Friday, March 05, 2021

5 Tips for adding noise to your comics script

Comicbook Sound Effect SFX Text - Blam


Have you ever sat in a coffee shop making odd sounds? Then you might be a comics writer. 
Way back in the day, when my wife was still my girlfriend, and I used to sit at her kitchen table with my typewriter working on comics scripts, she’d give me funny looks as I tried to devise phonetic spellings for words.

It was part of the job, though. Sound effects, often written in comics scripts as SFX, are a useful part of the comics and graphic novel universe. They're a component to help your comics come to life. 

The 1960s Batman series harnessed them with humor in all of those episode-ending battles. Remember POW and TWOCK as Batman punched out The Joker and The Riddler? While they’re obvious and a part of pop-culture, many beginning writers don’t think about them as they script, but they’re important and they really are part of the writer’s job. 

They’re fun too. For all of the bold colors and exciting visuals on the comic book page, the medium is a static, two-dimensional one. Sound effects are one element that makes a story more dynamic. So, what are some tricks for crafting good sound effects?

 1. Be aware of what’s being done out there. 
It’s about social scanning as I mentioned in my previous post on comics scripting. When you read comics, take note of how effects are being used. Take particular note of how they’re being used in comics similar to yours. Sound effects are word art, and letterers are artists. They have many new graphics tools they’re just waiting to put to work. Those transparent-letter sound effects that let us look through the word as action transpires are an innovation of a few years ago. 

Letterers keep coming up with new ways to make words visually interesting. You might even want to seek out and watch a few lettering tutorials. Seeing how letterers work and what they can do can inspire you. You can always drop in a note and suggestion to the letterer in a comics script if you see something you like. 

 2. Sound it out.
As I mentioned above, it really helps in creating SFX words to try making the sounds, even if it inspires funny looks at the coffee shop or from your pal or significant other. SFX actually allow you to create words. Though that might not make the most diligent English teacher’s happy, that’s how we got some words such as crunch. They’re considered “of imitative etymology” meaning they imitated natural sounds when they were devised back in the 19th century or so. 

3. Don’t just fall back on restating what’s happening,
It’s tempting to just use a verb for a sound effect or fall back on a crack or thump. It’s more interesting to be imaginative and strive for a word that’s really appropriate to the scene and that gives the reader a sense of the audible sound that’s transpiring. 

4. Don’t forget there are tools that can help you.
All of these sound effects are technically onomatopoeia. There are actually onomatopoeia dictionaries out there, and Written Sound is a fairly handy online version. Another handy one is Comic Book FX - The Comic Sound Effect Database.

If it doesn’t have exactly what you need, it may be handy guide to get you started. 

5. Work to develop a good ear for sound. 
Really listen as you walk through the world, and stop and think how you’d write various sounds. As the dryer tumbles your stuff, what is the combination of whir and rattle that transpires? How’s your car sound when you turn the ignition? Or what's the approach of your bus sound like? What about your electric toothbrush? 

Like all creation, sound effects work improves as you flex that creative muscle, and it’s something that will enhance the reader’s experience. That’s the goal after all. Give the reader a wow!

Monday, March 01, 2021

Biblioholic's Bookshelf - The Intruder by Thomas Altman AKA Campbell Black-Campbell Armstrong

Following the posts of the last couple of weeks on '80s domestic thrillers and Campbell Black's Thomas Altman books, here's The Intruder. It's from Bantam, October 1985. It brings a serial killer into the mix. It's, I believe, the last Altman title through a few more thrillers would be released under Campbell Black before Campbell Armstrong political and technical thrillers became the writer's major output. 

The Intruder by Thomas Altman aka Campbell Black

SEE ALSO: Biblioholic's Bookshelf - Kiss Daddy Goodbye by Thomas Altman



Friday, February 26, 2021

5 Things You're Doing Wrong in Your Comic Book or Graphic Novel Script

Writer's Laptop Keyboard


I've been doing some freelance comics script editing because it fits my schedule. The work coming my way varies. Some of it's very professional and complete. Often I get scripts that don't take even the comics world's not-particularly-set-in-stone formatting into account, however.

