Archive for October, 2008

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Random notes for a happy day

October 31, 2008

Just some random notes on this happy day:

  • Do you write “dammit”, or “damn it”? And if you stick God into the mix, do you compound the word into “Goddamn”? How about, “Goddammit”?
  • Megan Seling of The Stranger noted, “[A]re there any other words in the English language that have three consecutive pairs of letters like the word bookkeeper does? I can’t think of any. Then again, I suck at Scrabble.”
  • To this day, the word “misled” bothers me, because when I was a kid, I read an Encyclopedia Brown story in which the solution to the mystery was a badly-written note. According to our hero, there is (was) no such word as “misled”. Did common vernacular somehow change this rule sometime in the last forty-five years? Or was I reading a subversive pinko Cold War-era counterfeit Encyclopedia Brown book?
  • I feel like introducing you to one of my most enduring pet peeves: The word “transition” is a noun, damn it!
  • Oh, yeah, another pet peeve: The phrase “pet peeve” is annoying and unnerving, much like children singing off-key for the amusement of sitcom viewers.

Happy Hallowe’en, everyone. Click the jump for a treat.

-bd

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Osama been writin’?

October 31, 2008

Poor James Frey.

Well, okay, maybe I should explain that. It seems that Osama bin Laden is writing a memoir. Except, as Paul Constant points out at Slog, it doesn’t really sound like a memoir: “It sounds kind of like a polemic to me, like a super-extreme version of an Ann Coulter or Michael Moore book.” According to the Times of India:

The book, being written in Arabic, will later be translated into English. Bin Laden decided to write the book to counter “propaganda” against al-Qaida, Geo News channel reported ….

…. The book will reportedly highlight atrocities allegedly being committed on Muslims by the Western world.

Bin Laden will also discuss how the medieval Crusades greatly impacted the growth of Western influence in world affairs and ultimately helped the US to control the oil reserves of the Muslim states.

So, what does the disgraced author of A Million Little Pieces have to do with anything? No, no, he’s not ghostwriting the bin Laden book. Rather, it’s just Paul Constant’s blog entry title: “The Next James Frey?

I mean, seriously: Ouch!

-bd

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San Diego 23 major update

October 20, 2008

On the author front, ten of whom have new books out or coming out by conference time: Richard Craig Anderson (Rivers of Belief), Tom Basinski (The Cross-Country Rapist), Laurel Corona (The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi’s Venice), Mark Clements, Edwin Decker, Phyllis Gebauer (Hot Widow), Troy Johnson (Family Outing: What Happened When I Found Out My Mother Was Gay), Gordon Kirkland, Bob Mayer (Agnes and the Hitman, co-written with Jennifer Crusie), Matthew J. Pallamary, Frederick Ramsay (Stranger Room), Midge Raymond (Forgetting English), Judy Reeves, Caitlin Rother (Twisted Triangle and Body Parts), Michele Scott (Tacked to Death and Zamora’s Ultimate Challenge) and Michael Thompkins are aboard.

Agents and editors wise, so far we’ve got Michelle Brower, Claire Gerus, Kathleen Gilligan, Jean Jenkins, Jeffrey Moores, Lynn Price, Jennifer Redmond, Adrienne Rosado, Mike Sirota, Sally van Haitsma, Natanya Wheeler and Laura Taylor.

Still a few more folk to add, as well as specific workshops and guest speakers to be announced, but rest assured our next Presidents’ Day Weekend event will again prove itself the spirited, inclusive, informative & encouraging writers’ conference unlike any other.

Remember there’s a $75 discount off Full Conference registration for those who do so by Nov. 1. Get all the details at WritersConference.com.

–msg

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First Crime Novel Competition deadlines…

October 20, 2008

The deadline to request an entry form for the 2009 St. Martin’s Minotaur/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition is Nov. 15, 2008, followed by the manuscript submission postmark deadline of no later than Nov. 30. Publication and a $10,000 advance on royalties goes to the winner.

>> Here’s the official rules.

Good luck. Don’t suck!

–msg

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Michael Who?

October 16, 2008

Okay, I couldn’t resist this. MySpace: Michael Hussein Gregory.

What? What am I supposed to do with that?

(It gets political after the jump.)

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Mickey Spillane lives on

October 9, 2008

New Mike Hammer novel to be followed by two more, reports USA Today:

By Carol Memmott

Just before his death two years ago, crime writer Mickey Spillane called friend and author Max Allan Collins and asked him to finish a Mike Hammer novel he did not have the strength to complete.

The Goliath Bone (Harcourt, $23), based on Spillane’s rough draft, goes on sale Monday, 61 years after Hammer, the iconic hard-boiled private eye, solved his first case in I, the Jury. It will be the 14th Hammer novel.

Read entire story

–msg

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SORDID TALES

October 7, 2008

FIVE PHASES OF QUITTING SMOKING AGAIN
(Or, Why I Blame MSG for my Nico-Recidivism)

Fifteen years ago, I quit smoking. For 15 years, I lived a glorious, tar-free existence. That was until about 18 months ago, when I started again—causing friends and family to ask, “What’re you, some kind of moron?!”

And now, as another cloud of smoke settles onto my monitor and into the slots between the keys of my typer—I can’t help but wonder how, how, how the Christ did I get back here again.

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