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Sunday, December 26, 2010
Back from cancellation, the science fiction series Primeval returns this Saturday on BBC America. The Primeval home page includes updates, prequel videos, and more about the time-bending show.
TNT’s new scifi series Falling Skies premieres in June. Noah Wyle and Moon Bloodgood star.
Axiom posted Upcoming SciFi Movies, gauging interest in 2011 science fiction and fantasy films. They also posted A Look Ahead to the Mid-Season Science Fiction and Fantasy Television Shows/Schedule.
Use the coupon code TE82T to save half off the eBook of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure at Smashwords. Expires 2/15/11.
Click the tags below for more.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Now that I’ve completed a draft to the sequel of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, I still find myself surprised by the slow but steadily growing audience Degranon finds. It’s been almost ten years since the first edition appeared. I rewrote the book two years after its publication, following an earlier idea of making some of the major characters gay.
Those changes, and some others, made the novel even more memorable to me, and it remains my favorite out of everything I’ve written. Dealing with themes of discrimination, religious turmoil, and oppression added emotional layers, but I mostly wanted to create interesting characters and exciting scenes of adventure. That revised, second edition immediately gained attention.
In Worried, the upcoming sequel to Degranon, the characters still wrestle with some of the same problems, though they have overcome weight discrimination, censorship, and some of the other specific issues they struggled with before. However, some past failings haunt the citizens of Valchondria, the human home world. Dark secrets haunt the Valchondrians even more.
Also, the first book spanned generations on two planets. Worried takes place over five weeks. Most of the action happens on the capital city of the home world, except for a few scenes set in outer space. Still, the epic scope of the first book gave me a universe, and that entire universe still affects the characters and events of the second book. I think Degranon’s new and old readers will enjoy the journey back; I’m certainly enjoying it and look forward to the next few months of revision.
Spoiler alert! Warning, mild spoilers lurk ahead. Some hints about what to expect in Worried follow.
The wedding of two male characters from the first book.
The rumors of a dangerous alien race weren’t exaggerated.
The balance of power on Valchondria remains in question.
The effects of past addiction linger.
Enemies might need each other.
(Read reviews of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure at Rainbow Reviews and I Must Be Dreaming.)
Update: Worried became Sons of Taldra.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Science Fiction: 1600 views at YouTube!
Cowboys and Aliens, with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.
I Am Number 4, based on the teen novel.
Green Lantern, the new full-length trailer.
Tron Legacy, the long-awaited Disney sequel.
Battle: Los Angeles, an invasion movie with a war-movie feel.
Falling Skies discussion at ComicCon.
Outcasts press release. The new show, with Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber, will soon premiere on BBC America.
Riese: Kingdom Falling is a new web series from SyFy. According to their site…
“Narrated by Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary), the series stars a cavalcade of talent from the world of popular speculative drama including Christine Chatelain (The Bone Collector); Sharon Taylor (Stargate Universe); Ben Cotton (Harper's Island), Allison Mack (Smallville); Ryan Robbins (Caprica); Patrick Gilmore (Stargate Universe); Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica) and Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary).”
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Today is the last day for the chance to win a Degranon eBook. http://authorislandtikihut.blogspot.com/2010/11/this-week-at-tiki-hut-duane-simolke.html.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The Acorn Gathering, a fundraiser for cancer research, includes Native American themes. “Finding Acorns in Winter,” one of the stories I wrote for the collection, involves a young woman who wants to honor her Comanche ancestors while helping an elderly woman. Bill Wetzel, a Blackfeet Indian, wrote the story “Nachos Are Green And Ducks Appear To Be Blue At Town Pump In Cut Bank, Montana.” Despite a strange title, a nonlinear structure, and a sometimes comical tone, that story hits upon some hard facts about reservation life. Wetzel also contributed a sweet, romantic story called “A Morning by the River.”
Though it takes place on a fictionalized version of Earth and on a colonized planet, my novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure involves a family that we might see as American Indian, First Nation, or Native American. There is no mention of particular tribes, however.
Of course, I’m only part Choctaw and Cherokee. You can find First Nation writers and stories with Native American Authors and Native American Traditional Storytelling.
Please also visit the blog Native American News.
Well, some gay portal already uses that name, but the show's characters can still talk about doorQ’s reboot.