It seems to be happening organically. I see great storytelling and characterization in a shotgun blast of text. I'm not sure why that's so in a world where Google offers access to thousands of samples and examples including many provided by publishers. Regardless of that, almost every day I get submissions with very little distinction between elements. 

Description co-mingles with dialogue, quotation marks are used where they aren't needed and little regard to basic terminology is shown. Inevitably tacked to one of these polyglot scripts is a note. Do you think this will sell to a publisher? Short answer: "Uh, no." That's a different matter, but still, no. 

A little bit of formatting can offer the scriptwriter a lot more control, and it makes things easier on everyone else. A letterer doesn't have to extricate text from a shotgunned mass. An artist can get a clear vision, and it's easier to edit for errors as well. Tools that can make the two-dimensional world of comics more dynamic can also be deployed.

So what can be done to turn your great storytelling into a functional script? Here are a few thoughts that have come to my mind. Maybe instead of dwelling on what's wrong, we should say these are actually things you can do right.

1). Find some sort of format and use it 

Many are available, and if you do a bit of scanning, you'll find ways to convey your vision easily to an artist while making your work easy on the eye. 

Some easy resources include Dark Horse's sample script and many more on the Comics Script Archive

Check out a number of them, and try not to zero in on the worst, non-standard example you can find as an excuse to do your own thing. 

Here's a guide to basic comicbook terminology as well. 

2.) Be descriptive and keep in mind only one major event can occur in a panel. It's a still frame, a snapshot if you will.

A guy can't rush to the window, tear off his civilian clothes and jump out in one panel. Don't ask an artist to draw that. Artists will often interpret your words and develop a sequence, but you're the writer. Make it clear and precise and make the most of every panel.

3.) Sound effects (SFX) enhance a story. 

A comic's a flat page, but you're seeking to convey action and excitement. One of the tools you have to make the experience dynamic for the reader is sound effect text, and the writer can come up with those words.

Many great and innovative flourishes have developed in recent years, taking the comics world beyond the Pow! and Zaps! parodied in the old Batman series. Scan the comics you have on hand and take note of what's being done. 

Develop a good ear, and harness sites such as Written Sound, the onomatopoeia dictionary

4.) Lettering isn't just about words.

Good letterers can add special emphasis to key words, do interesting things with speech bubbles and add many more flourishes. Take note of that as well as you scan your favorite comics. Add a special note to the letterer if you have a phrase you really want to punch up in some way. Break up a character's long monologue in a couple of speech bubbles if it's a mouthful. 

Dave: Longwinded remark.

Dave: Longwinded remark continued.

Look for natural breaks in the dialogue to suggest a new bubble. 

5.) Use art references.

We all think about things a little differently. When I was in college, I asked an artist to draw a burglar with a mask. To me a domino mask like The Hamburglar wears. She drew a guy with a bag of loot over his shoulder wearing a bandanna tied around his face. To me, that's a train or bank robber's mask. If there's something specific or even something that sets a tone or a mood, find a reference via Google Images and paste a link into the script. 

You might even develop a private Pinterest board with a collection of images as a lookbook like filmmakers use and share that with the artist. That can go a long way toward developing a world that fits what's in your imagination while stimulating an artist's visual creativity. 

Conclusion
Think of these points as shortcuts. If a script's well formatted, an editor is free to focus on storyline, character and world-building details and offer meaningful suggestions that can guide you toward meaningful tweaks and revision that lead toward a satisfying experience for readers. 



Thursday, February 25, 2021

Fool's Run - The Audiobook Thriller Narrated by Josh Brogadir

Fool's Run by Sidney Williams Audiobook

I realized I hadn't done a post about the audiobook version of my newest novel, the mystery-thriller Fool's Run. It actually rolled out at the same time as ebook and trade paper editions

It's always exciting to have the world that was once just inside your head take new form. Certainly it morphs from imagination to manuscript and then to published work. There's a bit of a feeling that your child has come into the world when a book's released and when you see it in paper form.

