Rambling On

Anthony R. Cardno's Fiction and Commentary

Latest New Song

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While I’m plugging away on revamping this site and plugging away on writing more short stories, I finally managed to upload the third of the songs I’ve co-written and recorded to my Bandcamp page.

It’s called “Someday,” and it’s based a bit on the school experiences of at least two kids who are important to me (but who shall remain nameless for reasons). It’s about overcoming bullying and ostracizing and adversity, and being who you are, and all the fears that go along with that.

I wrote the words. Barry Mangione wrote the music and played guitars. Darrell long added some percussion and a bit of keys while he was producing the song.

It’s actually the first of the songs I co-wrote and recorded, although it’s the third to come to internet availability.

All proceeds will be donated to Reverse The Trend, a non-profit I’ve mentioned before. RTT brings anti-bullying and self-esteem programming to middle schools around the US.

I hope you’ll give the song a listen, and perhaps a purchase, at the link embedded in the song title above.

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Welcome to 2016.

Okay, yes, I know, the year is already almost a week old. We’ve all gone back to our day jobs and school and all the other fun stuff we have to do when it’s not the holidays (and which some of us have to do even during the holidays). But it’s my first post of the year, so welcome New Year!

2015 Wrap-Up

In 2015, I lost track of exactly how many stories I sent out to various open calls and limited open calls and such. But I do know I sold 5 stories: four originals and one reprint. The reprint was “Chasing Satellites,” which is now in audio form on the great StarShipSofa podcast. The four originals should all be out in print and ebook in 2016:

  • “Stress Cracks” in Galactic Games from Baen in June (edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt)
  • “Threshold” in A Thousand Words For War from CBay Books in May (edited by Madeline Smoot and Hope Erica Schultz)
  • “And All Their Tearful Words Will Turn Back Into Steam” in Shroud Magazine when the next issue is released (edited and published by Tim Deal)
  • And the fourth story’s venue I haven’t yet received permission to announce yet.

I also know that of everything I submitted in 2015, I still have 6 submissions that I’m still awaiting responses on.

I also wrote and recorded one new song, “Done,” with John Russo of the band Reverse Order. It’s available on my Bandcamp page, and all proceeds will be donated to the non-profit organization Reverse The Trend, which provides anti-bullying and pro-self-esteem concert programming to schools around the country.

On the non-writing side, I read 100 books (this includes graphic novels, plays, and singly-published-as-ebooks short stories and novellas) and 366 short stories (some as part of the aforementioned 100 books, most not). I met my Goodreads Challenge (100 books) and finished the To Be Read Challenge hosted in 2015 by RoofbeamReader.

 

2016 Goals

My goal is usually to double the number of story sales from year to year. In 2013 I sold 3 stories, so the goal (which I missed) in 2014 was to sell 6 (I sold none). I carried that goal over to 2015 and sold 5, so my goal for 2016 is 10. Of course, I’d love to sell more than that, but the official goal is 10 stories sold during the 2016 calendar year (regardless of when they’ll be published).

I’ve got the aforementioned 6 stories still out, and I’m in the process of editing stuff I wrote first drafts of in December to get then out into the world. I’m also stepping up my writing regimen a bit (given the realities of day-jobbery and other life commitments).

 

My Goodreads reading goal remains 100 books this year. I’m working on my own To Be Read Challenge since RoofBeamReader is no longer hosting his, and that’s overlapping with a few other reading challenges I’m setting for myself. I’m considering posting about those here as well as on my Livejournal.  Likewise, I’m considering cross-posting book reviews here, as well as the short story reviews I post in my 365ShortStories community on LJ — but I’m still not sure about posting book and story reviews on what is supposed to be my author website, so I’d appreciate any thoughts you all may have about that.

Of course, I’m also aiming to be more active here. I’d like to start posting author, actor, singer and artist interviews again and host guest posts from folks. I need to start reaching out. For now, I’ll be posting about my writing and reading progress.

Here’s to a great 2016 for all of us!

