If you have an e-reader, you might want to check out my author page over at Smashwords. Currently, my novel Into the Sunset and my short story collection Stories From Sunset Hill are for sale, and the short stories nineleven and The Chambliss Tapes are available for free.
According to Smashwords, "The ebooks on Smashwords can be read online using our online readers, or they can be downloaded to other reading devices such as the the iPhone, iPod Touch, Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader or IRex Iliad, or to other ereading devices. Smashwords offers generous sampling options so readers can try before they buy."
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
My story "In the Basement" is included in the spanking new issue of The Ampersand. It's a short little short 2-page flash fiction, and I'm thrilled to be back in print! Seems like I've had a bit of a drought between publications; I guess you actually have to submit a story before it can be accepted (or rejected, for that matter). I've been a little lazy lately when it comes to submitting.
Anyhoo, The Ampersand is a 6"x9" perfect-bound anthology, chock full of fiction and poetry, 35 writers by my count. All for only $10! Which is a great deal in these isn't-the-recession-over-yet? times.
For more info on The Ampersand, or to find out why it's known as "The greatest literary project of all times" in certain circles, or just to order multiple copies for all your friends and enemies, go to Amazon, or visit their website.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Here's an animated gif I made just for you.
I picked up Weezer's latest CD Raditude at Best Buy recently. Yes, an actual, physical CD, and it only cost $7.99 on sale. Thanks Best Buy!
Weezer is one of my favorite bands, so I was excited to get a new CD so soon after their last one. Raditude clocks in at a compact ten songs—under 40 minutes (as opposed to last year's Red Album, which contains 14 tracks). The first five songs are all killer, in the punchy, pop, guitar-based, quirky lyric sort of way (this album may contain the only rock song to ever have the lyric "We'll share a cheese fondue") that is Weezer's trademark, but this time maybe with a hint of Sugar Ray thrown in.
If the first five songs are the "A" tracks, the next five are just below that, "Bs" I guess, because there are no filler tracks here. They even experiment a bit on the song "Love Is The Answer," which is sitar-based and even includes a female Indian background vocal! And it works!
If you like Weezer, check out Raditude. It is one of their best efforts in a solid career that began with their 1994 debut, the classic "Blue Album" with includes the hit song "Buddy Holly."
Here they are on the David Letterman Show performing "I'm Your Daddy," sporting their blue Weezer Snuggies:
And if you need a last minute gift for Christmas, the Weezer Snuggie:
Monday, December 07, 2009
The new Man Groomer is a folding razor for men who want to shave their own back.
Having trouble deciding what to get him this holiday season? How about the Man Groomer!
No more shaving your man's back, or worse—waxing it! Let him do his own dirty work! Buy it together with a Dust Buster for easy disposal of those annoying tufts of hair now on the floor instead of his back.
UPDATE: This by no means is a wishlist hint. I don't want or need a Man Groomer!
Monday, November 30, 2009
One of my favorite authors, Tom Saunders, had his fantastic new novel, Inappropriate Happiness, reviewed by Gold Dust Magazine. And don't miss their interview with the author, too!
Read my review of the book here.
You can order the book directly from the publisher, Reuben Books, or at Amazon UK.
Read my review of the book here.
You can order the book directly from the publisher, Reuben Books, or at Amazon UK.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
One of the reporters on scene during the tragedy, author Dave Cullen spent ten years researching and writing this book. He does a great job of detailing the crime—before, during, and after the event—and shatters many of the myths and misconceptions that arose. Like, the killers were loners who were bullied by jocks and finally "snapped" and got their ultimate revenge. That is the prevailing myth about Columbine. It is wrong. Cullen explains the psychology behind the methodical planning of psychopath Eric Harris and his partner in crime, Dylan Klebold, and the impact their crime had on the community. Columbine is a fascinating, scary, and insightful read.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
The New York Yankees won their 27th World Series championship last night against the Philadelphia Phillies, and the first one in their spanking new Stadium. They opened this decade with a WS win (against the Mets), and now have closed the decade with a championship.
27 championships. Think about that. The New York franchise came into existence in 1903 (then known as the Highlanders), so in 107 baseball seasons, they have won 27 times. That is over 25% of the time! Incredible.
