Archive for January, 2008


A Valentine’s Day “MWAH!” for Spirit Matters

January 31, 2008

Author and longtime SCWC workshop leader Matthew J. Pallamary‘s Spirit Matters (Mystic Ink), a memoir chronicling his journey from Boston’s rough & tumble Catholic mean streets to the dark primordial jungles of the Amazon canopy and discovery of shamanic revelation, is having a publication party conference eve. If you’re in San Diego, join us on Valentine’s Day to celebrate your love of the literary and the release of Matt’s latest. It all starts 7 PM at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. Get all the details here.


Cook & Eisner follow Smith’s webisode lead

January 30, 2008

With her new novel, The Timer Game, doing gangbusters business in 12 countries only a week or so out of the gate, Sunday morning speaker Susan Arnout Smith credits at least some of the success to her online video marketing campaign. Directed by Kai Soremekun, one of Steven Spielberg’s original 50 directors for On the Lot, the 19-webisode prequel to the story concluded upon the book’s release and it seems that others are taking note.

Variety‘s Cynthia Littleton reports:

Vuguru pacts with Cook, Putnam’s
New Eisner company readies for ‘Body’

Vuguru, Michael Eisner’s new media production shingle, has partnered with publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons and author Robin Cook to produce a 50-episode series designed to serve as a prequel to Cook’s latest novel, “Foreign Body.”

In a bid for crossover tubthumping between new and old media, the web prequel based on “Body” characters will bow 10 weeks before the release of the book on Aug. 5. Book’s storyline will begin where the prequel leaves off, Vuguru and Putnam’s said Friday.

In announcing the deal, Eisner was effusive about the possibility for such a webisode-book tie-in to “change the traditional publishing and marketing model forever.”

The series, designed for web and mobile platforms, will be co-produced by France’s Cyber Group Animation. Big Fantastic, the L.A.-based production company behind Vuguru’s web serial “Prom Queen,” will develop and direct the two-minute segs.

“Body” revolves around “the dark side of medical tourism,” per Putnam’s, and the journey of a UCLA student who sets out to find answers to a series of unexplained deaths in foreign hospitals. Web serial will revolve around the same characters as featured in the book.

Plan is to release one episode every weekday starting May 27, with the series wrapping the day before the book’s publication. Vuguru is lining up numerous domestic web partners for a syndication-style launch similar to its distribution of “Prom Queen.” Cyber Group will handle international distribution of the series.

Putnam’s prexy Ivan Held said the deal reflected the publishing imprint’s aim to “deliver our authors’ stories to an Internet audience and to expand the overall worldwide readership of Robin Cook.”

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No, to The Kite Runner…

January 30, 2008

January 16, 2008

Afghanistan bans ‘Kite Runner’

Afghanistan has banned the import and exhibition of “The Kite Runner,” a
film about the troubled friendship of two Afghan boys.

The decision was made “because some of its scenes are questionable and
unacceptable for some people . . . and would cause trouble for the
government and people,” a government official said.

Paramount, the studio behind the adaptation of the 2003 bestselling novel by
U.S.-based Afghan author Khaled Hosseini, last year had to get its three
young stars out of their homeland before the movie premiered to protect them from a possible backlash.

From Reuters



A forgotten mystery solved

January 24, 2008

Somewhere in the family is a book checked out from a school library in 1977. It might be in a storage unit. Or perhaps I’m wrong, and the thing was thrown out over the years. Hey, don’t look at me … I didn’t check the book out. Honest. I was only four years old in 1977. And I certainly wouldn’t have thrown a book out. But we did recently clean out one of the last old storage units full of stuff from our childhood, and I don’t recall seeing it.

Anyway, thirty years is nothing. Or so we learn from the Associated Press:

It’s a novel but it’s created a mystery — where has the overdue book been for the past 57 years? “We don’t have records that go back that far,” said Lori Belongia, director of the Marshfield Public Library. “We don’t know who checked it out.”

The book “Northern Lights” by Roger Vercel turned up in the book drop about a month ago.

Published in 1948, its most recent checkout stamp reads either March or May 10 of 1950.

One thing does strike me oddly, though. While the library apparently doesn’t have check-out records running back that far, it does apparently have the records showing that the hardcover book was purchased in 1948. For $1.93.



About Poetry Cram

January 21, 2008

Hey all, Ed Decker here with skinny on my poetry workshop Poetry Cram: On the Page and In Your Face

Let me start by saying that I do not consider myself to be an authority on poetry. Like everybody else, I’m still trying to understand this elusive, mystifying art. This workshop will be as much of a benefit to me as I hope it is to you. Keeping that in mind, I want you to consider me more of a host/moderator than a teacher of poetry because really, who in their right mind would want to teach poetry?


So here’s what I’m thinking:

People who want to participate should bring at least 2 poems which will be read in class. Ideally, you should bring copies to pass out so everyone can read along and upon which then can scribble notes. (These will be returned when you are finished). If it’s not possible to bring copies then so be it, this is not Nazi Poetry Cram. Also, if reading out loud gives you shingles, fret not, I’ll be happy to read the poem for you. After your poem is read, we will open the discussion to the floor so you can receive feedback.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Book news from here and there

January 20, 2008

Book news from here and there:



Session info: “Creating Congruent Characters”

January 19, 2008

A note for those who have asked, and anyone else who might be wondering, about Michael Thompkins‘ “Creating Congruent Characters Part I & Part II” sessions: you can contact Michael directly for the syllabus to prepare.

Also, a reminder that submissions to the “Tales from the Fire” contest face a February 1 deadline. That’s less than two weeks, now.