In the ink well

Dog Ear

December 16, 2015

Star Wars Objector (DOG EAR)

or the record, I love Star Wars. Originally. Back then, it was a wondrous storytelling with interesting characters, mixtures of magic and technology, just a fun story. I liked it so much I reffed a Star Wars role playing game that went on for fifteen years. We watched the movies intently for clues about how things worked, what things did. And when I finally got my own VCR, the first movie I bought was Star Wars for $80 (which, in the mid 80’s, was a lot of money). And I watched it over and over again. So what changed (and […]
December 10, 2015

Stories not written (DOG EAR)

ometimes you’ve got to get quiet. There are stories around us, all sorts of fascinating ones. Your partner, your neighbor, your coworker, all have stories. You might not have a direct use for them (i.e. in your current written work) but sometimes you can actually pick up something I’ll call “the rhythm of humanity” in the stories your friends tell you. I remember driving with a nice older gentleman all the way to Atlanta. Lots of time to share stories on that long, long road. On the way, he told me about his four divorces, and also his hundred and […]
December 3, 2015

Tell, don’t show (DOG EAR)

o what is dialog? It’s the act of story advancement where the words (rather than actions) of your characters advance the plot. Oh, sure, you can use this for other things; setting a mood, advancing the plot, defining a relationship, and so on. Like action, Dialog needs to be carefully mapped before attempting. You need to figure out just what you want to say, the order of the points to be made, the information to be passed to the reader and so on. When all this is down (on scrap paper or in your head), only then should you put […]
November 26, 2015

Thank full 4 (DOG EAR)

was going to run some other observation today but I figured I’d hold it. After all, today is Thanksgiving. And while we have things to be thankful for (friends, family, blah blah) and I specifically do (namely that that damned kidney stone is out), there are things we writers should be thankful for. I’m not going to be thankful for the self-publishing market. Like the internet overall, it’s changing things in ways we still cannot imagine and so into the chaos we fall, heedless. I’m as thankful for that as I would piloting a vessel in fog-bound seas. No thanks. […]
November 19, 2015

Steins;Gate (DOG EAR)

ith total respect to the Japanese as a people, they have a crazy-strange culture. I’ve been watching their animation (“anime”, for you non-hipsters) for ages. Yes, a lot of it is the unimaginative same, merely riding on the shoulders of giants like Cowboy Bebop and Akira. But some of it is really, really good – from a storytelling aspect. One such piece is Steins;Gate. It’s a story about a young Japanese nutcase, a scientist-goofball with a make-believe lab who jabbers commands to his non-existent organization over an inactive cell phone and runs tests (with his staff of one groupie and […]
November 12, 2015

Dog Ear (DOG EAR)

s there an echo in here? No, actually, this blog is about… dog earring. Just noticed it today – I’m reading an adventure yard from Douglas Preston, Tyrannosaur Canyon. The thing is, if you open the cover, you’ll see the Maya Books and Music pencil notification in the front – yeah, I bought it used, $3.50. I love Maya’s, a groovy little bookshop in Sanford, and will generally pick up a couple of covers just to help support them. So this thing is a foster book. Tonight, I was sitting on the back porch with a glass of wine, getting ready to read […]
November 5, 2015

Ink Life (DOG EAR)

as one of those glorious days in Florida, eighty degrees with scattered galleon clouds. My mini was purring along the 520, riding out to Palm Bay to attend a model railroad session on the Florida East Coast. This is where we run trains as close to the rule book as we can, and you get kudos for doing your job with sharp efficiency. I was in the beach traffic, passing boats and RVs but everyone was keeping right so the pace was fine. Was thinking about the site and what I’d be blogging. I’ve got another review to ready, Rothfuss’s […]
October 29, 2015

Where does it go? (DOG EAR)

uesday night, nestled between two evenings at the train club. Usually a quiet night, one phone call from my best friend, not much else. Maybe a good writing night. And now its 10:12 PM and I haven’t gotten even into the TNM2 folder. Where did all my writing time go? Well, let’s see. After dinner, I had to catch the site up. I had two book reviews to write, and a Dog Ear. That took some time. Then there was the shared Solar Trader game my buddy and I are jointly playing (passing it back and forth). See, it only […]
October 22, 2015

Past and Future (DOG EAR)

kay, everyone who reads (and only true readers find their way down to these dusty vaults) sees those things on Facebook – “How many of these classics have you read?” “The top 100 science fiction books”. In short, pretentious rubbish. If you are a reader, you read everything. Not just cowboy novels, not just scifi, not just detective or manly-hero or any of that other stuff – you read across the fields, taking in this and that and never hesitant to try anything new (or loaned). I wasn’t even thinking this was we walked over to Juniors, the little diner […]
October 15, 2015

Write and Wrong (DOG EAR)

can just imagine this guy typing away, hammering out a story for a radio program. He’s got an idea, it’s pretty sharp, it’s got a nice angle. All he needs is a hook. He thinks of something clever, clatters it out, looks over the roller, squinting through his cigarette smoke at what he’s knocked out. Three simple sentences. Yeah, a good start. Reads fine. Without looking back, he continues his story. But something that reads fine might not sound fine. For it was that third sentence which, listening while doing a work-place audit some fifty years later, gave me pause. […]