Saturday, February 28, 2015
Remember that terrifying first kiss? Listen to the the audio version of First Kiss from Stories From the Spirit Guide Bar. Give it a listen. It's guaranteed to bring elicit memories of bygone times.
Link to FIRST KISS
The audio story was produced by bona fide production genius, GARY GIDAK of GIDAK DIGITAL.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Growing up in Hawthorne California, the Manhattan Beach Pier was just a twenty minute bus ride away. I spent countless summer days experiencing the sun, sand, surf, and surfer girls.
Check out the audio version of SURFER GIRL, an excerpt from my book THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR.
The story was produced by the scary talented GARY GIDAK of GIDAK DIGITAL.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Do you remember when dopey kids delivered newspapers. Long time ago, I know. Guess it's been a long time since people actually read newspapers, hasn't it?
Yours truly was a pretty bad newspaper boy. And I'm not talking' the powder blue 57 Chevy kinda bad either.
You can here about my exploits as a bad newspaper boy for the South Bay Daily Breeze at the is link.
SOUTH BAY DAILY BREEZE
The audio version was produced by the ridiculously talented Gary Gidak.
It's pretty cool if I don't say so myself.
you can actually read the story here. It's part of a collection of stories called THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON.
THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON
If you're part of my vast army of eleven regular blog readers, go on about your business. You've probably already heard about my books and CD about seven thousand times.
By the way, my CD, STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR, is available on Spotify. I earn 1/16th of a cent every time someone listens to one of my stories on the service. This means if every man, woman and child on the planet listens to each of the seven stories, I can pick up that new toaster I've been eyeballing.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Sunday, February 1, 2015
I met General Grant in the can at the Spirit Guide Bar.
I'm not kidding around.
Here is my shameless link to the audio version of the story:
Stories From the Spirit Guide Bar
Producer Gary Gidak is a stinking genius.
Fred Perez's work on the banjo has been described as beautiful - haunting.
Steve Poyter is nothing short of brilliant as General Grant.
I'm not kidding around.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
I call it Abraham Lincoln Tells a Joke.
It seems that Abraham Lincoln really was a funny guy. He once asked, "If I had to faces, would I be wearing this one?"
As for the witticism of Iron Mike. The champ once said, "Everyone has a plan 'til they get hit in the mouth." Looking back on my life, more often than not, my plans have been disrupted by punches in the mouth, and things things usually worked out okay.
Week seven as a junior high reading and English teacher included a few crisp punches to the pie hole. Still, there has been progress. The end of the week left me physically and mentally exhausted, but grateful to me back in the education game.
Saturday, January 10, 2015
I call it
LINCOLN EATS A BANANA .
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Recently finished James Michener's Poland. I've been a huge Michener fan for a couple of decades. My first Michener book was The Source, the history of the people and events that surrounded a well in modern day Israel. What a ride. I've pored through Michener's books on Alaska, Colorado, Texas, Mexico, the Chesapeake Bay, and Hawaii. Reading the last page of a Michener book never fails to leave me feeling disappointed that the great ride is over.
Poland was missing something. It could have been difficult Polish names that slowed me down. Long technical passages about Chopin and other Polish composers derailed me as well. I just didn't have the background knowledge to follow. While I drifted off from time, Michener always pulled me back. Poland's geographic positioning has lent itself to invasions, lots of invasions. The Polish people have withstood invasions by the Tartars, The Turks, The Swedes, Russia and the Soviet Union (3 times), Germany (twice), and I know I'm leaving someone belligerent county out here. The point is Poland remains. The Nazis were responsible for the death of more than 20 percent of the Polish population. Hitler fully intended to exterminate the entire country. After Hitler, the USSR, after centuries of invasions, Poland remains. Michener's story of Poland is one of those great triumphs of the human spirt.
While I list Poland the worst Michener book I've had occasion to read, it's still falls among the best books I've had occasion to read.
* Whoa, this is embarrassing. Michener did write a book called Sayonara. While it was an interesting book about American soldiers who married Japanese women during the Post World War II occupation of Japan, Sayonara wasn't nearly as good as Poland. I totally forgot about Sayonara.
It's not like I'm going to rewrite the whole post.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
I'm sitting at the computer enjoying a Fat Weasel Ale, listening to some extra smooth Miles Davis, and trying to make sense of season six of Sons of Anarchy. I binge watched the thirteen episodes over a three day period. All I can say is the violence would make a Mexican drug lord cringe. It's become damned ridiculous. We've got this small town in Northern California with hundreds of murders going down. In the real world the National Guard would declare martial law. Come on. And none of that bang, bang - you're dead business. Each killing has to be more shocking, more gruesome than the last.
Six seasons, hundreds of killings, and there is just one one character with any semblance of ethics. That would be Nero, played by Jimmy Smits.
Nero is the only good guy in the whole damned show. Then again, it could be that Smits is such a cool cat that I can't help pulling for his character. Where has Jimmy Smits been the last 25 years anyway???
What the hell is the point of this show?
