Freddy In Space Interviews Unearthed & Untold


Freddy In Space (that's a great name) has posted a great  interview on his website with the makers of Unearthed & Untold The Path To Pet Sematary.  

So why is a documentary on Pet Sematary necessary?  The website notes,
As a big time fan of Pet Sematary, the recent announcement that two filmmakers were working on a comprehensive documentary about the making of the film immediately caught my attention, and got me incredibly excited. The film has never really been given all that much in terms of special features, even on the recent Blu-ray, which just rehashed the features from the previous DVD release. So friends and Pet Sematary super fans John Campopiano and Justin White decided to take matters into their own hands, and tell the untold story of the making of one of their favorite horror movies.
When asked how long the documentary would be, John Campopiano explained:
Of course this could always change, but as of now fans can expect it to clock in around 60 minutes, perhaps a bit longer. In many ways our initial goal was not to tell every story there is, show every behind-the-scenes photograph, etc. Such an endeavor would be impossible. What we did set out to do and have continued to do is showcase the voices from the film that have gone unheard, show the cast members people haven't seen before, share the behind-the-scenes photos and footage most people have never seen before, things like that. No doubt there will be stories and information about the film that no one has heard before. But the real goal is to celebrate this film in a way that has never been done before. I think we're definitely succeeding.
The full interview is great!  Check it out at

Unearthed & Untold To Interview Beau & Blaze Berdahl

This is BIG news. For the first time EVER, both Blaze & Beau Berdahl sat down and spoke *on camera* about their memories & experiences from Pet Sematary! This very special interview - along with many others - will be part of Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary.

Quick note: To ensure that you receive all of our updates be sure to add our page to your "Interest Lists" (click the wheel icon next to the "Liked" box on the page). More documentary news and updates coming in January!

Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary posted news that they will doing an interview with Blaze Berdahl who played Ellie Creed in Pet Sematary.

The facebook post reads:
This is BIG news. For the first time EVER, both Blaze & Beau Berdahl sat down and spoke *on camera* about their memories & experiences from Pet Sematary! This very special interview - along with many others - will be part of Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary.

THE SHINING Weight Loss Plan

What if watching Thinner could make you thinner?

My wife is here reading me her favorite magazine. . . Readers Digest.  I do not know why she reads me this.  It's like an old people's joke book. I have tried to get her hooked on Cemetery Dance, but it's too infrequent.

Just as I start to tease her, she reads me this snippet:
New research shows scary movies make you adrenaline surge.  Burning as many calories as a thirty minute walk. The top "workout"?  Kubrick's The Shining -- 184 calories. 
                  --Readers Digest, January, 2013 p.10 
Of course, if you eat popcorn during the viewing, you might actually gain weight.  Or, even worse, blog and eat popcorn while watching.

I wonder how many calories Cujo would burn.  I want a calorie guide!  Someone could make a Stephen King movie calorie app.

Sleepwalkers might have some value after all, right? Probably not, you have to actually get scared,

EW: King's Top 10 TV Shows

The Detroit Free Press has this summery of Stephen King's EW article:
Entertainment Weekly contributing writer and best-selling author Stephen King came up with 10 top shows. But one, "The X-Files," hasn't had a new episode in more than a decade. King explained that choice: American TV networks are irrelevant and the show's main characters Mulder ( David Duchovny) and Scully (Grand Rapids-raised Gillian Anderson) are "as fresh as ever."
King also loved Danish series "Borgen," AMC's "Breaking Bad" and FX's "Sons of Anarchy." He also was "particularly charmed" by teen actress Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on HBO's epic adventure series, "Game of Thrones."

THE RAFT paperback

Here's something pretty cool I got for Christmas, a paperback edition of The Raft.  According to Amazon, it was actually a pamphlet inserted into Nov. 1982 Gallery.  It looks fuller than it really is -- just 26 pages in a glossy cover.   I like it!

Funny thing, my mother in law got it for me.  "He wants an older paperback book?" she questioned my wife.  "You know, they have that same story in collections."  My wife reassured her that it was the old paperback I wanted.

So I looked up  what "Gallery" was, thinking the entire magazine might be of interest.  It's  porn!  Glad I didn't ask my mother in law for that!

Here is the back of the booklet:

Books that actually scare

Has  a book ever given you the willies?  Ever scared you?  When it comes to being creeped out, I'm pretty tough.  I  don't think I've ever been scared reading a Stephen King  book -- never so afraid I couldn't turn the page.  But there are some scenes that have  stuck with me as pretty down right creepy.

  • Pennywise appearing to Bev in her bathroom was pretty scary.  Especially when the adult didn't see the blood.  Also the opening, with George, is scary stuff.
  • The two women killing each other in the middle  of Castle Rock was scary.
  • Digging up a dead  body was scary in Pet Sematary.  (The book has a lot more detail than the movie)
  • The rats in 1922 were scary.
  • Christine has some great moments when she is on the hunt.  That car is scary!
  • The flashes of the two dead girls in Kubrick's The Shining were frightening.
  • Monsters coming from a mist. . . great stuff!  And again, scary.  In fact, I think the movie is just as scary as the book was.  The novel is brought to life brilliantly.    
Brian Keene Scared Me:

I got an Ipod for Christmas.  Yes, we open presents early.  This meant an entire world of  audio was opened up to me.  I've been slowly building an audio library at audible.  An Ipod means that I  have something to listen to when I go running.  

I chose to take Brian Keene's Darkness On The Edge Of Town.  I've read a good bit of this book before, but keep stopping.  So, alas, I decided to drive in new.

Oh, you need  to know, I run late at night.  10 or 11pm.

And, I run in a small down, with lots of fields and thick darkness.

I like to run at this time because it's nice and cold,  and I'm naturally a night person.

But, as I ran last night, I found myself actually a bit scared!  The characters finally go to the edge of town to see what is in the darkness.   They encounter the dead!  Strange writing on the ground, and then there are the screams!  None of this is freak out stuff, unless you are running in the dark past long fields.  You start to see things!  That run the other night was probably the closest I've ever come to actually being scared while I read.

