Episode 327: Adrian Todd Zuniga!

Episode 327 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

In this week’s episode, I interview Adrian Todd Zuniga, the host of Literary Death Match, about how to plot a novel, and how he plotted his novel, Collision Theory.

Adrian Todd Zuniga

TEXT DISCUSSED

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NOTES

Check out my previous convo with Adrian back on Episode 190.


Episode 327 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

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The Curator of Schlock #236: 47 Meters Down

The Curator of Schlock #236 by Jeff Shuster

47 Meters Down

Mandy Moore in a shark cage.

July 2018 came and went, but brought with it a many splendid thing. Like the trailer for that new Aquaman movie. He’s not wearing the orange trunks, though. He could also do with a shave and a haircut if you ask me, but maybe he’ll work his way up to the Aquaman we know and love.

Still, what July didn’t give us was James Patterson’s The Zoo Season 4. How could they do this to me? In the finale of Season 3, an army of hybrids stormed the wall protecting the remnants of human civilization. I guess James Patterson was too busy palling around with former President Bill Clinton to be bothered to get on the horn with the head CBS to save the greatest summer show in the history of summer shows! James Paterson just doesn’t care. I’ll repeat.  James Patterson just doesn’t care.

But we care here at The Museum of Schlock. Don’t bother with TV shows. They’re a waste of time. Cinema is where it’s at. Tonight we’re watching 2018’s 47 Meters Down from director Johannes Roberts.

47A

It stars Mandy Moore and Matthew Modine. It’s about two sisters, Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate, having a fabulous vacation at a Mexican resort. Or they would be having a fabulous vacation if Lisa wasn’t moping about her ex-boyfriend. Apparently, he left Lisa because she was boring. Details weren’t giving, but I would hazard to guess it had something to do with Lisa’s refusal to wear the Raggedy Ann costume on their anniversary.

47B (1)

Kate and Lisa meet a couple of local boys who tell them of a crusty, old sailor who takes passengers out to the middle of the ocean, fits them with scuba gear, sticks them in cage, and dunks them in the water so they can see killer sharks up close. Lisa thinks this is dangerous, but Kate reminds Lisa of how boring she is and how boring girls don’t get the guy. Plus, if Lisa posts pictures of herself underwater in a shark cage, surely her ex-boyfriend will come running back to her.

47C (1)

The crusty, old sailor is played by Matthew Modine. His name is Captain Taylor. And unlike Captain Phillips, he remains the captain throughout the entire movie. There are no emaciated Somalia pirates trying to steal his vessel, mainly because it’s a hunk of junk. Captain Taylor asks them if they are certified scuba divers. Kate says she is. Lisa isn’t a certified scuba diver because being such a thing might make her less boring, but she lies and says she’s certified.

47D

After boarding the boat, Lisa has some trepidation about going into the cage since it’s rustier than her Spanish language skills. Captain Taylor insists that it’s safe.

A man named Javier (Hey, it’s my Spanish namesake!) proceeds to chum the water with rotten fish parts and blood. Lisa points out that it’s illegal to chum ocean water. Javier asks how else should he get the attention of the sharks? Should he call them? “Hey sharks!” he screams.

47E

Yes, we hate Javier at this point.

The girls get in the cage and under the sea they go. It’s a magical experience filled with blue luminescence, colorful fish, and aggressive sharks. And then the cage falls 47 meters down. I’m not trying to sound negative, but even Ethan Hunt couldn’t get out of this mess. FYI, this movie is actually adapted from Matthew Modine’s debut novel, Boring Girl Gonna Die in the Shark.


Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

Episode 326: Patrick Greene!

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Episode 326 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

Pat Greene Sunrail

In this week’s episode, I talk with the Orlando legend, Patrick Greene, about the power of being an autodidact, the importance of curiosity outside of one’s area of expertise, and the struggles of trying to live the life of a writer.

NOTES

To get some idea of Pat Greene’s influence, here’s a video featuring his 60th birthday celebration at the gallery earlier this year.


