3 Dreams of Missed Opportunities

SleepingDream #1

Ninjas!

I awoke in bed to find I was completely surrounded by ninjas!

Adorned all in black, they were the night, they were the shadows. I began to sit up and scream when one of them lightly jumped on my chest, putting his hand over my mouth.

“No noise.” He didn’t seem to speak using his mouth (or at least I didn’t see it move through his mask), but I could hear him.

I nodded my head. His voice carried the type of gravity that it would have felt wrong to react any differently.

“You have been chosen,” he said to me in his deep and very dramatically slow voice. “The world is in peril and we need you. The elders looked into their green smoke and found you. You will be trained at the top of the great ghost mountain in the way of the specter ninjas. It is our sacred duty to protect the Earth from all of the perils the commons do not know about. You will join us in fighting the giant rock lizards of Mars, the beautiful Venus army, and the ravenous smelting beasts.”

He removed his hand from my mouth and sat up. “The specter ninjas need you. You are to be our new leader, our hope. Scott Southern…”

“Scott Southard,” I corrected.

I couldn’t exactly see the ninja’s expression, but I knew it was confused. “Excuse me?”

“My name is Scott Southard, not Scott Southern. It is a common mistake.”

The ninjas looked around at each other and in a flash of green smoke they were gone.

I woke up feeling regret. Continue reading

About these ads

NEW WKAR Book Review: The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills

Current StateThis time on WKAR’s Current State I review the new book on Harper Lee, The Mockingbird Next Door. This nonfiction work is by Marja Mills.

You can listen to my review online here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-marja-mills-mockingbird-next-door-wkar

You can also read my book review below.

If you want to check out this new book by Marja Mills, you can find it on Amazon.com here.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

Five Things I Am Into Right Now, October 2014

It's The Great PumpkinSo I have to accept the fact my kids are not going to be into the Peanuts. I truly see the generational gap there. While I can write a post dissecting the interworking genius of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (which I did do here), my kids would rather watch something else.

Actually, my son had a really good answer for not wanting to watch the show. He said they used bad language. Which is true, if you consider the word “stupid” a bad word, as we try to do in our house.

And while my son loves looking at my old comics (especially Calvin & Hobbes), he has no interest in looking at Peanuts. So while I’m busy each year collecting the complete works (thanks to the releases by Fantagraphics Books), my old paperback copies sit gathering dust on his shelves. Once I tried reading him the books and he was startled by them.

“Why are they so mean to Charlie Brown?”

“Well, it’s…”

Now how would you answer that? Is it funny to be mean to someone? Are we laughing at a child’s pain? In our age of fighting bullying, is Charlie Brown a victim? Granted, in the later years of Schulz’s writing, Charlie Brown took a back seat and much of his torture disappeared (usually everything seemed to be about Rerun), but it is there in the early years tenfold.

In the next year we’ll be getting a new Charlie Brown movie. The trailer looks beautiful, but I wonder how they will handle this stuff. It could either be a rebirth for the franchise or the final nail in the coffin. When Charles Schulz died he made it very clear he wanted everything to stop after his passing. His family seems to have done everything possible to keep it going though; yet, a part of me believes Schulz had it right. Especially now.

Now on to my October list! Continue reading

Pontius Pilate, Dr. Seuss, and Me (Part 2)

Pontius Pilatus / Gemaelde 16.Jh. - Pontius Pilate / Paint./ 16th cent. - Ponce Pilate / Peinture du XVIe siecleThis is part two in a memoir that began in this post here.

I oddly wanted this.

I don’t know when this experience changed for me, but the idea of coming in second or third or fourth to another grad student (or worse an undergrad) in auditions felt beneath me. I was Scott freaking Southard and I wanted to be the super grad student! I wanted to be the one that professors would talk about after graduation. A living benchmark for the program. Yeah, I wanted future conversations in the office around history to be like: “Was that before or after Scott was a student here?”

Preparing for the auditions with that lousy script was the equivalent of eating a meal you hated, but promising yourself you were going to eat every drop and love it. Yeah, you were going to smile through the awful meal. Again and again. And I did. I memorized every bit I could of the audition script, bit my tongue as I acted it out in the mirror.

And when the day of the audition came about, I felt ready. Some of my friends thought I was a little crazy for caring so much and maybe I was. Who knows? My brother was an actor when I was growing up, so maybe a part of me wanted to prove it was no big deal and I could do it too. Yeah, I admit there might have been other issues at play in my head. I honestly admit it.

I thought I did great but when the roles were handed out I was not Ponitus Pilate, I was given the second biggest role, that of Caiaphas. I was told in confidence by the theater professor that he only gave the other student Pilate since he had actual acting experience in his past. I could live with that answer! It’s like I was the secret best (but still the best don’t forget).

And that evening I was almost gleeful as I started to highlight the script… until I realized what I was going to be doing and saying.

“Oy vey.” Continue reading

The Tragedy of Bert

Our Tragic HeroFor the last six days I’ve been sick. I’ve had a fever that kept coming and going, a non-stop cough and I felt really weak. I slept away pretty much my entire weekend. Actually, my house has been the perfect storm for illnesses, with my son recovering from pneumonia and my daughter dealing with croup… but enough about them, let’s get back to me.

So while in one of my fever moments I started having a weird debate with myself.

Granted, this happens a lot but more so when a fever is included. And after one memorable (fever-induced) debate I have come to this conclusion.

Bert is the most tragic character in all of the Disney films.

Yes, I am talking about Bert, the lovable bloke from Mary Poppins. The one always up for an adventure and a song and dance. That Bert. And, yes, he is more tragic than Cinderella’s dad (who I still think was murdered by the step-mother) and all of the other lost parents in their cartoons (which is another good reason you don’t want your daughter to be a princess). Bert takes the cake and I carefully constructed this argument to prove my point.