Of course, the  Ipod was tucked deep in my cloths. . . I was stuck!  I couldn't easily get to the Ipod to change the program.  I just kept running.  No, those shadows weren't dead people

So, what  books have actually scared you?

carrie WHITE Christmas

From the carrie facebook page:
December at Carrie's house isn't the "White" Christmas we're all dreaming of... Why don't you give her a call? 207-404-2604

End Of The World

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
                             -- The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot

The world has not ended yet. That means in 2011 Mr. Camping was wrong -- what a surprise that was, huh?  And now it looks like after waiting all this time, 2012 will just buzz on by.

Here are my favorite fiction books about the end of the world:

1. The Stand.  I love this book!  Both in its original form and in the larger format.  The story is a lot of fun.  King does not use bombs to end the world, but a plague.  Further, he ties this super plague to Biblical prophecy, giving the novel a unique edge.

2. Darkness on the edge of town.  I like this book a lot!  Brian Keene is a great author.  Told in the first person, it does not give all the final answers the reader wants.  There are things that drive me a little nuts in this book. They sure can see a lot in the dark!  (mustard stains on a shirt and so on).  

3. The mist.  The novella did not answer as many questions as the movie does.   The reader is left suspecting the strange  mist with its monsters has taken over the world.

4. Swan Song.  Easily compared to The Stand -- to McCammon's consternation! -- the book brings a quick end to the world via nuclear war.  After that, the girls Swan and her protector, Josh, must fight evil that comes from the rubble.  It's good stuff, really.  

5. Lucifer's Hammer.  How about a big rock -- that would end  life on earth, right?  Well, almost!  This novel has a lot of strong elements.  The writing is good.  There is a lot of action.  Even some war.  And the science is pretty strong. 

6. On The Beach.  Chalk it up to those nukes again -- on the beach takes place after world war 3.

7.  The Martian Chronicles.  Nukes... again.  The book moves a small band of humans to Mars just in time to blow up our planet.  Of course, we kill the Martians with our germs (War of the World's reversed.)  After that, it's our planet!  Will we take better care of Mars than we did earth?  No!  

Of interest to me (but  not yet read)
1. The Last Man, Mary Shelly
2. The Drowned World, J.G. Ballard
3. The Age of Miracles, Karen Walker
4. The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Doomsday Preppers:

Author Stephen Tremp observes:
It seems many are expecting and even hoping for a Doomsday scenario. War, economic and political meltdown, disease, global warming, severe worldwide drought, and other cataclysmic events are what many believe will drive our personal worldwide doomsday. People are networking. They are preparing by stockpiling food, water, medical supplies, and guns. Web sites are plentiful. Just check out some of these YouTube Clips for the Doomsday Preppers.  (
Oh my!  There are a lot of these!  My least favorite is Armageddon.  Who put guns on the spaceship?

A few end of the world movies:
  • The Day After
  • Deep Impact
  • 2012
  • The War of the Worlds
  • The Day After Tomorrow
  • Collision Earth
  • Life after People
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire
  • Meteor
  • The Day The Sky Exploded
  • By Dawns Early Light
  • Earthstorm
Check out even more at

Going Biblical. . .

For a more serious discussion on the end times, look at Olivet discourse in Matthew 24.  Jesus uses a "duel" prophecy in order to ensure the truthfulness of his statements.  That is, he first foretells an event that would take place in the future -- but in the lifetime of eye witnesses; the destruction of the Jewish temple.  The synoptic Gospels were written before this event took place, yet recorded Jesus' prediction that the temple and Jerusalem would be crushed well before it happened.  Woven through the prophecy of  the destruction of Jerusalem is a larger prophecy of the Parousia (Second Coming) and final judgment.  So the short term prophecy is offered to give credibility to the far future prophecy.

And then there's. . . Left Behind.  I don't want to rant too much about this, because I respect  the intentions of the makers.  However, the rapture theory -- that Christians get sucked out of this world before things get really bad -- is simply not to be found in the pages of Scripture.  Beyond that, the movie's just not very good.  (Gasp) Same to be said for Omega Code -- only it's worse! 

Does the Bible point to a final end to planet earth?  Yes.  Not in the "Left Behind" Science Fiction way, though.  It speaks of final events, judgment of mankind, a fiery end to earth and a new beginning. 


Radio destroyed the world many many times!  I think it was done most often by Arch Oboler.  Oboler gave us, "The Conqueror worms" and "The Word," and of course,  "Chicken Heart."  Yes, CHICKEN heart!  described  in Old Time Radio Catalog
Chicken Heart was another memorable Lights Out episode where a chicken heart is kept alive in a petri dish eventually starts growing and takes over the whole world. This episode influenced Stephen King and Bill Cosby described listening to this particular episode during one of his stand up comedy routines.
X minus 1 also destroyed the world -- but not as often as we would think!

The most famous destruction of earth came in 1938, when Mr. Orson Well's played The War of the World's.  People actually thought the world was ending! Author Andy Rausch and I talked about this  particular radio play when I interviewed him in October.
TSK: Since you participated in the Welles book, I'll ask you this... I've always been fascinated by the 1938 War of the Worlds fiasco. Do you think anything like that could ever happen again? 
Andy Rausch: No. Today we have so much information—maybe too much information—at our disposal at any given moment. I think you could maybe fool a few people here and there, but convincing that number of people that aliens are attacking seems unlikely.
Interview With Andy Rausch
So,what are some of your favorite end of the world books, movies and radio plays? 

The Drawing Of The Three Journal #5: Concluding Thoughts

photo credit:
I think Drawing of the Three is one of King's most complex character novels.  Roland actually moves into the heads and bodies of other people, giving a most intimate look at the things we usually keep private.  It's worse  than being caught naked!

The last third of the novel was new material for me.  I don't know why -- I have read this book many times.  But it has been a long time, and I remembered nothing of the events surrounding Jack Mort.  Wonderful writing here!

I like the way Roland is able to access the thoughts of the person he is with (in).  King compares Roland's ability to search their minds and draw information as being like accessing an encyclopedia.  Today we would use "google."  He "googles" their mind.

Jack Mort is a look inside the mind of a serial killer.  Unlike Detta, who has two separate personalities, Mort has compartmentalized his thoughts and behavior.  He does terrible things, but is able  to set those aside emotionally and still function in the real world.  He is almost Detta's opposite.  While Detta is completely out of control, Mort is completely in control.

