Books

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NaNoWriMo writer Jon Kile takes a time out with The Grandfather Clock

If you've wondered which great American novel might come of National Novel Writing Month, here's a contender for your consideration.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 11:40 AM

click image AUTHOR DEAREST: Jon Kile and his daughter Anna hiking in Washington state. - JONATHAN KILE
  • Jonathan Kile
  • AUTHOR DEAREST: Jon Kile and his daughter Anna hiking in Washington state.


Don't just shop local this holiday season. 

Read local. 

Local author Jon Kile makes it easy to do just that in his debut novel, The Grandfather Clock.

Kile, who says his family's own grandfather clock and blunderbuss inspired him, published his first novel last month.

CL sat down with him to ask him about his book, writing with two toddlers underfoot, and how an oil salesman turns into a writer. 

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Pin Action — Gianmarc Manzione introduces us to the world of bowling hustlers

Venture into the seamy, vainglorious, cut-throat scene of bygone pros like Ernie Schlegel, Checkbook Al, Goldfinger and Bobby Pancakes.

Posted By on Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 9:11 AM

BOWLED OVER: Author Gianmarc Manzione became fascinated by bowling's history and characters and wrote about a few of them, with a focus on Ernie Schlegel.
  • BOWLED OVER: Author Gianmarc Manzione became fascinated by bowling's history and characters and wrote about a few of them, with a focus on Ernie Schlegel.

We’re a disaster.

It’s 3 p.m. at University Lanes in Temple Terrace. There are a handful of families bowling, 9 year olds rattling bumpers. I’m a dilettante, bowling maybe once a year, so I don’t feel too bad about the stumbling boulders I’m hucking.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

City of Writers collecting data on local authors

Posted By on Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Keep-St-Pete-Lit-Logo-.jpeg

Writers west of Tampa Bay, unite! Keep St. Pete Lit has revived the City of Writers.

Once the brainchild of USF-St. Petersburg professor Thomas Hallock, Keep St. Pete Lit has assumed responsibility for maintaining a free database of Pinellas county's verbally creative community.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Local author Kris Radish's Gravel on the Side of the Road

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM

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Once, just once, I'd like to get through a Kris Radish book without crying. 

Gravel on the Side of the Road: True Stories From a Broad Who Has Been There was not that book. That's OK. Well, mostly. 

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Paul Kwatkowski on Eat Prey Drug's New-Age Daymare

The Miami-raised photographer and writer is on a weekly search for meaning in desperate times.

Posted By on Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 7:43 AM

click image I escaped the polar vortex by replacing it with another vortex: Los Angeles. I burned through winter in L.A., where — compared to the silvery winter of New York, with its edges like crumpled aluminium — it instead felt like being inside a sunny defunct fridge. The blocky pastel storefronts were all stained, and even the new things were rotting. Coming from Florida, I thrived. I liked that L.A. was all at once seedier, cleaner and dirtier than Miami. - BLACK BALLOON PUBLISHING/PAUL KWIATKOWSKI
  • Black Balloon Publishing/Paul Kwiatkowski
  • I escaped the polar vortex by replacing it with another vortex: Los Angeles. I burned through winter in L.A., where — compared to the silvery winter of New York, with its edges like crumpled aluminium — it instead felt like being inside a sunny defunct fridge. The blocky pastel storefronts were all stained, and even the new things were rotting. Coming from Florida, I thrived. I liked that L.A. was all at once seedier, cleaner and dirtier than Miami.



Miami expat Paul Kwiatkowski's And Every Day Was Overcast caught CL's attention last year with its phantasmagoric documentary approach to life in South Florida. Now he's working with Black Balloon Publishing to produce Eat Prey Drug, which takes his aesthetic of detached strangeness and strings together a photo-fueled narrative of cross country exploration and altered consciousness.

After being thrilled by early installments of the serial project, I touched base with Kwiatkowski to find out where he was really heading. He also picked a few of his favorite images from Eat Prey Drug, and paired them with excerpts from the narrative.

David Z. Morris: How exactly does one get an assignment to “investigate alternative perceptions of consciousness?"

Paul Kwiatkowski: Last winter I had a conversation with my publisher about the role of consciousness in developing narrative. I wanted to apply that idea to investigating out-of-body experiences, New Age mythology, the mechanics of memory, photography's role in our lives, drug experiences and social interaction — all while coasting on the spine of a derailed road trip I took from California to New York.

