Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Another nice review for my Hollywood novel!

Connecting with readers means a lot to any writer. Here's a nice review I recently received on Amazon for my novel LUIGI'S CHINESE DELICATESSEN...

"Jim Vines brilliantly captures the Hollywood experience with the acerbic wit and painful truths of a veteran screenwriter and once star-struck hopeful. While he may claim that 97% of this work is fiction, it’s clear that his characters are based on the Sunset Boulevardians he knows, and that he himself has suffered the peaks and valleys of a fickle industry. “Luigi’s Chinese Delicatessen” is hard to put down, as we keep hoping that [main character] Trent will get his big break.... Anyone who has ever thought of trying this game should read this book twice before heading out for L.A. Well done!"

Friday, October 20, 2017

"The Words"

There’s this glorious and astounding magic that happens when I put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard...

I go to this alternate realm of consciousness. 

It’s where I meet characters who speak to me, who take me to interesting places, and who introduce me to compelling situations. 

I’m not certain where any of this comes from because none of it was there when I sat down, when I was convinced I didn’t have any words in me. 

But still, it's all there. 

So even when the thought of a blank page makes me feel a little queasy, I force myself into that chair anyway... 

...and it's after a minute or two of laying down those once elusive words that I have to wonder what all the fuss was about. 

The words come...

...they always do.

Copyright © 2017 by Jim Vines

Thursday, October 19, 2017



The thin silvery blade
thrust brutally into me,
piercing flesh and sinew,
and I mounted the stone steps
with a great and heavy despair,
heaving, clawing,
depositing a warm, crimson trail in my wake…

Above me, my world,
my sanctuary;
beneath me, his looming, hideous form,
that sniggering, taunting laugh,
that grim, ghastly voice intoning:
“Dead before you reach the top,
dead before you reach the top,
dead before you reach the top.”

Presently I became enveloped by a pervasive, all-consuming
and it weakened me;
and my eyes faltered;
and, as the steps took me, a vague, distorted image:
my left hand, its feeble digits
against cold, damp stone…

This—this—was my end;
this night,
this place,
and his laugh—it tore through me yet again
as the void gently, inexorably,
stole all that I was,
all I ever was,
all I ever would be.

(Poetry and photography © 2017 by Jim Vines)

Psst. Like a good Hollywood story?

Friday, September 22, 2017

On being a writer...

“A lot of people go through life doing things badly. Writing is important to men and women who do it well. When you’re writing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.” 
-- Jim Vines (with an assist from Steve McQueen)

Monday, September 18, 2017

A good day for a writer is...

For some people a good day is going shopping.
For some people a good day is a round of golf.
For some people a good day is a day at Disneyland.
For me, a good day is writing 1,945 new words for my next novel!

Whatever YOUR idea of a good day is, make it happen!

Friday, September 1, 2017

“Back in the Saddle”

I’ve been mired in a significant amount of screenwriterly duties during the last few months. There were a couple of rewrite gigs, four script critiques, and a spec web series pilot. I was happy and enthused to work on each of these assignments, and I’m thankful for the money I made on the paid gigs, but lemme tell ya…it’s soooooo wonderful getting back to my prose writing. As I discovered with my first novel a few years ago, it’s the most gratifying type of writing I’ve ever done. Seriously. I love the freedom of it. When I’m writing a novel, I feel like a horse-mounted cowboy riding the wide open, endless prairie. I’ll admit, I’ve been kinda grouchy and a little moody these last few months, but now I’m back in the saddle (pun intended) with the two novels, cranking out word after word, sentence after sentence, page after page…and it’s truly glorious! 
Whatever type of writing YOU prefer—screenplays, novels, poetry, short stories, extensive grocery lists—I wish you the same sense of fulfillment!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Some words of wisdom...

“Writing a novel is a very hard thing to do because it covers so long a span of time, and if you get discouraged it is not a bad sign, but a good one. If you think you are not doing it well, you are thinking the way real novelists do. I never knew one who did not feel greatly discouraged at times, and some get desperate, and I have always found that to be a good symptom." 
—Maxwell Perkins (1884-1947), Charles Scribner's Sons 
(editor of F. Scott Fitzgerald, 
Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe)