How Hillary Clinton Could Win Over The Support of this Bernie Supporter

DWhsCHaJZInfHan-800x450-noPadThere is one simple way for Hillary to win over the support of this Bernie supporter and perhaps millions of other Bernie supporters, should she win the Democratic nomination. All she needs to do is sign an agreement with Bernie that neither candidate will accept the support and votes of Superdelegates. Let the people pick the candidate, not the party. If she does that, she will have demonstrated the kind of integrity and leadership I want in my president.

News on the play front

Got some excellent news concerning my play One Bear Lake. There are two versions of the play: A 10 minute version, and a full-length version. I am excited to announce that both versions will be produced in local Charleston theaters.

On May 6 and 7, One Bear Lake, as well as six other 10 minute plays will be performed at South of Broadway Theatre’s PlayFest. Unlike in previous years, these won’t be staged readings. All the plays will be performed without the scripts in hand. I attended the first rehearsal, and I was grinning the whole time. The actors are phenomenal, and the direction is in the exceptional hands of Linda Eisen. Here’s the astonishing part. Tickets to see these seven plays are only $5.00. That’s insane!  Beer, wine, and other refreshments will be available at reasonable prices, as well. You can’t not go if you life in the Charleston area. Here’s a link to purchase tickets in advance: PlayFest 2016

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In January of 2017, the full-length version of One Bear Lake will get a real, honest to goodness production by the good folks at 5th Wall Productions. It will be co-directed by the talented duo of Blair Cadden and Jason Olson, the founders and head honchos of the theater.  Cast ideas have been bandied about, but nothing is set in stone yet. I will keep you posted as things progress.

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It’s very special to me that these two theaters will be producing the two versions of the play. I developed the 10 minute version through Second Sunday’s at 7, a playwrights group that meets at South of Broadway Theatre, and I developed the full-length version at 5th Wall Productions’ Writers Bloc program, and  additionally, a special staged reading in their theater.  In other words, the supportive and talented group of artists that helped me shape the two versions of the play are the same ones that will be involved in the productions. You can’t ask for a better community than that.

Diving into Infinite Jest

I was in a used bookstore recently, and they had Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace for $1.50. It was in pristine condition, as if it had never been read. That made me sad, so I bought it. I had been threatening to read the book for years now, but I never could bring myself to buy it at full price. I just didn’t think it was for me. It’s dense. It’s philosophical. It’s been called a work of genius. While I am dense, I’m barely philosophical, and as far from a genius as you can get. I had it in my mind that I was not worthy of this book, that it would beat me into a puddle of self-doubt about my own writing and leave me weeping at my lack of talent, that the book would somehow judge me for calling myself a writer.

Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The book is incredibly accessible.  The high praise for it by critics is merited, but I think it also does it injustice. By elevating it to an iconic status, the critics scared readers away, and I think it even gave people the wrong impression of Wallace. All this time I thought he was like Maude from the Big Lebowski, militantly artistic, when he was more like The Dude, just a guy who was beautifully confused, and all he really wanted was someone to replace his rug. If you’re baffled by my analogy, see the part where I warned you that I’m barely philosophical, and I’m no genius.

The point is that I’m sorry I took so long to read this book. I don’t know why, but I feel like I somehow cheated Wallace by not connecting with this book while he was alive. I’ve started watching interviews with him in an effort to learn more about him, and it’s obvious he was not comfortable with the attention. He liked the praise, but he didn’t want to be defined by it. I think he felt an unavoidable fall from grace on the horizon, and in his own mind he constantly wrestled with having to deal with the day that he would inevitably be exposed as a fraud and let everyone down. That’s what makes depression so fucking evil. It doesn’t just make you feel unhappy. It completely redacts any thoughts of joy from your life and leaves you with a head full of lies about who you really are and what you really mean to others.