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New Song

Posted by admin under fundraisers, singers and musicians

I’ve co-written and recorded another song!

“Done” is  now available on my Bandcamp page.

Words by me, music and production by John Russo from the band Reverse Order.

These songs of mine never actually sell much, but any proceeds I do garner will be donated to John’s non-profit organization Reverse The Trend, which brings anti-bullying and self-esteem programming to schools around the country. Please check out their page if you’d like to book the program for your school or if you’d just like to donate to a worthy cause. You can also help them by turning your Amazon page into a SmileAmazon page and setting “Reverse The Trend” as your charity of choice. The great thing about that program is: you shop the way you normally do, and Amazon donates to your choice charity.

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I hope everyone is well and enjoying the December holidays as they roll across our calendar. Hard to believe 2015 is almost over. Hannukah has passed; Christmas and Solstice are almost here, and then it’s New Years. Kinda crazy.

I’ve had lots of work stuff going on, and have also been doing much writing and quite a bit of reading. I’m intending to do some year-end wrap-up posts here as a way of relaunching the site. I’ve been intending all year to revise the look of the site and start posting content again, but real life has been getting in the way.

This past Weds, one of my previously-published short stories, “Chasing Satellites” (from Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s Beyond The Sun anthology), was released in audio form on the StarShipSofa podcast. Narrator Rikki LaCoste did a fantastic job with the character voices, pacing and tension of the story; the producers did a fantastic job adding sound effects to enhance the story. I really love what they did, and I’m submitting another “reprint” to them soon. Check it out, on their website (direct link to the page for my story above) or find them on iTunes. Either way, it’s free. (Note: my story starts at about the 20 minute mark of the podcast. It’s preceded by a fascinating interview with Zoltan Istvan, and followed by a neat discussion of historical precedents for the Jedi Order.)

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“Album” art

In the past year, I’ve had the privilege of co-writing two songs with two wonderful songwriters. In both cases, I wrote the lyrics, and my collaborator provided the music and melody. (Anything I learned about music theory from Bernadette Castronovo back in Mahopac High School, I have long since forgotten. She was a great teacher; I was not a great student.)

After much encouragement from many friends, I finally started a Bandcamp page to get this music out there. I’d still love to film videos for these songs one of these days, but for now at least the music is out there.

Well, at least one of the songs is. We’re still doing a little bit of editing on the song I co-wrote with Barry Mangione, “Someday,” (tracking some extra guitars and drums into it for a fuller sound).  But the song I co-wrote with  John Russo of Reverse Order, “Gravity Don’t Care,” is up on the Bandcamp page now, and I’ve decided that all proceeds from this will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Here’s the link to where you can find and purchase the song.

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TMToAC-FrontTomorrow night (Weds, July 30th), I’ll be the featured guest on the Science Fiction Writer’s Chat (#sffwrtcht) on Twitter, to talk about the motivation behind THE MANY TORTURES OF ANTHONY CARDNO, approaching the authors about donating the stories, editing my heroes (Jay Lake), and walking that fine line between “vanity project” and “charity project.”

The chat starts at 9pm Eastern / 8pm Central / 6pm Eastern. If you have a Twitter account, log in, search for hashtag #sffwrtcht, and follow along.  If you don’t have a Twitter account … well, isn’t this a great reason to create one (however temporarily) and ask me some questions?

In fact, here’s the link to the #sffwrtcht Twitter feed, to make it even easier for you.

 

And if you don’t already have a print or Kindle copy of the book, here’s the pesky link again to buy it!

 

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As promised, today we reveal the front and back covers for The Many Tortures of Anthony Cardno. Bear Weiter (who is also an author in the anthology) donated a load of hours formatting the book, designing the interior (which includes artwork by his lovely wife Marlyse Comte) and creating and tweaking the covers.  I cannot thank him enough for his encouragement and his help over the past two months.