With recent events, I'm not that comfortable getting so close to a serial killer. But the Gunslinger gives the killer his due, thrusting him live in front of a train as he is held captive in his own body.  Sweet!

The Gunslingers healing of Odetta is great!  Could split personality really be healed that way?  No!  But who cares!  So long as I'm mentioning stuff that would never ever happen the way King plays it out -- the way the Gunslinger goes about getting bullets is amazingly crazy!

There was a scene that was quite strange and worth further investigation.  The two woman rise up and fight one another.  It's like a physical battle.  But how can this be?  They can't have two bodies.  I was unclear on that.

The novel takes us to New York in three different time periods.  This is pretty neat -- though I am left wondering: Why New York?  Who chose the time periods?

I want to note that I never realized that Odetta is supposed to be a beautiful woman until I read The Wastelands.  I think this is because  of the drawings in the original book, she didn't seem very striking to me.  Yet in Wastelands, the pictures of her were quite beautiful.

It was pretty cool to end The Drawing of the Three and drop the Wastelands into the CD player without pause.  I remember waiting years for it to come out.  The story flows nicely.

AND. . . I got a bunch of questions about the Dark Tower answered recently.  I am a happy person.  Guess who I got to interview. . . (not King)

Read It Again

I haven't read every Stephen King novel . . . yet.  Rose Madder, Lisey's Story, the Talisman and others still await me.  While some books remain unread, there and others I go to again and again.

Here are 8 books I enjoy re-reading.
  • The Stand
  • The Shining
  • Dolores Claiborne
  • IT
  • Needful Things
  • The Mist
  • Pet Sematary
  • The Drawing of the Three
I have heard King and others complain about Needful Things.  I thought when I read it -- and then read it again -- and again -- that it was brilliantly executed.  Only later did I begin to think that maybe some characters (Baptist preachers in particular) had been painted without much effort to dig deeper.  In fact, I began to suspect there appeared to be intentional mislabeling taking place with this work.  Typecasting takes place in every novel (that's how you build characters you can identify with!), but a reader gets leery when they suspect the writer might be doing it to cause the reader to think less of a certain group of people.  

The Stand is the book I come back to the most.  I have read the 1978 novel several times.  I only read the extended version once, as a teen.

It used to be that the books I owned on tape were the ones I listened to over and over.  Thus Needful Things, Drawing of the Three and Dolores Claiborne were easy choices.  Now I have most of King's work on audio, so I'm more picky!

And then there are those books I enjoyed -- once long ago and hope to read again someday.  
The Sun Dog (all of 4 past Midnight), Cell, Desperation, The Tommyknockers.  Some books I hesitate to go back to because I think I might not enjoy them as much as I did the first time.  Or -- I connect a book to a specific period of my own life when I was reading and don't really want to relive those memories.  As if reading a book I read would bring back those  old events.  Crazy stuff, I know!

Sometimes another persons view of a book will dampen my own delight for something I had previously enjoyed.  I loved Sun Dog!  But when I read others complain it was too heavily edited, I had less desire to go back and travel those pages again -- even though they had once held me in such suspense.

You know, some books can  only really punch you once. The twists and turns are such a surprise that they can't be experienced a second time with the same intensity.  The Stand is that way. I remember staying up late as Harold built a bomb and wondering if King would really kill off his good guys.  Yet, I come back to The Stand because I still enjoy the journey, even if it does not pack the same punch each round.  I notice new details along the path, hone in better on how King words things and builds his scenes.

Some books never get a second date.  Kind of a sad thought, isn't it? Gerald's Game, which I have read more than once, does not "call to me."  I read it before I had kids -- daughters.  Now the thought of reading what I remember to be the story of serious sexual child abuse is not something I want to do.  Strangely, Under The Dome does not draw me back -- so far at least.  That is a surprise, because I enjoyed reading it so much.  Thinner, which I also enjoyed at the time, was a one time thing for me. 

Tell me what books you love to read again.

Hollywood Reporter: Under The Dome To Be A Multi Platform Experience

Alex Ben Block's article in the Hollywood Reporter reveals that executives at CBS plan to make the upcoming series a "multi platform experience for viewers" Block calls it CBS' "most ambitious scripted summer programming in years."

Block quotes Scott Koondel, svp and chief corporate content licensing officer for the CBS Corporation, who says that viewers will be able to watch Under The Dome on a variety of platforms, including TV, online and "other electronic forms."  Koondel calls it "the perfect show!"

This news gives hopes to me -- as my family actually gave up cable TV a year ago.  No, we haven't missed it -- because we got Netflix.  But, the thought of not seeing UTD has been difficult, and it's hard to imagine having to ask my mother in law to DVR it for me.

Special Showing Of Creepshow At Samford's Avon Theatre

Sure,  you can watch  creepshow on DVD, Blu-Ray, VHS, Laser Disk and Netflix. . . but if you want to see it in a theater, you've  got to head over  to Stamford's Avon Theatre.  This is from

Stamford's Avon Theatre presents a cult classics presentation of Creepshow
STAMFORD, CT - On Thursday, January 17th at 9:00 p.m. The Avon Theatre presents a Cult Classics screening of CREEPSHOW on 35mm. 
Ticket prices are as follows: Carte Blanche Members: FREE, Members: $6, Students & Seniors: $8, Nonmembers: $11. Call the Avon box office at 203-967-3660, x2 for tickets. 
Two macabre masters - writer Stephen King and director George A. Romero - conjure up five shocking yarns, each a virtuoso exercise in the ghouls-and-gags style of classic '50s horror comics. A murdered man emerges from the grave for Father's Day cake. A meteor's ooze makes everything...grow. A professor selects his wife as a snack for a crated creature. A scheming husband plants two lovers up to their necks in terror. A malevolent millionaire with an insect phobia becomes the prey of a cockroach army. Add the spirited performances of a fine cast (Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, E.G. Marshall and King himself) and the ghoulish makeup wizardry of Tom Savini and let the Creepshow begin.
Rated R | 120 minutes | In English 

Dolores Claiborne in Ankara Turkey

“Dolores Claiborne,” is being presented in a Turkish theater. This is awesome, as the novel focuses on domestic violence and women's rights.

