Archives for posts with tag: Lisa Mason Urban Fantasy Author

We have a wonderful little library within walking distance of our home. The library has a good selection of magazines (I love magazines) and a good selection of “little” movies and television series, especially British TV series. To celebrate Athena’s eighth birthday, over the long weekend, we watched four different TV series and movies. We’ve rearranged the living room so that Athena can watch, too! And she does, when she’s not napping.
The films were “The House of Eliott, Season 3”, Marvel Studios’ “Eternals”, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise”, and “Lucky Man, Season 1” created by Stan Lee. All these were very enjoyable.
We saw the Season 1 of “The House of Eliott”. We liked the series so much, we decided to see Season 3. (The library didn’t have Season 2. No matter. Once you see Season 1, the plotlines are easy to follow.).
This tells the story of two sisters, one older than the other by twelve years (which causes conflict between them), who, when their father dies unexpectedly, are left penniless. They start a business using their designing and dressmaking skills. At first, they, and a staff, start out making custom clothes for wealthy women. Eventually, they start ready-to-wear collections. The third season focuses on the personal dramas of some of their seamstresses and one of the sisters. My grandmother was a skillful seamstress (she could knit, purl, and embroider, too). She made a lot of her clothes and my ballet costumes, which were the best in the show. I appreciate how difficult the skill to make clothes is. This British series is very watchable.
Next up, Marvel Studios’ “Eternals”. This is a more serious Marvel movie, positing that ancient heroes and heroines from beyond the stars who have come to Earth and inspired inventions and technologies that have helped human beings.
I kind of resent the notion that aliens have given technologies to humanity just like the present-day Egyptians resent the notion that aliens built the pyramids, not ancient Egyptians. Humanity is brilliant enough to build the pyramids and invent new technologies.
That reservation aside, the film focuses on one era of history to the next—the Eternals are there—in an entertaining manner.
Finally, we come to the present day when the “Deviants” have reappeared and threaten humanity. We enjoyed the film. One of the Eternals is named Athena! It was good to hear our cat’s name on the big screen.
Next up, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise”. If you dislike colorful, frivolous, fun, action-packed Disney adventures, maybe this film is not for you. But we love them and this film is very entertaining. We like the actor Dwayne Johnson, who plays a riverboat captain taking visitors along the Amazon River, but the real star of the show is his pet jaguar. She scares people at first, but is a gentle creature. (“Good girl!”).
Finally, a British TV series crime thriller and a creation by Stan Lee of Marvel Studios’ fame, “Lucky Man, Season 1”. Detective Inspector Harry Clayton in London is about to lose his family and is in trouble at the job. He’s also a gambling addict who goes to a therapy group with other gambling addicts.(He burns the money he wins at gambling.) Along the way, he acquires a bracelet that he can’t take off—the bracelet brings “good luck” but exacts a price. He’s assisted by another Detective Inspector, a woman of India heritage. She’s fantastic, much smarter than him (just like Joan Watson is smarter than Sherlock Holmes in the British series, “Elementary” and Hermine is smarter than Harry Potter). Action-packed, suspenseful plot with twists and turns. Highly recommended. (If the library has more seasons, we’ll surely see them.)
Enjoy your Movie Night!
Please donate at https://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter. Without your donation, I can’t keep reviewing movies, magazine articles, stories, and books and giving writing advice and news about the writing business.
From the author of ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US, in UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, in Japanese print, and in Australia.
Summer of Love is a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.
Find the Print book of SUMMER OF LOVE in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and New in Print in Australia The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback of ARACHNE in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, Italy, in Japan, and in Australia.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, in Japan
, and in Australia.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback of One Day in the Life of Alexa in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, and at Kobo. I’ve been a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association for thirty-five years.
If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, WRITE A REVIEW on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.
Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

