Category Archives: Books

The Unpublished Works

Everyone likes seeing their name in print.

Well, unless of course it’s trash tabloid-ism or an arrest warrant… But I’m not talking just-printed-on-paper but I mean a by-line of one sort or another. I can say that from experience as I’ve gotten that kick — seeing “John Fontana” linked to letters-to-the-editor, or being sourced/interviewed by USA Today, being quoted in The Hockey News, The New York Times Slap Shot blog and la-de-da.

But I can also say that wasn’t where I intended to go with writing when I started out as a kid.  My intention wasn’t to be a face-in-the-crowd (though no matter what you write or publish, you are another face in the crowd of literature) in the newspaper.  Not another source for magazines and what not.  Not a weblogger.  I planned on doing things creatively and having my own book.  Or books — plural.  Take your pick.

But that never happened.  See, when i was a teen I got away from story writing so much and was writing poetry most of the time…  a habit that’s followed me into adulthood.  Lyrical verse more-so than deep observations and perspectives…  Well, yeah they are perspectives but they are my perspectives.   Sometimes just pop, sometimes inspired by events or people or feelings  in my life.

Over the years, I’ve had some of them available to the masses through the web…  Certainly you can find a couple of them on this site and probably elsewhere on the web…  But they’ve never really been published in the sense of print.  Never published in the sense of being out there for any traditional form of mass consumption.  I haven’t bothered to take the time with sending out poems to magazines who have niches all of their own (and aren’t available unless you pay for a subscription or pay for a copy — while you’re not getting paid for your contribution).

I ought to put together a manuscript and do something with it.  But I’m hesistant.

Catherine Durkin Robinson, local blogger and Creative Loafing contributor, has written two book manuscripts.  Her first one is being published, chapter-by-chapter, on a blogspot site.  The other, a more recent work based on her life as a teacher in Hillsborough County, is being sent around to literary agents in hopes someone will pick up the work and mass-market it.  Sadly, that has not been the case and the rejections have been comical at best.

Their loss.  I’ve read the book and it’s not only a good read, it’s provocative and controversial enough to be read widely by those fearing school-district scandals.

I also have another friend, in the Pacific Northwest this time, who went out and self-published her first novel.  The book, Steel Goddesses, is currently available on for purchase.  It takes a lot of courage to go out on a limb like that and self-publish any work…  But it sort of cuts out the middle-man of having to appease literary agents who tell you what a proper market for your writing is-or-isn’t and tells you to change your work to fit that niche.  At least that’s what I’ve seen with rejections served up to Catherine.

So the idea I am kicking around is actually putting together a manuscript of poetry I’ve written over the past decade and self-publishing it.   I realize that poetry is not exactly a hot seller and not going to lead me to riches…  It’d cost me more to publish than the commissions I’d get in the long run from doing it…  But it does what I have long sought to do — take the writings jammed in Mead notebooks that I’ve carried around since High School and take some of those verses and show them to the masses.  Will people connect?  I have doubts.  Will strangers read what I’ve  written?  Even more doubts…  But it’s mine, and it’d be out there.  My claim.  My piece of literature.

My book.

It’s a thought, at least.

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Filed under Books, interweb, Personal, Poetry, Raw Charge, Tampa Bay, The Stonegauge, Writing

"The Stand" and the hyper-sensationalism of Swine Flu

I’ve had “Don’t Fear the Reaper” in my mind lately, with the song wailing and images of the corpses throughout that military installation where the made-for-TV version of Stephen King’s epic, the Stand, starts.

That had nothing to do with the news that has been buzzing around lately. Odd coincidence, though…

I guess it was when a friend on Facebook posted this status that I really woke up to it:

looks like captain tripps does exist!!! awesome!!!

Ah yes, “Captain Tripps” — the nickname for King’s super-flu from The Stand. What’s next? Corin Nemic joining Fox News coverage, staking out the Center for Disease control and trying to insinuate this is all the Democratic Party’s fault? (Corin Nemic, for those who don’t understand the reference, played Harold Lauder: outcast-nerd-turned-turncoat; in the miniseries. He also used to be Parker Lewis. “Not a problem.”)

Anyway, forget The Stand for a minute and lets just go back to the sensationalism of the coverage of the Flu. From what reports would have you believe, death-rates are high (like 10%+) and we’re all screwed. Joe Biden didn’t help things this morning by stating public caution.

But really, I wish people would just stop watching TV coverage of this and just become aware of the facts and just go about their lives. The flu sucks and is known to be deadly… But unless people start showing severe symptoms and start dropping dead in mass in New York instead of showing only mild symptoms… Well, it’s a panic that seems straight out of a work of fiction.

…And to be honest, King’s work of fiction was a lot better than the news coverage we are seeing in reality.

Let me point to it again — read the articles here. If you only want to spend time reading a single article, read the fourth in that series. And calm the hell down!


Filed under Books, Entertainment Industry Thingies, Movies, Personal

Ain't Technology Grand?

