Monthly Archives: May 2007

Location, Location, Location!

No one was happy when the backhoes, chainsaws and earth shoving people showed up at the wooded area across from the old marina along the Georgetown riverbank in Jacksonville last year. My phone started ringing off the hook and emails dove into my inbox faster than a Peregrine Falcon pursuing a meal. People were desperately pleading for someone to do something — mainly, make it stop! Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything I or anyone else could do but stand and watch, that is, if you had the stomach for it. The land, bought by a ‘well known’ in town, was being cleared to make way for million dollar views from the “to-be constructed” waterfront homes. It’s happening in too many places to count, especially along the coast. The pristine habitat, home to deer, fox, turtles, cottontails, opossums, raccoons, ducks, and every song and sea bird indigenous to North Carolina, including the river hunting Osprey, one of the largest birds of prey in North America, was being ripped apart to create a blank canvas convenient for builders. It was a slow lingering death for the once wooded area that provided shelter and food for so many animals and absolute joy for wildlife enthusiasts. When movement across the river stopped, all that remained was the single Osprey pole at the edge of the bank. Some folks found comfort knowing that at least we still have them; our Sea Hawks, who have nested on that pole and fished the New River for decades. We’ve watched many an Osprey fledgling make their first flight from that pole. But . . . one day the pole was there and the next day it was gone, with no sign that it had ever been there, and no one admitted seeing it come down. The absence of the Osprey pole was the last straw for the battered nature lovers. They created an uproar so beautiful it moved me to tears. The habitat destructionists explained what happened as accidental, and that’s the story they’re sticking to. “The nest just fell down.” Those who lost sleep over the Osprey issue have a hard time believing the accident story. Most think the innocent pole became a thorn in the new landscape owner’s unappreciative eye. To appease those incensed by the loss, the earthmovers erected a new pole and built a flat wooden platform on top. Bolstering the gesture, they affixed a web-cam to one arm of the platform supports, affording the opportunity for community residents and school children to witness the eggs hatching and the rearing of Osprey babies, IF they did indeed return to their old nest site. Ospreys are quite used to refurbishing their last year’s nest, but whether the Osprey pair would accept the new manmade structure and choose to rebuild, we’d just have to wait and see. Spring came and human eyes were set on that pole every day. Finally, a lone Osprey was sighted standing on the platform. A few days later there were two. I’ve heard realtors say over the years, “the three key considerations for choosing a home are location, location and location!” It must be true. Observing the Osprey couple, which mates for life, construct a new nest stick by choppy stick (although unfortunate they had to) was heart warming and gave the caring community’s modest voice something to cheer about.

There are now eggs, splotchy and the color of cinnamon, in the nest. Soon we’ll see baby Osprey heads poking above the twigs looking for their mom or dad on the wing, anticipating the delivery of a fresh catch to the nest, maybe a tasty menhaden. The sky will again sing the tune of short, chirping whistles of Osprey babies begging for a fishmeal; signaling a little something is still right with our world.

Linda Bergman-Althouse

author of Save Them All”

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles, Blogroll, Essays, Writing

El Adios por Gema Moraleja Paz (Gen-möra)

El adiós


El adiós no es una despedida

siempre lejana, o tal vez

por los años olvidada,

es un hasta pronto

que se traslada en el tiempo

y abrazamos por el miedo

el silencio, y recurro a ti

como una hoja húmeda

acurrucada en los huecos

profundos del alma,

dejándose arrastrar a veces

por el suave frescor del



Suspiro profundamente

y ahondo más en los

sentimientos ajenos,

se plasman en la carne

como un tatuaje maldito

de cordura caliente

que desprende olor

a romero.


A lo lejos una silueta

desgajada por los

años, dolida y carcomida

por el sufrimiento, busca

apoyo en las piedras

del camino, surcando

su destino, como el árbol

arraigado a su propia existencia

que todos los otoños

elimina las hojas secas

así como el hombre

borra sus recuerdos

renovando sus fuerzas

con la brisa de la

primavera, que poco

a poco en sus sueños

dormidos… despierta.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poemas, Poesia, Poetry

El mar rojo de tus ojos por gema moraleja paz

El Mar Rojo de tus ojos


Ensangrentada te he

visto, sumida en una

desesperante agonía,

no estés triste, todo es

temporal en esta vida.

Quítate el hielo, despierta

no dejes que maya te

atrape en su red de terciopelo.


Eres más que tus ojos

eres más que tu cuerpo

eres más que tu llanto

eres más que tu pelo.


No dejes que nadie te

asuste, ni te convenzan

de que no existes.

Haz saber al mundo

que tu espacio está

cubierto de

ideas que tus miembros

están vivos y que tu estás



Dale oportunidad

al pobre, ayuda

al sediento, no

escatimes nada,

el tiempo es solo tiempo.

