“Lucky Man” By The Verve

ZombieAnother music and memory post today!  This is the fifth in my “With Music” series. The others  so far included a song by Ben Folds Five (you can read it here), Sheryl Crow (here), one of the best songs ever by Beth Orton (here) and an embarrassing love for a Dean Martin single (here).  This time, I take on a lost week and a zombie.  Enjoy!

The easiest way to describe radio drama in the United States is to compare it to a zombie.

While in England and other European countries you can still find radio dramas (new and old) on their stations (many time with famous actors and writers supplying the talent), here it is something different. When television came around, the media world couldn’t have dropped it faster and all of the radio celebrities ran from the waves to the boxes.

Here is the thing though; it is not dead… well… not entirely.

It struggles, it grunts and it staggers forward, hands outstretched, craving listeners to bring it back, make it truly alive again. Not brains, ears is what the monster craves. Ears… Ears!

I have always had an obsession with radio plays. I remember the first time I heard The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was like a revelation. Douglas Adams took his crazy idea and with some sound effects and wonderful actors made a movie in my head that was better than any I could have hoped to have seen. I went from there to The Firesign Theater and then to old time radio. There was an AM station in my area that would play it randomly late at night, and as a kid I would stay up, leaning over the player, ready to press record on my tape deck if a show I loved came on.

There is something awe-inspiring to me about radio plays. They take really little to produce, anything can be a sound effect (Douglas Adams made the sounds of the end of the universe with a bath tub, for example), and you were playing in the mind of someone else. And since radio dramas rarely get bogged down with descriptions, the listener is really an active audience, dressing the characters and the set with their imagination. It’s a personal experience, and the audience can own it as much as the performers.

So when I started to dream of being a writer, my first thoughts were all about radio. I wanted to capture the zombie and give it new life, I didn’t want to be eaten.

Yes, I dreamed of feeding it ears. Continue reading

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Singing Devils, Tigers, Hell and College Students! Discover the Comedy of THE DANTE EXPERIENCE

The Dante Experience“…a cross between Monty Python, the Marx Brothers, and the Airplane movies.” — Bennet Pomerantz, AudioWorld, January 2002

My comedy radio series The Dante Experience is now available to listen to directly via my site! Actually, the buttons right below. (I know you see them.) How cool is that?

Inspired by Monty Python and Douglas Adams, The Dante Experience (winner of the Golden Headset, and many other radio competitions) was produced by Mind’s Ear Audio Productions. I am really proud of this mad little series. I hope you will press play. (You know you want to.)

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

You can learn more about my series on The Dante 3 page.  If you would like to order a copy of the series, you can do so via the catalog for Mind’s Ear (here).

The 3 Mes: 22 Days Until 40

Number 3I’ve become very self-centered over the last few months.

Not in a “I’m going to be rude” kind of way. No, this is more like I get lost in thoughts, staring off into the distance. It’s like…

I’m sorry, I was someplace else right then. I’m back now.

A few posts ago, someone commented that I was going through a mid-life crisis. At the time, I brushed it off. Me? No!

I didn’t have any of the signs we all know from television and movies! But… now…  I think this might be my version of it. An exclusive and unique mid-life crisis. Sounds like something I would do. And to get through this stage in my life, I thought it might be “fun” to document my thoughts and feelings. Capture this moment. As a writer, you never know what will lead to inspiration and right now all of my focus seems to be on this, this shift. It is new, it is different, and it won’t happen again.

Okay…. Oddly, at this time (22 days off from life’s halfway mark) I feel splintered, broken into three different versions of myself.

There is the present me, the future me, and the past me. And I can see them in the mirror, they haunt me. When I get dressed in the morning, I sometimes wonder which one I am dressing like, which one I am going to be that day. This may all seem very dramatic to some, but I am a writer. It comes with the territory, drama is in the DNA. One of the great truths for all three of the mes. Continue reading

Dante, Tigers, & Tap-Dancing Demons, Oh My! Listen to THE DANTE EXPERIENCE

The Dante ExperienceDan Brown in his latest book, Inferno, thinks he knows Dante’s Divine Comedy.

I. THINK. NOT.

Inspired by Douglas Adams’ The Hithchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and Monty Python, the entire award-winning unpredictable and bizarre radio comedy series The Dante Experience is available to listen to online via soundcloud. All freaking 10 episodes! If you don’t know this work of mine, you are in for a treat. Listen below!

Produced and directed by Mind’s Ear Audio Productions, The Dante Experience follows a badly-managed attempt to instill a fear of the afterlife in the next generation of man. Robert and his friends were definitely the wrong young adults to choose for the tour, as his girlfriend dumps him for Mephistopheles the devil, his friend Susan forms an army with Julius Caesar to argue for the deads’ rights, and Steve seduces famous women throughout history. The afterlife is never going to be the same.

I hope you enjoy listening to my comedy series!

Writing About Genius: Discussing Authors on a Blog

I tolerate Garrison Keillor, but I am not sure how much I like him.

While I am impressed that he can write a two-hour show each week (and that is an accomplishment, make no mistake), I never found his fiction to be very good– comforting, yes; good, no. When planning for a trip to Italy with my wife, I picked up a bunch of his novels for all of the driving from tourist site to tourist site.  Well, on day two of the trip, I gave his books to another traveler, and picked up some new books at a bus stop… Yeah, that says everything right there.

