Monthly Archives: October 2013

Review: Gil’s All Fright Diner

Gil's All Fright Diner
Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me, and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t thrilled with the characterization of Loretta, which relied a bit too much on fat jokes, but the characters were otherwise well drawn and interesting. Vampire Earl and werewolf Duke’s sometimes-uneasy camaraderie rings true, and the situation they find themselves in features a sort of Lovecraftian pastiche that’s more loving homage than rip-off.

Bonus points, of course, for setting the story in my native land of Texas. Very disappointed that the animated feature of this work has apparently fallen through, and also that Martinez doesn’t do sequels, but neither of those facts detracts from this story. A fun, quick read that I recommend to anyone who likes humor with their horror.

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Review: The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir

The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir
The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir by William Friedkin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

William Friedkin talks about his life and (mostly) his career in The Friedkin Connection. All of your favorite 60s & 70s film industry folks (Charlie Bluhdorn, Bob Evans, and the triumvirate of Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas) make appearances. Friedkin considers how his admitted hubris and conceit has taken its toll on his personal relationships and his career.

Although it didn’t have quite as many inside-filmmaking anecdotes as I would have liked, this is an unstintingly self-critical look at a director’s many obsessions. It definitely made me want to check out his later films, since I’ve only seen “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist.” Recommended for fans of books about filmmaking.

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#WritingPrompt response

This is a response to Jason Cantrell’s excellent writing prompt found here: I love this prompt and the story of how he came across it.


I was 22 and it was a Saturday. I’d been through two breakups in a year (one I’d suffered, and one I’d started), and I was in a perpetual state of horniness and annoyance at the world. I was scowling at a margarita when I felt, rather than heard, him slide onto the barstool next to mine. I turned almost reflexively and heard him draw in his breath, as if I’d startled him. I looked into his warm brown eyes; to this day, they’re the part of his face I remember most clearly.

He smiled at me and those warm eyes crinkled at the corners. “I love you,” he whispered.

“What?” I thought I’d heard him wrong. I half-turned to look behind me in case he’d been speaking to someone else.

“I love you.” His voice was soft. No one had ever said those words to me quite like that: sweetly, confidently, as though there were no doubt of their being reciprocated. “I’m flying to Chicago next weekend. I bought you a ticket. Come with me.”

He sat there, smiling and waiting for my response. I was young; I was estranged from my family; there was no one at home waiting for me. I opened my mouth to say yes, yes, of course, I’ll go. But in that instant, all the horror stories I’d ever heard about girls who strayed, girls who wandered, girls who went into the night with strangers and never returned, echoed in my mind.

“No! No, I’m not going anywhere with you. I don’t know you!” I shrieked. Grabbing my purse and coat, I ran across the bar, to the door, out onto the street. He sat there, looking at me, his smile replaced by a look of bemused acceptance. I never saw him or heard his voice again.

And to this day, after marriage and children and all the things a good girl is supposed to want–to this day, I regret not going.


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