Episode 326 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

Buzzed Books #66: The Ghost Script

Buzzed Books #66 by Joshua Begley

Jules Feiffer’s The Ghost Script

The Ghost Script

Reading Jules Feiffer’s The Ghost Script (Liveright, 2018) will make you angry, and that’s a good thing.

Set in the 1950s in Hollywood during the House UnAmerican Activities Committee—also known as the Red Scare—also known as a farce that ruined many people’s lives—the story follows Archie Goldman, private eye and son of a Socialist (more on that in a moment) as he goes hunting for the titular ghost script—a thriller that tells the inside story of the blacklist. The script may not be real, but the possibility of its existence frightens many of the Hollywood elite.

While the hunt for the ghost script occupies much of the story, the graphic novel also ties up loose threads from the two previous entries in the “Kill My Mother” trilogy. I must confess that I hadn’t read the other two, but that didn’t hurt my comprehension or enjoyment of this piece. Feiffer, a student and collaborator with the great Will Eisner, pulls all of these threads together into a compelling, artful, and emotionally-moving private eye story in the vein of Chandler, Cain, and Hammett.

The Ghost Script Detail

As I said before, this story will make you angry. As Johnny Carson famously said, “The more things change, the more they remain insane,” and that certainly applies here. In his foreword, Feiffer writes that he hadn’t set out to make a political statement with this piece, but that he found he couldn’t separate the political implications from the story. Certainly, this isn’t a polemic text, but one can’t help but feel anger, outrage, and empathy for poor Archie and the people suffering under the blacklist.

One also can’t help but see the parallels between then and now: the political scapegoating of “the other,” the manner in which the people in power irresponsibly seed violence and hatred in the hearts of the populace, and the way that people act out on that hatred. The very first page shows Archie running away from a group of protestors because “One look at me and every right-wing union goon can smell my mother’s a Socialist.”

The more things change, the more they remain insane, indeed.

Goldman stands at the heart of all this, and he’s a fascinating, somewhat subversive character. He’s the Archie Goodwin to his mother’s Nero Wolfe. His mother, a proud Trotskyite, is the brains of the operation, and he’s the legs. He goes, gathers the information, gets beat up, and his mother puts the pieces together. He’s not a hard-drinker, a womanizer, or even particularly tough, and in many ways doesn’t fit the mold of the noir detective. By his own admission, he’s “wishy-washy.” He’s a sad, sometimes pathetic character, but also a very sympathetic one, and you root for him like you root for all underdogs.

Although it’s only 142 pages, The Ghost Script is surprisingly dense in terms of content and art. It’s a meaty read that will take you some time to get through, but like all sumptuous meals, it’s well worth the time to slow down and appreciate it. One can definitely see the influence of Eisner on Feiffer’s style, from point of view, panel arrangement, and character and setting designs. Feiffer’s style is a bit sloppier than Eisner’s, but it’s done on purpose. Even though it’s inked, the art looks like rough pencil sketches. Frankly, it shouldn’t work, but this is Jules Feiffer we’re talking about here, and he not only makes it work, he makes it work brilliantly.

Do yourself a favor and check this one out.


Joshiua Begley

Joshua Begley (Episode 284) teaches Creative Writing at Full Sail University. He has been published in Ghost Parachute, The Cut-Thru Review, and in the anthology Other Orlandos. He also writes reviews for The Fandom Post and Inside Pulse.

Episode 325: Abraham Smith!

Episode 325 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

In this week’s episode, I talk with the poet Abraham Smith about his latest release, the book-length work, Destruction of Man.

Abraham Smith

TEXT DISCUSSED

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NOTES

Check out the music of The Intoxicators!

Easter Eggs on Halloween


Episode 325 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

The Curator of Schlock #235: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom vs. Rampage

The Curator of Schlock #235 by Jeff Shuster

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom vs. Rampage

Why can’t scientists leave well enough alone?

We’re back with another versus column. I tried this last week with Death Wish (1974) and Death Wish (2018) with stellar results if I do say so myself. I had the pleasure of seeing two modern monster movies this month, 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom from director J. A. Bayona and 2018’s Rampage from director Brad Peyton.

