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Tag Archives: Chicago

My Long Night With Hunter Thompson

the last word

The Last Word — Worst TV Show EVER

Long ago and far away (or at least in Florida), I was a field producer for the Worst Program on Television.  Many programs have vied for this title and, yes, there are quite a number that come pretty close, but ABC’s The Last Word was the hands-down Winner. They had to retire the Morton Downey Cup after that year and replace it with the Jerry Springer & Dr. Phil Dual Memorial Ball-Gag.

Irving & Shaplen: Covering the Nation

I said I was “a” field producer for The Last Word. In fact, I was the only field producer East of the Mississippi. Peter Shaplen, with his suave good looks and smooth Continental manner, covered everything from the Pacific to Chicago. The reason that there were only two of us to produce material for five shows per week was the result of the same complete failure of planning or, arguably, an absence of any indications of rational thought, on the part of the crack production team who had created the program.

You see, this was in the “good old days” of television known as the “Feudal Period” or the Daimyo Dynasty. All television programs and all television producers had been divided into fiefdoms run by a small group of powerful men (there might have been a woman or two later but I was never in their entourage). As a mid-level samurai seeking new quests after the 1980 presidential campaign and the usual complete emotional breakdown that followed, I was a loyal member of the Family L (all names have been replaced by easily-recognizable letters to protect…well, to protect ME.). That meant that L would seek to protect and keep me employed and, in turn, I would work 18 hours a day for him and periodically permit him to exercise droit de seigneur with new interns.  Without this protective relationship, I would have had to become a ronin (masterless samurai or freelancer), wandering the television wastes without meaning, regular pay, or health benefits.

Usually, this was a exquisitely functional relationship. Of course, my fortune rose fell along with L’s as he fought for power against Clan G, the Protectorate of W, and His Royal Doofus, Lord K.  This was in the period before the rise of the Gray Eminence of The Desk, Lady MM, and the destruction of the feudal system and all it’s lords and their vassals.

Yes, you may well ask the purpose of this digression into the politics of Television. Rest assured that it was central to the ineffable Awfulness of The Last Word. Originally, the Sun God –whose red and shiny visage had brought Light and Heat (and Ratings), had assigned L to produce a program to follow Nightline.  High Protector W rose in wrath and strode to the Head Office and demanded that the glory of a new program was rightfully his. His petition was heard by the Sun King. It was a bit odd how well L bowed to the inevitable and handed over the reins of Executive Production to the usurper.

(Jeez, I can’t write like this much longer. Hang in there.)

So The Last Word was given to W who immediately realized why it had come to him so easily.  It was a dog.

W instantly took on a new tactic: wandering the halls of 47 West with his eyes on the sky. If asked about The Last Word, he would usually respond with a vague, “Huh?” and then quickly change the subject to how well Barbara Walters was looking today.  I believe his plan was to be so distant from the program that he could successfully pass it off as the product of another corporate division and, possibly, another network.

The end result was that this small program was graced with 4 Senior Producers (two appointed by L and two by W), a Director who was also a Senior Producer (which meant that he wouldn’t listen to any of the others, one anchor in New York (a correspondent who had be recovered from Woodstock after 5 days despite desperate efforts by his staff to ensure he stayed there–even if it meant extending the concert) and one anchor in Chicago (who came with his own Senior Producer and an adamant determination to do nothing except his daytime program with different colors on the set).

It would have worked out much better if the Senior Producers had followed the time-hallowed CBS method of “Sharks in the Tank” and destroyed each other in true Highlander fashion. At the point when There Was Only One, the show might have had a central focus.  It would have been enough if you could have described it as anything but “The 30 Minutes that Follows Nightline.” Sadly, the Seniors (all of whom were best friends of mine) were insufficiently vicious and agreed to take turns–producing one program a week.  A typical week under this arrangement went like this:

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900 seagulls at a time | Welcome to a new friend: Alexandra Bodman

Fevered Crenellations

Short stories, memoirs, and thoughts to get me thinking about eventually writing a book.

Alexandra Bodman

I studied illustration and Art & Design for a few years in Chicago and have been taking the past year off to reevaluate my priorities. This fall, I plan on going back to school. I have been writing prose and poetry since I can remember, and it’s influence has been becoming more and more important in my life recently.

via 900 seagulls at a time | Fevered Crenellations.

