Tag Archives: journalism

Songs From Richmond Avenue, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hi all you mystery lovers, this is Lisa Burton, the robot girl. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, and my guest today is a real enigma. He’s calling in today from The Relix Club in Las Vegas, and he’s known only as the Buddhist. “Welcome to the show, Buddhist.”

“My humblest of greetings, Lisa. One brief correction, if I may. I am currently in The Relix Club, true enough, but it’s located in Houston, Texas, where I have resided, on and off, for a number of years. The confusion may be that I have only recently returned from North Las Vegas. I flew west, you see, to make right a wrong done to a friend concerning his vehicle and another party’s rather substantial debt. It’s probably best to leaving it at that, at least in such a public forum. Too many people listening in, if you follow my meaning.”

“I take it this Relix Club you’re in is kind of a seedy place. When you called just now I distinctly heard glass breaking and someone cursing at the top of his lungs. Why did you choose to call in from there?”

“Cursing? Oh yes, Danny. He’s the bartender. It’s how he relieves stress and maintains order. I prefer chanting, myself. Do you want to talk about chanting and meditative states? Maybe chemical relaxants to assist with meditative states?”

“No. I want to talk about why you are calling from that Relix Club dive.”

“Well, it’s kind of my headquarters, so to speak. I do business out of here and am comfortable with the level of discretion provided by its staff and clientele. The dress code is fairly relaxed as well. Shirts and shoes are more of a humble suggestion than a requirement, you see, so long as you happen to be a paying customer. Plus it’s dark here. Easy on the eyes.”

“Now, Buddhist, my bio says you’re sleeping in an old car these days. What happened to drive you to those depths?”

“I must take exception here, Lisa. My current living arrangements have less to do with sinking to depths than they do with rising from the ashes – like a Phoenix, only in Houston. You see, there was a fairly substantial fire at my prior address, the cause of which has yet to be determined. All I can say on the record is that I was not the perpetrator. Anyway, I decided a more minimalistic approach to life was spiritually preferable after that. I like to think of the fire as something of a cosmic blessing, though I could have done without all the depositions.”

“So I understand using your friend’s car as a residence got him into a pickle last year that had something to do with unpaid gambling debts.”

“The car in question is no ordinary vehicle. It’s a classic Mercury Marquis touring car, circa 1976, containing the largest factory engine in commercial automotive history. Needless to say, it provided lots of room to stretch out, making it an obvious choice. Actually, I only slept in it a time or two and in no way took up residence. I can only say the Merc was central to my friend’s difficulties, but you should ask him about that. Wait, I’ll put him… He’s shaking his head, Lisa. Now, he’s leaving without even finishing his beer. I think I’ve only seen him do that once before.

“A thousand pardons, Hoss. Come on back!

“It’s difficult to explain, Lisa. You see he is the press by trade, yet he shuns the press. Kind of a yin and yang relationship with his chosen vocation, don’t you think?

“Understand, Lisa, I am limited as to what I can say out of a sense of loyalty and due to certain pending legal constraints that I unfortunately fall under. I will go on record to say his difficulties were not of his own making but rather due largely to a certain admirable naiveté on his part. That I fell asleep when I did, admittedly complicated matters.

“Danny, when you get a chance, another drink before the band starts making noise.”

“So what’s wrong with a nice band? It might give the old place some character.”

“Character? The Relix’s loaded with both character and characters. The bands, I’m afraid, tend to draw a more conventional segment of the populace than we’ve become accustomed to, so to speak. Less flexible in their sense of right and wrong, less forgiving. They ask for wine lists and make Danny nervous. What if there’s a fight, for example? These people will want cops and ambulances if someone really gets hurt.”

“Okay then, Buddhist. Let’s talk about the body you and your friend, and his date discovered. What kind of leads do the police have so far?”

“That unfortunate turn of events was most definitely none of my doing. Even Michelle was there as a witness to the discovery, and I can tell she never does anything injurious. My belief is the deceased fell into the shrubbery from an upstairs window while home alone. Possibly death by misadventure as the coroners say in such cases. Frankly, the deceased was, in my view, not as mentally sound as you or I. Say, how do you even know I was there when the body was found? Who talked? A thousand pardons, Lisa, but I’m starting to regret agreeing to this interview. I thought we’d be swapping lewd stories like Howard Stern does. Or, or, or, maybe giving away cars to your audience like Oprah. How do you know all of this?”

