Friday, November 26, 2010

Thank You, Mrs. Galvin

I received a note today from 6th grade teacher Karen Galvin. She explained that she had been using my website’s “News & Info” page as a resource for information and suggested that I add a new reference for a valuable resource given to her by a student. So here it is:
ADD/ADHD Learning Center
My thanks to Mrs. Galvin’s student for this important reference, soon to be added to my webpages.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Love for Tucson Gets Wings

photo by Charles Redner

Let it be known, writing “5 Best Photo Opportunities in Tucson” for AOL Travel via RedRoom wasn’t simply an opportunity to see another byline. I love Tucson. My wife and I visited for vacation during New Year’s 1999-2000. She left for a bike ride and returned in a car driven by a Realtor. We looked at a house, purchased it on the spot, only returning to New Jersey to pack our things. I have visited and photographed every site mentioned in the article (except the Titan Museum) and hope, should you visit Tucson, that you find my assessments agree with yours. Space did not allow but the Pima Air and Space Museum is also worth a look.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Guest Appraiser

Guest Appraiser
By Charles Redner
My wife’s painting of a battered red truck
proudly hangs in her art society’s gallery
where a class, currently in session,
is painting a female model.

The artists appear at ease,
checking proportions, brushes at arm’s length,
splashing moistened pigments on canvas.
This is their norm.

But oh, so new to me.
I shift my eyes from the wall
where my wife’s painting
has been judged honorable.

Desirous to better view the model,
I shift my eyes hard, hard as possible,
as a head turn, would be obvious.
Obvious to the model, the class, my wife.

But the eyes shift
does not accomplish—a look.
A look—a nonchalant glance.
You know, nonchalantly.

Wife gazes at me for appraisal of her work.
I study it now for the first, nod approvingly.
Voice has deserted the vocal cords.
She turns to leave, turns the wrong way.

Do I pirouette in the same direction?
Or accidently turn toward—
Did I mention—there’s a model?

A naked,
unencumbered by clothes,
beautiful, young lady
posing less than a fallen easel away.

I turn, having appraised and follow my wife out the door.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Night BP...back story

A few months ago, Michael Blake sent me a manuscript of his new book, Into the Stars. It’s about an American soldier during WW I who finds a horse on the battlefield. After I read it I called Michael, so impressed with his description of trench warfare. I asked him where he found do much material on WW I as I felt as though I was there. He told me that he made it all up. Impressed, I mentioned this to Said. He then challenged me to write about a subject of his choosing without any research. He chose the Gulf oil spill.
I wrote "The Night BP Drove Old Dixie Down" which is now a finalist in RedRoom’s short story contest. What I found interesting is that friends have asked me how I knew so much about fishing and drilling for oil.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hummingbird Review Poetry Revue

NEWS FLASH, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LITERARY FANS: 'Dances With Wolves' author Michael Blake will be joining American Haiku magazine founder Don Eulert, Hummingbird Review editor Bob Yehling, poet Maggi DeRosa, short fictionist Alwyn Martin and yours truly at the Hummingbird Review Poetry Revue Sunday, Oct. 24 at Vista City California Library. It starts at 2:30 p.m. and is presented by the Sunset Poets. What a day for spoken word this is going to be!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Viva Tucson

This I believe.
There are places on this earth that resonate beyond the five senses. For me, here in the lower forty-eight, I discovered one in Abiquiu, New Mexico, near Santa Fe – Ghost Ranch – where Georgia O’Keeffe waved her magic brush. The second is located in Chinle at Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de Shay), in the northeast quadrant of Arizona. The third is the state’s second city, Tucson, where I lived for seven glorious years. It was in Tucson that I wrote my first novel and discovered poetry, thanks to Penny Porter, matriarch of the Society of Southwestern Authors, who invited slam poet Taylor Mali to perform at its 2008 conference. Tucson, the Old Pueblo, is where I learned to appreciate a desert’s spectacular beauty, where I experienced its unfathomable wonder and gathered up the vibrations it sent my way.
Been kicking myself rather hard since I missed the second annual Tucson Festival of Books in March, where 450 writers assembled to thrill over 50,000 readers. Titled, “Where Words & Imagination Come to Life” the festival even featured a hummingbird as its symbol—kismet. I squandered the opportunity to mingle with authors Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty and 3:10 To Yuma); Michael Gelb (How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci); and Mark Frost, who along with David Lynch produced the phenomenal 1990s television series Twin Peaks. I lost the chance to talk with my old friend, Academy Award screenwriter/novelist Michael Blake (Dances With Wolves and Indian Yell) I also missed out on visiting with The Hummingbird Review's inspiration, Luis Alberto Urrea (Into The Beautiful North, Hummingbird’s Daughter), who was blessed by a shaman during his signing session. Whoa! I've already marked my calendar for next March 12-13.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More extra, extra!

I have an opinion piece in aol news this morning. If hotlink doesn’t work: aol news and click on opinion: When Two ‘Rights’ Make a Wrong.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Extra! Extra! Extra! Vol 1, No 2 Summer/Fall 2010


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vampires, be gone!

May I have the pleasure?
May I have the pleasure, of killing the last vampire
or will the horrid, hordes slay us first?