900 seagulls at a time

On a misty morning before the sun is up or any overcast day there waits several miles from shore a haunting dark gray. Lurching like the jilted overflow of a retracting mug in a young waitress’s lovely thin-fingered hand it extends from above and it devours slowly and steadily. Beneath the waves are restless and white caps shatter into 900 seagulls at a time, producing them faster than they can fly off. Many suffer, feathers tarred, honeypot flies pushed under viscous waves. White bodies flailing become adhered, hearts beating louder than their silent submergence. Chaos of singular droplets on curling iron seas,  the lurching gray is ever moving closer much like the hours pass through days. The grayness is all pervading yet still several miles from shore, growing heavy and stagnant within and without.

via 900 seagulls at a time | Fevered Crenellations.

I will occasionally become a burrito

Sometimes late at night I lay in bed

restless haphazard blankets

switching my feet and head

sideways across the bed

legs up the wall

refuse to look at glowing screens

or anything that has numbers or hands on it

Stress does not invade my insomnia anymore

I take time to think about things like

rusty rail road tracks that continue a bit off the edge of a cliff

birthing something out of my head

and the way sounds touch me

I will occasionally become a burrito

light a candle and feel the liquidness of flame on my tongue

position a book within the lackluster, tempermental emission

the book has been 1984

I know this character will die

he hasn’t for the 5 months I’ve spent with him

I’m here to expose true talent| Welcome to a new friend: realtalented

Hello all my name is Cleveland

Im a Chicago native. This is my first time on a blog as well as sharing my work. My work speaks for itself, its a collection of life instances and life experiences, the transition from boy to man. I hope you all get a chance to follow real talent and please give honest feedback….if there’s any questions please don’t hesitate to ask email: jthrilla101@gmail.com

[Terry:  Well, as opposed to most people who say they’re talented–realtalented is.]

via realtalented | About.

Un Apologetic

Un Apologetic

I’m unapologetic for the things I was born with
for the bad luck and trouble that persist
truthfully it made me better may I insist
had to change my life, this writing is a helpful assist
vague resemblance of a writer exists
it’s powerful how i can control words with just a flick of my wrist
I’m unapologetic for this book’s cover
they never told u it’s not good to judge others?
tired of nay sayers, haters, and blood suckers
u don’t appeal to me, you’re not real to me because it’s your life that suffers
my life is a clutter
but I’m finally straightening things up, where’s my swiffer duster
I’m unapologetic for my addiction to beautiful faces
and it’s true I love all races
because honestly I look for the angel that traces
I consume their auras just to get wasted
but nervous to approach them like they were sacred
with so many heavenly creatures I’m faded
I’m unapologetic for being elevated
how 420 is so regularly celebrated
ok maybe that’s a little exaggerated
I might be considered a pothead but I’m well educated
those euphoric buds really have me infatuated
got tired of people trying to school me, so I graduated
the person I’ve become is poetic
a little pathetic but u have to respect it
I am who I am, I’m unapologetic

John and Silent Rob

This is a video we did a few months back. It’s an introduction to our live, random, improv show where we pick a topic and ask random people. This 100% unscripted and unrehearsed show will soon be on youtube filling your day with laughter and knowledge so stay tuned. Can u guess which one is Silent Rob?….Shout out to Mr. John Hill and the Wildbeats Team

Freestyle

I’m in outer space feeling like I’m out of space about to space out my pace to this race is untraceable I’m a real and honest dude there’s an endangered few my ish isn’t kosher but shouldn’t matter unless you’re a jew I’m immaculate in your view that triangle face will rack up your crew for that eight ball as soon as I give the cue talent stuck to me like glue u can try to body this but my bite resembles a hippopotamus when I get hungry them dots connect four in your chest and I’m not going to be sorry because u should have gotten a clue I apologize for my tourette’s I’m just warning u I do it all I’m versatile not that social though so when people see me they say we never heard of u that’s cool what happened to them good old days I wish I had my childhood back I like my life was reversible the lyrical ammunition I hold can leave u topless like a convertible so maybe with more views I can someday become your idol and if not then I’m going to call u a pawn because if u come at me wrong you’re clearly suicidal see this is very vital for those with a one track mind like a unicycle I’m cold like AK I spit glaciers like the rifle I’m sometime spiteful my company is delightful its nothing I can’t write to

Winter Cometh to Chicago, Travel Company Beginith | GO FOR IT!!!! Generation Passport

 

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Centro– Cartagena, Colombia, October 2013

So, I’m back home from Colombia.  I have a post or two I’ll do on my ten-day visit to Colombia.  Right now though, I am focused on starting my travel company.  This is not going to be easy, as I discovered last night.  But I have faith in myself, my ideas and the international community I have built here.

