Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rish (and Big) Perform on PodCastle's 400th Episode

Over at the landmark 400th episode of PodCastle, Big and I lent our voices to "A Night At The Opera"  I can't recall which Marx Brother I play, though I think it might be Zeppo.

Oh wait, different "Night."  This one is written by Martha Wells, as part of her Ile-Rien series, and has been done with a full-cast, including M.K. Hobson, Graeme Dunlop, and Dave Thompson, Podcastle Enforcer (Retired).  I voice Reynard and Big voices Amadel.
Podcastle has been around what seems like a very short time, but to have four hundred shows is kind of amazing.  Even more amazing is that they keep on asking us to do their stories, and even throw us a couple of bucks now and then for doing it.  May the watchful gods cure their Scagarian fever and Chokktuvian syphilis!

You can find the episode right here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Abe Vigoda Is (Still) Dead

Yesterday, someone asked the Grim Reaper about Abe Vigoda.  Death replied, "Ah yes, I came for him a few years back, and . . ."  Then the Reaper realized his mistake.

Abe Vigoda is dead, for real this time.

The last few years, I have entertained myself (and no one else) by posting on Facebook "Just in case you were wondering, Abe Vigoda is still alive."  It amused me because of a Conan O'Brien sketch where he said he wanted to dedicate the last segment to the late Abe Vigoda.  Then the camera cut to Vigoda sitting in the audience, shouting, "I'm still alive, you jackass!"  Conan pretended to be embarrassed by this, and went on with the show.

Little did I know that this has been a recurring gag and/or problem in Hollywood circles.  You see, in the late Eighties, an article in People magazine reported that Vigoda had died, and it was picked up by all sorts of media, evening being covered in news reports.  Vigoda had to actually issue a statement that he was still alive, and claimed that the erroneous reporting had harmed his career.

Still, time and time again, people would refer to him as "the late Abe Vigoda" or remark on him no longer being with us, to the point where he'd show up on television with the sole purpose of demonstrating he was still alive.  Such as this little moment from NBC's "Night with the Late David Letterman:"

In fact, there was a lil website created (www,abevigoda.com) that only had a photo of the man and the statement "As of (date), Abe Vigoda is still alive."  Shameful or not, endlessly entertaining to me.

So, when I heard that Vigoda actually died today (at age 94), I had to post this.*  I owe him that much.**

Here's a song I also like:

*Today, the website changed.  X's were Photoshopped over his eyes, which I hope someone will do for me someday soon.

**He was also an actor, who played Sal Tessio in THE GODFATHER, and Fish on "Barney Miller.  Who knew?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Rish Explains "This Is How You Disappear" on Far-Fetched Fables

Over on the Far-Fetched Fables podcast, I'm performing Dale Bailey's "This Is How You Disappear." A real laugh riot, this one.

So, if you're in the mood to kill yourself, and are tired of listening to the Cure's "Disintegration," check it on out over at farfetchedfables.com.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Rish Outcast 33: Beggar's Canyon Part 2

So, The Force Awakens came out,* and I managed to see it on opening day, even though I was pretty tired (my boss saw it the same night, but slept through parts of it). And while I quite enjoyed it, it made me realize that I'm getting old, and that I really ought to be writing more, seeing if I can't get better before the end, maybe say something that inspires or scares or moves somebody. It's not too late.

Which brings us to the matter at hand. The second half of "Beggar's Canyon" in this episode of The Rish Outcast. Like I said last time, it's easy to relate to young Luke Skywalker, who is stuck somewhere, feeling he should be somewhere, doing something, being important, but he isn't.  I can relate, and unless you're the Alpha of your particular pack (in which case, you wouldn't waste time reading this, I'm sure), you can too.

Who accomplishes everything they seek out to do? Who gets all their bucket list checked before the end? Who leaves something that will be remembered when they're gone?

Not me.

Luke Skywalker did, though. Just not at the time this story takes place.



So, feel free to Right-Click the link here to download the story . . .

. . . or you can hear Marshal Latham's edit of it (with Big, Bria Burton, Julie Hoverson, Marshal, Johnny Feisty, Mrs. Marshal, and your mama doing voices) right HERE.

In fact, look at his kick-arse episode art for the show:


Better than mine, sadly.


Rish

*And you know, I don't remember that line "Who are you?" "I'm no one," even being in the movie.  Guess I oughtta see it again.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Rish Outcast 34: The Terran Chronicles

A few months back, Rish went to see THE MARTIAN, then spent a while talking about it (and writing) with Big Anklevich.  Then he told you about it.  And about his first new project of 2016.  And a song?



