Walking and Talking:
Things to Come in 2020

February 29th, 2020

“If you’re going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk.” You know the expression. It’s all about the importance of doing, as in Death of a Salesman, where all-talk Willy Loman is amazed to learn that all-walk Bernard is going to argue a case before the supreme court.

“The Supreme Court!” Willy says. “And he didn’t even mention it!”

To which Bernard’s father replies, “He don’t have to – he’s gonna do it!”

I find it helpful to remember that exchange when I fall behind on this blog. “I’m busy walking the walk,” I tell myself, even though … [read more at The 21st Century Scop.]

Best Horror Movies 2019

January 6th, 2020

First of all, you’ve got to love a list that features an above-the-headline image of the Mashit demon from Nightmare Cinema. But beyond that (and the fact that NC comes in ranked among the top 20), the year’s-best-horror list at Rotten Tomatoes confirms that 2019 was a banner year for the genre. [Read more at The 21st-Century Scop.]

Writer at Work:
Santas, Wizards, & Life behind the Curtain

December 26th, 2019

jl-santaMerry Christmas!

I’m always impressed by writers who despite busy schedules manage to produce timely blogs and podcasts. I try. But when other work piles up, I tend to vanquish into the world of deadlines. 

This month has brought some exciting projects and opportunities that I hope to share in the weeks ahead, but right now it’s all about staying behind the curtain and getting it done. In the meantime, here’s a vintage post from a few Decembers ago that seems relevant in a number of ways. 

Warm holiday wishes to all … and scop on! 

So it’s December 1997. I’m driving north out of Oakland, toward Bigelow Boulevard and downtown Pittsburgh. It’s a gray day, light snow falling. Colored lights trim some of the buildings along North Craig Street, but it doesn’t feel like Christmas.

Then I see him.

I clear the rise toward Bigelow Boulevard, and there he is—fourteen-feet high and smiling down from a roadside billboard atop the snowy hillside. Red suit, white beard. It’s Santa. Or is it? I do a double-take. This guy’s wearing rollerblades, sporting a Mohawk haircut, and throwing a peace sign. I slow down. Look again. That’s not Santa. That’s  … [read more at 21st Century Scop]

Horror Writers Association – Pittsburgh Chapter

November 19th, 2019

A few days ago, I came across a blog post by novelist Robert Yune, author of Eighty Days of Sunlight. Titled “22 Indisputable Reasons Pittsburgh Is The Perfect City For Writers,” the post does an excellent job of laying out some of the major reasons I still live in western Pennsylvania. And now there’s one more. Namely, the newly formed … [read more at the 21st-Century Scop].