Author Archives: JT

Random Awesomeness (part 174)

Random Awesomeness


Purchase Alice Cooper – The Eyes of Alice Cooper.

Horror Fun Cards: 1983 Topps Michael Jackson

1983 Topps Custom Card Michael Jackson Thriller

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Notes from blurb.com’s webinar with NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty

nanowrimoNaNoWriMo is just twelve days away, and I’ve been doing my best to get other things wrapped up as I would like to concentrate on getting a rough draft done next month. Tonight, blurb.com hosted a free webinar with NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty. Below are some of my notes hastily scribbled in my notebook. A stream of the webinar is available at blurb.com/workshops/nanowrimo.

I don’t remember who said what, and none of these should be considered direct quotes. I can’t write as fast as they were talking. Please view the video to get the full context of what was said.

  • The biggest barrier is not a lack of talent, but a lack of a deadline.
  • Nobody has the time to write a novel, but everyone can make the time to write a novel.
  • You can’t fix a draft if you haven’t written it.
  • The point of NaNoWriMo is not to write the great American novel; it’s to write your novel.
  • We discover our books as we write them. We don’t really know what the story is until we get to the end.
  • Plotting vs. Pantsing.
  • You can do this without knowing what you’re doing.
  • Know that you can do this…Know that it will get better.
  • Write your joy and great things will follow.

If you are participating in NaNoWriMo next month, I’d love to follow you on the site. You can find me at nanowrimo.org/participants/jasontcarter.

Pumpkin Cinema: The Best Movies for Halloween by Nathaniel Tolle (2014)

Pumpkin Cinema The Best Movies for Halloween Nathaniel Tolle

Pumpkin Cinema
by Nathaniel Tolle
Schiffer, 2014
176 pages

No holiday lends itself to movie marathons more than Halloween. Horror movies are released year-round, and it is difficult to keep up with what is worth watching (and what is worth watching again). Film buff Nathaniel Tolle helps out with Pumpkin Cinema: The Best Movies for Halloween. For more than a decade, Tolle kept track of every movie he watched and gave it a rating. Then, in preparation for this book, went back and wrote down every horror movie he awarded three or more stars, and supplemented that list with other films released in the past several years.

Readers may take more exception to the movies omitted from Tolle’s list rather than those included, but he gives his reasons in the introduction for excluding classics such as Dracula, The Shining, and Pet Sematary. The suggestions offered range from the truly scary (The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street) to the legendary (Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon) to the obscure (The Midnight Hour, Dark Night of the Scarecrow). There are also plenty of selections for the kiddos to enjoy, such as The Halloween Tree and Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie. A separate section examines “Fun-Sized Films and Creepy, Crawly Compilations,” while special Halloween episodes of your favorite television programs are included in part three.

Tolle wraps up Pumpkin Cinema with several top five lists to satisfy your movie marathon cravings. “If you want” vampires or zombies or gore or witches or killer dolls or outer space…whatever your desire may be, Tolle gives five suggestions for thirty-five different categories.

Next time you are browsing Netflix late at night, grab Pumpkin Cinema to help you select the best movie to fit your mood…whether it is October or July.

Learn more about Schiffer.

Purchase Pumpkin Cinema by Nathaniel Tolle.

Horror Fun Cards: 1988 Killer Klowns From Outer Space

1988 Topps Killer Klowns From Outer Space Chiodo Brothers

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Horror Fun Cards: 1964 Topps Herman Munster

Herman Munster 1964 Topps

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Horror Fun Cards: 1993 Leprechaun

Leprechaun 1993 Topps

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Idiot’s Guides: Creative Writing by Casey Clabough (2014)

Idoiots Guides Creative Writing

Idiot’s Guides: Creative Writing
by Casey Clabough, PhD
Alpha, 2014
352 pages

A very basic overview to the task of creative writing, this Idiot’s Guides entry defines the simplest of terms and gives pointers on various forms of the craft, from poetry to flash fiction to novels. Not content at stopping with the writing, however, author Casey Clabough explains the importance of research and editing one’s work, as well as how to seek out a publisher.

Each chapter of this book has been dealt with extensively by other authors, and if there is a specific area of writing that appeals to a person, he would be better served seeking out materials devoted to that area. For those still getting their feet wet in writing, Idot’s Guides: Creative Writing might be useful to explore some different areas before committing to one. This is a basic, dumbed-down version of what one might learn in a creative writing course, and should not be the last book consulted on any topic, but it may be beneficial as a primer.

Learn more about Alpha.

Purchase Idiot’s Guides: Creative Writing by Casey Clabough.