There is no honor among thieves?
Violence begets violence?
What compels me to watch this horrific blood fest?
The truth is I will watch season six at some point.
Mind you, I'm not proud of this.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
In case you're new to SNYDERMANIA, you can get your copy of Spirit Guide Bar, The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son, and the Stories from the Spirit Guide Bar CD on Amazon.com.
Spirit Guide Bar is a is a different kind of Christmas story.
Gotta admitted it, sales have really tapered off. I'm thinking of heading out to the local mall to do some selling out of the trunk of my car this week.
"Pssst. Hey pal, wanna buy a book?"
I guess I really need to finish that last chapter of my new book.
So I'm five weeks into my return to the teaching biz. It's been tough taking over a class that was taught by at least five different people, but there has been progress. Most of the students can now raise their hands to speak and refrain from tacking classmates while entering the room. I'm now working on getting them to stop banging their pencils on their desks while I'm talking. It's been at least a decade since I last taught junior high and I completely forgot about the psychotic pencil banging phenomenon. Some of the little squirts obviously do it to see if they can make make scream at them until turn red, and fall to the ground gasping for air. Others, and these are the ones that baffle me, seem to pound their pencils on their desks completely unaware that they are making a commotion. I knew I has accepting a great challenge when I signed on. Surely, I'll figure something out.
Sound proof pencils?
I do like my students and it is pretty cool to have a two week break after five weeks on the job.
Maybe I'll take another crack at that last chapter.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Early Friday morning, I was making my way through the school hallway when I came face to face with a cockroach the size of a Buick. A month ago I would have terminated the poor sap. In case you're new to my BLOG, I spent the last seventeen months in the pest control business. Exterminating insects never felt quite right. Looking at that giant cockroach, I smiled and stepped aside to let him pass.
I drove home Friday night satisfied for two reasons. One, I didn't kill anything. Two, at least I tried to do something good.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Here's my pal, Richard Rios, reading his Thanksgiving story "A Rite of Passage." I read tale to my students on Thanksgiving Eve. The little squirts loved it. The final line of the story never fails to to make me smile. Richard Rios is one of America's greatest story tellers.
You can order a copy of his collection of stories, Songs From the Barrio, from Amazon.com.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Arizona cockroaches, ants, and scorpions are breathing a little easier. My career as an exterminator is officially over. No more walking into trees and spider webs. No more squirting myself in the face with chemicals. No more getting chased by bees and German Shepherds. I've walked away from the bug biz and returned to the teaching game. After my first week back in the classroom, I can honestly say I'm…tired. Really, really tired. Perhaps I'll bring my held exterminating can to work with me Monday.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
I've been stuck on the last chapter of my third book for over a year. The slump began when I left teaching, and the fly in the buttermilk is I left teaching to focus on writing. You know, I think this is the first time I've ever used the term "the fly in the buttermilk is..." in a sentence. Richard Boone used the term in the "The Alamo." The 1960 version of the Alamo is one of my favorite movies and Richard Boone was one cool cat as Sam Houston. So there it is, I've used "the fly in the buttermilk is..." in a sentence. Hah, this is a fine example of what's been going on between my ears since I left teaching. I just can't seem to get any semblance of focus going. I'vebeen bouncing around between pest control, contract writing, tutoring, and adjunct teaching. Right now I'm working three jobs and it seems like I'm spending the bulk of my time, working, driving from one job to the next, preparing for the next day's work, looking for better jobs, or sprawled out on the floor staring at the ceiling. So there it is: I left teaching to write, but the fly in the buttermilk is I'm too darned scattered to write.
You know I haven't had buttermilk since I was kid. Come to think of it, I really hated buttermilk.
Heck, I might as well go back to full time teaching.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
A KNOCK ON THE HEAD, A FLAT TIRE, A SWARM OF BEES, A FACEFUL OF SPIDERS, A BOOK READING, A STACK OF PAPERS, AND A CD FOR SALE
My life as a bug man/writer/teacher has been quite pretty hectic as of late.
The extermination biz was exceptionally busy this week. I had a flat tire, got chased by a swarm of bees, walked into a tree, and a nest of spiders fell onto my face. It would make for a better story if these events happened in a row. Looking back the spider incident was the most disturbing. I was too hot, tired, and irritated when the spiders landed on my face to be properly freaked out. I walked back to my truck and squirted my face with pesticides for about 30 seconds. Okay, I didn't squirt myself in the face.
Professor Halberg invited me to her English 101 class for a reading Saturday morning. As usual it was an uplifting experience. Kinda made up for the faceful of spiders.
I pretty much spent the rest of the weekend grading and prepping for my English classes. Grading papers and pulling brushing spiders off of my face is an unusual juxtaposition.
Life as a bug man/writer/teacher is always interesting. I just thought of something, I may be the only bug man/teacher/writer in Arizona, maybe the world.
Hey, STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR is now available for download on iTunes
iTunes STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR
and you buy the CDs from CD Baby.
CD Baby STORIES FROM THE SPIRIT GUIDE BAR