Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - Ebenezer Scrooge encounters visits by spirits- Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come- with his own moral transformation, set in Victorian England’s classic holiday traditions. The classic has never been out of print and has been adapted to film, opera, and other media.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens PDF

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - Ebenezer Scrooge encounters visits by spirits- Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come- with his own moral transformation, set in Victorian England’s classic holiday traditions.  The classic has never been out of print and has been adapted to film, opera, and other media.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens PIC

Monday, December 19, 2011

SHORT STORY REVIEW An Ex-Mas Feast by Uwem Akpan

SHORT STORY REVIEW An Ex-Mas Feast by Uwem Akpan – All of the members of a poor family in Kenya must work, to make money.  The father is a pickpocket, a daughter is a prostitute, siblings beg for money and the mother monitors everything.  The parents discover their prostitute daughter has a white customer; he drives a Jaguar and forgives the family’s debt.  This makes the mother love her daughter more.  


Saturday, December 17, 2011


Coming soon: free e-book downloads, paperback contest and beta version audiobooks! 

Read them all: 

1.    "The Costumer," 

2.    "The Merchandiser," 

3.    "Vivified," 

4.    "Behind the Walls," 

5.    "Hallowmas" and 

6.    "Midwinter".


Chad is the author of “Behind the Walls,” released via TANSTAAFL Press in their Enter the Rebirth anthology. 


Tales for the Campfire, a horror anthology assembled by the SF Bay Area  HWA,  includes Chad's short story entitled “Vivified”.  He also wrote the anthology's introduction. 

Chad has been blogging for a decade, and his site receives a million hits yearly. Find him listed in the Internet Speculative Fiction Database under Author Record #280455. He is currently working on a scifi horror novel series, tentatively entitled Regenerates.



Giveaways are paused currently, but will reopen soon. The only way to receive a notification is to sign up. Stay tuned for an upcoming contest to win one of my signed paperbacks. Some lucky winners will receive: an autographed copy of a physical book, sent free of charge via US mail, with a personal greeting. When this opens, entrants will be invited to fill out a Google form. Winners will be selected by random number picker. Mark my email trusted, whitelist it, and move it out of the promotions folder for greater discoverability. Mailing list option is 100% confidential between author and those who choose to opt in. Your email will never be shared and I am the sole person who has access.


#postapocalypticfiction #pa #sf #horrorfiction #novelette #sciencefiction #scifi #novella #amwriting #amblogging #shortstory #darkfantasy #weirdfiction #paranormal #sff #novel 

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An Ex-Mas Feast by Uwem Akpan.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SHORT STORY REVIEW I Am Not a Jew by John Biguenet

SHORT STORY REVIEW I Am Not a Jew by John Biguenet - As Mr. and Mrs. Anderson travel in Europe, Mr. Anderson explores to find himself at a Jewish cemetery.  He notes photographs, dates, ages, changes and  trends.  He’s so engrossed he doesn’t hear the local teen neo-Nazi punks coming up the path behind him.  They start harassing him, asking him if he is a Jew.  In his panic and his fear, Anderson manages to eventually get the grammar right for the German phrase “I am not a Jew”. The owner of the hotel invites him to have a drink with him.  He tells the old man about his experience in the graveyard and it is the old man who reassures him that there was nothing else he could have done. 


Sunday, December 11, 2011


XANADU – I really enjoyed watching Xanadu, last night at the New Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.  The lead actors (Chloe Condon and Jesus Martinez) shouldn’t be missed, as the musical runs to mid-January.  There were some technical issues, the theatre space is quite small and it gets REALLY hot inside, so plan to wear cool clothing.  Yet criticisms aside, it’s a fun and spirited re-take of a BAD movie that turns out to work very well as a musical.  

