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SHORT STORY AWARD OF $3,000.00

Yes, it’s that time again! The Master’s Review is running their Winter Short Story Contest and the deadline is January 31st. 

The Winter Short Story Award, a prize that recognizes the best fiction from today’s emerging writers, closes in less than a month. The winning story will be judged by Aimee Bender and awarded $3000 and publication online. All winning stories and any notable honorable mentions will receive agency review. Continue reading

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ELVIS MOVIES FOR JANUARY 8th

Mascot new lookJanuary 8th is the combined marking of Elvis Presley’s birthday and the Battle of New Orleans, in which General Andrew Jackson and French Pirate Jean Lafitte defeated the British in the final battle of the War of 1812.

In the past Balladeer’s Blog has observed this date with looks at the musical Rock ‘N’ Roll vs The Red Coats and with an article on the whole Orion/Elvis situation. This time I’m taking a quick look at some early Elvis movies.

love me tenderLOVE ME TENDER (1956) – Elvis was the latest reason that the saga of the Reno Gang/ Reno Brothers got distorted on the big screen. The need to turn the Reno story into a vehicle for Elvis Presley made this attempt the most unintentionally funny of them all.

Favorite Part: A scene between Elvis, playing Clint Reno, and Richard Egan, playing Vance Reno. Despite the fact that the long-missing Vance was given up for dead and Elvis married his mourning girlfriend in the meantime the Side-Burned One actually asks “What’s troublin’ you, Vance?”  That question has been a catch-phrase for me ever since I first saw this flick on late-night tv.

Favorite Weirdass Song: Let Me  Continue reading

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS SUPER BOWLS

Steelers infographPITTSBURGH STEELERS SUPER BOWLS 

With college football season closing in on its end here’s a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers and their trips to the Super Bowl. This will include all eight of their appearances, not just their six victories. For game by game odds and other info on the Steelers click HERE or HERE

SUPER BOWL IX

Date: January 12th, 1975

City: New Orleans, LA

Opponents: Minnesota Vikings 

The Game: Back in those days when the saying went “Offense wins games, but DEFENSE wins Championships” this Super Bowl lived up to that particular piece of conventional wisdom. By Halftime the only points had come from a Safety in the 2nd Quarter, giving the Steelers a 2-0 edge at the break.

Pittsburgh added 7 more points in the 3rd and 4th Quarters while the Vikings could muster a mere 6 total and those in the final frame. The Steelers won the game 16-6.

SUPER BOWL X

Date: January 18th, 1976 

City: Miami, FL

Opponents: Dallas Cowboys

The Game: A 7-7 tie in the opening Quarter became a 10-7 lead for the Cowboys come Halftime. After a scoreless 3rd Quarter the Steelers outscored Dallas 14-7 in the 4th to win back to back Super Bowls. The final score was 21-17.

SUPER BOWL XIII

Date: January 21st, 1979 Continue reading

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ROBERT LUDLUM EXPANDED UNIVERSE

Mascot 1Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’m about responding to you readers. Some of you responded very strongly to the way I sprinkled my reviews of Robert Ludlum’s Top Seven Novels with observations of what I would have liked to see in terms of offshoots or spin-off stories. So, since Expanded Universes are becoming all the rage in recent decades here’s an outline of my fan fiction-style view of an Expanded Robert Ludlum Universe.

Robert LudlumI. BEOWULF AGATE – Series of short stories or a made for cable series. The tales would be set from the 1950s to late 1970s, ending just before the events in The Matarese Circle. Ludlum’s fictional intelligence organization Consular Operations would take center stage.

Brandon Scofield, codename Beowulf Agate, one of the main characters of The Matarese Circle, would be shown pulling off his highest level defections from the Soviet Union in his best “Cold War version of the Scarlet Pimpernel” style. Every so often he would clash with his archenemy – KGB Agent Vasili Taleniekov. To up the suspense level sometimes Taleniekov would win their clashes. 

Bourne IdentityII. OPERATION: MEDUSA – Another series of short stories or a made for cable series. Ludlum’s Operation: Medusa was his fictional version of the Vietnam War’s real-life Phoenix Project. Operation: Medusa was the top-secret, paramilitary Black Operations outfit in which David Webb aka Jason Bourne got his first covert experience.

Officially disavowed by the U.S. government, Medusans spent the final few years of the Vietnam War pulling off assassinations, abducting and torturing information out of North Vietnamese movers and shakers, committing acts of sabotage AND facilitating escapes from POW camps. David Webb, his brother Gordon, D’Anjou (Codename: Echo), Alexander Conklin and “The Monk” himself, David Abbot would be the main characters but we would meet new Medusans, too. Continue reading

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ELEVEN NEW FICTION CONTESTS WITH CASH PRIZES

BE AWARE THAT SOME OF THEM HAVE ENTRY FEES OF $20.00. Enter your submission(s) in the eleven contests below: Continue reading

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$3,000.00 PRIZE – SUBMIT BY SEPT 30th

It’s that time again!

Craft 2 Continue reading

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MOCK HEADLINES: JULY 22nd

Russia hypocrisy from DemocratsAFTER CALLING FOR THE ELIMINATION OF IMMIGRATIONS AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT, DEMOCRATS GO ON TO DEMAND THE DISMANTLING OF FIRE DEPARTMENTS  Nancy Pelosi says “Ever notice those guys always show up every time a fire breaks out? It can’t be just a coincidence!”

MUELLER DEMANDS TO INTERROGATE EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD WHO EVER WATCHED PRESIDENT TRUMP’S REALITY SHOW

DEMOCRATS DEMAND PRESIDENT TRUMP START WORLD WAR III WITH RUSSIA OR THEY WILL IMPEACH HIM

Helsinki StrainPRESIDENT TRUMP STARTS WORLD WAR III – DEMOCRATS MOVE TO IMPEACH HIM

DEMOCRATS INSIST PRESIDENT TRUMP START PUTTING AMERICA FIRST IN OUR DEALINGS WITH RUSSIA

DEMOCRATS BLAST PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR PUTTING AMERICA FIRST

MUELLER SAYS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S HOROSCOPE PROVES HE COLLUDED WITH RUSSIA

CNN REPORTS PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS SOLD ALASKA BACK TO RUSSIA FOR $100.00

DEMOCRATS INSIST PRESIDENT TRUMP SAVED THE ECONOMY JUST TO KISS UP TO THE LOWLY WORKING CLASS AND THE POOR Continue reading

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