The Notorious MLG

Melrose Larry Green on Hollywood Boulevard

Old Photographs and Wild Dreams – Page 177

THE NOTORIOUS MLG

Year after year he smiles and sells

orange vest and winter shorts

Greenblatt kid from Brooklyn ….Melrose Avenue

sandwich board life

Talent out the ass from piano to singing – comic

politico

Howard Stern’s WACKPACK spitfire mouthpiece …pot stirrer

Bobo & Mary Ann

No stranger to conflict…village town crier…MBA Cornell

Celebrity accountant

In spite of all the bluster, the sandpaper beliefs – heart of pure gold

gifted entertainer

Larry inspires me when I see that smile – that GRIN

This new book is for sale and only available in hard back. To get your copy click below:

Back Cover – Old Photographs & Wild Dreams

In the late nineteen nineties, during a construction boom, several blocks of downtown Los Angeles businesses closed their doors to make way for high rise luxury apartments, organic grocery concerns, work out spaces, and coffee shops. One of the stores scheduled for demolition was an antique shop with an eclectic array of sundries for sale. Since it was the last of a third generation family, when faced with extinction, they were happy to retire in a sunny climate with a generous nest egg. They held a “going out of business sale” event in which every item must go.

Some large items were from old circus venues and sideshows such as authentic costumes, swords, and historical documents. Stuffed animals sat beside some prized period furniture. After the sale was over, the shop was bare except for a stack of old dusty pictures in the storage area. The boxes moved to the alley near the dumpsters and forgotten. That same night a windstorm attacked the city and blew the boxes in the air and all over the streets. One such box contained old photographs, some over one hundred years old. As they blew across the city and picked up and wondered at, stories came alive and fired a few new, wild dreams. Here are those stories.

New Photographs and Wild Dreams

32

Thirty two counties and thirty two friends

Irish legends everyone of them

A pot of pure gold and an Irish grin

Step forth and enjoy the fun and sin

The walls tell the stories, ghosts whispering true

Guinness in the pint glass and Jameson not a few

Patrick is the Lord, lift up his banner

Associate with his angels and their heavenly manner

A well worn stage where music is born and played so well

Songs of a green homeland, a shepherd rings his bell

The bar is a friend to all who garnish a stool

To doubt or not believe this, why only a fool

St Patrick’s Day and Christmas, the ground swells and shakes

Funerals and birthdays, the love they do make

A star in the Almighty’s sky, the devil would agree

A long, long way from Claire, but its citizens you can see

-John K Bucher Sr,

from Old Photographs and Wild Dreams

To order a copy click on the link below:

Old Photographs & Wild Dreams

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My latest book is now for sale and you can get it from the link below. This is a beautiful hard back book with 100 poems, prose and stories covering a range of subjects: trains, bicycles, bars, cafes, California beaches, streets, Denison, abstract feelings, coffee shops, night hours, Hollywood, East Texas, old preachers, and cowboys.

click on the lick below to purchase:

https://www.amazon.com/Photographs-Wild-Dreams-John-Bucher/dp/0997129786/ref=sr_1_1?crid=392IORFSBAD82&keywords=john+k+bucher&qid=1560743173&s=gateway&sprefix=john+k+bucher%2Caps%2C495&sr=8-1

Notes from the Winter

The California winter of 18/19 brought many new aspects, bits and pieces. I worked daily on a new book of poetry that will be published and available for sale later this year. The title is “Old Photographs and Wild Dreams” and deals with roughly ten completely different subjects with a total of 100 new poems. More on this later…

Los Angeles awoke from it’s long drought and brought rain almost daily. February was the coldest in over 100 years and we Angelenos who covet the seventy degree mark, never saw it once. So, for we hot house flowers, we froze our asses off.

The weather induced a time of reflection, introspection and appreciation for the gift of life and friendship. The Oscars seemed to be perfect for once, although to those, whom life is just one long complaint, it was still the worst. Thanks to Movie Pass and later on A-List (AMC), Edina and I saw more movies in a season that ever before. Many, many great ones and a few duds.