This got me thinking. The American League East is a beast. Out of the six divisions in baseball, they are far and away the best. Consider this: In this decade, the A.L. East has produced four World Champions and have won seven pennants. Here is the count: Pennants—Yanks 4, Red Sox 2, Rays 1. World Championships—Yanks 2, Red Sox 2.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Jay Z and Alicia Keys performing "Empire State of Mind" (Derek Jeter's walk-to-the-plate song) before Game 2 of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium. Jeter's expression while Alicia is singing is priceless. Are they dating? Why aren't they dating? They should be!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Inappropriate Happiness, Tom Saunders's excellent character study, revolves around the naturally private, reticent narrator, Edward. After the death of his father, Edward moves into the old water mill the old man had been renovating, determined to live his own life, finally out of the shadow of his disapproving father. On the opening page, Saunders writes, "We had separate lives he and I, such separate lives. No, I take that back, not separate, parallel, together but not together; now apart, finally."
As Edward settles back into the life of the small town in which he grew up—and in which everyone knows his history—he allows two stranded artists (Belle and Kitto) to stay at the old mill temporarily. This is against his better judgement, and his private nature too. It is also something his father would never allow or approve of; maybe that is exactly why Edward lets them stay.
Here the novel kicks into gear, and becomes very Hemingway-esque in the simple strength of its distinct characters, and the love triangle that inevitably develops. Saunders brings the characters to life, not only with their words, but their actions. Here the smitten Edward watches Belle sketch a young man working:
I am astonished by how quickly and confidently she draws, the bravura way she captures the turning of a leg and the lifting of an arm on paper. If she makes a mistake she remedies it with a rapid stroke of her pencil, each new line a refinement of the one before, the figure a series of shapes placed on top of one another, dynamic rather than static: the arc of the hammer, the angle of the back, the slant of the hips, the splaying of the feet. Somehow the boy and his everyday job are transformed by the sketch, the pose becoming heroic, timeless even.
"You're making him uncomfortable," I say.
Several seconds go by. Then, just as I am starting to think she is not going to reply, she stops drawing and says, "He'll get over it."
"I don't think I would."
"Who said you'll get the chance?"
Kitto, Belle's boyfriend, is the opposite of Edward: brash, arrogant, selfish. Why the world doesn't love his paintings as much as he does is a mystery to him. Why Belle stays with Kitto, who takes Belle for granted, is a mystery to Edward, a frustration that gnaws at him as his own relationship with Belle grows.
Inappropriate Happiness is a great literary work; one that should be read widely, one that should be honored with awards, and studied in writing courses. The size of the press limits these chances, but my dream is that Oprah will pluck this gem out of the small publishers haystack and give it the exposure it deserves. In the meantime, you can order it directly from the publisher, Reuben Books, or at Amazon UK.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
If you are a Lost fan, these numbers are significant to you. Something recently occurred to me: All of Hurley's "cursed" numbers (that he used to win the lottery, and were later seen on the hatch) have been retired by the Yankees. 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. Lost has also mentioned the Red Sox several times, including that they won the 2004 World Series.
Does the whole mystery of Lost revolve around the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry? Could Jacob and the unnamed man in black represent the two teams? Is it all some sort of bet between the two characters? Does The Curse of the Bambino factor into this somehow? Good vs. Evil? New York vs. Boston? Jeter vs. Pedroia? DiMaggio vs. Williams? Tiant vs. El Duque?
The upcoming Season 6, scheduled to start in Feb. 2010, is to be the final season of Lost, and everything will be answered then. Meanwhile, I will look for more clues.
FYI, here are the numbers, and the players who wore them:
4 Lou Gehrig
8 Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford
23 Don Mattingly
42 Jackie Robinson (retired throughout MLB in honor of Robinson. Mariano Rivera currently wears the number for the Yankees, but it will be retired in his honor also when his playing days are over.)
I searched Lostpedia to see if anyone else made the connection to the Yankees, and they did.
UPDATE: Then there's this:
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
In honor of all the excitement surround the release of the Beatles Rock Band (as well as the remastered Cds in stereo and mono), I made a Beatles quiz for you.
1) Name the drummer who filled in for Ringo when he had tonsillitis on the 1964 tour?
2) Yoko has a daughter from her first marriage. What is her name? Hint: She says it in the beginning of "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)."
3) Name the "grandchildren on your knee" in the song "When I'm 64."
4) What are the only words in "Why Don't We Do It In the Road" besides Why don't we do it in the road?
5) Where and when did John and Paul meet?
6) From whom did John get the idea for the song "She Said She Said"? Hint: It was during an LSD trip, and this person kept saying "I know what it's like to be dead."
