Saturday, December 29, 2012

NEW YEAR’S SAN FRANCISCO 2013

NEW YEAR’S SAN FRANCISCO 2013 - Go to the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street (Pier 14) along the Embarcadero. The fireworks show starts at midnight and this is a free public event. Be prepared to wear a jacket and on your feet a long time, because there’s nowhere to sit, you'll be standing a long time. I usually go onto my roof for ten minutes starting at midnight. Because I can see the top of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Oakland Hills and the sky above the Ferry Building. But, the hill blocks the view of the Embarcadero itself. Check out the video clip which shows the 2012 fireworks display along the waterfront!


Monday, December 24, 2012

THE GIFT OF THE MAGI SHORT STORY REVIEW

THE GIFT OF THE MAGI SHORT STORY REVIEW - His most famous story was published in 1906. This is a holiday story about what happens to a modest couple on Christmas Eve. O Henry employs several literary techniques including situational irony and the number three, an allusion to the magi. The title is a reference to wise men offering gold, frankincense and myrrh to Christ. He was prolific and considered to be amongst the top classic American writers. Yet, he wasn’t able to produce works of long form fiction (novels), other than collections of short works, such as The Four Million. The style of The Gift of the Magi is out of fashion, but I really appreciate the simplicity and a great twist ending. Since Christmas is a time of traditions spend a bit of time with a classic. Happy Holidays! 








Sunday, December 16, 2012

PARANORMAL UNDERGROUND RADIO INTERVIEW

PARANORMAL UNDERGROUND RADIO INTERVIEW - Listen to Chad Schimke on Paranormal Underground Radio live on the air (http://www.ztalkradio.com) follow the link, listen in and click through to the chatroom. The date is Thursday 12-6-12 and the time is 9 PM Eastern/ 6 PM Pacific. The podcast will be available at a later time (http://www.paranormalunderground.net). He is the author of Picker, Pieces, Walker and Weirder. Find Chad on his blog (http://www.chadschimke.blogspot.com) for postings on occult paranormal novels, crime dramas, art installations and city life in San Francisco. Tune in for updates on his new novel and upcoming serialized stories.


#Radio #ChadSchimke #SanFrancisco #SocialMedia #AmWriting #Horror #Thriller

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SOLIS @ CITY ART


SOLIS @ CITY ART - Antonio Torrez Solis opened this Friday (December 10, 2012) with a continuation of his ‘We are Wildwoode’ series. The show runs through the end of January 2013. The current offering displays never-before-seen sculptures and jewelry using found objects, repurposed transistors and refurbished cabinets. There is a display of 3-D assemblage, display tables, digital images and collage to create an installation in the front picture window. This picture is one example of a 3-D assemblage sculpture. 

SOLIS @ CITY ART


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BARBARY COAST


BARBARY COAST - Those were the days when San Francisco was a port city, a destination for 49ers on their way to strike it rich working in a gold mine. Nightfall in Sin City transformed the Barbary Coast into a dangerous red light district with prostitutes, gamblers, saloons and opium dens. The exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers is part of their continuing series of garden railway exhibits that runs through April. Last year I posted on a previous exhibit, Playland, go to my blog archive to view that post. The small scale railroad winds its way through miniature buildings, boats and plants. If you’ve never been, a trip to the conservatory is worthwhile; to take a trip into the city’s colorful past. Or, if you want to re-trace the steps of the long gone 49ers; walk around Maiden Lane near downtown, the former location of the red light district.  







Saturday, November 24, 2012

THE DEFENDERS SHORT STORY REVIEW

THE DEFENDERS SHORT STORY REVIEW - A nuclear war renders life on the surface impossible. A future race is relegated to life in metal bunkers. The Defenders by Philip K Dick derives its name from robot soldiers defending underground inhabitants from an ongoing war. The ending reveals that the war ended long ago, the robots had not informed the subterranean dwellers, thought to be immature and incapable of peace. The author was a prolific maverick of the sci-fi genre who wasn’t fully appreciated in his lifetime. His books have an enormous readership and have been translated to multiple media projects. The following is a short list of some of my favorites.
1.    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
2.    The Best of Philip K Dick
3.    The Defenders (Short Story)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

REVIEW OF WEIRDER BY KRISTIN CHAPMAN

REVIEW OF WEIRDER BY KRISTIN CHAPMAN - "It's odd, it's weird, and it gets, you guessed it, even "Weirder." I loved this book; just like the title suggests, it is a bit weird to read, but the story is good, and off at times, but a wonderful addition to my slightly off collection. I would highly recommend it for teen boys - in that weird moment kind of read. Love it. Keep it up!"

http://www.librarything.com/work/12754101/reviews/88299036



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

GZONE RADIO INTERVIEW

GZONE RADIO INTERVIEW - Listen to Chad Schimke on Gelatis Scoop GZONE Radio Show (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gelatisscoop/2012/11/01/marsha-hubler-chad-schimke-are-my-guests). The date is Thursday 11-1-12 and the time is 7 PM Eastern. Or, look up the podcast at a later date. He is the author of Picker, Pieces, Walker and Weirder. Find Chad on his blog (http://www.chadschimke.blogspot.com) for postings on occult paranormal novels, crime dramas, art installations and city life in San Francisco.

