Monthly Archives: May 2008


Porque siento,
temblor apresado
de olas, sediento.
Porque extraño,
penumbra nocturna
que anuncia desvelos.
Porque amo,
mece la luna
silencios de mar.


El autor:
*Son “POEMÁGENES”, (c) Luis Tamargo.-

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New book by Will Durst skewers partisan politics from every angle

We mostly think of Will Durst as a stand-up comic, radio personality (his talk show with Willie Brown is back as a podcast via and political satirist nonpareil. But he’s had his share of odd jobs – 103, to be exact. Why so many? “I have always, still have and probably forever will have an eensy-weensy, teeny-tiny, itty-bitty problem with authority,” Durst confesses in his new book, The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing. “Of course, I was always aiming for Big-Time Headlining Comedian, for which there is no apprenticeship program, and it was necessary to keep my nights free.”Durst is at his edgy best in All-American Sport, a witty collection of short riffs that skewer partisan politics from every conceivable angle. I had a chance to chat with him last week for The Wave Magazine; click here for the complete article.

Ed Robertson


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Filed under Annoucements, Book, Book Reviews, Contributor Authors, Entries by Ed Robertson, In the News, New Book Release, Nonficition, Writing

New on DVD: “Great Writers: William Faulkner”

You know how some people like to say that you can never learn anything from watching television? Well, the folks at Kultur Entertainment have put together a series of documentaries that proves that adage wrong. Called the Great Writers Series, these 45-minute films take viewers behind the scenes of the life and times of some of the greatest novelists of the 20th century, including Truman Capote, John Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams, and William Faulkner. In fact, Great Writers: William Faulkner is now available on DVD. Featuring insightful commentary, archival documents and rare interviews, it’s a thought-provoking look at Faulkner’s life, as well as the politics and social events that helped shape his writing.  

Ed Robertson




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Filed under Annoucements, Contributor Authors, Entries by Ed Robertson, Fiction, Literature, Reading, Writing

Not fade away…

As a writer, I often wonder if my work will ever take on the significance of books like those among our classic novels such as The Grapes of Wrath, Romeo & Juliet, or even Of Mice and Men.  In my last post here at the Book’s Den, I discussed how depressing many of the classic novels tended to be an what my recommendations would be for required reading.  Since then, I’ve wondered if my little mystery series will even be on a shelf within a few decades.  I work at a library and in watching how we weed out our inventory, I began to feel a little insignificant.

I go through the shelves of our “Popular Authors” collection and pull all books that are over two years old.  From there, they go into our general fiction section or into the genre section that best fits the book.  After a while, someone else goes through and weeds the general sections and that person determines what will stay on our shelves and what will go into storage.  Depending on how often a book is circulated, the book may find itself in the general collection for many years.  Books like mine, however, may find themselves in the dungeon before they’ve really had a chance to prove themselves.  It may take years for my series to catch on simply because it is not as widely marketed as books published by mainstream publishers.  So, what do I do?

Well, the short answer to that is that I keep the books on “life support.”  I create reasons for people to check the book out of the library such as contests which require finding certain passages in the book to win prizes.  I’ve considered contests which involved having the library patron send me their checkout receipt to show that they have checked out the book.  I think these are clever, non-traditional ways to get people to discover your work.  What other creative ways can an author “keep the fire burning?”  If you have suggestions or would like to share some of the more interesting ways you’ve promoted your writing, I’d love to hear your stories. 

Until next time…

Rebecca Benston

Author of the Rona Shively Stories Mystery Series

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The Public Safety Writers Association Conference

Las Vegas and the Public Safety Writers Association Conference has come and gone. Looking back, I feel it was a super conference. Numbers were low, but interestingly enough, no one complained about that, in fact it made it possible for everyone to really get acquainted with one another. Plenty of networking went on.

Murphy was in evidence even before we left home. I couldn’t find my Blackberry–with the cell number and email addy I’d given to everyone attending the conference. After searching everywhere we headed off to Las Vegas. The hotel was beautiful and we had our registration and opening get-acquainted party in a room on the second floor. Though not everyone made it that evening, there were enough of us to have an enjoyable evening and we were able to all go out to dinner together.

When we got back to our room I had a message from our next morning’s speaker that he wouldn’t make it until past his appointed time because he was suffering a migraine, which meant switching the program around, which I did. Also had a message from another attendee that she couldn’t arrive until the next afternoon.

