Man’s Hubris – The Drive to Be God in Fiction

In the writing process the author grasps the role of omnipotent being; tinkering with the destiny and lives of characters created within the synapses of the author’s imagination. But as unique we hope the story we tell will become, and despite the writer’s ingenuity, it’s inevitable to find echoes from yarns, traditions and fears from yesteryear.

Between the Beats

sistine
I had an interesting conversation with my husband today. We were watching “Jurassic Park” and he commented he had never been interested in dinosaurs. I admitted dinosaurs had never been high on my list of fascinating subjects either. That started me thinking about why I enjoyed the “Jurassic Park” books and movies. It hit me then, rather like having slammed the book over the top of my head.
I was fascinated, not with dinosaurs, but with the notion of man playing God. This drive is nothing new. It goes back to the story of Lucifer being cast out of heaven because he sought to be like God. So off he went, to Hell, and took his playmates with him, rather like a child who was denied the role of leader in a schoolyard game. Of course he is not satisfied to stay in his own yard, but is said to…

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“The Zebra Affaire” by Mark Fine: An Interview

This is my BEST AUTHOR INTERVIEW….EVER! Thank you Lizzy 🙂

Between the Beats

NEW ZEBRA AFFAIRE FRONT COVER lovers FINAL 72 copy
It is rare to meet an independent author whose writing is as extraordinary as Mark Fine’s. I don’t say that lightly. Over the past several months I have almost exclusively read books by indie authors. Many were very good, some were good, but Mark Fine is in a category of his own. “The Zebra Affaire” is much more than the romantic tale of interracial lovers in the apartheid world of South Africa. It is a complex tale of relationships and rivalries, some based on laws and customs that were hundreds of years old.
Needless to say I was curious about the man who took on the task of writing what could still be considered a controversial story. Mark was kind enough to allow me to interview him. So sit back and get to know Mark Fine and what makes “The Zebra Affaire” a book that should be required reading in…

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NELSON MANDELA: A Legacy Not Honored

Much has happened since Nelson Mandela’s passing, and none of it is good. In Mandiba’s absence the “Rainbow Nation” he so valiantly struggled to build has turned decidedly gray.

Nelson Mandela Wallpaper Design By mRm

The magnificent vision of Africa’s great statesman has been selfishly squandered and corrupted by the lesser men that unfortunately succeeded him.

The current incumbent of South Africa’s presidency, Jacob Zuma, being the most egregious. Zuma has eroded the institutions of government (both the constitution and the checks-and-balances of democracy) by his flaunting display of self-interest, corruption and tribal cronyism; all in his effort to protect his illicit financial gains by using that nation’s treasury as his personal piggy bank.

Zuma

Alas, I anticipated this. In the closing chapter of my South African themed novel The Zebra Affaire I wrote the following as a final coda:

But former prisoner Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela had no desire to become a sovereign: he relinquished the power voluntarily—so refreshing on a continent where provincial tyrants strive to rule forever.

But here I remain fearful (though I dearly hope to be proven wrong). Mandela was the nation’s talisman—his very presence held the various peoples of South Africa on a rainbow path of dignity and equality, and by his noble example all tribal rivalries were set aside and all were welcomed at the table.

But now he’s gone, I fear the quiet vow of loyalty to his vision of a united South Africa will be abrogated. With Mandela no longer living, lesser mortals will not feel bound by any allegiance to the “Father of the Nation”; instead, in a lust for power, they will once again unleash the tribal tensions that have forever plagued the continent.

But rather than dwell on the bleak let us be hopeful that in remembering Mandela’s legacy, the South African people will duly honor his life by electing future leaders, based on merit, not cronyism.

(How about a woman? Now that would be something!)

In doing so they would honor the hope and desire for all-equality, with no single individual above the law.

Indeed, that was Nelson Mandela’s life’s work. 

EVERY STORY NEEDS A HOTZ SOUNDTRACK!

It was time to visit my friend, Jimmy Hotz. It was time “The Zebra Affaire” met its music maker. Those who don’t know Jimmy, he’s the archetypical myriad-minded music man: musician, record producer, electronic music pioneer, and Inventor. His “Hotz Box” is often at the heart of many a great recording: Fleetwood Mac, Dave Mason, B.B. King, and Yes.

