Happy birthday Michael Connelly

d-MCAmerican author Michael Connelly was born 21 July 1956. He writes very exciting detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller.

After graduating from the University of Florida in 1980, Connelly got a job as a crime beat writer at the Daytona Beach News Journalwhere he worked for almost two years until he got a job at the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel in 1981. There, he covered the crime beat during the South Florida cocaine wars, an era that brought with it much violence and murder. He stayed with the paper for a few years and in 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of the 1985 Delta Flight 191 plane crash, a story which earned Connelly a place as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. the honor also brought Connelly a job as a crime reporter at the Los Angeles Times. He moved to California in 1987 with his wife Linda McCaleb, whom he met while in college and married in April 1984. After moving to Los Angeles, Connelly went to see the High Tower Apartments where Raymond Chandler’s famous character, Philip Marlowe, had lived (in The High Window), and Robert Altman had filmed. Connelly got the manager of the building to promise a phone call in case the apartment ever became available. Ten years later, the manager tracked Connelly down and he decided to rent the place. This apartment served as a place to write for several years, but it was more based on the nostalgia of the place than the comfort of it (for example, it didn’t have air conditioning).After three years at the Los Angeles Times, Connelly wrote his first published novel The Black Echo, after previously writing two unfinished novels that he had not attempted to get published. The novel was sold to Little, Brown to be published in 1992 and won theMystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for best first novel.The book is partly based on a true crime and is the first one featuring Connelly’s primary recurring character, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch, a man who, according to Connelly, shares few similarities with the author himself. Connelly named Bosch after the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, known for his paintings full of sin and redemption, including a painting called “Hell”, a copy of which hangs on the office wall behind Connelly’s computer. Connelly describes his own work as a big canvas with all the characters of his books floating across it as currents on a painting. Sometime they are bound to collide creating cross currents. This is something that Connelly himself creates by bringing back characters from previous books and letting them play a part in books written five or six years after first being introduced.[3]Connelly went on to write three more novels about Detective Bosch — The Black Ice (1993), The Concrete Blonde (1994), and The Last Coyote (1995) — before quitting his job as a reporter to write full-time.

In  1996, Connelly wrote The Poet, his first book not to feature Bosch; the protagonist was reporter Jack McEvoy. The book was a success and earned Connelly comparisons to author Thomas Harris by reviewers. In 1997, Connelly returned to Bosch in Trunk Musicbefore writing another book, Blood Work (1998) about a different character, FBI agent Terry McCaleb. The book was made into a film in 2002, directed by Clint Eastwood, who also played McCaleb. The story features McCaleb, an agent with a transplanted heart, in pursuit of his donor’s murderer. The book came together after one of Connelly’s friends had a heart transplant and he saw what his friend was going through with survivor’s guilt after the surgery.When asked if he had anything against the changes made to fit the big screen, Connelly simply said; “If you take their money, it’s their turn to tell the story”.Connelly wrote another book featuring Bosch, Angels Flight (1999), before writing Void Moon (2000), a free-standing book about Cassie Black, a Las Vegas thief. In 2001, A Darkness More Than Night was released, in which Connelly united Bosch and McCaleb to solve a crime together, before releasing two books in 2002. The first, City of Bones, was the eighth Harry Bosch novel, and the other was Chasing the Dime, a non-series novel.

