Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sex in the City, A Review

No. I didn't watch this one either. How could I? It's TWO AND A HALF hours long! That's damn well near epic length. Never managed to watch the TV show. I don't have cable and if I did, I certainly wouldn't be watching the adventures of four middle aged women in the city. That's not sexism. I wouldn't watch the adventures of four middle aged men in the city either. Unless they're cops. It's also not ageism. It's not like I'd be likely to watch four elderly ladies.

So, you're waiting for the review. I can only tell you about what I saw in the commercials. It takes a long while, but precisely NOTHING happens. What I've been able to gather is that it all takes place in New York City and there's some sex. Also, the women all wear clothes and shoes bought from fashionable stores and branded with fashionable names. I assume there is something in the lives of these ladies to give them a sense of meaning and perhaps even a higher purpose in their'd be hard to reach 2 1/2 hours without something like that.

However, since I'm not ready just yet to be a full-fledged crumudgeon, let me add a positive note: Those who loved the TV show are sure to enjoy the movie.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Strangers, A Review

No. I haven't seen the movie, but I have seen the trailer. Liv Tyler and some guy are in a cabin in the woods when one or more people with potato sacks on their heads break in and start chasing them around the slow motion. From what I saw, Liv Tyler got the b'jaysus scared out of her several times by potato sack people and this fact alone tells us several interesting things.

1 - the potato sack people are neither quick at killing nor quick at dying - she's carrying around a stick for part of the time, but presumably it only buys her time...perhaps she stuns them into letting her go and instead of whaling away at them til they've bled their last pint, she uses the time to run away to another part of the house where she gets to confront some other potato sack person.

2 - The aforementioned potato sack people are not actually there to kill Ms. Tyler. I'm guessing they're either nuts (not a hard guess to make given the disguise) or they're there to mess with her husband. Not her real life husband (not sure she's married) but the one in the movie. My guess: her husband did something bad, and this is payback. Maybe he was a doctor who botched an operation or a lawyer who defended an oil company or an architect who constructed a flimsy school...over an Indian burial ground. In any event, if they were just there to kill, they'd have left the disguises at home and invested in firepower.

Of course, this could all be wrong. And the movie could be super scary. Since I don't care for scary movies (they tend to scare me if they are good and bore me if they are bad and neither emotion is one I willingly undergo) I'll probably never know.

Wait til I review Sex in the City...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Many Thanks and a Question

First many thanks to all who congratulated me on my expectations of being a father. Very sweet and much appreciated. Baby Torres adds her good wishes. She also says that she thinks she'll be able to provide everyone with presents once she arrives in September...

Also, many thanks for those who have followed the links: youtube interview

In for Questioning

and my Hartford Public Library talk. Yes, some of the things I say are funny. No, that wasn't planned.

Now for a question. I know how you go about selling a short story and how to go about selling a novel. How do you go about selling a screenplay? Especially for big dollars*. I've written one. Sci-Fi, if that helps any.

Anyone know Steven Spielberg?

* Not fake big dollars like from a novelty shop. I mean big amounts of dollars**.

** Not quite grammatical, but you get my meaning.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

In For Questioning...In which I tell all

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Can Someone Check This For Me?

I think there is a video of me being a bit on the goofy side giving a kind of introduction to my books and myself. I think this is a link: Click Here. I just can't be sure because my computer won't open the file. Apparently I need some sort of magical program...

Anyway, don't watch the whole thing - it lasted just about forever. Just let me know if it is really there. Many thanks in advance.

Big news coming tomorrow and another link as Angie Johnson-Schmidt has asked me questions, and I've answered.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm gonna be a papa...

Yeah, you read correctly. My wife and I just came back from the doctor's office. It's not our first trip. It was, in fact, the fourth or fifth (I suppose it's not really a fact if I don't have a precise number). In any event, the sonograms confirm that Little Baby Torres, a girl, will arrive safe and sound in the first week of September.

Of course, the images were grainy as sonogram images are, but my wife swore she could make out my image wrapped around the baby's finger. Couldn't see it myself.

