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
“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
“Hanging Hitler’s Long Johns” is a harrowing, but still uplifting, memoir by Holocaust survivor Roman Ward.
“Hanging Hitler’s Long Johns” is a Holocaust memoir by Roman Ward, a Polish Jew whose harrowing journey started in 1939, when he was just 10 years old. He was living in the city of Kalisz, where Roman’s father was a successful businessman and respected veteran of World War I, and where the family lived in a large apartment with servants. By the war’s end, he has witnessed total devastation across Poland.
And yet Roman survived, and the book not only describes the agonizing journey his family endured during the war, but also the aftermath, as the Soviets took over Poland and East Germany.
If you’ve read other memoirs about the Holocaust, there might be a part of you that feels like these books are too difficult to pick up and read, that they’re simply so horrifying to get through. There’s no question that “Hanging Hitler’s Long Johns” (a reference to young Roman’s impression that Nazi white flags looked uncannily like winter long johns) recounts a nearly unbearable amount of misery suffered not only by Roman and his family, but by all the other Jews in Poland, and by non-Jewish families as well.
But don’t let that discourage you from reading it. Roman is not a processional writer (he put together these memoirs with the assistance of Frank Feldinger, a journalist who has worked for publications like Fortune and Mother Jones), and the book benefits greatly by not feeling like it takes a “professional writer” approach. Continue reading
Your old cell phones might look like junk, but don’t jump to that conclusion.
ORLANDO — Here’s a great tip: if you have an old laptop that no longer works, don’t throw it out.
In fact, the worst thing any of us can do is toss those aged electronics in with our regular trash, and let it end up in our community landfills.
Why? Well, it’s a sure way to create serious threats to the environment.
Recycling your used laptop is a much better idea. For one thing, you can we turn your used electronics into cash by recycling them. Electronic recycling firms can help you in another way: they can go a step further and help you remove any sensitive data from your old laptop. That includes passwords and any other private information stored on there.
Now, here’s another tip: even before you reach that stage, think about salvaging some of the parts inside your laptop. Just because it no longer works as your personal computer doesn’t mean your laptop no longer contains plenty of individual parts that still have value.
And those parts can be salvaged as well. Continue reading
Author Michael W. Freeman’s book “Waking In The Dark” is a collection of six eerie stories. (Graphic by Sherrie Smith.)
ORLANDO — Freeline Productions has released a collection of dark tales, based partly on the author’s dreams … and nightmares.
The book explores themes that range from modern day Antisemitism and a rising tide of extreme nationalism, to sexual paranoia, and whether aging historic properties truly can harbor malevolent spirits.
“Waking In The Dark” by author Michael Freeman is now available on Amazon and as a Kindle eBook.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
A man at a small cafe comes to the attention of two unemployed factory workers who harass him verbally, at least at first …
… a business executive checks into a historic hotel in South Florida, not fully aware of the disturbing history in the room he’s renting … Continue reading