MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

‘Longmire’s Robert Taylor Joins Prehistoric Shark Tale ‘Meg



Robert Taylor is the latest addition to Jon Turteltaub’s giant-shark thriller Meg, Warner Bros’ upcoming adventure produced in conjunction with China-based banner Gravity. Taylor, the Aussie actor who stars in Netflix’s Western drama Longmire, will star alongside Jason Statham and Li Bingbing in the film. Longmire‘s fifth season starts streaming Friday.

Turteltaub directs Meg, an adaptation of Steve Alten’s 1997 novel, with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Belle Avery and Colin Wilson producing. The story, written by Dean Georgaris (with a rewrite from James Vanderbilt), follows a Navy deep-sea diver (Statham) whose military career ended in disgrace after his team encountered a living Megalodon, a prehistoric ancestor of the shark believed to reach up to 60 feet in length. With his team destroyed by the beast, he soon is offered a chance at redemption when the monster wreaks havoc off the coast of present-day China.

Wei Wayne Jiang, Barrie M. Osborne, Randy Greenberg and Gerald R. Molen exec produce with Flagship Entertainment, China Media Capital division Gravity Pictures and Warner Bros Pictures co-financing. Gravity Pictures will distribute the film in China, while Warner Bros handles the title throughout the rest of the world.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cliff Curtis Joins Meg

Cliff Curtis has been set to star alongside Jason Statham in Warner Bros’ sci-fi action title Meg, directed by Jon Turtletaub.

cliff-curtis

Dean Georgaris adapts the script (with a rewrite from James Vanderbilt) from the 1997 novel by Steve Alten, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror. The story follows a Navy deep-sea diver whose military career ended in disgrace after his team encountered a living Megalodon, a prehistoric ancestor of the shark believed to reach up to 60 feet in length. With his team destroyed by the beast, he soon is offered a chance at redemption when an international underwater observation program led by Chinese scientists encounters the same beast after a volcanic eruption released it from an underwater trench into open water.

Curtis takes the role of the Operations Chief aboard the Mana One, joining Ruby Rose, Rainn Wilson and Chinese actress Li Bingbing in the cast.

New Zealand native Curtis stars on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead and recently produced and starred in New Zealand indie feature The Dark Horse, based on the true story of Kiwi chess player Genesis Potini who suffered from severe bipolar disorder. Curtis has had roles in such films as Live Free or Die Hard, Training Day, Three Kings and The Fountain. 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Little Big Crimes: A Fun little review of Dennis Palumbo's "A Theory of Murder"

A Theory of Murder, by Dennis Palumbo

"A Theory of Murder," by Dennis Palumbo, in And All Our Yesterdays, edited by Andrew MacRae, Darkhouse Books, 2015.


Mea culpa: It took me so long to get around to reading this book that I forgot how I received it.  I should say it was a gift from the publisher.

Wish I'd thought of that.

It's Bern, Switzerland, 1904.  Hector, a clerk in the patent office, is suspected of a series of grisly murders.  Luckily a friend of his, also a patent clerk, is looking into the crimes.  And Albert Einstein is a pretty bright guy...

You may know that 1905 was the "Annus Mirabilis" in which Einstein published four papers that turned Physics on its head.  In this story we see him pondering on some of these points, providing some of the most amusing moments.

For example, he shows up at Hector's house in the middle of the night:

"My God, Albert, do you know the time?"

"More intimately than most, I promise you." 

A very clever story.


Read more



Dennis Palumbo's historical short story is titled, "A Theory of Murder," and originally appeared in The Strand Magazine. Featuring a young Albert Einstein as an amateur sleuth.

An anthology of historical mysteries from DarkHouse Books. Available as both an e-book and a paperback.



purchase on Amazon.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

He writes every day ...



The Conditioned from Facebook Stories on Vimeo.

Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho was homeless in São Paulo, Brazil, for nearly 35 years, and became locally known for sitting in the same spot and writing every day. In April 2011, he was befriended by a young woman named Shalla Monteiro. Impressed by his poetry and wanting to help him with his dream of publishing a book, she created a Facebook Page to feature Raimundo’s writing. Neither could have expected what happened next.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Celebrities Toast to Sober Film Festival: Screening of Alcoholics Anonymous Classics Written by author William Borchert

Writers In Treatment is bringing its Los Angeles based REEL Recovery Film Festival & Symposium to CINEMA VILLAGE, 22 W. 12th St., NY, NY 10003, from Sept. 23 - Sept. 28.

All films $10.00

This 7-day film festival and recovery symposium is a celebration of film, the arts, creativity, recovery from substance abuse and alcohol addiction. Showcased are filmmakers who make honest films about addiction, alcoholism, behavioral disorders, treatment and living sober. Slated for screening is an eclectic lineup of contemporary and classic films, documentaries and shorts from first-time filmmakers and industry veterans.

Screening of Alcoholics Anonymous Classics Written by author William Borchert: My Name is Bill W. Starring James woods and James Gardener & When Love is not Enough- The Lois Wilson Story - Starring Winona Ryder and Barry Pepper 


LIVE IN PERSON: Q & A with William Borchert (between screenings) discussing the books behind the films and filming of "My Name is Bill W," and Bill will also be signing his newest book, "How I Became My Father...A Drunk

The REEL Recovery Film Festival & Symposium also plays in: LOS ANGELES, CA Oct. 20-27, FT. LAUDERDALE, FL NOV. 2-5, DENVER, tba, HOUSTON, tba.

Primary sponsors: Best Drug Rehabilitation, Tres Vista, Recovery Centers of America, and Betty Ford Center.