SEE ALSO: The Obligatory Holding Up the New Book Photo - Fool's Run

Audiobooks are maybe the purest form of adaptation of the written word beyond that. There's an element of interpretation, a bit of dramatization even with a single narrator, but the words stand. 

It's hard for me to look back on anything I've done. I think it's much like actors who don't like to watch their own TV shows. There's always a word you might have chosen better, a phrase that could have had more of a twist. That's the nature of the game and some writers forgive themselves more than others.

I'm not particularly forgiving of myself, yet it's still fun if paradoxical to have the work out there, and I'm very pleased with the Fool's Run audio and having Josh Brogadir give voice to my noir protagonist/narrator Si Reardon. 

He makes Si come alive in a meaningful way, and lets the other characters speak as well, setting a great tone for the narrative. 

I understand it's not always the case, but Josh and I were in contact during his recording work, and I was able to provide my take on a few Louisiana names, locations and words. 

We also discovered there's one New Orleans location that locals know by different names. It's the kind of little detail you hate to miss. Happily I was able to talk to several New Orleans friends settle on the nickname someone from a particular part of the city might use and change the manuscript since the trigger hadn't been pulled yet on publication to the various platforms.

Fool's Run is the first tale featuring Silas Reardon, an ex-cop fresh out of prison and faced with a brutal series of challenges and hardships that force him to take on a dirty job. That leads to complications and a brutal game with a powerful businessman. 

Take a look and listen to an audio sample here

 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Biblioholic's Bookshelf - What About the Baby? by Clare McNally

A sub-genre of menaced brides, mothers and expectant mothers cropped up in the 1980s, perhaps an offshoot of the fading gothic surge. It seems to anticipate the current crop of domestic thrillers. 

Since Thomas Altman titles which fit in that vein have been mentioned in recent weeks, here's another in a similar style. What About the Baby by Clare McNally is from Bantam, September 1983.

Something About the Baby by Clare McNally

View more of Clare McNally's titles here

what about the baby back cover


 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The White Koi - A Poem Memoir in Free Verse

 


The White Koi 2007 

One of the koi 
Has all-white scales.
“He’s an albino,” an old woman says. 
She sits in a wheelchair 
Having found her way to the pond
On her own. 

“I think it’s just a white variety,” I say.
“The eyes are not pink.” 
Why does it matter? 
Why do I need to correct this 
Old woman I don’t know? 

She’s here just like I am 
Escaping the nursing home’s confines 
Where antiseptic smells
Fail to mask underlying odors. 
Defecation and death. 

Escaping the boredom 
And the waiting 
For one or the other
To catch up. 

I’ve brought my mother 
Pushed her wheelchair. 
Alone, she would not find the will or the way. 
She is indifferent to the 
Fresh air, sunlight, the koi pond. 

We might as well be in the place’s 
Unused Library, the shelves 
Lined with Reader’s Digest Condensed Books
Donated and warehoused because 
They don’t have further value. 

My mother’s decline was signaled by
Repeated questions 
And lost emotions. 
She showed no reaction 
At the news my father would die. 

Showed no interest In being by his side, 
Her husband of 49 years.
As he slipped away. 

Her memory has been edited. 
Condensed. 

I have no patience
With falsity. 
Not a good trait 
For this current role. 

Still, I correct genetic misinformation 
About the white koi. 
It’s not deficiency
But editing, called breeding. 

And tell my mother 
Her mother is not forgotten
Waiting in a hot car. 
She’s gone.
We remain. 

And I correct, though I can’t put back. 
I strive to make here 
More than a warehouse
At least.

For a person. 
If not for abandoned books. 
And a koi that the service 
Couldn’t place in ponds
Of more vocal customers 
In search of vibrant joy.



