In the ink well

Dog Ear

June 21, 2017

Footnotes (DOG EAR)

’m reading The Man in the Iron Mask right now (kinda spooky in that I’m also watching Versailles at the same time). But Mask is a melancholy story – like our real lives, we have such passionate loves and friendships in our early years yet in the end, everyone is allied with their duties and occupations, with friendship a distant consideration. I even realized that with my best buddy on the phone last night – good friends for thirty years but a thousand miles, five kids and two spouses apart. All those long games and movie marathons – negated. And […]
June 14, 2017

The Good, the Bad, and the Late-Night (DOG EAR)

es, stories. It’s what connects us to entertainment, to meaning and memories. Father’s Day is rolling around, made less-so by the fact my dad has passed away a few years back, but more-so for the same reason. Now it’s no longer just a card. Now it’s about a personal storytelling observance. See, when I was a kid living on a base in the Philippines during the wind-down of the War in Vietnam, one night my dad invited me to stay up and watch a movie with him. I’d watched late-nighters with him in the past, generally being introduced to some […]
June 8, 2017

Little help (DOG EAR)

ou might remember that I’d written about doing a podcast with Ben Lockett. He’d agreed to host me on a podcast about Bikes And… In this case, it would be about commuting, something I’m a strong advocate for. Well, the first attempt did not go well at all. Not only could my brother not get his Skype to work, the combination of his phone and his echoey den proved too much for audio purposes. The connection was the shits and Ben contacted me a couple of days later asking if we could redo it (assuming I could find something better […]
June 1, 2017

Mr Blue Sky (DOG EAR)

kay, I’ll admit it – I’m a Guardians of the Galaxy fanboy. Me and wifey own the first move and just went out to see the second. A quick synopsis – a kid is abducted off Earth in the 80s, and all he’s got is a Walkman with taped music from that time. Now mercing around the Galaxy, he’s a goodnatured goofball who takes on dangerous missions and assembles a team of powerful misfits to assist him. And one of these characters is Groot, a huge treeman who is obliterated in an act of selfless sacrifice at the end of […]
May 25, 2017

Phased out (DOG EAR)

t’s interesting (in a bittersweet way) to see how things change. For some reason, this morning while getting ready for my bike ride in, I thought of World War One aviation. I think it was in response to the ideal of dawn patrol, of an early morning moment of getting ready for going somewhere few souls would dare traverse, kitting up, checking the crate, sniffing the wind, eyeing the sky. Yeah, it’s only a bike, but I’m a romantic. It got me thinking to a book I’d read over and over as a kid, Goshawk Squadron, by Derrick Robertson. Needless […]
May 18, 2017

Overtime (DOG EAR)

don’t think I’ve ever gapped in posting my DOG EAR column (nor my book reviews, for that matter). Since 2012, I’ve been religiously posting up my observations on media, on writing, on techniques. I’ve talked about shows I’ve enjoyed (for TV and movies are just another form of storytelling). I’ve even talked about the societal changes to our reading habits (such as the impact of cellphones – people who know me are now going nooooooo! Say it isn’t so!) I’ve written while sick, while tired. I’ve written in the middle of the night. I’ve written from work (shh!). I’ve even […]
May 3, 2017

Bikes and… Speaking (DOG EAR)

’m not writing with a quill on parchment – I’m using one word processor (Word) or another (the Joomla editor). I don’t write once, dust sand on it and blow-dry the beads of ink. I write something. I consider the flow and meter and meaning. I might break a longer sentence apart. I might glue two shorter ones together. I might decide I’m belaboring a point (now, perhaps?) or that I haven’t made my meaning clear. But I’ll mess around with the sentences, meander through the paragraphs,  figuring out how to make it all work out so my prose gets […]
April 24, 2017

The Great Train Bloggery (DOG EAR)

t’s eleven at night. I’m driving home after eight hours of work, an hour’s commuting, two hours of dinner with the buddies and then three hours of model train operations. And now I need to blog about the latter. To define – model train operation is where a group of train enthusiasts use their layout to simulate how a real railroad operates. There is a dispatcher controlling things by phones from a remote office. There is a yardmaster sorting inbound cuts to locals, and outbound strings for export. And there are the train crews, dozens of guys running freight, passenger […]
April 20, 2017

Faceless Finale (DOG EAR)

o really, what was being anti-social in regards to social media (as a Lent objective) like? Freeing in some ways. Restrictive in others. First off – I’m a writer. Technically I create my own social media. I maintain a set of blogs and create content for them. I post broadly about the craft of writing and specifically about the craft of reading (i.e. book reviews). So I do have my creative outlet there. Without Facebook and an incessant need to click into it to see who liked me and who I needed to defend my views against (you trolls, you), […]
April 13, 2017

The perfect evening for reading (DOG EAR)

was pleasantly weary and hungry following my 40 miles or so of riding the D&L canal on a rented bike in a recent visit to my buddy in Easton PA. I’d dropped the bike off, strolled home to the hotel, took a shower, took a nap, and now set out for dinner, We are Pirates, my current written companion, under my arm. With the Sunday evening slowly settling over this small Pennsylvanian town I found an outdoor cafe – crowded inside, which I couldn’t understand – the evening was so perfect. Settled down on the last outside table on the […]