Author's Info Blog

Sharing the things you want the world to know around the literary industry.

The Writer's Life 7/22 - Dream

I had another strange dream last night. For some reason, I was sleeping on a couch in a corner of a warehouse and awoke to a mob hit. The gangsters didn't notice me, so I hid behind the couch and covered myself with an afghan my mom knit for me ages ago, which I still use. The most interesting aspect was the clarity of the moral dilemma. I did not want to witness the killing, which would have me face the choice of doing the right thing by testifying or being a coward. I also feared being discovered and killed. Would I whimper and beg for my life or accept my fate like a man in my last act on earth? I couldn't get back to sleep. It was 2:30. Rather than toss and turn, I laid on the floor and turned on the TV, which is my cure for insomnia....
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The Writer's Life 7/27 -

A couple of weeks ago I received a letter from my health care provider, which included a check for $196. One of the facets of ObamaCare is the 80/20 rule. A firm must use 80% of its revenue on customers. It was determined that the company in question allocated only 69%. In a sense, it was fined, forced to make payouts even to those, like me, who had no complaints about coverage. I was happy to have the money, of course, but I expected consequences. Yesterday I received another letter, which informed me the company had applied for a rate increase of 5.3%. I had a scare this morning from my virus checker. I use Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free and doesn't take up the space on a hard drive that Norton or other software does. It has worked like a charm. I scan every Friday morning. Today the program spotted...
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The Writer's Life 7/26 - Hook

I haven't been this hooked by a song in a long time. I heard Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know for the first time last week. It's a tale of love gone bad, the bitterness after the break up. It appears simplistic musically. In this case, the old adage "less is more" is as true as ever. Of course, it helps to have compelling lyrics. They are not as polished as those of the the writers of American standards, but they are intelligent and poignant. I particularly like the couplet, sung beautifully by the female counterpoint Kimba: "...But I don't want to live that way/Reading into every word you say...." Wow. It sort of reminds me of The Human League's Don't You Want Me, Baby, which I like despite its complete lack of subtlety. I was the daytime bartender at Hedges Cafe when it came out, circa 1980, and the...
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1968 Hits

The Writer's Life 7/25 -


I caught up to Steven Spielberg's War Horse (2011) last night, courtesy of Netflix. Based on a 1982 novel by Michael Morpurgo, it is solid film-making, but it rarely soars. It is unusually understated for a Spielberg film. It is basically a reworking of Homer's The Odyssey, set during WWI, with a beautiful stallion at the center of the story. One big plus is the avoidance of gore, which probably would not have worked in such a feel-good movie. The deaths of likeable characters occur off-screen. One minus: German characters address each other in English. This is unacceptable in such a big time production, implying that the audience is jingoistic or too dumb or lazy to read subtitles. People at IMDb rated it 7.2 out of ten. I can't decide whether to rate it three or three-and-a-half out of five. The cinematography is beautiful, the characters are easy to root for,...
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6570 Hits

The Writer's Life 7/24 -

Baseball writers are proffering their opinion on the Skanks acquisition of Ichiro from the Mariners, the team he spent eleven years with. His once awesome hitting skills seem to be in steep decline. Being a Yankees-hater and a fatalist when it comes to the Bronx Bombers, I predict that the 11-time all-star will be revived, embraced by their front-running fans, and become instrumental in another Bronx championship. Add 30 points to the batting average, ten homers to a slugger's total, and 25% more pitching wins to anyone who dons pinstripes. Phooey! The NY Post had several superb articles today: Brian Costello profiled Hall of Fame RB Curtis Martin (Patriots, Jets), who revealed that he actually hated football, describing it as a "headache." He used it to stay out of trouble as a youth, and as a means to acquire wealth as a professional. As someone who played and coached at the...
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4239 Hits