Nostalgia City Mysteries

Mark S. Bacon

Writing right & kudos acknowledged & more

1
How to write good

Only occasionally do I write about the mechanics of writing here, but this decades-old advice is worth passing along. While going through old (paper) files recently I came upon something I’d copied off the web in the mid-1990s.

This is one of those less-than serious posts that have flourished in the online world since the Internet began. I wondered if this short article was still in online circulation. It is.  I offer an abbreviated version here of “How to Write Good,” attributed to Sally Bulford. Among the 22 “rules” for good writing, these are my favorites.

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Contractions aren’t necessary.

3. One should never generalize.

4. Comparisons are as bad a clichés.

5. Don’t be redundant by using more words than necessary; it’s extremely needless and also superfluous.

6. Be more or less specific.

7. Analogies in writing are like glue on an apostrophe.

8. The passive voice is to be avoided.

9. Exaggeration is a million times worse than understatement.

And while I’m passing along English advice, let me be serious for a moment.  I wish everyone would stop saying (or writing) “going forward.”  You can use it when you’re describing the direction your car is moving, but in almost all other instances it’s redundant and can be eliminated without changing the sense of the sentence. Think about it.

Dark Ride Deception named a favorite book

My latest mystery was just named to the list of Favorite Books of 2021 by Kings River Life Magazine. Here’s what they said:

Dark Ride Deception

A noirish look at industrial espionage and murder in the world of amusement parks. Lyle, an ex-cop, drives a cab at a 70s theme park and does some detective work for the boss. Kate, an ex-basketball player, is in charge of public relations. A severed finger in his cab and feuding actors filming a movie in the park set off a chain of mysterious events in this fast-moving quest for the truth

Terrorist bombs

Stay tuned.  The next article (post) on this website (& email) will be a look back at a terrorism on the screen.

1970s trivia quiz answers

0

How well do you remember the 1970s? Here are the answers to the Nostalgia City trivia quiz.

1. a. In 1971 the 26th amendment to the U.S. Constitution lowered the voting age in federal elections to 18.

2. c.  Mel Gibson starred in the 1979 post-apocalyptic action movie Mad Max.

3 b. Patty Hearst was  kidnapped in1974.

4. c. Gerald Ford became president of the U.S. when Richard Nixon resigned.

5. d. Blondie recorded its first hit, Heart of Glass, in 1979.

6. d. Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall starred in Laverne and Shirley.

7. b. Eye of the Needle, the World War II thriller novel released in 1978, was written by Ken Follett.

8. c. On May 4, 1970 four people died and others wounded at Kent State University when National Guard troops opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam War.

9. a. The London Bridge was disassembled, transported to the U.S. and rebuilt. It was dedicated in 1971 in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

10. d. In 1978 more than 900 cult members died in a mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. The Rev. Jim Jones lead the cult.

11. b. In July of 1973 the Sears Tower in Chicago was completed. It was the tallest building in the world at that time.

 12. b. Tickle Me Elmo was not a fad in the 1970s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Know your nostalgia? Take this 1970s trivia quiz

1

Newly released Dark Ride Deception, like the previous novels in my mystery series, is based in Nostalgia City, a sprawling  theme park that recreates an entire small town from the 1970s.

This latest book travels to Florida where ex-cop Lyle Deming uses a variety of false identities to investigate other theme parks. The future of the retro Arizona park, however, remains the center of the story. And to maintain the park’s theme—and authenticity—I used  news items, songs, product names and other touchstones of the 1970s.

In that spirit, here’s a 1970s trivia quiz. You’ll find the answers to some of the questions in the pages of Dark Ride Deception.  And all the answers will appear in this blog, via email, on Wednesday,  Dec. 29.   If you’re not a follower, you can join by simply entering your email address in the box below.  (No fair looking up the answers  on Google.)

1. On July 1, 1971 the 26th amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect.  What did it do?
a. Lowered the voting age in federal elections to 18
b. Legalized early term-abortions
c. Lowered the federal drinking age to 18
d. Ended the Vietnam War

2. Who was the star of the 1979 post-apocalyptic action movie Mad Max?
a.  Kurt Russell
b. Jean-Claude Van Damme
c. Mel Gibson
d. Chuck Norris

3. What famous heiress was kidnapped in 1974?
a. Nancy Sinatra
b. Patty Hearst
c. Paris Hilton
d. Elizabeth Smart

4. Who became president of the U.S. when Richard Nixon resigned?
a. Ronald Reagan
b. Jimmy Carter
c. Gerald Ford
d. Bob Dole

5. Which rock group had its first hit, Heart of Glass, in 1979?
a. Jefferson Starship
b. ABBA
c. The Bangles
d. Blondie

6. Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall were stars of what TV show?
a. Charley’s Angels
b. Mork and Mindy
c. Dallas
d. Laverne and Shirley

7. Eye of the Needle was a World War II thriller novel released in 1978.  Who was the author?
a. Frederick Forsyth
b. Ken Follett
c. John le Carré
d. Scott Turow

8. On May 4, 1970 four people died and others wounded when National Guard troops opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam War. Where did this happen?
a. The D.C. Capitol Mall
b. University of California – Berkeley
c. Kent State University
d. University of Alabama

9. The London Bridge was disassembled, transported to the U.S. and rebuilt. It was dedicated in 1971 in what US city?
a. Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
b. Laughlin, Nev.
c. New London, Conn.
d. Las Vegas, Nev.

10. In 1978 more than 900 cult members died in a mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Who was the leader of the cult?
a. Abu Alaa al-Afari
b. Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson
c. David Richard Berkowitz, also known as the Son of Sam
d. Reverend Jim Jones

11. In July of 1973 the tallest building in the world at that time was finished. It was:
a. The Space Needle, Seattle
b. The Sears Tower, Chicago
c. The World Trade Center, New York City
d. The Burj Khalifa Tower, Dubai

12. Which was not a fad in the 1970s?
a. Streaking
b. Tickle Me Elmo
c. Mood rings
d. CB radios

%d bloggers like this: