WSJ

In honor of Dick Cheney’s recent op-ed piece on Iraq, and because I know you’re all busy and there’s so much to read out there I’m offering a round up of four other editorial voices heard around the world in recent weeks. There’s nothing like a self-… Read full post »

 

 

x men

 

Enough with the X-men movies, already! There was one trilogy, then a prequel, than a bunch of unwatchable Wolverine pictures and now they've mashed the Wolverine, the prequels and the sequels into one giant steaming savory X-men Paella for us to gorge ourselves… Read full post »

MAY 19, 2014 10:12PM

Attrition

 

obit

A friend of mine died last Saturday.

This won’t be an obituary; I’m not qualified to write one. I never knew his whole life story, just the part of it that touched my own. But Ken Cross had a big place in that life and his deathRead full post »

MAY 17, 2014 10:15AM

In Storage

storage

 

The twenty-by-fourteen storage locker holds the last of my mother’s itinerant belongings. They accompanied her from her house in Connecticut to her apartment in Los Angeles and then up to Grass Valley when she remarried in her sixties. After her husband’s death these nomadRead full post »

MARCH 3, 2014 3:19PM

Oscar Night

 

 


          The Academy Awards hit a new low last night, with Ellen Degeneres taking selfies with the stars and ordering in pizza. It was more like a slumber party, or an episode of her own daytime talk show, than the Oscars. It wasn’tRead full post »

JANUARY 2, 2014 12:32PM

Under The Hood II: A New Ending


 
 
 
dalton2
 
So I had everything mapped out. The concept seemed to work. Now all I had to do was write the scenes themselves. 
 
Here they are ...
 
 

 

Chapter Twenty-Eight

“Don’t Fuck This Up.”

 

Two weeks later, after… Read full post »

DECEMBER 29, 2013 2:36PM

The Fountain of Youth

 

fountain

This is it! I found it! The fabled Fountain of Youth!  Long sung by bards and visionaries from Herodotus to Prester John, prized by Ponce de Leon ... but never glimpsed by modern man ... Until today!

That's the good news. The bad news takes the form of two… Read full post »

 

                      Ruth

 

 

So I had just finished my Big Book, the father-son family drama that started as a novella in 1976 and became a screenplay two years later. The story of Harlan and Robert Mallory went through… Read full post »

 

 mags

 

As most people know by now, J.K. Rowling recently published a mystery novel, under the pseudonym John Galbraith. Like roughly half a million other people, I bought The Cuckoo’s Calling as soon as the ruse went public. I read the first hundred pages, and that’s/Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 12:40PM

Nantucket Sawbuck excerpt.

Nantucket_FrontCover_ jt final

 

 

By a diabolical sequence of accidents and unforeseen circumstances, Mike Henderson's desperate last-minute trip from Nantucket to New York City, undertaken to save his marriage, winds up making him the one suspect in a major murder investigation with an obvious motive, great oppRead full post »

AUGUST 27, 2013 9:33AM

The Devil's Tale, Part One

 deal devil

 

No one goes to Heaven.

 That’s the first thing you have to understand. The average Joe who sells his soul to me was never getting upstairs anyway. Okay, okay, we get some exceptions. The occasional oddball rich girl who goes into social work because she “wants tRead full post »

MAY 21, 2013 3:29PM

Purgatory at Cumberland Farms

  cumbies

 

We now have brand new Cumberland Farms store on the small island where I live, and I have come to the conclusion that it’s the most depressing place on earth. The original outlet on the edge of town had a bodega-like quality, an inviting shabbiness. The  seedy summer… Read full post »

 

 Kissinger

This is a true story, from an inside source, and a useful template for working on your own writing.

 

So, Henry Kissinger calls in one of his aides and asks for a status report on the Allende regime in Chile. This is sometime in 1971. The kid… Read full post »

MARCH 14, 2013 8:41PM

A Satisfactory Conclusion

 

brushes

 

So you might be wondering how an unknown, thirty year old high school art teacher landed a one-man show at the venerable and exclusive Barudsky Gallery on Madison Avenue, leaping effortlessly over the thousands of aspiring artists rejected there every year and alighting like aRead full post »

plot

 

 

 

Law of Plot: Let situations and characters expand to explain their behavior and the events of the story. The character needs some specialized knowledge suddenly, in Chapter 10? Now you know what he studied in grad school. And that he went to grad school in theRead full post »

MARCH 7, 2013 10:28AM

Craft Notes for Writers #1

  writing

 

As I was working this morning I recognized a small significant fact about narrative writing in general: any description or aphorism gains tremendous value when it’s attributed rather than merely expressed by the narrator.

It’s like the matching funds in a PBS fund dRead full post »

MARCH 1, 2013 6:43PM

Love at 60

                   

 kiss

                            &nbsRead full post »

FEBRUARY 24, 2013 9:58AM

Big Night

 

guggenheim  

 

 

I was finishing my mother’s portrait when my father’s show began.

I had lost track of time. I was so close to the end, I could ‘smell the barn’ as Mom used to say. She always told me it was easy getting her horse to gallopRead full post »

FEBRUARY 17, 2013 11:41PM

Chance and Ambition on Downton Abbey

 

  MM

Matthew and Mary Crawley, in happier days

 

The season finale of Downton Abbey, which aired on PBS last night, was shown at Christmas in England and ruined the holiday for the whole country. Old fashioned letters poured in, along with angry e-mails and distraught/Read full post »

FEBRUARY 10, 2013 11:30AM

Seize the Night

 

Demoiselles

 

 

The night before his four-decade retrospective exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, Harlan Mallory was standing on a deserted Nantucket beach, under high cold stars and a waning moon, dousing his portrait of Ruth with gasoline.

He had been working on theRead full post »

FEBRUARY 8, 2013 9:17AM

The Real Weather channel: A Daydream

nemo

 

 

 

Watching Stephanie Abrams, Mike Bettes and Jim Cantore hyping the modest snowfall they’re calling Winter Storm Nemo this morning, I had a vision of a kinder, gentler and less hysterical weather channel, that didn’t try to exaggerate every minor weather eventRead full post »

FEBRUARY 7, 2013 5:25PM

Welcome to the Future

 

 

  Roc Center

 Th is is Part Four of NOWHERE MAN,  my deal-with-the-Devil, time travel romantic adventure movie.

For Part Three, and farther back -- follow the link:

http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_axelrod/2013/02/02/when_nick_meets_nick

 

EXT. MOLLOY HOUSE - NIGHT
Li… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 2, 2013 9:27PM

The Hyping of Downton Abbey

 

  Downton

 

Early in the third season of this extraordinary show – now airing on PBS – Lord Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham’s American mother-in -law arrives at the venerable estate for her grand-daughter Mary’s wedding. A small culture war erupts between theRead full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2013 12:23PM

When Nick Meets Nick

Here's a link to Part 2, which contains a link to part 1 ...

http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_axelrod/2013/01/31/a_deal_with_the_devil

  Digitech

 

EXT. DIGITEC INDUSTRIES -DAY. ESTABLISHING
SUPER: November, 2003
A glittering modern building, all white concrete and tinted glass, rises out of… Read full post »

JANUARY 31, 2013 6:44AM

A Deal With the Devil

 

 

 

Devil's laptop

This is part two of Nowhere Man. For Part One, click here:

http://open.salon.com/blog/steven_axelrod/2013/01/30/nowhere_man_part_one 

 

NICK
No, no, wait a second. Hold on. I can’t -- I -- this is nuts. This is some kind of ... I don’t know. Whate… Read full post »