Thursday, March 31, 2005

Short and Sweet Down

Okay, someone's screwing around w/ my blog, I bet. I bet it's the government. I bet it's James Patterson, miffed over the fact that I didn't much give a stellar review of "Honeymoon". Mmm, could be worse.

Okay. I am enjoying the Mo Hayder books a LOT. Have two short stories to submit, and I cannot pull myself away from Hayder long enough to even look busy, let alone be...
One is due April 1, the other April 15.

Check back later for for Short and Sweet. Dammit -- just when I was getting a head of steam worked up, too.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

James Patterson's Honeymoon

29 March '05

"Honeymoon", James Patterson & Howard Roughan. Copyright 2005. 390 pages.

I like James Patterson's Alex Cross series. Let me say this up front. I like the characters, the situations and Patterson's handling of it all a lot. I read them in a few hours' time. I think Morgan Freeman has done a swell job of bringing Alex Cross to life -- but I've not seen any movie Freeman is in that hasn't benefitted from his presence.

So. With that out of the way, let's begin. "Honeymoon" is written w/ a coauthor, Howard Roughan, and between the two, they managed to hook me in what was going on around page 101 thanks to a very crooked twist in the plot.

In a nutshell, "Honeymoon" is a story of a Black Widow and the P.I. determined to catch her. Of course, he does the 'unthinkable'. He becomes obsessed with catching her -- and then, with the woman herself. And of course, why wouldn't he? Nora -- like most of Patterson's female characters is GORGEOUS. She is BRIGHT. She has IMPECCABLE MANNERS and DRESSES WELL. And get this, she is a FABULOUSLY SUCCESSFUL INTERIOR DESIGNER.

Well, shit, guys. No wonder she turns to crime. Her life is too fucking perfect, her habit of murdering fiances and husbands notwithstanding.

And the story is neither fish nor fowl. Told from first person as well as third, "HONEYMOON" is not a murder mystery. We know who is doing what and so does everyone but her victims. It's not a procedural, so to speak. It's not an intense knucklebiting rollercoaster of a read. It's not drama, nor is it -- despite the witticisms of a couple of characters -- a comedy.

I usually read the Alex Cross novels in a couple of days, or if I have time, at one sitting. A couple or so hours. I do this with most novels. So consider this. I became interested as I mentioned at page 101 and decided to stick it out. Page 283, I put the book down for a couple of days. Then I picked it back up. Then I finished it and on page -- the last one -- 390, I put the book down, feeling like I'd been had.

Mmmm. I think Patterson should keep his own counsel. It would've been interesting to see where he alone would have taken this -- then again, Howard Roughan may have been Honeymoon's saving grace. We'll never know.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Dead Car, Wild Ride

19 March

Nothing like the transmission going on a car you totally depend on. So instead of the 1100-1300 to fix it, I am hanging on to that, riding to work et al w/ the Greek Freak, adding all my silver to the already tidy sum and going for a new car. By new, you do realize I do not mean a 2005 model but a reliable dependable used car, not more than 3 years old? Great. I knew you were smart.

However, the Puma gave me quite a wild ride today out at Claud's. I thought trees were our friends until I drove the bike right into a stand of them. Yeowch. Of course, they probably did not appreciate a motorized vehicle disturbing them. The choice was a toss up. Avoid the fresh deer shit. Avoid the tree. Oops. Maybe the wrong decision. Hey, wait -- what's up with this steering? What's up with the brakes? Nice hard eggplant bruises. Ah. The war wounds of the neophyte biker babe ...

Just ordered a couple of short story anthologies. One is a pre-order, Transgressions, ed. Ed McBain. I mentioned it on "Short and Sweet" (
a couple of months ago as soon as I'd read about it.

Looks like I will be going to Writers Week in early June. More on that later.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Shred of Evidence '04 Awards

Shred of Evidence's Megan Powell has just announced the 2004 Readers' Choice Awards. This award is like any industry award in that the readers have spoken, thus making the choice.