The next a.m. I returned to the room we’d been in the night before, early since we expected more people to arrive and register. It was obvious something was amiss. The room was still set up with a bar. All of our gear was piled in a corner, far too much for me to carry. I found a woman in an office and asked where PSWA was meeting. We were still on the second floor but in a room you couldn’t get to from where we were. It was necessary to go back downstairs and then up an escalator. I left a note on the table directing folks to the new room. The woman was kind enough to take me through back corridors that aren’t open to the public in order to get to the room I needed. That one was all set up for us.

I got on the hotel phone and called a few people, the others were on their own. Being cops, retired cops, and mystery writers, everyone used his/her detective skills and found the way. It was great to see friends from last year and make new ones. Our first speaker was Mary Montague Sikes who told us about using focus and branding to promote our books. She did a great job, especially since she had to fill a different time slot that she’d expected.

Our keynote speaker at lunch was Stephen “Pista” Nassar, a Holocaust Survivor. He wrote about his harrowing experience when he and his brother were taken to Auschwitz as teenagers.

Every author gave an elevator pitch about his or her books.

We had a panel on writing for technical publications. Michele Perrin moderated and those on the panel were John Bellah, Tim Dees, and Keith Bettinger.

Other panels for the rest of the two days included Sunny Frazer showing us and telling us all about cover art, including what makes a good cover and what doesn’t.

Victoria Heckman and I gave a presentation on Writing Mysteries with the attendees helping us plan one. This turned out to be a hilarious exercise.

Billie Johnson, publisher at Oak Tree Press, and another publisher who kindly stepped in at the last minute told us what they are looking for in manuscripts.

Tim Dees gave demonstrated some computer tips.

Michael Mehas talked about characterization.

And oh yes, Murphy sent us on another hunt for our meeting room when they moved it once again.

Our final session on Sunday was given by Denny Griffin who co-authored Cullotta about the gangster, Frank Cullotta. As a surprise, the FBI agent who watched over Cullotta after he turned state’s evidence, told us about the difficulties of keeping the gangster safe before he testified.

The writing contest awards were given out and the authors caravanned to the Cheesecake and Crime bookstore for a joint signing. The store was wonderful–a great way to end our conference.

Murphy disappeared. When I arrived home, I found my Blackberry.

My next conference is Mayhem in the Midlands in Omaha in a couple of weeks. I’m not in charge of anything, just going as an author to see old friends and fans, hopefully make some new friends, and just have fun. I’ll be leaving Murphy behind.


