Monthly Archives: March 2011

Going on the Account: RED JENNY Part Five

Part Five of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates, Writing

Going on the Account: One Less Warning to Heed

Today was Bob Herbert’s last column for the NY TIMES.

 

If anyone wants a good explanation of what I mean when I discuss “A Novel of Consequences,” they would do well to go over Mr. Herbert’s output over the last few years and pay close attention to the themes he was trying to stress…

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Writing

Going on the Account: RED JENNY Part Four

Part Four of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates, Writing

Going on the Account: Things to Come

Tow items of interest, linked only by the fact that I found them simultaneously and put them both into one post…

 

* The film story of Richard Phillips‘ captaincy aboard the MV Mersk Alabama during her fateful encounter with Somali pirates is proceeding apace, with Tom Hanks cast as Phillips.  Which, the harder you think about it, is probably the only solid course to take; compare any interview of Phillips with any of Hanks’ work, and suddenly no other actor makes sense in the role.

 

And who knows, with what may be a new flood of pirate films following May 20th, something different in the mix of copycats would be welcome…

 

* There’s an article by Samson, Berteaux, McGill and Humphries in Global Ecology and Biogeography that suggests an interesting way to examine climate change, taking into account likely impact versus projected population density increases.  According to the abstract, they make mention of the fact that populations contributing the least to environmental changes will more likely suffer the worst of it.

 

My big quibble is the way the data is presented, it seems to downplay the changes to be wrought in areas facing what they consider the least disruption.  Yes, there are groups in Africa and the Middle East that will see greater impact from changes in the environment, but the folks in Europe, China and the US aren’t exactly going to be able to ignore what goes on; if anything, the study seems to not take into account some of the complexities of what used to be called First World standards of living and how the inevitable disruptions to those areas will play out there.

 
I was going to come up with something pithy to use as a simile, but with so much disaster, horrific events and other disheartening cumbersome distractions, it’s tough to stay focused and creative without coming across as a jerk.  Which I may well do anyway regardless, but then there’s no reason to compound the errors to the nth degree…

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates

Going on the Account: RED JENNY Part Three

Part Three of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates, Writing

Going on the Account: You Sailed from Where Again?

Got word via Deadline of a SyFy Peter Pan project.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a real story about Peter Pan without pirates, but the description there has this interesting tidbit:

 

[Neverland] welcomes unknown friends and enemies snatched from time. These include power-mad Elizabeth Bonny (Anna Friel) and her band of 18th century pirates who search for the answer to eternal youth…

 

OK, now you’ve got my attention…

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates

Going on the Account: RED JENNY Part Two

Part Two of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO is now up, and may be read here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates, Writing

Going on the Account: Avast, This Be Real?

Add to everyone’s fears about the situation in Libya this prophecy by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, made to French television over the weekend:

 

Libya may become the Somalia of North Africa, of the Mediterranean…   You will see the pirates in Sicily, in Crete, in Lampedusa.

 

First off, consider the source.  Of everyone talking about pirates these days who may have a vested interest, he’s certainly at the fore…

 

Frankly, if it’s a choice between his dad staying in power and getting pirates after Dad’s gone, I’d take the devils we don’t know.  Most pirates are more likely to be a bit saner and less extreme than Moammer Gaddafi, or at the very least couldn’t top some of the crap he’s pulled over the last 40 years.

 

And let’s be honest, Libya’s not in the same fractious state that Somalia found itself in 1991.  They have a central authority that will leave better institutions behind when the state is transitioned, as opposed to having no one there when the Somali state died with no heirs.  And of course the one thing Libya has that Somalia didn’t, vast reserves of oil, is going to keep that country from being left to die in the dark.

 

This is not to say that Libyan pirates are never going to show up.  Even if Moammer were to leave for exile and hand over control to the rebels in the next 24 hours, which is unlikely, but hey I’m a sucker for pleasant miracles (he said still awaiting a Bills win of the Super Bowl…), there’d still be a few elements that might take hold amidst the confusion to get their buccaneer on and recoup their losses by going after Mediterranean cargo ships and tourists plying the Greek Isles.   And with a stable shore that will not tolerate the Sweet Trade, or at least cannot afford to tolerate them if they wish to see oil professionals return to man the pumps, we’re not looking at the same major clans sailing off of Mogadishu here.

 

I think the pirates of Libya are one thing we don’t have to worry that much about for now.  There are other places that are more likely to see sea brigands pop up than there for the nonce.

 

Such as, well…

 

2 Comments

Filed under Pirates

Going on the Account: Treasure Be in Brooklyn

There’s a review in the NY TIMES of Treasure Island at the Irondale Center.  My March has gotten away from me, so I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to attend this or not, but if anyone’s in Brooklyn and looking for pirates on stage, this should fit the bill nicely…

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates

Going on the Account: Setting Sail Again!

As hinted/whispered/threatened over the last few weeks, I have started a new project, which I now invite you to read.

 

Announcing:

Red Jenny and the Pirates of Buffalo

So, you ask, what the…?

 

In some ways, this had been a distraction that almost threatened Raging Gail a few times.  At one point, I considered an April Fool’s chapter that had Abigail and her crew plying the waters off Mogadishu; cooler heads prevailed, however, but like all ideas you can’t ever un-think them…

 

What I’m doing here is both an advance and a return, in that I wanted to go back to doing speculative works which I’d done for some time before Raging Gail became the main focus of my output.  I do enjoy working with historical elements, but I miss doing what I started out with, and can’t really stay away from that very long.    As the subtitle of the work is, “A Novel of Consequences,” it’ll become fairly apparent how things ended up going the way they did, and why the Sweet Trade is being practiced in Western New York…

 

I’m going to post once a week with this one; my IRL commitments have increased dramatically as I start this, while the time needed for world building for this piece has made me appreciate how much easier it is working with a setting in the past.  Not to disparage other historical writers, but there’s a big difference between researching existing sources for set dressing in the past versus coming up with a plausible few details for a fresh setting.

 

My hope is that you will enjoy the new venture much as you did the previous novel.  As always, I welcome your feedback as the work unfolds, and invite you to board for a new voyage!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates, Writing

Going on the Account: Fair Warning

There was an article by Mark Helprin in today’s WALL STREET JOURNAL about American naval power being in decline.  I’m not entirely sure I agree with some of his suppositions, and his tone is a bit of a nervous scree, but I point out this article about American naval power losing its punch for no other reason than for it’s timing.

 

As for why its timing is of any relevance, I ask you to come back in about, oh, twelve hours…

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates, Writing

Going on the Account: Three… Three… Eleven…

In less than forty eight hours, all will be revealed…

 

Soon, very soon…

 

 

Watch for it…

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Pirates, Writing