Monday, January 31, 2011

The Beat On The Street

Yes, that's a younger John Thaw on the right, aka my fav crime guy of all time Inspector Morse. This pic is from a series he did called The Sweeney.

Got an email this weekend from Col Bury asking permission to post my story "Charles in Charge" in the guest section of his fancy new site. It was obviously a no brainer. If you haven't read it, take peek at it as well as other stories HERE

Over at Paul Brazill's place there is a must read Guest Blog from Julia Madeleine regarding who actually is reading your submissions HERE

Thanks to Sandra Seamans' excellent blog I found out about a tremendous essay written by Kent Harrington. Enjoy it HERE

Some new stories have been posted for the A Twist of Noir 600 - 700 challenge HERE

There's still time to enter Jodi Macarthur's Love Pen saying contest HERE

Lily Childs' February Femmes Fatales series kicked of today with bang HERE

Lastly, Roger Smith's "Wake Up Dead" was one of the top novels I read last year. The Nerd of Noir has done a great (entertaining as hell) review of it over at Spinetingler HERE

Friday, January 28, 2011

Homeboy Hits It Big With The Fighter

If you need a reminder that if you have a dream, believe in that dream, and never give up, you will enjoy this story. Keith Dorrington grew up in my hometown. I played on the same football team as him, athough I was a freshman and he was a senior, he was a good guy and always very funny in the locker room. Billerica, Ma is the kind of town where, even if I became President of the United States, I'll still just be a "Mick from  the Ric".

Keith D is now up for a Best Story Oscar for The Fighter. His story is truly an inspiration and you can read a really good interview with him  HERE

Last fall, I was on Facebook messaging back and forth with Keith about my novel, our mutual interest in the Boston Irish crime scene and the concept of the next novel I wanted to start writing. This was when the Fighter was just gettting ready to start the release process. Anyway, he told me to send him my novel, and he'd be in touch. From that day on , The Fighter juggernaut has just taken off and I couldn't be happier for him

I was psyched when I got a Facebook message from Keith last week telling me he's been really busy (you think?) but he "wants us to grab a coffee." once the dust settles. The old saying goes " You can take the boy out of Billerica, but you can't take the Billerica out of the boy" and in this case, it proves true.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where's My Motivation?

I'v been putting off writing one of the key scenes in the novel I'm working on, knowing that when the time is right, I'll know. I'll hear that song that's going to get me where I need to be to put what's in my head into my heart, and then into a word doc.  Kinda like in the Fifities when a girl wouldn't go all the way until she heard "the song".  At least that's how it was on Happy Days. Wa, Wa, Wa.

I've always been a huge fan of Alice in Chains and while I'm driving home from work, scanning the channels looking for tunes, because I'm in all out novel writing mode and you never know when a song might inspire, WHAMMO, this song comes on. Chills go up my spine, sinuses burn, and I know 100% that this was what I've been wating for. It brings me to that place deep in my mind's world of hurt.

The lyrics, music, changes in dynamics, and the eerie feeling that Layne Staley is dead but this sounds like his spirit is singing with them, let's me know I can go all the way.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Beat On The Street

Breaking new from Lily Childs' blog: Col Bury has a new site and it is looking very impressive. Rather than go into all the details why that is, see for yourself HERE

Paul Brazill was kind enough to make me an offer I couldn't refuse as a guest blogger on his site. To have a peek, click HERE

"Wake up Dead" was one of the top novels I read last year and the author Roger Smith dances with himself over at Nigel Bird's blog HERE

Over AT THE BIJOU, Absolutely*Kate is looking for stories for her Fab Feb Filmfest. Details HERE

If you didn't know it, the above picture is Fredo Corleone from "The Godfather", played by John Cazale, who just happens to be from Revere ( Reveah to me ) Mass. I just watched a documentary on him and it was very good. He died way to young and the list of actors paying homage to him is a true testament to how respected he was by his peers. RIP and I'm jonesing to watch "Dog Day Afternoon" again as well as "The Conversation" which I have never seen before.