There’s an article titled “The Floating World: Plutocratic Politics aboard the World’s Superyachts” in the July 25, 2022 issue of The New Yorker by Evan Osnos. The subtitle is “Outrageously Luxurious Yachts are Attracting Political Scrutiny—and Buyers in Record Numbers.”
A particularly notorious dictator allegedly owns a four-hundred superyacht—I say “allegedly” because the true personal ownership of superyachts is hidden by “shell corporations”—that’s why they’re called “white boats.” Many of the dictator’s “oligarchs” own superyachts, too.
Income disparity has increased worldwide. In the United States alone, the number of billionaires has increased from sixty-six to more than seven hundred. Whereas the salary of the “average worker” has remained stagnant for decades.
In decades ago, one measure of a person’s wealth used to be the ownership of a mansion (or mansions) and artwork and sculptures by “blue-chip” artists. Then the measure turned to Fine French Furniture. Then the measure turned to private jet airplanes. “But once it seemed every plutocrat owned a plane, the thrill was gone.”
Hence, the superyacht. A jet airplane was only transportation and a land-bound mansion may have had troublesome neighbors. A superyacht is like “a manse on water.”
Some superyacht owners live on their boats six or more months out of the year. They “play” war games with other owners in the Pacific Ocean. They have helicopter or seaplane platforms on their boats to go and get exotic food and drink—and much else besides.
The article quotes a yachtsman, “If the rest of the world learns it was to live on a superyacht, they’d bring back the guillotine.”
That’s what the article says.
The crew has to be boat professionals who know how to navigate the rough seas, but the servants—they’re called “yachties”—are hired primarily for their physical attractiveness, even they have to cook food, serve the food, clean the toilets, and more. A yachtie went on to star on a TV show. Needless to say, yachties often sleep each other and sexually abused. Several employment agencies specialize in out-placing former yachties. “While they’re aboard the yacht, they don’t have to pay rent or pay for food—it’s a shock to come back the real world.”
Not recommended for those readers who don’t care to read about the superrich. Recommended for those readers who want to learn what the secret world of superyachts is all about and cultural phenomenon.
Please donate at https://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter. Without your donation, I can’t keep reviewing movies, magazine articles, stories, and books and giving writing advice and news about the writing business.
From the author of ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US, in UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, in Japanese print, and in Australia.
Summer of Love is a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.
Find the Print book of SUMMER OF LOVE in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and New in Print in Australia The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback of
ARACHNE in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, Italy, in Japan, and in Australia.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, in Japan
, and in Australia.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback of One Day in the Life of Alexa in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, and at Kobo. I’ve been a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association for thirty-five years.
If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, WRITE A REVIEW on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.
Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Also in the July 4, 2022 issue of The New Yorker is article, “Noise Makers: The analog delights of Foley sound effects” by Anna Wiener. This delightful article tells the story of two professional Foley artists, their search for interesting sounds for the movies, a description of Skywalker Ranch in northern California which is the premier Foley sound stage, and the history behind sound effects for the movies in their transition from silent films into films with sound.
Jack Foley was an assistant director at Universal Pictures in the nineteen-twenties who added footsteps and handclaps to the erstwhile silent films. He developed a “Foley Room”, in post-production, added these sound effects. Technical developments soon after ensued. I’m not reprising the longish article here. You’ll have to read it for yourself. Also the way pros look for new interesting sounds. Delightful!
As a Bantam author, I and a busload of Bantam authors were treated to a bus ride to Skywalker Ranch. (Bantam published the Star Wars novelizations at the time.) It was a gut-clenching ride up there, full of hill-climbing twists and turns. (The L.A. producers, like Gayle Ann Hurd, took a helicopter).
Once there, we Bantam authors were given a full tour of Skywalker’s state-of-the-art Foley Room and escorted into the full-sized theater they have up there. We were treated three versions of “The Boulder Roll” at the beginning of the first Indiana Jones’s movie.
The first version had no sound at all. The second version had the actors’ dialogue, but no sound effects. The third version had the Foley effects that people heard in the theatrical release. It was amazing!
Afterward, the Skywalker people treated us to a delicious salmon dinner in their dining room.
It was one of the most memorable experiences in my writing career.
And afterward, I was power-walking around the lake when I saw hundreds of cormorants, a slim brown water fowl—my Chinese friend calls them “diving ducks”—on the water. They rise into the air by beating their wings on the water. I heard the most incredible sound as hundreds of diving ducks took to the air—and I thought of the Foley artists. I wished I had a good recorder to record the sound. I would have sold it to them! A once in a lifetime sound!
Please donate at https://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter. Without your donation, I can’t keep reviewing movies, magazine articles, stories, and books and giving writing advice and news about the writing business.
From the author of ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US, in UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, in Japanese print, and in Australia.
Summer of Love is a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.
Find the Print book of SUMMER OF LOVE in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and New in Print in Australia The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback of
ARACHNE in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, Italy, in Japan, and in Australia.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, in Japan
, and in Australia.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback of One Day in the Life of Alexa in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, and at Kobo. I’ve been a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association for thirty-five years.
If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, WRITE A REVIEW on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.
Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