Anyway, Infinite Jest is awesome. That’s my review. I’m not nearly finished, and I’m going to savor the story for as long as I can, but as engrossed as I am now, I don’t anticipate that my view will change. In closing, I found this short film using a commencement speech that Wallace gave as the soundtrack. Do yourself a favor and watch it. Bookmark it and watch it whenever you need to be reminded that everyone is dealing with their own shit.

Could Nikki Haley be the Republican Nominee?

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Meet the GOP Nominee?

Have I lost my mind? Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina and GOP superstar, isn’t even running for the Republican nomination. But I submit to you that there is a chance she could actually end up being the nominee selected at this year’s GOP convention. How?

A lot of things have to fall into place, but it is a real possibility. There is a better than good chance that we are moving towards a brokered convention on the Republican side of the coin. That means that none of the current candidates will have the required number of committed delegates to win the nomination. In this case, you go through a series of floor votes to choose the nominee. The first vote will of course be cast as the delegates are committed, as required by the rules, but after that, the process gets much more complicated. Delegates’ commitments vary by state, but the bottom line is the candidates up for vote for the first vote don’t have to be the only candidates considered for subsequent votes. Here’s the rule to keep in mind should there be a brokered convention (Source is Washington Post):

The RNC’s Rule 40 establishes the rules to actually be eligible to be nominated. To do so, candidates have to present signatures of support from the majority of delegates from eight or more states. In other words, the most candidates that could be considered eligible for the nomination is six (six times eight being 48 and there being 50 states). The fewest candidates that could be considered eligible for the nomination is . . . zero.

Frankly, the problem for the GOP is Ted Cruz. He will not go away quietly, and they will need him to in order to rally support behind Marco Rubio. If Rubio is the nominee, there’s is no room for Cruz anywhere on the ticket. It just doesn’t make sense. My guess is there will be many, many, many votes with no nominee receiving the required number of delegates. That’s when dark horse candidates will start making a move.

Yesterday, we saw Mitt Romney give a speech that ostensibly looked as if he was attacking Trump to save the party, and I’m sure that was part of his motivation, but you notice he didn’t endorse his candidate, Marco Rubio. He encouraged voters to cast ballots for every candidate but Trump. Why? So, he could walk into a brokered convention and look for a spot where he can have his people move him in as a nominee.

You can bet that a case will be made for Nikki Haley during the backroom dealings that will occur after the first vote is cast. She’s young. She’s got conservative credentials, while making moderate moves at times as governor. She’s got executive experience. She has positive national exposure. She doesn’t have DC political stank on her. And if the current Democrat frontrunner wins the nomination, Haley nullifies the “I’m with Her” campaign strategy. In my view, she’s the one candidate that will bring the party together and give them a much needed reboot after this horrendous GOP primary season. Ugly isn’t an ugly enough word for what we’ve witnessed so far.

Her one hitch is that she will not have the racist vote. They have vowed to make her pay for removing the Confederate flag from the state capital in Columbia. Trump has the racist vote locked up. You won’t be able to pry their support for the orange wonder from their cold, white hands no matter what. Plus, they’re racist. Who gives a shit what they think? But against Hillary, Haley gets Dem crossover to make up for that lost support. Against Bernie, not so much.

Of course, my vote will still go to Bernie, even if I have to write him in. Unfortunately, I live in a state where my vote doesn’t matter in national politics.  Stupid Electoral College. I don’t like or dislike Haley. I don’t support her politically, but she did a wonderful job of dealing with the Emanuel Nine crisis and the removal of the Confederate flag. That being said, she will never earn my vote because of her views on the economy, military, education, environment, Second Amendment, etc. That’s precisely what makes her the perfect Republican.

Why Trump won’t win the Presidency

Tea Party vs GOP

Trump has created two Republican parties. 

WARNING: Political post to follow!

Today is the day I participate in the primaries in South Carolina. I’m headed out the door to cast a ballot for Bernie Sanders because, frankly, shit has got to change in this country, and he’s the only one in the race who’s proposing the kind of radical ideas that are only radical because they make so much damn sense.  We’ve gotten to the point in America where the right thing to do sounds like the crazy thing to do, and that is sad.

