Explore the Figure with Art

10310619_1039796309404133_8290943215820727187_nIf you happen to find yourself in southeastern Michigan, around the Bloomfield Hills area, and have a hankering for some art, then I suggest a visit to the Janice Charach Gallery. Now until February 18, 2016, the gallery is presenting a collection of Detroit artists celebrating the human figure called Exploring the Figure.

There are some familiar names among the artists showing at the gallery. My favorites, Bowen Kline and Tony Roko are there, but I was elated to discover a new name among the collections that I had not heard before, as well. And that is always part of the experience when visiting a gallery.

Kline had a busy year in 2015 and it shows with his most recent works on display. Not only has he been keeping busy with portraits, something that he excels at, but he has revisited the nude, a practice that really set him apart from other artists early in his career. He has some breathtaking pieces at the exhibit that, I’m sure, will find a home rather quickly. Kline continues to push the boundaries of expression through his art, combining techniques and incorporating literature in his pieces. The experience can be a reflective moment and maybe even revolutionary, depending on where you are in life at that particular moment when looking at a Kline piece.

The exhibit includes paintings, sketchings, as well as photography from some of Detroit’s most exciting artist. And, of course, each work of art is for sale.

Now, you’re probably wondering who the new discovery was. I wasn’t going to leave you hanging. I don’t know much about this artist, but I really enjoyed the work. The artist goes by the name Slaw and I was drawn to every piece on display at the gallery. Such a vintage look, but so fresh, with zero irony. Simply put, I loved his work. Well worth the time and effort to go out to Janice Charach Gallery.

 

Happy New Year and a Giveaway

Congratulations on making it to 2016. It promises to be an interesting year. Here in America, we have the election and the circus that leads up to it. Always a guarantee for a good time. Also, around the world, it’s the same ol’ shit, but with the 24 hour news coverage, the world is ending. But that’s neither here nor there.

Let’s talk about what’s coming up in the world of books.

I just finished the biography, John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman. It was a glorious book and I cannot recommend it enough. If you like Hollywood biographies, you cannot go wrong with one about the Duke. People are much more complicated than their persona, even the famous.

I’m halfway through the first draft of Bone Cay, the second book in the Lee Cutter series. The first book, Sins of Iniquity, is with agents right now. Hopefully, we can get that bastard out this year. Bone Cay, on the other hand, is coming along nicely and I’ll finish the first draft by the end of the month. Lee Cutter is turning out to be an interesting and complex character and I’m enjoying the ride. I’m sure readers will agree.

I’m giving away three copies of The Final Round. There’s only one string attached. You have to follow me on Twitter. Here’s the link to the giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/bae50ed38ae6cee1.

The Final Round is a five star novel based on the incredible true story of heavyweight boxer Billy Miske. It’s a heartbreaker. Not only did I write it, but I read it. I think it’s pretty good. If you don’t win a free copy, then I suggest buying it. The book makes a great gift, too. Also check out my novella, There is a Season, available on Kindle and in paperback.

That’s it for the New Year. I’ll be missing in action until the first draft of Bone Cay is complete, but I read all my messages and emails, even the hateful ones. Keeps me grounded. I hope you have a great start to 2016 and remember those that left us in 2015. Unless, of course, that means they decided that they couldn’t be around us anymore and don’t return our phone calls. In that case, the hell with them. Who needs ’em?

An Interview With Writer Gary Allison

This is an interview I did recently about writing, filmmaking and Detroit.

elizagalesinterviews

gary a

Gary Allison is the author of the book The Final Round; here is a link to his website:

http://garywallison.com/

 

 

Q:  What made you start writing in the first place?

A: I’m not sure. I like stories. My family told stories, some good, some bad, some repeated. I wrote as a teenager. It was garbage. Writing was for sissies and I’d be damn if anyone called me a sissy. The teenage years were secret notebooks of cringe inducing plots, incomplete philosophical assaults birthed from a black hearted, greasy teen whose mind was preoccupied with getting laid or lying about getting laid. They were awful years: the pimpled years.

Once eighteen, the writing stopped. I joined the Navy and proceeded to indulge in worldly customs that mainly involved experimental liver endurance tests. I was an iron man. When I wasn’t working at defending this great nation of ours single handedly…

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Inside There is a Season

TIASSince the publishing of my novella There is a Season, I’ve received letters and emails, as well as had conversations with readers about the book, the origins of the story, and how it has impacted lives. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of them, good and bad, but mostly the good.

I thought I would write an article about the book, answering common questions and addressing aspects of the book that usually come up when talking about it with readers.

There is a Season was my first long form story. It’s a novella because it isn’t long enough to be a novel, nor is it short enough to be a short story. I like novellas, but I didn’t start out writing one. My hope was to have a novel; however, during the writing process, I realized that it was not to be. The best part about writing a novella is that it’s great practice for a novel. Forty-thousand plus words is no small feat, and it prepares you for the grandness of a novel, which I eventually wrote with The Final Round.

I’m often asked if There is a Season was based on a true story. I’m happy to say that it was not. Although, it was inspired by bad news that ran wild with my imagination.

The character of Tom Hatcher was tromping through my head for years before I sat down to write the story. I had the idea of a man that had everything and was living the American dream, only to have it snatched away by tragedy. Often the idea mirrored my worst fears and other times, it had a life of its own. Then one day, a very good friend of mine called and told me that doctors had diagnosed him with cancer. If you’ve ever had a close friend or family member share this sort of news, it has the ability to hit you square in the jaw, making you dizzy and sick with fear.