Australia’s ABC1 has announced plans for Outland, a six-part comedy series with openly gay science fiction geeks. A show about “belonging and fitting in” will feature the gay characters Rae (Christine Anu), Toby (Ben Gerrard), Andy (Paul Ireland), Fab (Adam Richard) and Max (Toby Truslove). Kevin Carlin will direct. Princess Pictures, already known for the hits Summer Heights High and John Safran’s Race Relations, will produce.
Monday, November 08, 2010
Enter to win a copy of the new novel by Shannon Yarbrough, Are You Sitting Down?
Publisher’s description: “In his latest novel, Shannon Yarbrough explores the damaged soul of one small town family and breaks through the boundaries of love, convincing his readers that no matter how hard life gets, sometimes the support of family is often the only true foundation we have left to depend upon - whether we want it or not.”
This week only, read the blog entry AuthorIsland Tiki Hut: This Week At The Tiki Hut - Duane Simolke for a chance to win an eBook copy of the gay-themed novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure and to learn more about its upcoming sequel Worried.
Gay writer Rick R. Reed is making a departure from thrillers like IM with the story of a man coming out to himself just before his wedding. The sometimes sad, sometimes funny novel Out on the Net unfolds in the form of blog entries. That new release arrives next week.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
With a tattered Raggedy Ann doll as her only companion, Stefani has spent her entire life immersed in self isolation. As a 10-year-old child she was the lone witness to her mother's murder. She vowed to find the man who robbed her of all she held dear in the world and ensure he suffers as she has before he takes his final breath.
Her childhood is consumed with training in the hopes of one day finding the scarred-face killer. But her world up-ends as her 21st birthday looms when she discovers she isn't the hunter. She is the one being hunted, and her predators are not human. Stefani finally opens herself up for the first time, allowing Dennis into her life and revealing her emotions to her hopeful protector. But her fear and confusion mount when he reveals he is a gargoyle - and she is, as well.
Dennis claims Stefani is the key to the future of the gargoyle world. She is the Chosen One, and she is in danger. Dark forces covet her imminent power and will use any means to steal it. Stefani's mind swims with peril she neither understands nor is sure she believes. She questions everything, including her grip on reality.
As Stefani battles the damned across the globe, she searches for answers about her identity. Is she truly the savior of an inhuman race or has her solitude and the trauma of her mother's death finally infected her sanity?
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Hinter: Sasha’s father. Insol of Tekari and former general of King Traedon’s elite soldiers, the Hassekorps. A powerfully built man with green eyes and long orange braids. He is clean shaven, until late in the novel, which is unusual for a man from Jaan. It’s too hot in Tekari for beards, and most of the other men there don’t keep them either.
Raysha: Sasha’s little sister, the only member of their family born in Tekari. She’s never been to Jaan, and doesn’t really understand why they were sent away or would want to go back. Tekari is home to her, despite the harsh weather and the animal attacks. Brown, curly hair.
Rutula: Sasha’s mother. Born to the maternal lineage of Varov, a title she now shares with her spouse and her children. Her parents died when she was a child, and she’s very protective of her own family. She married Hinter, who was then general of the Hassekorps. Gray haired, green eyes, with a slight build but proud walk.
Sasha (Innocence): braided, chestnut-colored hair. Apprentice Insol of Tekari. She wants to reclaim her family’s position as nobles of Jaan. Loves sword-fighting and the theater. Of course, there’s no theater in Tekari, but she and her brother act out the scenes they remember and the scenes their father teaches them. Her marriage will carry on the maternal Varov lineage. Weapons of choice: longsword or broadsword and dagger.
Stefent: Sasha’s brother. An avid story-teller and actor. His linguistic skills have made him an obvious representative for trading at the Sordem Outpost. Orange-haired, like his father. Stefent’s height and personality are closer to his mother than his father.
People: the Rest of the Cast.
A’lyn: Beshia’s seventy-nine-year-old spouse, who went away for cooking school in Laan. It had always been a dream of hers, but it left Beshia without a cook. Beshia’s been trying to run the inn’s kitchen, while also running the rest of the inn, and is glad for Sasha’s help. A’lyn settled down from a life of adventure after meeting Beshia; she stayed at the inn one night then never left…until the cooking school. Just under six feet tall, with short white hair and dark blue eyes.