The article titled "Stephen King novel on stage in Ankara" appears at  The Anatolia News Agency (Turkish state news agency) notes:
"The play is directed by Hakan Çimenser. Çimenser told Anatolia news agency that they were trying to reflect the supernatural and thriller characteristics of the novel in the play. 
“The play also takes on women’s existence in a men’s world,” added Çimenser.

The play also focuses on violence against women. “The supernatural characteristic of the novel is in the play,” he said. “Dolores is a woman who has become a ‘witch’ and a vile character because of her husband. She knows that her husband has sexually abused their daughter. Dolores becomes a wild character and kills her husband.”
I am excited to see this novel being translated into so many different media.  Not only was there a movie,  but is also being performed as an opera  by S.F. Opera.

Drawing Of The Three Journal #4 : Things I Forgot

My D3 CD's

It's been years  since I read The Drawing Of The Three.  I'm pretty sure I read it several times in High School and College.  What better way to escape midterms and finals than to read Stephen King -- right?  That might also explain my first semester Greek grade.

As I read the book afresh, there are details I'd forgotten!  Here are a few:

1. I'd forgotten just how nasty Detta can be!  Wow, King really drives the point home with this character.

2. I forgot how leery Eddie and Odetta are of Roland when they first  come into his world.  The tension is great!  In fact, the tension that runs throughout the series is part of what makes the story interesting.  Know one of the reasons the prequel Star Wars movies didn't feel right?  I think it has to do with tension between the main characters.  Han and Luke were always at each other.  But in the prequels, there is not that light hearted jabbing.  King does a nice job letting his main characters take exception to one another.

Eddie doesn't trust Roland one bit, because he has perceived that Roland is a "tower junkie."  He will do anything, even sacrifice friends, in order to reach the Dark Tower.

3. I forgot that Roland basically kidnapped his Ka'tet.  They didn't join him!  Now, Roland gives Eddie a very good speech about his  potential that  would please any football  coach, but the truth is Eddie does not have a choice in the matter.  Roland is not  going to let Eddie go back!

4. I forgot that King played with the name of the last door.  It has a double meaning.  For Eddie, "The Pusher" makes him think at once of drugs.  He is filled with emotion over the discovery of this door.  However, Pusher actually means . . . something else.  The card the man in black revealed to Roland was "death."  We would expect the third door to coincide with the third card, but they seem mismatched until the story plays out.  The Pusher is death, since he pushes people.

5. I forgot just how sharp Eddie is right from the get go. Somehow I remembered  him being more spaced out by the drugs than actually is.  The guy is sharp, catching on to what's happening around him much quicker than other characters.  He's able to quickly adapt to strange new situations without coming unhinged.

On another note, I find myself a little stunned at King's work.  The Stephen King who wrote Drawing was a young man, yet  incredibly perceptive to the world around him.  He describes  things in ways I would never think of, and picks up on things in people's behavior that is right on.  As a young man he was a good writer because he had the perceptions of an old man.

SyFy pulls Friday's 'Haven' after Connecticut shootings

This is from,
The SyFy Channel announced on Friday it will pull an episode of supernatural series "Haven" from tonight's schedule in light of today's horrific school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. 
The episode, titled "Reunion," features a string of killings at a local high school.
In a statement from the network, SyFy said, “In light of today’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, we have decided not to air it. At this time, no decision has been made as to when the episode will air.”
Seems appropriate.

Want To Visit Shawshank ?

Want to visit Shawshank prison?  Want to be part of the story?  It's in London.  Really!  (Bet ya didn't know Shawshank prison is in London.)

It's part of Secret Cinema's unique presentation.  The theater not only shows the movie, it moves you into the era and surroundings.  Nick Curtis gives this explanation, saying it is "an immersive experience that builds the world of the film around its audience, elevating them from spectators to enthralled participants."

Their youtube video simply says, "Secret Cinema presents Frank Darabont's 'The Shawshank Redemption' at the Cardinal Pole School, East London."

Here is Curtis' description of the Shawshank experience in November:

In November I attended Secret Cinema’s screening of Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption. After signing up online, I was issued with a new identity, Hal Wood, by the ‘State of Oak Hampton’ and told to report to Bethnal Green Library one Sunday evening. There were obscure clues to the film’s identity (I thought it was 12 Angry Men), hints that 1940s-style men’s suits would be suitable apparel, under which guests should wear long johns and a T-shirt, for reasons that later became apparent. 
In a chilly hall I was sent down for bigamy by a judge, and covertly sold a £20 ‘library ticket’ by my lawyer to buy privileges — food and drink — in prison. Then I and 400 others were driven in vintage coaches to ‘Shawshank’ — in fact, the forbidding former Cardinal Pole Lower School building by Victoria Park. Inmates banged on the van and shouted sexual taunts as we spilled into the yard: ‘Hey, Dapper Dan, you wanna be my friend?’ 
We were herded into a hallway by yelling guards, told to strip to our underwear and put our clothes and possessions in numbered sacks that contained our prison uniforms. Then we were marched through showers where a naked man crouched, bleeding, on the floor, to cells where we were banged up. I got my first taste of the underground prison economy, swapping my ill-fitting trousers with a fellow guest: my second, when an actor inmate sold me a Jack Daniel’s miniature for a tick on my library card. He then exhorted us to chant ‘new fish, new fish’ at other prisoners shuffling along the corridor outside, until someone on the landing above broke down and cried, to lewd hoots and catcalls. 
This was the first of sundry scenarios from the film played out live, along with a hostage situation, a sudden surge of opera through the corridors, and an escape that led to us being put on lockdown in the gym, which is when the screening started. Mostly, though, it was about atmosphere as we drifted or were gently guided through the teeming life of the building. Some were taken to the work sheds to repair bicycles or brew beer (both sheds are run by local Hackney businesses), some were examined by a psychoanalyst (a real one, who works in prisons). There were work programmes — candle-making, cross-stitching, composing letters to imprisoned writers for the anti-censorship charity Pen — in rooms studded with quirky artworks assembled by Riggall under another offshoot brand, Secret Gallery. 
Those who had paid £100 for the Secret Restaurant package got to dress up as the governor’s guests for a three-course meal prepared by Alan Stewart and the catering/design company Blanch & Shock. I was smuggled a shin of beef in the school’s boiler room: delicious. For an extra £30, you could stay in the Secret Hotel — one of the shared ‘cells’ — and be further hectored overnight, followed by a yoga session in the exercise yard in the morning. In effect, you’d be paying to stay in a cell with four or five strangers, in a chilly former school, wearing either underwear or a uniform, before a PE lesson and breakfast in an institutional canteen. Surely only a dominatrix could better persuade people to collude in, and enjoy, their own discomfiture. 
But the level of detail and organisation in the building was extraordinary, the immersion an oddly nuanced process. No one broke character: Riggall tells me later that a bus broke down one night and the actor in charge frogmarched his ‘prisoners’ through the rain for 35 minutes, past boggling onlookers. The selling of drinks and snacks was conducted as if it were a black market. In a quiet moment I found myself shooting hoops in the yard with two strangers, exchanging nods like weary lifers. 
In the library I got talking to a German animator called Viv (she initially gave me her male, Shawshank, name) who has worked on a lot of live art events. ‘It’s extraordinary to corral and control this number of people in this big a space, and to be giving them booze at the same time,’ she said. ‘It should be a riot but it isn’t.’ For the guests there was an odd tension between the maintenance and subversion of the illusion. 
From Nick Curtis' article, "Secret Cinema: how to get 25,000 people to pay £50 for a film ticket, without knowing what the film is."  The full article is at

