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.
Over the past few years I’ve been busy rewriting and reissuing many of my novels, the ones that were published from the late 1970s through the ’90s. Some revisions proved relatively easy; others required a good deal of effort. But nothing, nothing came close to the amount of work required in making a silk purse (hopefully) out of what I consider my most notorious sow’s ear.read more
This morning my wife picked up the main section of our local newspaper and started reading, as she does every morning. But this time she did not get past page one.
“I can’t believe this!” Jacqueline exclaimed as she tossed the section on the floor. “Is this what our world has come to?”
When I wrote about the late John Heard last week I mentioned that one of his earliest screen roles was in the 1984 horror movie, C.H.U.D. I would’ve eventually written about this weird film, given that it is one of my Guilty Pleasures—so why not now?read more
They’ve been talking about a reboot of this awesome film, which I first wrote about in 2013. Dwayne Johnson is supposed to play Kurt Russell’s role as Jack Burton. I like The Rock, but in this case, nothing can top the original, so I’m glad it is still wallowing in Development Hell.read more
Actor John Heard passed away a couple of weeks ago at the age of seventy-one (exactly one day younger than me). It saddened me to learn of this, given that I’ve always enjoyed his work, in particular three films that are among my (Guilty Pleasure) favorites: horror movies CAT PEOPLE and C.H.U.D., and the wonderful indie comedy-drama, THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR, in which he played fallen attorney/crusading journalist Charlie Bloom.read more
Through the centuries decades I’ve been asked a thousand times, “Mike, why do you write?” Being of eastern European descent I always answer that question with other questions. “Why do I write?” you ask. “Why do I breathe? Why do I eat and drink?” That’s about how important writing is to me.read more
One of the most haunted places in the U.S. is located in suburban Chicago, of all places. The Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, abandoned over four decades ago, is surrounded by the Midlothian Forest, which sounds more apropos to Middle Earth rather than Middle America. As creepy sites go, this one has it all.read more
The Hotel del Coronado, which opened in 1888, is one of San Diego’s most famous and iconic structures. It has hosted all manner of royalty, both foreign and domestic. Marilyn Monroe lived on site during the filming of the 1959 comedy classic, “Some Like It Hot.” But above all else the Hotel Del—as most refer to it—is haunted.read more
The science fiction and horror movies of the 1950s more than sufficed to scare the crap out of an impressionable kid like me. Foremost among them was the Gill-Man from the 1954 Universal-International classic, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, even though most of us knew that the “piscine amphibious humanoid” was a guy in a rubber suit.read more
A supernatural Native American-themed thriller? I liked IMPRINT even before I first watched it. But this 2007 indie film, which garnered a ton of awards, transcends any categorizing by genre with its gripping story and powerful performances by an outstanding, mostly Native American cast.read more