In the July 4, 2022 issue of The New Yorker appears an article, “Swamped: Why America’s Wetlands Matter,” by Annie Proulx.
A mediocre title for an article discussing the writer’s childhood’s experience of swamps near her family’s residence and the history of swamps and bogs in America.
The newly coming settlers from Europe didn’t like the swamps, drained them, and found in them fertile land to grow crops.
Did you know the Great Black Swamp covered most of the states of Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana? The swamp was resulted from melted ice from the Ice Age.
Well, the settlers had to grow food for them and their families, but the article contains an accusatory tone toward the settlers. The writer calls them “invaders.” Two centuries ago. They were the settlers of this country, who fled Europe because of religious persecution and burnings at the stake for their beliefs.
There are few proposals by the writer for preservation of the few swamps America has now. Recommended for the history and the ecological importance of swamps but not for the writer’s attitude.
Please donate at https://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter. Without your donation, I can’t keep reviewing movies, magazine articles, stories, and books and giving writing advice and news about the writing business.
From the author of ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US, in UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, in Japanese print, and in Australia.
Summer of Love is a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.
Find the Print book of SUMMER OF LOVE in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and New in Print in Australia The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback of
ARACHNE in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, Italy, in Japan, and in Australia.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, in Japan
, and in Australia.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback of One Day in the Life of Alexa in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, and at Kobo. I’ve been a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association for thirty-five years.
If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, WRITE A REVIEW on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.
Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Tom borrowed new magazines at our wonderful local library.
In the July 4, 2022 issue of The New Yorker is a review by Anthony Lane of the new “Elvis” movie, “He That Plays the King”. (That’s the title of the article, not the movie.)
Since yesterday was the 45th anniversary of Elvis’s death, I felt it appropriate to post this blog today.
Baz Luhrmann is the director of the new movie. He’s probably best known as the director of the bombastic and colorful 2001 “Moulin Rouge’, with a dazzling Nicole Kidman.
Lane reports that Luhrmann “makes a virtue of unsubtlety.” He certainly is an eccentric, creative director. That 2001 movie divided viewers into three camps: the haters (I overheard a woman in the grocery store tell her friend she turned off the movie after the first fifteen minutes), the lovers of the film (I don’t personally know any but I read a few reviews), and the likers/dislikers (Tom and I were the among latter).
I disliked the way Kidman burst into a popular song that pretty much had nothing to do with the story. As in Wes Anderson’s movies, the actors never fully inhabit their characters. The viewer knows they’re acting.
Lane goes through the timely sequences of Elvis’s life, though he says “the movie spares us the unlovely particulars of his end.”
Lane faintly praises Tom Hanks in the role of Colonel Tom Parker, though a Facebook friend, who has seen the movie, says Hanks is splendid in the role.
Austin Butler plays Elvis, and Anthony Lane has decent things about him. My Facebook friend says the actor was believable.
I don’t know much about Elvis’s life—he was before my time. No, I never watched Elvis movies on TV or in the theater.
Aside from Anthony Lane’s customary grouchy sarcastic wit (or because of it), the movie sounds interesting. We want to see it!
Please donate at https://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter. Without your donation, I can’t keep reviewing movies, magazine articles, stories, and books and giving writing advice and news about the writing business.
From the author of ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US, in UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, in Japanese print, and in Australia.
Summer of Love is a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.
Find the Print book of SUMMER OF LOVE in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and New in Print in Australia The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback of
ARACHNE in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, Italy, in Japan, and in Australia.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, in Japan
, and in Australia.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback of One Day in the Life of Alexa in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
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This is an article I saw on my one of screenplay websites. The article was a promotion for a movie. I didn’t like the first film, will probably not see the second.
But this—unlike the “’legendary’ how-to-write-rackets” which will charge you thousands of dollars—is free from me to you. I deleted the references to the upcoming movie. You writers probably know this already, but the principles bear repeating. As applied to screenplays, so do the principles apply to stories and novels.
Let’s begin:
12 Powerful Principles of Story Structure
In addition to the overall structure of your screenplay – the three acts, the five key turning points, and the six stages, plot structure also involves employing as many structural principles, tools, and devices as you can throughout your script (or novel or story).
1. Every scene, event, and character must contribute to the protagonist’s outer motivations.
Pick any scene and either move the protagonist closer to his/her goal of protecting the people or society, move the protagonist closer to his/her desire to win the love of another important character, or create obstacles to those goals.
2. Make each hurdle and obstacle your protagonist faces greater than the previous ones.
The conflict in your story must build, becoming greater and greater as you drive the reader toward the climax.
3. Accelerate the pace of the story.
If your story has a futuristic, faraway setting (or any complex setting), your first Act should contain the narration of that before the pace needs to be accelerated and the conflict shifted into high gear. Act 2 should contain more action and Act 3 should shift into high gear.
Amplify the emotion by creating some conflict (and the anticipation of conflict) in each scene.
4. Create peaks and valleys to the emotion.
Intersperse big action sequences with quieter scenes with your protagonist interacting with other characters or learning something new.
These moments allow the viewers/readers to catch their breath and to begin anticipating the next big conflict. They also prevent the movie (or novel or story) from becoming one monotonous action sequence.
5. Create anticipation.
Viewers and readers want to try to guess what’s going to happen next — they just don’t want to be right all the time. And while surprises and confrontations are often brief, anticipation can be prolonged almost indefinitely.
6. Give the audience superior position.
This means providing the viewer and the reader with information that some of the characters don’t have yet.
Instances of superior position create anticipation of the conflict that will result when the information we have is revealed to the characters.
7. Surprise the viewer or reader.
Viewers or readers don’t want to anticipate everything that happens in your story. Sometimes you have to jump out and go “boo!” to keep them alert and involved.
This principle is even more important in a comedy, thriller or horror film, novel, or story where reversals create humor, shock, or fear.
8. Create curiosity.
Don’t explain everything in your script, novel, or story as soon as it happens. Viewers and readers love puzzles and relish figuring out who committed the murder, how the protagonist plans to overcome the conflict, or what a character’s true motives are.
9. Foreshadow your characters’ actions and abilities.
Foreshadowing is a term for adding credibility to your story by revealing information before it seems important, which prevents your story from seeming contrived or illogical.
Introduce facts before they become critical to the story. They all add credibility to the characters’ later actions.
10. Echo situations, objects, or dialogue to illustrate character growth and change.
Repetition allows the viewer or reader to compare where the protagonist is at any given moment in your story to where he/she was the last time we encountered that particular item or phrase.
11. Pose a Threat to One of the Characters.
Remember that this principle applies to all films, novels, or stories, not just adventures and thrillers. Always force your characters to put everything on the line in the face of losing whatever is important to them, whether it’s money, a job, a loved one, dignity, acceptance, or their own destiny.
12. Compress time.
The shorter the time span of your story, the easier it is to keep the audience involved. Or give a time span to do a decisive action, you have a ticking time clock after which disaster will hit. The end of “Alien” does this very well—you hear the ship announcing “You have ten minutes to evacuate.”
There you have it, my friends.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback on November 17, 2020 in the US
, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. Now in Print in Australia
Summer of Love
(a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) is in print as a beautiful quality trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1548106119
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia
The Garden of Abracadabra
(“Fun and enjoyable Urban Fantasy”) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1978148291.
ARACHNE
(“Highly recommended and very memorable.”) is in print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/198435602X
One Day in the Life of Alexa
(“[An] absorbing read with an appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms.”) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1546783091
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories
(“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books) is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia at https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/1981104380
Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com for all my print books, ebooks, stories, interviews, round tables, cute cat pictures, the bespoke artwork and studio jewelry of Tom Robinson, forthcoming works, and more!