We decided that Eat Prey Drug would be less of a collection of case studies on various theories surrounding consciousness and more of a story that grows chapter by chapter as the narrator drives from West to East. Ideally the series would head into corridors with trap doors that open up to different perspectives on consciousness.

DZM: What’s the ultimate goal for the project?

PK: I’d like to evolve it into something more elaborate, psychedelic and collaborative. I’d love to work with more people I admire like Bobby Krlic from the Haxan Cloak, not necessarily just photographers and writers.

click image Kelly moved to Portland from West Virginia via New York to be with a guy who dumped her for opiates. Kelly was what adults acted like when they played doctor too much as children. Kelly was fun. - BLACK BALLOON PUBLISHING/PAUL KWIATKOWSKI
  • Black Balloon Publishing/Paul Kwiatkowski
  • Kelly moved to Portland from West Virginia via New York to be with a guy who dumped her for opiates. Kelly was what adults acted like when they played doctor too much as children. Kelly was fun.

DZM: Your professional background is in photojournalism, which as you point out is hard to make a living at anymore. Is combining it with writing going any better?


PK: I actually never worked as a journalist; I worked in photojournalism as a multimedia producer for an agency called World Picture News, which imploded right before the recession. I produced and edited digital content for media outlets.

Also: You can make money as a writer?

DZM: Why are there ants crawling all over my desk?

PK: There’s too much sugar in your coffee.

DZM: What really strikes me about the whole project is that it’s resolutely realistic but presented in a way that gives it an otherworldly tinge. Where does that sense of almost-normal-but-not-quite come from?

PK: That is a direct result of living in Los Angeles. If you can’t weave a conversation around not-quite-normal topics like past life regressions and crystal energy, you’re at a social disadvantage in L.A. I never had my horoscope read more times in my entire life than when I lived in Hollywood for two months.

click image Thus far on my road trip and into my assignment, the only absolute I’d reached was that we’ll never have direct access to reality. We don’t exist outside of ourselves. We’re born having no knowledge about consciousness; it’s something we become aware of through science, images, language, interaction and experience. Most of it is determined through culture and geography. Reality is not at one with the mind. - BLACK BALLOON PUBLISHING/PAUL KWIATKOWSKI
  • Black Balloon Publishing/Paul Kwiatkowski
  • Thus far on my road trip and into my assignment, the only absolute I’d reached was that we’ll never have direct access to reality. We don’t exist outside of ourselves. We’re born having no knowledge about consciousness; it’s something we become aware of through science, images, language, interaction and experience. Most of it is determined through culture and geography. Reality is not at one with the mind.

Two years in, Rick married a German named Regina. They met at a line-dancing night off base. Regina liked loud country music or pretended to; she absorbed anything Rick projected. He liked that her ass was small enough to fit in his hands; it made him think his cock was bigger. According to him the love was instant. After Rick completed his tour, they moved to his grandparents’ farm in Avoca, Wisconsin. - BLACK BALLOON PUBLISHING/PAUL KWIATKOWSKI
  • Black Balloon Publishing/Paul Kwiatkowski
  • Two years in, Rick married a German named Regina. They met at a line-dancing night off base. Regina liked loud country music or pretended to; she absorbed anything Rick projected. He liked that her ass was small enough to fit in his hands; it made him think his cock was bigger. According to him the love was instant. After Rick completed his tour, they moved to his grandparents’ farm in Avoca, Wisconsin.

DZM: In Eat Prey Drug, are you the author or a character?


PK: A character who acts in service of the author.

DZM: Would you describe the people you’re writing about as desperate, lost — or just independent at a time when that’s difficult?

PK: I think isolation and rebirth underpins our identity as Americans. I was inspired by a lot of James Howard Kuntsler’s critique of America's suburban development. We’re accustomed to a way of life that is sealed off from a lot of how the world operates. Aside from the breathtaking nature this country has become a series of malls, failed cities, suburbs, parking lots with no place to congregate.

I notice there's a strong yearning for contact that feels inverted by the "interconnectedness" of technology which has become the dominant center of every home. Maybe we’re all a little alone right now and it’s not a bad thing. America has had a rough transition into the 21st century; a lot of us are re-evaluating our identity and if what we’re getting out of life is worth the work.

Eat Prey Drug is updated weekly, and runs through late November at Black Balloon Publishing's blog, Airship Daily.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Going Om with Tampa author Melissa Carroll

The Tampa Renaissance woman has corralled an impressive stable of authors for her latest book.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 11:58 AM

OFF THE MAT: Melissa Carroll and her recently published collection, Going Om.   - FACEBOOK.COM
  • FACEBOOK.COM
  • OFF THE MAT: Melissa Carroll and her recently published collection, Going Om.
Meet Melissa Carroll 
Sat. Nov. 15, 11 a.m.-noon, at Jai Dee Yoga Studio and a Mindful Writing Workshop at The New Tampa Library 2-4 p.m. melissacarrollyoga.com
She's that enviable superwoman who's too easygoing, comical and pleasant to write off as another annoyingly overachieving alpha female. Yoga in the Park instructor, writer and poet Melissa Carroll has a new book outGoing OM: Real Life Stories On and Off the Yoga Mat, a collection of essays and anecdotes written by prominent writers about their experiences with the downward dog, planks and such.

Authors include Dinty W. Moore (The Accidental Buddhist), Neal Pollack  (Stretch: The Making of a Yoga Dude), Cheryl Strayed (New York Times bestseller Wild), Claire Dederer (Poser: My Life in 23 Yoga Poses) as well as popular locals like Ira Sukrungruang  and Gloria Munoz.

We caught up with Carroll before a signing and workshop this Saturday, events that coincide with Florida Bookstore Day

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Because Florida is for (book) lovers — Florida Bookstore Day is Nov. 15

Florida Bookstore Day celebrates a first with bookshops, performances and more at local indie booksellers.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 10:18 PM

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Florida Bookstore Day
Events at Haslam’s, Oxford Exchange Inkwood Books and more.
Statewide schedule at wordierthanthou.com/bookstoreday.

As the Information Age becomes more digitized and commerce becomes more impersonal, an analog backlash has seen more discerning consumers gravitating to shops with familiar faces and personalized service.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Staring into the abyss for National Novel Writing Month

Not many people who start National Novel Writing Month finish. But that might not be such a bad thing.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Yes, that’s right, it’s November! And with it comes National Novel Writing Month, a fantastic event founded about fifteen years ago to promote literacy and creativity. The idea is that participants try to write a novel in a month, churning out an average of 1,500 words a day, every day, for 30 days – and tracking and sharing their word counts online. That demand for a constant torrent of words, supporters say, helps participants write without restraint, to let their thoughts fly without a filter. It’s a great concept, and for people trying to develop their creativity, I'm sure it’s an amazing experience — whether they hit their goals or not.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tampa Bay's weekly literary happenings

Author talks, open mics, NaNoWriMo and more!

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 11:27 AM

O Captain, our Captain! Walt Whitman will be celebrated at the Venture Compound this Saturday.
  • O Captain, our Captain! Walt Whitman will be celebrated at the Venture Compound this Saturday.

Catch Tim Dorsey
, the former Tampa Tribune journalist turned novelist, at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. He’ll discuss his 15 zany, Florida-based mystery novels, answer questions and sign copies of his books.

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Kitchen Table hosts workshop, discussion on protest literature

Pull up a chair to Kitchen Table's inaugural event at Seminole Heights Branch Library today.

Posted By on Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 10:44 AM

WORD! Sheree Greer in New Orleans. - FIONA ZEDDE
  • Fiona Zedde
  • WORD! Sheree Greer in New Orleans.


The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center gets right to the heart of what the organization is all about with its inaugural event, “Raise Your Voice! Protest Literature and Midterm Matters!”

The engaging workshop and discussion, which is free and open to the public, happens today,  Saturday, Nov. 1, 1 to 3 p.m., at the Seminole Heights Branch Library, 4711 N. Central Ave., Tampa.

The discussion will cover protest literature from the Antebellum South, Harlem Renaissance and Civil Rights eras, and will include work by Francis Ellen Watkins Harper, Ann Petry, Gwendolyn Bennett, Carolyn Rogers, Gwendolyn Brooks and more. Then, participants will get the chance to create their own protest literature, reflecting on the current social and political climate, during a creative writing workshop.



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