“Actually, I used to be a cop, and yes I’m recording the show for transcription onto the website.”

“Transcription? — So, Lisa, assuming that is your real name, do you think during the editing process you could by chance, I mean– Look, humblest of apologies but I have a pending commitment I nearly forgot that requires me to cut this short. A thousand apologies.

“Hoss, the Merc. I need to borrow the Merc. It’s of the utmost importance.”

“Buddhist? Are you still there? Buddhist?

“We seem to have lost Buddhist somehow. The good news is there is a book available. It’s called Songs From Richmond Avenue, by Michael Reed. I’ll post the link, and all the other deets on the website after I transcribe everything.

“Don’t forget about those sharing buttons on the website. I’m sure after he thinks about it, Buddhist will appreciate it, and I know Mike Reed will too.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

A Houston Love Story, with Beer and a Couple Dead Folks Thrown In

Songs From Richmond Avenue by Michael Reed offers an off-kilter, satirical take on big-city misfits, the bars they frequent and the occasional, albeit, misguided quest for something better.

For the blurry-eyed denizens of the Relix Club and our narrator, a serially employed journalist with questionable work ethics, whiling away the hours engaged in their two favorite activities – drinking and betting on just about anything – is a pretty good life. That is until he meets pretty Michelle, a woman who he declares has “skin so perfect I doubted she even had pores.”

Could she be his salvation, he wonders. Maybe, but not until after he completes an alcohol- fueled urban odyssey involving Michelle’s Nihilist stripper roommate, a paramilitary Buddhist barfly, a pair of dumber-than-dirt, debt-collecting hoodlums, and the usual ration of Bayou City sweat and torrential rain.

“Bukowski, no doubt, would have found comfort and more than a few laughs in the sideshow of Houston inhabited by the author.”

– Steve Olafson, longtime Houston journalist

“It keeps the reader turning pages while navigating the Bayou City at a breakneck pace…”

– Tom Minder, author of Long Harbor Testament

To order

Print: www.blackrosewriting.com/literary/songsfromrichmondavenue

Kindle: www.amazon.com/Songs-Richmond-Avenue-Michael-Reed-ebook/dp/B01N039ZM7

Michael Reed is an award-winning Texas journalist, which means he has lived in inexpensive apartments and driven paid-for used cars most of his life. Experience as a reporter and editor, along with extensive, though at the time completely unintended research into the many facets of Houston’s dive bar scene, provided him with the requisite background material for this novel. This is the Southern Illinois University graduate’s first novel.

You can also find him in the following locations:

Twitter: @trends_to_reed

Facebook: SongsFromRichmondAve

Instagram: @miker0130

 

Email: songsfromrichmond@gmail.com

 

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Amie in Africa visits Lisa Burton Radio

Today is Thursday, and that means it's time for another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my very special guest today is Amie Fish. “Welcome to the show, Amie.”

“I’m really pleased to be on the show Lisa thank you for asking me.”

“So what possesses a newlywed to uproot and move half-way around the world to darkest Africa?”

“I didn’t have a choice, Lisa. My newly married husband was offered a job in Togodo and it was expected that I go with him. I wasn’t looking forward to it, not one little bit. I had a good job in a local television production company and my family lived in the same town. I was quite happy as I was.”

“My bio says you got a little bored, and went to work using your journalism skills for an Army Colonel. What kind of reporting did you do?”

“Let’s backtrack a bit here. I was most certainly not bored. There was plenty going on at the Expats club, and I helped out at a local orphanage as well. And then we went to stay at a game lodge and the owner there taught us so much about the wild life and how the Bushman survived, and the wild plants you could eat and where to find water. It was all so fascinating. I think it was then that I fell in love with Africa.”

“Well it does say here you were blackmailed? Tell us about the blackmail. “

“This colonel just pitched up at my door one morning and asked me to film some projects for him. I didn’t want to, in Africa you steer clear of getting involved in anything with the authorities. But he hinted that Jonathon, my husband, would not be allowed to work and … well, as you can see I felt I had no choice. And the awful part about it – these projects were pure propaganda, there was no truth in any of the projects he asked me to show about their work uplifting the local community. Then, to make matters even worse I was asked to film the result of an ambush, and that was just awful. I did it twice and then made a firm decision not to do any more for him, no matter what the consequences were.”

