George Kennedy–RIP

Sad news: Oscar-winning actor George Kennedy has passed away.

I know he was in a lot of great movies, but his work as the comic foil for Leslie Nielsen in the Naked Gun flicks was hilarious. Those comedies wouldn’t have been as funny without George Kennedy in them.

I’ll post a scene from the first film, but if you like funny movies, watching the whole series is a must. Notice Kennedy’s strong comic timing. He meshes really well with Nielsen; even as the lines get really wacky, there’s never a missed beat between the two actors.

What’s even better is that both men based their acting careers on being cast as Hollywood tough guys. The fact that Kennedy (and Nielsen) could play that hard-boiled cop act for laughs was really cool.

RIP

Book Review: “Greetings From Gravipause” By Brian Bradford

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“Greetings From Gravipause” by Brian Bradford on Amazon

Love, much like gravity, is one of the more powerful forces in the universe.  But like gravity, love has the power to both attract and repel.  That’s the starting point for Brian Bradford’s debut novel “Greetings From Gravipause“.

Following film director Jean-Luc Godard’s maxim (‘A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order.’) Bradford bounces across time and space spinning the tale of ‘Brian Bradford’, his semi-autobiographical narrator.  From Colorado to Jersey City to Osaka, Bradford’s protagonist wends his way through various incarnations–teacher, bartender, lover, husband, son–all the while confronted with love’s capacity to draw people together or whip them apart.

In between obliterating a kitchen appliance with a high-powered rifle and pondering the significance of Venus as it eclipses the Sun, Bradford takes the reader on a lyrical road trip through fifty years of an literate, acerbic and flawed man’s life.  Part stream of consciousness, part improv skit, part impressionistic pastiche (often within a single paragraph) Bradford asks the reader to both mourn the narrator’s tragic broken relationships and then laugh at his hazy barstool revelations.

To be sure, this is all very heady stuff. Had it gone awry, “Greetings From Gravipause” could’ve become a very self-conscious labor.  Bradford’s gift is being able to craft non-linear narrative and other unconventional storytelling elements in a seamless fashion.   ‘Gravipause’ couldn’t have been told any other way.

What is even more amazing is that this comes from a debut novel.  With “Greetings From Gravipause” Brian Bradford doesn’t just run out of the starting gate, he launches forward with gusto.  So get a hold of “Greetings From Gravipause” today, then pour yourself a Negroni and enjoy the show.

MORE:  Welcome Facebook visitors!  Check out my blog and definitely check out my new novel, Night Breaks Into Day.  Have a terrific day!

Some News On “Night Breaks Into Day”

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Long story short–Amazon took down a bunch of the reviews for “Night Breaks Into Day”. That was…perturbing…to say the least. When I asked them why, they gave me a corporate non-answer answer. Okee dokee, I guess.
 
In any case, if you have reviewed “NBID” on Amazon and it got taken down, please re-submit it. Also, if you’d like to review my novel and you want it to actually stick, here’s the “NBID” page on a site called GoodReads. It’s a pretty cool place to review books and also to find neat books to read. Over the next few days, I’ll start posting those GoodReads reviews here and out on other social media.
 
Sorry for any inconvenience. Believe me, I didn’t take down those Amazon reviews. Also, thanks to all of you who read “Night Breaks Into Day”. Your kind words and generosity are really encouraging. It all just makes me want to create more great stories for you all to enjoy.
 
Have a terrific day!
 
TS Millheim

BREAKING NEWS: Pre-Republican Debate Endorsement From One Of The Candidates

Look, I think its clear that “Night Breaks Into Day” is a total game changer. My new thriller has been endorsed by wild animals, fictional characters, beer salesman and History Channel Fake-History Historians. “Night Breaks Into Day”, with it’s eclectic mix of multi-faceted characters, unpredictable plot and kinetic action, has resonated with the broad swath of the reading public.
 
Having said that, I am truly honored and blessed to get this brand-new, totally-not-fake positive review from the leading Republican rodeo clown…OOPS, I MEAN…candidate for President. I don’t how this person had the time to read my novel, but I’m glad he did. Here it is folks–the classiest, most luxurious book endorsement in the history of endorsing books:
Trump Endorsement

“Night Breaks Into Day”–Affecting People, Even In The Past

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Night Breaks Into Day-Amazon /\/\ Night Breaks Into Day-Smashwords

Since publishing “Night Breaks Into Day”, I’ve heard many compliments about the book.  Here’s a sample:

“Loved the mix of action and dialogue.”

The unpredictable plot really had me guessing.

“A female protagonist?  Wow, that’s pretty cool.”

“You wrote a book?  Sweet, I’ll get my crayons.”

In any case, it seems obvious that “Night Breaks Into Day” is not only entertaining the folks, but it’s changing the space-time continuum.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this message from a late-90’s era James Van Der Beek.

1990s Problems

So sad.

Don’t worry, Jimmy.  My novel is totally worth the wait.  Before you know it, you’ll be able to get “Night Breaks Into Day”–on Amazon or Smashwords–and all will be well with the world.

A Remembrance of September 11th 2001

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A Remembrance of September 11th 2001.

A recurring theme that runs across films, books and television is the portrayal of large-scale disasters. Destruction on a grand scale is a well-worn trope for many creators.  From rogue asteroids to nuclear war to earthquakes to undead hordes, the obliteration of cities and civilizations is quite common in our fictions.

Why do writers and film-makers show us scenes of massive devastation?  One reason is to show us how their characters react to the ruin within the confines of the tale.  And how do the characters in these sorts of stories react?  While not consistent across all disaster fiction, many times the author will depict people in their stories as panic-driven, cruel, venal and selfish.  During the destruction in these stories, it is not uncommon to see the absolute worst of human behavior.  If all you knew about human behavior came from depictions of people during fictional catastrophes, you’d think that men and women in real calamities were little more than barely-tamed animals.

On September 11th 2001, the people on the hijacked planes and in the buildings had many incentives to act with callous indifference towards their fellow Americans.  Instead, what we witnessed on that terrible day contradicted what many of us have seen in our make-believe worlds.  How many people knowingly sacrificed their lives trying to save others on 9/11? The numbers are staggering.

During the worst attack on American soil in our history, the heroes of Washington DC, New York City and Shanksville, Pennsylvania defied the expectations borne from our fictions–and by extension, many of our expectations for the real world.  September 11th showed us the reality of terrorism.  The attacks on America was the full flowering of evil.  But that monstrous villainy didn’t come from us.  When America found itself under attack, our fellow citizens didn’t embrace the darkness.  By and large, we lived up to our highest ideals on that terrible day.  For that, we can take great pride in being Americans.

Thanks to Defending America LLC

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Night Breaks Into Day-Amazon /\/\ Night Breaks Into Day-Smashwords

Firearms play a role in much of the action in “Night Breaks Into Day”.  In the prcoess of writing the various kinetic scenes in the book, I realized that I would need some assistance.  What are the capabilities of a particular round?  How would a certain gun operate in various conditions? How big a boom would this thing make?  These questions and more bounced around my head for a while. Getting those parts to feel real was very important to the structure of the novel.

I knew right where I could get the information I needed. Staff Sergeant Joshua Hammerstone (US Army, Retired) is a decorated veteran of the Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.  With his experiences in the field and his knowledge running Defending America, I knew he could answer all of my questions.  He did just that, taking the time to give me a greater understanding of what would work and what would be unrealistic in the various action sequences I had in “Night Breaks Into Day”.  Thanks again, Josh.

Most importantly, thank you for your service to our country.

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