Two thoughts on Trump before I go:

  1. Trump will be in the General Election. It doesn’t matter if he wins the Republican Primary or not. He’s so far down the rabbit hole at this point, his ego won’t let him turn back. He’s on such a Primary high that he’s going to look at any reversal of fortune as dirty tricks by the GOP establishment, and he’s going to launch an independent run if they deny him the nomination. So, like it or not, Donald Trump will be on the ballet in November, one way or another.
  2. Trump will not win the General Election, even in a one-on-one scenario. There’s a lot of panic among Democrats and moderate Republicans alike that if he wins the GOP Primary he’ll win the presidency. It’s not going to happen. Trump can’t beat either Hillary or Bernie for one simple reason. He needs to dramatically diversify his base. Right now he’s the choice of the 35% of white ultra-Conservatives. He’s the devil to about 80% of Latinos and African Americans, which is crucial because you can’t win the White House without minority support. Trump doesn’t have the ability to turn those numbers around. I have no doubt that he’s going to start softening his message little by little. You can see the gears turning in his head. He did a trial run with his half-hearted defense of Planned Parenthood in the last two debates. He’ll slowly start to shift his stance on his most divisive statements, but he’s gone so far to the right, he can’t make up that ground. He won’t lose the support he has now because those people don’t really care what he says. He’s Trump. He’s just not going to make any significant gains after the Primaries.

Believe it or not, Trump has done some good in this election. He’s demonstrated that the GOP needs to reevaluate its current trajectory as a party. Republican’s have to decide between extreme Conservatism and the Constitution because you can’t have both.  Trump wants to strip freedoms away from every demographic that doesn’t look or think like him, and he only has support from one group, those that look and think like him and call themselves Conservatives. Trump essentially is about to do to Conservatives what he did to the USFL. If you’re not familiar with the USFL, that’s my point. Trump joined it and then killed it to placate his ego.   Trump has joined the Tea Party movement, and he’s killing it to placate his ego. For that, he has my thanks. Assholes aren’t pretty, but they serve a purpose.

BTW, there’s only one way I’m wrong about this. If you don’t vote, we are all screwed. VOTE!

Savage Reckoning

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Alibi – The Next Generation of Mystery & Suspense

So, you may have noticed that I changed the header image. It is an UNOFFICIAL banner for my alter ego’s – C. Hoyt Caldwell – upcoming release with Alibi (A Penguin/Random House Imprint). What was once a Pearl of Justice Mystery is now a Backwoods Justice Novel featuring Deputy Dani Savage. The title of the first book in the series is Savage Reckoning. The OFFICIAL cover image is being designed as I type this, and I can’t wait to share it with you all. Once I have it, I will share it on this blog and Facebook immediately.

Why the changes? I got a new editor at the end of 2015, Julia Maguire and she read the manuscript over the holidays, and she pointed out that the Pearl of Justice didn’t exactly fit the gritty Southern noir vibe of the book.We brainstormed, and I decided the best option was to change Dani’s last name to Savage and that opened up the title possibilities. Julia’s great, by the way. She reached out to me as soon as the editorial change was made and let me know that I was part of a team, and they were going to do everything the could to make C. Hoyt’s book a success.

In addition, to a new editor, book title, and series title, we have a new release date. Savage Reckoning will hit your e-readers on October, 3 2016. It’s been pushed back so we can give it enough time to collect early reviews.  If you’re a reviewer, send me your info and I’ll get your name to the publisher and see if we can get you on a list to receive an electronic ARC.

While we wait for the release date, I am working on book two in the series. It’s already been outlined. I’m just filling in the details. And no, I haven’t forgotten the final book in the Oz Chronicles series. That’s is on my plate, too.  I’ll get there. I promise.