“Good for you, standing up for what you believe in. What led to you take this stand?”

“It’s dangerous getting involved with politics when you’re a guest in a country, and by then I had fostered a child and I didn’t want any harm to come to her. I was hoping that maybe I could even possibly adopt her?”

“So what did you do?”

“Before I had a chance to refuse to work for the colonel again, the civil war broke out and I was flung in prison. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I managed to escape but the only way I could get to safety was to walk to the neighbouring country. I then had to remember everything I had learned about surviving in the wild.”

“It all sounds exciting, and dangerous. What did you–“

“Sorry, Lisa, I just can't. It's time for me to take another stand. That Clarke woman put me through hell… I can’t begin to list the things – torture, prison, a firing squad, escaping lions, more than once. You know she may have lived in Africa for decades, but I don’t think she had to endure the horrors she put me through. She’s now writing book four and I have to put a stop to it. And did I mention how many people she kills off just by tapping a few keys on her laptop? So now I’m seeking an injunction to keep Lucinda E Clarke from writing any more Amie stories, enough is enough.”

“I get it. Fictional characters have it tough. I got shot, electrocuted, and lost a couple of friends, as in dead, in the course of my story.”

“Well I'm not going to take it any longer. I’m looking into crowd funding, I’m mentioning it in the blogs and newsletters and I’ve already got a high end lawyer in London to serve her a warning. This interview is a great chance to get as much support as I can. There must be thousands of other fictional characters out there who are prepared to stand up to their authors, this is just the beginning of the revolution.”

“Amie, I think this might be a first. A fictional character suing her author. It looks like we have a caller. Hello, caller, you're on the air with Lisa and Amie.”

“Good morning Lisa, I’m Lucinda E Clarke, and I’d like you to terminate this interview immediately. It’s grossly inaccurate.”

“I have only spoken the truth, you did throw me in prison, you deliberately let me poison myself, you left me defenseless and alone.”

“You’re still alive aren’t you? I got you out of it all–“

“You didn’t have to put me in those situations in the first place. When you started writing about me I thought the books about me were going to be cosy and romantic and having babies and–“

“I gave you a more exciting life than that!”

“Oh sure you did, but you never consulted me did you? Well you’ve gone too far this time, especially the shock at the beginning of book 3 that was the final straw.”

“You had a new career waiting for you–“

“Yes, one I didn’t ask for and one I hate.”

“It’s obvious you are not going to listen to reason – while you are busy suing me, I can see that I have a radio show to counter sue and I shall have a restraining and gagging order on you.”

<click>

What a controversy. Thank you for agreeing to be on the show, Amie. Listeners who want to learn more about Amie's plight can pick up the ‘Amie in Africa’ series. I'll include all the links on the website.”

“Well thank you for listening to me Lisa, at least there is one person who understands. Lucinda doesn’t care, it’s just good to have one shoulder to cry on, even if you are a robot.”

“So how about it, listeners? Which side of this controversy are you on? Should authors go easier on their characters, or should the characters just buck-up and take it? Let's hear it in the comments.

“And don't forget to use those sharing buttons. I know Amie and Lucinda would appreciate it, and you will too when your character is on a future edition of Lisa Burton Radio. Have a great day everyone.”

***

Purchase Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LWFIO5K

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015CI29O4

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M67NRG4

Lucinda E. Clarke Bio:

Abandoned in the African bush with a 9 week old baby and no resources Lucinda could look back on a childhood of mental abuse, without knowing that before her lay an even more bizarre future. She would run the worst riding school in the world, broadcast live with a bayonet at her throat, be fired from her teaching position and thrown into the media world. She would learn how to lie in the name of propaganda, write about dozens of topics for a variety of clients and have her own newspaper column. She would meet kings and statesmen, international artists and rural Africans. She would win several awards along the way for her scripting and films. Eventually she would reluctantly leave Africa to retire in Spain. A few months later she would begin writing books – six to date in a variety of genres – and start a whole new career.

Follow Lucinda at the following locations:

Blog Amazon UK Goodreads Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Twitter YouTube Facebook

 

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