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Both are worth seeing (Don’t be a snob!), but only one will emerge victorious. Let’s begin!

Chris Pratt vs. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

This is a tough one since I’ve got serious man-crushes on both of these actors. In Rampage, Dwayne Johnson plays Davis Okoye, a primatologist and former US Army special forces soldier. In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Chris Pratt plays a former US Navy officer and Velociraptor wrangler. I don’t think you need a PHD to be a Velociraptor wrangler. In Rampage, Dwayne Johnson is friends with an albino gorilla. In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdon, Chris Pratt is friend with a Velociraptor with a blue stripe on its back. In Rampage, Dwayne Johnson puts a sleeper hold on some guy who pees his pants as a result. In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Chris Pratt avoids getting burned alive by hot lava. I don’t know. Dwayne Johnson is a former WWE superstar from the Attitude Era. Chris Pratt starred on the CW’s Everwood with Treat Williams. Fail!

Winner: Rampage.

Bryce Dallas Howard vs. The Blonde Intern With the Mermaid Hair

Bryce Dallas Howard is a redhead.

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The blonde intern with the mermaid hair (Breanne Hill) is a blonde.

I’m a redhead. I have to support my people.

Winner: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Indoraptor vs. Ralph

The Indoraptor is a genetically engineered dinosaur made from the DNA of the Indominus Rex from the first Jurassic World movie. This is kind of a step down if you ask me. It’s basically a super raptor, and a prototype at that. Eh.

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Ralph is a mutated wolf with bat wings and he’s huge!

Winner: Rampage.

Dr. Henry Wu vs. Dr. Kate Caldwell

Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) is the evil scientist from the Jurassic World movies. He creates destructive, man-eating dinosaur hybrids in a lab for military applications.

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In Rampage, Dr. Kate Caldwell had her gene research stolen by the company she worked for. She hoped to use her research to cure diseases. The evil Energyne Corporation used her research to create monsters. I guess she really isn’t evil after all.

Winner: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Finale vs. Finale

The finale of Rampage takes place in the city of Chicago. Basically, the gigantic albino ape, the gigantic wolf, and the gigantic crocodile are wreaking havoc on the city, knocking down buildings, eating people, etc. The army is powerless to stop them. It all boils down to The Rock and his lady scientist friend to deliver the anti-mutagen to the mutated animals. The finale of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom takes place in the basement of a creepy mansion. The great Toby Jones is auctioning off dinosaurs to the highest bidder of some shady individuals. Not too impressive. If there was an Odessa group bidding on the dinosaurs in the hopes of creating a half raptor/half Hitler hybrid, this might have gotten interesting, but the laying waste to Chicago by a giant crocodile takes the biscuit.

Winner: Rampage.

Let’s tally the votes. Oh, looks like Rampage won. Well, there you have it. Rampage is the top monster movie of 2018—until The Meg comes out.

