Monthly Archives: February 2012

French Fry Diary 342: The Chopped Challenge

Fran Metzman and The Hungry Heart Stories

Okay, if you’ve been paying attention, you know I’ve been running a virtual book tour throughout eight different blogs for the last ten days. Yeah, I know, holy heavy rotation, Batman, especially if you also follow me on the various social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Tumblr, Gather, LiveJournal, and the rest. The name of the book is THE HUNGRY HEART STORIES and it’s by my friend, mentor and fellow writer Fran Metzman.

Now if you’ve been with us for the whole ride, you’ve learned a lot about Fran and the book from reviews, interviews, and press releases, and it’s all true. I’d like to say I have some deep dark secrets about her, but I don’t. It’s on the page. Her mind, her talent, even bits of her life, they are all on the page. So if you haven’t already, think about purchasing a copy of “The Hungry Heart Stories,” and get to know Fran a little better. You’ll be glad you did.

I think I might have an interesting perspective on this short story collection, as I am the only man on this blog tour, but I think agree wholeheartedly with everyone else. Now as a member of Fran’s Rainy Tuesdays writing group for over a decade, and the guy who organized this blog tour, you might guess that I’m a Fran fan. But just ask Ms. Metzman herself, and you’ll find I don’t mince when it comes to critiquing. I personally think some members of that group have actually planned my demise on occasion because of my razor sharp critiques. Let’s sum it up to say that if I didn’t like these stories, I wouldn’t be promoting them. Enough said.

These are stories of women in transition, women in crisis, and as you’ve been told along this blog tour, the thread of cooking and food runs through them all, some stronger than others. My favorite, “The Right Seasoning,” holds a particular memory for me. We workshopped it in our Tuesday night writers group some years ago. As we went around the room verbally giving our critiques, we all began to get hungrier and hungrier. Reading the story, with such wonderful olfactory imagery, hit our stomachs as well as our heads! I loved it.

All of the stories in this collection will hit the reader hard and make them feel. If you read them and walk away unaffected in some way, I don’t know what to say. I think this is what literary fiction should be about – soliciting a feeling, a reaction, making the reader think. And if you want to really understand what Fran is doing, I can’t recommend enough the last work in the collection, an essay called “Writing and Healing.” It says it all. All writers should read that piece.

Buy the book. Read the book. Can I be any more forward than that? I guess not. Now here’s where I bribe you. Next week, next Friday, I am going to go through every stop on this virtual book tour, and pick one lucky commenter and award them a free copy of the book. All those affiliated with the blog tour are ineligible (sorry, ladies). Now let’s see some comments!

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French Fry Diary 341: Wendy’s Vs. McDonald’s

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 2-22-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed (Off the Rails) Evans, Allison (Non-Marvel Girl) Eckel and Glenn (Get Off My Throne) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, in wicked high definition, and available on the YouTube. See it here!

This first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The Live Used Game Auction, the AvsX Launch Event, the AvsX Program Guide, the Avengers and X-Men titles of the week, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, Thor and Ultimate Spider-Man, All-Star Western #6, Teen Titans #6 and Titans semi-continuity, The Ray #3 (of 4), and more non-sparkling vampires.

The discussion continues here in segment two including: Hoarders moment, Aquaman #6 by Geoff Johns, The Flash #6 by Francis Manapul, Wally West speculation, Batman The Dark Knight #6 by David Finch and Paul Jenkins, Batman vs. Bane, The Savage Hawkman #6, and the rest of DC, Star Wars comics and other goodies, indies including Chew, Danger Girl, Transformers, and Godzilla, Allison’s kids comics, and Ed’s trades.

Be sure to check out the dynamic new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

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Don’t forget, The Virtual Book Tour for THE HUNGRY HEART STORIES by Fran Metzman continues today at Krista Magrowski’s blog. Don’t miss it! For a full list of Blog Tour stops, go here.