This will not be a jolly holiday. Continue reading

New for Kindle! The Time-Travel Adventure MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS Now Available! Book Giveaway!

My Problem With DoorsI’m really excited to announce that my novel MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS has just been released for the Kindle! I’ve always been very proud of this book and to celebrate this release an exclusive new afterword is included in the Kindle version.  Published by I Publish Press, you can find it on Amazon here (http://amzn.com/B00O6N32ZW). (And check out that cover! So 1950s sci-fi!)

“This is a most compelling book. It pulls you in to a fascinating concept from the beginning…. I give this book 5 stars.” -The Voracious Reader

Jacob is lost in time. He has been that way ever since he was a child for doors don’t work for him like they do for the rest of us. A door can take him to the past or the future, into any house, into any country. MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS  is Jacob’s plea for help. This novel is an unpredictable adventure filled with thrills, romance, horror, and even the occasional cameo from historical figures like Lord Byron and Jack the Ripper. You can check out an excerpt from the book here.

There is also a book giveaway going on for the work over at Goodreads.com. Two lucky readers will win an autographed copy of the novel. You can enter by clicking below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Problem with Doors by Scott D. Southard

My Problem with Doors

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends October 28, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Pontius Pilate, Dr. Seuss, and Me (Part 1)

Pilate in his big sceneRecently, I happily discovered that a picture of me wearing a fur coat and brown tights was finally off the internet.

The picture was from 1998 and for over 15 years it has dogged me on the worldwide web. With a few scrolls down through my name on any search engine (pass the covers of my books and headshots; you know, the important stuff an author cares about), there it was, always waiting for me.

Me in tights.

“Hello Scott, want to see your legs?”

-

When I signed up for the graduate-level course in Medieval Literature (at Michigan State University), I was expecting a challenge.

Actually, I was expecting a massive challenge!

I heard rumblings from past students of the class, everything from translating to long writing assignments. While I love diving into classic literature, I have to be in the right mood for the older, more historical entries. I’m not the kind of person to relax with Chaucer on a Sunday morning (even though I do have a pic of him on my wall and I did once mimic his style in a very long short story). At least Chaucer can be a little bawdy and playful, but you have to earn the Chaucer in such classes. And usually that due is paid by Caedom and Margery Kempe.

Medieval literature, the literary equivalent of a hairshirt.

But it was required for my MA, so what could I do? I decided to put my own writing aside for a semester and accept my fate.

However, as we got closer to the start of the semester, my fellow students and I started hearing from the professor. This year we were to do something different, something special. It was obvious the professor was thrilled and he wanted us to feel that way as well. Maybe with another group of students he would have gotten a bigger reaction, but typically bookworms (i.e., graduate students in English Literature) don’t usually like to be thrown on a stage.

Yes, I said “stage.” See, we were not going to be studying Medieval Literature, we were going to be performing it! Watch out Broadway! Continue reading

11 Questions With Louisa Gummer, Audiobook Narrator for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM

Louisa GummerThis is going to be fun.

See, I wanted to interview the audiobook narrator for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM, but a old print interview felt so… normal. Nah, this a professional narrator, she is the voice of Jane Austen in the book! Let’s do this with the magic of audio! Louisa Gummer, our fearless narrator, happily agreed and after sending her 11 questions I received the following files which you can stream below.

If you visit England, it is a difficult task to avoid the voice of Louisa Gummer. She does voiceover work for commercials to the BBC. She is everywhere! She is also a comedian performing on the London Comedy Circuit and is a member of the London Liars League.  You can learn more about her work and expansive resume via her site (here).

I think Louisa did an amazing job capturing the energy and spirit of the novel. It truly was a treat for me to listen to her performance, and I think you will see why in the interview below. Enjoy!

1. I was thrilled when I heard you were doing the audiobook. When did you start doing narrations? How did you fall into this gig?

2. What has been your favorite book to work on?

3. Do you have any dream books or authors you would like to read?

4. What is the biggest challenge in taking on a book?

5. What made you decide to work on A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM? What was the process like?

Continue reading

For Banned Books Week- A WKAR Review of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Current StateFor Banned Books Week, I decided to do something special for my book review on WKAR’s Current State. This time I am taking on the classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, one of the most banned works of fiction out there. I’m really proud of this review, I hope you will check it out.

You can listen to my review online here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-banned-book-week-mark-twains-adventures-huckleberry-finn-wkar

You can also read my book review below.

This is the second time I have been on WKAR around Banned Books Week. You can listen to my previous commentary here. If you would be interested in hearing/reading more of my NPR book reviews, you can do so via links on this page.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

New audiobook! A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM is now available for your listening pleasure!

Audible Book Cover_A Jane Austen DaydreamLike to listen to audiobooks while working out or on a walk? Planning a road trip, a flight, or just like listening while driving to work? No matter how you like to listen, well, I’ve got a new audiobook for you!

I’m proud to announce the release of A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM as an audiobook!

Read by the very talented narrator Louisa Gummer, A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM is available on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon right now. And on each of the sites you can hear a sample from the work.

  • You can find it on Audible.com here.  It is free for members, or it can be purchased for $24.95.
  • It is available on iTunes (here) for $21.95.
  • And on Amazon (here) where it is free to members, or $21.83.

Almost 12 hours long and it is worth it for every minute. I have had the pleasure of listening to the entire recording and Louisa really captures the wit and voice of Jane. This is more than a simple reading, this is a performance! I could not be more pleased and I look forward to hearing what each of you think! (Also, I hope to interview Louisa on this site in the near future, so stay tuned if you want to meet the voice behind Ms. Austen).

Comedy, scandalous wit, literary surprises, romantic entanglements, and shocking twists, check out the audiobook of A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM today!