Great Noir Quotes – The Little Sister (#3)

“I hung up. It was a good start, but it didn’t go far enough. I ought to have locked the door and hidden under the desk.”

-Phillip Marlowe, The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler

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Get it FREE on Amazon – Today and Tomorrow

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“The Back Doors of Fancy Places” is now available for a free download from the Kindle Store! Just today and tomorrow!

Please download as it will help my story climb higher in the rankings for free ebooks. And if you like what you read, let me know by leaving a review!


 

A woman with a green cigarette, a murder with no body, and a mysterious catamaran named the “Midnight Sun”. The private eye’s past cases come back to haunt him as he realizes that they are more entangled than he could have ever guessed.

-The Back Doors of Fancy Places is a dark short story that explores many quintessential noir themes.

A Writer’s Worst Fear: Computer Issues

The date was January 4th, and the year was 2017. Yes, this happened yesterday. I have spent most of the new year working on a new story. Three full days, to be exact. I had just finished the first draft, and I was very happy with the way that it had turned out. I was about halfway through rereading it, highlighting portions that I wanted to consider changing, and thoroughly enjoying the feeling of accomplishment. Three full days of writing, and I was proud of the results.

Then, quite suddenly and to my extreme horror, the entire document turned into asterisks. No more words, no more story, just page after page of endless asterisks. I quickly saved the document (turns out this was a bad idea, but it was reflex, habit). I closed the program and reopened it. All asterisks. My heart had dropped into my stomach as i search for solutions to the problem. It turns out that this particular bug has struck before, and I quickly learned that the only true way to recover my work (because I do not auto back-up my computer with Time-Machine) was to download a file recovery software and dig for the old version of the document.

Fortunately for me, I have my computer auto-save a copy of my work every minute instead of the standard 10 minutes. These auto-saved copies get deleted with each new manual or auto-save. But still, it allowed me to run the disk recovery, find thousands upon thousands of deleted files, navigate to the .docx and .doc files, search through hundreds of them until  finally finding the version which was saved just before the asterisk invasion. So after a few hours lost, and a fair amount of stress, I was able to recover EVERYTHING!

Not everyone is so lucky. Here are some things that I plan to consider (and you can too!) for protecting my work from technology related catastrophes:

  1. Use an automatic back up (such as the Time-Machine software which I already have and stupidly chose not to use) to avoid having to dig through hundreds of deleted files again.
  2. Keep the disk recovery tool on my computer, just in case. It saved my ass, so I suppose it has earned the right to stick around. (I used Disk Drill as it is compatible for Mac and Windows, and is incredibly easy to use.)
  3. Regularly replicate writing files to an external source, flash drive, external hard drive, Drop Box, anything that you can access from another computer in the event of catastrophic failure (Maybe someone ran over your computer with their car, for instance…)
  4. Set the word processor to auto-save every minute. This is easy, you just go to      Word–>Options/Preferences (depends if you use a Mac or PC)–>Save   then make sure the autosave is enabled and adjust to every 1 minutes.
  5. Set the word processor to AUTOMATICALLY SEARCH FOR UPDATES. I didn’t know this, but if I had installed all the updates, the asterisk bug was fixed a long time ago, but I never updated my word processor. Of course I didn’t know that any such thing as an asterisk bug existed. Moral of the story, dear children, is that: what you don’t know CAN hurt you. To make sure your word processor auto-updates, click          Help–>Check for Updates    and then adjust your settings as desired.

I really hope this helps somebody avoid some pain and suffering.

Who else has had computer problems ruin their writing projects?

Contact and Submissions Page – UPDATED

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I am excited to connect with other crime and noir authors! If you are interested in having your work featured on this page, please contact me through the Contact and Submissions page!

Here is a summary of what I would like to feature:

Submissions: If you are interested in submitting a guest post for consideration, I am especially interested in the following categories:

  1. Short Noir Fiction (1-1500 words is ideal, but I will consider longer stories)
  2. Noir Book Reviews
  3. Noir Film Reviews

Thank you so much for getting in touch, I look forward to reading your work.

-Anderson Ryle

The Nice Guys

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Let me start by saying that I enjoyed this film. However, while it has all the trimmings of Neo-Noir, it really betrays the genre in a few critical ways. But I’ll get to that in a minute: spoilers ahead.

The high points of the film include some good nods towards the British crime films of the 2000’s such as Snatch and In Bruges. The film hits some really great notes in the plot and characters. The beginning of the film lays on some really good noir flavor with a 1970’s LA setting, a muscle for hire with a heart of gold, and a flawed detective who is more sleazy than successful. There are some great moments of humor that weave their way in and out of the story, and the detective’s daughter tagging along is unusual but was actually compelling here.

If you watch this expecting a normal crime film you won’t be disappointed. The problem with this film as neo-noir lies in three main areas:

  1. The conspiracy goes too big. The stakes get too big. The action gets too big. Good noir keeps the stakes small, with the main characters lives being the largest thing at stake. This film portrays Big Auto as a totally corrupt and powerful industry. The shades of gray that are so prominent in good noir are remarkably absent here, and while our heroes are flawed, the lines between good and bad are still too clear.
  2. The women in this film are very one dimensional. There is no Femme Fatale, and you know from the start which women are going to be bad guys. They kind of try to make Tally a sort of femme fatale, but it falls flat. So very flat. And honestly her character is completely peripheral. Everything that she did in the film as Judith’s assistant could have been done by Judith herself. For having a critical portion of the plot hang on the death of a porn star, the production of a pornographic “Experimental Film”, and the Las Vegas mob supposedly expanding their pornographic interests to LA, this film has a staunch lack of necessary female characters. Even though Judith could be considered a major character, her role is surprisingly minor. The influence she could have had on the story was divided up between her character, John Boy, and Tally, which really left no one as the ultimate villain. In my opinion, this film should have had a critical female character who the audience is not sure if they can trust. At the very least the film could have used a female character that wasn’t just a male character played by a woman.
  3. Lastly, and most frustrating for me, is the scene after they find the missing girl. They have two sides of the story, the mom’s which says her daughter is crazy and thinks that her mom is trying to have her killed, and the daughter’s story which says that her mom is trying to prevent the release of the “Experimental Film” that threatens to expose the corrupt auto industry. Faced with this conflicting possibilities, any noir detective would play his cards close to his chest. However, this detective just spills all the information about the daughter to the mom as soon as they have found the girl. To me, this betrays the noir detective.

Perhaps any one of these issues could have been included without losing the noir feel, but for me, the trio is just too much. I guess a noir “vibe” is about all that is here, while it fails to resonate with the true nature of noir, the darkest alleys, the moral shades of gray, the viewer should be unsure who he can trust.

Again, if you go into this film to enjoy it for the fun, crime film that it is, you won’t be disappointed.

-Anderson Ryle