In the ink well

Dog Ear

October 1, 2015

Keys (DOG EAR)

e’ve all seen it. The writer of the 40’s rattling on his typewriter, clickityclickityclick – ding! Zip! Over and over and then, rrrrrrriiiip! Onto the stack, another page ratchetted in, and away! Right? That image of the hard-paced typewriter jockey only holds amongst those who never used one. The entire illogical setup of our QWERT keyboards is because the keys jam if you go too fast. And then, ever fumble, every typo, every mistake, you have to go into full stop and white-out or white-ribbon your fix in. Years back, when stunning break-out authors were making their way onto the […]
September 24, 2015

Doornail (DOG EAR)

o advice here, nothing about prose and pacing and prattle. Just a little slice-of-life (and why one should always back up their current masterwork). Got home from the train club two weeks back. Had been thinking of an argument my character Mergenstein was having with High Padre Ricken (it’s a long story) (220+ pages so far). I wasn’t happy about how it was currently going – I’d written myself into a box canyon with dull sides. No good. Had to back up, toss out a couple of paragraphs, and accelerate a different way. It took me something like 15 minutes […]
September 17, 2015

Not for Fun (DOG EAR)

very so often, it happens. Instead of reading something I want to read (like that Japanese scifi Jesse Markowitz sent me), I’m stuck with something tedious. I don’t want to read what I’m reading right now. It was given to me, a self-help sort of thing (yes, I need self-help, but I need the relaxation time more). It’s a book written by a Pfud (PHD) and while he’s got an interesting concept, you can tell he’s packing it with filler to justify that a simple article can expand to make a book. I mean, some of the little side stories […]
September 10, 2015

Gearbox (DOG EAR)

n a recent hey-let’s-all-go-out-to-lunch-together Friday at work, I ended up giving a Libyan fellow and an Indian mom a ride over in my Mini Cooper. Yeah, it was tight and everyone wanted a turn driving the rumm-rumm car about. We had our share of stalls (I won’t say by who) but everyone had a blast driving that little sports car (even overloaded as it was). But the thing that they enjoyed the most was the gear shift. Yeah, it’s fun. Instead of just driving, now you are part of the process, feeding in gas and slipping the clutch. Nothing feels […]
September 3, 2015

Duality (DOG EAR)

first noticed this sort of thing in a movie back, I dunno, ten years or more ago. It was during a summer of destruction-from-space-with-a-big-rock blockbusters. Anyway, in one of them, here comes a gigantic rock that will take out all life for certain. A mission sent up to deflect the rock half-fails, breaking it into a big piece (big enough to end us) and a little piece (scary but survivable). And sitting there in that overcold theater, I knew, at that moment, where each was going. Of course the little one smashes into Earth, releasing a massive detonation of CGI […]
August 27, 2015

Gentle nudge (DOG EAR)

ike, Jesus Christ, I’m glad I don’t have kids to burn time on! I’ve got the train club (with twenty feet of pine forests to model in N-scale) (and wherever we don’t have forests, what are we modeling? Pine tree farms! No shit!). I’ve got a meteor event bashfully hiding behind heavy clouds night after night and a sky that hazes up every time I touch my telescope. And there is our game Solar Trader, which my best friend and I are readying for final release (see my free game links on the sidebar for directions to the site). As […]
August 20, 2015

Brown alert (DOG EAR)

have enough problems getting between me an Tubitz and Mergenstein. I’ve got model railroading (twice a week, and pretty much every other weekend). I’ve got Astronomy (though the skies have been shit since June). I’ve got game writing (Solar Trader is about to release). I’ve got cycle commuting (and that poor tandem we haven’t been on in ages!). And I’ve got household chores to work on (after I finish this, I need to go cut back an encroaching hedge). So, lots of stuff. I was thinking about writing the other weekend. Yes, it was Thursday. Was going to give platlettes […]
August 13, 2015

What’s in a name (DOG EAR)

here is a man I’m imagining for my novel. In opposition to his strict discipline father (for whatever reasons) and instead of enlisting in the Emperic Fleet, he shamed his entire line by joining the skiptracers (i.e. vessel recovery services). He’s one of their older captains now, a hard man who is ruthless to his crew. In fact, his long cruises looking for pirates and hijacked hulls and his aversion to limes have cost him his teeth (through scurvy). How he has two pairs of teeth (one in use, one in his pocket) – a wooden set that are marginally […]
August 6, 2015

Who’s MINDING the store? (DOG EAR)

kay, so this one has uses beyond normal writing, but I’m putting it in a writing context because that’s what we do here. Plotting a novel is difficult. I’m at a point in Tubitz and Mergenstein where a lot is going on. And suddenly I wasn’t sure how to do a bridge scene, so they could discover who the pilots of a mythical gunship were – how could that be twined into the action so it would be exciting, logical, and interesting? I needed a gotcha moment. I thought and thought about it in the coarse of my day and […]
July 30, 2015

The reader’s friend (DOG EAR)

he other night we were coming home from dinner, NPR on the car radio. It was the program Intelligence Squared U.S., where a topic is discussed under formal rules of debate. The “winners” are the team that move public opinion more their way based on surveys run before and after the discussion. So that night’s discussion was “Amazon is the reader’s friend”. I’m not crazy about self-publishing. I’ve mentioned this before, no secret. My own effort (Early ReTyrement, for sale at the bottom of this page (see how this works?)) was decent enough. I got the specific book I wanted, […]