In the ink well

Dog Ear

December 4, 2014

Getting older (DOG EAR)

hen I was young, I was reading a book on anime (this was back before Akira, and if you don’t know what that was because you are too young or too old, shame on you). There was a picture of a Japanese artist sitting in front of a pyramid study room in his back yard, something someone had told him to make. It was supposed to give him all sorts of mystical triangle powers of creativity. “All I do is sit in there and drink sake,” he told the interviewer. I didn’t understand that – if you can draw so […]
November 27, 2014

The Last Argument (DOG EAR)

his is a story I just submitted in a short fiction contest. Rules: 750 words, about space and funny. It didn’t make the cut. So let’s share it here. Enjoy! When the Imperial BattleScout Last Argument broke from null space over the third planet of an unassuming (and unsurveyed) system, every sensor station klaxoned dire warnings. The captain of the hulking survey ship nearly tripped over his ceremonial scimitar as he dashed from station to station and leaned over shoulder after shoulder, his buggy eyes reflecting their lurid displays. The indications of a sprawling civilization were there. Huge space stations, […]
November 20, 2014

Fury (DOG EAR)

poiler alert! If you haven’t seen the movie Fury, you might want to skip this until you’ve seen it. So, still here? Let’s look at how (as writers) we need to make sure our bit characters have their own motives to ensure our worlds feel realistic. Fury is a movie about a World War Two American tank crew. At the end of a very busy day, they are assigned to hold (at all costs) a crossroads to keep the Germans from punching through a weak spot in the lines. Of course, the rest of the tank platoon gets ground into […]
November 13, 2014

Showdown (DOG EAR)

ou’ll remember last week’s piece, where I talked about the difficulty of getting a bookstore to move on a decision for stocking a few copies of Early Retyrement. And that I said I was going to go in and get some sort of resolution here. Well… Okay, so Sunday I went to the theater at noon and saw Fury, a good movie with a scene I’m going to comment on next week (and if you don’t like spoilers, you’d better go see it). Enjoyed myself. But I knew that I was going to drop in on that store on the […]
November 9, 2014

Erotica 101: Timing (DOG EAR)

obody likes their time wasted. People who dick with their phones at a traffic light. Or who wait in line at a fast food counter and only then look at the menu. Even one minute commercial spots are a mind-numbing waste of time. So why do you think your readers feel any different? If you are writing a novel, you have time to bleed in suspense. Characters can be developed. Clues (if appropriate) can be distributed. You can toy with foreshadowing and cast your mood with clever wording. Heck, if you are writing in 1870, you can take hundreds of […]
November 6, 2014

Backwards (DOG EAR)

f you need confirmation that you are not the only frustrated writer out there, you’ve come to the right place. I haven’t sent out a submission in months. Wife sickness and other obligations have gotten in the way. So I’m already feeling bad about that. But before all this (about four or more months back) I took a preview copy of Early Retyrement to a little local bookseller around the corner. Figured, hey, you want local writers? Nobody is more local than me? So I gave it to the owner and weeks passed. And then, two months ago, I screwed […]
October 30, 2014

Passion (DOG EAR)

o, I’m not making a reference to my series on erotica – that’s done for now. I’m just writing about, well, writing. And the passion of doing it. It used to be that I wrote every workday at lunch. It worked well for me, it cleared my head, it made me see angels (and devils). Going back to the cube was so much easier after working the magic of writing, of seeing things first that later readers would marvel and delight over (even if it was only erotica) was a head-kick. There is an angle on writing that is pure […]
October 23, 2014

Ad copy (DOG EAR)

‘ll admit to being a fan of Game of Thrones (please, the book, not the TV show). Been reading my way through it and enjoying its scope and depth (if you want to see what I’ve thought of each book, check out my booklist HERE for reviews). But this is something I’ve never seen before. I’ve seen ads for goods based on movies (James Bond, etc). Usually it’s open. In fact, in the 50’s, it would be much more obvious (with “See the thrilling new movie from MGM, in Technicolor” on the bottom of the ad). But advertisement is more […]
October 16, 2014

Pure Gold (DOG EAR)

felt jilted by one of my purest pleasures, reading. As you read in last week’s DOG EAR, I had just suffered a ham-strung horror of self-published nonsense, a book by a person who didn’t understand classic noir or basic English. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to read anything soon afterwards. Like a jilted lover, I wasn’t ready to start dating again., Then I stuck my nose in an old yellowed western and my blood flowed again. I’ll review City of Widows soon enough. It’s a great book. Why? Because it has characters who were dusty and trashy and archetypical […]
October 9, 2014

Pure crap (DOG EAR)

knew this was going to happen. And sure enough, it did. Was at a local bookstore and picked up a little self-published tome (it’s sooooo easy to self-publish now). And what have I said about writers who can get published nice and cheap? It’s why I don’t like people without training (or sense) getting hold of firearms. Some writers simply are not qualified to be published. First off, he didn’t seem to check his pagination and word-flow. Right-justification can really cause some issues, ones that might need manual correction. So occasionally you’ll see three words on a line, floating on […]