As I dealt with the news in my own way, Tom Hatcher kept knocking on my door. I didn’t realize it then, but he was also my muse and was telling me that I needed to write his story.

My friend had it all: a wonderful family, great job, a nice home in the country, friends everywhere he turned. He was living the American dream and loving it. The fear that swept through everything when he was diagnosed was unavoidable. Yet, my friend was a rock. Eventually, after surgery and treatment, he was declared cancer free, and all was well.

Yet, Tom Hatcher continued hounding me.

Finally, it was too much. His consistent knocking and nightly badgering was becoming a problem. He insisted on me telling his story, but I had a problem. Tom Hatcher didn’t have cancer. He was a picture of health. He was climbing the ladder of success and enjoying the ride. I knew something bad had happened to him, but I had no idea what. That is, until I took a look at his family.

Cancer is a terrible disease. I’ve lost family members and friends to it. I’ve watched family members and friends battle it. I’ve heard stories of triumph and defeat. Even the triumphant stories are terribly gut-wrenching. It’s something that just about everyone in the world has dealt with in one way or another. And I was going to make Tom Hatcher deal with it, but as a powerless bystander.

Tom’s daughter, Tiffany, is a precocious six years old. She’s adorable, friendly, instantly liked, and well loved. Giving her cancer wasn’t easy, but it was necessary. The only way I could show Tom Hatcher overcoming his greatest obstacles was to destroy the very thing he loved the most.

I had no idea how the story was going to end. I didn’t outline. I only had a vague idea of how Tom was going to come out in the end. Ultimately, I was just as surprised by the ending as every reader who has written to me. I cried, also, and my heart broke to pieces. It was a magical moment as a writer, but a horrible one as a reader.

There is a Season is a tragic tale, but I didn’t want to end on a tragic note. Some readers have disagreed with my choice, but in order to show Tom’s growth as a man, I needed to carry it through.

Another aspect of the novella that many have written to me about is the religion woven throughout the book. Some were pleased, even happy with its message. Others were disheartened by it. What readers don’t understand is that There is a Season is not a religious book or story. I didn’t sit down with the thought of writing a message story. I had no purpose other than to tell the story of Tom Hatcher. Religion just happened to be a part of it.

I don’t consider There is a Season to be a spiritual book or Christian fiction. It is merely the story of one man’s tragedy and how he dealt with it. What is important to note, however, is that no one in There is a Season is perfect. They are all flawed characters, just as it is in real life. And we all react accordingly.

There is a Season is a special book for me as it was my first. It is also special because it has had a positive impact on readers. A writer can only hope for such praises.

For the summer, this little book is at a special low price of $0.99 for Amazon Kindle users. If you haven’t picked it up, give it a shot. It’s worth the time.

Thanks for reading.

 

A Polished Token: a poem

A Polished Token
By Gary W. Allison

West of the rising sun
My future, shining on
My life, just a con
California, full of fun

Playing a game
One in a hundred win
I could be wrong
Probably a million

A rundown motel
Hollywood high noon
An old woman whistles
A forgotten show tune

Driving wealth and fame
A brush with a great one
It’s just the same
California, full of fun

Write on, right on
One in a hundred win
I know I’m wrong
It’s one in a million

Getting a break
Or getting broken
Life is at stake
Fame a polished token

Write on, right on
East of the setting sun
My life, just a con
California, full of fun

The Final Round Cover

I haven’t posted a new blog as I’m busy working on a few projects. If your looking for good reading material, take the time to order my latest novel, The Final Round. It’s more than a true story, it’s legendary. The Final Round is available on Amazon.com in Kindle and paperback.

The Final Round

Poetry: Talking To Hear Yourself Talk

Literary poetic
vomit spews
violently from
the leather
faced lady’s
mouth.
Stinging bitterness
eats away
the enamel
of her already
piss stained
teeth.
Eyes close
Teeth grind
Ears turn
down to the
ground.
“Why me?”
they ask.
“Why not?”
says she.
She’s a verbal
enema that
strong arms you
to wish you
never heard
language.

Between The Pages


There is a Season

There’s a new site promoting my novella, There is a Season. It gives a little more insight into the writing of the book and also allows readers to leave reviews.

Yes, I’m taking the time to blatantly promote my work on my blog. Apparently, that’s bad form. But like my golf coach used to say, “You have bad form, Gary, but you sure can drive the hell out of that ball.”

Check it out.

Learn more more about my novella, There is a Season, and if you read it, leave a review. Otherwise, buy it!

Poetry: River Trout Sonnet

River Trout Sonnet

When choosing good flies for big river trout,
and selecting a rod that’s strong and bends,
I depend on the trout to help me out;
some tiny advice from one of my friends.
Knee-high in the living Pierre Marquette,
rainbows run, dodging sun, shunning a fight,
I cast a light line out, the fly now wet,
hunting for fish before the ease of night.
The trout is strong, moving ever so sleek.
He’s studying my fly adrift ahead.
I wait, a bead of sweat rolls down my cheek.
Will he strike my fly or choose life instead?
Then sudden success and a time of bliss,
three green spirits; rainbow, man, river-kiss.