I have been blessed, so congratulate me (and the Mrs.) and say prayers for the baby. After all, she's stuck with me as a dad and I'm told she has my profile which is not the best start for a little girl...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday's Forgotten Book: Moony's Road to Hell

Here's the thing about this book - it is, like all of Manuel Ramos's novels, beautifully written. The man is a poet. The Jordans of Crimespree Magazine recommend the book as a "noir" classic. Noir purists will argue perhaps, but I can say this much - this isn't an emotional roller coaster ride. It's more like that ride where they just drop you from a height and you pray like hell that there are brakes that'll kick in before the concrete comes up to smash you to pieces. Except in this book there are no brakes.

The Moony of the title is a private eye - Danny Mora. It turns out an INS agent is murdered. There's a chance he was dirty. There's a chance he was in love with a crime boss's wife. There's a chance he earned his bullet. And there's a chance that there's a much larger story of corruption and cover-up at play here.

For myself as a reader, all that matters very little. For me, what matters is the silk of the prose and the fact that every character, even ones that are on the fringes of the story or just passing, they're all drawn masterfully, humanly. They become real. And it's a short book. Not War and Peace where there are pages that can be used to draw a character. Ramos is a fine artist. You feel for the people on the page and when truly terrible things happen, they happen to you as much as to any of the people you meet. And the ending will leave you cold - chilled.

Now, getting hold of this book is not always easy. Amazon doesn't always have it in stock. Still, they're not that hard to come by and the effort will be repaid, believe me.

I gave one away last year. You should have been there. If you ask nicely, I have a different Manuel Ramos book to give away. Ballad of Gato Guerrero. Another miniature masterpiece. As are all of his books:

Brown on Brown
The Last Client of Luis Montez
The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz
The Ballad of Gato Guerrero
Blues for the Buffalo
and of course...
Moony's Road to Hell


Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Found this on line. Reminds me that even as a kid reading about Daryl Strawberry in the newspapers before he had made his debut, I thought the hype was too much for one man to bear.Imagine - compared to Willie Mays, Micky Mantle (guys who really meant something to New York. Imagine people saying he'll make us forget those other guys ever played the game. Maybe I missed it. Did Strawberry ever buy into the hype? Claim to be the greatest like a young (and old) Muhammed Ali?

There were all the headlines about "Ripe for the Picking". And anyone woul have to admit there were some really rgeat games. Some great seasons even. He smacked some homeruns so hard they should have counted for double. And he had a powerful arm though as the aarticle pointed out that whole thing about hitting the cutoff man just eluded him. And he was fast. Fast as you'd want him to be though with his long legs he never looked it. It was a pretty swing though he missed far too often. And I don't think it can be said that he was a clutch hitter - I don't remember that at least, though I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

Whatever his faults as a player, he brought instant legitimacy to a Mets line up that was deperately short on that. Whatever his faults as a person, well, those he shares with many of his brothers in the human race and I wish him well.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

James Patterson

Now, I've never read a Patterson novel, and I am told I'm not missing much, but I do like the Women's Murder Club TV series, so call me undecided about Patterson's skills as a story teller. There is one thing about him as a writer that is really fascinating - he puts out a lot of books. Of course, it's easier when you have a stable full of writers happy to do the actual writing. One imagines him in the role of Homer Simpson in that episode where Homer is put in charge of a power plant and decides to boost productivity by asking his workers if they can work faster. The room full of workers just start typing faster...

But here's the thing: I was driving in to work today when I heard an ad for a Patterson novel. Nothing unusual there. But the ad was for a romance called Sundays at Tiffany's. Now, first I asked myself "Patterson writes romance?" That didn't seem right given that his books tend to be about men who obsessively chop women into small bits. But then I asked myself "Didn't someone else write something with a similar title? Maybe Breakfast at Tiffany's?" And, of course, someone did write that. I know. I saw the movie.

So it makes me wonder what Patterson will think of next. Lunch at Tiffany's can't be far behind. Probably right after Brunch at Tiffany's. Or the historical drama Gone with the Breeze. War and Peace Talks. Paradise Misplaced. Far from the Upsetting Crowd? And what of his return to mystery? The Dog of the Baskervilles? His descent into noir: The Letter Carrier Sometimes Just Knocks?

You see how this can go on forever. And strangely, Patterson has enough people writing for him, that he actually could put his name to titles like these. And make millions.

Maybe, just maybe, I can change my name. Paterson with one T.