I also have to thank Michelle Moklebust and Lee Bloom for the photography on which the cover and interior illustrations were based. On Easter Saturday, we spent a good four hours and took several hundred photos — close-ups with all kinds of facial expressions, as well as “marionette” style photos for a possible different cover idea — so that I’d have a ton of material for Bear to work with. Michelle (also an author in the anthology) and Lee are to me, and while we worked, my niece Renee, Michelle’s son BJ and her nephew and niece Jake and Amanda laughed at us, offered ideas (especially Jake) and talked Doctor Who and other geeky fun.  Thanks to all of you.

And now, without further ado … the front cover:

 

TMToAC-Front

 

And the back cover:

TMToAC-Back

 

UPDATE:  The book is now available in print form from Amazon. Kindle edition is coming forthwith, and the print version will be available via Barnes & Noble and other outlets soon as well (and non-Kindle ebook format should follow shortly too).

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Hello, friends and readers.

You may have noticed things have been a bit quiet here on www.anthonycardno.com for a while now.  I’ve been taking some time away from interviewing and signal-boosting for actors, singers and writers in order to concentrate on my own writing. I’ve been working on some new short stories (and submitting them to markets), I’ve co-written a song (with at least one, and possibly two or three more on the way), I’ve been attending to personal and family life matters, and I’ve of course still be on the road for my day job.

I’ve also been editing the charity anthology I’ve mentioned here before.  The project has finally come together and is in the final stages before release, so it’s time to start making some announcements.

THE MANY TORTURES OF ANTHONY CARDNO is a gathering of 20 short stories and two sets of song lyrics, in which the main character is, well … me. Or some variation of me. The stories range from science fiction to literary and hit pretty much all points in between. In them, I’m an egotistical actor, a beleaguered husband, a scared young boy, an orphan, a randy college student, an alcoholic, a serial killer, a nice guy in the wrong place. In every single story, the authors find a way to tweak one of my real personality or physical traits to give us these alternate …. Multiversal, if you will … versions of me.

This isn’t just a vanity project.  All of the authors donated their words to this project, to help raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, which focuses on providing support to cancer patients and their loved ones. I’m a cancer survivor, as are several of the other authors in the book; most of the rest have first-hand experience with a loved one’s battle with the disease.  And of course, just this past month we lost Jay Lake to colon cancer.

It’s my pleasure today to reveal the complete Table of Contents for the book, which will be available in print and e-formats within the next few weeks. About a week from now, we’ll also have the reveal of the cover, being crafted by the fantastic Bear Weiter.

So, without further ado: The Table of Contents for THE MANY TORTURES OF ANTHONY CARDNO:

Foreword: I’m NOT A Nice Guy! by Anthony R. Cardno
Introduction: Who IS Anthony Cardno? by Brian White
Temperance by Christie Yant
Anthony Takes The Stairs by Eric S. Bauman
The Antics of Anton Ardno (A Todd Gleason Crime Story) by Joseph Pittman
I Have A Question by Neal Bailey
The Bar at The End of the World by Sabrina Vourvoulias
With A Flick of the Wrist by Michelle Moklebust
Scarred by Damien Angelica Walters
The Hand of God (A Davi Rhii story) by Bryan Thomas Schmidt
The Old Suit by Bear Weiter
The Optimist by Kaaron Warren
The Story Teller by Dennis R. Miller
The White Phoenix Feather: a tale of cuisine and ninjas by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Ballad of Anthony Cardno by Barry Mangione and the Musical Geniuses
Why, Anthony, Why by Frank Dixon
When The Waters Recede… by Day Al-Mohamed
The Chase by Jen Ryan
Three on a Match by Steve Berman
Brutal and Simple by Adam P. Knave
The Zombie Shortage by David Lee Summers
With Dust Their Glittering Towers: A Fly-Leaves Story by Christopher Paul Carey
Canopus by Anthony R. Cardno
Cold Statues by Jay Lake

I’m flattered by how many authors were willing to donate their work to help raise money for ACS, and I thank all of them once again. I’m particularly humbled to be presenting what I think is one of the last stories Jay Lake wrote before his untimely passing; he created this story for me in the midst of heavy chemotherapy over a year ago.