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Hacía rato que se habían acabado las gasas, la enfermera le enjugó el sudor de la frente con un pañuelo de papel usado. El médico manipuló el costado del hombre y pidió más sutura…
– …La última caja, doctor. –apuntó la enfermera.
Cuando acabó la intervención se volvió hacia ella con tono de eficiencia:
-Vigila el drenaje y cámbiale el suero…
Apenas acabó de pronunciar estas palabras cuando un disparo certero hizo añicos el espejo colgado junto al gran ventanal, que también terminó por venirse abajo del todo en mil pedazos. La enfermera corrió de un salto tratando de salvar las dos botellas de suero que reposaban en la vitrina debajo del espejo, pero llegó demasiado tarde. El médico gritó tajante mientras se agachaba:
-¡Al suelo, no os mováis!
Una nueva racha de disparos se sucedió, esta vez más continuados. Llevaban cinco largos días sometidos al tortuoso asedio de un francotirador que, sin ningún escrúpulo, mantenía a raya los restos de aquel gabinete médico que fue incapaz de seguir a la población en su huída desesperada ante los tanques invasores. Las tropas enemigas no tardarían en llegar con su demoledor rastro de destrucción y, mientras, el francotirador constituía la avanzadilla que aseguraba el camino abierto con su tarea de limpieza mortal.
El doctor había conocido otras guerras, pero no establecía distinciones entre ellas; para él todas eran iguales, una oportunidad para demostrar que sólo triunfa la vida. El pasillo de aquel puesto abandonado era una muestra, plagado de enfermos y heridos que reclamaban la atención con sus lamentos. Sin embargo, nada se podía ya demostrar a los cuerpos de quienes no se quejaban, las balas se habían encargado de callarles para siempre.
El sacerdote del hospital se acercó hasta él a rastras y, desoyendo el gesto de detenerse, continuó aproximándose hasta la entrada de la puerta principal… El silbido de una bala asesina le advirtió de cuál era el límite. Afuera, al otro lado de la calle, una pareja de ancianos acompañada de dos niñas y de un joven muchacho se ocultaban de la lluvia de disparos entre las columnas de los soportales a la espera del momento favorable para cruzar a salvo hasta el puesto médico.
-Esa pobre gente no puede salir de ahí… -exclamó con impotencia.
El médico ya los había observado antes a través del sucio y destrozado ventanal, pero bastante tenía con tratar de solventar las heridas de los que llegaban a sus manos con aquella escasez de medios. Sí, a veces creía que se trataba de algún milagro, pero no podía permitirse tregua alguna…
-Hay que seguir, tráigame al siguiente, señorita…
La enfermera gateó por el suelo y se incorporó, aprovechando el breve descanso que el francotirador les otorgaba. Regresó al poco con una camilla donde un soldado extendía su pierna engangrenada; antes había chillado de dolor y, aunque ahora desvanecido, la chica consideró apropiado dedicarle a él la última jeringa de anestesia disponible.
De pronto, el sacerdote lanzó un grito desgarrador llevándose las manos a la cabeza, todavía tumbado en el suelo. El joven del edificio cercano había intentado cruzar la calle cuando un proyectil le alcanzó de lleno… Los niños chillaban histéricos, abrazados a la anciana, mientras el anciano intentaba ocultarles la vista del desagradable aspecto del muchacho muerto, hecho un ovillo sobre el reguero de sangre que brotaba bajo sus pies.
-…¡Dios! ¡Nunca podrán pasar…! -se lamentó el sacerdote, al tiempo que retrocediendo, se dirigió a las escaleras del pasillo.
El doctor venía escuchando desde hacía rato los quejidos lastimeros de una mujer que se había puesto de parto. Iba a ocuparse del muchacho de la gangrena en la pierna, pero enseguida comprobó que sufría una hemorragia interna y cambió de planes…
-¡Traéme a esa mujer, rápido! -exigió con determinación- …¿Y el sacerdote, dónde anda, lo necesito aquí?…
-Lo ví en las escaleras que suben a la azotea… -acertó a explicar la enfermera reaccionando con rapidez. Acto seguido, la muchacha se concentró a fondo y consiguió calmar a la parturienta, le aseguraba que todo iba a salir bien, que ahora estaban con ella. La mujer siguió cada una de sus indicaciones al pie de la letra, aunque con el miedo clavado en el rostro mientras el doctor la exploraba. No pudo escuchar el resto de sus palabras porque otra repentina ráfaga de disparos se sucedió sin pausa, apretó los ojos y sólo se preocupó de respirar y empujar, respirar y empujar. Nadie podía oirse, el ruido de las balas se elevaba por encima de los gritos que provenían del pasillo y de la calle; uno de los impactos perforó la cabecera metálica de la camilla, pero el médico no tembló al sostener al recién nacido en sus brazos… El niño lloraba con fuerza, con exagerado estruendo ahora que los disparos habían cesado.
El doctor se giró hacia la puerta cuando la pareja de ancianos cruzaba la entrada con las niñas y, entregando la criatura a su madre, se dirigió al sacerdote que, cabizbajo, descendía de la azotea por las escaleras. Cuando el sacerdote posó el fusil en un rincón lateral del pasillo le preguntó sin poder dar crédito a la escena…
-¿Pero, …¿qué ha hecho?
-¡Que Dios me perdone! -suplicó el sacerdote con el gesto hundido- …Pero no matarás…
El doctor comprendió que por fin aquel francotirador no volvería a molestarles, que podrían seguir trabajando por la vida y pasó su brazo sobre los hombros de aquel hombre abatido en un intento por contener el dolor de su contradicción. Todos escucharon el llanto del recién nacido que inundaba la sala, que se extendía por cada rincón de los pasillos de aquel puesto en ruinas y que recorría cada una de las esquinas de las calles de la población con su música de esperanza. Incluso, por un instante, a algunos les pareció reconocer la canción de la vida que había decidido volver. Por fin podían escuchar el latido de su música en los corazones.

El autor:
*Es Una Colección “Son Relatos”, (c) Luis Tamargo.-

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