The Audiobook. Here at Last!

BruceJasonheadphones copy

A little over a year ago, I had the honor of going into the studio with the amazingly talented Jason Alexander, and watching him record the audiobook for Elevating Overman. Through the various trials and tribulations of getting the files digitally ready for Audible and the other audio powers that be, it’s taken until Hanukkah 2014 to see this come to fruition.

The upside, and it is huge — Jason did a phenomenal job.  But don’t take my word for it.  Check out a sample from MY BEST HANUKKAH GIFT EVER!  And should you need a little holiday gift for someone you love… what could it hurt?

Happy and Merry to all,
Bruce

Throwback Thorsday

405px-Thor

Sooo back in the day, right?  Turns out there wouldn’t be a Throwback Thursday if it weren’t for this dude   Thor used lightning as a weapon. This led to the practice of hanging holly in one’s house for protection, since holly trees are excellent for conducting lightning into the ground.  Yet Thor continued to kick ass, so the Norse Folk said:  “Let’s name something after him.”  The day after Wednesday happened to be free, resulting in Thor’s day, now known as THURSDAY.

FACEBOOK CHINA LEADS THE WAY!

 Just last month, China announced that residents living within a 17-mile radius of Shanghai would be permitted to participate in the same mindless posting enjoyed by the rest of the free world.  Today our friends to the east have modified this policy, in a move that many, even in the United States, are hoping goes viral.  Here is the official statement out of Beijing:

IN ORDER TO CREATE A BETTER, LESS CROWDED FACEBOOK ENVIRONMENT, ACTIVITY WILL BE LIMITED TO ONE POST PER FAMILY PER DAY.  WE BUILT A GREAT WALL ONCE BEFORE; IF WE REFRAIN FROM POSTING PICTURES OF THE NOODLE BOWL WE HAD FOR LUNCH, WE CAN DO IT AGAIN.   CHINA  WILL NOT PUBLISH CANDY CRUSH SCORES, “CHECK-INS” AT HOTSPOTS LIKE “MA YU CHING’S PLUMBER’S WORLD,” OR ADORABLE PICTURES OF ANIMALS (SEE NOODLE BOWL).

WE SUGGEST THAT FAMILIES WHO FEEL THE NEED TO WRITE MORE THAN ONE DAILY POST DONATE THEIR EXCESS VERBIAGE TO  LESS FORTUNATE FAMILIES WITH NOTHING TO SAY.  PENALTIES FOR FACEBOOK OVERAGES RANGE FROM INVALIDATING  GROUPONS TO FORCED STERILIZATION OF ALL HARD DRIVES.

LASTLY, FOR THOSE WHO MUST POST PICTURES ON “THROWBACK THURSDAY,” WE SUGGEST THIS PARTICULAR THURSDAY AS A PROTOTYPE:

06-114%

 

DOT.COM ENVY

When I joined the social media game a little more than a year ago, I naively went to my local godaddy store to purchase the website name requiring the least amount of thinking on anybody’s part — mainly mine.   But I was soon to face the cold, hard reality that the mother of all Bruce Ferber website names had  already been taken.  Sadly, bruceferber.com gets you nowhere near my first novel, my amusing little blog, or that awesome photo of me in Venice.  Instead, it guides the hapless internet surfer to an insurance office in Malverne, NY, where a bald man with a mustache will try to sell you term life and an umbrella poiicy.

I, the author, have been reduced to a lowly…

   bruceferber.net

I’ve got to tell you, it didn’t sit so well at first — not only did I feel like there was something wrong with me, godaddy actually got me to pay them money to be on the waiting list for bruceferber.com, should something untimely happen to the New York insurance office.   But little by little, I began to embrace my new identity.  Who was to say that a dot.com was any better than a dot.net?  Slowly, I began to hear about other dot.nets, and while we never became a formal support group, it was pretty much understood that we had each others’ backs.  Just the other day, I sent my favorite Spotify playlist to dalailama.net just to cheer him up.  Dude knows it’ll be a cold day in hell before he gets his hands on that dot.com.  And then he was nice enough to remind me that we dot.nets are becoming more and more accepted by mainstream society.  Ah, how we rejoiced the day the Pope said it wasn’t for him to judge whether a dot.com was superior to a dot.net!