Beshia: the innkeeper, spouse to A’lyn for the past twenty-eight years. A big, imposing woman in her early seventies. Full of advice, maxims, and concern. She believes in the rebellion against the Alera system, but feels she’s too old to help. Despite her fear of getting involved, she’s unable to refuse Burshmeed or Sasha when they need refuge. Her big frame is somewhat stooped from age and a hard life, but she is happy as can be.
Burshmeed: soldier who becomes a mutant for opposing Tay-lii. He blames Somel for that curse. Though he never considered himself handsome before, he was a rather likable fellow, and a loving spouse to Zola. He had joined Tay-lii’s army for a feeling of acceptance, but turned against Tay-lii after seeing his brutality too many times. The curse turned his dark brown skin and his green eyes yellow, his black hair red and gray; it also caused a small horn to protrude just above his left eye. Weapons of choice: broadsword and crossbow.
Captain Ferik: an Easterner, captain of the ship that takes Sasha back to Jaan, a year after her battle with Wuhrlock. Brown eyes, long black hair, and light brown skin.
Captain Geeja: Sherba sea captain and former slave with “harsh yet noble features.” She veils her long black hair, but never her face. Dark complexion, large frame. In her early thirties.
General Duhnahl: the younger of Tay-lii’s two generals. He’s blindly loyal to and fearful of Tay-lii. Still, like Koto’Ri, he feeds the Innocence legends with his tavern talk. A ruthless, powerful fighter, but increasingly a drunkard.
General Keln: also general to Tay-lii, but older and with his own ambitions. He trained Burshmeed. Scarred face, muscular body, and rugged voice. His very presence frightens nearly everyone.
Hedra Dyel: an elderly theater owner, and a tenuous friend to General Keln. Once a friend to Rutula Varov. Very loud voice.
Insri: the androgynous keeper of ancient ways that impact Theln and many other worlds. Blue, rail-thin. (Simply called “Instructor” in earlier version.)
King Traedon: ruler of Jaan. Gray hair and long, gray beard. Frail body, usually draped in ornate robes. The nobles of a Thelni kingdom elect someone as king or queen for life and can’t remove or vote out that elected official. The other members of that person’s immediate family hold royal titles during that person’s life, but then lose those titles and all privileges that go with them.
Koto’Ri: a rather smelly, obnoxious, and loud-mouthed soldier who served with Somel and Burshmeed in Tay-lii’s army and has served with both of Tay-lii’s generals.
The man in the maze: though Sasha never learns his name, this handsome yet scary individual manages to emulate the voices and personalities of various people from her mind.
Nalthen: an actor and director at Jaan’s most popular theater, which Noble Dyel owns.
The Sherba: nomads. Sherba is a noun (singular and plural) and adjective. The Sherba refer to everyone else disdainfully as “nonSherba” or as “landowners.” Weapons of choice: longsword, crossbow, or bow and arrow.
Somel: the linen merchant, also a former soldier of Tay-lii. Enamored with Sasha. He’s unable to grow the beard that supposedly helps him look less like his younger self; it just makes him look scruffy. He’s the one who convinced Burshmeed to shoot at Tay-lii with a crossbow. Dark, beady eyes and sandy blond hair. Somewhat muscular, but his height makes him look stronger. Weapon of choice: short sword.
Tay-lii: Wuhrlock’s brother, much more powerfully built. A fierce warlord who makes his home in Jaan, after several other kingdoms run him out. Supposedly, his soldiers agreed to help protect Jaan, but he really went there to overthrow his brother and become Alera. He is a hulking man, with callused hands and emerald eyes. Weapons of choice: two-handed sword and dagger.
Triz: Traedon’s son, nineteen-year-old prince of Jaan. Not a fan of the Alera system, but initially unwilling to challenge tradition or accept Innocence. Very loyal to his father and to Jaan; his father’s voice in the Senate of Nobles, during his sister’s absence.
Wuhrlock: Alera of Jaan, in the early part of the novel. He overstepped his advisory position by actually making laws for Jaan, including one that says no one can oppose the Alera. The Alera are highly regarded throughout most of Theln, both for their magical powers and for their deep understanding of the universal laws.
Zola: Burshmeed’s spouse. He can’t stand for her to look upon his cursed face, but she still loves him deeply and doesn’t care how he looks. Though she was happy in her own kingdom, her parents said she wasn’t allowed back as long as she was married to one of Tay-lii’s soldiers. Tay-lii had also caused problems in her kingdom, and many others. Working as a maid in the castle and the fort, she is now a spy for the Jaanian rebels who oppose Tay-lii. Weapon of choice: scimitar.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Check back here over the next few weeks for book news, movie reviews, and more. Thanks for reading!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
From Blastr, Torchwood Writer reveals the reasons why Ianto Jones had to die. The British series featured a love affair between its male lead and one of the male supporting characters. In 2011, Torchwood: The New World will bring the remaining Torchwood members, along with new ones, to the Starz network.
