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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Talk about gay-themed science fiction. Discuss Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure at GoodReads.
The Acorn Stories:
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
Book Trailer
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.




The Big Gay Musical. Distributed by Embrem Entertainment and TLA Releasing.
DVD Review for This Week In Texas by Duane Simolke.

Summary:
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.

Review:
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