Rampage7


Jeffrey Shuster 3

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

Pensive Prowler #21: Death Sentence

Pensive Prowler #21 by Dmetri Kakmi

Death Sentence

One long sentence is what it felt like, and I don’t mean a sentence as in ‘a set of words that is complete in itself, containing a subject and predicate, conveying a statement, question or command, and consisting of a main clause and one or more subordinate clauses’; no, this felt like a death sentence, ‘a punishment assigned to a defendant found guilty by a court of law’ kind of sentence, because after all I’m talking about being hanged, drawn and quartered, in short punished, for failing to deliver this column on time, when all along I had forgotten it was due on the twentieth of the month because, you see, I’ve been travelling abroad, back home for two weeks, heavily jet lagged, overworked, sleepless in Melbourne; and I had completely forgotten a column was immanent, let alone thought about what to write, and it segued right into my guilt complex, or rather my desire to please, not let people down, disappointing the master of ceremonies at Drunken Odyssey, as I call John King, and I thought ‘By the camel’s lumpy hump, O might Jann, what shall I do?’; maybe I can pilfer something I wrote ages ago and send it to John—he needn’t know, but I’d know and then I’d only add to my misery by deceiving not only the MC but also the blameless reader by handing over soiled goods, so to speak, and there’s be disappointment all around; and then it came to me—be honest, tell the truth; I mean that’s what you normally do when in a tight spot or don’t know something—tell the truth and people will, hopefully, understand; they will be more accepting of a truthful admission, a cri de coeur, so to speak, than a lie, an attempt to draw the wool over their eyes—I’m talking about you, my dear members of the congregation—by pretending I knew what I was doing all along, which of course I didn’t, and couldn’t hope to, since the process of knowing implies conscious effort, knowledge and understanding of choosing a subject and putting one word in front of another to make a whole, which is pretty much what I’m doing now, I guess, as I kneel like a supplicant before you, begging for forgiveness, except of course in this case I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m headed or how this little misadventure in the confessional is going to end, whether with me absolved or damned, who can say?; all along I’m thinking of the long sentences I’ve enjoyed in books—Orhan Pamuk’s long sentence, buried somewhere in his Istanbul book(there’s another in My Name is Red, but it’s not as long as this one), immediately comes to mind—there are many others—the thing is you don’t realise you’re reading a long sentence until you turn the page and see Pamuk has been running (riffing?) on the same thought for almost a page and a half without a full stop, or a period, as you Americans say (isn’t a period the flow of blood and other materials from the lining of the uterus?), but hey why not punctuate a sentence with monthly lunar expulsions?; it’s better than masturbating on the page, which is what many authors do; but to get back to Pamuk, when you realise you’ve been reading one long sentence without pause, or drawing breath, you turn back the page, glance at what you’ve read and, in sudden wonderment, as if you’ve seen a splendid fireworks, you leap to your feet and clap with the sheer joy of it; it’s a virtuoso moment, a marathon run, and you can hardly believe he’s pulled it off, like those amazing cinematic long takes Brian De Palma is known for, the expertly choreographed, complicated set-ups that seem effortless to you and me, sitting comfortably in our cinema seat, observing, when really they require a lot of careful planning, are technically very challenging and difficult to pull of, flowing and weaving, drifting and swooping—think of the museum sequence in Dressed to Kill or the frenzied opening minutes of Snake Eyes—not a great film, the latter, but still exhilarating for however long it lasts before collapsing under its own misjudgements, with Nicholas Cage running amok, yammering and gesticulating wildly on his cell phone, as you Americans call it, which doesn’t make sense because it is not a ‘cell’ (okay it’s in the dictionary but it’s the last possible meaning); it’s a mobile phone you carry in your pocket and whip out to welcome the interruptions you anticipate in the course of a day; but that’s what I want to say about Pamuk’s sentence in the Istanbul book: it does not collapse; it sustains itself, floatingly sublime, on the spine of letters that turn to words, words that form sentences, units of meaning, on the vertebrae of carefully judged punctuation marks, unlike my piece, which admittedly is starting to wobble, show signs of fatigue, where I’ve clumsily patched things up, made near-invisible cuts and spliced two predicates together, hoping you haven’t noticed, like Hitchcock in Rope, to deceive you into thinking I’m clever using the hyphen instead of the semi colon to link sentences and tie my drowning not waving together so that I can tell myself, I wrote the column, damn it, and John King will be pleased; he won’t send his assassins to silence me before I put down a full stop, or a period, as you Americans infuriatingly call it.*


*Kind thanks and grateful acknowledgement to ‘One Long Sentence’ by Sven Birkerts. You saved my arse. Or ass, as you Americans call it.


dmetri-kakmi

Dmetri Kakmi (Episode 158) is a writer and editor based in Melbourne, Australia. The memoir Mother Land was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia; and is published in England and Turkey. His essays and short stories appear in anthologies and journals. You can find out more about him here.

Episode 324: Vanessa Blakeslee!

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Episode 324 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

In this week’s episode, I talk with Vanessa Blakeslee about short story writing over the long haul, and about her brand new book, Perfect Conditions.

