In the ink well

Dog Ear

May 16, 2018

Attention to Detail (DOG EAR)

’m on the train, my nonplussed reflection reflects back at me against a leaden sky. I’ve got my leg (the cuff still soaked from recent bus-train dash) tossed over my folded Brompton bike. As the backwall landscape rolls by, I’m paying special attention to the weedy gravel-bordered rain puddles. Why? Successful writing means you (the author) pays attention to the little details of life. You can describe a guy going out to his car for his morning commute, but if he picks his keys out of a tray (showing he’s got a living routine he follows) you flesh him out […]
May 9, 2018

Grasshopper (DOG EAR)

n interesting test for a writer. Today (after my enjoyable bike/train/bus commute and some sit-on-my-can meetings) I slipped quietly out of work and drifted over to a fast food place. Early lunch, it isn’t too noisy and they keep the muzak to a minimum. I sat down and ate lunch while reading my prior efforts on my tinytop, then easily slid back into the story line. This was enjoyable. It’s the way writing should be. Even in a noisy plastic environment I sipped my coke and wrote. I was like a shopper in a market, picking out the words and […]
May 3, 2018

Stories (DOG EAR)

love stories. Stories determine our past, present and future. The world is a web of stories. So there I am on a sleepy suburban rail platform (story) with my Brompton folding bike (ongoing story) with my NYC subway map t-shirt (old story). To this story, let’s add the Sunrail ambassador and make a new story. She’s the lady who helps you to buy your tickets and not tumble onto the tracks (explanative story). And she’s crazy and vibrant and more animated than a Disney flick (background story). So she comes over and points to a spot on my chest-map, up […]
April 26, 2018

Mr Congeniality (DOG EAR)

pparently I have a problem. It seems I’m a crank. I guess I’ve known it. I’ve had a pretty good life so far but like every life it’s had disappointments. I got screwed out of benefits by a company who owed me so much and curbed me like garbage. And my rocket ascent to historical writer reentered prematurely when my publisher died in a car wreck. There were also three or four women I knew to be perfect wives for me who did not share that assessment (“I still look for them in crowds,” as a favorite movie puts it). […]
April 19, 2018

Books as Pals (DOG EAR)

’ve been getting a lot of work shit recently. Other than one or two people, a lot of folks have turned their backs on me. That pisses me off since last year I hemorrhaged purple and avoided a major auditing scandal that would have lost the company tens of millions of dollars. And now they’re like this? I feel like the main character from Falling Down – “When did I become the bad guy?” So fuck you. Got home and decided to sit out back at the Indian table under the breeze sky with a glass of wine and some […]
April 13, 2018

Fast and Slow (DOG EAR)

have a lot going on this week, one of the things this Corporate 5K. I’m in for setup, the walk (was “the run” in years past but a knee injury fixed that), and takedown. Rode over on the tandem with the missus. And so, my impressions… There. Sitting for all the late corporate people of my group to show. Unfolding chairs. Arrival. Rearranging chairs. Guiding people in on phone. Set up. Set up. More set up. Group photo. Final piss. The milling wait to walk. Niece (with her own bad knee) finds me. Chatting. Go. Walking along Central. Talking about […]
April 5, 2018

Clerks (DOG EAR)

nteresting use of historical reading today. Found myself on the Sunrail plaform, reading the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Historical Group’s magazine, specifically an article about a couple who clerked in the early fifties. They were involved with working the orders by customers coming in, securing them seats on trains a month (and possibly, in larger groups) a year out. Image that – doing all that work across a railroad with something like a hundred passenger trains each day, getting people into seats and to their destinations. And no Excel, or internet, or anything beyond a typewriter. They were even limited in […]
March 29, 2018

Flatline (DOG EAR)

o I’m a corporate schmoe. I do process. I run scrums. I do planning. I do data-raids. I go to a lot, lot, lot of meetings. And I get a lot of interruptions. The interruptions are the worst. Millennials don’t mind them as much (since their brains have grafted around their phones). To me, I’m thinking long-term. I’m organizing my thoughts and considering a problem from several angles and thinking of the best way to something and there’s the critical email, the phone call, the IM. And I can feel the blue smoke off my mental brake shoes, the howl, […]
March 21, 2018

Own The Road (DOG EAR)

To the person ticked off at bicyclists who “own the road”, they do. Look it up. And yes, it ticks me off that moron motorists don’t know the rules of the road they bought tags for (like turn signals and the three-foot rule). One of the reasons I love being a writer and learning how to hone my skill is because it allows me to effectively compose, arrange and present my thoughts (such as the above, accepted by the Orlando Sentinel in their Ticked Off column for March 21stof this year). It was a rebuttal to some motorist who thought […]
March 15, 2018

Mind Blowing (DOG EAR)

’ve mentioned around the blogtorium that the book that really set my young mind off the rails and made me into the person I am today was HG Well’s War of the Worlds, reviewed and praised HERE. In a nutshell, it showed me that true literature can always tell new stories, that happy endings should not be assumed and conventions are meant to be dashed. So this woman I work with, her ten year old son just won an “Odyssey of the Mind” contest at his school and will be advancing to state. And he was so committed to doing […]