And now, what we all agree on, is how glad we are not to be a part of this new bunch of stragglers, unleashed by the government’s recent approval of the suffix… dot.tv.  What kind of a lame suffix is that?  It’s apparently so lame that it has brought dot.coms and dot.nets together, co-mingling in bars that formerly only catered to either one or the other.  As for me, I must admit that I’ve taken no small pleasure knowing that in some far corner of the world, there’s a bruceferber.tv who’d sell his own mother to be bruceferber.net.bullseye_color

DEAR SUPERMAN

The caped offspring of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster was born in Cleveland, one year before the start of World War II.   Building on a wildly successful comic book career, the phenomenon known as Superman went on to star in seventeen cartoons, six movies, and numerous television series.  This June, concurrent with the release of a new film, “Man of Steel,” he will turn 75.   He is a true icon, which is why it might surprise you to learn that I have some advice for him.   I won’t lie to you.  Writing this letter was even more difficult than asking Carrot Top why he thinks he’s funny.  But suddenly I realized: “This is Superman we’re talking about.  He gets it.”

Below is what the Man of Steel will find on his laptop when he wakes up in the morning.

Dear Superman, AKA Mr. Kent,

While many individuals with considerably less physical stamina than your own continue to work into their eighth and even ninth decades, I would like to suggest, un-PC though the notion may be, that you retire.  That’s right — hang up your tights and give them to Goodwill.   What’s more, I want you to take Batman (73) and the Green Hornet (74) with you.   I’ve heard good things about DC Farms (“Resort Living in a Kryptonite-Free Environment”), and according to Yelp, there are a slew of lovely retirement homes for the superheroically inclined.   I’m sorry if this offends you and I know many will accuse me of ageism.   “74 is the new 71,” they will scold me.  The truth is, I have no problem with a person working until his dying breath if that’s what he so chooses.  The difference is, you folks aren’t normal people. 

You see, we all want to be heroes, but when we watch you guys in the movies, you set standards that are completely unrealistic.  For example, I live on a hillside in Los Angeles and there’s this really cute woman who lives next door.  Say there’s an earthquake and the mountain starts to crumble above her house.  Of course, I’d want to push the earth back into place like you did in the first Superman movie because then she’d have to sleep with me, right?  But what are my chances of being able to do that?  Less than you flying commercial, I’d say.   My point — and know that I blame the studios, not you –- is that seeing one superhero movie after another makes us feel powerless – like we humans are incapable of anything approaching heroism.  Sure we’ve got the cops, the firefighters and the first responders, but what about a guy like me, who spends forty hours a week selling term life insurance?  

My mom and dad always say that the movies in their day were about real heroes who didn’t have to fly to make a good impression.   They showed me “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.  Of course, that dude got to see what the world would be like if he’d never existed (chump change to you, a pretty big deal to us Normals), but even so, I felt like I had something in common with him.   Sure, my 3D glasses didn’t work and the sofa didn’t rumble, but it was kind of satisfying to imagine that under the right circumstances, I could be him.  You know, I’m thinking that maybe your big special effects blockbusters make us forget about the story – – that we leave the theater saying: “Man, that guy’s face exploding was awesome!” rather than “I wonder how I could be a hero?”

Lately, I’ve been seeing a bunch of those independent films.  I really liked that one “The Sessions” because the lady was really cool about sex and slept with the iron lung guy.  I think they were both real heroes, don’t you?  The truth is, I’m sure that movie will stay with me long after “Man of Steel” fades from memory.  You’ll say that’s not fair since I’ve only seen the trailer, but did a sixth Superman movie really need to be made?  Geez, you gotta be set financially…

Once again, I mean no disrespect.   You and your superheroic cohorts have all done stellar work, and we admire your longevity in what can be a very tough and fickle business.  Regardless, you now need to step aside and give some screen time to characters like me.  Well, not exactly like me, but close enough that they give people like me hope that it is within our power to be better.  Lastly, I want to say, and maybe this is just me, that I think it’s nice to be able to walk out of a theater feeling a little inspired, rather than a little deaf.