I was bummed out about coming back home to Chicago. The winter chill is definitely in the air now and it is getting cold.  I am reminded, after seeing my homeless friend last night eating from a branch of a tree, that I have a home.

I tried selling my travel trips last night just briefly.  I got shot down by a few people, when I asked them if they wanted to go to Colombia.  I have never received such passionate “No ways” from people.  One guy even said that was a weird question–asking him if he wanted to go to Colombia.  I explained I was trying to start a travel company, even then he said it was a weird question.  The girl next to him, (who I had already met five times previously) pretended she didn’t know me and her answer was a passionate “No.”  The stuffy Anglo-Victorian vibe is apparently alive and well in this historically WASP town.

I find it pretty ironic that all of these people live within the shadow of one of the biggest international airports in the world, and have such a weird time understanding that the world is a lot larger than a suburb with wealth and homeless people in the woods.  Not that they are wealthy, but the fact that travel is such a taboo here to anywhere other than little mini-Americas, is a little strange.

I met a few people who liked the idea and had enough resources and such to go, but they have children, obligations and not enough time.  I can understand this rationale.  One guy suggested I try marketing to families.  I’d argue that families could come with, as long as they could pull their weight.  as in, the kids could pull their own bags.  Maybe not the best marketing strategy.

On Monday, I have the day off of work and I’m going to try to promote my company at the train station.  I’m bound to think that when some people feel the winter chill, and I’m offering a reasonable escape to Colombia this winter, my idea will catch on.  Besides the cocaine taboo of Colombia, there is still the “Aren’t they going to kidnap and kill you there?” fear.  Why?  Because I bring tourism and money into their economies from wealthier countries?

DSC02953

Those Colombians made me Arroz con Camarones y Juego fresco..  Tienes miedo?

I had another person tell me that some American tourist had their head bashed-in in Turkey, as if all Muslims stand in the middle of the street and chant incoherent rants at Americans all day (like that Argo movie I saw on the plane back from Colombia).  Maybe someone did have their head bashed-in in Turkey, but I know for a fact, that a little child got shot in the head a few blocks away from my over-priced Chicago apartment when I lived in the city a few years back.  Bad things happen everywhere, but you shouldn’t run from fears that don’t exist.

FOR MORE CLICK BELOW

via Winter Cometh to Chicago, Travel Company Beginith | Generation Passport.

ZULUMINΔTI Welcome to a new friend: Cody Lee

 that almighty turn up

I’m Cody. I’m from Chicago. I like music and the female anatomy. So if you enjoy either of those God-given beauties, you’ll like Zuluminati. Turn up.
If for whatever reason you need to contact me:

c.lee.16@hotmail.com

via About | ZULUMINΔTI.

MGMT Needs To Hurry Up With Their New, Self-Titled Album

Releasing September 17, 2013. Wait on it. By the way, this year I’m eating your food and my table got so many plates on it.

Pitchfork Music Festival is Nothing Without R. Kelly

Image

Over the past three years, I’ve seen my fair share of shit at Pitchfork. Fearing for my life at Odd Future, finding God at Toro Y Moi, and shaking up with A$AP Rocky fail in comparison to the majestic beauty that is R. Kelly.

Sunday, July 21, 2013, I headed to Pitchfork with this schema that every performing artist was going to blow my mind; I couldn’t have been more wrong. As soon as I got there, I decided that MC Tree would be a good place to start. For a while, I thought Danny Brown was the worst live rapper that I have ever seen due to how incomprehensive and molly’d out he was, but I take that back. Tree takes the award. On stage there were like eight useless ass people with faux-McDonald’s uniforms untunely chanting “Tree” and “Soul-Trap.” It grew kind of ridiculous after about the fourth song.

After waiting an impossibly long and tiring four hours until Lil’ B, I got to see the Based God with my own two eyes. As much as I would love to say I turned the fuck up, Charlie, myself, and our two lovely ladies stayed in the background where the 35-year-olds could only bob their heads and subtly say “swag.” Cool, huh?

