In the ink well

Dog Ear

July 20, 2017

The best possible cargo (DOG EAR)

m currently reading a recent SciFi tale, The Outback Stars, by Sandra McDonald. Yes, it’s part of a series (or so I figure, given the main character’s backstory) (or maybe not – I just checked and nothing is listed) but I’m not mired trying to imagine what took place before. Everything is pretty certain so it stands alone. That’s good. Nothing like coming in on the second act and not know who anyone is (or that Chekhov’s gun is sitting on the mantelpiece). Yes, a good read so far – watch for the review in a week or so. But […]
July 13, 2017

Carrying your pet book (DOG EAR)

y wife and I have a little ritual. Every Sunday at about 11:30am we walk a quarter mile (through quiet neighborhoods) to the little reborn strip mall. There, amid eclectic CD shops, yoga dens and cutesy boutiques, we slip into the seats at Juniors, an old throwback place with booths and even counter stools. And there, over omelets (with tabasco sauce) we’ll read our books. Yeah, it’s just our shared quiet time. We’ll talk about things on the walk over, and talk (generally) about our books on the way home. It’s just our freaky couples thing. But it struck me […]
July 6, 2017

Reading through tears (DOG EAR)

oyal followers of this blog might have noticed I’ve been spotty at late with my postings. Well, it’s because I’ve had horrible news, news that rocked me back. Our ten year old feline, Mookie, just suffered a kidney disorder. She’s still alive (just) – we’re having to coax food and water into her (and take her to the vet every week for hydration). And so this vivacious sleek friend, the little girl who rushed to the door to meet me after work, is now a withered thing, small and pathetic, disinterested in food. God, this is killing me. So today […]
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 […]