Horror Fun Cards: 1972 Topps Blacula

Blacula In Action 1972 Topps

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Horror Fun Cards: 1989 Topps Gage Creed

1989 Topps Pet Sematary Stephen King Gage Creed

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Horror Fun Cards: 1962 Topps Alfred Hitchcock

1962 Topps Alfred Hitchcock Presents

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Becoming Mr. October by Reggie Jackson with Kevin Baker (2014)

Becoming Mr October Reggie Jackson New York Yankees

Becoming Mr. October
by Reggie Jackson with Kevin Baker
Anchor Books, 2014 (paperback)
320 pages

Before Derek Jeter, the Yankee most associated with postseason glory was Reggie Jackson. Nicknamed “Mr. October” for his offensive prowess in the World Series, particularly with the Yankees (8 home runs, 17 RBI, .400 batting average in 15 games), Jackson epitomized superstardom in the Big Apple. In his memoir Becoming Mr. October, the slugger recounts his 1977 and 1978 seasons in New York, including his feuds with teammate Thurman Munson, manager Billy Martin, and owner George Steinbrenner, and the infamous interview with Robert Ward that set him at odds with his teammates right off the bat.

Jackson begins his memoir as a college athlete at Arizona State University, then quickly moving through his time with the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles to set the stage for his debut with the Yankees. The first four chapters of the book deal with his pre-New York baseball career, while the final twenty-one chapters recall the events of just two seasons; there is no mention of playing for the California Angels or returning to Oakland at the end of his career. The writing style is extremely casual, almost to the point of distraction. This includes the use of text lingo such as “LOL” in some instances.

Overlooking that flippancy, though, Becoming Mr. October is a valuable resource as it presents Jackson’s side of the story. He had been villainized by the press and Yankee management, but was mot at the time afforded the opportunity to present his version of events. Further upset with his portrayal in The Bronx Is Burning (“the whole way they portrayed ‘Reggie Jackson in New York’ was a huge disconnect for me”), the Hall of Famer offers his take on what really happened during his first two seasons in pinstripes.

Learn more about Anchor Books.

Purchase Becoming Mr. October by Reggie Jackson with Kevin Baker.

Beyond Fear by Joseph Maddrey (2014)

Beyond Fear Joseph Maddrey

Beyond Fear: Reflections on Stephen King,
Wes Craven, and George Romero’s Living Dead

by Joseph Maddrey
BearManor Media, 2014
336 pages

Stephen King, Wes Craven, and George A. Romero are three of the most recognizable names in modern horror. In Beyond Fear, author Joseph Maddrey takes a look at some of the most iconic works of each and explores their deeper meanings, drawing on each creator’s personal history and worldview. The book, however, is not too highly intellectual, making it accessible to the average fan who is interested in learning more about their favorite scary storytellers.

Maddrey divides his writing into three parts: one essay on Romero and his Living Dead series, five chapters on Craven’s career in film, and twenty-seven entries on King’s material (including five entitled “The King of Hollywood”). Early influences and possible inspirations are cited for each story or film, and the impact they had on society is considered.

Beyond Fear provides an interesting overview, specifically when it comes to Stephen King’s prolific output and the struggles of his early career. The first 123 pages covering Romero and Craven are an interesting read, but even if they were omitted, Beyond Fear would still be well worth the reader’s time.

Learn more about BearManor Media.

Purchase Beyond Fear by Joseph Maddrey.

Horror Fun Cards: 1973 Regan Teresa MacNeil

Regan Teresa MacNeil The Exorcist 1973 Topps

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Horror Fun Cards: 1988 Charles Lee Ray

1988 Topps Childs Play Chucky Charles Lee Ray

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Random Awesomeness (part 173)

Random Awesomeness


Purchase Alice Cooper – “Keepin’ Halloween Alive.”

Horror Fun Cards: 1968 Topps Rosemary Woodhouse

1968 Topps Rosemarys Baby

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Horror Fun Cards: 1964 Topps Uncle Fester

The Addams Family 1964 Topps Uncle Fester

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Books By The Banks

Books By The BanksThe 8th Annual “Books By The Banks” will be held tomorrow, Saturday, October 11, at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati. The book festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. The book festival boasts 130 authors and publishing professionals, seminars, and events for teens and children. Jack Heffron and Joe Heffron, the authors of The Local Boys: Hometown Players for the Cincinnati Reds and Sports Illustrated’s Kostya Kennedy, author of Pete Rose: An American Dilemma are scheduled to appear and participate in a panel discussion on local sports. Teenagers can challenge authors in games of Battleship and Pictionary. Younger children will be entertained by the Hands Up Puppet Troupe and can meet costumed characters from their favorite books.

Several seminars are scheduled throughout the day for aspiring writers, including “Social Media for Writers,” “Writing Cincinnati,” “Pitching Your Book,” and “Pitching for Publication in the Magazine and Online Markets.” Michael D. Pitman is scheduled to host a “Flash Fiction Workshop” near the end of the festival.

More information, including a list of all authors scheduled to appear, can be found at http://www.booksbythebanks.org.

Horror Fun Cards: 1980 Topps Pamela Voorhees

1980 Topps Custom Card Pamela Voorhees Friday the 13th Camp Crystal Lake Jason Voorhees

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