--thanks to Micheal o'Reilly

UMass Lowell's Stephen King Page

HERE is UMass Lowell's collection of video's from their December 7, Stephen King event.  I find their homepage easier than digging through youtube.

Their website also notes, "King donated his fee from the appearance to help endow a new scholarship fund in his and his wife’s name."  A lovely gesture.

The Tommyknockers 25 Years Later

PostBulletin listed a "this day in history" that included the Tommyknockers.  
1987 — 25 years ago
Dr. Robert Waller has been named president and chief executive officer of the Mayo Foundation. He succeeds Dr. W. Eugene Mayberry.
Brian LaPlante popped in a 12-foot jump shot from the baseline with a second left to give the Chatfield Gophers a 60-58 basketball victory over Wykoff.
Best seller novels this week include "The Tommyknockers" by Stephen King and "Kaleidoscope" by Danielle Steel.
What do you think of The Tommyknockers?

I have not read the book yet, but I look forward to it.  I saw, and enjoyed, the miniseries.  In particular,t he scene where the kid makes his brother disappear. . . but can't bring him back!  that's great!  The disappointment for me in the mini-series was that the spaceship they dug up was not very interesting.  The idea, though, of a buried spaceship that causes the townspeople to change -- AWESOME!

King at UMass Lowell

This is Stephen King reading Afterlife at UMass Lowell.  A big thanks to the University for posting these videos.

Dolores Claiborne An Opera

Photo Credit:

Stephen King on stage. . . on tape. . . on CD. . . on film. . . on TV. . . on Opera !!!

Imagine the Phantom, "SING, DOLORES, SING!"

Edward Ortiz posted an article in the Sacramento Bee titled, "S.F. Opera announces season to mark 80th year at War Memorial."  And on the docket is  King's novel Dolores Claiborne that will be taking the stage of the opera house.

Ortiz writes:
One of the highlights of the season will be the commissioned opera "Dolores Claiborne," based on King's 1992 novel. That work will offer music by Tobias Picker and a libretto by J.D. McClatchy. The appearance of a commission such as "Claiborne" is par for the course for San Francisco Opera general director David Gockley, who has built a reputation as a keen commissioner of new works. Since he took over the reins in San Francisco in 2006 he has commissioned or co-comissioned six operas, including the current season's dramatically bracing production of "Moby Dick" by Jake Heggie.
The appearance of an opera based on a King novel comes with the expectation that such works will get people into the opera house in a period of back-to-back yearly deficits for the company.
The production premieres Sept. 18 and stars standout soprano Dolora Zajick in the title role." 'Claiborne' is a gutsy, powerful American verismo work," said Gockley. "It's an opera that offers very strong challenges and one that asks singers to respond emotionally. … I think Zajick will tear up the stage."
"Dolores Claiborne" will take stage September 18-Oct. 4.  This is one of my favorite King!

YOUTUBE: More Stephen King at UML

The Stephen King Library Desk Calendar 2013

The new Stephen King Desk Calendar rocks!  I’m usually not real big on calendars, which is probably why I haven’t understood why everyone starts asking if a new SK calendar is coming out each year.  However, this years offering by the Stephen King Library is great!

The book is spiral bound so that it can lay flat on a desk.  It has a great 3D cover that is a collage of King stories.

This year, Duma Key and Just After Sunset both turned 5. Night Shift turned 35, Christine 30, Dolores Claiborne 20, Bag of Bones 15, and many more.  This Calendar is a celebration of these wonderful books!  It is a weekly hodge podge of Stephen King related articles.   It’s like owning a small pile of books about Stephen King.  I love the behind the scenes stuff, the articles and trivia.  In fact, it’s more fun than a book of just article, or just trivia. . . it’s a lot of stuff mixed together and arranged around great illustrations and a weekly desk calendar.

Naturally the calendar includes important King dates and reminders of this day in history.  For instance, February 9 includes the notes, “Bangor Daily News prints story of revealing true identity of Richard Bachman, 1985.”

How about this, “Bev shoots IT with the silver slugs, July 25, 1958.”  Or, On April 17, “Annie Wilkes ‘Hobbles’ Paul Sheldon 1987, Misery.”  Or, On August 18, “First meeting of the Free Zone to elect representatives, 1985.”

Famous authors birthdays are also included.  Charles Dickens was born February 7, 1812.  Important dates to the King universe are scattered throughout – such as Andy McGee’s birthday, or a note when John Lennon was shot.  You might also find some sports trivia dates . . . October 27, “In 2004, Red Sox win first World Series  since 1918.”

I liked The Stand 25th Anniversary Trivia.  Here’s one, “According to the novel, how old Is Mother Abigail?”  (108 years old) There is also a Night Shift Anniversary Trivia page.  Here’s one, “In I Am The Doorway” the protagonist is a retired astronaut who has become a pathway for aliens.  How do they aliens manifest and take control of his body?” (Eyeballs appear like a rash on his fingers that allow the aliens to view our world and then slowly take over the man’s body.)