7) Who was the oldest Beatle?
8) What was the name of the mutual friend who introduced John and Paul?
9) In which airport did the Beatles land when they arrived for their historic first trip to America?
10) What five songs did the Beatles perform on their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show (Feb. 9, 1964)?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The long awaited Seinfeld reunion is finally going to happen...sort of. In true Larry David TV-groundbreaking fashion, it will be done in a unique, creative way—and (in case they don't pull it off) without doing any damage to the original series, since it won't be under the Seinfeld banner, but will occur on Larry David's Emmy-winning series Curb Your Enthusiasm, which returns for its seventh season on September. 20.
According to CYE's Wikipedia page, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, Wayne Knight, Len Lesser, Estelle Harris and Jerry Stiller will all return for the "reunion." They even dug out the old sets of Jerry's apartment and Monk's Cafe for the episodes, which will cover five of the ten shows slated for the new season.
This sounds like pure genius to me, similar to the show-within-a-show that Seinfeld did during the classic episodes when Jerry and George were writing, then filming the failed pilot for Jerry. I can just imagine the Curb Your Enthusiasm arc, with Larry trying to round up the old gang for a reunion, and the bickering he and Jerry will get into as they try to write the reunion show. Not to mention seeing the actors portraying both themselves, and their Seinfeld characters. And don't forget this is HBO. We may get to hear them curse! Fucking Newman!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
How would you live your life if you knew since birth the exact date that the world will end? Would anything you did matter? Well, yes, Everything Matters! I'm talking about the problem posed to Junior Thibodeau, the lead character in Ron Currie, Jr.'s fantastic new novel, Everything Matters!
While still in utero, an unknown voice informs Junior that in thirty-six years a comet will obliterate life on Earth. Needless to say, this knowledge puts a damper on things, and affects how Junior views life, his relationships with his father and mother and brother, and any chance he has of keeping a girlfriend. And the voice keeps occasionally checking in to offer guidance. Or, if not guidance, more unwanted knowledge.
The novel—also told in chapters from the point of view of the other characters—hurtles brilliantly toward the inevitable, climactic end. But is it inevitable? Are there options? Can Junior save the world, or just save himself? The unique plot in and of itself will keep you on the edge of your seat. But what elevates this novel from good to great is the heart Currie puts into his writing. The scenes with Junior and his father toward the end of the book, and the end of the book itself will have you questioning your own life, your own relations, and if you are living the life you want to lead.
Junior knew when the (his) world would end, but in reality, none of us knows when our time will end. So, yes, everything you do does matter.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
What is that, you ask? It's Photic Sneeze Reflex—the sun makes me sneeze. As soon as I step outside into the bright sunlight, I instantly sneeze. Whenever I tell someone this, they look at me like I'm crazy. I have to Google it to prove I'm not (crazy, that is). Roughly 25% of the population suffer from PSR, so it's a wonder no one believes me. And it's not just the sun—bright lights can make me sneeze too.
According to Wikipedia, "The probable cause is a congenital malfunction in nerve signals in the trigeminal nerve nuclei. The fifth cranial nerve, called the trigeminal nerve, is apparently responsible for sneezes. Research suggests that some people have an association between this nerve and the nerve that transmits visual impulses to the brain. Overstimulation of the optic nerve triggers the trigeminal nerve, and this causes the photic sneeze reflex." Got all that?
I like to believe that I'm part of the 25% of humanity that is more evolved than everyone else. If we try to look directly at the sun, we sneeze. Maybe this gene will one day save humanity. Or not. Maybe we'll just keep the sunglass industry afloat.
Monday, July 06, 2009
"The Introduction" by Eric Cash
Today is the 52nd anniversary of the day John Lennon met Paul McCartney: June 6, 1957. The 16 year-old Lennon's band The Quarry Men was playing a gig at the local village fete in Woolton, which is a part of Liverpool. After the show, Ivan Vaughn—a mutual friend of both John and Paul—introduced the 15 year-old McCartney to Lennon. Paul's energetic performance of "Twenty Flight Rock" convinced Lennon to invite him to join the band. John was impressed that Paul could tune a guitar and "looked like Elvis."
"I remember John singing a song called 'Come Go With Me.' He'd heard it on the radio. He didn't really know the verses, but he knew the chorus. The rest he just made up himself.
I just thought, 'Well, he looks good, he's singing well and he seems like a great lead singer to me.' Of course, he had his glasses off, so he really looked suave. I remember John was good."
