It seems that since my last blog, there has been a change to my appearance schedule. I shall be at Concord Point Coffee at 217 N Washington Street, Havre de Grace MD instead of Washington Street Books for the Artwalk commencing at 2 pm. Hope to see you there.
So 2020 has taken a distinctively literary turn for me.
Although perhaps unnoticed, my writing output continues. This June I plan to release a sci-fi book from Rowanvale Books which should fit well in the library of my already available books – Certain Shadows I Have Known and Stranger Thoughts. The former mixes fantasy and horror as it tells of a hit man’s paranormal problems https://www.rowanvalebooks.com/book/certain-shadows-i-have-known while the later contains horror and humor in the form of short stories, poetry, and dating quizzes. https://www.rowanvalebooks.com/book/stranger-thoughts
Of late I have been rummaging through some old books. Many of them bought in the last millennium at yard sales and used bookstores. Ah, the scent of aged paper. Covers of unchained imagination in the era before sci-fi movies were blockbusters with CGI effects as a yearly occurrence.
I discovered paperbacks of a favorite writer – Ray Bradbury. I had read many of his famous works, such as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. The later short story collection contains many favorite tales. I always enjoyed Bradbury’s writing style and the mixture of fantasy and suspense present in his yarns.
My most recent discovery of his is a collection of short stories called The Machineries of Joy. I think it is a favorite. Perhaps because it is new for me. Stories tell of a midget tattoo artist with an artistic obsession and the influence of inter-galactic exploration on men of religion.
My books will once more seek out a market as I plan on appearing at several places in Maryland for signings on February 8th. I will start the day at 11am at 10 S Queen Street in Rising Sun. Then it will be off to Washington Street Books in Havre de Grace to take part in The Arts Walk from 2 until 6 pm.
On Friday as an author I attended a book signing at Washington Street Books as part of Havre de Grace’s monthly First Friday event. The festive December offering included a parade with visit from Santa. If he had elves with him they were not seen in the book store. And I suspect they might have been seen.
The turnout within the book store was dismal. Perhaps bad weather threats were responsible?
While I intrigued some by book covers, I scored a lofty zero sales and I suspect five fellow authors fared little better. Historical books seemed to garner much more interest then my suspense and sci-fi offerings.
I had better luck with Harford County’s Author an Artists Show in November. A local July book signing event I madly instigated in Havre de Grace ended up offering but two authors of the imaginative sci-fi/horror genres. However at least there were a few customers and meager sales.
Perhaps Havre de Grace just isn’t the place for such offerings – a fact I’ve always fearfully known. I have always been disappointed by the town’s disinterest outside of catering to visitors via shops, eateries and lodgings.
Educational offerings? I attended the area’s Harford Community College and was disappointed by what I considered a lack a creative courses. At the time there were no theater, film, or journalism courses. I did indulge myself with the school’s sole creative writing course. You can blame its results now as you read this.
There was no such thing as a technological/computer presence. Perhaps it was a result of the early 90’s time period? My attempts at book promotions seem generally confined to social media via twitter, facebook, and wordpress. None of these electronically ephemeral beasts do I really have and understanding of. Perhaps the good luck of a charmed corn would serve me well? Wish me luck if you will.
Sometimes they are due to speed.
Sometimes they are just inevitable.
One such example are my own attempts at all aspects of writing and promoting my books. Technology has never been a friend. In fact my laptop of five years has decided to stop materializing the letter of many keys I strike. Very frustrating. Even if for the betterment of humanity. The various odd perils of online dating in general is a topic I’ve tackled in previous blogs and a book. But frustration is not limited to ye olde keyboard.
Recently I was frustrated by a new tube of toothpaste. Upon opening, the thin plastic piece placed within to hold the toothpaste within had a small flap to it with which to tear open. Thar piece promptly tore off with yielding entry to its contents. I figured if the tube were pushed hard enough, its contents would be freed. I attempted so. Alas, all my strength did was push the toothpaste out a small hole formed in the tube’s side.
My unfortunate endeavour at strength reminds me of a favorite story.
