My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The 2nd Edition of Danthology Available Now

I recently added my latest short story Cue Bull to my anthology. I also took the opportunity to reformat the book. Just a couple minor things but I think it looks much nicer now. I updated it at Smashwords and Amazon Kindle. If you're a book reviewer I'd love to send you a free copy for an honest review. Just get a hold of me through the various links on the right of my site under Contact Info. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lana Del Rey - Young and Beautiful (from "The Great Gatsby" Soundtrack)

In my last blog post I reviewed the 2013 released movie The Great Gatsby. One of the songs on the soundtrack for that film has been haunting me. Young and Beautiful sung by Lana Del Rey. That's a good way to describe the song, haunting. Now that I think about it I heard it on the movie preview and it was one thing that drew me to the film - and that Leo and Baz were a part of it. I love it for its ability to convey a specific mood that really fits the film and the novel. I think it succeeds at that the same way the novel and film do - they capture a specific time and place. The Great Gatsby is a novel about more than the characters lives in the book. It captured the time of the roaring twenties. This song captures a tone from the film really well. I like things that can do that. My two favorite books are The Body by Stephen King, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Both of those stories capture intimate stories of childhood merging toward adulthood. In a way you could kind of say that The Great Gatsby captures that time for our country. Am I stretching it? 

May I submit to you that youth and beauty are fleeting things and we should not put our stock in them. That's not the message that normally is crammed down our throats by the media but it's true. I still love the song though. Anyways, Just wanted to draw your attention to this song. It's one I bought on iTunes - don't you love being able to buy singles? Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann | Movie Review

I finally watched the 2013 release of The Great Gatsby last night on my birthday. When I saw that the film was coming out a while back I picked up the book and gave it a second read. I remember thinking it was pretty good in high school, especially compared to the novels we were forced to read in those formative years. My second read showed me why it, along with another favorite novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is called the great American novel. I love the novel. It is amazing. It's prose is like a rich dessert that you want to come back to again later for its deeply subtle taste that’s so nuanced and delicate. You can read the review of the novel I wrote after reading it a second time through here. Now on to my review of the movie.

At first I did not like it at all. I was pretty disappointed. It was just a bit too flashy and theatrical. It seemed a bit over the top, Almost cheesy. That's kind of how most of Baz Luhrmann's film seem to me at first though, and then I fall in love with them. Romeo + Juliet had the same effect on me. It's just so different that it takes a while for you to "get it." Once I do his films have their own kind of brilliance that I love. The Moulin Rouge! was a fantastic film. I love the songs in that one. So by the end of the film I liked it. I remember the moment now when it changed for me. When Tom hits Myrtle it snaps into slow motion and you see Nick Carraway retreat on to the balcony in an attempt to get away from it all and the camera zooms out insanely fast onto the whole city and you finally feel like you're there with Nick and you get it and everything makes sense... at least that's how it was for me. You don't really see much of Gatsby, brilliantly played by Leonardo Dicaprio, until a while after that. I had a feeling that once Gatsby was on screen I would start to like the film. I was right. You don't see much of Gatsby in the beginning of the story in the novel either, so it was fitting but it seemed to take forever to finally get to met him in the movie.

Gatsby's Mansion

One thing this movie does well is capture the novel faithfully in it's own way. I don't recall any major plot points or events being changed. Other than some of the modern music Baz Luhrmann chose to use I finally felt like I was watching the book. The further into the movie I got the more I felt it did an amazing job at capturing many of the moments in the book. Seeing Gatsby reach out for the green light. Seeing Gatsby finally have tea with Daisy and then show her his mansion. From that point on I was in and I really enjoyed it. Much like the book the movie haunts you for a while after you watch it. They did a good job leaving you with the same feeling you get when finishing the book. I'm glad they put in that last line from the novel I found in a nice graphic image here. So good. All in all by the end of the film I really liked it and now I want to watch it again. Maybe I'll end up liking the first act or so this time around. As for the novel if you haven't read it you really should. It's an amazing novel, and quite short so it won't take you that long. If you need more convincing watch this awesome video where John Green describes everything he finds interesting about the novel.