Also included is a Dolores Claiborne 20th Anniversary Trivia, as well as trivia from several other books.

I really enjoyed Peter Brett’s, “Pet Sematary, Now and Then” and Kevin Quigley’s, “Divorce And Departure: Duma Key Five years later.”  Also, Robin Furth’s “Mid World Anniversaries” was great!

My favorite article was by Brian James Freeman, “Publishing a Stephen King Anniversary Edition.”  He discusses what was involved in putting together the special 25th anniversary edition of IT.  All kinds of stuff we never think about.  In particular, there w ere problems with the books size and how much they could actually include.  Freeman takes us from idea to sales, all of it a great ride.

EXCERPT: Twenty Years Later. . . 
The book also has several touching stories.  Here’s one from Carolle M. Bendle: 
“I always started the school year in my advanced class by handing out index cards, asking what books students had read over the summer.  Most were returned blank with excuses like, “Summer Job,” but there was one I received covered front and back.  Discovering we shared a fondness for certain authors – Stephen King, in particular – Jason syly asked if I would read some of his poetry.  His life and heart were in them. 
Completely on a whim, I wrote the letter to Stephen King on my 40 year old typewriter and enclosed Jason’s poems.  Never dreaming that what we called the “SK Adventure” would actually happen... a few weeks later I got “the phone call.” ...
(the rest is in the Calendar) 

Here is the table of contents: 
Dec 31, 2012 – Jan 6 — introduction / editor letter — Jay Franco
Jan 7 – Jan 13 — This Book Is a Weapon — matt bergin
Jan 14 – Jan 20 — Ever Relevant — Jay Franco
Jan 21 – Jan 27 — 35th ANNIVERSARY – THE STAND — excerpt — Stephen King
Jan 28 – Feb 3 — King’s Lord of the Rings — Myke Cole
Feb 4 – Feb 10 — A Most Generous King — Jay Franco
Feb 11 – Feb 17 — The Stand Trivia — Fotini Marcopulos
Feb 18 – Feb 24 — Irons in the Fire — Jay Franco
Feb 25 – Mar 3 — 35th ANNIVERSARY – NIGHT SHIFT — an excerpt — Stephen King
Mar 4 – Mar 10 — Night Shift TRIVIA — Fotini Marcopulos
Mar 11 – Mar 17 — It’s About Time — matt bergin
Mar 18 – Mar 24 — 30th ANNIVERSARY – CHRISTINE — an excerpt — Stephen King
Mar 25 – Mar 31 — 30th ANNIVERSARY – CHRISTINE — an excerpt — Stephen King
Apr 1 – Apr 7 — Christine TRIVIA — Fotini Marcopulos
Apr 8 – Apr 14 — A King’s Ranking — Jay Franco
Apr 15 – Apr 21 — A Birthday to Die For! — Samantha Etkin
Apr 22 – Apr 28 — 30th ANNIVERSARY – PET SEMATARY — an excerpt — Stephen King
Apr 29 – May 5 — Coming Back Wrong — Jeff Somers
May 6 – May 12 — Squeaky’s Return — Matt DeVirgiliis
May 13 – May 19 — Pet Sematary essay — Peter Brett
May 20 – May 26 — 20th ANNIVERSARY – DOLORES CLAIBORNE – an excerpt — Stephen King
May 27 – June 2 — Dolores Claiborne TRIVIA — Fotini Marcopulos
June 3 – June 9 — Mysterious Benefactor — Diane Ketcham
June 10 – June 16 — Nightmares & Dreamscapes trivia essay — Fotini Marcopulos
June 17 – June 23 — 20th ANNIVERSARY – NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES — an excerpt — Stephen King
June 24 – June 30 — Fear Does Not Exist in This Dojo – Jay Franco
July 1 – July 7 — Looking into The Eyes of The Dragon — Jay Franco
July 8 – July 14 — “Maine Man” — the editors
July 15 – July 21 — King the Scrivener — Justin Brooks
July 22 – July 28 — 15th ANNIVERSARY – BAG OF BONES — an excerpt — Stephen King
July 29 – Aug 4 — Bag of Bones TV Miniseries – The Sitelet — Jay Franco
Aug 5 – Aug 11 — The King films of 1983 — Dan Kimmel
Aug 12 – Aug 18 — Bag of Bones – Trivia – Fotini Marcopulos
Aug 19 – Aug 25 — Duma Key related trivia – Fotini Marcopulos
Aug 26 – Sept 1 — 5th ANNIVERSARY – DUMA KEY — an excerpt — Stephen King
Sept 2 – Sept 8 — Divorce & Departure – Kevin Quigley
Sept 9 – Sept 15 — A Discussion of: The Wind Through the Keyhole — Jay Franco
Sept 16 – Sept 22 — Dark Tower essay — Stephen Jewell
Sept 23 – Sept 29 — 5th ANNIVERSARY – JUST AFTER SUNSET – an excerpt — Stephen King
Sept 30 – Oct 6 — Just After Sunset trivia — Fotini Marcopulos
Oct 7 – Oct 13 — The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Carrie — Jay Franco
Oct 14 – Oct 20 — The Philosophy of Time Travel – Jay Franco
Oct 21 – Oct 27 — The ROAD RAGE Collaboration – Jay Franco
Oct 28 – Nov 3 — Top 5 Horror Websites – Jay Franco
Nov 4 – Nov 10 — Embracing It — Jay Franco
Nov 11 – Nov 17 — Inspiration Insight – Matt DeVirgiliis
Nov 18 – Nov 24 — 10th Anniversary of the Dark Tower: The Wolves of the Calla — Robin Furth
Nov 25 – Dec 1 — Insert Dead Pet Comedic Relief Here — Matt DeVirgiliis
Dec 2 – Dec 8 — A Love/Hate Relationship — Jay Franco
Dec 9 – Dec 15 – A discussion of documentary, ROOM 237 – Jay Franco
Dec 16 – Dec 22 – Publishing a Stephen King Special Edition – Brian James Freeman
Dec 23 – Dec 29 – Publishing a Stephen King Special Edition [continued] – Brian James Freeman
Dec 30 – Jan 5, 2014 – Last Night I dreamed of a Tiger – Jay Franco 
David's take: I'm surprised how much I enjoyed this.  I approached it thinking I'd just thumb through it, but found myself reading it cover to cover  with the same enjoyment I would have gotten from a Companion book about Stephen King.  With writers like Jay Franco, Kevin Quigley, Robin Furth, Brian James Freeman. . . this is a home-run!  I love it.