Check back next week for the cover reveal, and after that for news of the actual publication date!

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Linda Poitevin

Linda Poitevin

It’s always a pleasure to welcome Linda Poitevin back to the site to talk about her latest. This time out, we’re discussing SINS OF THE LOST, the third book in her four-part series The Grigori Legacy. Linda is also the author of the contemporary romance GWYNNETH EVER AFTER. You can read all of my previous interviews with Linda, and get a sense of how The Grigori Legacy series has developed, by clicking HERE.

ANTHONY: SINS OF THE LOST, book three of The Grigori Legacy, comes out this month. Now that you’re several books into the series, what roadblocks or character moments did you hit while writing the new book that caught you by surprise in comparison to the earlier books?

LINDA:  I was actually surprised at how difficult the entire book was to write, to be honest…probably because I had to do so many awful things to my characters. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from the trauma, lol!

ANTHONY: There’s been a bit of a gap from the publication of book two, SINS OF THE SON, to book three. You published GWYNNETH EVER AFTER, a stand-alone romance, in between.  What caused the long break from TGL?

LINDA: There were a number of reasons for the gap: (1) it took a while to settle on a contract with my publisher; (2) when I’m not under a fixed deadline, I tend to drag my heels on writing; (3) this really was a tough story to write; and (4) I met with a dog-walking accident (hint: one should not have the leash of a 127-pound dog wrapped around an index finger) that put me out of commission for almost a month with a bad sprain.

ANTHONY: OUCH! How much time has passed for the characters, and where do we find them at the start of the new book? (And can you answer this question without major spoilers, haha?)

LINDA: Very little time passes between the books; Sins of the Lost picks up a scant two weeks after Sins of the Son left off. Alex and Seth are back in Toronto, struggling to make a go of their fledgling relationship in the aftermath of the events in Vancouver, and Alex is just returning to her job.

ANTHONY: Assuming we will be spending plenty of time with Alex, Aramael, Seth, Lucifer and the rest … are there any new characters we should be excited for / wary of?

LINDA: One very important new character is hinted at in Sins of the Lost, but you won’t actually get to meet her until the fourth and final book. Apart from that, there’s a return of an old enemy and more of the Archangel Michael…who really is one of my favorites. 😉

The Grigori Legacy, Book Three

The Grigori Legacy, Book Three

ANTHONY: Color me intrigued! SINS OF THE LOST is only out in e-book format, right? Why the change from the print versions we got for books one and two?

LINDA: Sins of the Lost is what my publisher is calling “digital first” — which essentially means that there’s a possibility of print, but no guarantee (it will depend on sales figures). The change occurred because sales on book 2 slumped a little, as second books often do, apparently. But, while that slump generally spells death for a series, my publisher (and my amazing editor) really likes the series and wanted to give it another chance. Talk about a vote of confidence! :)

ANTHONY: That is a great vote of confidence. Please thank the publisher for giving it another go. So many fun urban fantasy series do seem to fail with book two. Now, the cover art is also a bit different. It seems that Alexandra Jarvis is not on the cover for the first time. Does this bode unwell for our heroine?

LINDA: LOL…Alex is safe, Anthony, I promise. Horribly tortured, perhaps, but safe. 😉 The change in art was made because of the switch to digital-first. Too much detail doesn’t show up well on the widgets you see online, so we needed to simplify the design a bit. We also wanted to place more emphasis on the angel aspect of the story.

ANTHONY: Which makes sense, given the events of the book.  And not that I’m rushing you, but what will book four be called and when will it be done? No, like, seriously. When? 😉

LINDA: This book is going much faster than the last one, lol. It’s tentatively entitled Sins of the Warrior (expect a lot more Michael in this one), and I plan to have the first draft done by the end of March. No word yet on publication, however…sorry! 😉

ANTHONY: Well, you know, if you need a beta-reader for it, you have my email address. 😉  Instead of my usual “what’s your favorite book” question, which I think you’ve answered several times, tell us what your resource on Angels and their mythology has been most helpful/influential on you in creating the Grigori series.