P&E Reader's Poll

Preditors and Editors are conducting their annual Readers Poll. There are lot's of familiar names and sites ( at least in the shadowy circles I roll in)  that are in the running of the e-zine, print, and short story catagories. There are only two days left to vote, so do the right thing and cast your ballots. You can do so HERE

Friday, January 21, 2011

TIRBD Fairytale Crime Challenge: And the winner is....

1st Place...Nigel Bird
2nd Plave..Jack Bates
3rd Place...Loren Eaton

Complete details are HERE

Big time congrats to these very talented writers and a huge attaboy to John Kenyon for hosting such a way cool contest. Along with reading all the excellent entries, I was introduced to some new writerly friends, which is always a good thang. If you haven't got a chance to read the winning stories, here's the righteous path.

Nigel's is HERE
Jack's is HERE
Loren's is HERE

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thoughts While Shaving...The Long-Weekend Beard

For most of my youth, our pastor Father O'Conner (RIP), had a weekly column in the bulletin called "Thoughts While Shaving". Man, the guy could write and this was when you  used to be able to get the bulletin on the way in, instead of the way out.  Anyway...

I went to see the Boston Blazers indoor lacrosse opener on Saturday night at the Boston (TD Bank) Garden. If they have major league lacrosse where you live, it is a great take and they really tailor it to the kids..or so I thought, but what were they thinking when THIS happened at halftime.

Saw "The Fighter" yesterday and was not disappointed. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo deserved the Golden Globes, no question, hands down.

Lot's of  nice extra's in the 'Boondog Saints" special edition DVD set I got a couple weeks ago. Well worth the $13.00 I paid for it at Walmart.

I'm reading two good novels right now. "Dope Thief" by Dennis Tafoya and "The Wild Colonial Boy" by James Hynes.

I was informed this weekend that I'm be taking my daughter and her friend to see Lady Gaga in March. Hey it's better than seeing "The Biebs", who hopfully will be going the way of "Twilight" very soon, before he violates any more eardums.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

TIRBD Fairytale Crime Story Challenge: Check Out The Entries

The deadline for the TIRBD Fairytale crime story contest is up. Winning entires will be announced on January 21st, but you can check out all of the 16 entries HERE

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Divided We Stand: A Fairytale Challenge Entry

Today is the last day for entries in the TIRBD blog's fairy tale contest. For more info, click HERE

If you would like to read my entry, "Divided We Stand", Click HERE

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dave Barber Gets Offensive

Got some tremendous news from the always excellent blog of Sandra Seamans yesterday. It seems talented writer and all around good guy, Dave Barber, has been named editor of The Flash fiction Offensive, which from what I can gather has been on a bit of hiatus of late. Well done and I could not be happier. Get the details HERE

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicka Boom Boom...Jodi Macarthur's doing the Chin Wag

Getting ready to leave work Friday, I was about to shut down the laptop when I did one last blog roll check. I noticed Richard Godwin had Jodi Macarthur up on his must read Chin Wag feature. I'm a big fan of Jodi's and I just had to check it out. I'm sure glad I did. This was tremendous and I'd have to say one of the best interviews, not only for getting to know a little more about Jodi, but for what she has to say, I have read.

I really urge you to read this. I have read it a few times and will most likely read it again. It is that good.

Click HERE and enjoy the show.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Crime, Noir, and Murder: Brown Paper Publishing Anthology Review

Pablo D'Stair, editor over at Brown Paper Publishing, sent me a free copy of  "You're dead, and I killed you: a conversational anthology of noir, crime, and murder" a few weeks ago. In return, I agreed to read and provide a review. It was a win/win, as I have been on a vision quest to school myself on these subjects. I'll  be sending this to Pablo, who I must say, is a true gentleman, but figured I would share it here as well.  You can download a free PDF of this book from the BPP site, if want, or buy the paperback for $5.00

The book is 151 pages, with the first 25 being a round table discussion of murder, human nature, and noir by Pablo D'Stair, Robert Johnson, and Sonia Tabriz. I'm the impatient type and knowing that the remainder of the book was the stories, the intellectual vibe of the discussion lost my interest fairly quickly. I decided to revisit it later and get to down to business. There are eight stories and each one is introduced by one of the authors, who did not write the story being presented. It is a nice touch, the commentary is interesting, and well done. Get to it, you say? Then, here we go.

