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Monday, July 4, 2016

The Writer's Life 7/4 - Independence

Today we celebrate America's independence, paid for with the blood of many. We are blessed to be living in freedom and must be vigilant to ensure that it is not taken away from us by politicians. Freedom by its nature is problematic. Many will exploit it reprehensibly, as "reality" TV often shows. One of our biggest internal controversies is the right to bear arms. In a nation of 300 million, too many will use a gun not in self defense but in criminal activity. Almost all of those who do so have obtained a weapon illegally. The greater majority of the media advocates for gun control. The liberal press will use every shooting to make this point, and it is valid. What it will not do is not report incidents that challenge their orthodoxy. Case in point, from Andrea Peyser's column in today's NY Post: "Early in the morning of June 26, Jody Ray Thompson, 32, got into an argument with someone outside the Playoffz nightclub and began shooting into a crowd, injuring three people. But he narrowly missed one man, who whipped out his legal weapon and shot the bad guy in the leg, halting the attack. No one died. Thompson was charged with crimes, including four counts of attempted murder. But the unidentified, armed knight in shining armor acted in self-defense and was not charged with anything," I am not a gun owner, but I support the right to bear arms, despite the horrific violence that occurs in this great country. Freedom is sometimes painful, but it beats the alternative.

Some writers are a mystery. Not much information is available on them even on the web. Such is Robert Tine, author of Blood and Wine, which I just finished. It is one of at least 21 novels in his name I counted at Amazon, many of them familiar as movie or TV titles such as JAG. Many have been translated in what seems Japanese. Oddly, he is not listed at IMDb, not a single credit. The work in question is a fast-moving mystery. It is at once well-written and chock full of errors that should have been caught. Since it was published by St. Martin's Press, which issues many paperbacks and is a subsidiary of Macmillan, I'll assume the slackness was the fault of the editor, I often worry about missing errors in my self-published works. All books have them, but there are simply too many in B & W. An established press should have more rigid standards of professionalism. As for the story, it is refreshingly simple, easy to follow. The 260 pages read more like 200. Tine is obviously talented. The copy I read was a tie in with the 1996 film adaptation directed by Bob Rafaelson, a native New Yorker. He has 19 credits at IMDb, the most notable being Five Easy Pieces (1970), which was nominated for four Oscars. He did not approach such glory again, although Black Widow (1987) and his remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) are good. His career has been defined by the offbeat. He directed six episodes of The Monkees TV show and their nutty film, Head (1968). The cover of the paperback of B & W lists its cast: Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine, Stephen Dorff, Jennifer Lopez and Judy Davis. I pictured them while reading. Only one user at Amazon has rated it, giving it the maximum five stars. I rate it three. I did not factor the errors into my rating. Since Tine receives no credit at IMDb, I assume he novelized the screenplay. That seems his stock and trade.

My thanks to the woman who purchased a Mary Higgins Clarke thriller, to B. S. Bob, who bought Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn, and Conspiracy Guy, aka Steve, whose eyes spread when he noted the large pictorial Cooking with Tomatoes. He says his garden is blooming with vegetables, so many he will be giving a lot to neighbors.  
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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