Fav Friday with Dennis Boyer
My 10 Favourite “Any” Things – Dennis Boyer
When Rebeka invited me to participate in her blog she gave me several different options – a guest post, featuring my book, posting an author bio, etc. But her invitation also included a subtle challenge, daring me to “be brave.” Well, never one to back down from a challenge (I am super-competitive by nature), that was what I immediately responded to. The challenge seemed simple enough – post your ten favorite “anythings”. Should be a snap, I thought. But as I gave the topic some thought, I began to realize this was indeed a heavy gauntlet I chose to pick up. It’s pretty hard to limit oneself to just ten things when considering your all-time favorite things. My first thought is to ignore the heavy stuff – you know my family, my relationship with God, the blessing of being born into a free society… Instead I’ll present my favorites with the caveat that these are my favorite “frivolous” things. The things which don’t necessarily have the most depth of meaning, but the simple things I find pleasure in. Well, here’s my best crack at it – enjoy.
The Twilight Zone – Man, do I love this show. Whenever one of those TZ marathons comes on, forget it, I’m not getting anything productive done. Instead I’m glued to my couch, losing myself in the greatest anthology series ever produced. The quality of each episode of The Twilight Zone never ceases to amaze me – each one is indeed a masterpiece in its own right. Not only was the immense talent of Rod Serling evident in every episode, but he also surrounded himself with only the best talent he could find. The writers, the actors, the make-up artists whom he brought in – all superb. I write a lot of flash fiction and I often incorporate a twist into each of my brief stories. A few readers have told me that they read like little episodes of The Twilight Zone. For me, there’s no greater compliment I could receive.
My French Press – Okay, I’m a writer, so it’s mandatory that I include something about coffee on this list. It is after all, the elixir which fuels every writer. Now I love the convenience of my one-cup coffee maker, but I have to tell you that there is only one way to truly enjoy that cup of joe: the French press. I don’t know who invented this machine (I assume it was some Frenchman…?), but whoever he is I want to thank him. Sitting on my front porch with a cup of freshly ground Kona, steeped in my French press – there’s nothing better than that. Unless of course, I’ve fallen off the wagon and am enjoying a cigarette with my coffee that is…
The New England Patriots – I live in New Hampshire, so it goes without saying that I love the red Sox, the Bruins and the Celtics. But my Pats have a special place in my heart. The game of football is truly remarkable to me - the way a team can become greater than the sum of its individual players, the way heart and desire can best raw talent, the way strategy can be more important than athleticism. It really is like playing chess with people. I’ve been lucky to enjoy the run of success Boston’s sports teams have had recently, and even luckier to be able to attend some historic games myself. Witnessing such greatness fuels me to be better than I am, to rise above adversity with nothing more than grit and determination. I don’t know if God watches football, but if he does I think he roots for the Patriots.
The History Channel – Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. One only needs to watch a block of The History Channel to realize this is true. Whether the topic is the Nazi connection to the occult or a description of life in first-century Palestine, I’m fascinated. The history of the world is far more fascinating than anything I could produce from my own imagination, and I’ll admit that I often cheat when struggling with writer’s block – I just turn on The History Channel. Invariably I learn something new which will immediately inspire a story. Just the other day there was a feature on the legend of “Greek fire” – the supposedly invincible weapon which cemented the dominance of the Byzantine Empire. I immediately went to my computer and wrote “Greek Fire” – and while the story is not about the Byzantines or even the weapon itself, it was the idea that inspired me. The thought of fear being more dangerous than the actual weapon itself. Always great stuff on HC.
Red Meat– They say that women have some chemical inside of them which craves chocolate, while men have something which causes them to crave red meat. If this is the case, I may have an over-supply of it. There is no meal as satisfying as a steak. And in the name of all that is good and holy, please don’t order a steak well-done! The cow is already dead, no need to kill it again. I like my steak rare, but medium-rare is the furthest one should ever take it. As far as my favorite cut – I’ll cheat and say the Porterhouse, that way I’m getting the flavorful New York Strip as well as the melt-in-your mouth goodness which is the tenderloin. And please, filet mignon wrapped in bacon? This should be illegal – I have no idea why someone would wrap one of the best cuts of meat in one of the cheapest products… a sin.
