Wednesday, December 28, 2011

THE ROUNDERS - Bill and Wayne's Excellent Adventures in the World of Film

Wayne Mosbarger, the Mr. Miyagi of quirky cool old movies, recently turned me on to The Rounders, a 1965 comedy western staring Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford. Fonda and Ford cut it up with bigger than life character actors Denver Pile, Chill Wills and Edgar Buchanan. They honestly don't make actors like these guys any more. Set against the gorgeous backdrop 1960s Sedona, Arizona, the film follows the escapades of a couple of middle-aged, hard luck cowboys.

The quirky coolest aspect of this old western is Henry Fonda's love interest is played by the old gal who portrayed “The Penguin” in The Blues Brothers. And here's where it get's even quirky cooler in a Kevin Bacon kinda way: I was an extra in The Blues Brothers.

Bottom line, The Rounders with Hank Fonda and Bill Holden gets a thumbs up.

                               Hank Fonda cuts the rug with "The Penguin."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!

As Adam said to his better half, it's Christmas, Eve!

Sorry, I honestly can't help myself. I've always been a sucker for bad Christmas puns.


The e-book verison of The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son is  moving quite nicely on The first Royalty check arrived in the mail recently. I suppose this is a milestone of sorts. Thanks to all who purchased the e-book. The bound version is in the works. One thing of learned about this book business is making an e-book is a lot easier and a lot faster than making a physical book.

Did you hear about the depressed elf?
He had low elf esteem.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The-Eight Fingered Criminal's Son - The Cover Design

The long and painful search for a good graphic designer is finallyover. Here is the first cover cover proof.  We're still tweaking the design and playing with the colors. It's been a long process, but I'd rather have this project done right than done fast. God willin'and the creek don't rise, the cover design will be finished  and we'll give the printer the go ahead this week.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

John Wayne's Ghost - A Yuletide Story

John Wayne’s Ghost
Wiliam Z. Snyder
© 2008 William Snyder

It was late. Another perfect Christmas was in the books. Family and friends had been by for tamales and eggnog. That’s right - I said it; tamales and eggnog. Something wrong with tamales and eggnog? There had been plenty of Christmas music; the entire family had watched Jingle All the Way straight through, twice in a row. The wife and kids were upstairs fast asleep with visions of Schwarzenegger slugging it out with the dopey mailman dancing in their heads. I was trying to hash out my time travel story. This could be construed as something of a coincidence – working on a time travel story; you’ll make the connection soon enough. I’ve never been a late night writer, but the words just weren’t coming. I needed a change-up. The story was all in a mess; too many characters, each with an individual plot line. And I’d been told that too many of these people sounded like the same character. I was working downstairs at the old oak lawyer’s desk by the window, going at it John Steinbeck style, with twenty freshly sharpened number two pencils and a yellow legal pad. Although I’d been sitting at the desk since midnight, the first pencil was still sharp enough to draw blood.

The Christmas tree was beautiful. Heck, the Christmas tree had always been beautiful. That Christmas tree would always be beautiful. Our family Christmas tree was a place where the past and present came together, a place where new ornaments shared branch space with ornaments that were a hundred years old back when I was a starry-eyed boy. The oldest were pretty ragged. They were white bearded Santa Clauses with their eyes painted crossed, and their noses broken off. One of their hands had fallen off and all of their red suits had faded to pink seventy-five years ago. Poor little bastards. There were the wooden reindeers and wise men my aunt Lois had painted in the late 1960s when my uncle was in Vietnam. And there was the little fuzzy bear in a crocheted Christmas box my mother had crafted during her last Christmas season. Just above the bear was the handmade Grinch ornament my daughter, Sophia, had brought home from school this year. Yeah, I couldn’t help doing a little time traveling when I looked at that handsome Christmas tree.

But there was the business of the book. I had put the book aside nine months ago, after a friend read the first hundred and twenty pages and proceeded to absolutely rip it to shreds. This was new genre for me and it was the first time I tried writing in third-person. The scathing review truly took the wind from my sails. Somehow, somewhere along the line, I got into my head that I wanted to be a serious writer. And I’d been chasing the dream for five years. The agents and publishers had rejected my novel and short stories hundreds of times, but it was tough to hear it from my closest writing ally. Recently, I had decided I would finish the book, good or bad, come hell or high water. I didn’t believe in that writer's block business. It was like shooting slumps in my old basketball days. There was only one way out of a shooting slump and that was to shoot my way out. Likewise, I would have to write my way out of this writing slump. Writing was easier than basketball; I couldn’t go back and fix my missed shots, but I could always go back and clean up bad writing.

Determined to make something happen, I pushed the pencil to the paper. As Murphy’s Law would have it, headlights filled the front window. The shadow of a big man slowly, unsteadily emerged from a limousine. The chauffer climbed out and began gesticulating. The big guy waved him off and headed up the brick walkway to my front door. He walked a little like John Wayne. Maybe he was drunk. Standing, I moved toward the porch. Who was this guy? He wrapped quietly on the front door.

“Who is it?” I asked quietly, not wanting to wake Gail and the kids.

“It’s Duke Wayne. Open up, will ya?”

Looking through the peep hole, this character did look like John Wayne. And he was big, John Wayne big. He was dressed in slacks dress shoes, a polo shirt and a grey tweed coat.

“C’mon friend, I need a drink.”

You can read the rest of the story in my next book.

In the meantime, I suggest you read "The Spirit Guide Bar," available at this link:

The Spirit Guide Bar

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Christmas Comic, News on THE-EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON, and a Christmas Joke

It's that time of year again. I posted this comic last year, but what the heck, maybe it will be funny this time around.

Did I mention that I wrote a  book called The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son? You can download the e-book by clicking on this link:
I should have some news on the print version soon.

A Christmas joke: Did you hear that Scrooge's team won the football game? Yeah, the Ghost of Chritmas passed.