KING ME: Strong Words about a Non-Fictional Character

I recently got an email with the subject line “Strong Feelings about Fictional Characters” that laid out some info on Game of Thrones. That is basically what this document is, without the incest, fairytale renaissance setting and lack of central focus. This is Strong Feelings about a Non-fictional Character.

Yesterday, Haley asked me what Stephen King books might serve as vacation reads, and once I copied the bibliography over from Wikipedia the words just started flowing. This is the result (Click here for the super-nerdy, ridiculously color-coded Word download (yes, I’m that person).):


(according to me, as of 6/27/13)

I didn’t include re-releases (The Gunslinger, Salem’s Lot, The Stand, It, etc.).

Also, I don’t know anything about the stories that he issued only as e-books. But if you happen to download them…let me know.


Stephen King was born in 1947, which makes him a year younger than my dad and explains a lot. (I just used “a lot.” Blegh. Sorry about that.) If I was asked to describe Stephen King’s “signature move,” I’d say it’s probably his late 1950s and 1960s pop culture references (there are other words that should go here to make this a complete thought, but my brain won’t come up with them so here are some filler words). I’ve noticed that many popular writers today tag their works with too much pop culture – or so niche a subject or specific a time period – that it translates as faddish and keeps their books from being relevant on a second reading. Somehow, even though we’re in 2013 and his characters are humming strains from Jan & Dean, this doesn’t trap SK. He uses pop culture to his advantage while staying firmly rooted in whatever world he’s creating (although sometimes, yes, it’s the 50s and 60s). He’s brilliant. A master.

Some things to know – Stephen King wrote as Richard Bachman early in his career. He still uses the Bachman name every now and then, most notably when he released The Regulators and Desperation as companion books. (Check out their covers pasted side-by-side.) He has other pseudonyms but I’m not familiar with them. Apparently he was able to write as Bachman until into the 80s without anyone discovering it was him. Neato!


Carrie, 1974

‘Salem’s Lot, 1975

The Shining, 1977

Rage, 1977 (Richard Bachman)

Night Shift, 1978 (collection) – Includes short stories “Jerusalem’s Lot” (which later became the novel ‘Salem’s Lot, “The Mangler,” “Graveyard Shift,” “Children of the Corn,” “Trucks” (adapted into Maximum Overdrive and Trucks**), “Sometimes They Come Back” and “The Lawnmower Man.”

The Stand, 1978 – To me, the TV miniseries (1994) of this book is where the production value of his stuff started going up again. The miniseries is a TREASURE. M – o – o – n, that spells treasure. Also, if you haven’t seen it yet…once you do, let’s talk about how Jamey Sheridan should’ve played Robert Langdon in the Dan Brown movies.

The Long Walk, 1979 (Richard Bachman)

The Dead Zone, 1979

Firestarter, 1980

Roadwork, 1981 (Richard Bachman)

Danse Macabre, 1981 (non-fiction)

Cujo, 1981 – This is about a mean dog, in case you didn’t already know. NOT my favorite.

The Running Man, 1982 (Richard Bachman)

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, 1982

Creepshow, 1982 (comic) – This was made into a horror anthology film; stories from other books were used in the movie Creepshow 2.

Different Seasons, 1982 (collection) – Includes novellas “The Body” (Stand by Me), “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (Shawshank Redemption).

Christine, 1983 – This is the first SK book my dad gave me to read. Oh, the memories.

Pet Sematary, 1983

Cycle of the Werewolf, 1983

The Talisman, 1984 (with Peter Straub)

Thinner, 1984 (Richard Bachman)

Skeleton Crew, 1985 (collection) – For me, this collection has more stories that provide immediate recall than any other book I’ve ever read. EVER. Because of this, I’d say this is my favorite Stephen King publication and possibly one of my favorite books of all time. It includes short stories “The Mist” and “The Raft.”

The Bachman Books, 1985 (collection, Richard Bachman) – I think this included stories like The Running Man, but I’m not sure so I included it as a first-run.

It, 1986

The Eyes of the Dragon, 1987

The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three, 1987

Misery, 1987

The Tommyknockers, 1987

Nightmares in the Sky, 1988 (non-fiction)

The Dark Half, 1989 – I just learned they made this into a movie (Timothy Hutton!); this is probably my second favorite, although Duma Key also holds a special place in my heart.


He coached his son’s Little League team to the LL World Series in 1989. I can’t find it online, but I’ve heard that currently he either pays for some Little League teams, or possibly a community ballpark?, in Bangor. I feel like I’ve heard this enough that it is true.


Four Past Midnight, 1990 (collection) – Includes “The Langoliers,” “Secret Window, Secret Garden” (Secret Window); Note: You’ve probably seen Secret Window. If you haven’t, stop reading – SPOILERS AHEAD. If you have, and want to read something that includes that kind of plot twist, read The Dark Half instead of this short story. Or, at least read both of them. I don’t think I’m giving anything away re: The Dark Half by saying this.)

The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands, 1991

Needful Things, 1991

Gerald’s Game, 1992 – You could say this about so many of his books, but this is the first one I remember reading and thinking “This is EFFED UP.”