About Writers In Treatment

Writers In Treatment is an organization whose primary purpose is to save lives through free referrals guiding individuals towards 'treatment' as the best first step solution for addiction, alcoholism and other self-destructive behaviors. They also offer educational, prevention and awareness programs that help reduce the stigma of addictive disorders. Their REEL Recovery Film Festivals provide Entertainment, Education and Inspiration to men and women suffering from addictive disorders, those in recovery or those on the cusp.

For more information: Leonard Buschel 818-762-0461.

Monday, September 5, 2016

President Emeritus Richard Gilman Dies at Age 92

Named Occidental's tenth president in 1965, by the time Gilman retired in 1988 after 23 years of distinguished service he had signed more than half of the diplomas the College awarded during its first century.


Occidental College President Emeritus Richard GilmanI kept in touch with Richard Gilman over the years, the President of Occidental when I was there. He was a constant encouragement to continue pushing the envelope—despite complaints from fellow faculty that “I was doing too much.” “You’ll never have a problem with me,” he said. “Keep doing what you’re doing.” He was indeed constantly working the room, introducing himself as “President Gilman.” One Beverly Hills matron responded: “President of what?” I loved that. May he rest in that great Ivory Tower in the sky.




Thursday, September 1, 2016

Advice To Writers Interviews Kenneth Atchity

AdviceToWriters

WRITERLY WISDOM OF THE AGES / Collected by Jon Winokur


How did you become a writer?
I don’t remember ever not being a writer, though I’m sure it was my mother’s fault. She’d sit me down at the kitchen table and insist that I write because she knew I had the storytelling genes of her Cajun family in me.


What are your writing influences (writers, books, teachers, etc.)?
Aside from Mom, I was inspired and egged on by teachers in elementary, high school, and college—many through their example. My Yale mentor Tom Bergin published around 60 books BEFORE he retired, then another 20 or so after retirement, illustrating my favorite quote from Benjamin Franklin: “I see nothing wrong with retirement as long as it does not interfere with a man’s work.” Novelist John Gardner was my first and toughest editor, who weaned me from academic writing and taught me to write to be helpful or entertaining—or both. My favorite writers include Kurt Vonnegut, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Robert Ludlum (when he was alive), Carson McCullers (“I can’t stand the word ‘prose’; it’s too prosaic.”), and some of the writers I’ve managed or published including Martin Ott, Misti Mosteller, Jerry Amernic, Milton Lyles and John Scott Shepherd.

When and where do you write?
I write anywhere (right now I’m writing on a flight between Dublin and Newark), including at my desk every day I’m home, on the airplane, train, bus, car (while someone else is driving)—the more exotic location, the better. I also write any time of the day, though much prefer the early morning before the phone, email, and texts begin. You’ll never experience writer’s block if you follow my simple rule: Never sit down to write without knowing what you’re going to write when you sit down.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on a new nonfiction book about “how to get your story to the screen”; a second “romance of mythic identity,” this one set in Naples; and the Louisiana volume of my memoirs—as well as an article about “yoga and the myth of the world tree.”

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?
See above. Norman Mailer said, “Writer’s block is a failure of the ego.” And Ray Bradbury: “Start doing more. It’ll get rid of all those moods you’re having!” When you think you’re blocked, you’re not. You just need to take a long walk and let your story figure itself out again so you can sit back down and write it. Good writing should be “automatic writing.”

What’s your advice to new writers?
Don’t confuse writing with rewriting. If you try to do both at the same time, you’ll sabotage yourself. Rewriting is what you start doing when you’ve completed your first draft. Good luck to you all.
Former professor Ken Atchity is a writer (of novels and nonfiction), producer of films for television and theater, literary manager, and publisher (Story Merchant Books). 

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Miki's Hope Reviews Brae MacKenzie


This book may throw you a bit--and although I am pretty sure it is an allegory in parts I will definitely be reading it again.

Depression is a terrible illness and Brae Mackenzie seems to be deeply depressed. Nothing is bringing her joy--her Mom died when she was very young and her husband just died. She goes deeper and deeper into a depressed state. Her Father finally notices and gives her a letter-a family heirloom-a letter written to Brae by her Grandmother. It is a treasure map--but where will it take her?

She goes to Scotland where her family originated-and with the help of the dour Scot Daemon--follows the trail of the treasure map. What she finds at the end is where the allegory will become apparent!

I truly enjoyed this book and believe it may help others and that everyone will enjoy the story!


About the Book: (from Amazon)

Brae MacKenzie, a successful San Francisco painter, is a woman who seems to have it all but who's felt a sense of loss and longing since childhood. Her artistic passion hasn't filled that void, and with the untimely death of her charismatic husband, the old pain resurges.

Brae's father senses his daughter's pain and before she embarks for an exhibit in England he hands her a family heirloom hidden away for years...a letter: "Since you are still among the living, your heart is not broken...follow the map," Brae reads, "to Scotland."

The London exhibit, in its ultra-chic hollowness, prompts Brae into taking and advice of that bewildering letter. She hops a train for Glasgow.

When the train goes through a tunnel and emerges in an infinite forest of Scotch pines, descendants of the ancient Caledonian forest, Brae suddenly feels something. This is her stop; she just knows it.
She is met at the station by Damon, a stranger, or perhaps not. He becomes her own personal tour guide to the myths and history of a past she never knew--and to a romance she never dreamed of having. She had it all, beauty, love, wealth and fame, but her soul was empty. It wasn’t the loss of her perfect husband, her painting did not give her joy, she was empty inside, something was missing.

Read a chapter or two here

Purchase the book here

Read more at Miki's Hope

Monday, August 29, 2016

Gene Wilder ... R.I.P.

He made us cry with  laughter.  Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedic gems as “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Stir Crazy,” died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.

Gene Wilder Dead