#Radio #ChadSchimke #SanFrancisco #SocialMedia #AmWriting #Horror #Thriller

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A SECOND CHANCE

A Second ChanceA Second Chance by Bryan Mooney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A SECOND CHANCE - Who among us hasn't looked back fondly on their first love? What would you do, or give up, for a second chance? A Second Chance by Bryan Mooney convincingly explores these issues. This is a really good romance.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

guest post: Weirder by Chad Schimke

guest post: Weirder by Chad Schimke

NANOWRIMO TIPS

NANOWRIMO TIPS - With November only a few days away, the reluctant novelist might want to consider National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO). What started out as a grass roots Bay Area community group has become legitimate cultural phenomenon. I have heard numerous testimonials that NANOWRIMO has helped aspiring writers realize their dreams. That being said, I haven’t done the NANOWRIMO program myself. But with so many overwhelming testimonials it’s worth checking into. At the very least you owe it to yourself to check out the page that lists published NANOWRIMO novelists. The goal is a 50,000 word novel that can be verified by uploading to the website. I have heard that a great way to get started is by using Book in a Month (BIAM) to complete scene cards, work through an outline, develop characters and the list goes on. If you are not anticipating major life changes (a new job, moving, a divorce, a new baby, etc.) in the month of November, give NANOWRIMO your best shot, your dreams are worth it, see the web link for much more information.
http://www.nanowrimo.org/
http://www.nanowrimo.org/publishedwrimos/


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

REVIEW OF PICKER BY EMILY ZIMMERMAN


REVIEW OF PICKER BY EMILY ZIMMERMAN - "I read "Picker" in one sitting, after I was drawn into a taut, compelling crime story -- first by a sharply detailed, culturally complex and authentic rendering of place (New Mexico) and then by a skillful interweaving of well-articulated characters, parallel main plot and subplots, and events spanning two generations in time. I especially appreciated how the consequences of crime in this story play out in invisible, complex, and delayed ways, wherein cause-and-effect defies conventional expectations."

Friday, October 12, 2012

21 KEY TRAITS BY JAMES V SMITH JR.


21 KEY TRAITS - Today’s post is a snippet of a Writer’s Digest article. See below for the link that takes you to the full article.
The 21 Key Traits of Best-Selling Fiction excerpted from The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr.
1.    Utility (writing about things that people will use in their lives)
2.    Information (facts people must have to place your writing in context)
3.    Substance (the relative value or weight in any piece of writing)
4.    Focus (the power to bring an issue into clear view)
5.    Logic (a coherent system for making your points)
6.    A sense of connection (the stupid power of personal involvement)
7.    A compelling style (writing in a way that engages)
8.    A sense of humor (wit or at least irony)
9.    Simplicity (clarity and focus on a single idea)
10. Entertainment (the power to get people to enjoy what you write)
11. A fast pace (the ability to make your writing feel like a quick read)
12. Imagery (the power to create pictures with words)
13. Creativity (the ability to invent)
14. Excitement (writing with energy that infects a reader with your own enthusiasm)
15. Comfort (writing that imparts a sense of well-being)
16. Happiness (writing that gives joy)
17. Truth (or at least fairness)
18. Writing that provokes (writing to make people think or act)
19. Active, memorable writing (the poetry in your prose)
20. A sense of Wow! (the wonder your writing imparts on a reader)
21. Transcendence (writing that elevates with its heroism, justice, beauty, honor)
http://www.writersdigest.com/qp7-migration-books/the-21-key-traits-of-best-selling-fiction?et_mid=574188&rid=2992568

Saturday, October 6, 2012

FRANKENSTEIN

FrankensteinFrankenstein by Mary Shelley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FRANKENSTEIN - This horror story has elements of mystery, supernatural, a gloomy setting and a character that bridges the worlds of the living and undead. The result is arguably the most identified classic gothic novel. The genesis of Frankenstein came to Mary Shelley in a dream. She was a part of a group visiting Lord Byron (poet of the romantic movement) confined to a villa remaining indoors due to incessant rain. He issued the famous challenge to write a horror story, which ultimately led to Frankenstein and John Polidori writing The Vampyre. Percy Bysshe Shelley was in the villa also, a prominent romantic poet in his own right, as well as Mary’s husband. I am particularly fond of the 1931 film version starring Boris Karloff. Don’t be put off by the movie era or black and white format. This was a pre-code film that didn’t flinch from controversial content. The pace is quick, black/ white reinforces the tone, utilizes stark visual imagery and pioneering movie effects/ sets. This is a classic Universal Pictures monster picture in an era where no other studio could have done it better. Not to be missed!

