by yours truly. It’s available now in Softcover, Hardcover and Digital editions with no markup: http://blur.by/1crueUG Thank you very much for taking a look and for any support and feedback.

This book is a collaboration between television producer/director/videographer Randy Baker and publisher, press agent, writer and producer Roger Darnell. When you search the Internet Movie Database for Randy, you will find him listed as a director of photography, cinematographer, technical manager or camera operator for an amazing list of television shows that continues to grow year after year. The exclusive photographs in “Randy Baker: On Location” reflect his passions as a dedicated professional and a gifted imagemaker with a vibrant perspective, a humongous heart, and a great eye. All support is greatly appreciated; we hope you love the book and look forward to hearing your feedback.

If you have any questions on orders, please call me at 1.828.264.8898. Thank you very much for your interest!

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August 19, 2012: Hemingway

Roger D. with Alice Wright in 1984Looking back, I can see that – like so many others – as a young student, my education was greatly affected by certain teachers and faculty-members who went out of their way to ensure I learned something valuable during my days at school. When it comes to English classes, as I made my way through four different high schools in three different states, the lessons I received ranged from advanced and accelerated to “never mind!” Luckily, when registering for classes for my senior year of high school, the phenomenal Oak Ridge guidance counselor Carolyn Smith sounded-out my interests and aptitude, and got me signed-up for an AP English class with a lady who elevated my education to levels I never imagined: Mrs. Alice Wright.

Together with Jay Lerew and Ana Fernandez (yes, there were only three of us in that class), I began each day of the 1983-1984 academic year sitting in the front row of seats in Mrs. Wright’s classroom… and I learned a lot. We were tasked with reading a different classic novel (of our own choosing) every two weeks, and we also navigated through “The Norton Introduction to Literature,” learning a great deal more about ourselves and our interests with each passing day. Read more

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Ewasko: Days and Lights

Tommy and I are very proud to announce that our book “Ewasko: Days and Lights” — which was nominated for Blurb’s “People’s Choice Award” — is now available as an instant ebook download for Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

We’re also very psyched to announce the release of the next wave of high-quality art prints and photographic products of images featured in “Ewasko: Days and Lights.” By visiting RKDfind Ewasko Gallery you can now order prints with mounting and framing services from Mpix Lab and Photobox, and specialty gifts and photo products from vendors such as IYP Photo Products and fotoflot.

If you have any questions on orders, please call me at 1.828.264.8898. Thank you very much for your interest in this project — we hope you enjoy these images and we look forward to hearing from you any time.

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Arc of the Poet, Part 13: Fame and Fortune

A good number of great people have expressed at least some appreciation for my writing over the years. Since long ago, many believers have expressed confidence in these abilities, and I feel that their belief is essential to who I am. When I think about what’s to come for me as a writer and artist, I’m inspired by the idea of honoring each of those individuals, and all others interested in my words. Gratefully, I’ll carry on.

In the summer of 1995, I joined the production crew of the primetime NBC television series “seaQuest” at Universal Studios Florida, and began an adventure I’ll never forget, helping produce 13 episodes with a Who’s Who of spectacular production and entertainment industry talents. We were in Orlando, making headlines in all the top national trades well before the first episode of “SeaQuest 2032” hit the airwaves featuring Michael Ironside, Roy Scheider, Michael York and scores of other hot and rising Hollywood stars.

seaQuest 2033

Autographed by Jonathan Brandis.

I earned my job from the prolific television producer and director Steve Beers, by committing to handling script distribution and revisions for all the producers and writers, just as I’d done for him and the other producers on “Fortune Hunter” the previous year. That show for Fox had made a big splash and also involved serious heavy hitters, but seaQuest was a phenomenon… a massive franchise for NBC, Amblin Television, Universal Television and all the other industry all-stars involved. Read more

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Arc of the Poet, Part 12: Resistance

In the spring of 1995, I was trying to be many things to many people, and those wide attempts to stretch, please and succeed consumed so much energy that more than once, I was caught unprepared for the results. Especially for my inner-poet, it was a mad time.

That January, I had sent the following letter to Tom Tilford at Midwest Poetry Review to thank him for publishing Ethereal Stones, share more work and continue building our relationship. The sticky note he returned with my letter appears below. Read more

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Arc of the Poet, Part 11: Rewrites

Thank you very much for your interest in this thread, and my ongoing adventures as a poet. This project revisits the experiences of the past 20 years for posterity, your entertainment and hopefully some enlightenment as well. This is part 11, and number 15 is the last entry I have outlined. In finishing the series up over the next several weeks, I have a few more stories I hope you’ll enjoy.

The following lines are from An Essay on Man published by Alexander Pope in 1734.

All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
And, spite of pride in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, whatever is, is right. Read more

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Arc of the Poet, Part 10: Good Poetry

I may never become famous as a result of a poem I’ve written. I reluctantly accepted that probability some time ago, but only after mounting great, concentrated efforts designed to place my poetry within well respected literary publications… most of which failed.

I’ve always been a sincere fan of my mother Lila Darnell’s direct, powerful and stylized creative writing. Through my high school and college educations, exchanges with many other colorful and smart friends and family members, and lifelong exposure to magazines, radio and cable TV broadcasts, I developed a pretty strong sense for good poetry, and where that odd form of writing fits into the world. In my early 20s, I was introduced to the works of Charles Bukowski, who appeared to me as a 360-degree representation of the life of a successful poet… and who wrote books I loved instantly, due to them being so human, approachable, funny, well written and good. Read more

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Arc of the Poet, Part 8: Feedback

Even before I had done any real research or taken my first steps into the legitimate literary world, the intellect, attitudes and ideas I gained through my parents and early life experiences gave me an expansive sense of entitlement. A specific delusion I suffered from was believing that the first time my work was read by any sound judge of a literary competition, my name would be affixed to the prize and I’d be on my way to fame. By the midway point of 1993, however, my steady outreach to editors covering poetry and short fiction had only resulted in a growing collection of rejection slips. Most of them were just generic slips of paper, photocopied and stuck into the required SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) without a second’s thought… but others were from manuscript competitions where I had little choice but to accept that my work had actually been read and deemed unworthy. Read more

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Arc of the Poet, Part 5: Wake-Up Call

We kept the afterburners on and blasted into 1991, with me clawing my way forward professionally and growing up further alongside my sweetheart. I wrote an original short script for producer/director Bill Waxler, and his plans to produce it brought together a very talented group of production professionals and friends. Entitled “Bumper Crop” that project gained steam through the Spring, and by June 29, we were on location, ready to shoot it on 16mm film. I’ve written about this project in the past, beginning with Feb. 22, 1991: Bumper Crop, Part 1.

Part 2 of that series recounts the unforeseen drama of June 29. Read more

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Arc of the Poet, Part 4: Spinning Out

From the great poem East Coker written by “American born, English” poet T. S. Eliot:

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.

The freedom I enjoyed immediately after earning two bachelors degrees and completing my six-year Air Force Reserve commitment was wonderfully liberating, and my girlfriend Beth and I pressed ahead into our whirlwind adventures. My tiny backyard garage apartment in downtown Orlando became her home, too, over time, as we grew together. Meanwhile, facing our college debts, we both dedicated ourselves to earning paychecks. Read more

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