Next was Toro Y Moi; need I say more? If you’ve read about my previous Pitchfork experience you will know of his magnificence, and this time was nothing short. I feel like I could put M.I.A (whom I saw afterward) in the same paragraph because she put on a pretty fucking good show too. This shit live was almost too much.

Finally, the moment that we have all been waiting for. With the intent to watch R. Kelly for a mere 20 minutes then slide over to TNGHT, I wasn’t predicting to have my mind blown. But right off it came. Once this man walked on stage, I was immediately blinded. Not particularly due to the fact that he was in front of me, but because of all of the fucking ICE he had on! If Chief Keef thinks his wrist is sloppy, he needs to step his weight up. Being around a bunch of smiley 70-year-old black people really changes the mood. Even Abbey, the whitest girl I know, was gettin’ down. By far, there is nothing more baby-making than this.

After about 20 minutes we ended up walking to TNGHT like we said we would, but immediately hiking right back because all we wanted to do was make sweet love (with our clothes on of course, there were children around). I couldn’t imagine a better place to end the night. Trust me, If R. Kelly is ever in your town you’d better go see him, no matter how much you despise urine.

I Came Up On Too Much Chillwave, Take It From Me

I’ve been on a 24-hour psychedelic splurge, and I’ve decided that I’m not going to individually write some overly-descriptive paragraph relevant to nothing at all. Instead, I just want you to have these:



With Apologies to-hopefully-a new friend: Kerry Mark Leibowitz–Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog |

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz’s musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

Hi, my name is Kerry Leibowitz.  I’m a Midwest-based (I split my time between the Chicago and Indianapolis areas) photographer with a particular propensity for the landscape.  To learn more about me, please visit this page on my photography Web site.

via Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog | Kerry Mark Leibowitz’s musings on the wonderful world of nature photography.

People Seeing Without Observing

And in the naked light I saw
10,000 people maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

–From The Sound of Silence by Paul Simon

At this point it must appear, based on the last few entries I’ve posted on this blog, that I spent most of my time in the Smokies this past April confronting yahoos.  That’s not true; but I can certainly understand why it might seem that way.  I’ve simply used the handful of such encounters as an excuse to post some images from the trip thematically, rather than as a day-by-day or location-by-location chronology.

And yet…

Rhea Shrugged

On the morning of my first full day in the Smokies I decided to shoot sunrise from the Foothills Parkway.  The Parkway, which is managed by the National Park Service, has a section with a terminus just a few miles northwest of Townsend, Tennessee, and encompasses a series of scenic pullouts overlooking the Smokies to the south and east and the Tennessee Valley to the north and west.  From Townsend, it takes ten minutes, tops, to reach the first Smokies overlook.  I’ve visited this spot numerous times without ever seeing a brilliant sunrise, and in my continuing quest to do so, headed to the overlook in the early morning darkness on April 16.

Sunrise, Foothills Parkway, Tennessee

Sunrise, Foothills Parkway, Tennessee

The overlook is beautiful, even without a phenomenal sunrise, but I enjoy having my cake and eating it too, so I was hopeful, based on the weather forecast, that something truly special might be in the offing that morning.

I was not disappointed.  There were broken clouds in the eastern sky and as the light came up I could see evidence of fog in the valley below me.  All the elements of a great sunrise scenic were firmly in place.

All of the images accompanying this post come from that morning’s shoot.  I have a number of others, but I just wanted to provide a taste of what I witnessed and captured that morning.   It was, by far, the best sunrise I’ve ever seen from the Foothills Parkway, and one of the nicest I’ve seen anywhere in a very long time.

Sunrise, Foothills Parkway, Tennessee

Sunrise, Foothills Parkway, Tennessee

The first overlook on the Foothill Parkway, where I was stationed that morning, is a good-sized one.  I’ve often seen a dozen or more photographers at the spot for sunrise, and there’s no concern about anyone getting in the way of someone else.  On this morning, there were only two others, and they appeared to be shooting together; they were set up approximately 50 feet to my left.

When the sun cleared the mountains to the southeast, the other two photographers started to pack up their things.  I continued to shoot, because I’ve had some success with long lens landscapes from this location.  As they were gathering their belongings, I heard one of the photographers say to the other:

“Well, that was a shrug.”

He was referring to the sunrise.

