Cruising the Green of Second Avenue

Wild Child Publishing has issued the second volume of short stories in Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. The tales take up where Vol. I left off — bringing back Klein the Biker, Straight Charlie and Sammy the Madman while introducing new characters stumbling over life’s difficulties in the late 60s. Vol. II is an e-book published by Wild Child Publishing that you can download, save as a pdf (Adobe) file and print. Read both volumes and see that life isn't all that serious. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online book sellers.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Update on Writing and the World As I See It

If the past week is any indication, all’s write—er, right in my world. I had an e-mail from Gumshoe magazine editor Gayle Surrette that she was sorry to have held onto “Joined at the Heart” overlong. “The length of time is due to the waffling. I figure if we’ve waffled this long that it sticks in yur head and we should go with it.” Love it! Sticky stories are my favorite too.

A story that had been universally rejected—often with a snort—got a thorough reading by Don Webb at Bewildering Stories. He pointed out some problems in my craftsmanship, and I heartily agreed that I had lapsed. I also took this as a conditional acceptance, upon rewrite, since he noted, “Fish Stories and the Mermaid” was “one of your most interesting” stories.

Thank you, Don and Gayle.

And while watching mindless commercials on TV, I’ve also penned 30-word book reviews that have been appearing in our Asbury Park Press. Capsule reviews of Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Martin Cruz Smith’s Three Stations, and Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest were printed over the past few weeks.

And five other stories are out looking for a home. Some of them, I’m sure, will find lodging.

Monday, November 15, 2010

‘Crash Blossoms’ Are…Well, Blossoming

Ever scratch your head over a news headline and wonder what the heck the writer meant?

Take the classic picked up from Japan Today: “Violinist Linked to JAL Crash Blossoms.” Dan Bloom, writing in an online language forum, suggested these mix-ups might be termed “crash blossoms.”

Usually, the confusion comes from the reader mistaking a noun for a verb, or vice versa. Years ago, The Guardian wrote: “British Left Waffles on Falklands.” Does that make you think of the islands littered with breakfast? Or an AOL head, “Gator Attacks Puzzle Experts.” Or (perhaps apocryphal), “MacArthur Flies Back to Front.”

The other day the Dayton Daily News stated, “Man Shot in Chest, Leg Knocks on Door for Help.” It must have been a coronary-inducing situation when the door was opened to find a leg knocking. But no, that’s not what the writer meant.

Tight writing is the holy grail of news writers. (“McDonald’s Fries the Holy Grail for Potato Farmers.”) But we writers all need to peer from under the green eyeshade to make sure we’re not writing, “Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge.”