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.
Who knew? Until I saw a film titled THE FOREST earlier this year, I had not heard of Aokigahara. Research revealed something shocking: this vast forest, located near the base of Japan’s sacred Mt. Fuji, is a place where thousands of people have come to take their own lives.
Report from the Sirota Quarantine Cave: Jacqueline and I are doing fine. We’ve both been “sheltering in place” since she got back from a trip to Utah in mid-March. I suppose we’re more cautious than most, but hey, when they refer to “high-risk groups” they’re talking seniors (check) and people with underlying health conditions (double check).
This 1998 romantic comedy stars Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, one of the most popular couples in that genre. But YOU’VE GOT MAIL offers another sobering reality from that era: the Big Box discount store pushing out the Mom and Pop shop of days gone by. In this story we’re talking about bookstores.
Okay, I’m embellishing here. But in the 2009 creature feature, WYVERN, a mythical dragon chows down on the quirky residents of a small town in northern Alaska in order to feed itself, as well as to bring some tasty morsels to its soon-to-be-hatched young.
Here are some notable quotes from a few of my favorite flicks. This post first ran in 2016.
Not much to laugh about these days, so for a break from all of the bad news, here is a rather outrageous scene from THE 22nd GEAR, the third book in my “Bicycling” trilogy. The setup: my protagonist, Jack Miller, has ridden his mountain bike onto a world where lesser gravity is making it difficult to keep his feet—and his bike tires—on the ground. As he seeks help, he encounters three, uh, rather unique life forms on the road.
Actually, I could have categorized the 2012 romantic drama, THE WORDS, as a film about a writer writing about a writer—who’s writing about another writer. With a top-notch cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, and Jeremy Irons, among others, I figured it was worth checking out.
Never has that iconic line from the 1985 comedy/adventure, THE GOONIES, been more true than last week. Stage and screen star Josh Gad (THE BOOK OF MORMON, FROZEN), a huge fan of the film, succeeded in facilitating, via Zoom, a virtual reunion on YouTube with just about all of the original cast members.
This post first ran in 2016, and since that time the film version of DOCTOR SLEEP hit the big screen—and the small one. I’ll comment on it at the end.
Given the current state of affairs, you’d think people would be avoiding pandemic films like the plague. Curiously, my research revealed the opposite to be true. Folks just can’t seem to get enough of them…