The other responded:  “Yeah, that’s far from the best sunrise I’ve seen.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Maybe that’s because this was, hands down, the best sunrise I’d ever seen from the Foothills Parkway.  Perhaps the other photographers had seen better from this spot.  But, even though this wasn’t the most spectacular sunrise I’ve seen it was still breathtakingly beautiful.  I simply couldn’t–still can’t, in fact–believe that anyone who had experienced this sunrise would describe it as “a shrug,” regardless of their experiences.

Is it possible to reach a point where people become so numb to the natural beauty surrounding them that, even when they intentionally visit a spot specifically for its aesthetics, they’re unable to appreciate it, even when it rises up and slaps them directly in the face?

The Rest of the Spring

As the last few posts have surely implied, my main photo opp this past spring was my trip to the Smokies in mid-April, but I was able to get out with the camera closer to home on a few occasions and I thought I’d share a few of those images.

Virginia Bluebells

I was wandering around the Morton Arboretum, located about 20 minutes from my Chicago-area base in DuPage County, Illinois on an unseasonably warm day in the first half of April.  This was very, very early in the spring blooming season, so as the trail I was on that traverses the Arboretum’s East Woods snaked its way along, I was treated to a mostly brown and gray landscape.  There were some small, early wildflowers in bloom, but not many.  This was, in any case, not a photo excursion; I didn’t have my gear with me.

Virginia Bluebells, Morton Arboretum, DuPage County, Illinois

Virginia Bluebells, Morton Arboretum, DuPage County, Illinois

During that hike, I spotted a large patch of green–which stood out like the proverbial sore thumb–well off the path, and I wandered over to take a look.  I had to hop a small stream, but I was able to get close to the sprouting plants, and I could tell that these were Virginia Bluebells in a very early stage of growth.  I was aware of several stands of Bluebells in other parts of the Arboretum, but I’d never known about this stand.  This was a far larger spread of plants than the other areas I was aware of, and I made a mental note to check back another time, when they were likely to be in bloom.

Virginia Bluebells, Morton Arboretum, DuPage County, Illinois

Welcome to new friends | International Bellhop

Meet the BellhopsThe Bellhops:

We are simply a collective of writers and designers who escape work by blogging and writing and discovering new lands for travel, and reminiscing about travels past. Travel with us as we explore all of the most beautiful, unique, and relaxing atmospheres that Mother Earth has given to us.

Check Out Time: Your Discretion

via The Bellhops | About | International Bellhop.

Chandlery | Gift Shop

International Bellhop -- Chandlery Store

Welcome To the Chandlery

Nearly 800 Years Ago: Candle-makers and their shops were some of the first municipal-based businesses — meaning, that they were supported by the state (A loosely connected feudal system that was governed by lords and land-owners. As naval conquest and exploration via ships became the world’s fascination, people started to travel the world on ever-growing ships that became the formidable beasts of the seas. Within the bellies of these sea-beasts, were small shops — usually near the entry to the storage decks — that took on the name of “Chandleries.”

As marine travel progressed, and the world saw architectural masterpieces such as The Titanic, The Mauritania, and The Queen Mary, these shops became full decks and were the basis of the first shopping malls and business centers. Many hotels and businesses still offer the same type of stores that replenish your stock of goods and toiletries while traveling, and still honor the tradition by naming them The Chandlery.
In-Fact, Vanguard Group — a financial institution with a campus in Scottsdale, Arizona — have a Chandlery that offers their employees basic necessities such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, snacks, gifts, and even gift basket packages that you can send to co-workers or clients, right in the lobby.

In the same fashion that Vanguard offers Chandlery services to its business community, we offer the same resource to our readers.

Full Store Coming Soon

Shop online and send your  travel supplies to the hotel before you leave,  with a tap on your phone.

Dan O’Shea | exhibitAbooks.com

Dan O’Shea

The Author, Dan O’Sheahttps://i2.wp.com/exhibitabooks.com/wp-content/uploads/dan-oshea-680x960.jpg

Dan O’Shea is a Chicago-area writer. His first two thrillers, Penance and Mammon, will be published by Exhibit A.

Drawing on Chicago’s settings and history, the novels explore the city’s history of corruption, but with a national, even international flavour.

Dan is also the author of Old School, a collection of short fiction published by Snubnose Press.

Dan would be a handsome gent if he could just stop breaking his nose.

Find Dan Online: danielboshea.wordpress.com and @dboshea

Exhibit A Books by Dan O’Shea Penance: A Chicago Thriller Spring 2013

via Dan O’Shea | exhibitAbooks.com.