In the January 24, 2022 issue of The New Yorker appears a fascinating article, Bambi before the Disney classic, “Eat Prey Love” by Kathryn Schultz. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/01/24/bambi-is-even-bleaker-than-you-thought
Disney acquired the film rights and sanitized the novel in 1942 for the classic children’s animated film, “Bambi”, still the highest gross animated film ever Disney produced. Still the Disney film remains one that Stephen King has said “is the first horror movie I ever saw at the age of eight” and still frightens children today.
The novel, “Bambi: A Life in the Woods” was written and published in 1922 by Austro-Hungarian writer Felix Salten. The novel is much more violent and much bloodier than the film.
Salten was a complicated person (he was a hunter of deer, for one thing) and a complicated writer (who wrote children’s books and hard-core pornography and everything in-between). I won’t summarize his life; you have to go check out the article.
Critics have analyzed the novel of “Bambi” to be Man (a term Salten consistently employed and “He” always capitalized) versus Nature. Some critics have analyzed the novel to be the Jews’ persecution in Europe in the early twentieth century culminating in the rise of Nazi Germany.
Salten was an Austro-Hungarian Jew.
Highly recommended for readers interested in literature and classic films.
So you there have it, my friends.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in theUK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in theNetherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback on November 17, 2020 in the US
, in theUK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. Now in Print in Australia
Summer of Love
(a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) is in print as a beautiful quality trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan.
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia
The Garden of Abracadabra
(“Fun and enjoyable Urban Fantasy”) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan.
ARACHNE
(“Highly recommended and very memorable.”) is in print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan.
One Day in the Life of Alexa
(“[An] absorbing read with an appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms.”) is in print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books) is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan.
Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com for all my print books, ebooks, stories, interviews, round tables, cute cat pictures, the bespoke artwork and studio jewelry of Tom Robinson, forthcoming works, and more!

