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Archive for December 20th, 2021

by Sam Juliano

The staff of Wonders in the Dark extend holiday greetings to all our friends and readers.  We are hoping 2022 will bring us some good news after the downward spiral of the past weeks.  These are difficult times, and we must hold on to any strand of positive energy sent our way.  Merry Christmas, all!

I want to extend a special thanks to Tony D’Ambra for his fantastic navigation of the site to re-arrange the banner, and set up a  sidebar, adding a link of the book to Amazon.  Once again thank yous are really insufficient!

This past week, Jim Clark published another fabulous review in his ongoing Antonioni series, this time on the English language Blow-Up.  Continuing thanks to my muse, Valerie (Clark), who continues to generate all kinds of positive energy.  This could never be sufficiently acknowledged.

Dennis Polifroni penned a superlative piece on Stephen Spielberg, in honor of the master’s 75th birthday.  So great to have Dennis back contributing!

The Eastern European/Former Soviet Bloc polling continues for the coming weeks, and the numbers so far have been good.  Thanks to those who have registered their ballots here at the site or on my FB page.

Publishing “typo” errors; Book sales; and the “dialogue” in PARADISE ATOP THE HUDSON
Late Sunday night I re-published PARADISE ATOP THE HUDSON after an intensive online session with my friend and editor Bill Kamberger, who scoured the book vigilantly. The novel is now error-free, meaning no more typos, no errant words, no missing commas, and even a correction on a character mix up of Sarah and Carol in one sentence about two-thirds through the book. The word “kneel” now has the missing “n” and the Guinness Book of World Records has replaced the incorrect Guinness World Book of Records. The massive “acknowledgment” section is now ERROR-FREE as well, in every sense. There weren’t many errors overall, but ANY errors to me are troubling. The section on Fairview and Cliffside Park residents who died too young has also been made to read as well as can be with some slight alterations, and in Chapter 1 “Miss America” has been rightly replaced by “Little Miss America.” (thank you Angelo for that alert!) My former teacher and great friend Mrs. Ann Marie Kradenski was referred to in an earlier chapter as “Mrs. Contessa,” but now is properly down as “Miss Contessa.” She was presented in that same chapter as “recently married,” when in fact at that time she was actually “recently engaged.” In another chapter “His” was used instead of the proper “He.” All of that has been corrected now. Even some accidental “bold” lettering in the aforementioned acknowledgment section has been fixed, thanks to Bill’s sharp-eyed investigation.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? It means that as of early this morning on Monday, December 19, all copies of the book sold –either on PAPERBACK or on KINDLE– will NO LONGER have the errors I mentioned. All books sold from here on will be error-free and fully corrected. I have ordered 35 author copies at cost ($5.88 each) that I will use for my future library signings or gifts. I bet I will need even more. I apologize for the earlier errors, but this is the price to pay for RUSHING, a lamentable fact Bill and my wife Lucille have reminded me about. But the errors are few and far between, and the early reports from readers who are engaged and/or have completed the book have been glowing.
You learn from mistakes. My tentative plans are to publish “Irish Jesus in Fairview” in either April or May, but this time I will be sure from the very start to have the book properly tweaked and error-free BEFORE publication. I have NOT finished writing “Irish Jesus in Fairview,” but I am nearly three-quarters there, unless I decide to make it longer than originally planned.

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by Dennis Polifroni
If I had to put a name and a face to the person that most changed my life when I was growing up, in terms of compelling me to study all facets of art and story-telling, then it would take all of about three seconds to name Steven Spielberg.
Sure, since those days of T-shirts and popcorn in air conditioned theatres during the sweltering summer months of my youth I’ve grown to respect and love other artists more and with more passion. Yet, Spielberg holds a special place in my heart. His instinctive flair for capturing the right framing and composition for every shot he’s ever taken, his blisteringly precise timing in the editing room to make every moment in every film feel like the crack of a whip, and his awareness of what moves us, made me understand that anything that can be imagined could be put up on the big screen.
A secret, sneak showing of his 1975 blockbuster, adventure thriller, JAWS, with my father when I was 9 years-old, was THE moment I knew I wanted to study all forms of art. That 2 hour and 5 minute rollercoaster ride across the treacherous ocean surfaces has never left me and, even at that junior year of age, I had been fascinated by who could make something so big, so spectacular. So GREAT.
Since 1975 and JAWS (btw, still my personal favorite movie of all time, I’ve seen it over 100 times-not kidding), I’ve followed Spielberg, sometimes blindly, into those cavernous, dark churches we call theatres to see where he would take us next. Sometimes his landscapes were familiar to me (the kids and neighborhoods of E.T.), sometimes dangerous (Raiders of the Lost Ark) but always wonderous (Close Encounters entrances me every time). He took me to far off lands, had me leaping from horses in pursuit of vast fortunes and showed me people and things from other places outside the solar system I was sure, then, existed.

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