Believe it or not, an audience member actually recorded the Quarry Men's performance that day. In 1994 the tape was rediscovered and auctioned off. EMI bought it for £78,500, but it was never released because the sound quality was so poor.
There is a book titled The Day John Met Paul in which author James O'Donnell reconstructs the movement of John and Paul that day in narrative form. Though slightly hokey, it reads like a novel and is a must for diehard Beatles fans .
Thursday, June 18, 2009
My time travel short story, The Chambliss Tapes, is now available in Kindle edition. 99¢! This story was originally published in the anthology Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction.
Description: Short story, 7,314 words. Time travel story based around New York Yankees' Chris Chambliss' historic pennant-winning homerun in the 1976 American League Championship Series. A man (Jon) who works for Sports Illuminated, a time travel agency that documents famous events in sports history, travels back in time from 2006 to 1976 to document Chambliss' famous homerun. But Jon has another agenda—to save his identical twin brother who died in an accident at age five.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
My friend Andrew and I embarked on an ambitious bike ride today. We rode the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail from the Croton Dam (pictured above) down to where I live in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. The trail continues down to the Bronx, and totals 26 miles. So I figure our trip was approximately 18-20 miles.
It began when I took the train (with bike) up to Croton, where Andrew picked me up. We drove over to the dam and began the trip at 10:48 a.m. The trail is close to the Hudson River, but not always close enough to see the river. We passed through some really wooded sections (we saw cows at one point), and through some great river towns, like Ossining. In Ossining we were actually able to take a short tour down into the tunnel of the aqueduct.
We've had a lot of rain this week, and in fact passed through some rain showers today. This left many parts of the dirt trail muddy, and by the time we reached my apartment, we were both pretty much covered in mud.
We reached my place at 2:56 p.m., which makes the total time of the trip 4 hours and 8 minutes. Not too bad, but next time (if there is a next time), we can probably knock a half hour off of that time. Not only did we tour the tunnels, but we also wasted a lot of time trying to figure out the map in the areas where you have to leave the trail briefly and ride on the streets until you pick up the trail again.
Here is my apartment, the end point, where there was cold beer awaiting us:
Then Andrew rode down to the Hastings train station and took the train back up to Croton, where his wife picked him up and drove him back to his car, which was parked at the Croton Dam. By then I was showered and writing up this blog post!
Saturday, June 06, 2009
For all you Kindle and Kindle App for iPhone users, my novel Into the Sunset and my short story collection Stories From Sunset Hill are now available for the Kindle! Priced to sell! With the Amazon discount, my collection of short stories is only 80 cents, the novel only $2.39.
STORIES FROM SUNSET HILL is a collection of 17 short stories, some of which have appeared in publications such as Word Riot, Edgar Literary Magazine, and Thieves Jargon.
The author writes with a creative and lively style. The gritty, raw voice of the character Chuck in the first story (nineleven) pulled me in right away, and I couldn't stop reading.
The author has an uncanny ability to create insightful characters, who are wiser to the world and its ways than they are to themselves. This is a winsome combination, a likeable quality, that pulls the reader into the fictive dream.
—Writer's Digest Magazine contest judge
INTO THE SUNSET is my first novel. Romantic Times Book Review Magazine gave it three stars and said, "Capone has a vivid imagination and a unique voice."
Also now available in Kindle version, Susan DiPlacido's fantastic, award-winning collection of short stories American Cool. Only 99 cents!
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, along with Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison Come Together for World Premiere of "The Beatles: Rock Band"
"All You Need Is Love" To Be Released Exclusively as Downloadable Song Through Xbox LIVE on 9/9/09 with Charity Proceeds to Benefit Doctors Without Borders
Paul, Ringo, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison came to the E3 conference in Los Angeles on Monday for the world premiere of The Beatles: Rock Band. The game was revealed at Microsoft's E3 press conference, and represents the first time fans will be able to experience The Beatles' musical career for themselves.
The game begins during the band's earliest days at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. Gamers will then travel across the Atlantic to experience the band's unforgettable 1964 performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the sold-out concert at New York's Shea Stadium in 1965, and conclude at The Beatles' memorable concert at Budokan in Tokyo, Japan in 1966. The Beatles' studio years will come to life in legendary Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios. Highlighting the studio years are inspired artistic visual expressions known as Dreamscapes, intended to transport players to imaginative environments that capture the essence of The Beatles' genre-busting musical and fashion transformations during their later years. The game follows The Beatles to 1969 where story mode culminates with their final performance on the rooftop of the Apple Corps Headquarters.