Friday, December 2, 2011


THE VIEW FROM CASTLE ROCK SHORT STORY REVIEW - The short story, titled The View from Castle Rock, is also a collection.  In this review, my focus is the short story, not the book.  The Laidlaws emigrate from Scotland to Canada in 1818.  For the first time in their lives, family members board the ship:  Old James (father), Andrew (son), Agnes (son’s wife) their infant son (Young James) and siblings (Mary and James).  They depart on a sea passage:  Agnes gives birth to a girl, Walter documents the voyage in his journal, Young James becomes lost and after a frantic search, Mary finds him.  The ship full of emigrants reaches Nova Scotia; amazed by groves of trees, clear shining sky, fresh air and a profusion of sea birds.  The sailors fire shots at the birds, point out a whale ship side, passengers break out a fiddle and everyone dances with joy. Near the conclusion Walter has become a close companion to Nettie, a rich girl suffering from tuberculosis.  Mr. Carbert, her father, offers Walter a position in Montreal.  He refuses, since he means to work the land with his family.  The short story and collected book of stories, under the same name, follows Munro’s family history.  


Saturday, November 26, 2011


LITQUAKE SAN FRANCISCO NOVEL– In October, I was lucky to attend an author discussion titled The Art of the Novel.  Here are some thoughts I had, after listening to the presentation.  Depending on the writer’s personality type, one author may be more suited to the long form or the short form.  The novel meanders through peaks and valleys; sprints and strolls; plots and subplots.  By its nature, the novel reader expects to:  1. take a while finish and 2. carry the novel around for a while.  There’s a level of intimacy and comfort inherent in the novel, that doesn’t exist in the short story.  The file attached to this post is a free download, MP3 voice recording, taken from the panel discussion.  


The Art of the Novel


Friday, November 25, 2011


COPING STONES SHORT STORY REVIEW - This is a story is about an older widower, a doctor from Maine.  He is informed by the town hall about required fixes - a wall on his property.  The wall surrounds a cemetery, dating back to eighteen hundred.  Throughout the story, the protagonist constantly deals with a neighbor’s escaped dog.  The protagonist is alone, he thinks about the ways his love for his family was lost.  He also comes to learn about his tenant; a man he considered in greater regard than his own family - daughter or wife.  The tenant is under custody for molestation of a minor and the story is on all the newspapers.  The protagonist deals with his demons:  humanity, deceit, mortality, allegiance, betrayal, permanence and reputation. A quote from the story: “tending your garden seems to me now like a young man’s game. When you don’t have the inclination or the energy or the . . . optimism to tend it anymore, the weeds rush in.”  The author has several stories in the New Yorker including Starlight, The Rabbit Hole As Likely Explanation and Zalla.  


Monday, November 21, 2011


BIG DEAL – The pictures in this post were taken on Saturday 11-12-11, at an art auction fundraiser for Visual Aid.  The event space pictured is Somarts on Brannan Street in San Francisco.  Solis donated the digital design images, depicted on the wall art and graphic pillows.  The pillows are available at Design Within Reach on Jackson Street, or via the online website.  

#ChadSchimke  #SanFrancisco  #ArtGallery #SFMoma  #VisualAid  #Picasso  #Haring  #Koons  #Warhol  #Calder  #Lichtenstein  #ReclaimedRoom  #Gallery1044  #LowerPolkArtWalk  #BayBridge #CityArtGallery #Bansky #SirronNorris #Solis

Saturday, November 19, 2011


LITQUAKE SAN FRANCISCO SHORT FICTION – In October, I was lucky to attend an author discussion titled The Art of Short Fiction.  My take on the recurring themes from the discussions follows.  The short story is a spare, economic, single action work that’s digestible in one sitting.  Similar to a poem, a short contains nothing extraneous and it starts as close to the end as possible.  In either the long form or short form, belief is suspended and the reader goes somewhere new.  The file attached to this post is a free download, MP3 voice recording, taken from the panel discussion.  


The Art of Short Fiction MP3


Thursday, November 17, 2011


SEVEN SECRETS SELF PUBLISHED – This post pertains to a webinar, Seven Secrets of Successful Self Published Authors.  The first free download is an MP3 digital recording of the webinar.  The second free download is a PDF document that contains the most important slides from the webinar.   This information emphasizes the radical transformation to the traditional publishing business model.  The key ideas to take away from the webinar are: 
1.    Target an audience
2.    Manage time
3.    Set goals
4.    Build an online platform
5.    Develop marketing
6.    Plan a launch