Monthly appointment with my Reading List puts Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure among the upcoming reads for Elisa Role, a prolific reviewer of gay-themed books. See the reviews at
Rainbow Reviews and I Must Be Dreaming.
Visit TLAgay.Com Shorts for details about a short film contest. They want original, gay-themed films, less than twenty minutes long. Submissions end November 1st, 2010.
BearCity. Learn about bear culture in a rowdy comedy from the director of Raising Heroes. A bear chaser bursts onto the scene, where he finds friendship and conflict. Read my review at ThisWeekInTexas.Com.
Gay Love Poem has now received more than 176,000 views at YouTube.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
In this live performance on Stand Up To Cancer 2010 (09/10/2010), Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong performs their hit song “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”
The following paragraphs introduce “The First Few And the Last Few,” one of the stories I wrote for The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer.
The Last Few And the First Few
By Duane Simolke
Dedicated to all people who risk their lives to protect others.
We entered the twenty-first century as we left the twentieth century: with uncertainty. But everything seemed safe for a while, safe and prosperous. Then the economy started to falter. And then September 11 happened.
I arrived in New York City two days after the attacks on the World Trade Center. When I’m not in active duty with the Army, I often work as a volunteer firefighter in El Paso, where my mother lives, or in Acorn. In case you haven’t heard of it, Acorn is a little town in West Texas, population 21,001. After my family left an even smaller town called “Ropesville,” I grew up in Acorn; my brother recently became the sheriff there, and I visited him for a while before coming on up here. It’s my first time up this far north in the states, though I’ve done quite a bit of traveling in my life.
I expected a call soon, one that would again cause me to travel. And, like the one I got just after I signed up with the Army, those travels would take me to a hostile, foreign land. In the meantime, I wanted to do what I could here. Everyone knows where I am and how to get hold of me, though I actually need to go back to the hotel and check my messages.
I haven’t slept since arriving at Ground Zero. Ground Zero—that’s what they’re calling the area of destruction. My mother, always biased, has been telling everyone that it was heroic of me to come here. The New York City firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers are the real heroes. I’m just helping out where I can. I’ve seen them help countless people already while sifting through the wreckage for survivors.
I’ve seen volunteers of every kind, and I’ve seen every good trait of humanity. New York hardly seems like the cruel, unfriendly place I’ve always heard about. We’re all doing what we can.
The team I was with finally convinced me to take a break. Instead of going back to the hotel, I walked a block away and collapsed in an alley, leaning against a building.
As I sit here, catching my breath, still wearing my helmet and my protective jacket, I reach into the pocket of my jeans to find an envelope, now all folded up and crinkled.
Friday, September 10, 2010
In this charming romantic comedy, a case of mistaken identity complicates a gay man’s attempt to finally meet the right man in L.A. Can a handsome Texan end his streak of failed relationships? Read my review at ThisWeekInTexas.Com.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
The Return of Innocence blends humor and romance with exciting fantasy action. Visit Theln, a planet of magic, dragons, nobility, and heroes. Sasha Varov was born into a noble home in the Thelni kingdom of Jaan, but Sasha’s father dared to oppose the king’s sorcerer, Wuhrlock. Sasha and her family became exiles on a desolate island.
At sixteen, Sasha left her island home to buy seeds in Jaan. She stumbled into a series of misadventures that ended with the death of Wuhrlock and made Sasha a legend, known as “Innocence.” Never mind that the legend barely resembled the truth, or that Sasha caught Wuhrlock in an unguarded moment. When Sasha returned for more seeds, the people of Jaan expected her to defeat a much more ruthless and powerful sorcerer.
Someone will win a paperback copy of The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure, today at Cyber Launch Party.
Also visit AuthorIsland Giveaway for details about a month-long contest for another paperback copy of that book.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
My interview at AuthorIsland includes details about my writing process and how The Acorn Gathering happened, as well as an announcement about the upcoming sequel to Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure.