Will the technological wonders never cease?!? Behold the latest offering (by way of Penny Arcade):

Technologial advancements and good for the environment!  Uses next to no energy at all!

Technologial advancements and good for the environment! Uses next to no energy at all!

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Filed under Books, interweb

Ye Gods! (Take Two)

I continue to believe Roland Deschain (aka Stephen King’s Gunslinger) would go into convulsions if he saw the Burj Dubai:

Somewhere over 700 meters (2,100 feet for metric ignorant Americans) in height. It will be over 800 (from rumors and hersay) when completed.

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A lost world — rest in peace, Michael Crichton

I started reading the works of Michael Crichton in late middle school and freshman year of High School. I read his stuff voraciously and found myself falling ever so joyfully into his worlds of tension and tech.

While I enjoyed the book version of the movie that had pulled me into Crichton’s world (Jurassic Park), it wasn’t my favorite book of his (though I found it wonderful when I did get around to reading it). Sphere, Congo, Eaters of the Dead (now known as “The 13th Warrior”) all entranced me. Disclosure, The Andromeda Strain… They both kept my mind tripping and the pages turning.

Of course, when I finally saw some of these movies on the big screen, I cringed. I scowled. I changed the channel. But when I read them, I fell into the works and was safe in a womb of fiction.

I think the only book that I couldn’t stand from Crichton was “The Great Train Robbery” — and at this point I cannot recollect the reason why I hated it so much. Might have to pick it up again sometime soon.

I heard the news that Michael had passed and was absolutely shocked. He was a talent, and he will be missed.

The last book I read and reviewed of his was Prey, you can check that out here.

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Why is that stadium in St. Pete anyway?

One of the hot topics around the Tampa Bay metro region right now is the Tampa Bay Rays proposed stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida. I’m not going to bother getting into the arguments but after reading a few knee-jerk reactions and misinformation about the plans… Well, I felt it was important that people actually familiarize themselves with why the Dome was built in St. Petersburg in the first place.

I read Stadium for Rent by local author Bob Andelman during high school and it showed the battle — political and logistical – to get Major League Baseball in town.

It’s out of print but there are copies for sale out there, also the entire thing is available at the above link. It’s very much worth a read for both pro and anti-stadium people. I oppose the stadium for economic issues (the timing sucks, Stu) as well as logistical reasons, but it’s important to be armed with the facts instead of making up hearsay or misconstruing what is really going on.

I plan on buying a used copy of Stadium For Rent for quick reference in the future. I’ve held it in high regard long enough….

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Filed under Books, Personal, Politics, Tampa Bay

Speaking of Harry Potter…

Has anyone else noticed how similar the Daily Kos logo and the cover to the upcoming “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” look?


I noticed it just this weekend and now I can’t un-notice it.

EDIT: Edited the Kos picture so the BANNER was the focus, not the sponsor.


Filed under Books, Personal

Stand alone Pottermania

Ever since Chris Columbus left the Harry Potter movie franchise I’ve found the films to be both entertaining and thrilling. I had read the first book (Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone) and was totally aghast when I saw how incredibly lame it came off.

It compelled me not to read another Potter book to avoid similar disappointments… at least until after I had my curiosity piqued by way of the film adaptations of Prisoner of Azkaban and the Goblet of Fire.

The latter film had enough of a hook to make me want to know what was going to happen next… It nagged at me. I didn’t care for the film as much as Prisoner of Azkaban when I first saw it because it ran so long and had so much going on… But it grew on me. Repeated viewings made me appreciate it more and the ending compelled me to return to Potter literature.

Cal it a Wrath of Khan/Empire Strikes Back negative closing and how it makes you ponder where the story goes from there. Goblet of Fire pulled it off (even if the film lacked the multiple side stories that J.K. Rowling worked into the book).

So I picked up Order of the Phoenix and read it through – finding Rowling’s narration exquisite and the story compelling just as I found the first book to be. While I’ve read about the new movie (due out this summer) through Entertainment Weekly and about which side stories are shelved (Ron playing quidditch, Dobby the house-elf making a return, etc) there is enough going on to keep you interested.

And after seeing the International trailer for the film — I’m dying to see this adaption:

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ye gods!

I have little to no doubt that Roland Deschain, aka The Gunslinger from Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga, would have absolute convulsions if he took one good look at the Burj Dubai under construction in the U.A.E.

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by | March 13, 2007 · 6:00 PM

I can't impress upon you how true this is…

The title of Northwest Leftists post is “The Most important book for Progressives”… He’s talking about Crashing the Gate and I must stress how true those words are.

If you read political books to be outraged instead of informed — trash like Michael Moore or Al Franken and their self-obsorbed writings — this book can and should replace that type of reading in your bookcase. While Crashing shows you reasons to be outraged at both the left and the right, it keys you in how things must change and how you must be part of the political process too.

It’s the Red versus the Blue.
The Old versus the New.

It shows you what’s wrong with the Democrats and how we can go about fixing it.

Please, if you’re a Democrat — this is required reading material.

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Filed under Books, Politics