Monday, February 15, 2021

Biblioholic's Bookshelf - Kiss Daddy Goodbye by Thomas Altman aka Campbell Black aka Campbell Armstrong

Kiss Daddy Goodbye by Thomas Altman aka Campbell BlackKiss Daddy Goodbye (1980) is another from  Thomas Altman aka Campbell Black and Campbell Armstrong, following up on last week's post. If you think about it, the Altman novels kind of anticipate the  current domestic thriller era.

This is actually a hardcover book club edition I bought from a remainder house, Publisher's Central Bureau. The True Bride actually followed this one followed by Black Christmas, not a movie tie-in, though the author did write a tie-in to Dressed to Kill as Campbell Black. 


Dark Places followed this one and The Intruder rounded out the Altman novels. 

Monday, February 08, 2021

Biblioholic's Bookshelf - Mr. Apology by Campbell Black

As I've discussed here from time to time, I worked at a newspaper for many years. After a while in general news, I moved into the features department. They asked for me after my first novel came out because it seemed to indicate I could write descriptive prose. I was more interested in writing about arts and letters and entertainment anyway, but it never proved to be a good fit.

Surprisingly the editors were not particularly interested in arts and letters, movies, music, books or many of the things that usually go into, you know, the arts and entertainment section of a newspaper features section. 

Despite that attitude, I always tried to bolster book and author coverage when I could, since I was working in that vineyard and knew what that meant to writers as well as readers.

Often, in spite of that, I was peripheral to decisions. 

SEE ALSO: THE HUSTLER - FIFTIES MAINSTREAM FICTION

An author from, I believe, New Orleans came by one day with the cover art from his upcoming techno-thriller style book. He'd just received it from the publisher.

His selling point was a shadow of a helicopter, almost an Easter egg the artist happened to drop into the mix. It was maybe a stretch to get editors interested. Didn't work even though he was a Louisiana writer and had something new from a New York house in a popular genre.

Somewhere in the process they introduced him to me, though I wasn't getting assigned to review his book. I think they had me busy on something exciting like "People Who Own Dogs in Cenla." 

In the course of conversation, he mentioned a friend, Campbell Armstrong whose real name was Campbell Black. "He sometimes writes as Thomas Altman."

I'd read Black Christmas and The True Bride. I said, "Yeah, I've read him. He puts out some things as Campbell Black."

"NO, HE WRITES AS CAMPBELL ARMSTRONG," the guy said emphatically. Wouldn't hear of different.

I let it drop, but I knew my own book holdings, and I had the one pictured at my house though this is not my copy which is in storage at the moment. 

The editor never took an interest in the guy's cover nor his technothriller. 

He sent postcards a few times after as reminder, escalating his tough sell, but there were stories about refrigerator magnet collectors to be assigned. So it goes. Today we have this thing called the internet that at least settles disputes. 

All of that came back to me for some reason. Conflict sticks with you, I guess. 

 


 ADDENDUM

Got my copy from storage, so here's the back cover.



Monday, February 01, 2021

Biblioholic's Bookshelf - Six Great Short Science Fiction Novels

I got this one from my older cousin. It was in a stash with some issues of Galaxy and a book assessing the James Bond book series, things from his youth. I think he was out of college by then, and I was still a kid. 

It was tucked away in a corner of an abandoned house on his parents' property that was now being used for storage. 

The Asimov entry introduced me to the three laws of robotics. Well, actually my cousin had told me about that. I learned that's where he'd discovered them. 

Six Great Science Fiction Novels Front Cover





Thursday, January 28, 2021

There's Just Something About A Snow Day

The weather forecast made it sound iffy, but I walked into the home office this morning to find Christine peeking out the blinds. I thought she might have heard something like a dog howl, but she quickly announced we had snow and some of it was sticking. 

We have quite a bit in the vicinity of ye olde town home apartments this morning. 

Not an unpleasant way to begin the day.  


