Sunday, January 24, 2016

Everything Is Closed, It's Like A Ruin

I was 100 percent convinced direct to DVD was over, and I was waiting for streaming to materialize/monetize for people like me; but I was mistaken.  DVD is still around, and even more crazily, just when I thought I was born too late, I wrote a western for the direct to DVD market last year.

Slowly, strangely, everything old is new again.  For one, CDs and podcasts.  Really that's two, I guess.  But one thing I am hooked on is reading a lot of e-newsletters.  Somehow, it's so throwback, it's cool again.  Just google, and find people like Warren Ellis and Lena Dunham writing them, if you don't believe it's true.

So I'm going to give it a go.  Frankly more than anything I want a change to talk about some of my projects in a way that I can't post publicly on my blog or on Facebook.  Also I'll include some capsule reviews of things I'm watching and reading and include some content you can't find on any of my public platforms.  If you are interested, you can subscribe at  It is titled "I Was Bigfoot's Shemp."

I'm going to start by writing one a week and see how long it takes for that to dwindle down.  But it's the dead of winter, and a time to try things to keep the machine running, so we shall see.

Friday, January 01, 2016

2015 Reading Challenge

After doing the 50 books a year reading challenge for a number of years now, I thought I would change it up this time and read only books by women authors.  This challenge initially came from my wife, who felt--rightfully so--that I wasn't reading enough women.

This turned out to be a great thing, as not only did it energize my reading--I exceeded 50 books this year, which I had not been able to do for a while--but it also forced me to find authors I might have passed over before, several of whom I enjoyed immensely and will look for more from.

I think it made me a better reader, and I hope a better writer.  It was such a good thing that in 2016 I am going to take on another challenge a friend put before me, which was to read only authors of color for one year.  I think I will expand this challenge a bit and also include authors in translation.  I'm curious to see what I will find in 2016.

But before that, here is a look back to 2015, and my favorite reads.  Instead of doing a Top Ten, as this was a special challenge I decided to make it an even dozen.  Curiously, there are three dystopian novels and three Eastern European stories.  I would consider five science fiction, two thrillers, and one lone western.  An interesting mix:

1.  Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

2.  Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

3.  The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato

4.  The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell

5.  Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell

6.  Innocence by Heda Margolius Kovaly

7.  Girl at War by Sara Novic

8.  When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen

9.  Find Me by Laura Van Den Berg

10.  White Crocodile by KT Medina

11.  Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

12.  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Happy Reading!