In the ink well

Dog Ear

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 […]
March 26, 2015

Death’s Doorway (DOG EAR)

veryone who’s a geek can remember that dramatic moment in Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan, where Spock dies. I can remember a trekkie next to me quietly sobbing in the dark. Truthfully, it was as good a death scene as could be written, full of sacrifice and victory and sadness. Of course, they ruined it in the third movie – his body wasn’t even cold yet and suddenly he popped back in, none the worse for wear. Character death is a primary tool (like a chainsaw, a valuable yet dangerous tool) of the writer. Killing an important character […]
March 19, 2015

Wednesday Night Lights (DOG EAR)

f you go HERE, you’ll see my new interest in Astronomy. I’m fascinated by the skies – always have been, ever since I looked at the moon through my dad’s clunky Naval binoculars. And now that I’ve got a x35 scope and a big telescope on order, now I’m reading all about this and getting to know how you look for stars, how you find stars, about light pollution, all that. As part of this, my wife and I went to the local observatory (as luck would have it, it’s a mile from the house). There were several members of […]
March 12, 2015

You haven’t read…? (DOG EAR)

kay, not this has happened twice. A person in conversation says, “Oh, you haven’t read…?” and then foists a book on me. And that’s fine. As you can see from my reading list HERE, I’m not focused on one thing. But in both cases, I’m halfway through and hence, of course, the follow-up conversation arises, where “I’m at the point where…” and that’s when I find out that, no, they haven’t read it. What? What??? I recommend books all the time – refer to that list above – but at least I’ve read them. And one of my sins is […]