Showing posts from February, 2011

Scarry Night Challenge

Below is my entry for Patti Abbott's Scarry Night Challenge. For details go here . For the other entries, go here For my story, keep reading... The Pit The tall man with the weak shoulders raised the hatchback, stooped into the car, caught her dark eyes in the rearview and said, “You sure about this?” “Is there a problem? I filled out the paperwork and passed the home inspection.” “There’s no problem.” He shook his head and then stopped abruptly. “If you’re sure. I mean, you’ve seen him though, right?” “I paid the money didn’t I?” “Alright, then.” He straightened and whistled. The rear door to the vet’s office opened and two techs lead the pit bull outside. One held the thick, mesh leash taunt while the other put himself between animal and parking lot. When they reached the car, the tall man giddy-upped. After the pit jumped into the back, he slammed the hatch. She lowered the window. “We done?” All three nodded. “Thanks,” she said. The pit pressed his scarred

Shane Stevens Saturday: Tending Bar

The Corner Bistro is still standing. In 1973-1974, you could find Shane Stevens there at night, tending bar. It still looks rough, but my understanding from the person I spoke with, is that back then it was even rougher. I wonder if he's been back? The Bistro's claim to fame is that it's supposed to have the best hamburgers in New York City.

Shane Stevens Saturday: The Anvil Chorus

The Anvil Chorus is a chilling police procedural set in Paris and the final novel to appear under his own name. It's a brilliantly paced study of obsession and revenge as Inspector Cesar Dreyfus investigates the brutal murder of a former Nazi war-criminal and confronts the true face of evil. Coming off the big payday of By Reason of Insanity , Stevens researched the book in Paris, working closely with members of The Criminal Investigation Department to keep the police work authentic and interviewing several famous Nazi Hunters in his unending quest to understand evil and the price of power. Paris has been the one place I haven't been able to track him. Maybe someday.

Drapes vs. Squares

This past Saturday, one of our favorite local bands performed at The Player’s Pub. I’ve dug the Swingrays and their rockabilly sound for years. The guys have tremendous stage presence, know how to get a crowd energized and play a nice mixture of original material and covers. Long before Maria and I were ever married we spent many a Monday at The Bluebird during Cigartini Night. Maria has always taken going out seriously, especially when weather and other circumstances prevent her from going anywhere other than the grocery store for almost two weeks. Preparing to go out is a ritualized process that takes a good deal of time and preparation. Saturday, while she was getting ready, we streamed the John Waters’ film, Cry-Baby . Cry-Baby is Waters’ spoof of 50s era teenage rocksploitation flicks. Johnny Depp plays Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker, a bad boy greaser (called Drapes in the film) who’s been raised by his aunt and uncle after both his parents were sent to the electric chair. One day

The Personal Lives of Authors

It's no secret that I've been working on a lengthy non-fiction piece about Shane Stevens. I'm finally nearing the close and trying to sum up my thoughts on what I've learned about one of my favorite writers. This got me wandering something. You see, the more I've learned about Shane Stevens, as a person, the more I've grown to like him and respect him. What about you? Is there an author you liked even more when you learned about about them as an individual? An author you liked less?

Shane Stevens Saturday: All Power To All The People

Shane Stevens' signature on the letter where he finally addresses his view of race, politics, and the perception that he pretends to be black. "All power to all the people"

New Coat of Paint

In preparation for "Down By The Water" appearing in Kung-fu Factory , I've done some re-tooling over at The Dogfight . You should check it out and maybe even re-read what's come previous in preparation for the 13th chapter. The Dogfight

Blame Netflix For My Tina Fey Obsession

Maria had been trying to convince me to accept the free trial of Netflix for months. “They give you a month free,” she’d tell me. “You can stream moves instantly across the Playstation and its only $8 a month to keep it.” It all sounded good, but I kept putting her off. Since we live in the boonies I was expecting a long download time, poor picture quality, and sputtering playback. All for a poor collection of viewing options. When the weathermen predicated the Great Snowpocalypse of 2011, knowing we’d be homebound for a while, I finally caved and discovered my expectations were unnecessarily low. Netflix “retrieves” your pick fairly quickly. The picture quality has been good. Every now and again, it’s been a little pixilated during the first few seconds, but it clears up quickly (probably our poor internet connection). The playback has never been jumpy. The big surprise has been the options of things I can watch. Currently, and much to Maria’s chagrin, I have things like Hicke

Shane Stevens Saturday: Harlem

With the lack of readily available information about Shane Stevens, I've been looking for clues in his books themselves. One of the main things I wanted to know is why a white guy grew up in Harlem. Does this passage from Go Down Dead offer a clue: Nobody here like the whites. They was a white family move in over on Fifth avenue over Stevens bar.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

The wife and I have been watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand . Created by Steven S. DeKnight and produced by Sam Rami, the show is a Starz’s attempt to compete with the original programming consistently drawing viewers to HBO and SHOWTIME. The first series focuses on the early life of Spartacus, prior to the more “documented” events surrounding his slave rebellion against the Roman Empire. The show opens with Spartacus as an unnamed Thracian allied with Roman forces to push back the invading Getae. When the commanding officer, Legatus Glaber, breaks the promises he made to secure Thracian aid and orders his combined forces toward an entirely different war on an entirely different front, Spartacus refuses. His refusal ignites the rest of the Thracians. They turn on their Roman masters, attack Glaber and retreat back to their lands, hoping to return before the Getae can rape and pillage with abandon. Spartacus arrives in enough time to save his wife, Sura, but not their home. His vil