9d-mcn 2001, Connelly left California for Tampa Bay, Florida together with his wife and daughter, so that both he and his wife could be closer to their families. But even though Connelly moved from one coast to the other, his novels still took place in Los Angeles; he feels no desire to write books set in Florida.[4]In 2003, another Bosch novel, Lost Light, was published. With this book, a CD was released, Dark Sacred Night, the Music of Harry Bosch, featuring some of the jazz music Bosch listens to.Connelly himself says he prefers listening to rock and roll, jazz and blues. While writing he listens exclusively to instrumental jazz, though, because it does not have intrusive vocals and because the improvisational playing inspires his writing. The Narrows was published in 2004. This book was a sequel to The Poet, but featured Bosch instead of McEvoy. Together with this book, a DVD was released called Blue Neon Light: Michael Connelly’s Los Angeles. In the film, Connelly presents some of the places in Los Angeles that are frequently featured in his books.[1]The Closers was published in May 2005 and was the eleventh Bosch novel. It was followed by The Lincoln Lawyer in October, Connelly’s first legal novel. It featured defense attorney Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half-brother. The book was made into a film in 2011, directed by Brad Furman; Matthew McConaughey played Mickey Haller. [After releasing Crime Beat in 2006, a non-fiction book about Connelly’s experiences as a crime-reporter, Connelly went back to Bosch in 2006’s Echo Park.[1] This book sets its opening scene in the High Tower Apartment that Connelly rented and wrote from.His next Bosch story, The Overlook, was originally published as a multipart series in the New York Times Magazine. After some editing, it was published as a novel in 2007. In October 2008, Connelly wrote The Brass Verdict, which brought together Bosch and Mickey Haller for the first time. He followed that in May 2009 with The Scarecrow, which brought back McEvoy as the lead character. 9 Dragons, a novel taking Bosch to Hong Kong, was released in October 2009. The Reversal, released in October 2010, reunites Bosch & Haller as they work together under the banner of the state on the retrial of a child murderer. The Mickey Haller novel The Fifth Witness was released in 2011.The Drop, which refers, in part, to the “Deferred Retirement Option Plan” that was described in the 2008 novel The Brass Verdict. was published on November 28, 2011. One of his most recent Bosch novel, published on November 26, 2012, is titled The Black Box.

Connelly was one of the creators and executive producers of Level 9, a science fiction action TV series that aired for 13 episodes in the 2000-2001 season on the UPN television network. His novel Blood Work was adapted into a film in 2002 with a screenplay by Brian Helgeland and direction by Clint Eastwood, who also played the lead role.Connelly was the subject of the 2004 video documentary Blue Neon Night: Michael Connelly’s Los Angeles. He occasionally makes guest appearances as himself in the ABC comedy/drama TV series Castle. Along with Stephen J. Cannell, James Patterson, andDennis Lehane, he is one of Castle’s poker buddies.Connelly’s novel The Lincoln Lawyer was made into a film in 2011, with Matthew McConaughey playing defense lawyer Michael “Mickey” Haller. Following the commercial success of the film, the ABC network had commissioned a pilot for a TV series featuring Haller from the production studios Lions Gate & Lakeshore. His books, have also been translated into 36 languages, and have garnered him many awards icluding the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award,Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France) and Premio Bancarella Award (Italy) and he was also the President of theMystery Writers of America from 2003 to 2009

Much Marcle Steam Rally

This years Much Marcle Steam Rally also takes place on the same weekend as the Rally in the Valley (20-21 July 2013).Situated in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside at Much Marcle near Ledbury, The first Much Marcle Steam Rally was held  on the 19th & 20th July 1986,   when The Herefordshire Traction Engine & Vintage Club was formed.Since then it has grown in popularity and the current site became available when the Ross on Wye Steam Engine Society moved to the Upton on Severn area and a decision was then made to form the Herefordshire Traction Engine & Vintage Club.

This years event features tractor pulling, which will be going on all weekend and a superb array of Steam Traction Engines, VintageTractors, Vintage Commercial Vehicles, Vintage Motor Cycles and Cars, Stationary Engines,Fairground Organs, Models and Crafts. A vast selection of trade stands, as well as working displays of cider pressing, steam ploughing, and threshing.

From out of Nowhere

Jim Martin, the Splendidly hirsute guitarist with American rock band Faith No More was Born 21st July 1961. Faith No More hail from San Francisco, California, and were regarded as one of the most influential metal/rock bands of the late 80s and early 90s, and credited for inventing alternative metal and as an influence on nu metal.It was formed originally as Faith No Man in 1981 by bassist Billy Gould, keyboardist Wade Worthington, vocalist M Morris, and drummer Mike Bordin.A year later when Worthington was replaced by keyboardist Roddy Bottum, who along with Gould and Bordin, formed Faith No More. After going through a series of singers which included Courtney Love, the band was joined by Chuck Mosley in 1983. The same year, Jim Martin was recruited to replace guitarist Mark Bowen.Faith No More underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, We Care a Lot, in 1985. Within a year the band signed up withSlash Records, and in 1987 their second album Introduce Yourself was released. Membership remained stable until vocalist Mosley was replaced by Mike Patton in 1988. In 1989, the band released their highly successful album, The Real Thing, which featured the songs“Epic,  Falling To Pieces, From Out of Nowhere and Small Victory.

