Monday, May 28, 2007

Farenheit 451???

Love curling up with a good book? Tired of re-runs and brainless internet surfing?

Want to help your favorite authors? Want to find new ones to entertain you?

Then please support your local bookseller. Otherwise...
By DAVID TWIDDY, Associated Press Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tom Wayne has amassed thousands of books in a warehouse during the 10 years he has run his used book store, Prospero's Books. But when he wanted to thin out the collection, he found he couldn't even give away books to libraries or thrift shops; they said they were full.

So on Sunday, Wayne began burning his books in protest of what he sees as society's diminishing support for the printed word.

"This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today," Wayne told spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books.

Wayne said he has seen fewer customers in recent years as people more often get their information from television or the Internet. He pointed to a 2002 study by the National Endowment for the Arts, that found that less than half of adult respondents reported reading for pleasure, down from almost 57 percent in 1982.

Mike Bechtel paid $10 for a stack of books, including an antique collection of children's literature, which he said he'd save for his 4-year-old son.

"I think, given the fact it is a protest of people not reading books, it's the best way to do it," Bechtel said. "(Wayne has) made the point that not reading a book is as good as burning it."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Like Fathers, Like Sons

NBC San Diego has a story about a video that the FBI uses to demonstrate how gang violence is perpetuated.

In it, a toddler in diapers and his dad spend a day together. First, dad shows junior how to execute a drive-by shooting: the baby pretending the drive the car while dad "shoots" from the back seat.

Then they spend some quality time bagging drugs together. Dad uses this opportunity to continue to bond with his son by teaching him swear words and giving him alcohol to drink.

Finally, dad and junior practice quick draw skills as dad pulls a toy gun from the baby's diaper and shows him how to hold it and threaten someone with it.

Ahhh...the joys of fatherhood.

Friday, May 18, 2007

What were they thinking?

Okay, I'll bet you're expecting this to be about the Grey's Anatomy finale.

Nope, this is real life. From Reuters:

BERLIN (Reuters) - A 36-year-old German mother-of-five drove her son to a jewelry store he wanted to rob because she was afraid he may come to some harm, Bild newspaper reported Wednesday.

While her 17-year-old son and his two accomplices stabbed and robbed a jeweler in the eastern city of Dresden, the mother waited outside in the car.

"I knew he wanted to rob the shop and I was very worried about him," top-selling Bild quoted the mother as saying.

A court sentenced the woman to three years and ten months in prison, a spokeswoman for the court said.

The scariest thing? The women has four other children! Gee, wonder what those kids have learned from their adult role models?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Time Warp!

According to the New York Times, NBC has announced part of its fall lineup. Returning series include Friday Night Lights--yeah!!!

True confession, I'm a football junkie. Grew up going to church with Joe Paterno and my Nittany Lions on Saturday and the Steelers on Sunday. When we trained our puppy to stay out of the dining room, the command we taught her was "Off Sides!" My nephew's first words were "Touch Down!"

So combine the inside life of a high school football team, no bars held when it comes to the realities most kids face these days (sex, drugs, booze, steroids), the small town that lives and breathes football and hunky coach Kyle Chandler and I'm sold!

Kudos to NBC!

Except, the Times went on to dish out this redux nugget:

The drama that is certain to get the most instant recognition is “Bionic Woman,” a 21st-century remake of the 1970s series. This one stars Michelle Ryan as an accident victim remade with bionic parts who is embroiled in a secret government project, which also includes a previous bionic prototype, played by Katee Sackhoff. The series was once thought to be in trouble, but the pilot is now getting some of the strongest favorable reviews inside NBC.

Are they for real? The Bionic Woman is the best they got???? And it's getting "the strongest, favorable reviews"????

Jeezit, NBC, just drop me a line next time you're shopping for a new series with kick ass heroines! I've got several manuscripts I'd love to show you--and all of my characters are real women, not silicon!

What do you think? Did NBC just set back the women's movement by twenty years or what?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What would you do?

According to the Associated Press, 2.5 million Americans are NOT watching TV this spring:

NEW YORK (AP) - Maybe they're outside in the garden. They could be playing softball. Or perhaps they're just plain bored. In TV's worst spring in recent memory, a startling number of Americans drifted away from television the past two months: More than 2.5 million fewer people were watching ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox than at the same time last year, statistics show.

As a writer, I'm hoping they're all reading!

As a pediatrician, I'm hoping they're all out there playing with their kids and being a family of do-ers instead of a family of couch-potatoes!

What would you do instead of watching TV?

Me, I have a stack of to-be-read books calling my name like a siren's song and a new idea for a novel (very dark and twisted!) that wants to come out and play!

Monday, May 7, 2007

News or Entertainment?

I write fiction. Yes, a lot of it is loosely based on real life medical cases, as well as real life heroes, tragedies, crimes and their effects on real people.

But when I write, I stay very aware that my main purpose is to entertain my reader. I hope that I also enlighten and educate, but the main reason for anyone to spend money for my books will be for enjoyment.

Matt over on CrimeRant has a great blog today about how the news media has crossed the line between news and entertainment. Here's a snippet:

Just two weeks ago, Cho Seung-Hui’s mass killing rampage was 24/7 coverage. And now it’s Paris Hilton’s turn. The word fleeting comes to mind. And that is the sad part of this: all these people affected by crime and their stories the media uses to fill airspace one day, just disappear the next. I guess it’s the nature of a rapidly turning world of crime. The networks decide what is a major crime story and we either watch or shut the TV off.

I think he has a good point. When I want news, I want the facts, not glorified "reality" TV. I could care less about the celebrity talking heads, the trumped up pitch-fever hype, or gossip. I certainly don't want cameras shoved into the faces of grieving victims and relatives for the sake of "the public's right to know."

I want facts revealing in a cool and level-headed way all aspects of a story, including those that I might not have thought of myself. Because of this, I supported NBC's decision to edit Cho Seung-Hui's video down to two minutes but to show it so that the rest of us could have some insight into his psyche.

What do you think? Do you want Hollywood Hype to take the place of reporting? Has the news media crossed the line into entertainment?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Happy Bobbie Faye Day!

May Day = Bobbie Fay Day!!

I'd like to give a shout out to fellow debut novelist, Toni McGee Causey, whose novel, BOBBIE FAYE'S VERY (very, very, very) BAD DAY was released today!!

I was privileged to be able to read an early version of BOBBIE FAYE but now that I have the real thing in my hands, I cannot wait to read it again.

This time I'll be better prepared—no drinking (since it tends to snort out my nose when I collapse in hysterical bouts of laughter), no eating (ditto), go to the rest room first (it's either that or take the book in there with me because I will not be able to put it down), turn off the phone and computer, and put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door.

Seriously folks, it's that good of a read—even better, it's that funny of a read! And I don't know about you but these days I can use all the humor I can get.

If you enjoy a funny, smart, kick-ass heroine with two to-die for hunky guys, a race against the clock, explosions, wild-life, wild rides, murder and mayhem with a touch of Cajun spice thrown in, then run don't walk to your nearest store and buy this book.

For more about Bobbie Faye and the equally hysterical life of her creator, Toni Causey, check out her at

PS: don't just trust my judgment! Both Publisher's Weekly and the Library Journal gave BOBBIE FAYE a Starred review!