Saturday, January 14, 2017

The making of a video trailer for a novel. A little success, a little failure and a little humor

I heard book trailers are important. Here's what I came up with for my novel, Grand Slams: a coming of eggs story.

Total cost $0. Total budget $0 Time 2:42 or less than the time it'll take to read this blog post.

The original idea was to go to my old stomping grounds Denny's in Lexington. Instead it was a Margueritas now. So where to find a Denny's...

Denny's Leominster, Ma

How about Leominster, Ma.?  Perfect. It was even attached to a Motel 6, the same way Grand Slams was attached to a Super 8. Not a huge fine, most of them are like that. So I have some ideas about questions to ask, using some of the over the top activities I wrote about. I went into the Motel 6 to ask the desk person if they ever traded meals for rooms--a barter used by Joe Keating to score overnight parties with waitress. Besides not getting an answer, she ran away. Motel 6 charges for wifi anyway.

Gosh, golly and jeepers.

Then I went next door and ran into the typical Denny's tool bag--their manager, a Keating, Tribuno and Dye-haired Bob in training. This guy represents the people who work jobs they hate and take them way to seriously. There is no sense of humor, which, in a way holds the company line. Even their twitter account has a sense of humor. All I got out of him on film, was him stating his discomfort. I had a whole slew of questions too. He got really paranoid when I asked to film out back in the dishroom, which was denied and then especially paranoid when I asked if he would do it.

I decide a coffee at the counter. I filmed some wide shots, but then the very important manager told me he would ask me to leave if I kept taking pictures because "customers were complaining". Actually, there were no customers in sight, so basically, it was him exerting the little power he had, because he cold. I told him I wouldn't film anymore. I was done anyway

Back to coffee, checking my e-mail and doing phone things. Then boy manager stands about ten feet from me and asks what I'm doing. I say, "what I'm doing, at this point, is being harassed, while I'm trying to drink my coffee" Ah, apparently making friends is tough in the film industry, if you doubt that, ask a right winger about Michael Moore.

So, failing on my goals, I on to Lexington and Margueritas. Look at that make over---looks like a Denny's with clay roof tiles. At Margueritas,  I planned to film various sections of the restaurant formerly known as Denny's and talk about what happened in each within Grand Slams. I was able to riffle off a few questions to the hostesses (SUCCESS) who had a large repertoire of answers, most of them, the word know, "no". To give them credit, they had no idea what I was doing. I asked for the manager, to get a tour of the dishroom and was rejected rather coolly by her. What a surprise. When I asked if she could do the filming and have control of all the content, there suddenly were two muscle tools in the hostess area. Strong looking dudes, unlike my protagonist, Woody Geyser I, like Woody Geyser have seen my share of hair trigger bouncers, so I took the visual prompt and decided to leave. I was going to buy chips too. Damn.

Anyway, I saved the footage I had and made this grand slamming trailer. It has no mention of any book characters,situations, or conflicts, which would have been an actual hook. It does have some cheesy music and story plaques to follow along with the film--a bit of humor and please excuse the poor sound quality.

Oh, by the way. Below  is a real trailer to compare with mine. Not much difference, right?It's cinematic, in case you missed that part in the tittle.

 Happy Grand Slamming.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

5 Star reviews of "Grand Slams: A Coming of Eggs Story" trickling in

Read the crits a few 5 star bits-click here- how to buy it.  Here's a rating system I located for references purposes only...

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do have a soft spot for pancake house centered fiction, but I also have high standards. Gager puts together a beautiful one in this book though. It seems so realistic of that kind of place at the time that it's funny, tense, and even tender. I cared about these people and what would happen to them as if they were really people I knew well. Very well done.
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By W. Mahoney on January 6, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having worked in a restaurant very similar to Grand Slams, I love how Mr. Gager captures the lives of those poor, struggling souls, floundering along in a nothing job yet trying to find some meaning. Mr. Gager gives us characters we come to care about, and he brings them to life with sparkling dialogue that is at once witty, engaging, and even poignant. You will laugh, enjoy, and become absorbed in this story about every day people and the stories that bond them. Well done.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who's worked in a restaurant will recognize characters like Kayak Kenny, as well as Gager's description of the hot stink of the dishwashing station, among other things. This is a great book by Tim Gager, whose novels keep getting better.