Thank you for your time, Superman, and know that I will always appreciate your fighting for truth, justice, and the American Way.

                                                Best regards, A Fan

SUNDAY MAY 5TH – OVERMAN WALKS INTO A BAR

AMERICAN JEWISH UNIVERSITY – 5600 Mulholland Dr.  Los Angeles, CA 90077

(310) 476-9777
Game Change

Wine and Cheese Reception and Book Signing: A Guy Walked Into A Bar..

#13SD7J05   By: Bruce Ferber, David Javerbaum, David Misch, Dan Zevin.
Dates: May 5, 2013 Time: Sunday  4:00pm Tuition: $10

With humorists Bruce Ferber, David Javerbaum, David Misch, and Dan Zevin.

 

FROM LOST WAX MICROFICTION COLLECTIVE

On Process: Bruce Ferber

23 Tuesday Apr 2013

ElevatingOverman

Yesterday while unsuccessfully trying to come up with an interesting post, we pored over books about totem poles, the elements of design, Paris Review writer interviews among other things. And we couldn’t get the creative motor going. Then we remembered having met a very funny writer over the weekend, Bruce Ferber. Ferber is a 30 year veteran television writer, who has left that world to embark on his career as a novelist. What struck us about our conversation with him is how he talked about his process. “For me,” he said, “It’s really important to find the play in what I do. It’s really important to have fun.” So, looking to get some fun out of this, we reached out to Ferber to get some tips on getting unstuck.

1. Change Location – Ferber used to write in his office at his desk when suddenly his office started feeling like an office. There were stacks of paper at his desk and working there felt, well, like work. So leaving his computer behind, mechanical pencil and paper in hand, he upped and relocated to his yard, his dog following him as he went. And once he got there, the break from technology and change in scenery inspired creation.

2. Change Writing Tools – Word is a straight forward software and who doesn’t use it? Well Ferber did until he found Scrivener, which allows writers to break down each chapter into a separate document. The ability to move things around easily makes editing and puzzling things together fun, rather than an argument with a cursor.

3. Pay Attention to the Signs – As Ferber started writing his most recent book, he was trying to sort things out about the character and the direction of the story, when he came across a Penny Saver advertisement for a cheap $299 per eye Lasik procedure. For some reason, this intrigued him and before he knew it, it became the jumping off point for the main character in his very funny and heartfelt novel.

4. Reward Yourself – In line with changing loaction, Ferber likes to travel to find new places to write. He is admittedly not a Coffee House writer but he likes to explore the local hangouts wherever he goes. So for him, getting some work done in a cabin or a motel that’s out of town only means that he will get the reward of checking out the nearest bar or coffee shop.

Ferber told he us he doesn’t actually get blocked. “I just find the act of writing a tortuous process,” he said “unless I’m free and relaxed – that’s where the “make it fun” thing comes from. Then, once I get a bunch of pages written I can go back to the computer without feeling like its slave.” Well, we’ll take any advice we can get about turning something so difficult into a good time…And, speaking of good time, if you’re looking for an easy read with lots of heart, check out “Elevating Overman.” You won’t be disappointed.

OVERMAN AT LA TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS + PARTY! 4/20/13

I will be signing copies of Elevating Overman from 2-2:30 at the Rare Bird Lit booth.

Then, at THE LAST BOOKSTORE  453 S Spring St  Los Angeles, CA 90013  (213) 488-0599

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books After Party

Rare Bird Lit, Bookforum, Granta, ZYZZYVA& Slake Media celebrate the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at The Last Bookstore, Saturday evening from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. This event is open to the public and will feature authors, drinks, performances and giveaways.

For further information, contact: events(at)lastbookstorela(dot)com

 

SON OF “DREAMS FROM MY FATHER”

Bruce Ferber in conversation with legendary book show host, Connie Martinson, who, not that long ago, interviewed another first time author, Barack Obama.  We discuss “Elevating Overman,” but I remain coy about a run in 2016.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_tm3uPOXyE (Part I)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwg04ke7Olg (Part II)