Vanessa Blakeslee Author Photo.jpg

Plus James Chapin writes about how the King James Bible changed his life.

James Chapin

TEXTS DISCUSSED

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Episode 324 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

The Curator of Schlock #234: A Death Wish Addendum

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The Curator of Schlock #234

Kersey vs. Kersey (A Death Wish Addendum)

Here we are again. I had a request from my editor last week to compare Charles Bronson’s performance in the original Death Wish to Bruce Willis’s in the remake. My initial reaction was “Charles Bronson gave a performance in the original Death Wish?” Maybe I was being too harsh. He must have been doing something right to get us to follow that character through four sequels. For this week, we will judge both Death Wishes and determine which one is the winner. Then, I will finally put Death Wish behind me, never to mention it again (at least until Death Kiss comes out).

1.      Bronson vs. Willis
Charles Bronson and Bruce Willis are playing two different characters that just happen to be named Paul Kersey. One is a rich architect living in New York City.

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The other is a rich doctor living in Chicago. One has a full head of hair and a boss mustache. The other is clean-shaven and bald. Both suffer the loss of their wives due to a home invasion.

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So in a way, they are the same character. But there is one key difference. After his family is attacked the original Death Wish, Paul Kersey is shown to be afraid of the city he calls home. He works up to becoming a vigilante, first by defending himself from a mugger with sock full of quarters. In the remake, it doesn’t take long for Paul Kersey to embrace vigilante mode. Even before this Kersey gets a gun, he challenges two punks that are harassing some girl on the street. Kersey gets the crap kicked out of him, but he didn’t look the other way when he saw she was in trouble. This is where Bronson has the edge. You do see the fear in his character in the beginning whereas Willis’s character acts like he as nothing left to lose. You don’t get the journey with Willis.

Winner: Death Wish (1974)

2.      Score/Soundtrack

This is a tough one because we do get a decent score by Ludwig Göransson who also composed the soundtracks for Creed and Black Panther. I won’t pick on the remake’s score because it’s better than most Hollywood scores these days, but come on. Nothing will beat the original jazz score by Herbie Hancock. Bonus points for the inclusion of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” for the remake, but it’s still not enough to push it over the edge.

Winner: Death Wish (1974)

3.      Kersey’s Daughter

We don’t really get to know Paul Kersey’s daughter too well in the original film. After getting attacked, Carol (Kathleen Tolan) falls into a vegetative state before being checked into an asylum run by nuns. One could argue she’s one of the most depressing characters ever. In the remake, she’s an athlete and is studying Krav Maga. Jordan (Camilia Morrone) even manages to knife one of the home invaders before getting shot. Yeah, Jordan Kersey in the remake wins this one.

Winner: Death Wish (2018)

4.      Cinematography

The original Death Wish was shot in that grainy 1974 film stock that adds to the grime of the original. The remake was shot digitally in HD. It’s a personal preference, but I prefer the former. Still, high definition does lend itself well to action movies such as this. But I’m stuck in the past.

Winner: Death Wish (1974)

5.      A Tale of Two Cities

There is nothing more terrifying than 1970s New York City. I know it’s popular to call Chicago the murder capital of the world, but I was in Chicago about two years ago to see a Lush concert at The Vic and the only people I encountered were hipsters. I will say the hotel I stayed at served hardboiled eggs at the free continental breakfast, but that was the only criminal activity I encountered while in Chicago.

Winner: Death Wish (1974)

Four out of five for the original Death Wish, but do check out the remake. It’s still better than Death Wish 5.


Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

Buzzed Books #65: 1776

Buzzed Books #65 by Chuck Cannini

1776

For Serialbox.com, the Associated Press collaborated to write an episodic series about the lives of farmers, accountants, teachers, and high school dropouts from a certain thirteen colonies in the fateful year of 1776. This is one for history buffs, but the readership should not stop there.