The Twist Ending– As I’ve mentioned I’m a fan of the surprise ending. To me there is nothing
better than being lead down a path only to realize that the destination is somewhere complexly different than you thought you were headed. Whether it’s the brilliant films of M. Night Shyamalan, To Serve Man, or the works of my favorite author Fredric Brown; I love a good twist. And it’s pretty hard to pull off well, which is why I appreciate it even more when I am truly surprised by a story’s ending.
Apologetics, Theology & Comparative Religion – Okay, I know I said I wouldn’t get too heavy, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my passion about the subject of faith and spirituality. It may be surprising if you’ve read some of my works (I do write about killers quite often), but on the other hand it has been pointed out to me that much of my work contains religious undertones. This is often not a conscious attempt at proselytization, in fact the themes are very subtle, but I enjoy asking the big questions, and I think it comes through in my writing. I’m currently working exploring some of the big questions more overtly – my latest collection of flash is titles Flashes of Inspiration: Brief Tales of Faith and I’m working on a novelette which involves the Gospel writer Mark and his encounters with a Mithraic cult in Egypt. Of course, I’m also currently working on more dark fiction, but I do find I’ve been sleeping better at night since working on these other projects as well…
Cool Hand Luke – My favorite film of all-time. What a great performance from Paul Newman. There’s something about his every-man character Luke which appeals to my sense of both my longing for justice and my acceptance of the fact that injustice is far more common in this life. Here’s a guy who gets drunk, saws the tops off of some parking meters, and for this one stupid mistake, finds himself enduring the forced labor of a chain-gang. It speaks to me how ordinary people can so easily find themselves in extraordinarily dark situations. One twist of fate and our lives could be radically different…
Electric Light Orchestra – I’ve got to mention what I think is the least-appreciated band of all-time that deserves far more recognition than they get. ELO may not be the best band of all-time (that would be the Beatles, natch), but this band deserves way more credit than they’re given. They pushed the definition of what defined music, much the same way that Pink Floyd did. But while Floyd is hailed as one of the most innovative and influential bands of all-time, ELO albums are relegated to the discount bin. If you’ve never heard the genre-defying experience that is the Electric Light Orchestra, do yourself a favor and check them out. I recommend starting with the albums Time and El Dorado.
Comic Books – Yes, I’m a geek. I simply love superhero comics. As Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Unbreakable pointed out, superhero stories are the myths of our time. Is it any wonder than Hollywood continually turns to comics when looking for the next epic blockbuster? These stories are larger than life and writers such as Alan Moore and Frank Miller elevated the form to a level that truly deserves to be recognized an art. And to answer the inevitable question, DC is best. Come on man, they gave us Batman. ‘Nuff said.
Well, there you have it – my attempt at the Top Ten Anythings. I hope you’ve enjoyed my musings… if I’ve turned on just one person to ELO, it was a success on my end
A Tasting of Thistles: A Collection of Brief Tales by Dennis B Boyer
A game of skill settles a dispute, but the outcome may have far-reaching consequences. An accused heretic stands before a judge, awaiting the verdict which will determine his fate. An obsession with the crimes of Jack the Ripper drives one man’s desire to touch history. A priest implores a condemned man to confess and repent for his crime to avoid eternal damnation. A newly activated robot questions its creator about the nature of its existence. A criminal longs for an escape from his new-found infamy.
Do you have an appetite for the unusual?
“A Tasting of Thistles” will offer you six poignant very-short stories, or works of ‘flash fiction’. And although these morsels are bite-sized, their flavors will linger, staying with you long after the last word is read.
Like the offerings of a diverse tasting menu, you will experience a variety of samplings, as each story in this collection offers somthing intriguingly unique.
Leave your preconceptions behind, assume nothing, for one never knows if the thistle will offer its sweet milk or expose its prickly spines.
And these thoughtful tales may just leave you hungry for more…
That is, if you can stomach the stinging, often bitter, taste of thistles.
About Dennis Boyer
Dennis Boyer was born, raised and currently resides in the great state of New Hampshire. He is married and has a son and a daughter.
His favorite authors are Fredric Brown, C.S. Lewis, Rod Serling and George Orwell.
Besides writing, Dennis enjoys reading, cooking, watching films, and rooting for the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox.
Posted on 20/07/2012, in Guests and tagged coffee, comic books, cool hand luke, dennis boyer, electric light orchestra, french press, history channel, new england patriots, paul newman, red meat, twilight zone, twist ending, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.