In the ink well

Dog Ear

October 31, 2018

Blogging (DOG EAR)

loved Japan. If you read my trip report, you can see how much I loved it, day by day. Great fun, good food, friendly people. Outside of the “purse incident”, it was the perfect trip. Now I’ve been blogging DOG EARs since 2012 and recording trips since 2011, which is a lot of words under the bridge. And it does take some effort. Usually I’ll take my tinytop with me so I can write as I experience it. This time, we were traveling light – a backpack apiece (and a purse, sometimes, it seemed). But this time it was adding […]
October 4, 2018

A matter of taste (DOG EAR)

will be in Japan in the near future, just a short trip to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary (so you might notice a gap in my posting). We’re looking forward to this – some light touring and some pointless Tokyo wandering. Should be fun in a casual sort of way (I’ll be posting up my trip report in due time). One thing though – one of the reasons I’m going is, in a nutshell, the Anime culture. We couldn’t get into the Ghibli museum (booked solid) but we’ll check out the manga shops and look at all the funny toys. I […]
September 27, 2018

Magic (DOG EAR)

magine you could take any topic around the watercooler and suddenly affect people’s thoughts to flash an image directly in their heads. You know, like a phone with those boring pictures of your dog, but better. They wouldn’t just see the dog. They’d imagine his playful nature, his soft coat, and could emphasize with your love for him. Well, that’s what being a writer is about. Not only do we keep track of words others use but we develop our own words, ones that work. And we have boxes of words in our brain, all from those books we’ve read. […]
September 20, 2018

The churn of creativity (DOG EAR)

think you can train your brain to do a number of things. People who don’t read look at people who do as having some strange arcane powers, that sitting still for 300 pages is extraordinary. So, yes, I’ve trained myself to stick with it, through thick and thin. I’m like a book shredder now. This isn’t much I can’t break down. Creativity is the same sort of thing. Over years of scripting RPGs, writing plots, developing model train time tables and coding games, I’ve trained myself to be able to think solutions. When I write a short story, I think […]
September 13, 2018

Smile (DOG EAR)

ears back, I was reading a Manga comic titled Venus Wars. It was a cool comic and I very much enjoyed it. However, in one scene, the heroes are hiding out in an out-of-the-way sewage reclamation plant. Here, they get critical information from a scientist whom the government banished into the hinterlands. And that’s fine – a time-tested plot device. But, if course, the evil government locates them and suddenly there is an open hatch, an alarm, a video image of guys with machine guns coming down the ladder. The heroes (lovers with guns) dash off with pistols to fend […]
September 6, 2018

The Gift (DOG EAR)

lot of people on the train know I’m a reader (I’ve always got a book in my lap (and my Brompton folding bike under my legs)). And everyone on the bus (between work and train station) know I am as well (because I’m always talking about books and listening to others about their recommendations). It’s just who I am. If life was an old black & white World War Two movie, I’d be the guy called “Professor”. I did loan one nice lady on the bus my copy of A Man Called Ove. To my total surprise, she didn’t care […]
August 30, 2018

Dated (DOG EAR)

ne of the problems of writing things fifteen minutes into the future is the fact that, like toy boats on a river, the future slides by us and becomes the past. Remember the old idea that phone lines could be cut, that you’d be out of contact, off the grid, and how quaint that is? Now, it feels like more and more a stretch to show those plot-necessary no-bars. Now adays in modern stories, it’s not happening so much, the idea that the hero’s friends are walking into a trap, and the hero must rush after them to intercept them […]
August 23, 2018

High baud (DOG EAR)

’m a storyteller. I love stories, how they are put together, how points are emphasized, how they wind around to a conclusion. But I noticed a strange thing the other day in the office. I used to work with middle-aged Indian women and men of roughly my age. I could tell stories and outside of some of my creative uses of language, everything was fine. But most of those folks are gone now and in their places we have a wave of millennials. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not here to bust them along the typical lines. They […]
August 16, 2018

Jealousy (DOG EAR)

’m pretty open with admissions – when I feel something I’ll note it here. I look at my blog as a personal diary at times (with the idea that I’m leaving it out for others to read). It seems to work best that way. So I’ll admit this – I just finished the first book from an author and rather enjoyed it. I won’t say who but the review should be up soon. I only had access to that one – it came off my dad’s shelf. But I decided to look online and see if he ever wrote anything […]
August 9, 2018

Intruders (DOG EAR)

kay, I ran a little experiment a week ago. You see, when I got Joomla (which this site runs on) I noticed they didn’t have a feedback mechanism. How cool it would be, I though, to have discussions about the various books I’d read, to have people chime in if they liked my recommendations or not. So I added an app to my site that would allow me to get feedback per each article, and allow discussions to ferment around them. And I did get some discussions – that was great. I also got some authors commenting on my site […]