Or download the mutha.

P.S.  The story I mentioned first in this episode ended up getting published in 2017.  It's called "Newfound Fame" and it's available on Amazon and on Audible.  Check it out?

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A New Hop--er, Year

This is my first blog post of 2016.  Every new year makes me sad about my failings of the year that just passed, and this is no exception.  My guess is that happiness is always going to elude me, and the best thing I can manage is to keep on keepin' on.  So keep on I shall.

What should I write about?  I've got nearly a whole new year to write more, do more recordings, perhaps podcast a bit.  Hopefully, I'll not let my usual limitations slow me down.

My buddy Big used to always quote a review of MONSTERS VERSUS ALIENS when it said, "Wildly Unoriginal!" like it was some kind of selling point for use in advertising.  It stuck with me, for some reason, and keeps coming back to me, especially when I write something that's maybe a little too similar to something else.

But you could do worse, I suppose.  In the last days of 2015, I started reading the second novel by a writer whose first book I may have to qualify as Most Overrated Book of the 21st Century.  My buddy Jeff won't even read the second novel, just in case it's not as shiny angelic perfect as the first one, and maybe his reader boner will go flaccid.  My friend Merrill was willing to read the second book, but admitted it didn't quite compare to the pure chocolaty goodness of the first book.

So, I picked it up and started reading . . . and hated it.  It wasn't just that it was so chalk-full of pop culture references and movie quotes as to have been written in the old comments section of Aint It Cool News (though that was tiresome), or that it was suspiciously similar to his first book, or even that it never felt genuine (like some bland holiday movie made for the Hallmark Channel), the problem I had with it was that it was just shameless in how much of a rehash it was of stuff from just a couple decades ago . . . and the author thought he'd get away with it by mentioning a time or thrice that it wasn't dissimilar to "Ender's Game" or THE LAST STARFIGHTER.

At one point, I had to shake my head.  *Can* you do this, just rip something else off but get away with it by having characters observe that it's just like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS or TRON or DEEP THROAT?  Is that allowed?

Because, kids, if you can do that, then all my hand-wringing, all my worry that people will think I'm ripping off "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or THE SHINING or "Percy Jackson" or FRAILTY hasn't been at all necessary.  If this big-time beloved and overrated writer can just shamelessly "borrow" stuff from other works and everybody either shrugs it off or thinks it's cute, well, then I need never worry again how my stuff compares to what came before.

And you probably knew that already.  "There's nothing new under the sun" somebody once said, a long, long time ago.  I think it was the famous playwright Fatty Arbuckle, and if it was true in his day, then it's hella true in this era or rehashes remakes, reboots and reTARDISes.  And I swore on the grave of my Uncle John I'd never say the word "hella" for the rest of my days, so what does that make me?

They say that everybody who's ever decided to become a writer has experienced one of two things: 1) they read something that so profoundly touched them that it made them long to be able to do that with their own art, or 2) they read something that caused them to sit up and say, "Holy Dom Deluise, I can do better than that!"  Which encouraged them to try.

Well, it will sound both arrogant and out of character, kids, but I can do better than that.

So, instead of being angry (with the author and my friends who so revere him), I'm gonna take inspiration from this experience, and use it to fuel my own creativity.  The space opera series I keep putting off partly because it's too similar to "Star Trek: TNG?"  I think I'll write it.  The fantasy book I kept worrying was too similar to "Percy Jackson, the Poor Man's Harry Potter?"  Well, I'm gonna write it.  All that STAR WARS fanfiction I've been obsessing over, even though it's not my universe and Lucasfilm can easily sue me?  Well, I've already written that, but it's beside the point.  I may just write more.

A whole year stretches out before us.  Who knows what you will accomplish in it, and what I might achieve myself?  Maybe I'll write another novel, maybe I'll finish the one I flirted with over the summer.  Maybe I'll put out something in a series, maybe I'll start something new.  Maybe I'll do another audio drama, maybe another screenplay, maybe something for kids, maybe something where people take their pants off a lot.  It's a whole 'nother year, one with myriad possibilities.

A new year for you too.  How will you fill it?

Rish Outfield

P.S.  I'm excited to announce my next story, wherein a girl tells a dude they are just characters in a fictional world beyond their control. "You know, like The Matrix," she tells him.  And then I spend the next chunk of the story freely ripping off THE MATRIX.  Bet you can't wait.