Announcement

Image Credit: Charles Dana Gibson

I’m just dropping by to let everyone know that—at least once a week—I’ll be uploading to this site some short fiction, and the occasional short essay. To kick things off with a bang, I’ve uploaded a satirical short for your reading pleasure titled: America Goes to Heaven which you can read right now by clicking HERE or by hovering your mouse by SHORT FICTION located right under the banner of this site.

Whenever I upload a new piece, I’ll announce it on my TWITTER and GOOGLE PLUS accounts.

Thank you for reading my stuff and for the kind support. Happy Reading!

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Mini Book Reviews

Hollywood by Charles Bukowski  5 out of 5

In the novel Hollywood you get pure unadulterated Bukowski, even though his alter ego Chinaski gets to narrate a thinly-veiled first-person account of how he was persuade to do a screenplay by a Hollywood director which, I understand, became the movie Barfly with Mickey Rourke, a movie from the 80’s which I haven’t seen but I’m hoping to see in the future.

Now the novel itself is hilarious in that low-life Bukowski way which all Bukowskiuvites love. It deals with the human condition of a lifelong alcoholic and his artistry. His wife “Sara” makes an appearance here but more of a helper than an actual developed character. His bemusement at the Hollywood machine is something to behold, the ups and downs, the flakes, the money problems of doing art in a medium that doesn’t always understands or rewards the artist makes for an entertaining read.

 

Night School—A Reacher Novel 4 out of 5

By the time I read my fourth Jack Reacher novel; I’ve had a problem with the Jack Reacher character because he is that Übermensch Alpha male who hardly ever gets hurt, who’s smarter than everyone else and is always right, making him almost inhuman. Granted he is a fictional character but still, one would think about the wear and tear.

Night School is the 21st Reacher novel and it takes place in 1996 a time when Reacher was still in his Military Police (MP) days. This time the government takes him to Germany on the trail of a suspected terrorist cell, but things are not so black and white because a CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, becomes aware that there’s an American who has what the terrorist cell wants for “one hundred million dollars” (insert Austin Powers joke here), so Reacher and his new two friends from Night School are tasked with finding this American.

I enjoy reading Jack Reacher novels because author Lee Child is a fantastic writer, although in my estimation he’s out there with Stephen King when it comes to getting to the point. Lee Child’s research is impeccable and the ass-kickery never lets down, but like I said; when your character has the amazing ability of always making accurate leaps of fate and logic then things get annoying. Over all a good entertaining read. Will I read another? Sure, mostly because author Lee Child is a talented writer (21 books!) and he has Hollywood knocking on his door, plus A-list talent wants in on his projects, which in this day and age is what makes for a successful writer, I guess.

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Monthly Bullet Points

It’s been a long-ass time since I’ve posted one of these. Not much to be cheery about these days, it looks like the whole worlds gone loco; things seem to be upside down instead of right side up. Here’s a minuscule attempt at getting back to the groove of things with a few short and interesting points I’ve come across this month. Read On.

  • You may not have heard about one of the world’s most prolific scribes, but if you live in the United States, and you’ve had Chinese food and got a cookie from The Wonton Foods Company, then you have read the work of Mr. Donald Lau whom for 30 years has served as the “Chief Fortune Writer” for the Wonton company and who, sadly has been force to resign due to an undetermined affliction. Mr. Donald Lau claims to have writers block “I used to write 100 a year,” said Mr. Lau, “but I’ve only been able to write two to three a month” Fear not dear reader because Mr. Lau has been training a new writer, his name is James Wong and he is the nephew of  Wonton’s founder. Dear Mr. Lau, may your new journey be a fruitful and happy one. Thank you for the hope, the giggles and the smiles.

