In the ink well

Dog Ear

September 12, 2013

Purpose (DOG EAR)

I write all sorts of things – short stories, longer stories, ideas I’m playing with, erotica. I blog a minimum of twice a week. I review student work (for co-workers) and even dust up resumes (for soon to be ex-co-workers). I also write the Employee of the Week piece at work. It’s been a while since I’ve really focused on a task (one with deadlines, and one that might mean publication (and money!)). But a posting just came up from a little English publication, a call for short stories, one under 750 words, the other 3000-6000. I’m game. I’ve already […]
September 5, 2013

Ask Amy II (DOG EAR)

Part II of a series that started with THIS. Instead of coming to me with her concerns she has written an online review that is more of a personal attack on me than a review of my book. She has accused me of “viciously attacking” her, of “not being over my jealousy of her”, and “needing counseling.” None of this is true. I used to feel jealous of her, but the jealousy my fictional character has is much exaggerated from what I actually felt. How can I convey to her that while this fictional character shares many of her attributes, […]
September 3, 2013

Dark stories (DOG EAR)

I‘m going to stay apolitical here, which is tough. In the midst of the 2013 Government Shutdown, you’d have to be a doorknob to remain apolitical. But we’re looking at stories here, storytelling and the art of foreshadowing, convincing, of setting moods and moving hearts. And it’s happening faster-than-light these days. We’ve all heard the story – A group of minty one veterans came in on an Honor Flight to visit a memorial, only to find it closed from the shutdown. They crash the gate, and now there are cameras aplenty and politicos circling like vultures. This is spin-time, a […]
August 29, 2013

Ask Amy I (DOG EAR)

Dear Amy: I recently published my first book. Although it is fiction, a lot of the events and characters are based on my real-life experiences and the main character is based on me (though her actions are very different from mine). I wrote the book under a pen name because I was afraid of negative feedback, but I told a few friends who I thought I could trust. One of these friends, however, does not like the way I portrayed a character that I loosely based on her… I read this in the paper’s advice column the other day and […]
August 22, 2013

Writing hazards (DOG EAR)

I‘ve mentioned my favorite writing place, right HERE. This is where I do my blogs and short stories, as well as anything else I pen-name out onto the web. It’s a perfect place for breaking one lousy work day into two small half-days. I get a boost of creativity and lose myself in my art. Perfect. But there are dangers. The other day, I was writing right from the seat shown in the piece above, nobody around, a clear and perfect day. I was just wrapping up my writing for that day, scanning the last paragraph to make sure everything […]
August 8, 2013

New Job Observation (DOG EAR)

So I’ve moved and am looking forward to my new job at Virginia Tech, that of being a consulting writer. Who would have thought that my books and DOG EAR would pull in such notice, but there you have it. I took leave from my day job, packed up a minimal amount of stuff, bid my wife and cat goodbye and here I am in Blacksburg. The odd thing is, I’m not alone. The university picked two ‘consulting writers’, myself and this gifted young woman, a weedy thing to who I’m not about to give a free plug to. I […]
August 1, 2013

Grinding the worm (DOG EAR)

What’s that old factoid – if you teach a worm how to do something, grind it up, then feed it to other worms, they’ll know how to do it. Which leads to the primary question – like, just what can you teach a worm to do? Really, the options are limited. Regardless, I started working along a disciplined timetable for writing information, insights, fears and whatnot. I didn’t want to post them just any-old–when since only the most dedicated of fans will check every day for updates (I’ve dropped reading certain webcomics for just this reason). It comes down to […]
July 27, 2013

DOG EAR Contents

The following is a full list of “Dog Ear” articles, a collective blog about the wonders and frustrations of writing. A description of the entry is included in square brackets. New articles will post every Thursday, and will be added to this list. Sulking in his tent (DOG EAR) [When life imitates art, or is it the other way ’round?] The Long, Hard Road (DOG EAR) [Getting behind on reviews for a really thick book] Your Audience (DOG EAR) [Taking a look at a lot of people, and wondering…] Early ReTesterment  [Do I have what it takes when the chips […]
July 25, 2013

Quest (DOG EAR)

My father wetted my interest in a number of things – model railroading, gaming, but most importantly reading. Sure, mom hammered me when I wasn’t reading in school, and I thank her for that. But dad was the pervasive reader, his shelves stocked with heavy tomes of great men, or thick classics like Atlas Shrugged and Winds of War. I took after him on this, setting off on a lifetime journey, not of one road of literature, but of many. I don’t even remember the specific incident – could have been after dinner, or in the car, somewhere. Just a […]
July 18, 2013

Ya ya (DOG EAR)

Instead of writing over Friday lunch as is my norm, this time I got a lesson in writing. Cassandra and Darlene invited me to a “cultural lunch” – Jamaican food down in one of the strips along the west side of town. Bryon, a guy from Darlene’s team, came with us. I’ve make this joke before, since I was the only caucasian in this group, I felt like the gay white guy in a black comedy film. Anyway, lunch was great – barbeque chicken and rice and dumplings – yum! But the interesting thing was the conversation we had, and […]