The band’s next album, 1992′s Angel Dust, was also highly successful and spawned the hit   Midlife Crisis, , which became their sole #1 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in their career. Angel Dust is widely considered to be one of the most influential albums of the 90′s. Faith No More however declined in popularity in the subsequent years. Longtime guitarist Jim Martin left the group in 1994 and was replaced by Mr. Bungleguitarist Trey Spruance. After the release of their next album, 1995′s King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime, Spruance was replaced briefly by Dean Menta, who would eventually be replaced by their current guitarist Jon Hudson. After releasing one more album, Album of the Year, in 1997, Faith No More broke up in April 1998, and all members began work on side projects.On February 24, 2009, Faith No More announced that they would be reforming for a European tour with the same lineup at the time of their breakup.In June 2009, they performed together for the first time in eleven years at the Brixton Academy in London, United Kingdom, as part of their The Second Coming Tour. Throughout 2010, the band continued to perform at multiple live venues. In September 2010, the band announced that the reunion tour would come to an end in December and plans for a new album had been scrapped, although bassist Billy Gould has said recently that the band might continue. Faith No More returned again in November 14th 2011 at the SWU Music and Arts Festival, in the Brazilian city of Paulínia, as well on three other dates. Trey Spruance joined the band onstage for the very first time to perform the King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime album in its entirety in Santiago, Chile in November 2011

Tribute to Ernest Hemingway

b38a937eAmerican author and journalist Ernest Hemingway was born July 21, 1899. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image also influenced later generations. However, long before Ernest Hemingway wrote his first story, his mother was busy writing about him, in a series of scrapbooks documenting the future author’s childhood.Starting Sunday, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston will make the contents of five Hemingway scrapbooks available online for the first time, giving fans and scholars the chance to follow the life of one of te 20th century’s literary greats from diapers to high school degree.Grace Hall Hemingway began the series of scrapbooks by describing how the sun shone and robins sang on the day in July 1899 when Hemingway was born.The scrapbooks also contain childhood paintings and tell of Hemingway playing the cello, suiting up for a ‘lightweight’ football squad and taking up boxing. During his junior year of high school, he was on his school’s prom committee and, according to a report card note from his Latin teacher, showed ‘improvement both in attitude and work.’As Hemingway matured, the scrapbooks showcased his earliest attempts at the craft that would come to define his professional life. Among them were a short story from his high school’s literary magazine, clippings from some of his first assignments as a high school newspaper reporter and a sonnet in which 16-year-old Hemingway seemed to poke fun at himself.’Nobody likes Ernest, that, is straight stuff,’ he said, ‘and when he writes stories – we all cry “Enough.”  By the time Hemingway was five, his mother noted that he was collecting war cartoons and had an appreciation for characters with courage.’He loves stories about Great Americans,’ she wrote.The scrapbooks have a plethora of family photos from the Hemingway family’s home in Oak Park, Illinois, and their vacation cottage on a lake in Northern Michigan, including shots of a bare-bottomed baby Hemingway playing in the water by a canoe.They include letters to Hemingway and others he wrote as a child, including a note of contrition in which he confessed to bad behavior in church.’My conduct tomorrow will be good,’ 13-year-old Hemingway promised.

Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature.emingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. In 1922, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent, and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s “Lost Generation” expatriate community. The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway’s first novel, was published in 1926.After his 1927 divorce from Hadley Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer. They divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War where he had acted as a journalist, and after which he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940. They separated when he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II; during which he was present at the Normandy Landings and liberation of Paris.Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea in 1952, Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in two successive plane crashes that left him in pain or ill-health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway had permanent residences in Key West, Florida, and Cuba during the 1930s and 1940s, but in 1959 he moved from Cuba to Ketchum, Idaho, where sadly he committed suicide on July 2, 1961. However A farewell to Arms remains a popular novel and ‘The scrapbooks his Mother created are part of the collection that Hemingway’s widow, Mary, gifted to the JFK Library and Museum after the author’s 1961 suicide.