The AuthorIsland site features book excerpts, trailers, and giveaways. Degranon is the book of the day there, with a free eBook for the winner. Watch there for more giveaways.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Read about Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure. Watch here for news about the sequel!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Visit the Smashwords page for Holding Me Together to read the opening essay, Reactions to Homophobia. Just click your choice under “Available Ebook reading formats.” That page also includes the videos Gay Pride and Gay Love Poem.
Resources for Reactions to Homophobia.
More of my book excerpts appear at DuaneSimolke.Com; use the links down the right side.
Friday, August 06, 2010
Bitsy Bling’s Book Reviews features reviews and interviews, in a variety of genres. Author Charlie Courtland is the blogmaster.
I've added links above for the entries Science Fiction & Fantasy Links and Literature and Writers Links: General. Those entries previously appeared as pages at my old site.
Also try the "Writer resources" and “SciFi and/or fantasy” tags at the end of this entry.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Sunday, August 01, 2010
The book trailer The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure has received over a thousand viewings at YouTube. Science Fiction, the second trailer for Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, has received over 1500 views there.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Friday, July 02, 2010
Belmont University People: Belmont University Alumni, Belmont University Faculty, Trisha Yearwood, Kimberley Locke, Brad Paisley.
“Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Chapters: Belmont University Alumni, Belmont University Faculty, Trisha Yearwood, Kimberley Locke, Brad Paisley, Lee Ann Womack, Melinda Doolittle, Ronnie Littlejohn, Rachel Smith, Josh Turner, Tamara Johnson-George, Josh Mcadams, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, Chuck Cannon, Duane Simolke, Jimmy Bowen, Lisa Williams, Sean Hetherington, William E. Troutt.”
Read more at Amazon.Com and bn.com.
I’ve updated my Selected Poems listing page.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
In this stand-alone sequel to the published novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, Taldra and her twin gay sons face new dangers. Some of those dangers come from outside their atmosphere. Others come from the protectors of their world. I’m currently about three quarters of the way through writing a draft of Worried. Read Chapter 1 at Goodreads.
Discuss Degranon at Goodreads.
Monday, June 14, 2010
"I found this book to be a perfect vacation companion," –A. Chandler, the #1 Amazon.Com Reviewer.
Read reviews of The Acorn Stories at Kirkus, Amazon.Com, GoodReads, chapters.indigo.ca, bn.com (2nd edition), and bn.com (1st edition).
Sunday, May 23, 2010
“Thoughtful and moving poetry.” –Leona L Lee, author of Taxing Tallula. Read the review.
This short eBook includes the gay love poem Home, the strange story of The Gardener, and the comical Angels and Razors, as well as thirty other poems.
Complete list of poems in this book: Chasing Seagulls, Home, Album, Children in the Streets, The Gardener, Friday Afternoon Spectrum, Reception, second year, Angels and Razors, Separated, Faces, Songs In Sign Language, Forgotten, Higher Education, Family, Ex-Gay? Part I: Cocoon, Ex-Gay? Part II: The Ex-Me Movement, Ex-Gay? Part III: Who Does God Hate?, The Escape Artist, Daughter, The Same Lips, Pharisee, Anne Bradstreet, Bareback, Cycle, Cross, Two Rapes, Rainbow, Elephant on an Opera Stage, Detour, Editing, Process, Haiku.
These works also appear in my longer anthology Holding Me Together: Essays and Poems.
Keywords: Gay pride, Gay romance, Gay men, Gay poem, Gay poems, Gay poetry, Gay poets, Gay writers, Love poems, Story poems, Humor, Homophobia, Exgay, Ex-gay, Diversity, Poetry, American poets, Lubbock poets, Texas poets.
"Editing," a poem about past and present homophobia. This video contrasts the dark imagery of "Editing" with colorful, positive pictures from Toronto Gay Pride, showing a refusal to let fear, violence, or hatred silence us.
Blog entry updated 8/16/2014.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Preview The Acorn Gathering at Smashwords. This anthology takes readers across several landscapes, during times of trouble, change, hope, and triumph.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Saturday, May 08, 2010
The Acorn Gathering
By Writers Uniting Against Cancer
From a scandal-rocked town in West Texas to the Blackfeet Indian reservation in Montana, these short stories take readers to surprising places in America and the human heart!
Join the fight against cancer by purchasing this fund-raiser by authors Jan Chandler, Huda Orfali, Timothy Morris Taylor, Shawna R. Van Arum, and Bill Wetzel. I wrote four of the stories, edited the collection, and arranged for my publisher to donate all royalties to the American Cancer Society.