I read some excellent books as the rain fell and the coffee brewed against the gray skies. Willy Vlautin’s “Don’t Skip Out On Me” and his latest “Lean On Pete” were at the top of my favorites. “Bad Jobs and Poor Decisions” by J.R Helton brought back memories of my own life of ten years in East Texas. A really great read that deserves a large audience. Anthony Bourdain’s foray into a crime story “Gone Bamboo” and Michael Koryta’s “The Last Honest Horse Thief” were the ones I read in one stetting they were so good. I’ve been a John Grisham fan from the start and his “The Reckoning” is the best in years. “White Rose Black Forrest” by Eoin Dempsey is a poignant tale of Germany during WWII, while probably my favorite was a non-fiction account of “Life at the Dakota” by Stephen Birmingham, that examines a thorough history of New York’s upper West Side.

Streaming television has become an addiction and there was plenty to enjoy. Netflix and Amazon kept pouring good stuff out there almost daily, and occasionally, Hulu brought a surprise. Showtime’s Ray Donovan reset in the Big Apple and once again kept my interest week by week. HBO’s 3rd season of True Detective returned to its former glory and may have been the best series of the winter.

My sons insisted I start listening to podcasts several years ago and although I don’t tune in for as much content as they do, Marc Maron’s WTF twice weekly podcast has become a fixture in my weekly routine. He’s moved into a new house and garage, but still has the same insecurities and opinions. His cutting edge guest list keeps informed about current culture as much anything out there, I guess.

Because of a long tenure in Colorado, I’ve been a life long Broncos fan since the 70’s. About ten years ago I promised God that if he would intervene and bring an NFL team to LA, I would convert, no matter the team. So. a few years back I became a Rams fan, and what a ride it has been. Horrible disappointment set in fast over the Super Bowl loss, but I recovered quickly as spring training followed. I am over that last two World Series losses to our city and am ready to root for the “Blue” once more. Hope springs eternal and “go Dodgers!”

Edina and I fell in love with camping near the coastline a few years back and we are chomping at the bit for another season on waves, wildlife, and wonderful sunsets at Point Magu. We were able to spend a few warm days in Pismo Beach the end of January and that helped ease the camping blues.

Hollywood Bowl season is also near and we love the “bowl events” where we can take a load of fried chicken and TJ wine into the concert and escape into that special magic. The first one we have planned is the first week of June with Dead & Company. We saw Dark Star Orchestra at the Saban in Beverly Hills last month and they wrestled the Dead’s set list alive and had the place jumping till it shook.

I’ll write more posts in the coming days.

“When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez and when it’s Easter time too.”-Bob Dylan

 

 

 

Writing a Crime Story

Recently, my oldest son, John Jr.,  who writes a weekly column for LA Screenwriter, penned an excellent article that writers need to find their genre or type of stories they are inclined toward. It made me think about what my own genre might be since I seem to write about a variety of themes. However, I gradually realized most of that I like to write has a dark side. Even the poetry I labor over is full of heartbreak, loss of job, loss of status and the down and out. Oh, there is plenty of love for many things, but it is definitely not about rainbows and unicorns. My first and second novels were about cowboys and witchcraft. I wrote a true story about a convicted murderer – Murder and Deceit. I continue to write two blogs about two men wrongly convicted of murder in Minnesota.

https://jacknissalkeisinnocent.wordpress.com/

https://kenandersenisinnocent.com/

So far this year, 2017, I have completed two screenplays,  a western with a dark twist, and a modern crime story. Over my life I can think of two things that affected my love of those kind of stories. In college I read all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. I felt transported back to London circa 1890 and accompanied him and Dr Watson on every coach ride and all nighter at 221B Baker Street. In the late 1980’s I saw a movie, True Believer, starring James Woods and Robert Downey Jr. The plot revolved around Shu Kai Kim, a Korean wrongly convicted of murder. This was a subject I never considered before and it opened up a new way of looking at the American Judicial system for me.

In the last 20 years, there is one story I become addicted to: HBO’s Sopranos.

Caldevino

Pictured above is the late Frank Vincent and a friend of mine, Chris Caldovino. I have watched every episode over 100 times and go through all six seasons every year. It never gets old. The creators stocked the show with plenty of rich characters and a string of plots that seem real. In the 1990’s I binged on Law and Order and today I am a fan of Michael Connelly, LA’s own creator of Detective Bosh.  The list is long, and I think the point is made how I found what I like to write.

