Happy Holidays

It’s been a rough a year and I think I’m safe in saying we’re all looking forward to a brighter 2021.  Too many people have suffered heartbreaking losses of family and/or friends, lost jobs and more. It’s been a struggle for us all in one way or another. I want to take this moment to wish everyone during this holiday season peace, happiness and a reason to believe. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to stop by and please stay safe.

Newsletter

Finally, after a long delay, I have published my first newsletter. If you are interested in receiving it, send me your email (johngrecoauthor@gmail.com) or PM on Facebook, and say newsletter. For a limited time, I will send to anyone who signs up a copy of my short story, MAKE IT WRITE (Kindle or PDF). Let me know which you prefer.

‘Tis The Season

It seems like there is hardly an author of crime novels who can resist the lure of writing a Chritmas themed novel. Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot’s Christmas), George Simenon (A Maigret Christmas and Other Stories) Ed McBain (Sadie When She Died), and Robert B. Parker (SIlent Night) are among so many others who could not resist the temptation of writing a mystery/crime novel with a Chrisstmas theme.

This year I threw my own entry into the pot with the four story collection calle ‘Tis the Season.The four stories include tales about a hitman who hates the idea of killing people during the holidays, two brothers whose holiday reunion is in no way holly jolly, a shoplifter and the head of security who catches her, and finally a Christmas Eve revenge tale.

 So if you need a Christmas themed book with a deadly touch to read, ‘Tis the Season will filled your devilish holiday needs. Available as an eBook for 99 cents at Amazon.  

New eBook: Politics on Film

I am both editor and contributor to the latest CMBA (Classic Movie Blog Association) eBook, POLITICS ON FILM. Thes book contains seventeen essays covering politically tinged films dating back to the 1930s and up thru the 1960s. While not a definitive collection, the articles include a wide range of political points of view from the courageous to corruption to satire. Among the movies included in this collection are well known works like The Best Man, All the King’s Men, Duck Soup, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, to more obscure films such as Medium Cool, What Every Woman Knows, and Left, Right and Center.

Contributors: Paul Batters, Annette Bochenek, Marsha Collock, Jocelyn Dunphy, Patricia Gallagher, Amanda Garrett, Rick Gould, Jess Ilse, Marianne L’Abbate, Kevin Maher, Beth Nevarez and Lora Stocker, Patricia Nolan-Hall, Linda J. Sandahl, Patricia Schneider, Nur Soliman and J.O. Watts.

All proceed from the purchase of this eBook from Amazon are donated to the National Film Presevation Foundation. Also available from Smashwords for FREE.

Thoughts on Movie Going in the Age of Covid-19

Will movie going ever be the same? It’s not like I want to add more doom and gloom to what we have been experiencing, however after reading a few articles recently, I have wondered about its future. Theaters are in crisis. Regal theatres have kept its doors closed up to now. AMC is open with limited capacity and struggling.  Like many, I have not been inside a movie theater since the pandemic hit us early this year, turning our lives inside out. True, I have been watching plenty of movies, thanks to DVD’s, Netflix, Amazon, and other outlets that we fortunately have today, but theater going is still a unique experience. I mean, I don’t care how big your TV screen is, it’s not as big as a theater’s. And though I no longer indulge, I love the smell of movie theatre popcorn, and just having other people around to share the experience. All of which is all gone… at least for now. 

One article I read mentioned how many of the studios have been postponing the release of their major films until next year. Steven Spielberg’s new version of “West Side Story,” scheduled for release this Christmas season now pushed back to a December 2021 debut. Also, there is “Respect,” the bio about Aretha Franklin, starring Jennifer Hudson, that should have been out by now. Instead, it now has a new release date of August 2021. This is all in hopes a vaccine would be out and the pandemic gone, or at least under control by then, and audiences will feel safe enough to come back and sit next to hundreds of other people in an enclosed space. What are the odds?

Despite people, including myself, and businesses wanting to get back to normal, what we are facing is a new normal where life has changed. It won’t be forever, but until COVID-19’s eradicated like Polio, you have to ask yourself how safe is it to go back to the old normal, and what is your tolerance for risk? For me, my risk tolerance of going to a movie theater filled with people who don’t want to wear a simple thing like a mask or don’t believe the science or just don’t care is more than I can deal with in my life.

