Mike Sirota's Blog – Swords, Specters, & Stuff

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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.



The Rock-And-Roll Afterward

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.

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Throwback Thursday: Spiders, Bats, And Sharks—Critter Nirvana

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.”

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Throwback Thursday: Coaching Writers—Why I Do What I Do

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.

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Sedona, The…Movie?

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…

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Throwback Thursday: A Tonto And Lone Ranger Story

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.

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Guilty Pleasures: Ghosts Of Mars

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.

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Touching The Magical Tower

“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.

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Throwback Thursday: The Title Of My New Book Is…“Untitled”

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?

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