Have you seen the film? What about others by Baz Luhrmann? Do you love them hate them? Not get them or think they define eras of time? Chime in with your own thoughts in the comments. I'd love to hear from you, and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's My Birthday & Plans for This Year

Well it's my birthday. Did you know Google puts up a custom Birthday graphic on your birthday if you're logged in? Kind of cool. Anyways, I'm 31 today. Depending who I'm hanging out with I'm either really old or still quite young. Either way one thing I know is that I'm very blessed. I have an amazing wife who also happens to be my best friend, and we have three beautiful kids who we really enjoy. I don't deserve the life I get to live. I'm so happy to be married to my wife and be a daddy to my wonderful kids. They are awesome. Life is good.

As far as writing goes a few things come to mind. I remember before I turned 30 I wanted to have a book published. In a way that happened. I'm published in the fine and hilarious book A Method to the Madness: A Guide to the Super Evil and I'm very proud to be in that book with the other authors who wrote stories for it. If you haven't picked it up I highly recommend it. The same duo, Michell Plested and Jeffrey Hite, have come up with another anthology they're going to publish and I'm excited to write a story for that one. Hopefully I can craft a tale that they'll be happy to accept. Their anthology will be called There Is A Magic Portal Under My Sink and other Stories of Magical Places you Likely Don't want to Go In fact I started it last night. I think I'm going to call it The Realm of Fire. Here's the first paragraph:
Everyone knows dragons come from the Realm of Fire, even though none know how to get there. It is said to be a land wholly different from our own. There is no road that will take you there, no great body of water on which you can sail to its shores. Legend says the only way to get there is through fire. Who in the burnt realm knows what that means? Surely I did not, but I was soon to find out and it would lead to a journey I will never forget. The day I found the great robes of the old wizard everyone had stopped believing in was the day my fate changed forever.
As this year draws on and I turn 31 I want it to be the year I publish my first novel length work. The novel I'm currently writing, Zombie Super Powers, is the best one I've written so far and I'm hopeful it's the one. Now I just need to finish it so I can get it in the hands of beta readers and then to an editor. I'm excited. If you want to read along with me as I'm writing it and be an Alpha reader you can do so for free over at Wattpad. It's super easy to leave comments there to, you don't even have to be a member. They have great reading apps for all your devices as well.

Other than that I still have the novella Sword and Urn that I had edited by two people which needs a major revision and the edits put in. Once I'm done with my novel I'll get cracking on that so I can whip it into a publishable shape. With any luck I should be publishing a novel and a novella this year. That would be awesome.

Thanks for stopping by everybody. Though it's just begun, I hope 2014 is shaping up to be a great year for you all!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

And Another Audiobook!

I had the pleasure to narrate another audio book by James M. Lowrance under the pen name of Percyvelle Pennington III. This one is called Evolution Can't Be True Because I Don't Like Bananas: My Ponderings on Mr. Darwin's Flawed Theory and it's much more hilarious than it is controversial or opinionated. Click the link and give it a listen. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Audiobook I Narrated is Live!

This hilarious and very tongue in cheek book I narrated is now available at Audible, Amazon, and in iTunes! I had way too much fun with this one. I hope to do more humorous books in the future as the delivery and timing required in the narration on them is a really fun challenge. The next two book to hit digital bookshelves are actually humorous books as well. Look for posts about them soon. 

Here's the synopsis for this book:

While the solution I offer to the growing problem of restaurant patrons blowing their noses outwardly and openly within public dining rooms, is simple and that I could have easily stated within a single paragraph, this would be a lost opportunity. I say this because my example and solution for only one problem we may experience during our stay at a public eatery, is simply that..."an example". I am using what might be the single most disgusting behavioral act that can be perpetrated but not hidden, by a fellow restaurant-patron, being that of "dining room nose blowing".

My purpose being to set a type of standard for correction of similar problems. Certainly we could instead report undesirable behaviors to the staff of a food service establishment. We could simply ask them to speak to the offending patron, requesting that they desist their gross or offensive activity, while keeping us anonymous. My question however, would be to ask if this would be the best way to send corrective admonition? I think not... (just a taste of what you'll get in this over 3,000 word dissertation!)

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Rudeness of all Types Can Occur in Restaurants
3. "Restaurant Boogie Fever" - One of the Rudeness Biggies!
4. What You Would Like to Do (but Can't)
5. What You Can Do Within Legal Limits
6. In Conclusion

I hope you'll give it a listen. If anything listen to the sample for a laugh. Maybe it will convince you to pick the book up. It's a great price for an audiobook. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Cover for my Next Story

This is the cover for the short story I'm currently writing. Hopefully it will be accepted by the Every Photo Tells duo and they'll podcast it beautifully. It was inspired by their November photo. Okay, now back to writing it! Thanks for stopping by.