1776

The chapters are published episodically, a monthly dose of history until, finally, you turn the last digital page twelve months later. It’s a great idea to encourage reluctant readers who shy away from large reads. Book groups could also share fun, in-depth discussions about that week’s chapter instead of hoping everyone read the whole book. A friend of mine likened it to a comic book series: one issue a month, except you preorder all the upcoming installments.

It’s also like reading a proper newspaper: packed with the Five Ws of hard, fact-based journalism, some sections with a little more flair than others.

There are the expected cameos from the Revolution’s major players: Washington, Adams, Arnold, Revere, Franklin, and Jefferson. Most received individual attention, some with less familiar details:

Jefferson actually took the knife to the New Testament, ridding it of passages that described ‘unscientific’ miracles. He believed that by this editing, the Bible became a kind of code of conduct to encourage Christian ideal behavior instead of inexplicable divine visions.

It’s no surprise that the Founding Fathers hog the spotlight, integral as they were. While I appreciated those little tidbits like Jefferson going full on editor on the Bible, what pulled me in were the everyday citizens – these farmers and teachers and high school dropouts. By Episode Six, it became apparent that these dropouts and farmers were just the Founding Fathers before they were Founding Fathers. It’s a little misleading. That isn’t to say there is no mention of ordinary colonists. Some of that information was delivered in broad strokes:

Toothless grins were common across the colonial landscape. Colonists did brush their teeth with frayed dogwood twigs using salt and water. Native Americans had splendid teeth, most likely because they were not eating vast quantities of sugar from the West Indies … Bathing was still thought risky, which was fine with the lice.

And

Knowledge of fundamental science was scarce, but there were glimmerings.

And

The poor drowned themselves in rivers of gin.

This is the real juicy meat of history. 1776 offers context. It answers how we as people developed psychologically and therefore sociologically over time. Whether the genre is history or fantasy, I want to understand a person, and in doing so a society, deeply.

Differing colonial customs made each colony fearful of entangling alliances with the others. They were suspicious of each other. A New Englander found Virginia an odd place and its “hospitality and politeness” exaggerated. Virginians found Pennsylvanians “remarkably grave and reserved, and the women remarkably homely, hard-favoured and sour.” A Connecticut man complained of “frauds and unfair practices” by New York merchants, while a New Yorker said he would not send his son to school in Connecticut lest he pick up the “low craft and cunning so incident to the people of that country.

Note the word “country.”

In Pennsylvania, the Quakers were vehemently opposed to slavery on moral grounds—as were the Germans, for economic reasons—steadfast against the competition of cheaper labor. John Woolman, a minister from Mount Holly, New Jersey, would not eat sugar because it was a product of West Indian slave labor. Anthony Benezet of Philadelphia, another Quaker, proposed in 1762 that slaves be freed by law and given homesteads. “Ye men of SENSE and VIRTUE —YE ADVOCATES of American liberty, rouse up and espouse the cause of Humanity and general Liberty,” cried Benjamin Rush. “The plant of liberty is too tender a Nature that it cannot thrive long in the neighborhood of slavery.”

There are also broader topics, such as territorial disputes, the strain between cultural heritage and assimilation, and the back-and-forth over states’ rights and the federal government.

It’s hard not to juxtapose some of today’s Americans into a world that perhaps led to these very Americans. I just wish there had been a greater focus on Joe or Jane Schmoe and what he or she felt and thought, what drove them to their way of thinking and their allegiances – perhaps the beginnings of long-reaching ideologies in our society today.

The series is not yet finished. Unlike most of Serial Box’s weekly series, 1776 drops new installments once per month. Episode Seven just debuted in July, with five additional episodes after that. Since 1776 is historical and the episodes are self-contained, I don’t think it will be difficult to pick up where they left off a month prior. So there is promise for more insight to a time that I think is important to reflect on and be provided some context, especially given the current climate in America. Until then, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this revolution ends.


Chuck Cannini

Chuck Canninigraduated with a B.F.A. in Creative Writing for Entertainment. History and social studies classes were his favorite courses when in school, especially American history, except when he learned about the Industrial Revolution. Explaining how the spinning jenny was built is exactly how you put him to sleep.