In the ink well

Dog Ear

February 16, 2013

Blog Hopper (DOG EAR)

Welcome to all those who fell down Thomas Lucas’ rabbit hole. I’m Robert Raymond, an Orlando writer, and I’ve had two books of historic fiction published. Fire and Bronze is the romantic story of Princess Elisha’s struggle to found Carthage, a tale full of sailing and sex and swords. And Early Retyrement is a time-travel novel with a twist (mainly that my chrononaut doesn’t know the history of when he’s fallen or any technological tricks to assent to heroic greatness). Both are available in my link at the bottom of this page. I’m also shopping Indigo, a mid-air collision of Jonathan […]
February 14, 2013

Writing Time (DOG EAR)

Sunday was an op session, and then Downton Abbey in the evening. Monday, work and then the train club bi-laws committee way, way over on the other side of town. And then over to the club to work building flats in Jacksonville and fuss with an alarm test way too late. Also, a fan wanted to see a sample of an unpublished book, so I had to prep that up and post it. Tuesday, ordinarily my night off, the parents are in town for diner so it’s work, then way, way over to the other side of town again.  If […]
February 7, 2013

By its cover (DOG EAR)

My wife and I share a strange little habit, one carried over from my bachelor days. We like to go to dinner and read. We usually go this at fast food joints, quiet places during off times when we can sit in our corner and read our respective books. Then, over desert frostees or brownies or whatever, we’ll chat about what we’ve read. Last time over at Wendy’s, an old lady got up and said how nice it was to see people reading. She even mentioned how nice it was that I was reading The Three Musketeers. We chatted with […]
January 31, 2013

Death of a book salesman (DOG EAR)

I read today how Barnes and Noble is cutting back and closing 450 to 500 stores in the coming years. Whereas the death of this Goliath should fill me with smug satisfaction (given how many mom-n-bob nooky bookstores it killed), it doesn’t. Actually, it fills me with a cold dread. A chilling wave of digitalization, of buying whatever whenever, is washing over us. So what’s the difference between being served by a teenage Goth punk in a used bookstore as opposed to the same studded wonder doing it in a chain store? One is a sign of hip and trendy urban […]
January 24, 2013

Dipsticks (DOG EAR)

This came from the Writers Group as discussed last week. It was one of the best short stories I’d ever heard. And the crushing critique was one of the most spot-on, thermal-exhaust-port bullseyes I’d ever witnessed. The story in an abbreviated nutshell: A man has a living fantasy of the climactic moment of grace in his life, that of driving to the perfect fishing spot in a vintage 1957 Chevy. So he puts a couple of years into the project. He buys an old beater and rebuilds it tires up, turning it into a shining vehicular fantasy. Oilstained and weary […]
January 17, 2013

Then and Now (DOG EAR)

There is a writer’s group that meets here in Orlando – I’d probably go except I’m committed to something else those nights and can’t make it. But it hits me, reading their exchanges following their meetings, that the focus of the meetings is marketing their self-published books. And that’s fine, I suppose – God knows I could have used it, given the haphazard failure-daze of a marketing effort Early ReTyrement went through. I am the world’s worse salesman, a fact I do not hesitate to admit. But I’m left thinking of the group that got me into writing, The Writer’s […]
January 10, 2013

Showdown (Dog Ear)

Originally I was going to write about the silly thing that occurs in climactic showdowns, when the hero and villain square off. The villain for some reason is out of ammo or has thrown his sword in desperation. And the hero, smiling toothily, drops his weapon to go hand to hand, mano-a-mano. Then I noticed that I don’t see this in novels. See it all the time in movies. In Scaramouch, the hero taps the vibrating sword just thrown at him by the swinish Marquis de Maynes and bids him to retrieve it. In The Great Race, Tony Curtis permits […]
January 3, 2013

Resolutions (DOG EAR)

We’re looking at yet another new year (seeing how the Mayan’s prophecies were typically misconstrued by a population eager for a taste of apocalypse). Nope, just another year of same-ol-same-ol. I’m not going to make resolutions, not solid ones anyway. The doc told me to lose 10 lbs so I’m working on that. As for everything else, I pretty much hold to my life as I should – it feels right and works for me. But then there is the writing angle. I suppose it’s time to post out some more cover letters. I’ve got a system with those big […]
December 27, 2012

Leading the horse (DOG EAR)

At my brother’s house recently, I started talking books with my younger niece. “Have you read this?” “Oh yeah!” “And this?” “Certainly!” What was funny was a young girl looking at her 54-year old uncle, with three books to his credit, thousands read on his shelf, and even more in boxes, this whole incredulous bit when she found a book I haven’t read. Yes, there are some. Like Frankenstein. I’ve read another of Shelley’s works, The Last Man, and really liked it. And I thought I knew about the story of Frankenstein. But I hadn’t , not really. She gave […]
December 20, 2012

Killing them softly (DOG EAR)

Flutter, flutter, went the flag, first to the right, then to the left. This was a childhood awakening moment for me, the point in true literature (not kiddy literature, aka whatever passed for Harry Potter back then) when I leaned that people could die in books. Quick. Fast. Unexpectedly. The line comes from HG Wells’ War of the Worlds. The flag is a white flag of truce. The people holding it aloft are scientists and peace-seekers. And the beings on the other end of the leveled heat ray? Martians, with intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. A moment later, they […]