Mike Sirota's Blog – Swords, Specters, & Stuff
Welcome to My World
I started this blog in January 2012 for one simple reason: I love to write. I named it “Swords, Specters, & Stuff” because I especially love to write about writing, about books and movies in my favorite genres, about authors that mean a great deal to me. But there’s so much more than that, hence the all-inclusive “Stuff” in the title. It is “Stuff” that gives me carte blanche to write about anything, which is why you’ll see stories about special trips to Cooperstown, Sedona, and other places; about getting older; about baseball; about the otherworldly way in which I met my soul mate; about the loss of good friends, and so much more. Enjoy! And feel free to leave a comment.
In my comedy/science fiction novel, Bicycling through Space and Time (which will again be published later this year or early next year), and its two sequels, I occasionally offset the outrageous humor with chapters of a more serious—and personal—nature. Chapter twenty-four is titled, “The Afterward” and is a strong example of that.read more
My dear bride is not into my kind of bad movies, so I usually watch them when she’s out. When she’s home, we watch mutually agreeable flicks. But this week she had work to do on her trusty laptop that required concentration, and she thus spake the words that I love to hear: “Watch whatever you want, but put the headphones on.”read more
I don’t know why—maybe it’s the militancy and negativity that pervades our world these days—but I’ve been watching quite a few war movies of late. Here are some of the most memorable quotes from a few of them.read more
It’s no secret that breaking into book publishing is a difficult endeavor. Hey folks, this is the entertainment business, you know? Even if you’re lucky enough to find an agent and get a book deal, you’re probably not going to become an independently wealthy, bestselling author anytime soon.read more
Sedona is a funky town in central Arizona, one of our favorite places to visit. SEDONA is also a 2011 indie film, a comedy-drama that, unfortunately, not a whole lot of people got to see. That’s a shame, because the movie more than capably reflects both the stunning beauty of the area and the quirkiness of its inhabitants through the telling of a couple of parallel stories. And it all begins with a kid’s balloon…read more
Yeah, I know: most people say “The Lone Ranger and Tonto” rather than the other way around, but to me the Native American always comes first. I got to thinking about them recently for an obvious reason: the recently released Disney film, THE LONE RANGER.read more
Renowned director John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) has had his share of hits and misses during a long career. Among the latter is GHOSTS OF MARS, a 2001 sci-fi/horror flick that bombed big-time, both critically and at the box office. A true Guilty Pleasure, don’cha know, one that I will watch every year or two until the Mother Ship arrives.read more
The answer to that is a great big YES. At least I do. I’ve been thinking about that a lot in recent months for a specific reason. Let me explain.read more
“Dammit, I know this. I know what this is! This means something. This is important.”
When Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) uttered those words forty years ago in the classic Spielberg film, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, he was attempting to shape the Devils Tower out of mashed potatoes.
During my quarter-century or so as a writing coach and editor I’ve had many fiction—and even non-fiction—manuscripts come to me without titles…books that the writers have worked on for a year, two years, even longer. You mean they’ve written 70,000, 80,000, even 100,000 words and up—and have been unable to come up with a two, three-, or four-word title?read more