Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

You Had to Be There

Since Anthony Rainone, Richie Narvaez, and I were among the readers at KGB Bar last week, we didn't have much time to take pictures of the first Lineup event. The three taken for us on camera phones came out blurred beyond our photo editing abilities. I may invest in a Flip Mino HD for next time, but as an Ubuntu Linux user, I'm not sure the Mino would mount or that Ubuntu has software to make snapshots from the video.

Any insight from the blogosphere? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Walmart Flash Fiction Challenge

I'm teaming up with Patti Abbott and Aldo Calcagno again. Here's the challenge in Patti's words:

...a 750-800 word story that is set, or at least partially set, in a Wal*Mart Store.

It could also be a story that refers to such a store in a meaningful way. If you take exception to Walmart, name it something else. We'll know what you mean.

Post the story on your own blog or on Aldo's Powder Burn Flash. I'm thinking of November 30th. Please don't post your story ahead of time--it throws things off. Let Aldo know if you want him to post it. Let Gerald or me know if you're "in" as soon as possible. Walmart shoppers: beware.

Rick Castle's Halloween Costume

In the opening minute of last night's Halloween episode, Richard Castle put on tight pants, suspenders, a brown coat, and pistol.

What exactly are you supposed to be?

Space cowboy.

Okay, A: There are no cows in space. B: Didn't you wear that, like, five years ago?


So don't you think you should move on?

I like it.

Watch on Hulu while it's still free.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

USA's "White Collar"

Matthew Bomer, seen lately as dashing spy Bryce Larkin on NBC's Chuck, and in my opinion a better contender for 2006's Superman Returns than Brandon Routh, stars in USA's latest character-driven drama. Bomer's looks and Templeton Peck-like charm are apparent. What I didn't expect was the vulnerability he brought to Neal Caffrey, who, for all his confidence, is tormented by a lost love.

Tim DeKay co-stars as Peter Burke, the hard-working but not too hard-nosed FBI agent who finally caught Caffrey and now supervises Caffrey's work for the Bureau. As a duo, they have the unique understanding and respect for each other only the best rivals can.

Also lending the show character is its actual New York City setting. If you missed the premiere last night, it's repeating all weekend, starting at 9:00 Eastern this morning.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Lineup's First Reading

It was great to meet Jennifer L. Knox, Carol Novack, and Karen Petersen along with a slew of Lineup fans and learn they're all as enthused about crime poetry as Patrick, Sarah, Richie, Anthony, and I.

I began last night with these remarks:

Welcome to the first reading from The Lineup: Poems on Crime. I'm Gerald So, founding editor, and with me are two of my co-editors—Richie Narvaez and Anthony Rainone—and three contributors—Jennifer L. Knox, Carol Novack, and Karen Petersen. I'd like to thank Carol, Richie, and KGB for tonight's event. Feel free to order refreshments throughout the night and support this great venue for writers.

A lot of people who hear about The Lineup think crime poetry is new or gimmicky, but the same emotions that inspire crime have long inspired poetry. Crime poetry is akin to crime fiction. Both have a sense of purpose. Every word, every sentence plants clues, reveals character, tries for resolution, but crime poetry forces us to face the same fear, jealousy, anger, indignation—without fiction's buffer of make-believe.

Karen read first, followed by Anthony, who read poems by Patrick Shawn Bagley, Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman, and Stephen D. Rogers. Anthony introduced Jen Knox who read several crime-related poems including "Why We Came and Why We Stayed" from The Lineup 2.

After a twelve-minute break to sell books and mingle, I introduced Richie, who read his poems "Metro", "Papi Was a Numbers Runner", and "Judgment Day" from The Lineup 1, as well as "Latest Victim" by Graham Everett and "Prayer of an Arson Investigator" by Sarah Cortez, also from Issue 1.

Richie introduced Carol Novack, who read her Lineup 2 poems "Willie" and "Color Symphony: Bronx Summer", Janis Butler Holm's Lineup 2 prose poem "Shopping with Winona", and finally a short play.

I capped the night with my Lineup 1 poems, "Witness Protection," "Four Minutes," and "Mickey Spillane".

We'd sold four copies of Issues 1 and 2 before I had to catch a train home. Thanks to everyone who attended, and once again to KGB for having us. A picture or two to come.

The prospect of audio and video recording the event fell through. If you attended, feel free to leave a comment. If not, you can experience a virtual reading by listening to The Lineup episode of Seth Harwood's CrimeWAV.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"No more rehearsing and nursing a part..."

I've spent the better part of the past two weeks planning and scouting for tomorrow night's reading from The Lineup at New York City's KGB Bar (85 E. 4th Street). I'll give some opening remarks, introduce most of the readers, and wrap up with three of my own poems from The Lineup #1.

Jennifer L. Knox, Richie Narvaez, Carol Novack, Karen Petersen, and Anthony Rainone are scheduled to read with me.

