Sunday on the PATH

Posted on February 24th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. 3 comments

Despite the rats and the garbage and the bums and the smell, I love the trains. I love the rocking of the train. I love the characters on the train.  I love how quickly I can lose myself in a book or a magazine. On Sunday’s, the train is usually filled with tourists and other interesting people. When I ride the PATH train into NJ, it’s usually too crowded to find a seat, so I’m forced to stand. When this happens, I usually find other ways to amuse myself. Today was interesting.

As I stood on the platform of the 14th street PATH station, I became aware of a young guy moving behind me. He walked directly up to a young chick on the platform. Right away he started his rap. He commented on her gloves, they were thick, fingerless gloves. He … Read More »

Humbled… Now what?

Posted on February 24th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments

With the release of what I hope will be the first of many literary efforts, this week has turned out to be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. To finally see my work in printed form was a pretty surreal moment. I’ve been getting packages from Amazon.com for nearly 20 years now, but to open the package and see your name on a glossy new book, well that’s an experience that I won’t soon forget. Then to have so many of my friends and family respond to the release in a positive way, well that was just down right humbling, and as well all know, I’m not easily humbled. The initial response has been more than I could have hope for, but now what?  How do I market this book so that I can reach an audience wider than my facebook friends? … Read More »

Day of Reckoning

Posted on February 21st, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. 2 comments

So today is the first day that purchased books will be arriving in the mailboxes of anxious readers. To say I’m nervous and excited would be an understatement.  As of last night, 38 copies were purchased. I only need 139,962 more and I can retire. One book at a time. Despite my misgivings, I am really excited to receive feedback. Being that it’s a collection of 20 different stories, I’m sure that some will be liked while others discarded. I’m interested to see which is which. Although I won’t say at this point, but I do have my favorites, and there are others that I don’t like at all. I was tempted to leave them out of the book, but I was convinced by someone with an objective eye, to leave them in. “Just because you don’t like them, doesn’t mean … Read More »

Two Lives – Different directions

Posted on February 21st, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. 3 comments

Yesterday, I went to the wake of my grandmother’s younger brother. Joseph Salzano was 89. He was the father of 6 and the grandfather on many more and from all accounts, he was a pretty good guy.  As we like to say, he had a pretty good run.   I wasn’t close with the man, but my mother loved him and spoke glowingly of him. He grew up during the war, and served his country proudly after the war. In short, it was a life well-lived. A life to be proud of.

When I returned home in the evening, I received word that an old friend had passed away. She was only 47, and she died of a drug OD in Florida. I always knew that I would get the call, but you’re still not prepared when you get it.  She … Read More »

Finally Part Two!!!

Posted on February 19th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments

Lordy, Lordy. Much to my surprise, it did not take 5-7 days. It took less that 24 hours, but finally, the book is published.

Split Rock Road is on Amazon and ready to be purchased. Be the first kid on your block to have a copy of this amazing book from this amazing new author.

Just click on the link and you are halfway there.

Thanks for your support.






Posted on February 19th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments

Well, it took days and weeks and months and years, but i was finally able to submit the final proof of my book. Split Rock Road is on it’s way. Evidently, it takes 5-7 days for it to appear on Amazon. I was hoping it would be more like one. If I decide to publish on the Kindle, I can get it out there a lot quicker, but I’m hesitant to do so. I’ve never used the digital format – I’ve always been a book man – and I think that’s how I want people to discover me as well. I know that it may be archaic thinking on my part, and I might change my mind in the next few days (or hours), but for now, that’s the direction I’m going in.  For the moment, I’m going to let … Read More »

Hello Self Doubt. Nice to see you again.

Posted on February 14th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments

The third proof of the book is complete. It’s been read and re-read and proof-read and then edited and re-edited, and well.. you get the picture. The Cover looks great. The interior is great. It’s professionally formatted and edited. It’s ready to go. Only problem is I can’t hit the button. Once I do, it goes out to the reviewers and out to the world and that terrifies me. What if I didn’t capitalize New Jersey? Or worse yet, what if I spelled my name wrong.
The simple fact is I’m drowning in self-doubt. All artists do at some point, but this is the first time that I’ve actually put something of mine out into the word in a big way. Ok, sure there are those skits I posted on YouTube, but they were just that. Skits. These stories are a … Read More »

Impatiently Waiting

Posted on February 12th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments

So the 2nd round of proofs has arrived, and as expected, there were additional changes to be made.  The cover looks amazing, and I’m really happy with the new photo, but after finding a misplaced comma, I was left with no choice but to go over the entire book with a fine-tooth comb.  It’s funny, but now I think I understand why musicians don’t listen to their own records, all they hear are the mistakes.

At the time that I wrote each of the stories, they all had a different meaning to me. Some were like children that needed protection and nurturing, and others were like bad cousins that you hated visiting, but they were family nonetheless. I’m not sure how many times I have read each story, but I’m sure it’s in the hundreds. I wonder if I can even … Read More »

Proof #2 – Submitted

Posted on February 6th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments


I have submitted the second proof of the book, and I am eagerly awaiting my copies in the mail. I’m really hoping that I got all the typos and misplaced commas out of the manuscript because the waiting is killing me.  After receiving the first copy, I wanted to re-write every sentence of every story until someone reminded me that when making Born To Run, Springsteen kept wanting to fix it and add to it and change it, until Landau convinced him to put it out telling him, once it’s out you won’t be listening to it anyway. Pretty sage advice.

The other problem is that my new projects have stagnated while waiting to complete the book. One is a screenplay and the other is a full length novel, but I really can’t dive into them until I finally give birth to the … Read More »

The End of Time

Posted on February 4th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments

So the Mayans may have been wrong about the date, but we certainly are near the end times. And technology is the reason.
Yesterday, as I traveled to work on the PATH train. I was blessed by the opportunity to witness the end first hand. As I sat down, next to a pre-fab Asian hipster in skinny jeans and a checkered pea cap, I looked over and saw that he was watching something on his mobile device.

Now, I love watching youtube videos of cats that flush toilets as much as the next guy, but this nimrod was watching a video of… Pen-spinning…
Yes, Pen-spinning.
Somehow people have made a sport out of what people do while waiting for their next thought to happen by, and this clown was watching videos of it. Hipster boy was wasting his idle time by watching how other … Read More »