Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

At The 5-2: "Eating Pears" by Kim Welliver

This week, the first of two poems about Lizzie Borden.

Lulu.com's Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale runs through tomorrow, November 27, 11:59 P.M. Eastern. Get 30% off back issues of The Lineup: Poems on Crime in print with coupon code DELIRITAS.

I'm seeking a poem to run at The 5-2 the week of Christmas Eve, December 24. Deadline is November 30.

And I've begun collecting submissions for guest editor Gail White, whose chosen poem will run at The 5-2 the week of February 4.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Buy Another Day

By the time I decided yesterday's Amazon Gold Box deal on Bond 50 was worth my money (I already own most of the Bond movies I like on DVD, three on Blu-ray, and the same transfers were used for Bond 50), the supposed all-day price of $99.99 ($108.61 with New York tax) had sold out.

I'm not kicking myself too hard. If the price had been a tad better, my internal accountant would have said, "Yes! Buy now!" Instead, I'll keep an eye out for another deal or just buy more of my favorites if they're released individually.

Meanwhile, I did get in on the earlybird registration fee for Bouchercon 2013 in Albany ($150 until December 31). Paying it this month means it won't be among my last-minute Christmas expenses.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

Having practiced yoga and qi gong the past few months, I wasn't about to fall off yesterday. After my morning routine, I had some turkey, some crackers and chips, some lasagna and rice, but I didn't overeat, so no lethargy today.

Similarly, I'm not impulse-shopping today. I ordered The Big Bang Theory Seasons 1 and 2 on Blu-ray for $16.99 each, and with a $9.70 gift certificate balance, my total came to $27.22.

Tomorrow, there's an Amazon Gold Box deal on the Bond 50 Blu-ray collection. If I like the price, I'll go for it. And finally, I'm eyeing the animated Superman vs. The Elite on Blu-ray for $7.99.

Meanwhile, Lulu.com has a Black Friday deal. Today through November 27, you can order back issues of The Lineup: Poems on Crime in print for 30% off with code DELIRITAS.

If ebooks are your preference, mine are always reasonably priced.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


My brother and I are Wreck-It Ralph's target audience, having spent many a childhood afternoon in mall arcades. We took a couple of hours off last week to watch a matinee.

Impressively, none of the main characters is stereotypical. After thirty years, Ralph (John C. Reilly) doesn't want to be a bad guy anymore, but Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer), Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), and Calhoun (Jane Lynch) also showed capacity to stretch beyond their "day jobs".

Wreck-It Ralph isn't perfectly paced, but I appreciated the characters and plot more as the movie went on, and by the end I was hanging on every word. Definitely worth your quarters.


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday as I am nothing if not grateful. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, thinking of all I could have lost with a simple wind shift, I am especially grateful to gather with my family and to communicate with you.

My favorite part of the day is after lunch, slowly falling into a nap.

Here's a Thanksgiving poem for mature audiences only.

Monday, November 19, 2012

At The 5-2: "Housekeeper" by Angel Zapata

The speaker in this week's poem is learning to let go of the past. "Housekeeper" by Angel Zapata, read by Lineup alum Deshant Paul.

Friday, November 16, 2012


My brother and I saw Skyfall last week, and my review posted to Crimespree Magazine's blog today. Thanks as always to entertainment editor Jeremy Lynch.

THE BIG BANG THEORY: "The 43 Peculiarity"

Hearing Penny has made a friend at school (Ryan Cartwright of Alphas and Bones), Leonard feels insecure about his own status with Penny. Similar scenarios have played out on many sitcoms, but this one stood out because Penny had never told Leonard she loves him. She's been overtly pressured to say so since last season, and less overtly since Season 3.

The words finally came in frustration, Penny saying, "Listen to me. You're the one I'm with. You know I love you, so will you please relax because you're driving me crazy."

After a beat, Leonard pointed out that was the first time Penny said she loved him. I didn't notice it myself, her delivery was so spontaneous. The realization took Penny aback, too, driving them both to tears, living up to six seasons in the making.

Monday, November 12, 2012

At The 5-2: "Gary" by Jeffrey DeLotto

This week, Texas Wesleyan University professor Jeffrey DeLotto brings us a poem about a struggling husband and father.

The 5-2 is currently seeking holiday-themed poems for our Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve slots. Deadline is November 30.

Finally, through November 13, Lulu.com is offering 20% off print orders of my previous publication, The Lineup: Poems on Crime.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

What Reviews Are to Me

Do Some Damage's Steve Weddle, also a poet, teacher, and newspaperman, last week brought to light Amazon.com's new policy to curb sockpuppet reviewing. The policy has had the effect of not allowing fellow authors to review each other's books. It will have almost no effect on sockpuppeting. This week, Steve advocates full disclosure of reviewers' relationships to authors.

Perhaps because I'm an academic—went to college and grad school to hone my writing, taught freshman comp for six years—or perhaps because I naturally mistrust sweet talk—I've never given much credence to glowing/glaring brevity. Neither do I appreciate a reviewer's voice and vocabulary outshining what's being reviewed.

I am incapable of writing that a book, movie, TV show, etc. is good or bad without writing why I think so. That's the only kind of review that means something to me, so often not what I see at online megastores.

As someone who sells what he writes for money, I'd like to boast that my books get scads of five-star reviews, as many authors do. But to date, my books haven't gotten many reviews. I do know that the majority of people who left reviews actually read my books and wrote intelligently about them, some even at online megastores. I like to think the honesty, purpose, and substance in my writing lead to reviews of similar quality.

Like anyone who sells what he writes for money, I hope to be better known. I wouldn't mind being known for pseudonymous work, but am glad I broke into print with a poem under my real name (Yes, it is Gerald So).

Monday, November 05, 2012

At The 5-2: "Feeling Sorry for the Presidents"

The 5-2's election week poem is by Paul Hostovsky.

Reading of 5-2 submissions was slowed last week by my two-day, Sandy-related power outage. I'll get back on track this week.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Twitter Treat

In case you missed it:

THE BIG BANG THEORY: "The Extract Obliteration"

The gang discovers Penny has been taking a history class at Pasadena Community College in hopes of giving herself more options than waiting tables and acting. The disparity between Penny's and Leonard's education is often a sore point. I'm glad Penny's motivation in this episode was not simply to try and catch up.

Leonard responded encouragingly, offering to help with Penny's first paper, but Penny said it was important that she succeed or fail on her own merit. She forbade Leonard to read her paper, but curiosity got the better of him, and he read it anyway. His dilemma then became how to help Penny without revealing he read the paper. I would have liked to see the rest of the gang come up with a scheme to help, but Sheldon was preoccupied playing Words With Friends with Stephen Hawking.

In the end, Penny had a moment of triumph, waving a B- in Leonard's face, but seconds later we see that Amy and Bernadette rewrote the paper for her, under pressure to remain friends. I get the comedy, but I hope Penny does find fresh interests in college, perhaps a career choice the writers didn't anticipate. Can you tell I was a teacher?