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.

 

 

Throwback Thursday: Guilty Pleasures—Deep Rising

Not having felt “guilty” for a while, I dug way down into the well of duds for DEEP RISING, a 1998 action-horror flick. I mean, how could I not like a movie co-starring Famke Janssen (X-Men’s Jean Grey and a Bond villain in GOLDENEYE) and a bunch of giant, multi-tentacled sea worms? What more could a (weird) guy want?

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Exploring The Planet Of The Apes: Part Five

If you read this blog, you may recall that Part Four in this series appeared a little over a year ago. At that time WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, the ninth film in the franchise and the third in the latest reboot, had not yet been released. It came out later that summer, and I saw it then but chose not to write about it until I watched it at least one more time, which I did last week.

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Throwback Thursday: Trimming The Fat From Your Manuscript

We writers tend to fall in love with our words—sometimes too much. As a writing coach and editor for decades I have been personally responsible for millions of words of unnecessary exposition being excised from my writers’ manuscripts—usually with those writers kicking and screaming.

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Whole Lotta Shaking Goin’ On

We had an earthquake here in Southern California last week. Like, what else is new? The 4.5 temblor—its epicenter in Riverside County near the San Andreas fault—occurred just before 5 a.m., which means I sure as heck did not feel it. Two subsequent aftershocks also went unnoticed. This quake was not even close to the long-prophesized Big One.

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Throwback Thursday: The Best Writing Advice Of All

In my decades as a writing coach and editor I have worked with first-time writers whose talents and abilities ranged from “I think you should take up needlepoint or jet skiing instead” to “How in heck are you not published yet!” The latter, to be sure, is the rare exception rather than the rule.

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Dreadlocked Rodents And Elephant-Flies

I have just reissued the second book in my comedy/sci-fi trilogy, THE ULTIMATE BIKE PATH. (A Retro Ride: Book Two.) Along with all his strange adventures on the other side of the numerous gates along the Path, cosmic bike rider Jack Miller encounters some weird riders on the mhuva lun gallee itself. Here are two of them.

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Throwback Thursday: The Burning Ground Interview

My Native American-themed ghost story, THE BURNING GROUND, was first published a couple of years ago, weeks after I started this blog. I gave an interview about the story back then, and now that I’m re-releasing the book under my Atoris Press imprint, I thought that revisiting the interview was in order.

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Films About Writers: Year By The Sea

In this, the era of #MeToo, when women are making it clear that they’re fed up with the bullshit to which they’ve been subjected from men since the days of the “goodwife,” the 2016 comedy-drama, YEAR BY THE SEA, is most timely.

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Guilty Pleasures: Season Of The Witch

The first time I watched the 2011 historical fantasy/adventure film, SEASON OF THE WITCH—starring Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman—I did so with no preconceived notions. The verdict: okay, I’d seen better movies, and for sure a whole lot worse, but I found it watchable. Subsequent research revealed that the film, while doing fairly well at the box office, was reviled by critics and moviegoers alike. Yes, that definitely made it a Guilty Pleasure.

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