Larry Enright

Larry Enright

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The end - Sample Sunday 02/27/2011

Black the sky and dark the moon. Sight fails, body aches, on legs that carry this tortured soul no more. The grass is soft, but cold and damp where I fall and lay, unable to move, unwilling to cry. The sounds of night in constant thrum fill my ears with peace, until spent at last; one I become with the Earth, and die alone in the darkness whence I came.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Modest Proposal for the future of Bookstores

The future of bookstores.

I believe it is time for bookstores to reinvent themselves or die. My modest proposal is for them to borrow the publish-on-demand model. For those of you unfamiliar with this, a publish-on-demand book is printed when you click “place order.” There is no inventory, no associated costs, no warehouses, nothing like that at all. The book in paperback form does not exist until you want it.

Now imagine for a moment the bookstore with the sophisticated printer required to print such books. For the record, I have no idea what they look like, but how complicated could it be? And if it is complicated, how long until a tech-savvy entrepreneur reinvents the technology to be cheaper and more efficient? (I hope one of you is reading this.)

So, there you are in the bookstore, browsing the shelves of covers (not books), or perhaps single copies of books (printed at the store naturally). You decide you like one, so you take the cover over to the counter and say the magic words “I want to buy this, please.” The clerk enters your order, takes your money, and replies, “Thank you, here is a coupon for a complimentary coffee, donut, bagel, whatever you like at our Starbucks over there. Relax for ten minutes and enjoy a drink on us while your book is made. It will come to you at your table, literally, hot off the presses.”

Gone is the inventory, gone the shipping overhead, gone the out-of-print nonsense. Print costs would be less. Happiness levels would be up. What remains are the real books we all cherish, despite our Kindles, Nooks, I-Pads, and such. And, most importantly, the bookstores we love to frequent would still be there for our children.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sample Sunday - 2/13/2011 another funny short from my friend Al Them

Al is a very good friend of mine, and a very talented writer and humorist. I  am once again sharing his work because I like it, and having such established good taste as I do, this immediately makes Al's writing, in the words of Tom Ryan, grace-point worthy. If you want to know what grace points are, ask either Brother Patrick or read Four Years from Home. But for now, enjoy Al's latest.

Three coincidences led to my writing this geek satire: 1) my son Paul got me a book about the Hubble telescope for Christmas; 2) Valentine's Day looms; 3) SportsTalk Radio keeps advertising star registry to listeners who somehow missed out on buying the Brooklyn Bridge. I hope you enjoy.

My dearest Marjorie,

   I have exciting news for you! Do you remember the radio advertisement that promises to register a star from a nearby galaxy in your own name? Yes, a star can be renamed “Marjorie” in your honor. Well no, that is not the good news, because the registry company behind that advertisement wants $19.95 plus tax for the service, and you know I do not have that kind of money. Besides, how Pennsylvania has the cujones to charge tax for an extraterrestrial service is beyond me. It is not as though Andromeda had established a corporate office in Pennsylvania, but, oh well, you know what they say about death and taxes.
   The actual good news is I have arranged to name a Kuiper Belt Object after you! That’s right, say goodbye to old KBO:D07-819934-6, and say hello to Marj-D6! The best news is the “nominal reconfiguration,” as I call it, cost only 38 cents (plus a stamp, of course). I wrote to NASA’s public relations office, you see, enclosed 38 cents in coin to vouch for the sincerity of my petition, and asked if a proposed renaming were possible. After a silence of three weeks, I took their lack of objection for consent, and now we proudly have Marj-D6, Personal Kuiper Belt Object to magnify your aura.
   It is not all jubilation, however. Because of the great distance of your eponymous object, no one is able to tell whether Marjor-D6 is an actual rock, as we hope, or merely a speck of dust surrounded by a trail of frozen methane. It would be unfortunate if a stray jet of solar wind were to intersect the path of your personal Kuiper Belt Object and vaporize the poor thing into a mere speck plus some smelly gas.
   You might think that it would be a lot easier to name a rock from, say,  New Jersey than a boulder from outer space, but no, all the rocks in New Jersey seem to be owned by someone else, even if most of them are not actually named. Of course, we are free to name any rock in our own back garden after you or after anyone else we liked, but you must admit it is much more glamorous to be able to refer to "Marj-D6, the Rock/Methane Ball Kuiper Belt Object" than "Marjorie, the Rock from Our Back Garden."

As ever, your Edwin.


Al Them's book Ghost Stories and Other Tales of Lansdowne can be found on

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sample Sunday 02/06/2011 The Long Walk

This is not my usual sample. This is a song I wrote almost two years ago during a period in which my energies were more focused on music and poetry than novels. Here is the poem (the lyrics) and I've included a link to a youtube video of a musical performance of the piece.
Youtube Link - click this!

The Long Walk © Larry Enright June 2009

When the sun sets red under cloudy skies
And hope lies thin in a dark disguise
I look to the west and wait open-armed
For the light to lift me above the storm
But a blood red sun and a harvest moon
Mean a long, cold winter is coming soon
So I wrap a blanket around my heart
And wait by the fire til the snowing starts

It’s a long walk down these dusty roads heading west
It’s a long time I’ve been more to life than a guest
It’s a long walk, but I’ll walk ‘til the daylight is through
It’s been a long while but I’m heading home to you.

‘Cross rivers and streams through forests deep
I called your name, I could not sleep
Over mountains high and valleys low
I follow the sun, I’ve one way to go
But my face is burnt and my back is bent
The treasure of life I’ve wastefully spent
So I keep on moving despite the pain
Telling myself I’ll be home again


 Night comes darkly and cold as ice
And memories fade to black and white
I’d light a candle to curse them all
For the time I spent before their wall
But they’ll stop me not, I’ll get there soon
By the blood red sun and the harvest moon
I’ll call your name, you’ll answer me
When I stand on the shores of the sea