When I am King, all in the realm will carry, at hand,
freshly bottled Holy water, mallet with wooden stake,
and a Pope-blessed crucifix.

When I am King, Buffy and True Blood will be banished,
along with novels coddling blood-sucking bats.
The sun will never set at Twilight.

When I am King, statues of Bram Stoker will be smashed.
Bios of Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney stricken from Wikipedia.
Agents, editors and publishers of the genre may be Tasered on sight.

May I have the pleasure,
of murdering them all, or like the gladiators of Rome,
I ask, let me die honorably in the attempt.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A birthday tribute

Ode to Michael Blake

By Charles Redner

Here’s to the Age of Retirement
and all that jive,
sixty plus cinco
on twenty-ten, July five.
Give a cheer ‘cause Michael’s
made it to here.
Ya’ll know the drill—
a toast—lift up a frosty,
cold mug of beer.

His classic Dances taken on a life of its own,
then Twelve raced off to heaven, but is hardly alone.

Hundreds now follow their undaunted King
a galloping Pegasus over endless valleys upon angel wings.

The Holy Road’s waiting
for Hollywood to call,
where that darn Kevin guy
is too busy hitting a ball.
Indian Yell tells the stories
white-folks shudder to recall
but needs retelling, so never again
at a Wounded Knee they fall.
You may bury my body in Sussex grass,
You may bury my tongue at Champmedy.
I shall not be there, I shall rise and pass.
Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.

Stephen Vincent Benet
“American Names,” 1931

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nine minutes of fame!

On the set of “Write-On” with host, Judy Saxon. Could Oprah’s sofa be far off?

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Ready for my closeup...

"Ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille." Cable TV interview tomorrow.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Laguna Woods Book Festival May 8, 2010

Come to my class at the Laguna Woods Book Festival, May 8th. "Mind-Bloggeling" Internet.

Monday, April 5, 2010

California Quake

Each March, Professor Dean Nelson of Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California holds a weeklong celebration called Writer’s Symposium by the Sea. I highly recommend attending if at all possible. My friend, Luis Urrea (author of Into the Beautiful North) presented at last year’s event. This year I heard Garrison Keillor and Professor Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown. Dyson is a wild man. He was there to speak about his Martin Luther King, Jr. book, April 4, 1968 and hip hop culture. I couldn’t resist, had to write this ditty after the dynamic presentation.

Crill Auditorium Epicenter
of Point Loma Quake

By Charles Redner

Yo, Professor Dyson
Jive’n like Ali
but bite’n like Mike Tyson.

Had a message, delivered it strong—
there are words that just don’t belong.
For a Black man began with “N”
The other invective, come again,
for a woman “H” it ends.
While spoken festive style
no joking in the aisles.
Those two words will delete
this audience never to repeat.

Yo, Professor Dyson
you shook the foundation
of our “I have a dream” education.

Made us think of race
as a on-going case,
not just historical footnotes
of nineteen-sixty’s quotes.
A work in progress
amid giant strides
providing we all don’t backslide.

Yo, Professor Dyson
you set the stage on fire
then received a standing O.

Oh, so deservedly so!

March 25, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Down But Never Out & HBR

Had a very successful launch of Down But Never Out and The Hummingbird Review at the SOCAL Writers’ Conference in San Diego on Feb 14th. I am not going on a schedule tour just yet. I am holding off the publisher’s publicist for now. I am learning about the wholesale and distribution channels for both books as most independent publishers do not provide the sale forces at the wholesale level. Much paperwork, B&N requires their own forms and procedures, the B&N college book stores require different forms as do the other chains and independent stores. For March and April I had planned to stay local in southern California. In late May or early June the Philly Boxers Association plans to unveil the Giardello statue in south Philly, planning a tour of greater Philly area at that time including readings and signings with Down syndrome organizations and other community groups.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

HBR up, up and away!

Want to launch your book in a big party setting? Then be the reason behind the social mixer on a Friday night before a conference of writers. About 200 attendees of the San Diego Writers’ Conference came to the mixer and heard all about American’s newest literary journal—The Hummingbird Review straight from the organizers. They also announced a contest we sponsored, offering a $100 prize with possible publication in the next issue of up to 1,000 words (they judge, we retained right to publish or not). With a table by the front door and next to the bar every evening, we got to meet and talk up HBR with many of the attendees during the three days. We sold books at our own table and not through the bookstore that wanted a 40% cut. We sold 30 books and gave some to the staff and instructors. It was a fun weekend, especially when Jackie came by to say hello. Wish more of you could have stopped by. Next conference, Newport Beach in September!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Been too busy to blog.
Let me catch a breath.
Okay, here’s the news:

1. Down But Never Out, the bio of former middleweight champion Joey Giardello and his relationship with his son, Carman, born with Down syndrome is now available. It can be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Open Books Press and my website:
2. The Hummingbird Review, America’s newest literary journal will within days be available at the same sites mentioned above.
3. My book of poetry, Long-A-Coming is available at Amazon and my website.
4. All three books will be on sale at the Southern California Writers’ Conference, February 12-15. The official launch of all three books will be celebrated during the Conference. Would love to see you there. For more info see