 

Oh, the horror Harry Potter has wrought!

alawsuitA convoluted fight between bestselling authors has made its way to the courts, and as far as I can tell, whatever the final decision, there won’t be a winner at the end of this poorly plotted legal tale. Sherrilyn Kenyon is suing Cassandra Clare because the latter’s Shadowhunters series is too similar to the former’s Dark-Hunter series. I can’t lend an opinion because I haven’t read a book in either series, but Kenyon doesn’t appear to be making the claim that Clare has plagiarized her work in any way. Her complaint is that Clare’s structure and character archetypes are just too similar to Kenyon’s to be coincidental.

Clare comes from the world of Harry Potter fan fiction where she honed her writing skills by creating stories featuring the Hogwarts gang. She essentially built her brand in J.K. Rowling’s world, and then branched out on her own with the Shadowhunters  series, which unfortunately for her was originally titled Darkhunters. The identical handle, Clare insists, was happenstance and was changed before the first book was published. She claims to have never read any of Kenyon’s books in the Dark-Hunter series.

While I don’t know either author, and I can’t attest to either’s integrity or lack there of, I lean towards supporting Clare in this matter. As many of you know, I am the author of a series called The Oz Chronicles. The first book in the series is called The Takers. The title of the book was fairly easy to come up with, but I struggled finding a series title. In fact, it was just shortly before I published that I decided on The Oz Chronicles, and I called it that because the main character’s name is Oz, and the series chronicles his journey.  It wasn’t until I wrote the second book or maybe even the third book  that I discovered  L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz was part of series called The Oz Chronicles. The identical series titles are purely coincidental, and while the characters and monsters are completely different, the themes of the two series are similar, a stranger in a strange land trying to get back home.

My point is these similarities happen. I’m sure there are dozens of books on the market that are similar to Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter. Some may be purposely similar, others are similar just by chance. It happens. Kenyon’s complaint, I feel, is too broad. My opinion is entirely formed by Slate’s story on the lawsuit. I haven’t read the books, but until someone cites passages that are too similar to be coincidental, I’m giving Clare the benefit of the doubt.

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

I am of the Electric Boogaloo generation. I tell you this only as a point of information. I do not claim it as a source of pride. A lot of bad movies were made in the 80’s, and I saw most of them.  I was too dazzled by karate kicks, horrible special effects, and explosions to pay attention to the studio that created these schlock-sasters. I just eagerly watched them with equal parts awe and regret.

As it turns out, these movies were produced by a company called Cannon Films, a independent production company co-founded by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, and to their credit, they built the model by which modern independent film works. They just didn’t make that many great films with their model. They made a few films that are considered good to even great. Barfly came from their studio, and Runaway Train is another one that critics loved. But these movies were accidents. Golan and Globus made one crap-tacular movie after another on a shoestring budget, and when the trades would pummel them in the media for making horrible films, they’d throw money at an art house director and give him free rein to make any movie he wanted. That resulted in a few accidental hits.

Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is a documentary about the crazy and baffling antics of Golan and Grobus, and it is endlessly entertaining. For me it was just fun to see the collection of clips from movies I’m embarrassed to admit I watched as a kid, and to be completely frank, I watched them because they had nudity. I had very little parental supervision growing up.

By far the funniest part of the documentary is the section about Clyde the orangutan, made famous by the classic Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way But Loose. Golan had an idea for a movie that would be perfect for Clyde, so what does he do? He schedules a meeting with Clyde. Did I mention that Clyde is an orangutan? The meeting is as hilarious as one would expect. Clyde arrives with his trainer because he’s an ape that can’t drive or negotiate his own deals. It starts off as normal as a meeting can be with an orangutan. Golan addresses questions and comments to the trainer. But, as he excitedly starts to talk about the story idea, he turns to Clyde and talks to him as if the orangutan understands English or human speech. It’s so outrageous it’s funny.

I highly recommend Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. It’s educational, funny, and yes, it has nudity.  I still have no parental supervision.