1st Place (tie): "Game On" by Iain Rowan
1st Place (tie): "Officer Down" by Stephen D. Rogers
3rd Place (tie): "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place for Murder" by Tim Wohlforth
3rd Place (tie): "A Little Trouble" by Gerald So
3rd Place (tie): "Seductive Barry" by Ray Banks

Congratulations to the winners and a Short and Sweet award to Megan Powell her own self for this grand site.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Then again --

14 March, Part the Second

Bob Tinsley on his blog site, The Short of It, a more or less daily ode to the short story mentioned my short "NICE TIE" as one of those "how'd they do that?" shorts that stayed with him.
The column overall for today, 14 March, is a better than usual love poem to the genre. Well, everyone knows why we read them for the obvious reasons, one of the most important per Bob and others, "They're short." But then he strips back the layers like so much onion to get to the part that's hot and sweet --

That Bob! He also mentioned one of my all-time fave writers, Dave White. Just a spectacular shortist. (Howzzat for a made-up word?)

Go to for this column and a true treasure trove of others, all devoted to short stories, reviews, kvetching, boondoggling, et al.

You won't regret it! And again -- Thanks Bob.


14 March '05

Well, no go w/ a short for the Thrilling Detectives site. Gerald So gave great feedback and great encouragement and said, he does indeed like my writing in general and to try again with a 'traditional P.I.'. Ah and then I felt better. I go on some of the blogs, like Aldo's (Mystery Dawg) for the whatsgoingons and to Gerald's and Sarah Weinman's for the same only from different perspectives.

Writers groups aside, I feel sometimes totally isolated. Sometimes because of the writers groups, I feel isolated. No one seems to understand, on occasion, that each writer has totally different styles of writing. A couple of folks absolutely have no patience and seem to totally jump on top of each other over things before they even get through the story for that go-round. Unfolding work? god help us in this day and age of sound bites. One of the "Ladies Who Lunch" however has already dropped out of the class when she realized she didn't understand a lot of the vocabulary others were using. Rather than use it as a springboard for improvements or broadening her own horizons, she tucked tail and ran. "You are all just too smart for me."

I didn't know whether to laugh at this absurdity or encourage her by saying, "You are just too stupid for me."

So I just sat there and read the latest offerings by our poet. Why have a poet in a writers group? Not that they aren't writers, too. It's just a writers group. Mystery and suspense. And here are these truly fine poems about life and death, et al and we understand this woman is a notch above most, but also think she should be with other poets to get The Right Stuff for her own self.

Then, again. Maybe she's not getting The Right Stuff -- maybe she's getting all rejections and no responses from the others.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


6 March
And what should be waiting for me in the mailbox today than my very own copy of THE JAMES DEANS. A Moe Praeger Mystery, it takes off like a rocket. Set in '83, it deals with a bigwig politico's missing intern. Mmmm, now before you jump to conclusions, please note there is so much more to author Reed Farrel Coleman's killer novel than any "ripped from the headlines" assumption.

I have "Mystery Dawg" to thank for hipping me to this one. Thanks Aldo!

I am reading it with Allan Guthrie's KISS HER GOODBYE cheek to cheek. I love my shorts but both these novels have managed to grab my undivided attention. (Well, okay okay -- two at once can be its own thrill when both are as good as they can possibly get. And yes, I am still on the subject of books.)

Speaking of Aldo, he always amazes me when I go for my weekly visits to his blog. He not only makes it his biz to go to these writers' signings and readings, et al, he takes photos, manages to get the occasional interview (which one can HEAR), has info on the books, back stories involving the books, the writers, whathaveyou. Just a great all-round blog for readers/writers/editors. In other words, people like me -- and probably you, too.

Check him out soon. You won't regret it.

NOTE: Also am having some blog issues right now (and computer issues) so I appreciate those of you bearing with me while I resolve them.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Lea and the Writing World

2 March

This is the new blog of Lea Schizas, a writer and editor in Canada. I have known Lea for over a year, have written with and for her at Apollo's Lyre (mentioned here previously) as well as kept up with her site Muse It Up. She is completely devoted to writing, editing and all its forms -- shorts included. Pay her a visit on the addy below soon.

And tell her where you saw this. Thx.