Dolores Claiborne, 1992


King joined the Rock Bottom Remainders in ’92. Read about them – pretty awesome stuff.


Nightmares & Dreamscapes, 1993 (collection)

Insomnia, 1994

Rose Madder, 1995

The Green Mile, 1996 – Fun fact: Originally released as several serial paperbacks, now released in one edition.

Desperation, 1996 (tied to The Regulators)

The Regulators, 1996 (Richard Bachman – tied to Desperation)

Six Stories, 1997 (collection)

The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, 1997

Bag of Bones, 1998

Storm of the Century, 1999 (screenplay)

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, 1999 – This is a unique King tale, but I liked it. Don’t read this on your vacation unless you want to wake the kids up every half hour to hug them and tell them you love them, though.

The New Lieutenant’s Rap, 1999 (short story)


Somewhere in here, SK was hit by a van while walking near his home in Maine. I’m not sure how many of these had been released, but judging by the tone of his ’99 books and everything that follows for the next few years, I’m going to say they were all already deep in the publication process. I’ve read that Dreamcatcher was the first book he really worked on after the accident.


Hearts in Atlantis, 1999 (collection) – Includes “Low Men in Yellow Coats” (Hearts in Atlanis)

Blood and Smoke, 1999 (collection)

“Riding the Bullet,” 2000 (e-book, also contained in Everything’s Eventual)

On Writing, 2000 (non-fiction) – Hint: If someone tells you they don’t like this book, what they’re really saying is they don’t like the written word.

Secret Windows, 2000 (non-fiction)

The Plant, 2000 (e-book)

Dreamcatcher, 2001

Black House, 2001 (with Peter Straub, sequel to The Talisman)

Everything’s Eventual, 2002 (collection) – Includes “1408” and “Riding the Bullet”

From a Buick 8, 2002

The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla, 2003

The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah, 2004

The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower, 2004

Faithful, 2004 (with Stewart O’Nan, non-fiction)

The Colorado Kid, 2005

Cell, 2006

Lisey’s Story, 2006 – In my mind, I give this one the subtitle How Stephen Got His Groove Back. I haven’t read the later Dark Tower books, so I can’t speak for them, but it seemed to me that SK really found himself again with this book. The subject matter doesn’t hurt.

Blaze, 2007 (Richard Bachman)

Duma Key, 2008 – SK is full on “Heeerrrrre’s Johnny!” in this book. Again, the subject matter didn’t hurt, but I admit to getting teary while reading this – out of pride, relief and just general warm fuzzies that SK had faced his demons (after the accident) and pulled through. LOVE this book.

Just After Sunset, 2008 (collection)

Stephen King Goes to the Movies, 2009 (collection, non-fiction (probably from his EW column?))

Ur, 2009 (e-book)

Under the Dome, 2009

Blockade Billy, 2010 (novella)

Full Dark, No Stars, 2010  (collection) – I liked this, but it was aptly named. Don’t read this one on vacation.

Mile 81, 2011 (e-book)

11/22/63, 2011 – This book is one big Easter Egg. I loved it…supposedly it’s in talks for production through Bad Robot! (I just threw my imaginary mortarboard in the air.)

American Vampire, 2011 (with Scott Snyder, comic)

“Throttle,” 2012 (with Joe Hill (his son!), e-book)

The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole, 2012

A Face in the Crowd, 2012 (with Stewart O’Nan, e-book)

“In the Tall Grass,” 2012 (with Joe Hill, e-book)

“GUNS,” 2013 (non-fiction, e-book)

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, 2013 (play; This is with John Cougar Mellancamp (or whatever iteration of that he’s going by these days) and looks awesome, but is expensive on

Joyland, 2013

The Dark Man: An Illustrated Poem, 2013 (poem, still in pre-release, I think)

Doctor Sleep, 2013 (Will release in September; sequel to The Shining) – I’m really excited about this, and if you decide to give SK more than just a trial run, definitely read The Shining so that you’re ready for this.


You know how I love “reunion” shows, well, it all started with the SK universe. GET IT, GIRL!

**I find Trucks to be the better adaptation of this story, mainly because Timothy Busfield. Also, don’t read this on vacation if your family stops at interstate rest areas for breaks.

I know that I’m a little too concerned about SK’s well-being. But I’ve been reading his books for over twenty years now, and he’s like the Bizarro Bill Cosby in the Htrae of my literary upbringing. A father figure, or at least cool Uncle.


KING ME: the Word doc


Dreams for the end of the world: my predictions for an already-aired episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Confession (easily implied from my title): I missed last night’s episode of The Walking Dead.

