Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Favorite Books Read in 2013

This list is a little off topic, but here is my list of best books that I actually read this past year.  Many -- in fact all but one -- were published in earlier years.  One, Mickey Spillane's My Gun Is Quick, was first published over 60 years ago. But as someone once told me, every book is a new book until you read it.

My best books read in 2013

1.     Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
2.     Life Itself, Roger Ebert
3.     The Help, Kathryn Stockett
4.     Sycamore Row, John Grisham
5.     The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lax, Rebecca Skloot
6.     The Innocent Man (non-fiction), John Grisham
7.     The Kennedy Detail, Gerald Blaine
8.     Dark Voyage, Alan Furst
9.     Reclaiming History, Vincent Bugliosi
10. Thomas Jefferson, the Art of Power, John Meacham
11. My Gun Is Quick, Mickey Spillane
12. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Free House For Writers, But There's a Catch: It's in Detroit

The efforts at revitalizing ravaged urban blight areas has taken a new turn.  And for some writers, it may be worth looking in to.

Write A House, a Detroit non-profit corporation, has established a program to fix up blighted houses in a section of Detroit, fix them up, then give them away to writers.  The intent is the establish a writers community in the Motor City in an effort to infuse new life into the city that is most recently known for the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history.

Write A House has already purchased three houses and is raising funds to refurbish them.

The project is a short distance from the Powerhouse Project, which has successfully started an artists community in refurbished Mo-Town housing.  That project has received national publicity, particularly from the national artistic community publication Juxtapoz.

Undoubtedly the project is not for everyone.  But for some aspiring writers, it could be a great opportunity.

For the project's website, including the application for residency, CLICK HERE.  For a detailed article in the Huffington Post on the project, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hell's Angels Riding Into Court to Protect Intellectual Property Rights

Hell's Angels in Court.

That's not so surprising.  But the reason may be.

Hell's Angel's Motorcycle Club, the bad ass kings of leather and tattoos, the feared road warriors of legend and movies, are not fighting drug charges, or defending themselves from terrorizing small towns as in The Wild Ones or Wild Hogs.

Nope.  They are going to court to enforce their intellectual property rights.  Specifically, they are aggressively asserting their property rights in the club's trademarked "Death Head" logo.

Heading the charge is 67-year-old lawyer Fritz Clapp, an intellectual property expert bedecked with a red mohawk and a stylish white beard.  In his sites have been such targets as Toys R Us, Amazon, Saks, Marvel Comics and The Mouse himself, Disney Corporation.

It's a bit of a change in direction for the group that is still labeled by law enforcement as an organized crime group involved in drug trafficking on six continents. The New York Times in its recent article on this quoted a veteran member with the street name of "Chico."  He told the Times reporter:  "We stabbed and stabbed people left and right in the day, but that way is less common now."

Hmmm . . .  "Less common."   Leads to some interesting speculation about what Hell's Angels cease and desist letters might look like.

"Dear Joe:

Please immediately cease and desist using our trademarked Hell's Angels logos.  It violates the law and we will sue you for lots of money if you don't stop.  Please note, however, that we don't stab people left and right like we used to.  We may still do it, but it's less common.

Thank you for your prompt compliance.  And by receiving this letter it is apparent:  we know where you live."

photo credit: <a href="">AWKWORDrap</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>