Def: o'kay ter'ri'fic: 1.common expression of muted astonishment due to being surrounded by amazing stupidity, without quite knowing what else to say. 2.expression that usually precedes the changing of a subject brought up by an individual who is perfectly clueless to anything or anyone outside their own narcissistic corner of the universe. Origin: Unknown

Location: Bergen County, New Jersey, United States

Steven Hill is the author of the independently published A VOICE ABOVE THE DIN, available at www.lulu.com/holbrookhill, or Amazon or B&N.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lies, Lies, All Lies

First there was Norma Khoury, though not many seem to remember her. She was the Jordanian memoirist who basically conned the entire publishing business into believing her book (and entire life) was true when it really wasn't. Then she disappeared. Whatever happened to her anyway?

Second came James Frey who became a much more notoriously popular non-fiction liar than Norma. We all know his story by now. Ugh.

Now comes the half-million dollar teenager, Kaavya Viswanathan. Seems that lieing, cheating, and basically having no moral compass has invaded the fiction realm.

So, another interesting dilemna pops up. Not only is truth fiction, thanks to Norma and James, but now fiction is fiction. The funny thing is, fiction is all about lieing. Fiction is a lie by definition. But that doesn't mean that it's ok to blatantly rip off another writer! If I was Megan McCafferty, I'd be both insulted and flattered. The nerve of this girl ripping off her prose almost word for word and thinking she could get away with it! But in a weird sort of way, it's kind of flattering don't you think? Maybe this will mean bigger sales for MCafferty, whom many people never heard of before last weekend. Hey, I'm not justifying plagiarism for one second, but there's got to be a silver lining to this cloud for McCafferty.

As for the publishers, shame on them for not only letting this happen, but in effect, creating the situation by giving this 17 year old college student such an overwhleming task of producing a book for such a ridiculously large amount of money. She may be smart, but evidently she ain't that smart. And neither are they. When are the publishers going to held accountable for these debacles?

Okay Terrific,


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Throwing Tomatoes

So I open up my email at work this morning and guess what's first on the list? Someone had sent and email out addressed to 'Everyone' congratulating a fellow worker of mine who was interviewed in The NY Times about his new book, The $64 Tomato! I couldn't believe it!

I didn't even know this guy had written a book, though it actually seems like it's pretty good, if you're into vegetable gardening anyway. But really now, emails addressed to 'Everyone', write-ups in the Times and Life and every gardening journal known to man? Come on! Not that I want to take any success away from him, but how come some people get all the notice and others get totally overlooked? No one sent any emails out about my book when it first came out. In fact, when I posted about my book on our intranet, nobody even took notice. You would think there would be some interest there among co-workers!

I know this sounds jealous... but it should, because it is, and I am! How does a silly gardening book, which the author admitted only working on for 5 years, get so much attention, when my serious literary fiction novel, one that I toiled on for over 10 years, gets absolutely no ink? Geez, I can't even get friends and relatives to buy the dumb thing. Is there like this Great Cosmic Cloud working against me or something?

I'm not asking for a million seller or for Tom Cruise to pick up the movie rights (though he's assured of an Oscar win if he does, in my opinion) but how about some kind of recognition somewhere? My co-worker gets the Times and I get Community Life. Do you see what I'm getting at? Something's amiss in the universe and I wish, just once, the stars and planets would align for me, figuratively speaking, even if only for a short while.

I guess that's the stigma of independent publishing. People think that if you aren't published by a mainstream house, then it's no good. Why don't they feel that way about independent films? It's the same thing when you stop and think about it.

So I've decided on principle not to pick up my co-worker's book. I don't have a green thumb. And I don't even like tomatoes, per say, except when I'm throwing them.

Okay Terrific!


Monday, April 03, 2006

Baseball, Books and 'Roids

I love April. April brings spring and spring means baseball. But all I've been hearing about as far as baseball goes is steroids, steroids, steroids.

So I got to thinking, what if my my skinny little book was on steroids? Now I work out at the gym everyday. I've seen guys on steroids so huge that I look about as muscular as Natalie Portman standing next to them. Not natural, no way. And obviously bad for you, not to mention illegal. BUT, the way I figure it, steroids for my book could ONLY be beneficial, no drawbacks or side effects whatsoever! Right?

Imagine A Voice Above The Din on some Testosterone or Dianabol or HGH! Why it would bulk up from a wimpy 287 pages to a muscular, record-breaking 700 or 750. Awesome!

Not only that, it's existing body fat of excessive verbiage would slim down from it's current 21% to a single digit 6 or 7 %. Ripped!

Instead of languishing unnoticed on a (cob)web storefront, it would bound into bookstores all over the country, knocking that Dan Brown wimp off his high horse.

Its current ranking of "0" on AMAZON would sprint to number 1, shocking all other lame duck minor league fictions into google-eyed envy wondering where the heck it came from!

And last but not least, Tom Cruise would buy its movie rights, catapulting it into the Barry-Bonds-You-Can't-Touch-Me-Because-I'm-A-Superstar Oscar hall of fame!

Then I wouldn't have to work anymore and I could sit around watching baseball all day. How cool would that be!

Oaky Terrific,


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