Saturday, April 27, 2013

Songs to Play at My Funeral

Don't let the title bring concern. The last checkup was decent, and other than some mild allergy annoyance as April slides toward May, I'm feeling pretty good.

But trouble at my undergrad alma mater's had an interesting side effect, of late. It's caused me to at least have passing contact with some friends from way back. Some of 'em look old on Facebook, I'm not gonna lie.

Seems I blinked and thirty years have passed. Not sure how that happened. It brought the notion that I'd like to choose the songs that are played when I've done the Off the Mortal Coil Shuffle. Hopefully that's not for another 30 years or at least not until the fish oil stops working.

But whenever it occurs, I'm starting the playlist. Somebody out there see that this happens, hold Christine to it.

Doesn't have to be this version, but for the sheer irony of it, I think I need a rendition of Simple Gifts, the shaker hymn. My corporate communications day gig of twelve years was at a company that used the tune as its theme song. I've mulled requesting Lord of the Dance, a later song with the same tune, but I think in needs to be the original.




The great Warren Zevon died in 2003, same year my old man passed. I knew "Werewolves of London," but a buddy in my newspaper days prompted me to purchase a Zevon album, and I've stayed a fan forever. This tune from his farewell album would be a nice touch.




I was a fan of the British series Cracker when it aired in the US in the '90s. Christine and I watched on A&E. When Fitz, the lead character, lost his mother, they played Loch Lomond at her funeral. I always liked that and found a version when I was working at the library.

In the show,  they had a choir boy singing it, but I'd settle for the version from Runrig. My roots, on both sides of my family, are in the British Isles, so it's appropriate. I'll probably come up with a few more, but that's a start.



"Don't muffle your drums and play your fifes merrily,
 Play a quick march as you carry me along, 
And fire your bright muskets all over my coffin, 
Saying: There goes an unfortunate lad to his home."
                                 -- The Unfortunate Rake
                                    Folk ballad

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Reading Lessons Cover Reveal


Carole Lanham, who once featured me in her Apron Hall of Fame, asked me to share in the joy of the cover reveal on her new book The Reading Lessons. (View The Making of The Apron Pic post)

It's really beautifully done artwork as you can see above.

Sounds like a really interesting Southern novel. Here's the synopsis from the publisher, Immortal Ink,  and you can view the trailer below:

Mississippi 1920: Nine year old servant, Hadley Crump, finds himself drawn into a secret world when he is invited to join wealthy Lucinda Browning’s dirty book club. No one suspects that the bi-racial son of the cook is anything more to Lucinda than a charitable obligation, but behind closed doors, O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright. What begins as a breathless investigation into the more juicy parts of literature quickly becomes a consuming and life-long habit for two people who would not otherwise be left alone together. As lynchings erupt across the South and the serving staff is slowly cut to make way for new mechanical household conveniences, Hadley begins to understand how dangerous and precarious his situation is.

The Reading Lessons follows the lives of two people born into a world that is unforgiving as a Hangman’s knot. Divided by skin color and joined by books, Hadley and Lucinda are forced to come together in the only place that will allow it, a land of printed words and dark secrets.

It's coming Summer 2013.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Learning: True Crime Florida

Update
Gilbert King was awarded the Pulitzer Prize April 15, 2013, for his book Devil in the Grove 


Christine and I popped over to the University of Central Florida for the UCF Book Festival Saturday. A host of authors and vendors were on hand, and I met several local scribes.

We didn't plan carefully. We just popped over to get a taste of the events, but we managed to be browsing when a panel with true crime authors kicked off at the campus Barnes & Noble.

It was an interesting session featuring three authors who'd penned books on Florida crime.

 The diversity of local law breaking proved intriguing and rivals Louisiana's, I believe.

Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times was on hand to review his account of orchid smuggling and the fallout when a rare Peruvian orchid turned up at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.

Apparently the twists and intrigues were greater than he expected at the outset, and the characters were as colorful as the flowers involved.

I saw Adaptation once upon a time, but apparently that was just the tip of the stamen.

Pittman said the man who discovered the rare orchid asked that it be named for him, and that was like hanging out a sign that said come indict me. Raids, court cases, international incidents and more fallout followed.

A darker crime is the focus of Trout from The Orlando Sentinel's Jeff Kunerth. He actually began the book as part of a master's program, and chose to focus on teens and the issues about trying juveniles as adults.

The account focuses on a 1991 murder at a store called Trout Auto Parts. Three teens were forever linked by a murder for hire scheme that unfortunately cost the wrong man his life.

Kunerth spoke of prison interviews with the three men, now approaching middle age, and of trying to discern the truth from the various accounts.

The non-Floridian of the group was Gilbert King, author of a historic true crime account from Lake County.

Devil in the Grove explores a 1949 case that eventually brought Thurgood Marshall to Florida to face the Ku Klux Klan and other dangers swirling around rape allegations against young African American men. It was a time when orange growing was big business, a brutal Southern sheriff ruled the county with an iron hand and the Klan active and brutal.

King spoke of drives deep into rural Georgia and other research efforts including FBI files and more.

As panels do, this one made me want to read all three books, and it gave me a little more perspective on Sunshine State crime.

It really is Carl Hiaasen and John D. MacDonald country.


Saturday, April 06, 2013

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Horror Haiku Series From Seraph Films


I've been enjoying the short  flicks in Seraph Film's Horror Haiku series. They're impressive, eerie and concise with a mixture of monsters and more.

 This is the teaser. Visit their You Tube page for all entries plus some other short films. 
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