Today’s my daughter’s birthday. She’s 23. She’s bright, she’s tough, she’s compassionate and she makes me proud everyday.

Today is also day three of Chuck Wendig’s sermon on misogyny, rape culture, and the disgusting tribe of jackass dickweeds who think that the girls getting into their gaming clubhouse is going to get menses all over everything and ruin their fun.

I’m old enough that I missed the whole video-gaming thing. The more I hear about these freaks, the happier I am about that. But it makes me sad. See, I work in the real, grown-up world with people who, by and large, realize that men and women are all individuals with their own issues and problems; that testosterone and estrogen are just hormones – hormones that each of us have in varying amounts by the way – not toxins; a world where the kind of laughable woman-hating crap these freaks are throwing around would get you laughed at. And then fired.

Now I find that my daughter still has to live with this bullshit – and that her own generation is leading the charge.

There have always been terrified little men hiding in basements who could never quite make their way in the world and who settled on women as the reason why. Women were busting their balls. Women were making them want to do unspeakable things and then not responding to their awkward advances in the way they hoped. Women inflamed their weird little pathologies, so women MUST have caused them. Why, if it weren’t for women, they’d be out of the basement and having a life just like everyone else.

Thing is, those guys used to be alone or, if not alone, maybe they had this one friend, one other guy who stayed stuck in the girls-have-cooties stage with them, one other guy who couldn’t get a date and didn’t understand why, and the two of them would play Risk alone in the basement and talk about how women ruined their lives, hell, how women ruined everything. And then they’d yell up the stairs at their mothers every few hours about how they were out of root beer and cheese puffs.

But they knew they were alone. They knew they weren’t normal. They knew that everybody else managed somehow. If they were smart, they got help. If they weren’t they stayed in that basement and got older and weirder and did it alone.

Then the Internet came along. They could google “women ruin everything” and find crap like this. Suddenly, these psychologically stunted untermensch didn’t feel alone. They had a community. They validated each other. They imagined that, instead of being maladjusted dweebs blaming their own failures on the mysterious power of women, they were generals in some underground game-nerd army fighting a guerilla war against the estrogen toxin, especially when it tried to worm its way into to their secret tech lairs.

And not just poor little boys permanently stuck in an imaginary pre-adolescent gender war either. Skinheads found their racist ilk. Religious nutjobs of every stripe could band together in their often misogynistic little tribes. Every hateful mental pathology found its own twisted echo chamber where its members could convince each other that they weren’t fuck ups, they were RIGHT.

Sometimes I miss the old days.

Chuck’s point today is that we have to speak out, all of us, even the men. That doesn’t make us heroes or anything any more than saying gravity makes us stick to the ground would make us Isaac Newton. But there has to be noise in the system, enough of it so that these stunted twits realize that, while they might have found a few hundred or a few thousand like-mined losers in the vastness of cyberspace, there are hundreds of thousands, even millions of people out there to remind them they are still wrong, they are still maladjusted and lost little boys hiding in basements. They might have found a few more silly little friends, but they are still what they always were. Frightened children who never managed to grow up.

Welcome to a new friend: Victoria Grefer– Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Creative Writing Tips and Authorial Support from Fantasy Writer Victoria Grefer

DSCN1236This site is Victoria’s blog. Don’t forget to check out her official website for all things Herezoth (related to her fantasy novels): maps, character lists, and more. That site is http://www.victoriagrefer.com

Victoria is a New Orleans girl, born and raised, with an appreciation for the charm of the Deep South. She has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and English and a master’s degree in Spanish literature, all from the University of Alabama. She started college as a journalism major and worked a year as a staff reporter for the Alabama student newspaper, “The Crimson White.” That experience that helped her realize, once and for all, that her love for writing lay with fiction. She started enrolling in creative writing classes the following semester, completing the English department’s 3 course fiction writing series.

From the age of six, Victoria dreamed of becoming a novelist, and her writing career began in the third grade with a series of stories about herself and her friends solving mysteries. In high school she fell in love with the fantasy genre, and started writing fantasy as an undergraduate student. Now she has 5 novels under her belt. She currently resides in Chicago, IL, where she spends her free time promoting her Herezoth trilogy:

The Crimson League (Book I)

The Magic Council (Book II)

The King’s Sons (Book III)

Victoria loves cats, classic movies, cribbage, and random, useless trivia. Don’t forget to:

[terry: go to her blog page where all the links WORK]

via The Author | Creative Writing with the Crimson League.

