In the ink well

Dog Ear

January 3, 2018

Reviewing awful books (DOG EAR)

our out of you’re mind.” That was about the worst sentence I ever read in a book purchased off a shelf, a little vanity press number I got from a local bookstore by a local author (perhaps “Author” is too strong a word here. “Typist” might be better). I’ve read bad books before. Sometimes they come at you at times in your life (see, at least I know how to use “your”) when you are not in the mood for its mystery, its adventure, its craziness. But sometimes they are bad. And occasionally they are awful. Yeah, I’ve read a […]
December 27, 2017

Best of 2017 (DOG EAR)

hat will be a new tradition here on Robert Raymond’s Blogtorium is my best-of review. I tend to give a review a week, year after year, but with all the rubbish I read, nowhere do I list what I thought my favorites were for 2017. Note that these weren’t necessarily written in 2017; I’m just posting up what I thought were the most outstanding reads I had for the year. I’m not going to rank them – culling them from the mass of pulp I read was good enough. But all these books are strongly recommended by me. He gave […]
December 20, 2017

Hiatus (DOG EAR)

ome of you might have noticed that the site has gone largely dark over the last few weeks. No updates. No opinions. No grousing about the sorry state of entertainment, media and literature lately. Most of you haven’t, of course. I’m keeping track of names, just like Santa. Anyway, the reason for this wasn’t a failure of courage or and onset of writers block. Nope. Carpel Tunnel. I have it in my left hand, not because of typing or anything, just hard use. So the bone and cartilage in my left wrist tightened up around the nerves and suddenly I […]
November 30, 2017

Clearing the slate Again! (DOG EAR)

t’s hard to covey just how bad my work day was – this is the middle of three days of Program Increment meetings, the hardest one for me. Today my team has to figure out what it needs to do. We have a limited time to task up our board. Management is forcing work on us (regardless of the principles of non-intervention in Agile). And as a scrummaster, I’m running from room to room, up and down stairs, trying to pull everything and everyone together in this shambles of effort over four hours without lunch (well, cold Olive Garden spaghetti) […]
November 23, 2017

Clearing the slate (DOG EAR)

ast week I wrote about coming up flat for a blog entry (actually, I rallied and got a respectable piece out of it). But I’ll confess that even after lumping it out over lunch at the desk, I was still zombiefied for the rest of the day. Drones were lining up at the desk, the IM light was flashing and some poor sod even tried my phone. When I got home, I slept four hours before even trying to rustle up dinner. But it was getting home that made all the difference. You see, unlike virtually everyone else on the […]
November 16, 2017

Dog tired (DOG EAR)

always say that there are days when you won’t feel like writing. Like, say, today. It’s Thursday and I owe the vast consuming maw of the internet another short piece on writing. In that perfect world, I should have been developing a bit earlier in the week and refining it in my various downtimes (like when driving or even biking). Wednesday I’d take a break at work to compose something that I would review Wednesday night and post up Thursday. That would have been the plan. Reality is bleaker. In my reality, I’m playing with a couple of game design […]
November 9, 2017

Ingratitude (DOG EAR)

ou might have read my piece from last week (if you didn’t, it’s HERE). In it, I blistered my company for not giving me recognition for an above-and-beyond assignment I worked on, and that thinking that a crayons-and-coloring-book seminar approach would settle things. Of course, Serendipity is a cruel bitch. I went back across the street to the hotel we were attending for this thing, and that’s when the VP from my department got up in front of over a hundred coworkers and told a story of dedication and commitment and what it means. And suddenly he’s talking about me. […]
November 2, 2017

Angst (DOG EAR)

“ come across my hating fair.” This from Poopdeck Pappy in the ill-fated movie Popeye. It’s a great statement from the top-down look. It says that hate (and anger and other passionate emotions) are not just felt, they are controlled and considered. I really like that. The thing is, I’ve mentioned that I’ve had a hard couple of months and work has significantly factored into this. Without going into details, all the things they claim they do (compassion, caring, teamwork), they, well, haven’t. I labored over long evenings for over a month and nobody said anything, did anything, or supported […]
October 26, 2017

Bootstrapping (DOG EAR)

ow that I’ve given up jogging and I’m doing quick lunch-time rush-writing (an hour each time, typing with one hand, holding my sandwich with the other) I’ve begun to notice a thing I do that I’ve only just identified. In fact, when I wrote Indigo years back during lunches, I’d do the same thing. So, what I’m doing is something I’ll call “bootstrapping”. Works like this. When I settle into writing, my mind enters a streaming state where part of it is imagining the moment of the scene. It pictures the characters, their actions and reactions, the pace of the […]
October 19, 2017

Writing at the edge (DOG EAR)

t’s been a hard couple of months for me, facing everything from a loved-one’s passing to the storm of a century (with more of those yet to come) to the inanity of our President (really, is it even  in doubt anymore?). At one point, doctors were testing me for a possible degenerative disease over a number of tense weeks (just Carpal-Tunnel, whew). And I’m getting older and not wiser, no, just creakier and more fragile. As mentioned in other pieces, I hurt myself jogging which has ended that for me. At least I’ve gotten the bike back under me. I […]