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Where New Pulp Lives! And from Time to Time...Dies!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Quick Movie Review - Vacation

Not the good one.  The new one.

Some momentary parts of comedy but tries way too hard.  Thor's dong steals the movies.  That says a lot.

Quick Movie Review - Spotlight

Tense, sad, and well acted.  I don't want to say I enjoyed it but, hey, for a reality pic, it was really damn good.

Well acted.  Michael Keaton still deserves an Oscar.

Quick Movie Review - The Big Short

Watched it on a plane recently.  Funny, sadly true, and sadly embarassing at how the system operates.

Uh, yeah, pretty much it.  Oh, great acting.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince

Prince died today and I’m sad.

Based on that opening sentence, you’d be just to assume I am (was) a Prince fan.

Not true.

I’ve never been one for, what I consider, pop music.  I like classic, opera, hard rock, and movie scores.  Pop never made the list (except on few occasions and usually when it was tied to a movie).  I didn’t hate it.  Just didn’t care.  Same goes for rap.  There was always an exception but I liked my music either old or rage-based.

That being said, I always respected Prince.  He charted his own course.  Always had hot women at his side.  And played a mean guitar.  He was kind of the future (even though David Bowie came before him).  He was the ultimate entertainer yet didn’t rely on studio recording corrections or auto-tune to save his ass.  

He toured, played live, and played with the best of them.  Often, showing them up.

So why am I sad Prince died today?

Couple of reasons.  I grew up when he was BIG.  So, that means another reason to confront my own mortality.  Two, just another reminder my kids will never know what MTV actually was meant to be.  Three, the dude was talented.  I mean damn talented.

Now remember, not a fan.  Not a consistent listener.  However, I acknowledge two moments where Prince literally froze me in place and had me thinking, “This son of a bitch is good.”

The first is the greatest damn guitar solo I’ve ever seen.  Clip below.


The second is the greatest damn Superbowl Halftime Show that will ever be.  Link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NN3gsSf-Ys

In both instances, I stopped, I watched, and was transfixed.  Prince gave me two great moments in my life.  I can accept that now.

I’m just sad it took his death to realize it.

RIP.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A College Football Playoff Rant

Full disclosure: I love college football and have been an advocate for a playoff system since junior high.

However, the sheer stupidity of insisting on hosting the final four games on New Year's Eve is beyond rational thought.  A group of people actually came together and said, "That's the Day!   That's the Day we want two of our biggest games to be played on!"

A day most people do not have off.  A day a lot of people on the West coast are still at work when the first game begins.  I know this because on New Year's Eve, when Clemson/Mich St started, I was in a movie theater with the family waiting for THE FORCE AWAKENS to start.  I was checking the score on the old iPhone.

But I was unique in a way since I didn't have a job that day.  However, if I were still at my old job, I certainly would have been since only New Year's Day is a holiday at most companies.

The saddest part is they could have done the playoff games on Saturday without any competition from the NFL or any other major bowl games (for the most part).  They would have owned Saturday.  It would have been an event!

No, let's do it on a Thursday, a day before the whole country has the day off.  That's smart thinking.

I can only assume Pat Hayden had something to do with this call before he resigned from the selection committee.

Also, this thing needs to expand to six teams.  The number 1 and 2 seeds get a bye.  3 and 6, 4 and 5 duke it out.  Then proceed to 1 and 2 and eventually a championship game.  Doing that would have probably helped in terms of not having awful games this last time.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My Favorite Movies of 2015

Okay, I didn't see all the movies of 2015 so far, however, I did see a decent number.  Also, below are not necessarily movies released in 2015. Instead, I picked them based on when I viewed them.  So, there's that.

Onto the list, the last being my favorite.

5.  ANT-MAN.  Sorry, but I just dug the hell out of this movie.  More so than AGE OF ULTRON.

4.  THE GAMBLER.  Don't know why, but I related to the main character.  Not on a gambling level.  More like a lack of emotional maturity level, especially in relation to writing.

3.  BIRDMAN.  Watched this on a flight.  Watched it on the return flight.  Watched it again at home.  Some of the best acting I've ever scene.  Michael Keaton should have gotten the Oscar.

2.  STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.  Look, I've been a Star Wars geek forever.  I was collecting the toys even as a high school/college student.  I still watch the prequels, even when they piss me off.  This movie hit all the right marks for me, even if a lot of it was fan service.  I'm a fan and I was served!