Sidney Williams in the snow

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Zoë Moonshadow (Feline) Settles In

It's been a while since we've had a new cat in the household. As I've mentioned in one spot or another, Oliver Littlechap's death in 2019 ended a feline era stretching back to 1997 when Christine and I adopted Daisy and her brother, Cleo.

All of our cats lived out their lives with us, and in later years, they craved warm laps and companionship. Mostly warm laps. 

Zoë Moonshadow is about five and still has those bursts of energy that send her streaking across the living room up the stairs, around the second floor and back again in a heartbeat, with a thunder of footfalls that sound like a herd of wildebeest. She sits on laps but briefly before she's off on other business.

She's settling in with us and seems to like us. There is a bit of unwinding yet to do, though. One two many strokes of her head and coat results in a warning bite. Not too hard, but not a play bite either.

The humane society noted she'd been terrified of large dogs in her second household. Christine likens her situation now to PTSD. I've noticed Zoë's muscles tense as she cocks an ear to an unrecognized sound, as if a dog's approach might be imminent. 

Daisy never knew that kind of fear, but she had her own agenda early on, cuddling was a small part of it. You took affection when it came your way and let her move on when she announced the time for new business.

I'm reminded now of that time. 

I suspect in time we'll get longer, lazy lap sits, but there's no need to rush that. We can spend time in play and hijinks.


Christine read somewhere that Russian Blues like feathered toys, so we grabbed a card of those when we bought her a bed and scratching post. They proved so popular they quickly disappeared. Tucked away in a summer shoe or some other hiding place found and forgotten. 

I bought a few more and a feathered toy on a stick that proves a joy. She chases, nabs if lobbed in the air and if a toy misbehaves enough it gets a pummeling with the hind feet.

In the absence of toys, she likes to hop on the bed and paw wrinkles in the blanket. They seem alive to her and in needed of subduing. 

 "I'm so glad we got her," Christine said one Saturday morning as wrinkles were trapped beneath paws. 

I was reminded that cat ownership often involves sharing the world as much as immediate bonding, watching habits and instincts at work. Coping with a fearful moment if a dog strays too close to a window. Supplying food of course. Seeking to mute some instincts, of course.

With the world made small by pandemic, limited to the walls of home more than ever, having a friend sharing the space expands the universe. 


Monday, January 25, 2021

Biblioholic's Bookshelf - Dark of the Moon by Dan Ross

A gothic by Dan Ross aka WED Ross who wrote many Dark Shadows novels under the name Marilyn Ross. This one's copyright 1969.



Dark of the Moon back cover





Saturday, January 23, 2021

Truman Then and Now

I was fortunate enough to cover David McCullough discussing his Truman bio once upon a time. 

As research, McCullough went to the location of President Harry Truman's vice presidential office where he received the news of FDR's death. 

When that word came, Truman ran to the Oval Office. 

McCullough, along with a couple of Capitol Police officers, ran the same route Truman would have followed. He noted Truman would have run, I believe, along Statuary Hall.

There he would have caught a sense of history and the weight of what had just been placed upon him as he glimpsed those historic figures in blurring past in his peripheral view. 

A New York Times correspondent in commentary Dec. 20 observed that the usually jovial and backslappingJoe Biden was showing signs of grim sobriety, no doubt contemplating what he faces.

I guess it's no surprise that amid pics of family, now President Joseph Biden has chosen statues of historic figures and other important leaders to decorate his Oval Office. The decorating indicates thoughts of more than self but more importantly of taking the job seriously and with the resolve to serve.

It has to be daunting and awesome. There will be stumbles, setbacks and battles. I'm an optimist but no Pollyanna, but I can't help but feel and think we're better off this moment than we were a week ago. 

My cat Zoë meets Bernie

Zoë meets Bernie Sanders

 

Friday, January 22, 2021

It Was Still There

I know a lot of people cried on Wednesday. I was teary-eyed pretty much from the time the band tuned up until the ceremony wound down on Inauguration Day, but when Lady Gaga sang the national anthem and hit "our flag was still there," a great torrent of tears spilled down my face. 