Sunday, November 13, 2011


SHORT STORY REVIEW Path Lights by Tom Drury - This story is set in Marin County, across the Golden Gate, to my north from San Francisco.  As a man walks his dogs, he is nearly missed by a bottle - thrown from the bridge above him.  When he gets home, his wife is almost over her suffering, she has a migraine.  The protagonist works as a reader for audio books and commercial voice-overs.  A key figure the protagonist characterizes in his work is a mystery detective.  His wife works as an aerospace engineer.  The bottle incident prompts our protagonist to embark on a quest to figure it out, leading him to the conclusion of the story.   The endnote of the story draws a comparison to the mysteries encountered by either mystery detectives or aerospace engineers.  Follow the link to a movie version of the short story (  Also, The End of Vandalism is a book written by Tom Drury.  


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


LITQUAKE SAN FRANCISCO– I attended the Litquake festival in October, offering a broad cross section of literary themed presentations.  Featuring author discussions, spoken word, workshops, readings and contests; concluding with Lit Crawl.  The Crawl Map features a night full of events on and around Valencia Street.  The neighborhood is uniquely San Francisco … a thriving crucible for independent bookstores, art galleries, coffee houses, salons, retail, restaurants and clubs.  Later this month I will post specifics on two author panels that I attended:  The Art of Short Fiction and The Art of the Novel.  

Monday, November 7, 2011


LOWER POLK ART WALK – The pictures in this post were taken at the Lower Polk Art Walk on 10-20-11.  My primary focus was Gallery 1044.  In December; Solis will show there, in a small group exhibit titled Mechanical Voyages.  I will attend that show and will post pictures on my blog.  Several other galleries are depicted here including:  The Magazine, Shooting Gallery and White Walls.  

#ChadSchimke  #SanFrancisco  #ArtGallery #SFMoma  #VisualAid  #Picasso  #Haring  #Koons  #Warhol  #Calder  #Lichtenstein  #ReclaimedRoom  #Gallery1044  #LowerPolkArtWalk  #BayBridge #CityArtGallery #Bansky #SirronNorris #Solis

Monday, October 31, 2011


ALCATRAZ - The haunted ruins of Alcatraz Prison sit on a small island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. During the 30s and 40s it was a tough prison depicted in the films Dark Passage and The Last Gangster. The locale’s popularity endures today with recent films such as The Rock and X Men: The Last Stand. There are many ghost stories both past and present. Unexplained eerie clanging sounds have been heard from vacant cells and hallways along with intense raw and cold sensations that emanate from some areas. In the 40s one prisoner screamed all night about a creature with glowing eyes that was killing him. The next day guards found the man strangled to death in the cell. At head count guards recorded one too many prisoners and claimed to see the dead convict in line with the other inmates for a second before he vanished.

Monday, October 17, 2011


The Tell-Tale Heart and Other WritingsThe Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

TELL-TALE HEART – We’ve probably all read one of Poe’s masterpieces. If you haven’t, then the Halloween season is a perfect time to do so. The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe is chockfull of mystery, horror, prose and poetry. The Tell-Tale Heart (Poe’s best work) describes the obsessive thoughts of a maniacal paranoid violent criminal in the florid effusive language of the day. In The Black Cat, the narrator imagines a slight by his favorite pet cat and is overcome with perverseness, rage and violence; when he’s under the influence of alcohol. All of Poe’s works are in the public domain; available across the internet, he is the father of American fiction.

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 13, 2011


WINCHESTER MYSTERY HOUSE - Sarah Winchester left behind a seven story mansion known as the Winchester Mystery House.  It’s now in the middle of San Jose, what was once Santa Clara valley orchard farmland.  In 1884 she began with a nearly unlimited renovation budget paid for by the several millions left behind by her late husband.  William Winchester was the heir to the estate of the famous Winchester repeating rifle.  Based on the consultation of a spiritualist, Sarah lived in the midst of nearly forty years of construction.  In her community she endured public scrutiny, engaged in bizarre behavior and believed in occult reasons for her bad luck.  She was convinced her torment was caused by the influence of spirits of the dead; due to their deaths caused by Winchester’s rifles.  The pictures and description don’t do the house justice, the scale is overwhelming and the house is something to see firsthand.  It’s the ultimate Halloween haunted house!