The first two issues of The Lineup will be available for signing and sale, as will Carol Novack's CD Inventions II.

Join us from 7:00-9:00 PM for this festive night of crime poetry.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My First Book Order in a While

Like everyone else, I'm trying to spend more wisely these days, so with the $20 I might have spent on the latest Spenser and Stephanie Plum paperbacks, I ordered Lehane's The Given Day and Bruen and Coleman's Tower. This is no time for fluff.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"I like Indiana."

I've actually never been to Indiana. The entry title is a quote from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but I'm sure I would like Indiana later this week when Bouchercon 2009 comes to Indianapolis. Unfortunately I can't make it this year and was unable to set up any B'con Lineup events by proxy. At least two Lineup contributors—Reed Farrel Coleman and Sophie Hannah—will be there, as will one of our sponsors, Graham Powell.

Lineup co-editor Anthony Rainone is attending B'con 2010 in San Francisco, and I'm attending B'con 2011 in St. Louis. If you're a Lineup fan in Indy this year, you might ask Reed and Sophie to sign Issue 2. Then huddle in a bar, buy Graham a drink, and read your favorite poems.

If you're a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, several members will be in Indy, and the presentation of plaques to the 2009 Derringer Award winners takes place Thursday, October 15, at 6:00 PM in the Main Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis. SMFS VP Jim Doherty is MC.

Meanwhile, I have great memories of Bouchercon 2008 in Baltimore.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Catching Up

I just wrote my opening remarks for The Lineup: Poems on Crime's first reading at KGB Bar, Thursday October 22, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. For recon, Anthony Rainone and I attended a Trumpet Fiction reading there last night, sponsored by

Last week, I received my copy of Crimespree #32, my DVD reviews of The Middleman Complete Series, Lonely Street, and Psych Season 3.

NCIS: Los Angeles received a full-season pickup from CBS. The spinoff isn't as different as it ought to be, but I'm glad it will have a chance to get there.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Whadja get? Birthday Edition

Last Wednesday, I took the trains to Brooklyn for an evening of pizza, heroes, black cherry creme soda, and cannolis with my friends John, Deshant, and Tracy. We were celebrating Deshant's birthday a few weeks late and watched the animated Wonder Woman on Blu-ray. I gave Deshant Dollhouse Seaso One on Blu-ray, and he surprised me with Darwyn Cooke's graphic novel of Richard Stark's The Hunter for my birthday.

Having read original Richard Stark book and seen both cuts of Payback with Mel Gibson, the plot was very familiar to me. I was interested in how much sex/violence Cooke would show and how. All in all, a good job.

I also should receive Castle Season One from my brother in the mail soon. There will be a big party this Sunday for my many relatives born in October, but that's never been my speed. I prefer a quiet day without hype, just what I got yesterday.

Monday, October 05, 2009

If You Want to Know About My Wife...

I'm not blogging from Vegas, having eloped last night. I'm thirty-five today and thinking about times life hasn't gone according to plan. Being rejected from my older brother's high school remains sharpest to me. I thought we would follow in the tradition of many families. Instead, I had to make my own name at a new school. (Part of me wanted to do this anyway.)

The experience taught me to be open-minded about my future. As planned as writing has to be, part of it should always be left to chance. We'll see when we get there, or things haven't gone the way I thought they would; what now?

I can't imagine myself married or with kids in much detail. In a way, I'm glad. If I'm lucky enough to meet someone, I don't want to know how it goes.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Smallville: "Metallo"

Smallville's portrayal of the cyborg Metallo is the most sympathetic I've seen. When a photograph of his beloved deceased sister blows into the street, new Daily Planet reporter John Corben goes after it only to be hit by a truck. He wakes to find his limbs replaced with bionics, his heart replaced by a kryptonite-powered matrix. Before being shut down by Clark, he makes an impassioned case against heroes who lurk in the shadows and swoop in to change fate. This clearly influences Clark's decision to live a double life, the hero and the everyman, difficult as it may be.

This may be the first Smallville about which I have no complaints. Usually, there are two or three good moments an episode, and even those trip over a few lines of dialogue. This episode was good from stem to stern, start to finish. Kudos to Brian Austin Green, writers Don Whitehead and Holly Henderson, and director Mairzee Almas.

Still Watching Cartoons

The other day on Crimespree Cinema, I reviewed Superman Batman: Public Enemies, Warner Bros.' latest direct-to-DVD DCU animated feature starring the voices of Clancy Brown, Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, and Smallville's Allison Mack.

Also, my latest Mysterical-Eye TV/film column draws on previous DVD animated features to discuss the evolution of crime in cartoons.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Asinine!

The October issue of Asinine Poetry has launched, featuring my poem "Enchanted", wherein I meet one of my longest-standing writing goals.