It was, honestly, the best rendition of the hard-to-perform song I've ever heard, delivered with just the right nuances. 

I noted the moment on Facebook because I guess I felt the unexpected relief so many have spoken of. It was a rush, a knee-weakening feeling, an exhale. Everyone's called it an exhale too, so nothing profound there, but it fits.

Sometimes I fail to note to myself how stress is affecting me, a remnant of "be a man" admonitions from my old man, I guess. He was stoic in the face of pain and adversity. I inherited some of that, though it's tempered by my mother's emotional traits. 

But those words and the way Lady Gaga delivered them and really the whole song began to unwind the coil of tension that had wound tighter and tighter as the events of Jan. 6 unfolded.

We've never seen the flag or the capitol threatened in that way, and though they're symbols, they're powerful symbols and they matter. The flag's been co-opted in many cases, but it is our flag, not just the flag of those shrillest "patriots" who cloak themselves in it. 

It is our flag, and it was threatened. They tried to replace it with Trump flags. 

They tried to replace it with Trump flags.

They tried to replace it with Trump flags.

Trump flags.

But they failed, and the assault on democracy abetted by the worst of our leaders, the most cynical, leading blind followers, failed. 

They failed, and amid all the tumult and the horror and the death, we got an inauguration and a reminder of who we are. When Vice President Dan Quayle walked in I cried too. First of the high office holders, a member of the opposing party, representative of an administration with a leader who's passed on. President and Mrs. George W. Bush followed then the other ex-presidents. It was an important show of who we are, a democracy with procedures and symbolic gestures, the true patriot's dream.

And she nailed it all in that lyric. All had been threatened, all that we took for granted for so long, all that had been routine, pedestrian, everything was revealed to be so fragile. 

But it was still there, still in place, ragged around the edges, perhaps, strained, still imperiled, but still there. 

And maybe for a little longer. 


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Biblioholic's Bookshelf - Death Cuts the Deck by Robert L. Fish

Robert L. Fish is probably best known for his Sherlock Holmes parodies featuring Schlock Homes of Bagel Street. Ebook editions of many of the tales are available.

As Robert L. Pike, Fish penned the novel Mute Witness which became the police thriller classic Bullit with Steve McQueen. 

This one's a cozy mystery set on a cruise ship, so deck has an extra meaning. It's from 1971, published by Ace Star. 


Death Cuts the Deck by Robert L. Fish


Death Cuts the Deck



 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Biblioholic's Bookshelf - Devil Day - basis for the film Madhouse

I'm a big fan of the Vincent Price vehicle Madhouse (1974), in which he plays a horror star whose return sparks a series of murders. To me, it along with Theatre of Blood from United Artists, are interesting, seventies tales of horror and revenge that showcase Price in diverse roles. Madhouse was his final excursion with American International Pictures, however, ending an era. 

The film's based on the British novel Devilday. Editions with Price on the cover exist, but this is the British edition from Sphere that's dated September 1970. The ACE edition with the same cover is listing for $768 on Amazon right now, with $3.99 shipping, so I'm glad I got it when I did. 

 






Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Home For the Holidays - Mining Moments

 The holidays seem vast and brief at the same time. I always feel a little tinge of something when I'm putting away Christmas decorations.

I open a box to put something back and find an item I tucked away in November when I took everything else out. And it hits me that the time has passed quickly, as all time does. It immediately feels as if it was long ago the boxes were put back in storage and as if it was seconds.

I had a nice holiday season with my wife Christine, and it did stretch a bit in spite of the flash feeling. I watched a lot of movies, of course. We're working to stay safe and sane.

Happiest Season on Hulu caught my interest early on because it was not just another Christmas movie. It's LGBT-themed and semi-autobiographical for writer-director Clea DuVall, and I thought it was fun and equally poignant in its exploration of people finding their true selves while coping with family pressures.