1.  MAD MAX: FURY ROAD.  This wasn't just the best movie of the year. This is in the upper echelons of my all-time favorite movies.  And some don't like to admit it, it's the best in the series.  And yes, better than THE ROAD WARRIOR.


Honorable Mentions:

SICARIO.  See yesterday's post.

BONE TOMAHAWK.  This movie.  This fucking movie...




Saturday, January 2, 2016

Quick Movie Review - Sicario


Man, is this a good movie.  Intense, dark, and gritty.  Just my kind of flick.  I also loved the brutal realism it pulled off.  Exactly the feel I've been going for in my Santa Muerte stories.

Anyway, highly recommend.

Oh, and the poster above is perfect.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Time to be Positive

The last two years have sucked, on the whole, for me.  I won't go into details (right now) but will say 2014 was my doing.  2015...that's a story for another day.  But it can go F*** itself.

Now, as 2016 begins, I'm about to start on a new journey. Different job. Different state.  Same old family.  To all who have helped the last couple years, many thanks.

2015 Bookwise updates:

1.  HarperCollins has decided NOT to publish the third book in the DEMON cycle.  So, WATCHER will have to find a new home somewhere else.  Or I'll self-publish it.  Fear not, you will eventually see the third book somewhere.  After that, not sure.  I had a plan for seven books.  However, that's a lot of work without a publisher behind you.

2.  PROGENY will be reborn under a new title that fits it better.  It was always a supernatural noir tale and I decided to match a title that better fits that tradition.  The new title:  THE LONG FALL INTO SCARLET.  Also, it will be revised with a better ending, etc.  Stay tuned.

3.  My short story "The Long Bright Descent" was accepted for Grey Matter Press's anthology PEELING BACK THE SKIN.  Release date: TBD.

4. My short story "The Yellow Bug" will appear in the MADHOUSE anthology for Dark Regions Press SOON!!!!!!!

5. Earlier in 2015, my short story with J.A. Konrath hit the street. It features his Jack Daniels character with my Frank Baldwin character (AKA Progeny AKA The Long Fall into Scarlet).

6. I made my short stories "Pigs" and "I am Vision, I am Death" available as e-books for Kindle.

7. I've done a lot of solo freelance gigs lately for non-fiction markets (blogs, legal firms, etc).  However, I consider myself an expert in the realms of dialogue and plot pacing.  If you need help with those two fields, feel free to reach out. I charge, but not much.  Yet.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Money Run and The Nines

I know, it's been a while.  I have good reasons (that I won't go into here right now).  However, rest assured, I will have some new updates soon.

In the meantime, my buddy Sam W. Anderson recently had his new novel THE NINES released by Rothco Press!  Even better, it's set in his Money Run mythos.  How to describe it?  Hmmm....Smokey and the Bandit meets Mad Max.  Done and sold.

If you haven't checked out Sam, he's been nice enough to post a sample of the Money Run in the form of a short story on his blog.

And when you're done, pick up a copy of THE NINES.

Gracias.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

USC

Am I the only one who gets the feeling USC is handling this Sark decision totally wrong? Did he have to go? Yes. Should he have been counseled more seriously after the booster party controversy? Yep. Who handled all that? Pat Haden. The fact that Haden is getting a free pass on this is despicable. He is not a good AD. He should go back to broadcasting or lawyering or whatever. The fact the USC pres is doubling-down on him is out of fear of losing more recruits and/or active players to transfers. Fuck that. This football program is so fucked up I wouldn't play there and I'm an alumni. The perfect examples are: he kept Kiffin longer than he should have; he shit on Ed Orgeron on the way out even though he EARNED a second season; he hired Sark even though he was an OKAY coach at Washington but not exactly setting the world on fire. The Sark hire was the equivalent of a Norv Turner NFL coach hire. The program needs discipline. It needs toughness. It needs someone in the AD position that is an administrator, not a country club businessman. I hope parents of these players start suing for child endangerment. I hope USC has the balls to actually keep in contact with Sark and make sure he's getting what he needs vice kicking him in the gutter. And I hope Pat Haden fucking acts like a man and admits he fucked up rather than acting like he had no part in any of this. He ran down on the field during a game to argue a play but he can't find his coach. Fuck him. Fuck SC until they stop acting like The U. And for any recruits out there, seriously, go somewhere else until this ass-hat program gets its shit together.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Russian Traffic

I seem to get a lot of traffic on this blog from Russia.  If you're a publisher in Russia, or know of one, and are interested in publishing some of my work over there, feel free to contact me.  I hold rights to many of my books so I can negotiate directly.