Why authors and readers love their Happily Ever After: and why that’s a good thing

1402725_girl_dances_with_an_umbrellaHappily Ever After. It might be cliche, but sometimes, it’s what we crave to write and read about.

I’ve written about happy endings before. I’ve discussed the things Shrek and Fiona can teach us about Happily Ever After, and I’ve explored what to do, and why it’s okay, when you discover your story isn’t headed toward a fairy tale ending (Disney style).

Today, though, a comment by Jess Baverstock really got me thinking. I had mentioned in a recent post that it’s not a good idea to shelter your characters too much, and Jess wrote:

Today I wrote a harrowing scene where I put my little character through an emotional experience that will scar her for decades. I was on the verge of tears as I wrote it.

I’m a nice person who treats other people well, but when it comes to my characters I do put them through dreadful things in the name of plot and conflict. Thank goodness I believe in happy endings!

That got me thinking about happy endings: not the mechanics of how to write them, and the instances when they might be appropriate for a story, but about WHY we love them so much, both as writers and readers.

Happily ever after has its place

Happily ever after has its place

Excellent article-click to read the rest

Recommended Reads

WHAT TO READ?

Here’s a list of my most highly recommended reads. If I’ve written about the book explaining its influence on my fiction, the entry contains a hyperlink to the post. If you’re looking for a fantasy novel to entertain, a classic to make you think, or just something to make you laugh, you’ll find it here, for sure! Some selections are no brainers, but I hope some surprise as well. Each section is listen in alphabetical order, according to author.  I’ll also grace you with my blacklist: these authors I just can’t stand, for personal reasons. It’s just an opinion thing. Please, feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments!

FANTASY NOVELS

  1. Robin Hobb: The Farseer Trilogy (*some adult themes)
  2. Thomas Malory: Le Morte d’Arthur
  3. Karen Miller: The Innocent Mage, The Awakened Mage
  4. J.K. Rowling: the Harry Potter series
  5. Michael J. Sullivan, The Riyria Revelations (*some adult themes)
  6. Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Idylls of the King
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings
  8. T.H.White: The Once and Future King

THE CLASSICS

  1. Jane Austen: Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice
  2. Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote
  3. Charles Dickens: Hard Times, Great Expectations
  4. Fyodor Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment
  5. George Eliot: Silas Marner
  6. Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls
  7. Victor Hugo: Les Miserables
  8. Margaret Mitchell: Gone with the Wind
  9. Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

TO LAUGH

  1. Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  2. John Steinbeck: Tortilla Flat
  3. John Kennedy Toole: A Confederacy of Dunces (*some adult themes)
  4. Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest

TO AVOID: THE BLACKLIST

  1. anything by William Faulkner
  2. anything by James Joyce
  3. anything by D.H. Lawrence

sweetheart rewrite COMBINE 2

Amazon Search

[Terry:  Gee, I like Faulkner, Joyce, and Lawrence and

I have so many more authors I suggest you avoid: 

James Fennimore Cooper

Dan Brown

Christopher Paolini

Michael Moorcock

Stephen King

Terry Goodkind

Richard Adams (yes, those bloody rabbits!)

Brian Jacques (More bloody rabbits and now badgers!)

Ayn Rand and Carlos Casteneda (and anyone who says they were inspired by either)

Fraces Hodgson Burnett (Watch the Secret Garden but don’t ever READ it)

Tom Clancy (except for Red October–he ran out of ideas after that)

Oh, I could go on and on  (and I do on Goodreads)

I would have to add to the

Required Reading Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels

Glen Cook (The Black Company)

Lewis Carroll (Alice & Through the Looking Glass)

Kenneth Grahame (Wind in the Willows–but only the versions that haven’t been Bowdlerized)

Ray Bradbury (Every damn book he ever wrote)

Frank Herbert (ONLY the first book)

Andre Norton (her early work)

Alfred Bester (Stars My Destination is the best SF book EVER)

Lord Dunsany (The Book of Wonder is the original fantasy novel)

Roger Zelazny (The Chronicles of Amber)

Rudyard Kipling (Puck of Pook’s Hill)

China Mieville (he just keeps getting better)

And Finally…

Grimm’s Fairy Tales, The Red Book of Fairy Stories, The Green Book of Fairy Stories, etc. etc. (This are the magic source from whence all later stories spring)

Welcome to new friends: West End Publications

West End

Publications Independent Consortium

About

junk drafts

West End Publications is an independent consortium dedicated to aiding aspiring writers,authors,  bloggers, poets, and artists.