I recall actor Richard Harris once discussing stopping for a drink in a truck whose delivery was due the next day. By the time he departed the pub, the number of drinks enjoyed had multiplied. He took a short cut and found a bridge posted to be several inches shorter then his truck. He figured that if he got the truck up to a quick enough speed, the height problem might not matter. Unfortunately at the chosen speed, about halfway through the bridge he heard a loud screeching sound. Atop the truck he took the bridge’s roof with him. Stopping the truck, he began to ponder his next move when a patrol car pulled up next to him and the officer asked what had happened. Thinking as quick as possible, Harris replied “Well I was delivering this bridge…”
It is the season of holidays.
Just past is Halloween. Near is Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and most importantly my birthday.
While my birthday hasn’t been around quite as long as those other holidays, I am old. I can remember when a gloomy night of nothing to watch meant continual channel surfing with ye olde TV knob of less then twenty commercial filled channels. I remember vinyl. Now my music collection for favorite artists spans vinyl, audio cassettes, CDs and digital.
I was born on December 5th, a birthdate shared with Walt Disney and Fritz Lang.
I am not much for celebrating birthdays or any holidays. This year on the evening of December 6th from five until seven, I shall be joining in the authors signing at Washington Street Books on 131 N Washington Street in Havre de Grace, Maryland, as part of the small town’s First Friday event. There will be plenty of shops celebrating, music, and a Christmas parade in honor of the upcoming season.
I’ll have four books with me available to sign and sell, including Certain Shadows I Have Known which is the tale of a hit man who takes assignments of a supernatural order. But are they? Eventually odd things begin to happen and he fears for his life. Or at least his sanity. This book is available online via publisher or at Amazon until month’s end.
Happy holidays and happy reading.
Had quite a time last weekend at Amazicon. While my books didn’t exactly fly off the table (mosey might be the correct adjective) I did have the excitement of meeting Ann Robinson of the classic George Pal produced science fiction film WAR OF THE WORLDS.
Currently I am at work on an atmospheric tale of mystery and the supernatural called The Midnight Mansion. The story concerns a separated couple heading for divorce whose son disappears amidst the incinerated ruins of an old house with a horrific legacy.
Meanwhile if you desire to read a previous book of mine, Certain Shadows I Have Known is reaching the end of its tenure at Amazon this month. Buy it there with free shipping. https://www.amazon.com/Certain-Shadows-I-Have-Known/dp/1911569376/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1574189624&sr=1-1
The tale tells of a skeptical hit man who begins to experience odd happenings. The question quickly shifts from what is going on to will he survive.
Sadly, Halloween has passed. Hope you had a ghoulishly good time.
But other holidays are rapidly descending upon us. Thus I thought I’d share some film favorites in those arenas.
The film of the holiday’s historical beginning is a fun adventure from the age of classic Hollywood. 1952’s Plymouth Adventure tells the tale of America’s first Puritan settlers with Spencer Tracy as the sea captain who grimly ferries his charges across the Atlantic.
Director Woody Allen’s 1986’s Hannah and Her Sisters is a modern comedy of a family dealing with secrets, relationships and Thanksgiving. The great ensemble cast includes Barbara Hershey, Mia Farrow and an Oscar winning Michael Caine.
With the arrival of Christmas, there are film offerings aplenty. Overload ignited?
Christmas in Connecticut is from 1945. It stars Barbara Stanwyck as an independent and feisty female writer charged with giving a war veteran the holiday of his dreams.
1946’s It’s A Wonderful Life is a black and white classic starring Jimmy Stewart as a man depressed and upset with his fortunes on one Christmas Eve when tragedy strikes. Yet he is saved by a heavenly angel dispatched to renew his spirit in the generosity of man.
The frantic activities of a store’s sales staff is the focus of 1940’s The Shop Around The Corner. Again Jimmy Stewart stars, this time in a comical love connection with a fellow employee.
If you still prefer the spookiness from Halloween, there’s the many adaptions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. There are multiple ghosts for your enjoyment in the tale of mean miser Ebeneezer Scrooge learning the error of his ways.
Beware – Groundhog Day is rapidly approaching, so shopping days for it are dwindling.