En este plano existe

el tiempo, pero nos

reiríamos si nos viéramos

desde afuera a nosotros

mismos comportándonos

como idiotas. Nos aver-

gonzaríamos de la necedad

que nos rodea, de la

estupidez que nos persigue

creemos ser más que otros

tenemos el mismo traje

con diferentes tallas, tenemos

la misma muerte con diferentes

finales, tenemos el mismo inicio

en el nacimiento.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poemas, Poesia, Poetry

Writing Television History: Which Shows to Write About

I recently completed a virtual tour for my book Thirty Years of The Rockford Files, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Rockford Files (NBC, 1974-1980) – an important show in the history of television, as well as an important chapter in the life and career of Emmy-winning actor James Garner. An interviewer for a writer’s website, noting that I’d also written a history of Garner’s other landmark television series, Maverick (ABC, 1957-1962), asked me if there were any criteria I looked for in determining which television shows I wrote about, or whether I simply picked shows or actors I happened to like.  

It was an interesting question, and I thought I’d share my response with you.  

If you’re thinking of pitching a book on a particular television show, or a kind of television show, it helps to think in terms of (1) how it changed television when it was originally on, and (2) how it continues to shape television today. Rockford Files was the first show to introduce humor to police and private detective shows, which paved the way for shows like Magnum, p.i. and Simon and Simon in the ’80s, and Monk and The Closer today.

Rockford was also one of the first shows to comment on social issues and controversial news stories within the confines of episodic television – a device Dick Wolf has since perfected for the past 17 years with the various Law and Order shows. Plus,
Rockford was the show that put David Chase on the map as a writer and producer. In fact, a character Chase introduced in a
Rockford episode from 1977 later served as the inspiration for Tony Soprano, the central character of Chase’s hit series The Sopranos 

In the case of Maverick, Maverick was a show that changed Westerns, just as Rockford changed private eye shows. Maverick was also the show that made Roy Huggins a major player in the television industry. Roy Huggins created and produced Maverick; he also created The Fugitive, 77 Sunset Strip, and The ABC Movie of the Week, all of which changed the face of television. Besides co-creating Rockford Files and producing the pilot and the show’s first season, Roy produced many hours of television for Universal Studios throughout the ’60s and ’70s, including such popular shows as Run For Your Life and Alias Smith and Jones, as well as acclaimed miniseries like Captains and the Kings, based on the best-selling novel by Taylor Caldwell, and one of the first successful miniseries in TV history. Roy also mentored people like Stephen J. Cannell, who under Roy’s tutelage went on to become one of the most successful producers in television history. So that makes Maverick an important show beyond its place among TV Westerns, and Rockford Files an important show among private detective series.    

Then there’s the whole James Garner factor. Garner is a bona fide television icon. Maverick was the show that made Garner a household name. Jim is one of the few actors whose audience spans three different generations. Baby Boomers remember him as Bret Maverick. People who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s know him as Jim Rockford. Young people today know him as Grandpa Jim on 8 Simple Rules. To enjoy that kind of longevity, and to have that kind of broad appeal for so long a period of time, is a pretty remarkable thing.  

Those are the highfalutin reasons. But as we writers know, if you’re going to pitch a book, any book, you also have to think in terms of marketing.   If you’re going write a history of a classic television series, it’s wise to choose one that is either still widely shown in syndication, such as Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, The Andy Griffith Show, Magnum or I Love Lucy, or at least widely available on tape or DVD. In the case of Rockford Files, I had both things going for me. Plus Rockford is also a show like Lucy or Andy Griffith in that it has never really left television. Reruns of
Rockford have played constantly all over the world for over 30 years. From a marketing standpoint, that tells a publisher there’s definitely an audience out there that is potentially interested in reading a book about the history of The Rockford Files. If you can come up with ways of reaching that audience above and beyond traditional bookstore sales, you stand a good chance of convincing a publisher to publish that book. 

Ed Robertson   

1 Comment

Filed under Articles, Authors on Tour, Books & Authors Carnival, Books Carnival, Entries by Ed Robertson, Essays, Nonficition, Publishing, The Writing Life, Writing

Buzz Building for THE THIEF MAKER

I am reposting the following from my official blog:

I am including it here at the Book’s Den as an invite for anyone with a book club in the Philadelphia/South Jersey region that enjoys mysteries/suspense/pyschological thrillers.  I, David H. Schleicher, would be willing to entertain any offer to come meet with a local group in this area to sign copies and discuss my novel The Thief Maker.  Feel free to contact me through the Book’s Den or my official blog.