Let me share some ideas on the “how”. Stories need conflict. There is plenty in crime stories. The very subject suggests that is their nature. However, Sopranos took it into ordinary life. Tony and company are rarely shown pulling a major heist and usually only murder one of their own. The series is about the struggles of the day, gangster style.

What if…

In Stephen King’s majestic book, On Writing, he reveals one of his techniques. He explains that he thinks of an ordinary event in his life, and asks “what if”. This is where original fiction is born. In my first published book, Western Soul, there is a short story called “Spearfish Gangsters”, that is based on my family reunion at Lake Texoma. Since then, I have learned to look at other so-called “ordinary events” and ask “what if”. Doing this should help in getting a plot or a premise together.

Memorable characters…

The success of shows like Law and Order, Sopranos, The Wire and Deadwood can be summed up in two words – memorable characters. So, how does a writer create a character, one that audience relates to or cares about? I begin with their names. As I start to think for a good name for the story, I keep a stack of index cards handy. I write a single name and tape it to the wall above where I work. They stay up there until the story is complete. After I feel there are enough names up there, I begin to write a back story, sometimes a paragraph, sometimes several pages, about who these names are. I tape those to the wall under their names as they come to me. This may take weeks. I don’t set a time limit, except to work on them five days every week. I force myself to look at them every day. There is where the story lies.

Outline the story…

This is a key step many writers skip. Sometimes an idea occurs and a paragraph or a page or two is done quickly. Then the writer struggles with where to go from there and the story dies a common death. An outline is the road map to the story. Once the outline is done it needs to marinate as more ideas are produced by finishing the project. As actual writing commences, you will be flooded with more pictures in your mind that add color to the story. An outline will keep the story living and breathing. I suggest the Save The Cat templates that are free online for screenwriting, but are useful in any story.

Goals…

Setting a goal to complete is crucial to any project. You start by committing to a daily goal. Let’s say you only want to work  five days per week. Then set a goal of words (if a novel) or pages ( screenplay). When you finish the day’s work, you are done. Go enjoy the balance knowing you did what you said you would do. Make a chart of your progress and stick it on the wall so you can hold yourself accountable. Then set an over all goal of how much this needs in words or pages. Once you do that, it will be easy to see how long until you are done. Don’t worry if you get behind, just keep going.

Real Estate…

There’s a saying in the real estate business “Location-location-location”. The saying applies to story telling and especially crime stories. Most writers agree you should “write about what you know.” Where you set the story is every important, even if the place is fictional. Get to know the real estate in your story. Make it real or make it up. If it is a fictional place then draw a map of what you imagine. Your audience will see this map as it unfolds in your story. Screenplays MUST be seen. The real estate is in every scene heading. Where is it? What does it look like? Day, night or what? Hot or cold. Let the audience feel where the story takes them.

Crime stories don’t need a moral or a point. They must be entertaining. The Godfather has no point to the story, but I love seeing Michael evolve into the Don no matter how many times I have seen the film. The Sopranos have no point but if Gandolfini was still alive I would love just one more episode to see what the old crook was up to. The characters become your friends.

Next Sunday I will probably post a poem I have been working on about my hometown. It’s called “I remember Denison…in its hey day.”

 

 

Welcome to the new look and content….

A new look and fresh content has arrived.  Last month I posted several “tastes” of my newest book “CALIFORNIA BEAT POETRY- NUMBER 2” with yours truly reading some of the poems.

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I have revamped the look of this place, and will offer a weekly look at things that cross my path and other beatnik thoughts and items I am puzzling over.

 

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Feel free to comment or contact me at :jkb817@gmail.com.

I am on Facebook.com/bucherjk and Twitter.com/bucherjk

My books are on Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0988930587?keywords=john%20bucher&qid=1446395124&ref_=sr_1_4&s=books&sr=1-4

Last week while I was coming back from the post office I encountered the crew from Jimmy Kimmel and ended up on the Holloween show:

On Friday I will talk about Quentin Tarrentino and his new movie about to debut. Having met him a few times and hearing his back stories about some of his favorite  works, I will feature an older movie he made- Jackie Brown. See you then.

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