Our friend, Mark Fine came by the other day to get a first hand look at the SpaceHarp. He was kind enough to give us an autographed copy of his book, “The Zebra Affaire”, a fast-paced, suspenseful tale about the racial divide in South Africa in the 1970s. Mark was a long time record executive, with PolyGram, Universal and Hammer & Lace.

Jimmy haJimmy Hotz and Mark Fine 20150606_221313_Master_25pcs recently invented a new instrument, the SpaceHarp!

Extraordinary!

It made a music maestro out of the least of us (Me!).

I certainly DID! After 4 decades in the music biz, this was the first time I experienced playing pure music, myself! Not being a musician I’ve never before known the joy of creating music. Indeed it was magical.

After Jimmy reads “The Zebra Affaire” we will explore a music soundtrack–written together, that’s inspired by my book’s South African blended love story.

NOTE: The Hotz Translator Software transforms ones gestures on the SpaceHarp into all the right notes for the desired chords and scales in music performance. The SpaceHarp is a new manifestation of a concept invented by David Clark and John Gibbon, originally called the Light Dancer. Jimmy did a complete redesign of the electronics and programmed the firmware, which makes it function. So, while Jimmy is the inventor of the Hotz Translator Software and contributed significantly to the SpaceHarp, proper credit should be given to David Clark and John Gibbon. David Clark also worked with Jimmy on the current mechanical design of the SpaceHarp.

My Five Top Indie Writers (And Then Some…)

Honored to receive this accolade for my novel, “The Zebra Affaire.” To be ranked first amongst one’s talented and gifted Top Five (and more) peers is both humbling and thrilling. Lizzi Newton, the curator of this list, is a gifted author in her own right…and deserves to hold the #1 spot in my stead!

Between the Beats

@NOTEBKBLOGAIRY’S #INDIEROAR CHALLENGE – DAY 9: MY TOP 5 INDIE AUTHORS
I’ve been following the Indie Roar Challenge and I have to admit, today’s challenge is a tough one. Choosing my top five indie authors is no easy feat for me. For the past few months I have been exclusively reading indie authors and each one seems better than the last. However, I think I have narrowed it down. Keep in mind, my favorite genre is horror or thrillers. That eliminates a lot of really good writers.
Anyway here it goes: my five favorite indie writers. (And maybe an honorable mention or two.)
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Mark Fine has written one of the best books I’ve read by any author, indie or not. “The Zebra Affaire” is an eloquently written love story set against the background of apartheid in South Africa. With stunning descriptions of the country and characters Fine drew me…

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FINE REVIEW: “The Long Dance Home” by Julie Mayerson Brown. Lively, Refreshing & Spiced with Snappy Dialog.

The Long Dance HomeThe Long Dance Home by Julie Mayerson Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is vitality to this novel that I found refreshing. The author’s ability to capture the spirit, the essence, of her characters extended way beyond mere florid descriptions. And so I enjoyed the fascinating cast of characters that filled the setting in Clearwater, a small Northern California town.
No doubt about it “The Long Dance Home” is a modern love story, and other reviewers have elegantly articulated the romantic travails of CeCe. But I choose to focus on some other aspects of this well told story; the loving homage to the arts —specifically ballet, the joys of an imperfect family—where the stepmother is a gem, the loyalty of friendships—even if the best bud is a goof, the reverence for tradition—even if it’s the annual children’s performance of “The Nutcracker,” the desire to do one’s very best—even if mistakes are made along the way, and finally the pain of loss—the price for feeling alive.

We meet the Russian-born ballet instructor, Ilana who nurtured the dance prodigy we know as CeCe, as a young child. But due to the fragility of age, and the onset of senility in her mentor, CeCe finds herself experiencing a different kind of loss–the emotional fading of the most influential person in her life. The scene with the crystal ballerina Christmas ornament, a gift received many years before from a then vital Ilana, I found to be both poignant and meaningful.

Finally, there is adroitness in penmanship (especially the dialog) that separates author Julie Brown from many of her peers: there’s a sequence when her current beau visits CeCe’s parents’ home for the first time—the snappy exchange between boyfriend, family and friends still makes me chuckle. This is lively and refreshing stuff that I encourage other readers to enjoy!

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