West End Publications is the creation of Edward Chesterfield and J.F. Jones who wanted to created a book publishing company for new and aspiring authors.

Over the course of the last 50 years the Book Publishing world has become ever more unreachable for the new author. Corporate book giants in their ever increasing quest for greater profits have all but squelched the niche for new authors.

If you are an aspiring author who isn’t a celebrity, reality star, or have a massive built-in-audience it is almost impossible to get a publishing company to look at your manuscript.

The goal of West End Publications is to help new authors see their manuscript go from draft to published work and in the process help them reach a greater audience then they otherwise would have been able to on their own.

via About | West End.

Edward Chesterfield – Bio

ed

 My friends call me Ed

I have been a Ghost writer for many years and have      lent my assistance to quite a few well received publications

I’m very excited to be a part of this new venture; West End Publications

I enjoy coffee, beer, Hemingway, and Rugby.

Originally from the Windy City, I now live half-way between where I want to be living.

J.F. Jones – Bio 

jfjones

Jones is a freelance writer and amateur philosopher on a search for the proper words to adequately define the human condition, which he often admits is a useless task.

The “Why” behind writing

flower1

“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. To ‘Why am I here?’ To uselessness. It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus“ Enid Bagnold

-Writing is an art. To those who don’t believe me, pick up a pen or open up your laptop and try to write a beautiful story. Its not as easy as it seems.

-Even blogging can be tough. It’s not just anybody that can create a blog and start writing. What do you write about? What do you say? Will people want to read what you write about?

-I became a writer for exactly the same reasons that Bagnold discusses; To write about why I am here.

-I write to search for meaning and truth. I want to know the ‘why’ behind everything.

-But I also want to share the little things on the side of the road. Not everything in my life is related to the ‘why’ behind it all. Some things are merely little experiences that I enjoy on this journey of life.

-So some times I am writing about issues that are very important to me. And other times I am writing about little things, that are important in their own right.

-Why do we write? Its something every writer should ask themselves.

Ed.

Should we cuss when writing?

road sign

-Every time we sit down to write we are faced with decisions. Should we write in first person or third? Should the story end happy or sad?

-Hemingway’s quote makes a great point. Some authors steer clear of controversial language completely. While other authors make a point to use the most flamboyant language they can think up.

-Whatever we ultimately decide when writing. We should be ourselves. Write the way you are and write the way you talk. That is usually the best method.

Ed

 

[Terry: I tend to cuss BECAUSE I’m writing.  Does that count?]

Welcome to a new friend: rlpbbc3

fancy logo/writing for use in MBTI articles

fancy logo/writing for use in MBTI articles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ISFJ
Introvert(33%)  Sensing(25%)  Feeling(25%)  Judging(33%)
Because I want to be a RN like my mom so it show how my mom and I are a like in away. because i’m a hard worker and I like to help people in different ways..
 

Posted on April 24, 2013

Minnesota-Wild-alt-logo

The wild are going to the playoffs!!

 

Posted on April 24, 2013

aa hot dog coney

Yesterday I went to the wild game and ordered a coney dog so good!

 

via rlpbbc3 | This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas.

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Ten Questions About The Lives Of Tao, By Wesley Chu « terribleminds: chuck wendig

https://i0.wp.com/angryrobotbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/TheLivesOfTao-144dpi.jpg

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?

Hello, I’m Wesley Chu. I’m a member of the Screen Actors Guild and a former stunt man, specializing in being the token Asian male. In other words, I play roles like businessman, doctor, computer geek, and getting my ass kicked. I’m good at that last one.

I get the token role because in every commercial with a group of guys, there always needs to be a token me alongside a token white guy, black guy, Latino guy, fat guy…etc. Do I mind? Nah, being token is my bread and butter.

Oh, I also wrote a book. My debut novel, The Lives of Tao, from Angry Robot Books, came out two days ago. By the way, this Saturday May 4th, I have a release party. If you’re within three hundred miles of Chicago, you should come. You don’t have to buy my book, but at least party with me.

via Ten Questions About The Lives Of Tao, By Wesley Chu « terribleminds: chuck wendig.

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