Christine and I watched and liked The Queen's Gambit together,  at the same time everyone was. "You always have liked smart girls," Christine reminded me. 

I got on a Bond kick later in the season. Friends were rewatching and a common podcast led to several concurrent purchases of the Nobody Does it Better: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of James Bond. 

Several Christmases ago, a lot of Christmases actually, I got boxed sets of the films up through the Pierce Brosnans. (Later, as they came out, I got Blu-Rays of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.) During the holiday break that first year of ownership, I rewatched most of the flicks starting with Dr. No and enjoyed the disc extras with each.

That was long enough ago, the new viewing experience was fresh.  

Doing that again was a different but fun experience, and afforded a bit of "where was I when" thinking. The first ever Bond on my radar was On Her Majesty's Secret Service

My mom got her hair done in a hair salon across from the theater in the little town where I grew up. One of the younger stylists mentioned the film and that a new star was taking over. I remember looking out the window at the poster of George Lazenby on skis. Didn't  actually see a Bond other than the David Niven Casino Royale until Man With the Golden Gun, though I recall ads for Diamonds are Forever and Live and Let Die. I can't recall ads for You Only Lives Twice, but it open roughly the same time as The Dirty Dozen, for which I saw ads on TV and in magazines. I went to see that with my dad and my uncle. My uncle feared I wouldn't sit still for a feature film, but I did, half of it on the upper edge of a theater seat because my weight didn't push the folding cushion down. 

SEE ALSO: The Red Cardigan

Back to Now
In the mix this season, I kept up with The Mandalorian though there were still a few spoilers in spite of everything. You can't watch fast enough. When I saw You-Know-Who's Instagram post of himself going Shhhh, I knew what that had to mean. Clearly, as I just noted, you gotta watch it when it drops. 

I fit in a Christmas Day showing of A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim as well, the classic 1951 rendering that holds up so well. It was a nice alternative to Bells of St. Mary's or It's A Wonderful Life, both of which I love but also have memorized.

We got enough cold in Williamsburg for it to feel like the holidays, though it deterred walking a bit too, which Christine and I enjoy.

Christine and I fit in a few walks to look at decorations in spite of the cold, and we got to see the Saturn/Jupiter alignment, though with streetlights and surprisingly busy sidewalks, we didn't get quite the view we were hoping for. Part of the time I thought it might be distant radio towers we were seeing before deciding that had to be the view. So it goes.

We adopted our new friend Zoë right before the holidays as well, so part of the time we enjoyed the journey of her feeling more and more at home. I put Band Aids on a few bites and scratches as she was getting comfortable. 

I also spent a good bit of time shaking out shoes and looking under furniture for feather-tailed toys she enjoyed but had a tendency to lose. 

Nothing profound here, just a few notes so that I'll remember later, because with my friend Lee's death, I've realized how much days can blur together and how hard it can be to mine moments from memory. 

Once that wasn't as hard, but there were fewer years to look back on. Now there are more with more thoughts crowding the attic.




Monday, January 04, 2021

Biblioholic's Bookshelf - The Butterfly Revolution by William Butler

I suppose The Butterfly Revolution by William Butler fits best into a sub-genre somewhere along side something like Glendon Swarthout's Bless the Beasts and Children and maybe even Lord of the Flies. The cover blurb suggests that as you can see. You can also read a brief review here

The book focuses on an uprising at a summer camp and the establishment of a new, brutal order by the victorious young revolutionaries. It's copyright 1961.

It's not a slasher film, though the marketing and poster for the loose movie adaptation, Summer Camp Nightmare (1987) channels that vibe at least at a glance. 

The big name in the cast is Chuck Connors as the camp director with Melissa Reeves of Days of Our Lives in a supporting role. 

This Ballantine edition is from December, 1973, the 11th printing. Butler's other books include The House at Akiya and The Experiment. 




SEE ALSO: Biblioholic's Bookshelf- The Scarf by Robert Bloch


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