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Thomas Burchfield's Blog

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Mar.10.2012
  As the Harry Potter phenomenon was dawning in the late 1990s, I surfed across an online analysis claiming the books were especially appealing to boys because of how “empowered” J.K. Rowling’s tales made them feel. Oh? I thought, my eyebrows arched and brow crinkled by memories of those...
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Mar.03.2012
    I was saddened last week by the passing of Vladimir Nabokov’s son Dmitri at the age of 77. He was VN’s only child. He never married and left no immediate survivors. (You’ll note that the following contains little criticism of the deceased. Since Andrew Breibart’s sudden death this...
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Feb.25.2012
When Elizabeth and I attended a showing of The Descendants at the Piedmont Theater triplex the other night, we found the theatre it was playing in thanks to the mini-marquee by the door, signed with eloquent simplicity: CLOONEY  Well hell, who needs a title when we live in a George Clooney...
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Feb.18.2012
Ennio Morricone and Clint Eastwood: My Favorite Oscar Memory   This February 26, instead of watching the Oscar telecast on ABC, do something different. Watch a movie instead! You’ll be glad you did! I sure am!   ONCE UPON A TIME IN FRONT OF THE TV I restarted my not-watching-the-Oscars...
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Feb.17.2012
There was no flash on the road to Damascus in becoming a writer, no falling on my face, crying “I hear you, Lord!” ]  (I don’t trust conversion experiences; it’s too easy to flip back, or flip on to another empty extreme; fanatics are much like vampires, draining the juicy life out of the...
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Feb.16.2012
Of course, you didn’t hear it here first, but The Artist will likely win this year’s Oscar for Best Picture. Several recent events predict this: The film just won best Picture at the UK BAFTA Awards; Best Picture at the Critic’s Choice Awards; Best Picture (musical or comedy) at the Golden Globes...
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Feb.11.2012
  The pitch for my original script The Uglies (Ambler House Publishing) went like this: “A down-on-their luck blue collar couple’s fortunes take a sharp turn when they’re kidnaped by a fractious gang of high-spirited bank robbers and taken on a cross-country crime spree.” I wrote this...
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Feb.08.2012
  The place: America. The time: closer than we may like to think. Unemployment is in high double-digits. The stench of violent discontent smokes the air. The 1930s Great Depression all over . . . . . . but yesterday is now today, the 21st Century . . . Arch and Tess Uglias are blue-collar...
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Feb.04.2012
A recent New Yorker article by Thomas Mallon on the genre of alt history novels suggested that one of the best techniques for an author to access the misty land of a particular historical period is to read more of the writing of that time and, perhaps, less of the writing about it. Butchertown, my...
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Feb.02.2012
Elizabeth and I managed to cross the Bay this last Sunday to attend a segment of the last day of Noir City Film Fest (or Noir Fest X), the annual noir film festival, produced and hosted by the one-and-only King of Noir, Eddie Muller, accompanied by the mellifluous burr of Bill Arney, and all under...
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Jan.28.2012
“Sheesh, what the hell is this? You think you’re a dog!?”   HOW IT STARTED Before February 1964, I was a dog guy. Then, soon after the Beatles rolled ashore that bleak late winter, I read in some fan magazine that my favorite Fab, John Lennon, liked cats. Therefore, to be more like John...
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Jan.27.2012
  My favorite time-travel story is The Devil in Velvet by Golden Age Mystery writer John Dickson Carr, usually known as the master of the subgenre known as the “locked room mystery.” For Devil in Velvet, Carr stepped away from locked rooms to pen a brilliantly bubbly and delightful one-off...
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Jan.21.2012
  Some people—namely my wife—call me the . . . . . . Cat Whisperer . . . <Cue music sting> I usually work like this: I walk into your house. I meet your cat. An hour later, I stroll out with cat tucked happily under my arm, while you shake your head in wonder: “But he doesn’t do that...
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Jan.16.2012
    Firstly, allow me to apologize for boring many of you with the following piece, but I’ve seen many other Internet writers and self-publishers post summaries of their achievements, providing statistics to illustrate. Those of you walking the same path I am may find my experiences,...
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Jan.05.2012
  Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point, Christmas Eve: The best damn thing I saw all year . . . even better than Breaking Bad      In my fifty-seven years, I’ve never known one without turbulence. There have always been wars and suffering, great and small; revolutions and...
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