Jason Michel starts things off with two stories that immediately got me right into things. "Kerbs" is quick hit that had me thinking one thing, then, wham, in one short sentence the twist snared me. I was hanging upside down right to the end. "Celebrity Death Camp and Other TV Hits" is a nice piece of dark satire, that if you despise reality TV as much as I do, will have you cheering in your seat and wishing it were a true story.

David Grant's "REBORN: A Suicide Note" is a perfect mix of clever humor and darkness, just the way I like it and had a really good, unique twist that although I figured was coming, caught me by surprise.

Stephen Honeycutt was up next with "A Moment". A longer story than the previous ones, but one where the book really started to rope me in. From the first salacious couple sentences, I was all in right until the end. This serial killer for higher tale is one hell of a tawdry, dark story.

Still reeling from the previous story, I continued on with Gregory Frye's "The Seven Demons of Randal Murray", which I would have to choose as the best of the lot. This one is very dark and has a supernatural element to it, which when combined with the excellent dialogue and tremendous imagery freaked me out and I'm still thinking about it.

Darcia Helle's Wilted Brown Eyes" is a nice piece of flash that delivers with a moving scene about a murder, or was it?

For fans of straight up, hardboiled noir, Corey Mesler's "The Book Game" will leave you more than satisfied. Very impressive to me was the lead character is not a detective, but an antique book seller. All the expected ingredients are there, plus lots of clever lines and a nice twist.

Nik Korpon's "Amber Flowers" delivers a nice creepy tale that had me thinking it would make a great episode of Tales from the Darkside. Excellent character development, steady build up of suspense, and a rewarding, shocking ending left me more than satisfied.

Last in the batting order was Chris Deal's "A Murder Ballad" and it took me to Mexico with a poignant yet powerful murder mystery. This was more of a slow burn than a quick punch in the face, and written with a style smooth as silk. It made me care about the characters, conjured up some emotions, but still delivered a powerful, almost heart wrenching finale.

I have read a lot of crime shorts and flash this year and I highly recommend this complilation for the stories, the way they are presented, and the diversity of them.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Let's Hear it For The Girls

Clarissa Draper, who was kind enough to provide me with some great feedback one of my stories, which much to my dismay, and understanding, she couldn't post on her blog because of the overly "salty" language, provided a nice, easy challenge and a way to get a bit more exposure on her latest blog post HERE

-Here's my fav last line of one of my stories:
If there is an afterlife, I’m hoping Striker gets to sort things out with his old man.

-Here's my hot-off-the-presses first line to a new story:
Mel figured he could get by as a lefty if they broke his right arm or maybe took a couple fingers, but the thumb, Christ, a monkey with two good hands would be considered twice as civilized as him.

Huge post holiday thanks go to Erin Cole and Jodi Macarthur for posting / promoting all the great reads from a bunch of writers, who most of us all know. In case you missed it, look HERE

Absolutely*Kate, who is giving Crista Faust a run for her money as my secret noir crime writing skirt crush, is being kind enough to help out other writers with her Bread Crumbs feature over at her site HERE

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

E-Zines, Print Mags, and Anthologies...Oh My (Thanks Sandra Seamans)

Much to the dismay of my second novel (30K words so far), I have been really engrossed in both reading and writing the short / flash story format. Why? Because I absolutley love it. Minimal time to invest and a quick return on investment.

I've been trying to get up the guts to submit to the crime / horror e-zine, print, anthology market, and nothing helps more than a central place where you can find out where such things exist.

I found exactly what I was looking for over at Sandra Seamans' blog, "My Little Corner". You can check it out HERE

I'm still trying to make a crime story out of Rumplestiltskin for the fairytale challenge contest, and have a 2K word story submitted to the Red Adept site, that if it gets picked, will end up in an anthology sponsored by J.A Konrath. The PG rating forced me to come up with something non-crime related, and I took a  sentimantal, heart string pulling angle with it. We shall see.