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The Casbah’s 25th Anniversary Wrap Party Dec 21, 2014 The local music venue celebrates the end of its 25th year with live performances from The Burning of Rome, Barbarian and Low Volts. The outdoor rock show will also include food trucks and alcoholic beverages 62 other events on Sunday, December 21
 
Sordid Tales
How can so many people be wrong about something for so long?
There She Goz
Children’s center is training tiny, adorable consumers
Seen Local
City takes a slow and careful approach to the public-art gem
News
Rosemary Summers succeeded in 2013, and her parents want justice
The World Fare
Kearny Mesa Chinese place serves the best potstickers and xiao long bao in town

 

 
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Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

The Long and Short of It’s Ben Johnson to publish a novel

‘A Shadow Cast in Dust’ is due out later this year

By Jeff Terich

Ben Johnson, a member of Wha? and The Long and Short of It and a rapper under the name Grammatical B, will soon become a published novelist. 

Johnson says his first novel, A Shadow Cast in Dust, is an "urban fantasy" that follows three characters—and is told via three different perspectives—through a complex narrative involving an Old Guard that controls webs with shamanistic magic. The book, which is set mostly in Golden Hill and its surrounding canyons, is being published by Grand Mal Press. It took Johnson a year to write. 

"It's a majorly ambitious project," he says in an interview at Krakatoa café in Golden Hill. "I didn't outline anything; I just started writing. And it changed so hugely and drastically since I started it." 

Johnson said he got into the habit of writing 1,000 words a day, first in pen on paper, as well as on his phone. He later transferred his work to a laptop. He sent his proposal to Grand Mal in May 2013, and right now, the book is in the proofreading stage. Johnson slimmed it to a tight 110,000 words through a few rounds of editing. 

He says that everyone who's read his manuscript has given him positive feedback, and he already has second and third volumes planned. Though he doesn't have a background in creative writing, Johnson says he's confident about the content of his first book.

"I don't care if you think I'm a good writer," he says. "I only care that you think it's a good story. I think it kicks ass." 

Email jefft@sdcitybeat.com or follow him at @1000TimesJeff




 
 
 
 
 
 
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