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  • Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    by Craig Terlson

    A collection of short stories where the humour runs dark and the slipstream bubbles up.

     

    ...imagine if Raymond Carver called up George Saunders and Joe Lansdale, and they all went drinking with Neil Gaiman.

  • Correction Line
    Correction Line
    by Craig Terlson

    “… it's clear that Terlson is way ahead of the curve in terms of crafting an engaging premise that reaches for elevated territory and reinvents enduring archetypes of action and suspense.”  J. Schoenfelder


    "Sometimes brutal, often demanding and always complex, this novel will repay the reader who likes their assumptions challenged and is happy to walk away from a book with minor questions unanswered but the big ones definitely dealt with! It’s likely to satisfy those who enjoy Hammet and/or Philip K Dick and who like their fiction very noir indeed."   Kay Sexton

     

    "I love a novel that you can't put down, and this is one of them."  L. Cihlar

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Tuesday
Mar012016

Lunch Money

Just as a follow up to the post below... I did actually squeak another win in the Oscar Pool - going 15/24.  A few twists and turns messed me up (Stallone??? What happened?). I went back and forth on the Best Pic, between Spotlight and the Leo show.

But somehow, I edge out the group that was at 14 - and went home with the lunch money.

One of these years I need to put real money down, in Vegas, or wherever they take those bets. Right. And that will be the year I get nothing. 

Thought the show was really tight, and Rock rocked, as did Louis CK. A lot of movies I need to go see, and a new found appreciation of Lady Gaga (another wtf was the sad James Bond song winning).

Until next year.

Sunday
Feb282016

Oscar pool time

Been away from the blog for a bit, jumping back in for my annual Oscar picks. I've been known to win this pool (a lot) so the pressure is always high. I haven't seen as many films this year, but as I've come to understand, that doesn't really matter.

 

So let's see...

Picture

The Revenant - cuz Leo, and Bear sex, and lotsa hype

Acting - 

Leo is a lock for Best Actor in Revenant.

Brie Larson, "Room" Best Actress

Sylvester Stallone, "Creed" Supporting Actor (another lock)

Kate Winslet, "Steve Jobs" Supporting Actress - this is an iffy one.

Director - 

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, "The Revenant"

Writing (the most important one)

Original - Spotlight  (Wild card: could be, Inside Out - not because it is the best, just cuz)

Adapted - The Big Short - it better, because it is the movie of the year

Animated

Inside Out (duh)

Animated Short

Don Hertzfeldt’s minimalist masterpiece “World of Tomorrow" (so says my son)

Foreign Language

Son of Saul

Doc

Amy (a fave in the media) - though I really liked What Happened Miss Simone)

Short Doc

Body Team 12 (complete guess - ebola - so yeah, probably that)

Live Action Short

Shok - another guess


Techy stuff

Cinematography

Revenant - more pretty pictures of Leo and Bear in love

Costume

Cinderella - because, uh, Cinderella

Flim Editing

Big Short (cuz I loved it) (Mad Max could pick up here though)

Make Up

Mad Max starts the sweep here

Production Design

Mad Max

Score

Ennio for Hateful Eight (about time)

Sound Edit

Mad Max

Sound Mix

Mad Max

Song

Gaga - and I don't even know the song - but she will win. Cuz: Gaga

Visual Effects

Mad Max (Sorry Star Wars, but no)

 

Place your bets... and good luck in your pool.

Saturday
Feb062016

Jumping those sticky plateaus.

When do you know if you reached a plateau? Better yet, when you've crossed one (risen above... jumped... what do you do to get over those suckers?)

For a chunk of time longer than I'd like to think about, I've been feeling stuck in my writing. Part of that has been the finishing of one larger project (Surf City), and waiting for another to emerge. Those others being either continuing work on another Luke Fisher novel, or returning to the big bad literary novel in the wings (B.B.L.N.).

Many glasses of red wine and way to many hours on social media, I figured a way to unstick myself - because my plateau was part quicksand... the bad stuff, like on Gilligan's Island. The solution: return to short stories. Huh, wha?

The thing that got me there was listening to a ton of interviews of George Saunders, Karen Russell, Jonathan Franzen, Don Delillo, TC Boyle, and many others... shit, almost forgot RICHARD FORD (he gets all caps).

When I listened to them talk about their writing, their reading, and really just their life, the inspiration starts bubbling in me like a pot of dark brew. It's mysterious, burbly, intoxicating, and totally what I want.

