Check out Freeline Productions’ haunting original novels

Koby the stray kitten longs for a home. (Graphic designed by Sherrie Smith).

ORLANDO — Freeline Productions is the source for original fiction novels by author Michael W. Freeman, which reflect the anxiety, turbulence and often harsh realities of life following the Great Recession.
His novels “Bloody Rabbit” and “Koby’s New Home” were both written at times when the author found himself downsized from the volatile field of print journalism, searching for his next opportunity. The lead characters in both books, R.T. Robeson and William Grabinski, struggle to cope in these frustrating, emotionally demoralizing times when all that’s left is the new part-time “gig” economy. They’re living on the margins, like so many others.
At the same time, these novels are not simply about economic dislocation. In a deeply chilling way, the novels take the reader into a nightmarish existence where social norms appear to be breaking down, and a collective anger among average workers has created a hostile environment where outbursts of violence can happen at any second. Everyone is on edge, and losing control seems dangerously easy. Both Robeson and Grabinski, two mild-mannered and discrete men, find themselves living in a half-dream state where old realities have faded away. Their sense of alienation grows. Humanity is omnipresent — and oppressive and corrupting. Suddenly it’s as if the entire world was made up of James Joyce’s Jesuits, ranting about the horrors of the grave. Continue reading

Community theater is a part of Freeline’s mission

"Murder Sleep" will premiere in May at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival.

“Murder Sleep” was performed in May 2016. (Photos by Scott Sharky Hodges; poster designed by Jim Cundiff.).

ORLANDO — Freeline Productions started in 2008 with an original play simply called “Hooked.”
Playwright Michael W. Freeman had written the darkly comic play in the mid-2000s, and submitted it to the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival in November 2008. It was accepted, and “Hooked” had its premiere at the Orlando Fringe, the longest running Fringe Festival in the United States, in May 2009. Along the way, Freeman created Freeline productions as the artistic vehicle to produce the play.
Since then, Freeline Productions was expanded to become a full service freelance writing and editing business, but it remains a vehicle for Freeman’s passion for community theater, and will continue to produce original plays in the Orlando area. Continue reading

“Life Could Be a Dream” takes a harmonious trip back to a more innocent era

Life Could Be a Dream

Andrew LeJeune, Zach Nadoiski, and Michael Scott Ross (rear) join Bert Rodriguez and Tay Anderson in the musical-comedy “Life Could Be a Dream” at The Winter park Playhouse.

WINTER PARK — When someone mentions the 1960s, most people are likely to recall a highly turbulent era, especially in the latter years.

Political assassinations, anti-war protests, and the flower child movement all rocked the nation from 1967 until the 1970s arrived, and it was a time when it felt like the nation was being torn apart.

What might no longer be remembered is that the decade didn’t start that way, and the early 1960s still felt a lot more like the 1950s. The spirit of youthful rebellion, social change and rejection of traditional norms was still years away. That was reflected in the music as well. If by the late 1960s The Rolling Stones were singing “Sympathy For The Devil,” in the early 1960s teens were still listening to Paul Anka singing “Puppy Love” and Mark Dinning crooning “Teen Angel.”

That era is captured in Roger Bean’s jukebox musical “Life Could Be a Dream,” which is set in the year 1960, in the basement of Denny Harney, a teen with ambitions to become a hit doo wop singer. Continue reading

A water-logged blue heron is saved by Lake County firefighters

lake county blue heron

Firefighters in Lake County, Florida helped save a water-logged blue heron.

ASTOR — A lot of unique stories came out of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in Central Florida, including the impact on many families’ pets.

The storm also impacted the region’s wildlife. That was the case in Lake County, where a blue heron owes its life to county firefighters.

This week, Lake County Fire Rescue’s Chief Dan Miller and Lt. Jason Rivera were out searching for a python that had reportedly attacked, and devoured, a local resident’s pet cat.

But they discovered something else instead: a struggling blue heron.

The bird, which is an iconic symbol in Lake County’s logo, had been water-logged in the heavy flooding that Hurricane Irma delivered to the county.

As Miller noted, it started with a visibly upset pet owner and shifted to the bird. Continue reading

With Fall arriving soon, is it time to buy a motorcycle?

motorcycles in fall

Now that Fall is about to arrive, is it time to start thinking about buying a motorcycle?

ORLANDO — The arrival of fall means if you’re planning to spend some quality time traveling on your motorcycle, you’ll definitely be one with the environment.

You’re also going to be at the mercy of the elements, so before you mark your trip on the calendar, think about what you need to make your fall journey the best one yet.

That’s especially true if you’re heading someplace where the summer heat disappeared weeks ago, and the taste of fall
is already in the air. Before you start the engine, be sure you’ve got the right gear to maximize your confront and safety, no matter what your surroundings are. That includes wearing the right protective gear for the trip.

And you’ll definitely want to be out riding throughout the coming months, because this is one of the most rewarding times to enjoy our nation’s highways and roadways, for a variety of good reasons.

Fall is one of the best seasons to be out riding. It’s a time when most parts of the country are enjoyably mild and the scenery – autumn leaves in New England have an amazing reputation for a good reason – is gorgeous. Continue reading

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