Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Crime Fiction Collective: Dialogue Nuts & Bolts

In writing critique sessions, I spend a lot of time correcting punctuation. This excellent article by Jodie Renner addresses most of the problems I've seen.

Crime Fiction Collective: Dialogue Nuts & Bolts: by Jodie Renner.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dena Blizzard for "Ruining the Rapture"

Early next year, I will put out my first Ebook, "RUINING THE RAPTURE (AND TEN OTHER STORIES OF DARK AMUSEMENT)." Right now I'm working on the book trailer.

My friend Dena Blizzard did a short video blurb for the book. A former Miss New Jersey, Dena is currently the warmup comic for "The Nate Berkus Show." Of course, being a comedienne, Dena couldn't do just a straightforward recommendation....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Panel Discussion at Phoenixville Library

Well, after complaining about holding events in empty bookstores on Saturday and Sunday, we had a full house at a Monday night event at a library!

The event was a panel discussion by contributors to the anthology CHESTER COUNTY FICTION. The Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, Public Library set out 30 chairs for the audience. Ten minutes after we started, every chair save one was occupied! Afterwards, we sold (and signed) over 20 copies of the anthology.

The panel was ably moderated by Jason Hafer (of Phoenixville' s late, lamented Wolfgang Books). Everyone seemed to have fun.

Thanks to everyone who came out!

You can see some photos of the event here.

And Happy Holidays to one and all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Where Is Everybody?

I just finished a book signing for the anthology Chester County Fiction, in which I have two short stories. And I was dismayed at how few customers were in the bookstore.

Three years ago, when I was in that bookstore a week prior to Christmas, the place was a madhouse. The staff was harried, trying to keep up with customer demand. But today was barely busier than their usual weekend crowd.

My next event promoting this anthology is at the Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, Public Library at 7 pm this Monday, December 19th. I hope the audience outnumbers the anthologists!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Goodbye, Hitch

Christopher Hitchens, writer, raconteur, and contrarian, is gone.

This was no surprise; he announced that he had terminal cancer in 2010. But it saddens me greatly that he won't be around to make people angry.

I didn't agree with all of his positions, especially his support of the war in Iraq. But his positions were well thought out and beautifully delivered. I respected them.

Some hoped that Hitchens, an atheist, would have some sort of deathbed conversion. (Convert to what, I always wondered? His father was Christian, while his mother hid the fact that she was Jewish - Hitch didn't find that out until after she died.)

But he stuck to his non-belief. And I respect that, too.

In regard to his atheism, he wrote:

"The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more."The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer

I don't drink much any more, but I'll drink a toast to Hitch this holiday season, with the best liquor I can afford. After all, at Hitch said, "Cheap booze is a false economy."