Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Sideways Encounter

I've finally got around to posting my celebrity encounter over at the travel blog.

On another note, Aldo has past the century mark for posted stories! Pop on over to Powder Burn Flash and take a peak!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why Royalty Rocks

So as we are bringing the groceries up from the car, I see a package on top of the apartment building mailbox. I bring it up and as I open the package...

The Missus: What are you doing?

Me: What do you mean, "what am I doing?"

The Missus: That better be for us.

Me: That's me (I point to the addressee), I am "Mr. Brown." You know, "Mr. Brown can 'moo,' can you?"

The Missus: Oh, I thought it was for (the building's resident schmuck).

Me: No, see the address?

So Ladies and Gentlemen, what is in this wonderful package?

A vintage copy of "Heads You Lose, A Mike Shayne Mystery" by Brett Halliday and this note-

Count Cormac:

For all my experience in the world of pulp fiction, this could be a piece of crap. But I was intrigued by the image of Mike Shayne & the glowing (yet terse) review of the NY Times

Baroness Von Blogenschtern

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is an original Dell paperback, in wonderful condition and the jpeg above does not do the cover justice, but this was the largest one I could find.

I am dizzy with elation, thank you very much, Baroness! You are a pulp babe and then some!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And Across The Blogiverse...

Across the Blogiverse...

The Gifted Typist turns two...her blog, that is. If I have to work overtime on Friday nights, her Chronicle Herald columns are my consolation prize. If no work? Then they are the icing on the cake.

John Don joins Quin Browne as a dot com persona, that is his name is his web address. You might know him as one of the editors of Astonishing Adventures Magazine, but I know him as "Johnny Dollars."

Todd Gordon a.k.a. The Moviequill, is back with a "you know that you are screenwriter" series.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
and Part 5.

Give 'em a click to see if you have caught the screenwriter bug.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Don't The Blame Author

I am pages away from finishing "Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea" and I am thoroughly enjoying it. To me this one is better overall than "My Horizontal Life" in terms of laughs per page and sheer craziness and she truly a Sedaris on steroids.

What I couldn't believe were the mistakes. Chelsea mentions her father back in 1984, having a 1967 Yugo. This would be hard to do, considering Yugos didn’t go into production until 1981 and didn't come to America until 1985. He could've had a grey market Yugo, but it wouldn't have been a '67 model. Chelsea's dad could've had a Fiat, which the Yugo was based on, but it would have been a bigger, though just as embarrassing Fiat.

She also mentions Googling someone in 1996 and uh, Google wasn't official until 1997.

Put the rocks down before you think I am being hard on Chelsea, I don't fault her at all. She is allowed artistic license and the human memory is only so reliable. Not to mention the real intention of this post besides touting an excellent book is to slam the publisher.

You see, the publisher keeps people on staff to check facts and before the thing goes to press, they have proofreaders and an editor or two, that should bother to check up on things. It's what they get paid for, to edit. Before you think I am being too hard on the editors? Go to page 208, the second paragraph and check out the third line and fourth lines...

"I ran out the door and jumped into my dark blue Volvo. I drove to the end of the alleyway, then slammed on the breaks when I saw three young teenage girls wearing backpacks, crossing."

The "breaks?" Are we talking about an old school Kurtis Blow song? Or are we talking about stopping a car?

Note that you will find plenty of misspellings, typos and things that cause Messrs. Strunk and White to spin in their graves on this blog, but you will never find me misteaking (sic) "breaks."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Who Is A Kick Ass Blogger?

Look at that, ain't that pretty? It's a Kick Ass Blogger and guess who got one? That's right, Dale! Wha? No, what do you mean Dale? Yes, Dale got one too, but I'm talking about me! You go talk about Dale on his blog! What do you mean, you want to talk about Dale?
At any rate, I got a Kick Ass Blogger Award from Katie Schwartz, because she says that I'm "special." No, not like that! No, I don't want to talk about Dale! Look, so she gave me this award because I kick ", it's spelled "k-i-s-s," I said, "kick!" She also said-
This list could easily exceed 50. If you look at my blogroll, you'll see that all of the bloggers I've posted are blogs I love and read often-- they all kick mothah fuckin' ass. I'm only allowed to choose so many, oy to the vey...

So who do I chose? Good gravy, where do I start? I'd like to give one back to Katie, but she would say "don't be a putz."
Quin Browne is still the writer I aspire to be. She does things so effortlessly, with such patience and poise that I wonder if she is actually a bank of IBM Super Computers.

Becky, because let's face it, without her and Talk Soup, I'd have absolutely no idea what the hell was going on the pop culture world. Becky has steeled herself with her Pop Eye, so that she can watch the TV shows that would turn the rest of us to salt. She has been known to rock the Photoshop too.
Some Guys' Blog. Chris is the master of random thought and he somehow fits those random thoughts on to a blog. It takes an architect for that sometimes.
Princess Ladybug is a refreshing breath of fresh air in the cynical blog world and her happiness is contagious.
Speaking of refreshing, Neutron changes it up every day and he turns me on to new blogs as well.
Last but not least is the Baroness Von Bloggenschtern. For her Thoughtful Tuesdays, for her humor and because like Princess Ladybug, she is blogging royalty.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Bad News In Baltimore, Murdaland

From The Rap Sheet comes some sad news...

Murdaland has gone out of business. It was a good magazine, nice and gritty, just the way I like it. If Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock magazines were a little too "pristine" for your crime fiction tastes, chances are Murdaland was right up your alley. Not that I'm slamming the former two magazines, I am just saying that if you were looking for fiction like the Akashic Noir series, Demolition Magazine and Powder Burn Flash, Murdaland was your mag.