Be open and willing to adjust to changes in life.  

I hate not going to a movie theater or seeing a live concert or theater performance. I also hate the idea of getting sick from a disease that we still know little about and seems in many people to have long-lasting effects.

But I also think how much worse this all could be if it was 1970 and there were no PC’s or I-Pads, I-Phones, cable TV and streaming services to connect us with the outside world like we have today. Think about it, how fortunate we are in that respect.  

No, I won’t be going back to a movie theater for a while, a long while. I miss it, but I’d also miss too many other things in life if I get sick or die. I’m not living in fear as some may say or think I am. I’m adjusting to a new normal that may be around for a while and making the best of it. I just need to decide what movie I want to watch tomorrow.

Capturing the Moment

Since COVID arrived on the scene my photography has been limited, mostly to my two cats. They are an endless joy of activity and opportunity. Still, all other photography has been on hold. Both my wife and I have underlying conditions so we are super careful where we go. Let’s just say the supermarket and doctors are not very photographic.

This brings me to the other day. My wife was preparing dinner and I was setting up the table and closing the blinds. That’s when I spotted the sky. Florida is known, when the conditions are right, for spectacular sunsets. This night it was perfect. I grabbed my cellphone and told my wife, I’ll be right back. I fortunately hit the right moment. The sky was a spectacular orange, and I had a panoramic view right outside my house. I snapped two pictures and felt the rush I always do when I capture the perfect moment in time. That’s a feeling I had not felt in a long time.

The photo here I thought was the better of the two. Nothing was photo shopped. It was nature at its best.     

Check out my new collection of not so cozy, dark Christmas short stories, Tis the Season. Only .99 cent at Amazon

‘Tis the Season is Here!

Christmas may seem far away, but it’s closer than you think, and will be here before you know it. With that in mind, today is the release date for ‘Tis the Season, my new four short story collection mixing Christmas and crime. The four tales consist one old and three new tales. In Home for the Holidays two brothers reunite on Christmas Eve. Let’s just say it doesn’t turn out well. Next up is a revised version of A Merry Little Christmas which originally appeared in Devious Tales. Favorite Time of the Year deals with a troubled marriage and a final solution. In ‘Tis the Season a hitman with a soft spot for the holidays may or may not have a holly jolly Christmas. The holidays can bring out the worst in everyone, and does so in these four short Christmas themed stories. ‘Tis the Season is not your cozy Christmas.

Download a copy from Amazon now for only .99 cents

Thoughts On Social Media

Social Media is both a curse and a gift. I refuse to argue on Facebook or on any other social media platform. If I disagree with someone’s opinion on any topic, especially if it’s political, I don’t comment.  If I agree, I give it a LIKE and may comment, but once the aggressive, nasty commenters emerge, and they do, I’m out of there. I won’t and don’t respond. It isn’t worth the time and effort. I don’t want to make the world worse than it already is.

Polite conversation, even when you disagree, is possible, at least it used to be, but tolerance seems to be in short supply these days. Many people think the ability to be anonymous in the world of social media gives them a free ticket to insult, condemn, criticize, and spit out nasty name calling without consequence. But there are consequences, maybe not easily apparent, but with so many people feeling free to go down a nasty road they are making the world a less hospitable place than it already is. Maybe they don’t care, but I do, and I sure others care too. Life is too short. I rather use my time doing more constructive and creative endeavors than arguing over every little thing.

What I like about Facebook and other social media is how I have connected with many new online friends and reconnected with older friends and relatives. I think that’s important. It’s important to connect with people, especially in this time of the COVID virus where many of us, including me, can feel isolated. Over the past few weeks, I have connected with a couple of cousins I have not spoken to in years, first through Facebook and soon after with telephone conversations. We live far apart and our lives have taken different paths, but we’re still the same and we are still connected. It pays to be nice in many ways.

‘Tis The Season Now Available for Pre-order

‘Tis the Season is now available for pre-order. Publication date Oct. 15th. Four Short Christmas stories with deadly consequences. This is not your cozy Christmas. Order it here.