LINDA: Google was my best friend when it came to research for this series. Because I knew I would be twisting angel mythology to fit with my own nefarious purposes, I didn’t need accuracy as much as I did inspiration—and the Internet is rife with sources for that. I read extensively on Bible study, Catholic, and new age sites, taking bits and pieces from all over in order to construct my own world for the series. The diversity in the takes on angel lore was utterly fascinating and made for great fodder…and I barely even scratched the surface of what’s out there.

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The gentlemen of The Go To

A few months back my pal Cruise Russo turned 21 and his band Reverse Order played a Birthday Show for him at The Architekt in Butler NJ. A bunch of bands I wasn’t familiar with were on the bill, including a New England based quartet called The Go To. They impressed me with their energy and stage presence and the sound of their originals, and they did a pretty damned fine cover of Neon Trees’ “Everybody Talks.” I contacted their manager, set up an email interview, got their answers … and finally, a month later, I’m posting the interview here. Hopefully, the new music they talk about in this interview will be available for purchase soon. Meantime, here’s our chat.

ANTHONY: Hi guys!  Thanks for taking the time to chat with me.  Let’s start with the usual: how long has the band been together and how did you form?

MAT:  Hey!  The current line-up of TGT (Mat, Austin, Cory and Alex) has been together a little under a year now, but TGT has been around about a year and some change.  I have been writing music and performing for such a long time, and then Austin and I started jamming around three years ago.  We just decided that we wanted to bring what we were doing the public, so that’s really where the heart of TGT began.  Then we found Cory on YouTube playing a RHCP song on bass and knew we had to have him, and also met Alex around that same time.  Ever since the four of us started playing, it just clicked and we knew that this is the band we wanted to take to the top.
ANTHONY: I know you were asked this question at the show where I first saw you, so I have to ask: how many times have Mat and Cory been asked if they’re brothers?

MAT:  Haha, well it seems like every time we play a show in a new area to people who haven’t seen us live yet we get asked that, so I’d say at least a thousand times by this point.

CORY: I’m asked at least once every show if I’m Mat’s brother. It’s gotta be at least 50 times.

ANTHONY: And honestly, how many times has Mat been told he looks like (and has the stage presence of) a young Ricky Martin?

MAT: This is the first time anyone has actually given us that comparison…  But now everyone is on to me.

ANTHONY: For a while you were posting bi-weekly cover song videos on Youtube. The first cover video you did in that project was “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees, which I saw you do live at The Architekt. It struck me that song really fits your style and Mat’s voice and stage presence, better than almost any other song you’ve covered. How do you guys decide which songs you’re going to cover, and is there any song you absolutely would never cover?

MAT:  As a band we have a tendency to obsess over certain songs together.  It’s almost like every week we’re all running around each other singing a new song, old or now, non-stop.  Like right now we’re currently hung up on Rap God off Eminem’s new album, but like a month ago Wrecking Ball was the newest one haha!  I guess our method to picking songs to cover is which ever non TGT has gotten our total intention.  As for songs we’d never cover, I guess you can say we’d cover anything we possibly could.  I mean, just this past weekend we playing a Johnny Cash (Cocaine Blues) cover to a packed room at Pearl Street in Northampton MA.  It was a total fake out before our on encore, but it still counts!

ALEX: We pretty much just all throw out song suggestions until we all agree on the best one, and we are pretty open to our cover suggestions.

CORY: Usually during practice if we need a new cover, well all throw out ideas. Other times we might hear a song we all love and just need to cover it. I don’t think Mat would EVER do a one direction song because of how often he gets compared to Harry.

ANTHONY: Okay, of all the singers Mat reminded me of, Harry Styles didn’t come to mind at all! Will you be doing more cover videos, and what songs can we expect?