Ringo sums it up best: "The game is good, the graphics are really good...we were great!"
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Check out my review of the short story "AAA" written by Jo Page in Five Star Literary Stories.
Five Star Literary Stories combines three integral facets of the writing life: publisher, story, and reviewer. Each story is editor-nominated and considered one of the best the mag has published.
This is how it works: an editor of an online magazine nominates a short story or flash fiction from his/her archives. The editor writes a blurb about his/her mag and a blurb about the nominated story. Then another author reviews the story. Check it out! Leave a comment!
Monday, May 25, 2009
JIMI HENDRIX TURNS EIGHTY, by Tim Sandlin
It's 2022 (the year Hendrix would have turned 80) and the old time hippies of California (with a few New Yorkers thrown in for good measure) are now back together, this time in an assisted-living home. It's been a long time since the Summer of Love, but you wouldn't know it by the antics of the residents: sex, drugs, and rock n' roll still rule the day. The only problem? The woman who runs the joint does so with an iron fist, even to the point of having her boy toy staff doctor over medicate some of the residents to keep them in line. Well, as she soon finds out, these elderly hippies have one last rebellion left in their old bones. Sandlin keeps the pace fast with short chapters and lots of dialogue. Funny stuff, but also some good musing on aging. 3 1/2 stars.
By the way, did you know my comic novel Into the Sunset also takes place in an assisted-living home? Much different plot, though, about a young man who disguises himself as an elderly gent to live in one of these communities. :-)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I can't believe I invested a whole season of Tuesday nights and Wednesday nights (and even some Monday nights in the beginning) all just to see the mediocre talent of Kris Allen rewarded. Adam Lambert ruled American Idol this year, like no other contestant before him ever did. He was (and is) a star on every level: Performance, arrangement, style, out-of-this-world vocals. And then some nice guy-next-door, who probably shouldn't have even been in the Top 5, gets more votes?!? Oh well, at least Lambert won't have to record and release Kara's lame-ass song now.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I went to my first game at the new Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, April 22, a day game against the Oakland A's. I'm still blown away that the place is already open for business. It seems to have all happened so fast. Over the last couple of years I've literally seen this place rise as I've passed it on the Deegan Expressway.
Parking is still a bitch (and expensive—$19), especially with the old Stadium still standing, and other construction still ongoing. A new Metro-North train station is almost complete, and will be my mode of transportation in the future.
Literally across the street from the old Stadium, you enter the new Stadium into the Great Hall, highlighted by two-sided banners of Yankees legends. This hall leads to different locations: the official Yankees store, Monument Park (get there early to see this. We didn't make it in time), the Yankees Museum, and the lower level of seats. The old Stadium is visible through the windows.
The Yankees Museum is a new feature, and includes the expected memorabilia like bats and balls and uniforms highlighting the different eras of Yankee dynasties. The latest era is called the "Derek Jeter Era" (I wonder what Mariano, O'Neill, Pettitte, and Torre think of that) and includes the championship trophies. Overall the museum was a little disappointing; hopefully they will continue to update it.
The most impressive part of the new Stadium is that everything is so open. While you are walking to your section, you can actually see the field. If you get up to buy a beer or hot dog, or to use the bathroom, you can just turn around and still watch the game. You don't feel like you've left the building, as you did in the old place.
Once in my seats I was reminded why I stopped going to games in April. There was a steady rain until probably around the fifth or sixth inning. Never hard enough to delay the game, just enough to keep you soggy.
We explored a bit during the game (we had time, it ended up going extra innings), and were happy to see that the bleachers section can now be reached from the rest of the Stadium. The Bleacher Creatures are no longer segregated. As with the rest of the Stadium, the walkways are wide and open, and the bleachers offer a good view at a cheap price:
We went back to our seats, and after the top of the 14th, we explored again, and made our way down a level and closer to home plate. Here we got to see Melky Cabrera, one of my favorite players, hit a walk-off homerun. Here is the resulting celebration:
Because of the rain and the extra innings (not to mention it was a day game), by the time we left, the Stadium was already half empty. It STILL took us an hour to get out of the parking lot and onto the Deegan. This, I guess, was in case I needed any further proof that I should take the train from now on.
All in all, and despite the rain, it was worth every penny of the $2,500 I spent on the ticket. Just kidding. Really, it was just 50 bucks.