Apocalypse Now and Then

Lately, I’ve been drawn to end-of-the-world stories. “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy and “Swan Song” by Robert McCammen are the most recent entries. “The Road” is the more literary of the two; spare, poetic, unrelenting. It stayed with me long after I finished the last page. “Swan Song” is typical McCammen (a good thing), almost…
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But It’s the Truth

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People continue to send me manuscripts. (My wife accuses me of being too nice a guy. She says I need to practice looking and sounding meaner.)   Typically, curiosity gets the better of me and I’ll read anywhere from one to fifty pages. Every now and then, I’ll get a good one and I’ll read…
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Fantasy Football, Writing, and Life

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I’ve been a fantasy football geek since 1994. That’s the year the Los Angeles Rams hightailed it out of L.A. for St. Louis. My buddies and I, huge Rams fans all, were traumatized. I guess we felt a little like Brooklynites when the original Dodgers pulled the same stunt. (If you were to tell me…
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Lessons from American Idol

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When reality TV first reared its ugly head a number of years back, I sampled all the shows. “Survivor,” “Amazing Race,” “Big Brother,” and “American Idol.” While I actually enjoyed some (Dr. Will on “Big Brother” is the greatest pathological liar in the history of television), the only one I’ve stuck with is Idol.  …
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Those Agents

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My friend Gretchen, the best unpublished author I know, just got unceremoniously dumped by her longtime agent. Agents are some of the worst people in the world. (To paraphrase Albert Brooks, “That’s not my opinion. It’s a medical fact.”) Their reputations are well- deserved. They make lawyers look like Mother Theresa. To help Gretchen (and…
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Quentin and Brad

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My wife and I agree on most things. But not movies. She leans toward chick flicks and sensitive dramas. (Her all-time favorites are “Ghost” and “Officer and a Gentleman.”) I’m drawn to mindless entertainment. We’ve even been known to go to the same multiplex to watch different films. Years ago, she checked out some love…
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Working Without a Net

Over the years, I’ve gone to quite a few classes and read numerous books on the craft of writing. Most, if not all, recommend creating   a detailed outline before beginning work on the actual book. On the surface, it makes sense. After all, you can’t build a house without a blueprint, right? (Not that I…
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Deus Ex Machina

Deus ex machina: Latin for “God in the machine.” And I don’t mean slot machine.   Are you impressed by my linguistic ability? Don’t be; that and “e pluribus unum” just about exhaust my dead language repertoire. (Although I’ve often thought that “Ad Infinitum ” would make a good name for an advertising agency. Certainly…
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Memories

Have you ever revisited a favorite book or movie, only to discover it’s not as good as you remember? That’s been my experience recently and it’s left me feeling uneasy. It started when a writer friend mentioned that “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is actually boring. That’s certainly not the way I remembered it,…
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Chapter 3

I’m up. Chapter 3 of the Las Vegas Writes collaborative serial novel, now officially titled “Restless City,” just posted on the CityLife link. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.   http://www.lasvegascitylife.com/promotions/las-vegas-writes.php#chapter-3
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