As I said last night at Dire, writers love the praise, but they really love book sales, so thank you in advance!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top Ten most viewed blogs posts of 2016

My annual joke, which is might as exciting as the below Top Ten. Who's talking about these?

Here's the list and the reasons for their rank-in actual order.

Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 in review. The Writhing and the Writing

Reading the recaps of this year from friends, writers and the media,  I can't help but to notice a few themes. 2016 was a bad year for many, as there is massive fear for the future or there is massive relief, depending on how you look at the upcoming reversal of progress. There is hatred for the other side of the fence, whatever the fence may be, whether it's the maintaining the law, having a sexual preference, plus those who have and those who have not. No one is safe from hate.  Perhaps we will make America great again, but what I anticipate is a return to the rules and the power structure of the past--the privileged winning: wealth over poverty, white over race, male over female etc. The bad year we had becomes worse as the expectation of something which is coming gets closer.

In the past year, we lost friends, loved ones and celebrities we never knew but somehow we related to. We lost huge numbers of others we never knew, from violence, accidents, guns and even more to disease, The most deadly disease is that of alcoholism and addiction. Look it up. That was number one---but we, as a society, still criminalize rather than treat; punish rather than help. There was some hope early in the year regarding the bureaucratic and government handling  of this, but lately the rhetoric reflects the weakness of, and individual flaws of behavior rather than empathetic treatment,  

Still, believe it or not, I am grateful. I have a roof over my head. I am a father of two wonderful children. I have friends, family, a very supportive girlfriend and two separate communities I gather strength from; the communities of writing and recovery. I had a birthday in 2016, which I wish I didn't have, but health wise  I'm better off than I was a year ago. I'm eating better, while treating the planet in a non-selfish way. 

I also published (see below) a novel, four short stories, eight poems and one essay about becoming a vegan, (using the 12 Steps). The Dire Literary Series reached had it's 15th birthday and I rejoined The Wilderness House Literary Review as their Fiction Editor. This is what it's all about and this gratitude I just mentioned, is a daily reflection. It's so needed as I anticipate great worry about the future.




Grand Slams: a coming of eggs story,, November 2016, Big Table Publishing

"When She Missed the Ice" December 21, 2016 Oddball Magazine 

"They" November 19, 2016 Flash Frontier

"Who's the Boss? July 4, 2016 63 Channels Magazine

"The Road Starts: 896, Newark, Delaware" April 30, 2016 Fried Chicken and Coffee

"There's a Fly in my Soup"
December 12, 2016, Ibbetson 40

"Scientific Purposes"
November 1, 2016, The Best of Boston Literay Magazine Vol. 2 

"Eulogy for 'Dying Suddenly'"
"Tales Which Moved Me"
"Upon Leaving"
"When We Talk About Love"
September 1, 2016 Contemporary American Voices (September Feature)

"When I Think Of My Childhood"
June 1, 2016, Ibbetson 39 

"The Filth and The Fury"
June 1, 2016, Oddball Magazine 

September 8, 2016, The Fix
"How 12 Steps Worked to Produce a Vegan"

2016-present, Wilderness House Literary Review
Fiction Editor 


December 12, 2016
 "Interview with author, Jessica Collins"

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Winter Solstice for Oddball Magazine and I, as they publish "When She Missed the Ice"

For a magazine which calls itself Oddball, the synchronicity of placing my story "When She Missed the Ice" on the date of Winter Solstice is just about perfect and not odd at all.

The story is accompanied by a sweet photograph (above) by my friend Su Red---again, synchronicity--nice to be with friends. Etc. Etc. Blah.-Winter Solstice means ice, cold, snow and darkness---according to me. Which reminds me of how much I use these both literally and metaphorically. Here's the list of published work which includes those terms:

"Sometimes There Are Things Which Come Out of the Darkness" , November 14, 2012 Oddball Magazine

"Hello Iceman" , July 2, 2012 Paragraph Line

"When It is Still Winter"
April 11, 2012 The Somerville News

" Seasonal Affective Disorder" June 12, 2011 Durable Goods 2009-2010 Antholog" Seasonal Affective Disorder" June 12, 2011 Durable Goods 2009-2010 Anthology " Seasonal Affective Disorder"
June 12, 2011 Durable Goods 2009-2010 Anthology

"Sweet Cold Chicago"
April, 2008, Bagels with the Bards Anthology III 

"Frozen Again"
"Hearing it Through the Woods"June 2004, Skyline Magazine II