8.12.20.ODD.SMLL

ODDITIES
22 Stories
Lisa Mason
Here You Enter
Yesterday
Tomorrow
& Fantasy
Coming November 17, 2020 in Print and Ebook

11.19.13cube

When you go out for dinner with a friend, how you handle the expense of your meals? Do you ask the server for separate checks? Split the bill evenly no matter what each of you ate and drank? Have one person pay the whole bill with a credit card and the other brings cash for payment of just what she ate and drank, plus her share of taxes and the tip?
If I take a friend out for her birthday, I offer to treat her and usually pay the whole bill.
What about when you go out with a group of people? If there’s a patriarch or matriarch, do you assume that person will foot the whole bill? What if your friends include a couple, a grown child and his children, and your family comprises just you and your mother? Do you split the bill evenly between the two families? Is that fair?
I’ve known about friendships that have ended over payment for dinner, and plenty of ill-will between two families for uneven group dinners.
On Facebook, people linked to software for splitting checks or paying the bill. Other people suggested you can split the bill on your cellphone. Some said they had group dinners, one would pay with his credit card and the others would pay cash for their dinner. When one person didn’t pay his share of the tax and tip, he wasn’t invited back to the group dinners.
But most preferred separate checks.
How do you handle the situation?
Coming November 17, 2020! ODDITIES: 22 Stories by Lisa Mason
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TRArt1BIG

A local radio broadcast reported that John’s Grill, in downtown San Francisco, was reopening with limited dining on the sidewalk. I’ve never eaten at the restaurant, but the report said John’s Grill was the setting for a scene in The Maltese Falcon, the novel by Dashiell Hammett published in 1929.
We’ve seen the film by John Huston, released in 1941, maybe half a dozen times. My video guide lists the film as “one of the greatest movies of all time.” We’ve loved the moody depiction of old San Francisco.
I had the Vintage Press trade paperback in my TBR stack, sat down, and read the whole thing (it’s only 234 pages long).
Huston didn’t have to do much to adapt the novel. Hammett wrote whole scenes screenplay-like (he himself wrote screenplays, though not this screenplay), and snappy dialogue. The film only had to follow along—the dialogue is verbatim.
It was thrilling to read; I love Hammett’s bold, tight prose. The end gets a bit convoluted, and Huston untangled the most important parts for depiction on the screen. What emerges in the novel, subtly, is a portrait of 1920s San Francisco, including several references to the underground homosexual scene.
When Joel Cairo, a flamboyantly gay character, first enters Spade’s office in the movie, Spade’s secretary, Effie Perrine, gives Spade Cairo’s business card. Humphrey Bogart makes a point of sniffing the card, at which Effie says ironically, “Gardenia.” In the novel, Effie comes into to tell Spade Cairo is there, and she simply says, “He’s queer.” In 1941, apparently Huston had to change that for the movie under the Hays Code. But, in the film, Spade repeatedly refers to Wilmer, Mr. Gutman’s gunman, as “the gunsel.” This is 1920s slang for a man who turns “sissy” while in prison.
About the scene set in John’s Grill, which appears in the novel but not the film—Spade has dinner at the restaurant with Polhaus, one of the cops. The scene novelistically builds character, but doesn’t advance the plot. They discuss Dundy, Polhaus’s partner—whom Spade refers to as Polhaus’s “boyfriend” and “playmate”, probably sarcastically since both cops are big, beefy macho guys. For dinner, Polhaus has a pickled pig-foot, described disgustingly. This is probably Hammett’s joke—I don’t know if cops were referred to disparagingly as “pigs” in 1929, but Spade does refer to them as “bulls.”
A thoroughly enjoyable novel, sexist warts and all, which kept me up all night. Recommended, before or after the film, which so well captures the story and characters. You must do both.
Edits: **Hammett’s first name was Samuel, so his hero is not a little based on him. Spade “digs up dirt.” Hammett worked as a Pinkerton detective before he took up writing.
**And Brigid O’Shaughnessy was another joke and a pun by Dashiell Hammett.
The only way people in the early 1900s could get from San Francisco to Marin County, where a lot of people lived, was by ferry boat. There was a huge public outcry to build the Golden Gate Bridge over the mouth of the Bay, and the city engineer of San Francisco at the time, M.M. O’Shaughnessy, first proposed the project, which took a few years to get underway.
So Hammett joked, “Bridge It, O’Shaughnessy!”
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Leave a tip to the tip jar at PayPal to http://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter.
Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, blogs, roundtables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!