“I highly recommend you go, buy copies for yourself and your loved ones, and enjoy reading this well-written book.” —W. Brian Moore, for QBliss.Net
“These are all very talented writers, and I'm glad they got together to have a compilation of their stories in one book.” —Book Review Café
“If you're looking for characters that fit the mold of traditional, you won't find them here. The book is like a warm, pleasing quilt made up of disparate, yet cohesive patches represented by characters of various ethnic backgrounds; among them, African and Native Americans, Hispanic and Anglo Americans and with a few Texans sewn in.” —L. L. Lee, author of The Sisters: Found in San Antonio
Part One: Acorn, Texas
Finding Acorns In Winter. By Duane Simolke.
The Seedling. By Jan Chandler.
Fat Diary. By Duane Simolke.
Again. By Duane Simolke.
Lynching. By Huda Orfali.
Part Two: Beyond Acorn
Nachos Are Green And Ducks Appear To Be Blue At Town Pump In Cut Bank, Montana. By Bill Wetzel.
As I Lay Dying. By Huda Orfali.
The Flamenco Painter. By Shawna R. Van Arum (formerly Shawna Chandler).
The 23rd Of August. By Timothy Morris Taylor.
A Morning By the River. By Bill Wetzel.
Dancing With the Angels. By Huda Orfali.
Gun. By Jan Chandler.
Part Three: Still Beginning
The Last Few And the First Few. By Duane Simolke.
News and Authors
Excerpts from The Acorn Gathering
Fat Diary, One of My Stories
Barnes & Noble, fishpond.co.au, fishpond.co.nz, amazon,
ca, uk, de, fr
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Video: Comedian Tim Hawkins spoofs some classic songs from Eric Clapton, Garth Brooks, KC & the Sunshine Band, the Who, and others by adapting the lyrics to something age appropriate for those stars today.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Discussion Questions for Reading Groups/Book Clubs.
Was your home town anything like Acorn? If so, how?
How would setting The Acorn Stories some place other than West Texas change it?
How would changing the nonlinear structure of stories like “Knock” and “Mae” affect the stories?
Which characters did you like most in The Acorn Stories? Why? Did any of them remind you of yourself or anyone you know? Are the characters you enjoyed most necessarily ones that you would want to meet in real life?
The stories “Echoes” and “Come With Me” both take their names from paintings, while “Survival” takes its name from a student essay. How do the themes and imagery from those internal, creative works affect the overall stories? Is creativity a theme in any of the other stories?
Why do some of the characters in The Acorn Stories seem to care so much about names, and variances of names?
The Acorn Stories is a story collection, but does it resemble a novel?
Many characters reoccur in this collection. Are there any who seem important to the overall book, rather than just to one or two particular stories?
Texas contains many odd-named towns, counties, etc. Some of those names appear in The Acorn Stories and its spin-off, The Acorn Gathering. Did you catch any?
How do acorns work as a metaphor in The Acorn Stories? Are there other metaphors in the book?
Does The Acorn Stories reflect the diversity of Texans? Americans?
Which books would you suggest for people who like The Acorn Stories?
Discuss The Acorn Stories at GoodReads.
Read the reviews at Kirkus, Amazon.Com, bn.com (2nd edition), and bn.com (1st edition).
Excerpts from The Acorn Stories
The Individual Stories
Historical Acorn, Texas
The Acorn Gathering, a Spin-off from The Acorn Stories
Monday, March 15, 2010
Readers and Writers: Discover A New Review Blog for eBooks!
Ebook Alchemy is a new blog that features reviews of books in a variety of genres. The difference is that the blogger, Archelle, only reviews works available in eBook (e-book) format.
Visit there to read a review of Archelle’s review of The Acorn Stories, my West Texas fiction collection.
Monday, March 08, 2010
The Big Gay Musical. Distributed by Embrem Entertainment and TLA Releasing.
DVD Review for This Week In Texas by Duane Simolke.
A musical stage production within a movie helps provide the comical soundtrack for The Big Gay Musical. Adam and Eve meet Adam and Steve for an upbeat message about love and acceptance.