I've always loved the short story form, but had strayed away while I worked on novels. I got a chance to revisit this passion in the form of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. I'll say more about that contest in another post (if you follow or friend me on twitter or facebook, you already know about this.)

But suffice to say, I wrote a story that I'm really happy with. I can't put my finger on it, but there was something in this one that was different, more true maybe (a weird, but true way to put it.) Pop over to Terlson Fiction on the menu bar if you'd like to read it. It is only up there for a limited time.

If I make it to the 2nd round of the contest, I'll be deeply embroiled in another story (for three days anyway - the deadline for the 2nd round. 1st round you got 8 days). I feel like this is warming my engine to jump back into the B.B.L.N. 

As always, more to come.

 

Friday
Jan222016

The Heat is On

I always liked that cheesy song from what was it, 48 hours, or Beverly Hills Cop?

(gotta look that up.)

In an attempt to give myself a hard kick in the ass back to the discipline of short story writing, I am entering a contest. In truth, I have no great aspirations of winning said contest - especially since I believe it is open to writers from anywhere. Given that everyone and my meter reader has a book these days, I am guessing the number of entrants will surpass the population of some small countries.

But I do love me a deadline. And constraints even! As I often hear in interviews with my fave writer George Saunders (aka: the guy I'm obsessed with), out of boundaries or constraints comes creativity.

You can check back here at the blog for an update, and probably even a view ofthe story. I am also taking part in the forums that are hosted by the contest - and as I understand, many writers after they submit their stories, post them online.

Wish me luck, and good constraints. (As in helpful ones.)

Oh, and I looked it up - definitely Beverly Hills Cop. And done by the late, great Glenn Frey!

Tuesday
Jan122016

Why review?

Let's start by clearing up the old, "reviews help me sell my books" bullshit. Because I don't think they do. Beats the hell outta me what does sell books in these times. But as everyone and my mailman now have a novel on Amazon, I'm kinda doubting that reviews are gonna help the casual reader slap down some hard-earned samolians for a novel just because Bucky7874 wrote, "It was a great read. I couldn't put it down – made me miss my bus and lose my girlfriend."

Not sure what the current exchange rate is on samolians to Can. Currency – but I am pretty sure it sucks. I'm gonna start paying for stuff with sheets of melba toast - which is faring slightly better against the U.S. dollar.

I digress.

So if reviewing doesn't sell a wagonload of books for the author... what's the point? Well, here is the point.

When I write, I create people out of nothing, as well as the universe they live in. No, I don't write sci-fi or fantasy, but every story creates its own universe. These people, let's call them characters, become more and more real to me (if I am doing my work). And with something like a novel, they live in my head for a long time before I release them into the wild. The creative process is incomplete to me until the moment where the things that I have created, and have taken up permanent residence in my noggin, are experienced by someone else. That someone else being you, dear reader.

The biggest encouragement I get as a writer, is when a reader responds to the work. And by respond, I don't mean 6 outta 5 stars, like our old pal Bucky7874 (who really should know that his relationship with his girlfriend is more important than fiction). No, I mean any response.

I know that not everyone will enjoy my work. The same as I do not enjoy everything I read (or decided to not read/abandon.) I love when someone loves the work – but I also need to be told when something isn't working for someone. That is the true value for me. But if you just out and out hate the work - it may not be for you - then a review might not be the most helpful.

So wait, you say, review... ugh, that is like the book reports they assigned us in Grade 8 were we tried to use the word "very" an excessive amount of times to reach the teacher's word count. (I am very very liking this book, very muchly indeed. The writer is very gud.) (C-)

Basically, no. Just be honest. Say a few lines about what you liked about the book. And even a few about what you didn't. Ultimately, this is what I am looking for in a review. Not whether or not you captured the theme and comments on the human condition that imbue the work. (Oy) Did you like the characters? Was the story engaging? Did it bore the shit out of you?

And I know a lot of other writers are the same. We are a lonely forsaken bunch... well, not really. I have a lot of wonderful friends. But when I sit down with that blank piece of paper, um, screen, the space is pretty sparse. It's just me and those things I made up. When you write a review on something you read, you breathe life into that space – and the encouragement for the writer is exponentially helpful.

Go write that review now. I am thanking you in advance.

I am off to visit those imaginary people in my head. Wait, they're in your head too? Awesome.