Upon just arriving home from vacation (stay tuned for an upcoming travel log), I’ve learned that THE THIEF MAKER is now “in-stock” at some additional Barnes & Noble locations in the greater Philadelphia area.

In addition to being in stock and on the shelves at the Marlton and Moorestown, New Jersey locations, steady sales mean my novel will now also be in stock at the Deptford, New Jersey location and also in the Philadelphia and Valley Forge locations in Pennsylvania.  If you go to any of these locations to pick up a copy and they are out of stock, tell them to order more.  It means a local author is selling and they should jump on the bandwagon.

Thanks to all who are helping my grass-roots campaign to turn THE THIEF MAKER into a success!  If you are among those who live in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area and have not been able to purchase a copy because you prefer not to shop on-line, now you have no reason not to get a copy!

A Novel

An ambitious, intricately structured novel that resonates with emotion and suspense,” heralds Daniel Jolley, an Top 50 Reviewer.

“Schleicher has done a good job of creating a mystery that is mysterious, thought-provoking, entertaining, and sometimes shocking,” hails Joe Graham from

Purchase Now from Barnes and Noble

Purchase Now from

1 Comment

Filed under Annoucements, Authors on Tour, Book, Book Club Suggestions, Book Signings, Books & Authors Carnival, Books Carnival, Fiction, New Book Release, Press Releases


On Characterization

Recently, I attended a conference and spent some time with a publisher/editor. She suggested that I repeat the presentation on characterization that I gave the year before at this same conference. She receives lots of manuscripts from authors who’d like to be published. One thing she says that she finds wrong with too many of the submissions, is lack of good characterization.

Because I’ve judged many contests, taught writing classes and belong to a critique group, I’ve seen this same problem all too often.

First, it’s important that each character has a name that suits him or her, and is right for the time period. The author should know more about each one than height, weight, hair and eye color. When writing about the character, reminders about the person’s looks should be given from time to time. That can be done instead of a dialogue tag sometimes. For instance: Molly twisted a long, red curl between her fingers before she answered. Then the dialogue would follow.

The same sort of thing can be done with action, such as: Mrs. Bettancort plopped her ample derriere down on the couch, making it sag in the middle and the pillows popping upward.

It’s not necessary to get carried away, but adding these little bits and pieces about your characters will make them seem real to the reader, not just a name on the page.

There has to be a reason for each character to be in the novel. Whether or not they are a main character or someone who just pops in for a moment, he or she must have a purpose to further the plot along. Important characters should have a history. Bits and pieces of that history may be revealed throughout the story–or not. But the author needs to know what made the character the person he or she is at this point in life.

When characters are talking to one another, they need to be someplace. Too often a new writer will forget to let the reader know where the conversation is taking place. No one character should monopolize the conversation, unless this is something the author is doing on purpose to let us know that this is a flaw this person has. Listen and watch when people are talking together, they interrupt each other, the move about, their facial expressions change. All these things can be used to reveal something about the character just as much as the dialogue.

In order to make characters as interesting as possible, the hero and heroine should have some flaws and the villain some good qualities. Besides having problems to solve, there should be some change come over the protagonist by the end of the book.

For me, the easiest way to know what is happening to my heroine, is to crawl inside her, see through her eyes, feel what she feels emotionally and by touch, smell what she’s smelling and experiencing what she’s experiencing. That way, I can write a credible scene.

Marilyn Meredith, author of Calling the Dead. Coming soon, Judgment Fire.

1 Comment

Filed under The Writing Life, Writing

Boda entre el cielo y la tierra…. por Gema Moraleja Paz

Hace mucho tiempo existio una historia que fue pasando de generacion en generacion  como en casi todos los cuentos e historias del Planeta Tierra……los humanos pasaban las historias de boca en boca, de familiar en familiar,etc…. y conservaban hasta la muerte los secretos mejor guardados del Universo y el Cosmos.

Aramiel, cambio el curso de la historia cuando un dia su abuela decide mandarlo de Nigeria a Londres con sus tios por parte de la madre…..y se lleva en su maleta unicamente un dibujo de su tribu para mirarlo por las noches y acordarse mirando a traves de su ventana de su pueblo natal y de sus mejores amigos lucume y aratoma……

Las calles de Londres son muy anchas y con casas victorianas tan bonitas!!!,penso. Voy a dar una vuelta por el barrio a ver que puedo encontrarme.quizas puedo hacer amigos de colores penso divertido!!!, es curioso como la gente no piensa nunca en la variedad del planeta y la de cosas que podemos aprender unos de otros escuchandonos….de lejos algo brillo en el suelo parecia una moneda alargada,pero no hay monedas alargadas en londres, al menos que yo sepa..por lo que me han contado mis primos. Se acerco a la moneda de plastico alargada y se la guardo en elo bolsillo…


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized