Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sober October

The final months of summer have treated me pretty well. The days have been beautiful and the weekends have been full. In August and September alone, I have: driven deep into the untamed wilds of Wisconsin (twice) for family weddings; bid lengthy, photobooth-heavy farewells to two friends who have been lifted from this city on the whimsies of the gods who oversee better-paying job offers and fellowship grants; pulled an exhausting but memorable Cubs-afternoon-game/Bears-night-game doubleheader (and all for free!); and attended my first ever Northwestern tailgate and football game.

Looking ahead, November and December refuse to be outdone, adding an impressive undercard schedule to the typical main event of holiday shenanigans. In mid-November, I'm getting paid to spend 5 days at a resort in Boca Raton. (There will be some work in there, I think.) At the end of the end of that resort stay, I jump back into reality with both feet by driving an hour south to Miami, going to the Thursday night Bears-Dolphins game, and spending the remainder of the weekend exploring the city that Will Smith made famous with my brother. (Word is he has the Kardashians on speed-dial.) I also have a $400 travel voucher on Frontier Airlines burning a hole in my travelin' shoes. To top it off, I have another reading at the Book Cellar lined up.

That leaves October, the attention-deprived middle child of the final festive months of 2010. How will I celebrate October? Well, basically by not celebrating. No beer this month. No alcoholic beverages of any kind. It will be a Sober October.

Age-Progression Technology: What Willy may look like by November 1st, 2010.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thoughts On: Publish This Book

(Full disclosure: I know Stephen personally. We're members of the same writer's group. Stephen joined the group around the time he began writing Publish This Book, and I joined last fall, sometime after the book was finished and on it's way through the publisher.)

It's difficult to explain just what Stephen Markley's book Publish This Book is about, so I'll let the author himself do the work. Here's an excerpt from Chapter 1:
Let me try to explain the gist of it: there is no book. This is the book. The book I'm writing right now: that's the book. The entire aim of the book will be to publish the very book where I explain how I published the book.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thoughts On: The Executioner's Song - Part 1

(A few months ago now) I finally got around to finishing Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, an epic non-fiction book about the crime, trial, and execution of Gary Gilmore. Gilmore was executed in 1977 in the state of Utah, the first man to be executed in the US after a several-year moratorium on the death penalty.

Because this book is so long and there are many things I want to talk about, I've decided to divide these blog entries into two parts. This first part will consist, more or less, of my personal book review of TES. The second part of this entry will deal specifically with how I read this book as a non-fiction writer. The second half of the book deals with the media frenzy that begins with Gilmore's death sentence, and from there, the mad scramble of several writers, journalists, and movie producers vying to win the exclusive rights to Gary Gilmore's life story. In addition to a number of ethical and legal dilemmas that emerge from said scramble, a number of situations regarding the dilemmas specific to writing non-fiction also emerge.

But we begin with my stupid little book review.