MAT:  Right now since we’ve released the “Too Sore” music video, most of our YouTube efforts are being out into promote that, but we plan on doing some higher quality cover videos soon, and also releasing some great live footage.  Just gotta stay tuned. 😉

ANTHONY: Your self-titled EP has been out for a while.  The five songs on it are all originals. What was the song-writing process like for those songs?

MAT:  It’s funny, most of the songs on the EP are songs I had written a long time ago and finally got the chance to start sharing so I jumped on those first.  Back then I would simply grab my guitar and a note pad and scribble down lyrics and chord changes and commit it all to memory.  Now my process is much different because I record ton and tons of demos on my iPad with all the instruments I have in mind, and send them to the band.  They get a few every week!
ANTHONY: I like the whole EP, but “Me Oh My” and “Too Sore” are probably my favorites. As a writer, I hate when people ask me the “where do you get your ideas from” question, so I won’t ask that. But I am curious how extensively you draw from life experiences versus just thinking “hey, that would be a great story to tell.” (I always tease my family and friends: be careful what you say, or you’ll end up in a story.)

MAY:  I draw a lot from my personal life!  Sometimes I tell stories of things I’ve gone through, or elaborate on a certain emotion.  An example of the latter is one of our new songs “Upside Down” which is a song I wrote totally on the idea of feeling like I was watching the world from the outside in.   But on the other hand, another new song “Conundrum” is me singing about dealing with a relationship when one person has moved on and the other is still hung up on it, which is something I personally was going through at the time.

Alex, Mat, Austin, Cory

Alex, Mat, Austin, Cory

ANTHONY: The “Too Sore” video has hit 21,000 views (which is about 20,700 more than either of my cover videos). Congrats on that. Are you planning videos for any of the other songs on the EP?

MAT:  Most likely not from the EP, but we are working on some new tunes and have a pretty cool game plan coming up that may entail another video!

ALEX: We haven’t quite decided if we are going to do another video from the EP yet but we are definitely going to be shooting a video for one of our newer songs hopefully in the near future.

ANTHONY: I know you’re answering these questions during a weekend in the studio, so what can you tell me about the new stuff you’re working on. With one EP under your belts, has the songwriting process changed at all? How about your sound?

MAT:  As I stated before, I have a home studio that I used to record demos and such to send to the band, but this has also opened me up as a song writer.  I have the ability to add as many instruments and experiment with new sounds.  It’s so great, and it’s much more expressive then some of the older stuff.  However, it’s still just as catchy, and hopefully you’ll still be singing all the new ones too!

AUSTIN: Our sound has matured incredibly in the past few months! The only way I can prove this is by telling you to come out to a live show. It’ll change the way you look at us. I can almost promise you that.

ALEX: The new songs that we are working on sound incredible! They are very strong and catchy tunes. And as far as sound goes, since our first EP dropped our music has matured into more of a Rock feel with that little bit of a pop feel still there.
ANTHONY: How extensively have you toured, and when are you headed back on the road?

MAT:  Actually, TGT has never done any extensive touring, but have played ALL OVER the north east!  We do have some plans for the summer though… But that’s all I can say.

ALEX: We are hoping to go on our very first tour very soon. We have been working very hard to get to where we are now.

CORY: We’ve gone out to New York, Cape Cod, Connecticut and a few other states around here but we haven’t gone on a full blown tour yet.

ANTHONY: And my usual closing question: Since I’m a writer, I’m always curious to know — what is your favorite book, and what would you say to someone who hasn’t read it to convince them that they should?

Mat:  I’m actually a huge fan of Stephen King, and my favorite book is “Pet Semetery”.  Crazy book, man.  That’s all I can say, don’t want to spoil it at all.

ANTHONY: Thanks, guys!

THE GO TO:  Thank you too!

You can follow find The Go To on Facebook, Instagram,  on their own website, and follow them on Twitter: @theGoToBand,@TheGoToMat, @TheGoToAlex, @TheGoToCory, and @TheGoToAustin.

 

And of course you can subscribe to their channel on Youtube.  Here’s their video for “Too Sore” to whet your appetite:

 

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