Quotes From King's UMass Lowell Speech

photo credit HERE

Stephen King spoke Friday at to about 125 writing students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Here are some quick notes from several articles:
  • When asked what scared him, King offered, "Spiders, mother-in-law."  
  • What People Want To Know: "A lot of times when people come to see me I think they're really just wanting to see if I'm really that (messed) up,"
  • In your face writing: King told the audience of about 125 that his goal was to write stories that sizzle with emotion. "I'm a confrontational writer. I want to be in your face. I want to get into your space. I want to get within kissing distance, hugging distance, choking distance, punching distance. Call it whatever you want. But I want your attention." 
  • Who's really writing?  "I've always wondered who I am when I write," King said, "because once I'm doing it, I'm not in the room with myself." 
  • About Doctor Sleep: "People used to ask me, years later after 'The Shining,' what ever happened to that kid? ... I'd say 'I don't know.' But it started to kind of kick around in my brain, you know?" Because Torrance can read minds, King said he was intrigued by the idea of having the character work in a hospice as someone who helps people cross over from life to death."

UMass Lowell students participate in a Q & A with author Stephen King Friday at the UML Inn & Conference Center. Sun/Bob Whitaker (Photo Credit: HERE)

The Lowell Sun reported some details of a 500 page manuscript.
Many of his best book ideas occur come to him as mutated observations of real-life happenings, King explained, including a recently completed 500-page manuscript that focuses on a suicidal police officer six months into his retirement, who receives a letter from a gloating killer. 
"I wanted to write it as a short story, and end it with the cop putting the gun in his mouth. But now, instead of a 12-page short story, I've got a 500-page manuscript -- because the thing just grew."
I wonder if this is part of Joyland. . . but I think that book is much smaller.

The Sun also reports King as saying, "What I'm working on now is a novel that's about three-quarters done, and if I'm very lucky I will be able to finish it."


Hoping Under The Dome Shines

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment expressed by Pat Clark in his article for the The Modesto Bee titled, "Hoping TV Doesn't Mess Up Under The Dome." YES! (yes yes yes yes yes!!!)

He has a lot of typical complaints about Stephen King adaptations -- some I agree with, some I don't. For instance, he does not seem to like the Kubrick version of The Shining, which I thought was an outstanding movie. But, more on target I think, he blasts Molly Ringwald's performance as Franny in The Stand. And I liked The Stand. . . but not Ringwald.

Clark observes, "As any fan of his books can tell you, one of the main things that makes King king is his talent for creating charac-ters. He pens people you feel like you're friends with, people you feel like you're standing side-by-side with as they weave through their stories. So it's only obvious that casting should be the No. 1 thing to get right when filming his works."

That is absolutely right on! It's all about who plays who! Misery worked first because of right casting. Same is true of Carrie and The Green Mile.

About Under The Dome, Clark writes:
So it's with some trepidation that I look forward to the upcoming TV series this summer based on King's "Under the Dome" on CBS. Reportedly, 13 episodes have been ordered, so far.

On the good news side, Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment is producing the series and King is on board as an executive producer, all this according to a Los Angeles Times story last week.

My only fear with a series is that they will take a leisurely pace getting started -- then get canceled and have to rush the ending without a strong middle story.

Here's a fan made Under The Dome movie trailer.  

Jonathan Demme Leaves 11/22/63

photo credit:
A little over a year ago, Jonathan Demme was brought on board as the driving force  behind 11/22/63.  He was signed on to write, produce and direct the project!  Demme is now walking from the film, telling The Plalist:
"This is a big book, with lots in it. And I loved certain parts of the book for the film more than Stephen did. We're friends, and I had a lot of fun working on the script, but we were too apart on what we felt should be in and what should be out of the script," Demme said, before confirming he was off the project. "I had an option and I let it go. But I hope it's moving forward, I really want to see that movie." 
I'm glad to know King continues to have such a strong influence on the film.  It seems too often Hollywood has made King movies with no input from the author.

Favorite Literary Bad Boys

Karen  Tay has an article titled, "Favorite Literary Bad Boys."  #5 on her list  is Mr. Flagg.  Yep, he's  pretty bad!

Tay's List:
  • Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights)
  • Eric Northman (True Blood)
  • Stanley Kowalski (A Streetcar Named Desire)
  • Hamlet
  • Randall Flagg (The Stand)
About Flagg, Tay writes: "Okay, so he is evil incarnate, but power can be an irresistible aphrodisiac. Randall has only one goal in mind, to unleash hell on a post-apocalyptic earth, and he will do anything to achieve this. Randall also appears in other Stephen King books, including most of the Dark Tower series, but come on, it would be hard to resist being the woman (or man) who tames Satan. I mean, come on, isn't the whole romance novel industry based on this trope?"

1. Who is your favorite King bad boy (or girl) ?
2. Who  is your favorite non-King literary bad boy (or girl) ?

Here's a helpful listing from

I think the crew from Needful Things were pretty rotten.   Leland Gaunt and Ace Merrill are both evil and their scenes are a lot of fun to read.

I think Ken Follett creates the best bad  guys ever.  All of them are great!  In particular, William Hanley in Pillars of the Earth was bad bad bad.

Small Demons website

I've been enjoying  spending some time to dig through a fun website called  The site gives overviews on authors and helps  make connections between books.

Here is how described the website:
Small Demons is the book world's latest mind game and guilty pleasure and a proving ground that everything really is connected. You can find out how many books mention the Beatles or the Pacific Ocean or Rice Krispies. You can find answers to questions you never meant to ask, like whether writers favor Marlboros or Camels (Camels have the edge, 85-65), or which brands of cold medicine are cited in EL James' "Fifty Shades of Grey" (NyQuil, Advil, Tylenol).
Looking through the site is like knocking on a door, then another and another. You might start with Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," the basis for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln." Click on the image of the book's cover and you will find a variety of sub-categories: People in the book (from Lincoln himself to abolitionist Frederick Douglass), places identified, songs mentioned ("The Star-Spangled Banner," ''La Marseillaise"), newspapers cited.
The Stephen King entry notes that he has written 44 books, 1 series and is mentioned in 293 books.  Obviously that's a low number, but someone had to start cataloging somewhere, right?!  The entry on The Stand says it has been mentioned in 11 other books.