View all my reviews

Monday, October 1, 2012

From the Bootheel Cotton Patch: GUEST BLOGGER CHAD SCHIMKE

From the Bootheel Cotton Patch: GUEST BLOGGER CHAD SCHIMKE: Today’s blog post showcases guest blogger Chad Schimke. He is the author of two novels, Picker and Pieces. Along with two novelettes, Walker...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

STEINBECK WRITING TIPS


John Steinbeck, a Pulitzer Prize winning author (Grapes of Wrath) and Nobel laureate offers six basic tips on writing in his interview it the Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review.

1.  Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised. (This concept of small daily incremental progress is key to long term writing success.)
2.  Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.  (Self-censorship and a constant reworking of material day-by-day is absolutely antithetical to finishing anything!)
3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one. (This helps to tell a story with real intimacy.  It’s just you and one other person.)
4.  If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there. (Constant forward momentum is the only way anything gets done.  Don’t let any one scene, or sequence stop or stymie you.)
5.  Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing. (Kill kill kill your darlings.)
6.  If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech. (This is excellent advice even for purely narrative passages too!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

SUDDEN FEAR

Sudden FearSudden Fear by Edna Sherry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SUDDEN FEAR – A playwright fires an actor as she workshops her play prior to opening night. Sudden Fear by Edna Sherry inspired the movie starring Joan Crawford in 1952. Myra Hudson becomes embroiled in a tangled web of a murder plot, a double cross, jealous rivals, a frame job and a counter attack. With her husband, a bourgeois girl she saves from drowning, her secretary and her financial advisor. This classic novel of psychological suspense novel keeps the reader guessing as the author lets the elaborate plot unravel. This is a must read!

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 20, 2012

REVIEW OF WEIRDER BY AMOS LASSEN


REVIEW OF WEIRDER BY AMOS LASSEN - “A Carnival Story by Amos Lassen. Chad Schmike’s other novelette is about a side show and what happens to Henry Hill, a young magician who joins it. The show is run by a bearded lady and as the story progresses, each act is tested. We move toward a conclusion that is shocking. Hill is a complex character and we grow with him. Carnival stories are always fun but when you add darkness to them, they become really fun. This is what Schimke has done here.”


reviewsbyamoslassen.com/?p=17052


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DAY OLD BABY RATS SHORT STORY REVIEW

DAY OLD BABY RATS SHORT STORY REVIEW - This story, set in the Meat Packing District in NYC, is about a girl who is misguided in just about every way that is possible. She is always losing/ breaking things, carries a flask to help her through ‘emergencies’ and feels the need to monitor who parks outside her building. She spends much of her day checking the news, looking for the time (hence her broken watch), concerns about weather and occurrences that have transpired in her neighborhood. Day Old Baby Rats by Julie Hayden derives its title from a scene in the story where exterminators display milk white baby rats in a pickle jar that were caught in a old vehicle then exterminated. The protagonist muddles through disjointed montages from time to time. Through the subway, a cab, Macy’s and an abortion at her doctor’s office; all the while dressed in a white rabbit fur coat and large black sunglasses.  



Sunday, September 16, 2012

NINE WRONG ANSWERS

The Nine Wrong AnswersThe Nine Wrong Answers by John Dickson Carr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

NINE WRONG ANSWERS – An imposter is framed for murder - where the reader matches wits with the author to dispel the ‘wrong answers’ – and conceals the murderer. The Nine Wrong Answers by John Dickson Carr uses an ingenious device, footnotes that proceed through the novel, to arrive at the final chapter titled ‘The Nine Right Answers’. Evidence builds along the way but the protagonist is outguessed at every turn. Carr is a classic mystery writer, if you are inclined to read a whodunit, don’t miss this opportunity!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO


GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – A journalist pairs with a private investigator to uncover the truth of a young girl’s disappearance. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson was published posthumously - he died suddenly of a heart attack - shortly after the delivery of the manuscript to the publisher. This is a locked room murder mystery, where alternate story lines are merged later on, that follows a sprawling cast of characters. The topics are controversial; murder, rape, racism, torture. But the lengthy novel works, because the author takes the time to let the characters and plot unwind naturally.




















GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – A journalist pairs with a private investigator to uncover the truth of a young girl’s disappearance. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson was published posthumously - he died suddenly of a heart attack - shortly after the delivery of the manuscript to the publisher. This is a locked room murder mystery, where alternate story lines are merged later on, that follows a sprawling cast of characters. The topics are controversial; murder, rape, racism, torture. But the lengthy novel works, because the author takes the time to let the characters and plot unwind naturally.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) by Stieg Larsson

View all my reviews

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO BY STIEG LARSON pdf

null

null

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Full Moon Dreaming: Guest Blogger Chad Schimke

Full Moon Dreaming: Guest Blogger Chad Schimke: GUEST BLOGGER CHAD SCHIMKE Today’s blog post showcases guest blogger Chad Schimke. He is the author of two novels, Picker and Pieces. Al...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

BAADER-MEINHOF SHORT STORY REVIEW

BAADER-MEINHOF SHORT STORY REVIEW - A woman admires a painting in a gallery where she is seated, by herself, in quiet contemplation. Baader-Meinhof by Don DeLilio is filled with dark imagery. Such as the initial painting of a woman’s head with a rope burned neck. Or the mysterious protagonist’s initial comment, to the random unknown man she engages, “they committed suicide or the state killed them”. He tries to pin her down with specific questions but she is vague and elusive every time. Eventually the pair makes it to the snack bar and then to her studio apartment. Once he is there with her something changes and she asks him to leave. He doesn’t and continually asks her to ‘be friends.’ She locks herself inside the bathroom and listens as he makes noises then eventually leaves. She is left with an unsettling sensation that nothing is as it was before. She cant get the association out of her mind. As she goes back to the gallery the next day she sees the man seated along looking at one of the paintings. 




Tuesday, August 28, 2012

QUEER PULP

Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the PaperbackQueer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback by Susan Stryker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

QUEER PULP – The title says it all. Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback, by Susan Stryker, explores a wide range of the mid-century mass-market paperback. However, the concept of the gay lesbian ‘sleaze’ novel -prior to 1965 -was all about titillation not pornography; by today’s standards. In that light, the title is a bit misleading, because the book is an overview of the golden age of the paperback novel. At a time when that format was the chief literary form. Pulps had covers designed to-be-seen; to convey crime, alternative lifestyles, gender issues, drug abuse and laid the foundations for the sexual revolution.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NO BOUNDARIES RADIO INTERVIEW

NO BOUNDARIES RADIO INTERVIEW - Listen to Chad Schimke on No Boundaries Radio Show (noboundariesradioshow.com). The date is Wednesday 8-22-12 and the time is 7 PM Eastern. Or, look up the podcast at a later date. The interview includes a giveaway contest for a chance to win one of his four titles. He is the author of Picker, Pieces, Walker and Weirder; in collaboration with images by artist Solis (heartofsolis.com). Find Chad on his blog (chadschimke.blogspot.com) for postings on occult paranormal novels, crime dramas, art installations and city life in San Francisco.


#Radio #ChadSchimke #SanFrancisco #SocialMedia #AmWriting #Horror #Thriller

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

THE CITY AND THE PILLAR

The City and the PillarThe City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE CITY AND THE PILLAR – The author’s death -in 2012 at the age of 86 – garnered as much press for his literary achievements as for his celebrity. Reference a nasty debate with William F. Buckley Jr. on live television (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYymnx...). Where Buckley is referred to as a ‘crypto-Nazi’ and Vidal is referred to as a ‘queer’. The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal broke new literary ground, as the first book with an unapologetic gay male character, who isn’t full of self-loathing and doesn’t die of suicide at the end.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

REVIEW OF PICKER BY AMOS LASSEN

REVIEW OF PICKER BY AMOS LASSEN - “A Character Driven Crime Novel by Amos Lassen. Chad Schimke is a new writer for me and he sent me two books and two novelettes recently. “Picker” is the first that I read and it is a character driven crime novel. Fernando Martinez is a crime boss of a gang that does trafficking. When on an afternoon there was a grab for power which caused consequences for many people. It is from this point that we find ourselves involved in what went on. Schimke has the ability to pull us in and we become, in a sense, characters in the story. We find ourselves in the criminal underworld and sit on the edge of our chairs as things are sorted out. While the story is about crime, I must see that we are not shortchanged on anything here. Schimke is an excellent writer who has a real knack for both character development and description. Set in New Mexico, Schimke brings in the Indian traditions and all of this together makes for a fascinating read.”

reviewsbyamoslassen.com/?p=17052