Last week, a coworker and I said we’d make a list of everything that we thought was going to happen, email them to each other, and then circle back once the episode aired. Now I’m holding up that whole process (until I can rush home right after work and watch), but it does give me time to share my predictions with you, reader. So…enjoy:

If I don’t think too hard about it, here are some possible scenarios I can come up with:

  1. People are going to die. It’s a given. My guesses and potential scenarios:
    • Merle – He will either go turncoat on the prison-ers and kill Darryl himself, or he will sacrifice himself for Darryl. Darryl may or may not end up dying anyway.
    • Michonne – She could do several things. She may offer herself up to the Gov to save everyone else; he kills her then continues to bring it to the prison-ers, OR she could die for someone else inside the prison. Either way, if/when she goes, I think it will be sacrificially.
    • Milton – He’s getting too likeable for a Woodbury guy. I would’ve said he might actually START the killing spree at the prison as a way of proving his loyalty to the Gov, but that was two weeks ago. Last week, things changed for him.
    • Beth – She really serves no purpose to the story except to look like Luna Lovegood, give flirty eyes to Rick and sing songs every now and then. She would be much more interesting if she just defected and went from flirting with Rick to flirting with the Governor. PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN.
    • The racist guy and/or his son that was with Tyreese. They are the worst.
    • Hershel. I love him, but the man has one leg. I mean…
    • Glenn or Maggie – to make the other one broody. If Glenn dies, I will be heartbroken. If Maggie dies…eh.
  2. I think I’ve already told you this, but I could easily see the Governor stealing Little Asskicker and/or Carl. By the middle of next season, the Stockholm Syndrome would set in.
  3. Rick will see Ghlori (ghost Lori) and wander off into the forest and miss the entire showdown at the prison, only to come back and find that people have been killed, but Tyreese saved the day (and Carl). Luckily, the sherriff’s hat is stolen by Martinez and we don’t have to watch Carl grow into it.
  4. I honestly don’t think anything will happen with Rick, the Gov, or Tyreese, although I don’t know where the series could go if they’re all left standing.
  5. Andrea. Ugh. I’m sure she’ll still be around at the end, because why not keep her around to cause more problems?
  6. I still think THE BEST would be if Milton bars entrance to the Gov when he gets back from the showdown. Also in my best-possible-case scenarios: If Morgan came and helped defend the prison (but, in true poetic justice, would probably have to die), if someone realized that Carl should have supervision, if we saw the Governor without his shirt on, if Merle either confirmed himself as a good guy or died (because I need relief to that tension).

Random comment: Except for Morgan’s wife, why haven’t we seen any of our “survivors” recognize a walker? Except for Michonne’s potential family, of course. Unless this group of walkers have now made it up from Florida or something, law of averages would suggest they’d all know people. Also, except for Sofia, there’ve been no walkers Carl’s age, and no “crawlers” (which, I admit, they may just not want to show on TV).

I want to know Glenn’s back story.

Okay. One more death scenario:

Darryl dies to save Merle, proving his loyalty once and for all (but not being DISloyal to the prison-ers, of course, just showing the family bond). Merle “gets it” and dies saving someone…maybe Michonne? Maybe Glenn?…and so both Dixons are out of the game. This is a worst case scenario for me.


How’d I do? I’m not planning on checking this out until after I see the episode, so please feel free to share your thoughts about predictions-come-true (mine and your own), thoughts on last night’s episode and predictions/hopes for the finale.

Viva los Dixons.

Tweets from the End of the World: Favorite Tweets of 2012

I’ve tried to put together my ideas about the year, but kept coming back to some of my favorite tweets of 2012 – I’m sure this says something about me and draw your conclusions where you will. Below are my favorite tweets of the year, in two categories – pop culture and “other.” Know these people; follow these people. Click to follow to Twitter profile, or for media links.

Pop culture news in tweets:


History 2

History 3

History 4 History 6 History 7 History 8 History 9 History 11 History 12 History 13 History 14 History 15 History 16 History 17 History 18 History 19 History 20 History 21 History 22 History 23 History 24 History 25 History 26

General hilarity:

Tweet1 Tweet2 Tweet3 Tweet4 Tweet5 Tweet6 Tweet7 Tweet8 Tweet9 Tweet10 Tweet11 Tweet12 Tweet13 Tweet14

Tweet1 Tweet2 Tweet3 Tweet4 Tweet5 Tweet8

Tweet1 Tweet2 TWeet3 Tweet4 Tweet5 Tweet6

Tweet1 Tweet2 Tweet3 Tweet4 Tweet5 Tweet6 TWeet7 Tweet8 TWeet9 Tweet10 Tweet11 Tweet12 Tweet13 Tweet14 Tweet15 Tweet16

Thanks for the Meme-ories

If Tweeting and Face-booking the news weren’t already indicators of how people communicate in the 21st Century, surely the seconds-later-meme-generation fills that role. In high school, I remember that someone would mention something they saw online and they’d alienate about two-thirds of their peers…the two-thirds that either didn’t have computers at home, didn’t have the internet at home or, like me, both.

Nowadays (to make myself sound super-duper old), it takes literally seconds for someone to generate a meme that is water-cooler talk minutes later. I’m okay with this. In fact, I’m usually amused for longer than any of my peers and start alienating my two-thirds by continuing to bring up memes that have long since  become irrelevant.

With both the landing of Curiosity and the Olympics going on, I have had an endless supply of workday distractions. My current favorite is the Tumblr (a haven for memes if there ever was one) site mckayla is not impressed. You really must check it out…in fact, by the time you do, you might even see my humble submissions…

Neither McKayla nor that little girl are impressed.