The greatest show you’ll never see

Name a standup comedian that hasn’t been on a sitcom, The Daily Show, or Saturday Night Live. Name one who has appeared on, say, Letterman, Late Night, etc., whom you hadn’t heard of before but made you laugh. Tough, isn’t it?

There are lots of men and women out there who will make you hurt yourself laughing, but not unless you go out and see them — how many great shows are you missing?

What I’m talking about here is standup comedy. In a review of a Hannibal Burress show (ever heard of him?) published in the New York Times on Nov.3, the critic, Jason Zinoman, says, “Despite the rumbling buzz surrounding this comic who has refined his skills for nine years, first in Chicago and in New York, obscure dance companies have been reviewed more often in the mainstream press.” Continue reading

I’ll be Reading from Final Appearance Thursday, Nov. 17

In the Pen American Fall Literary tasting. Here’s the info from the Pen American Center site:

What should you be reading this season? Hear from Sarah McNally of McNally Jackson Books about the runaway hits, the beloved secrets, and the must-reads of the 2011 fall season. Then wander the halls of Westbeth to attend live readings in the homes of Westbeth residents by some of the most exciting authors writing today. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to explore the oldest and largest artist community located in the heart of bohemian West Village, repurposed by renowned architect Richard Meier into 383 living and working lofts. The evening ends with a reception and cocktails.

When: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Where: Westbeth, 155 Bank St., New York City
What time: 7 p.m.

Tickets: $10. Purchase at or at the door.

Really looking forward to this unique event. I love this idea. Like a wine tasting for books.

Doesn’t this sound cool? This is from my contact at Pen American: “the program will begin in the New School’s Auditorium, which is located on Bank Street. We will have signage and volunteers to direct them where to go. Sarah McNally, of NYC’s beloved McNally Jackson Bookstore, will address the audience for 20 minutes, before they are escorted by volunteers to the apartments for the intimate readings.”

Intimate readings. I almost wish I were just going to the readings.

Let’s say you’re out of your mind…

Let’s say you’re out of your mind, which I just might be, and you want to republish an older novel of your own to which you own the rights. You might take a bandsaw and one of the original hardcovers of your novel, which was published and finished before the advent of digital publishing, cut off the spine, and then run the pages through your scanner, the feeder of which might just break while you’re doing it. Let’s just say that’s what you’re doing. Here are my recommendation:

  • Scan at the highest possible setting — I did it at 600 dpi. Really, less than that should be fine. I just wanted to give the OCR function in Acrobat Pro as much information as possible.
  • Run the OCR function on Acrobat Pro (or the OCR program of your choice)
  • Export to Word or RTF after scanning and recognizing text.
  • Then, whenever you find a nit, such as 1 for I, do a global search and replace but make sure that you look at each one to make sure that it’s what you want to change. Your 1 could be part of that /1 for A ugliness.
  • Run Word’s grammar checker, it will help find stuff.
  • Search 0 for O (zero for O)
  • Quotation marks will be screwed up. Guaranteed. Check each one. Search on ” and ‘ and then make sure they’re correct. I had some that were truly weird. Especially with sentences beginning with “I. And then, go through and make sure that your close-quotes are all correct.
  • Then, if you have a lot of formatting, like I did, with italics, etc., make sure the italics are italics and that stuff that’s supposed to be plain text instead of itals is actually pt.
  • Finally, go through the pdf and the Word/RTF doc side by side on the screen and make sure you’ve got what you’ve think you’ve got. Then, put your Word or RTF file into another font — you’d be surprised at how many things this will help you find. (Blowing it up to 200 percent and marching through it will also help.)
Do not expect this to be a quick job. It took me weeks, but then I only have a couple hours a day to work on this kind of stuff.

Yes, Boys and Girls, It’s Final

The Final Appearance of America’s Favorite Girl Next Door is out on Amazon. Warm up those credit cards and get one for everyone you know.


It’s only available as an ebook. And if you’re not packing Kindle heat, but do have an ereader, it will be available elsewhere soon. Keep checking back here.

Or treat yourself and get a Kindle today. Or tomorrow. Whichever is more convenient.


Just Finished Proofing Final Appearance

It’s a strange thing to read your own novel when it’s about to get kicked out the door. And so it was this last week or so, finishing yesterday, with my ‘final’ reading of THE FINAL APPEARANCE OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE GIRL NEXT DOOR. Found a lot of little nits, so you with the ARCs, lots of little things are changed, so you have yourselves a nice little collector’s item. If you want one, an ARC, contact and she may be kind enough to send one to you.

But back to ‘strange’: Spend 10+ years writing a novel and there are bound to be things you would change. But there’s a certain authenticity to the moment that seems necessary. Currently, the official publication date is December 1. But you may be able to get it earlier. I will update.