There will be other magazines just like it and it really wasn't around long enough for anyone to get completely attached, but I would have liked to have seen it find the audience it deserved.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Hi, My Name Is Philip And I Will Be Messing With Your Head

"I often have to write a hundred pages or more before there's a paragraph that's alive."

– Philip Roth

From the Creative Screenwriting Weekly Newsletter

"I call "shenanigans!"

- Cormac Brown

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cormacism- "Pro or Anti?"

I'm not trying to divide Blogdom, but are you anti-macssar? Or pro-macassar?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"Peanut Oil" is on Powder Burn Flash!

Cormac Brown's latest story "Peanut Oil" is on Powder Burn Flash and the authors of the world are united!

John Updike says, "Cormac told nine jokes about my last name...none of them were remotely funny."

"Everything that is wrong with both America and men, can be summed up in two words: Cormac Brown," grunts Helen Fielding.

So see today why authors all over the world agree that Cormac Brown is what is "unfunny and wrong with America" at Powder Burn Flash.

P.S. There was an overlap of sorts on the last post. I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression of Aldo Calcagno, as I certainly gave him the wrong impression of who I was talking about. He is a straight-shooter and stand up guy.

There is another online editor who held a story in limbo and his format is so unique, that I can't post it to another site other than this one and I would have to expand the content. I thought that Aldo would not get back to me until Monday at the earliest, as he is a busy man.

I'm Not Being Lazy, Honest

I'm not lazy, honest. I've been writing a lot, I just haven't finished anything. I had to work overtime Friday night and my brain is fried, so the new content I wanted to post is not finished. Well one editor has not gotten back to me about a story I emailed to him some two weeks ago. While I realize that he is probably very busy, I would have appreciated a letter saying that story wasn't what that site was looking for.

I don't mind rejection, it's better than having your story sitting in limbo and I would just as soon publish it here, if I wasn't trying to reach a new audience.

So rather than go with nothing for the next three days, let's go back to the beginning of the blog and do a "Best Of, "with "When Gunpowder Gets In Your Eyes" and though I've said it before, I actually mean it when I tell you that new content is coming.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Quoth The Hemingway

"In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dull and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well-oiled in the closet, but unused."

– Ernest Hemingway

From the Creative Screenwriting Weekly Newsletter

Speaking of writing quotes, go check out Joesphine Damian's blog of writing quotes, Quote It Write. It's the mother lode!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bookgasm Turns Three

Bookgasm has just turned three. Yes one of my favorite sources for clear and unpretentious reviews is three whole years old. For you or me, that's the "walking and talking" stage, but in Internet years? That's like eight. Congratulations, Bookgasm and may your site live to be a hundred and ten human years.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yeats? More like mastur...

I'm looking for life's spark

Maybe I'll find it, watching the ozone shrink in Ozone Park

Maybe I'll pour moonbeams in my mocha

And sip it contentedly with a smile in the dark

-Cormac Brown

Monday, August 11, 2008

So I've Been Busy

So I've been busy with the new travel blog and I've pretty much gotten that out of my system for now. I'm just waiting on a crime flash fiction site to say "yea or nay," then I'll be posting here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Alterna-Title-Sequel-Tive Part Deux

Being a former aspiring screenwriter, why don't I adapt the same reverence and accuracy for the source material that Hollywood does, while even out "Hollywooding" Hollywood and going to the pointless sequel right off the bat.

I'll give you the original book title, and then I'll follow it up with the shameless pseudo-Hollywood rip-off, okay? As an example...The Original: "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" My Sequel: "Been There, Wish I Hadn't Done That." Got it?

The Original: "Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex, But Were Afraid To Ask." My Sequel: "Everything You Didn't Want To Know About Abstinance, To Help Cure Your Insomnia."

The Original: "A Tale of Two Cities" My Sequel: "A Tale of Two Silicone (you pretty much know what goes here)."

The Original: "Carrie." My Sequel: "Hairy."

The Original: "Call of The Wild." My Sequel: "Mall of The Mild."

The Original: "Horton Hears A Who." My Sequel: "Horton Loses His Hearing At A Who Concert."

The Original: "The Man In The Iron Mask" My Sequel: "The Granny With The Iron Flask"

The Original: "Charlotte's Web." My Sequel: "Harlot's Ebb."

Friday, August 1, 2008

Will The Real Sam Spade Please Stand Up?

Kevin Burton Smith got me hip to some artwork by Owen Smith, that was to be a tribute to "The Maltese Falcon." The thing that interested me the most, beyond the fact that it was a tribute to one of the greatest authors of all time, was the fact that this artwork was going to be shown right here. In the very streets of the City of Saint Francis.

Well, I looked and I looked.

And I looked.

Then I looked again, because I have a one-track mind like that.

No poster. Finally about three weeks ago, they put one up on the part of Market Street near where I work.

When I saw Owen's poster, I knew he got it right. You see, technically, Sam Spade is not Humphrey Bogart.

Ease up! Ease up! Put the gats away, you mugs! Give your VCR or your DVD a rest for a minute and pick up Hammett's book for a second. C'mon, a little more than a second is all it will take. There it is on page one, paragraph one-

"Sam Spade's jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another, smaller, v. His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal. The v motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down--from high flat temples--in a point on his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan."

That's it verbatim. No quotation marks were around the letters "v," the word "motif" was italicized and "satan" wasn't capitalized. He was closer in appearance to Viggo Mortensen than Bogie, yet I can't imagine anyone but Bogart playing him. Neither could George Raft, I imagine ; )

I took some pictures of the poster at the kiosk, but my camera was not cooperating at the moment they were taken and let's face it, the pictures were as jacked up as Miles Archer at the bottom of Burritt Street.

Can you think of some examples of movie casting that went way against the literary grain?