In the ink well

Dog Ear

June 4, 2015

Disingenuous (DOG EAR)

love English. I am thankful that it is my primary language (like I know any others!). But English is a beautiful language to write in. The rules are loose. You can make up words and sling them around. You can change tempo and pacing and meanings, pick words for foreshadowing and flavor. I don’t know if any other language has quite the versatility of ours. It always comes to me, when I’m reading a superb book, what a great language this is. A page from China Mielville or HG Wells or George McDonald Fraser drip with flavor. I can watch […]
June 4, 2015

Vacation (DOG EAR)

kay, so I’m slacking. We’re up in North Carolina, high up beyond the ends of the earth (Beech Mountain, but sadly, there are houses now beyond the end of the earth – they are clearing the mountain behind us for homes). It’s a week-long vacation, and I’m sitting here on the final day, reflecting on it. It wasn’t much of a stargazer’s vacation. We brought the scope, sure enough, but there were only two nights where it was clear enough to see (and one of them was 35 degrees, but we went up into the high hills anyway, just for […]
May 21, 2015

Resources (DOG EAR)

ast night, while writing, I discovered just how powerful a tool the internet can be. In the original Tubitz and Mergenstein, there was a scene where they attempt to conceal themselves in a small boggy port (where the idiotic inhabitants work long hours harvesting ferns used for animal fodder). Originally it was on a planet, now it’s simply a port in this sprawling fantasy world. Most of the dialog for the chapter comes from Tubitz (the svelte thief woman, all deadly and grim and such) talking to the bartender. The point of this conversation is to establish that this fern […]
May 14, 2015

Green Light (DOG EAR)

ust got the green light the other day on my new effort, Tubitz and Mergentein. No, it wasn’t anything as fantastic as that literary agency call or the proverbial “rich and famous” contract. No, this was from the first reader to run eyes along it. I’m out to 100 pages now, double-spaced, which is about a 50% reduction from the initial effort 30 years ago (and, frankly, I think it’s far superior). It’s been a couple of weeks of chapter-here, chapter-there work, just writing and remembering how much I enjoy writing. So now it’s done, the first book section. My […]
May 7, 2015

Technology Shift (DOG EAR)

y current project is Tubitz and Mergenstein, a story I wrote nearly thirty years ago. The original dealt with a young couple, opposites in every way, who flee across the galaxy pursued by corporate and governmental forces. Back then, I was writing a luke-warm scifi novel – nothing special. Spaceships traveled through black holes to get places (‘downsloping’, I called it). Now it’s a full steampunk yarn, with runnered sailing ships crossing vast seas of mirror-flat rock. Should be easy, right? Just say “sailing ship” instead of “spaceship” and you’re covered. Uh. No. As I read this, I’m coming to […]
April 30, 2015

It shows? (DOG EAR)

 won’t deny I’ve been under a lot of stress at work, all that man-against-man that looks so heroic and climactic in stories and yet comes across as petty nonsense in corporate environments. Honestly, the things people fuss over. So I’ve been quiet. But I’ve also been mentally busy. Yeah, I’m dealing with your clucking and egg stealing, but I’m also considering ideas for my “Tubitz and Meganstein” rewrite. In a nutshell, this is a book I wrote almost three decades ago. I remembered liking it then, and recently I located an old copy in storage (likely the only version in […]
April 23, 2015

To YA or not YA (DOG EAR)

here is a strong Young Adult (YA) market out there. Let’s be honest. You can look back through the literary greats of our times; Shakespeare, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, hundreds of fantastic authors. And which author is so popular that an amusement park (a gigantic complex) is built to honor her creations? Yes, Harry Potter’s Rowling. Never ever ever has an author been granted a construction that dwarfs those of the Pharaohs of Egypt. And this is all for a book I found unremarkable (compared to Watership Down and The Once and Future King, or even the Rings Trilogy). I mean, really, […]
April 16, 2015

Tick Tock (DOG EAR)

ontinuing from our last entry, I was stuck with a plot quandary – how could I trick a whole ballroom of noblemen who’d come to see the execution of the illustrious Baronet Mergenstein Hippen Von Graftin into flouncing away the time-limitation of their trumped up charges, voiding the execution which was to descend on his very neck a minute before midnight? How could the svelte leather-clad thief Tubitz alter the ballroom clock’s speed in the grand ballroom, decreasing its time so that the swells would blow their chance to axe him? As I mentioned, I thought about this for days. […]
April 9, 2015

Time Flies (DOG EAR)

ontinuing from our last entry, I was stuck with a plot quandary – how could I trick a whole ballroom of noblemen who’d come to see the execution of the illustrious Baronet Mergenstein Hippen Von Graftin into flouncing away the time-limitation of their trumped up charges, voiding the execution which was to descend on his very neck a minute before midnight? How could the svelte leather-clad thief Tubitz alter the ballroom clock’s speed in the grand ballroom, decreasing its time so that the swells would blow their chance to axe him? As I mentioned, I thought about this for days. […]
April 2, 2015

Eureka! (DOG EAR)

he incandescent moment that hits without warning. Just had one. Was at work the first Monday of March. The work day was through. Was outside my pod, loading my bike for the ride home. Weather was pleasant. Hanging the saddlebags over the bike’s haunch, my fanny pack around my rump. Tossed on my lobster bib. Gloves. Road ID. Sweatband. Helmet. We’re good to BANG Right there, an idea, another, and another. I literally rocked back on my heels. A concept erupted in my mind, a wondrous vision of a steampunk world in a unique setting (one I’m not ready to […]