 

  • As of this posting 65 writers and artist have sign an open letter to the president asking him to rescind his much hated and criticized executive order  which restricts immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries. The letter, much like a lot of the protesting going on in the country, may not have much effect on things, but these acts show solidarity, unity, and resistance which is indispensable at a time when we need it most. Read the letter HERE  

 

  • Do you believe in UFO’s? If so, then you’re not alone because none other than Winston Churchill was preoccupied about green men and wrote about it in a lost 1939 essay discovered recently in some museum’s archive. Apparently he wrote the essay before the war and titled it “Are We Alone in Space?” Once the war was over though, he returned to it and changed the title to reflect current scientific concerns and changed it to “Are We Alone in the Universe?” This essay sounds interesting but due to copyright issues, the essay cannot be published however, the Churchill Museum is hoping to iron-out this little wrinkle in order for us—mere mortals can feast our eyes on the thoughts about E. T. from one of the greatest men that ever lived.

Thanks you for reading. Smell Ya Later!

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Note to Self

Advise for writerly types.

  1. Don’t be a Jerk
  2. Do be Grateful
  3. Get Some Sun
  4. Cool it with the Booze. Drink Water
  5. Don’t be a Flake
  6. Take a Bath
  7. If you Can. Travel Often
  8. Get Laid as Much as You Can
  9. Don’t be a Self-absorbed Asshole
  10. Observe and Report
  11. Call your Mom
  12. Don’t be a Cunt
  13. Talk to Strangers
  14. Follow Through
  15. Leave Reviews for Fellow Writers, see #1#9 and #12
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Le Guin’s Speech at National Book Awards

In 2016 The New York Times declared Ursula K Le Guin as “America’s Greatest Living Science Fiction Writer” I wholeheartedly agree. HERE’S her Wikipedia page. The following speech was cut and pasted on this site from an article that first appeared in The Guardian (U.S. Edition) on the 20th of November 2014 which you can find HERE .This passionate acceptance speech is one of the best ever given by an author. So timely. So true. Read on…

To the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks, from the heart. My family, my agents, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as my own, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice in accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who’ve been excluded from literature for so long – my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination, who for 50 years have watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists.

 Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.

 Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.

 Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write.

 Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.

 I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.”

Ursula K Le Guin

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MLK-Quote

Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Just One More Thing

Photo Credit: Quora.com

Columbo popularize the inverted detective story format which begins by showing the audience the commission of the crime and the perpetrator, the audience then gets to see how the detective goes about solving the case and securing all evidence needed for a conviction. There’s a not-so subtle class warfare in every episode of Columbo. You never see him trying to solve a double homicide committed by a bunch of gangbangers, or drug dealers killing each other in a turf war. The perpetrator is always rich, suave, good looking and did I say rich? Inevitably these One Percenters are always looking down at this working class bumbler type detective, who refuses to go away. Watching these rich fools come to the realization that this ‘inconsequential’ and ‘scruffy little man’ has them by the balls by simply being smarter than they thought he was is pure delight.

Episode Structure:

*The famous guest star kills someone (Jack Cassidy played a murderer in three Columbo episodes, brilliantly)

*Columbo arrives in his dirty car

*The killer thinks they can get away with it because Columbo is clearly a fucking moron

*Columbo just won’t leave the killer alone and you start to feel sorry for them

*Columbo gets his man and takes him/ her down without much fanfare.

Columbo (Peter Falk) says things like:

“I worry. I mean, little things bother me. I’m a worrier. I mean, little insignificant details — I lose my appetite. I can’t eat. My wife, she says to me, “You know, you can really be a pain.”

“Watch my hand, it’s full of grease. This is my dinner. Would you like a piece of chicken?”

Columbo asks one villain “How much does a home like this cost?” and when he finds out, he says “Oh, sir, I could never afford that on a policeman’s salary.”

Don’t you love this guy already? With his disheveled trench coat, his beat-up1959 Peugeot convertible, and his cigar chomping ways this sleuth is the antithesis of what anyone would expect from a Los Angeles Homicide Detective, yet in the end, this ‘uncouth’ man outfoxes the smug monied gentry and takes them down much to the delight of the cheering audience.  He loves animals, the wife—we never get to see, and cigars.

Oh uh, just one more thing… I sincerely hope that Hollywood doesn’t do a re-boot of this classic TV show.

READ 16 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT PETER FALK AND ‘COLUMBO’

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