MIKE PACE Thriller Writer

February, that Crappy Little Month

The 1986 drama, “The Color of Money,” with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise (and directed by Martin Scorsese, based on a novel by Walter Tevis, who I mentioned in a previous blog) has a line in it that I’ve always remembered.   After Vincent (Cruise) misinterprets something Fast Eddie (Newman) says, the older star clarifies:…

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Déjà Vu

Déjà Vu is a Classic Rock album by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young featuring such iconic songs as: Woodstock, Our House, Carry On and Teach Your Children. It’s also a weird phenomenon that has rattled most all of us.   Déjà vu, is French for “already seen.” It’s that dizzying, momentary flash of, “I’ve been…

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Out-of-the-Box Characters

The traditional plot model–setting, setup, lots of rising action all culminating in a story’s climax and resolution—is not too different from how many of us see our lives; we are the protagonists of our own narrative.   Modernist writers like Virginia Woolf and Ezra Pound, and postmodern writers including Vladimir Nabokov, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and…

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La Zona del Silencio

Have you ever had a strange feeling about a place you couldn’t immediately identify? Perhaps you felt it at that eerie abandoned plaza of a once-bustling town, or maybe you had a general sense of foreboding when you hit a particular stretch of land while walking through the sprawling acreage of a wilderness.   You…

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Wildies

Some of the best movies of the past three decades came from the successful writing partnership of Joel and Ethan Coen, responsible for “No Country for Old Men,” “The Big Lebowski,” and “Fargo,” among an impressively long list.   When discussing their writing process in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, they mentioned an interesting…

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DETROIT SCHADENFREUDE

A federal judge just recently approved Detroit’s use of the bankruptcy laws to deal with the city’s staggering financial problems. This ruling will allow the city the freedom to pay pennies on the dollar to its creditors, and to significantly reduce its current and long term employee pension obligations. The decision is but the latest…

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4th Grade Lesson

When I was in the fourth grade, I was asked to help write a short Christmas play. (This pre-dated the ban on the reference to Christmas in schools). I fell in love with storytelling.   This affinity for simple, straight-forward narrative has helped me throughout my professional and personal life.   When I served as…

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The Day After

Future social historians will look back at the 20th and early 21st Centuries and identify three socially transforming events in America: Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy Assassination, and 9/11. The day after Pearl Harbor, Americans realized they were no longer protected by two oceans and the Nation’s collective sense of security was transformed. The day after…

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Would You Believe Mayor Rob Ford as a Fictional Character?

Deep-sea creatures like the Anglerfish; string theory, which revealed through mathematics the possibility of multiple dimensions; the unlikely reality television careers of Gary Busey and Bruce Jenner – all these things might qualify for that wonderful Mark Twain quote:   “Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.”…

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True Horror: Island of the Dolls

Sometimes horror ideas come too easily. Julian Santana Barrera was a hermit living alone on the Xochimilico canal, 17 miles south of Mexico City. One day, sadly, he discovered the body of a young girl had washed up onto his shore. A few days later, a doll washed up on shore at the same location…

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