In the ink well

Dog Ear

September 8, 2016

Government Lab (DOG EAR)

ust a quick observation tonight. Was sitting on the couch in the splash screen for Stranger Things on Netflix. Okay, so everyone is raving about it and the boss said watching this will be part of my review. I’d watched five minutes a week or so back and had been unimpressed. But with everyone pushing I decided to give it another look. But we’re not going to talk about the show. No. This is a writing (and sometimes storytelling) blog. We’re going to talk about words. And images. There on the screen, in the series description, two words. Government Lab. […]
September 1, 2016

Scooby Snacks (DOG EAR)

kay, so it’s a bit of a misuse of the phrase. Scooby Snacks were given to Scooby Doo, the dog, and Shaggy, the late-bloomer cowardly hippy, as rewards and courage-enhancers. The term I’m looking for here are the more traditional doggie snacks in cartoons that would make the hound vault straight up into the air, then come leafing down in a state to total bliss, they were so good. But “Doggie Snacks” wouldn’t get you in here, but a reference to “Scooby Doo” would. And here you are. So, what was the point of this? The point is writers’ bliss, […]
August 25, 2016


here is a power to storytelling. It makes me wonder of all the lives it might change. How many people look at a story (in books, in movies, around a campfire) and can trace a lifechange back to that? Perhaps there are people who found happiness and grace from modeling themselves after positive role models out of the endless worlds of human imagination. Of course, granted, there are also those who hold guns like gangstas, who smoke, and who ruin their lives because of simplistic images presented to them. Who knows – perhaps somewhere in the 1844 a promising doctor […]
August 18, 2016

Punked (DOG EAR)

o I did the three R’s on a friend’s book, The Eyre Affair (Received, Read, Reviewed). Attempted to Rave but, as mentioned HERE, I got Rejected. Man, felt bad about this. However, my wife and I did do dinner with this person a while later. It was one of those comfortable evenings; a quiet restaurant, good conversation, good food. And even though she’d bombed the book, I mentioned it anyway. I thought it was good, regardless. Hey, everyone’s a critic, present blogger included. Oh, and minor spoilers ahead, that is, if you are going to read Jane Eyre and wish […]
August 11, 2016

Andre (DOG EAR)

o last week, we chatted about Athos, the literary character I see myself as. This week, we’ll look to Andre-Louis Moreau, the character I wish I could be. Andre, a lawyer from Gavrillac, is a man famously described as “born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” He gets royally screwed (actually, in this case, nobly screwed) by the Marquis de la Tour d’Azyr, who butchers his friend and forces him (like Athos) to hide in the gutter. But Andre undergoes a series of transformations, eventually becoming a man of influence, power and deadliness. […]
August 4, 2016

Athos (DOG EAR)

een thinking of Athos a lot recently, the oldest, wisest, drunkest, and darkest of the famous Musketeers. In the recent BBC adaptation, Athos is played handily Tom Burke, who might be a wee bit young and drunk on demand. No, for my money, it was Oliver Reed back in the 70s who hit it on the head, portraying the man who’d once been the Count de la Fère before he’d hung his wife for the thief she was and sank into low-class oblivion as a lowly musketeer. There have been other Athoses of course, including John Malkovich, which is all […]
July 28, 2016

Backed with fists (DOG EAR)

as going to lunch, my wife and another couple the other day. Mentioned I was reading The Eyre Affair. The woman in the front seat hardly turned. “By Jasper Fforde”? I blinked. “Wow! How would you know that?” She told me she’d started it a couple of weeks ago. Me, I’m midway through and really enjoying it. I started to babble about how funny it was (militant astronomer groups?) and she sniffed (you couldn’t hear it, but all the evidence was there for a down-her-nose dismissal). “Oh, I dropped it after the first chapter. It wasn’t very good.” I started […]
July 21, 2016

The Dream (DOG EAR)

t’s been a rough couple of weeks. Actually, looking back at that opener, I nearly deleted it because of its triteness. Rough? Forty-nine dead in my hometown, then Dallas. And this brings up my feelings about the massacre at Virginia Tech, my alma mater. Yet through it all, on Facebook, with friends and at work, I get to listen to simplistic statements, slogans, and opinions of people who want to take tragedy and reshape it in my mind. As if in my quiet and thoughtful life, where I bike or drive across the city without the distraction of radio or […]
July 14, 2016

The Loaner (DOG EAR)

t’s been a weird sorta a year. Maybe it’s because my site pulls in about 200 readers per blog (not many, but I’m proud of the hits). Or maybe it’s because I’ll chat about books and reading at work and over at the model train club. But I’m known as a writer and a reader, and suddenly this year I’ve been buried in loaned books. Last year it started with The Name of the Wind and A Wise Man’s Fear, two monster books you can use to chock a car’s wheels to keep it from rolling. And then the deluge […]
July 7, 2016

Double Negative (DOG EAR)

is complexion was dark, the eyes and hair almost black; the former very bright and penetrating; his brow was high, broad and square; his nose was prominent, and there was about the mouth an expression of firmness, not unmixed with kindness. This from Caesar’s Column, a book by Ignatious Donnelly, written ornately in 1890. Now, I understand the baroque dialog of the time and often (as in the case of War of the Worlds) love it. But here it gave me pause. And not in a reflective good-way. No, I had to stop and decode what was being said. So, […]