Sometimes the website mis-matches.  For instance, it claims The Stand is mentioned in a book about Alexander Hamilton titled, "American."  Actually, "The Stand" referenced in that book is to a essay.

The website allows you to build your own storyboard as well as search through books.

Stephen King TOYBOX

Here's my Stephen King digital toybox.  Tell me what SK toys you've found.

The first is my favorite:
Terri Coop's custom figure (and box!) for the Roland
character from the Stephen King "The Dark Tower"
series of books

Christine, from Lilja's Library

Christine (why is she blue?)

Creepshow 2

Carrie Action Figure
Carrie Action Figure

Pennywise Action Figure

And then there's this. . .
Stephen King Dressed As Pennywise Action Figure

I find this one kind of. . .creepy.  But, I guess a Stephen King action figure could take Carrie to the prom.  The details are below (it was custom made)
Size: 6inches tall
Articulating parts: 13
Materials: polymer clay, internal hand-carved styrofoam
The latest custom commission was from a client who loves Stephen King. It was an honor and pleasure to acquiesce to such a request. Along with the obvious allusion to his RedSox/baseball personal obsession, there’s other references to 5 of King’s stories, books and movies. I’ll send a pack of stickers to anyone who can guess all 5- use the message form at the bottom of this page.

And. . . check out this article:, Top 10 Stephen King’s DARK TOWER Action Figures that Should Be Created

CARRIE Action Figure

I saw this first  at my favorite Stephen King website,

It's a Carrie action figure.  I'm not completely sure why. . . but there it is!  To put in your Stephen King toy box.  Next time GI Joe needs a date. . . here she is! Your Darth Vader action figure need a better foe than the wimpy Luke Skywalker. . . here she is!  

NECA is to produce a line of 7 inch figures based on The remake of Stephen King's Carrie.

The NECA website offers  this description:
A reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.
This figure assortment includes a beautiful Carrie, flower bouquet in hand, glamorous & elegant at the start of her prom night.
The second figure is Carrie as she unleashes her rage, covered in blood from head to toe. It’s a frightening sight to behold.
Figures stand approx 6.5″ tall.

I am now waiting for:
  • A Dark Tower playset.
  • The Stand action figures
  • Desperation cowboy hat
  • Christine steering wheel cover
  • Pet Sematary dog sweater
  • Drawing of the Three Uno cards

ebay: THE STAND audiobook

For those of  you who said  you could  not find a physical copy of The Stand -- check  out this ebay  auction at /

The seller writes:
Actually picked this up at Comic Con NY in 2012. Was given away on Sunday at 5pm when the booth was closing up and was the table display. I picked the most expensive thing there and that was this 37 CD audio book. Almost 48 hours of content. I have listened to it once and the discs are in PRISTINE CONDITION!
The photo's are from the ebay seller.

The audio version can  also be purchased at audible.

Plot or Character Driven Novels

photo credit:
I read with interest a short article titled, "Self Publishing Podcast Pits Stephen King Character Methods Against Dan Brown's Plot Methods." (HERE)

Podcast co-host Sean Platt explains the pros and cons to both methods.
“Dan Brown’s books are definitely page-turners,” says Platt, “but they’re so tightly plotted that it’s like eating fast food—it’s very fast and disposable. With Stephen King, the characters feel real and the dialog flows because King’s not concerned about plot but about characters and situations and driving the story. I think that’s why some people hate Stephen King—he tends to meander, sometimes for hundreds of pages.”
That last line is true -- Some people do "hate Stephen King" because he tends to meander.  But others of us have become comfortable and even enjoy King's easy pace of story telling.  That he is not plot driven does not mean there is no plot!  It just means that in many of his novels, you have to live with the people who inhabit the story before you learn exactly what it is that's going to drive that story.

Some of King's novels open with incredible energy and plot.  Consider Under The Dome, which starts like a mad race.  The Shining, on the other hand, is a slow moving character drama.  These character dramas are not without action -- but they have to build and develop purpose before they can explode.  Reading a King novel is like churning a Jack-In-The-Box, you never know exactly when the whole thing will explode all over you!  Consider The Stand.  I enjoyed the plot, but was shocked when King killed off a whole bunch of good guys mid novel!

There are some instances where King ends the novel's actual plot long before the novel itself ends.  Again, the Stand goes quite a ways past the events in Las Vegas that bring a deadly end to Flagg.  But King is interested in the characters and takes time to tell us what happens to them.  I appreciate this style. King did much the same thing with IT.  Even after the monster is dead, we want to know what happened to Bill and take joy as he rides off on Silver.  (I'm being vague about the ending of IT on purpose).

There are times when King's heavy character development makes the novel too heavy.  "Where is this going?" the reader asks.  I find Lisey's Story hard to read, but am anxious to someday find the magic there.

I think King's best novels employ both gripping plot and sympathetic characters.  Dolores Claiborne is an example of strong plot and strong characters.  Gerald's Game, however, is so character heavy if fails to move at the speed the reader really needs  it to.  It takes a deeper commitment on the readers part to keep going after the first thirty pages of this book.

King often drops characters into wild situations and then lets them hash it out.  This is the case with The Mist, Under The Dome, Desperation.

To read and enjoy Stephen King you have to be willing to give him room to tell a story.  If you don't want to do that, there are the novella's and short stories.  The Body, The Mist, Blockade Billy -- and they are some of my favorites.  But there is something deeply satisfying about a good -- long -- read.  Stephen King often gives us that pleasure.

So, just for fun. . .
1. What novel contains your favorite plot?
2. Who is your favorite character in a SK novel?
3. What King novel most successfully weaves character and plot?
Go ahead, answer them.  It's Monday. . . we all know you look more busy at work typing away.

Me: The Stand  / Dolores Claiborne / 11/22/63