Fred M. Caruso produced, wrote, and co-directed The Big Gay Musical, a movie that lives up to its name by providing a staged musical within the movie and a surprisingly fresh look at coming out. Casper Andreas, the director of Between Love & Goodbye and A Four Letter Word, co-directed. Caruso also contributed to those two Andreas films, but The Big Gay Musical fully reveals his talents. He even co-wrote some of this film’s charming and humorous songs.
Daniel Robinson plays Paul in the movie and Adam in the off-Broadway play, Adam and Steve Just the Way God Made Them. Paul wants to bounce back from a relationship by going from settled to promiscuous. Joey Dudding plays Eddie in the movie and Steve in the play. Eddie goes from waiting for the right guy to engaging in unprotected sex. Both men find themselves unsatisfied by their new approaches to dating.
Eddie’s parents are as religious and homophobic as the televangelists and the ex-gay campers in the play, so they react badly when he finally comes out to them. The play, however, features a jovial, gay-friendly God replacing the rebellious Adam and Eve with Adam and Steve. The exaggerated, campy characters in the play tend to mirror their offstage counterparts, but Caruso keeps those offstage characters in a more believable reality.
Combined, the cast has appeared in nearly fifty Broadway musicals. That fact shows in their polished numbers. Those strong musical performances also help deliver some of the most touching moments on a different stage, during “Mostly Sondheim” open-mike nights at a local piano bar.
Separately or together, the two leads always connect the different storylines and locations into a single experience. Their frustrations with many aspects of both religious culture and gay culture will resonate with countless viewers.
For eye-candy and fun music alone, many of the people who purchase this movie might wear out their copy. However, The Big Gay Musical also draws strength from a positive message, strong production values, funny lines, and the universal need for love and acceptance.
Read More of My DVD Reviews.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure. For fans of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Torchwood, Doctor Who, or Lois McMaster Bujold. Winner of a StoneWall Society Pride in the Arts Award.
This is an incredible book about the human condition and how one person striving for the good can, in the end, be a source of change. -Rainbow Reviews, Read the full review.
In Degranon, author Duane Simolke establishes his voice in gay genre writing by combining current concerns revolving around queer culture with a world of dimensional doorways, advanced technology, and distant planets. -X-Factor, October 1, 2004 issue
It's a very good story. -HomoMojo.Com
A must read. -Joe Wright, for StoneWall Society
A reminder of the danger of fanaticism. -Mark Kendrick, author of Stealing Some Time
Duane Simolke's latest offering is a fascinating scifi excursion into a world as unique as his singular vision. -Ronald L. Donaghe, author of Cinátis
I recommend DEGRANON for its exciting, well-constructed narrative, its often intriguing characters, and its wealth of ideas both political and philosophical. -J. Clark
DEGRANON is sci-fi that warrants the attention of any serious aficionado, gay or straight, fascinated by alien worlds that mirror our own world. -William Maltese, author of Beyond Machu
Keywords: dystopia, racism, homophobia, weight discrimination, bigotry
Degranon: Kindle eBook
The Maintainers Arrive
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
In this two-volume work, hundreds of alphabetically arranged entries survey contemporary lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer American literature and its social contexts.
"Edited by Nelson (English, SUNY Cortland), this two-volume set presents over 300 signed entries authored by over 125 authors, professors, graduate students, librarians, and professionals from across the United States. The articles cover topics of relevance to the field of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered/queer (LGBTQ) literature such as AIDS, seminal texts like Angels in America, and a large number of articles on mainly contemporary authors. ... Bottom Line: Geared toward high school, college, and scholarly research users, this work is free of bias, focusing on LGBTQ topics as equally as the materials enable. Recommended for all academic and high school libraries."
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Friday, January 08, 2010
The Virginia Scribe Reflections by Amy Tate: Sherwood Anderson Posts
Winesburg, Ohio Reading Quiz
2010 E-Book Reading Challenge
JoBlo.Com: The Wettest County Ever
Stein, Gender, Isolation and Industrialism: New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio examines the best known work of the influential American writer, Sherwood Anderson.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Gay Love Poem has received more than 100,000 views at YouTube, while Gay Pride has received more than 13,220 views there. Both videos serve as book trailers for my book Holding Me Together.
Science Fiction has received more than 1100 views at YouTube, while Gay Science Fiction has received more than 4500. Those videos promote my novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure.
The video for The Acorn Stories has received more than 370 views, the video for The Acorn Gathering has received over 780, and the video for The Return of Innocence has received more than 580. These numbers only represent YouTube, and not the other places where the videos appear.