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French Fry Diary 340: ShopRite Panko Breaded Onion Rings

The Secret World of Arrietty

The Secret World of Arrietty ~ Probably one of the most wonderful things Disney has done in recent years, outside of their Cruise Line and keeping Marvel Comics from going under is obtaining distribution rights for Studio Ghibli. Those of us in the genre audience who have loved the breathtaking work of Hayao Miyazaki can now share it with the rest of the world.

The newest import from the Land of the Rising Sun, via Disney distribution is The Secret World of Arrietty, also known as Kari-gurashi no Arietti, is based on “The Borrowers” novels by Mary Norton, which have provided inspiration for many television and film projects. The Borrowers are tiny folks who live in the floorboards of your house and only take what they need.

Here they live in a house soon occupied by a sickly boy who sees them right away, especially a high-spirited young Borrower girl named Arrietty. A tentative friendship blooms in this smaller than usual (pun unintended) Ghibli film. It is wondrously animated and tells a touching story with a surprising voice cast. Amy Pohler didn’t annoy me and Carol Burnett slips easily into a villain role.

Like all the Miyazaki and Ghibli films, this is a joy to watch, a wonderful adventure and character story, highly recommended.

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French Fry Diary 339: Guys With Fries

Chronicle

Chronicle ~ The famous tagline of the Amazing Spider-Man legend is “With great power comes great responsibility”, and that’s really what this ‘found footage’ scifi horror adventure flick is about. Or maybe that’s what the tagline for Chronicle should be, because as we see as the movie proceeds, we need to add a word to the saying – “With great power should come great responsibility.”

In the film, Michael B. Jordan (“Friday Night Lights”) the popular guy, Alex Russell the regular guy, and Dane DeHaan (“In Treatment”) the picked-on misfit nerd with family troubles all get super powers, specifically telekinesis. This commonality bonds them to each other in an unorthodox friendship. Much like M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable, the best part here is the boys learning to use their powers. One particularly wonderful scene shows them learning to fly. It’s breathtaking. If “Smallville” had done it this well, it would still be on the air, and if The Man of Steel (telling the origin again) does it like this, it will be a hit. Worthwhile just for these scenes.

Things break down of course each one subjected to their own inner struggles. Guess which one becomes the villain, kinda telegraphed, but still well done. The ending battle is pretty cool as far as special effects go, but the found footage format makes it difficult to follow. As much as I usually dislike that kind of flick, the end is the only place it doesn’t work. This was much better than I thought it would be. Recommended for the genre crowd.

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Don’t forget, The Virtual Book Tour for THE HUNGRY HEART STORIES by Fran Metzman is featured today at Becca Butcher’s blog with an interview with the author.

The tour continues tomorrow on my good friend Robin Renee’s blog. Don’t miss it! For a full list of Blog Tour stops, go here.

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Random Tater Pic of the Day #35

The Hungry Heart Stories Blog Tour Continues

The Virtual Book Tour for The Hungry Heart Stories by writer Fran Metzman continues today at The Author-in-Training, Mieke Zamora-Mackay’s blog. Mieke talks about the book and interviews Fran about her writing and inspirations. Check it out here.

Tomorrow the tour continues at Jennifer M. Eaton’s blog, “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers or “Learn from My Mistakes””, and thereafter here:

Sunday, February 19th
The Tour makes a return trip to Gilbert Curiosities

Monday, February 20th
And then the Tour makes a return stop at Becca Butcher’s Blog

Tuesday, February 21st
“The Dream Between” by Robin Renee

Wednesday, February 22nd
“Literary Debauchery” by Krista Magrowski

Thursday, February 23rd
Finally we return here to Welcome to Hell for the close of the Tour.

And don’t forget to check out all the blogs on the tour, and not just on the tour stops. These ladies are some of the best bloggers and writers around. The previous stops on the tour include Writing – Art – Metaphysics by Shelley Szajner, and Marie Gilbert’s and Becca Butcher’s blogs, check them out.

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