So why do I bring up Mr. Keillor? Frankly, I don’t think he helps the image of English majors and readers on his show. English majors (and I will include librarians with us since they get attacked as well) in his opinion seem to always live a life of illusion, false grandeur.  Making us almost something to be pitied or laughed at… and they laugh every week.

Yes, English majors really don’t serve much of a purpose in the economy, no business manager has ever demanded an HR department to hire a new English major. When it comes to the American dream of moving up ladders and finding success, English majors are on the outskirts; because, honestly, our dreams are different. Continue reading

My Online Literary Experiment: The page is up…

Almost time for Chapter 2, and in preparation I have created a page for Permanent Spring Showers (here). As each chapter in my online literary experiment goes up, I’ll as well update this page in case you want to revisit the previous chapters… or if you are just finding my site now (hello, welcome), you can check out this page to start from the attention-getting beginning.

I have a few pages now on this site for different writings that are available online. So if you like my fiction, why not check out some of my other work that is out there on the World Wide Web?

  • Upon The Ground, a new collection of short stories that was recently shared by Green Spot Blue.
  • A Jane Austen Daydream, a literary romantic-comedy in the voice of Ms. Austen, recreating her life as one of her novels, with some very post-modern twists.
  • The Dante 3, a radio comedy series about a group of college students getting a tour and the mess they make of the afterlife. Scripts for the unproduced sequel, as well as production notes/memories, are included on the page for those wishing to learn more.

In regards to the writing of Permanent Spring Showers, so far I am intrigued by the voice of it. Very different from my published novels (my writing page), if anything reminding me of my energetic literary style in college. No holds barred, right for the literary throat.

I hope you are enjoying this ongoing creation and will tune in tomorrow for Chapter 2.

Notes From THE HONEYMOON, What Would Have Been the Last Part of The Dante 3

While creating the scripts for Time Out Of Mind, the proposed sequel to The Dante Experience, I began to take notes and scribble ideas for the third and final part, which had the working title of The Honeymoon.

I always knew I wanted the series to be a trilogy. Where I saw the first part being the afterlife and the second being time, I wanted the third to be a little more personal, and less large scale.  For some reason I became fascinated by the idea of putting as many of my characters as I could on a boat in the middle of the ocean… and seeing what happens.

After sending Time Out Of Mind to Mind’s Ear and realizing it was not going to happen, my notes and scenes for The Honeymoon became… well… history. Continue reading

Episode Ten: Time Out Of Mind

Episode 10 of

Time Out Of Mind,

The sequel to

The Dante Experience

“Gettysburg”

OPENING CREDITS

Scene 1

SOUND: Of Heaven

MICHAEL: Hazzah, your stellarness! I have good news for you. The communication link has been set up and I can get our team to fight the dragons!

REPAIR ANGEL: I said, I would fix it… All you had to do was wait.

MICHAEL: Not now! I’m talking to the big guy…Anyway, your infiniteness, I’m about to make contact with our team. Jenkins, can you hear me? Hello?

Scene 2

SOUND: Of Beach.

MICHAEL: Jenkins.

JENKINS: Oh, great, it’s Angel Michael.

ALL: (Sigh) Continue reading

Episode Nine: Time Out Of Mind

Episode 9 of

Time Out Of Mind,

The Sequel to

The Dante Experience

“Two Roberts for the Price of One”

OPENING CREDITS

Scene 1

SOUND: Of Heaven.

REPAIR ANGEL: Best out of three?

KELLII: Ok. You move first.

MICHAEL: Can you two stop playing that game! This is the throne room and I am doing important things. The big guy doesn’t want to see you playing a board game.

KELLII: I don’t hear him complaining.

REPAIR ANGEL: Actually, I haven’t heard him at all since I’ve been here.

MICHAEL: Can you two please stop judging the maker.

KELLII: Is he even awake?… Hello? Anyone there? Continue reading

Episode Eight: Time Out Of Mind

Episode 8 of

Time Out Of Mind,

The Sequel to

The Dante Experience

“Dinner With the Folks”

OPENING CREDITS

Scene 1

SOUND: Of heaven and a computer typing.

MICHAEL: Ok, I have some bad news…

SOUND: Of computer stops typing.

MICHAEL: I’ve been searching for three hours now and I can’t find our group of heroes. Ever since Adam threw that rock and hit the time machine, our team has been lost in time… They could be anywhere.

KELLII: Can we play another game now?

REPAIR ANGEL: I have Stratego.

KELLII: Yeah, get that one. Anything better than Monopoly. Monopoly just doesn’t work for two people.

MICHAEL: Can you two please leave?

KELLII: I want to wait and see what happens next?

MICHAEL: What happens next? I’ll tell you what happens next! Your father shows up and kicks my…

REPAIR ANGEL: Hey, let’s watch the language.

KELLII: So he is a little protective.

MICHAEL: He threatened me for just taking you on a date!

KELLII: See, protective.

REPAIR ANGEL: Wait until he sees the website you created. Continue reading