And it doesn't just have to be Russia.  If you're a foreign publisher of all things dark, let me know.  The only books I have in a foreign language are BIGFOOT CRANK STOMP and PROGENY in Germany.

As an aside, I only speak English with a bit of German (very rusty).  So, all queries should, you know, make sense to me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Returning to the World

A lot of none of you have probably been wondering one of the following:

1.  Where's Erik?

2.  Didn't Erik swear a couple of months ago to blog/Tweet/engage more?

3.  Didn't Erik swear a couple of months ago to promote more, even though he didn't want to?

4.  Is Erik even alive?

Well, I am alive and yeah, I totally haven't done all the things I said I would do.  You see, I finished the manuscript for WATCHER and turned it in to the publisher.  I also finished my part on the next MONDO BLOOD book.  The latter was easy but the former wiped me out.  So, I decided to take August off.  No writing.  No serious blogging or pimping.  There were the few oddball tweets and Facebook posts.  Other than that, I shut down.

Yeah, that's not completely true.  I did some research, tossed around ideas for what I'm going to write next, played with some screenplay ideas, and put together a pitch.  Outside of that, nothing new.

And that was a good thing.  Because walking away for a while aloud that writing itch to start to come out of its numb/let me die state.  It wasn't a full blown intolerable itch yet, but it was at the annoying stage.

But then I got waylaid with a nasty cold last Monday which included a throat on fire, a voice lost but then found, a plugged ear that gushed for a few seconds after some nice pain, and a bit of a cough and congestion.  That ran it's course into Thursday.  Friday, the sinus infection decided to steel-toe boot kick my forehead.  You can imagine what came with that.  If not, rewatch Bill Murray getting slimed.  Along with that, a nasty chunky cough, more ear problems, and the inability to sleep without damn near choking more than an hour at a time.

Anyway, I'm feeling better ~knock on wood~ and am on the mend.  However, that itch has gone a little numb again.  So, I'm going to recoup, slowly get back into this kind of stuff along with Twitter and Facebook, and see if I can get that writing itch irritated again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Drive-By Updates

Been a while but for good reason.  Here's why:

1. WATCHER is finished!  Revised!  Sent to my editor!  Hopefully, she takes a while with it because I in no way want to look at that thing again for at least a month.  By far the hardest thing I've ever written, mainly because of the amount of characters and complexity of the plot.  Where as DEMON was a ticking-clock book and GUARDIAN was essentially a chase book, this one is much more in the vein of a multinational political thriller.  Oh, with angels and demons and such in there, too.  And the ending....let's just say everything everything get's totally messed up.  Where DEMON started small, this one goes big.  Now let's just hope HarperCollins buys it so you can read it one day.

2.  But while you're waiting for that, and if you have read DEMON or GUARDIAN, hit the link in the banner to find all the wonderful ways you can purchase and re-purchase both.

3.  I went to San Diego Comic Con.  It was fun.  I did a book...cover signing at the HarperCollins booth.  Did a Author Breakfast.  Watched Williams Shatner read from the Autobiography of James T. Kirk.  Met new people.  Ran from old people.  It was fun!

4.  I'm mapping out what's next.

5.  Mainly, I've just been trying to finish WATCHER.  Now it's time for fresh air and reflection.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Ask Me Anything - Favorite Movie Scene

Hard to narrow down.  And one I know won't be popular, yet, I know will be original.  One of my favorite movie scenes is in Heat.  Several, actually.  But when Al Pacino lands in a helicopter on an L.A. freeway, takes a car from a waiting cop, and pursues Robert DeNiro while Moby's "New Dawn Fades" blasts...pure excellence.

The Life of a Writer

Sometimes people ask me what it's like to be a writer.  What I've come to discover is this verse from The Dead Kennedy's "Holiday in Cambodia" best describes a writer's life.  At least, one who is still earning, rather than bathing in royalties.

You're a star-belly sneech
You suck like a leach
You want everyone to act like you
Kiss ass while you bitch
So you can get rich
But your boss gets richer off you 

Well you'll work harder
With a gun in your back
For a bowl of rice a day
Slave for soldiers
Till you starve

Then your head is skewered on a stake