In the ink well

Dog Ear

November 5, 2015

Ink Life (DOG EAR)

as one of those glorious days in Florida, eighty degrees with scattered galleon clouds. My mini was purring along the 520, riding out to Palm Bay to attend a model railroad session on the Florida East Coast. This is where we run trains as close to the rule book as we can, and you get kudos for doing your job with sharp efficiency. I was in the beach traffic, passing boats and RVs but everyone was keeping right so the pace was fine. Was thinking about the site and what I’d be blogging. I’ve got another review to ready, Rothfuss’s […]
October 29, 2015

Where does it go? (DOG EAR)

uesday night, nestled between two evenings at the train club. Usually a quiet night, one phone call from my best friend, not much else. Maybe a good writing night. And now its 10:12 PM and I haven’t gotten even into the TNM2 folder. Where did all my writing time go? Well, let’s see. After dinner, I had to catch the site up. I had two book reviews to write, and a Dog Ear. That took some time. Then there was the shared Solar Trader game my buddy and I are jointly playing (passing it back and forth). See, it only […]
October 22, 2015

Past and Future (DOG EAR)

kay, everyone who reads (and only true readers find their way down to these dusty vaults) sees those things on Facebook – “How many of these classics have you read?” “The top 100 science fiction books”. In short, pretentious rubbish. If you are a reader, you read everything. Not just cowboy novels, not just scifi, not just detective or manly-hero or any of that other stuff – you read across the fields, taking in this and that and never hesitant to try anything new (or loaned). I wasn’t even thinking this was we walked over to Juniors, the little diner […]
October 15, 2015

Write and Wrong (DOG EAR)

can just imagine this guy typing away, hammering out a story for a radio program. He’s got an idea, it’s pretty sharp, it’s got a nice angle. All he needs is a hook. He thinks of something clever, clatters it out, looks over the roller, squinting through his cigarette smoke at what he’s knocked out. Three simple sentences. Yeah, a good start. Reads fine. Without looking back, he continues his story. But something that reads fine might not sound fine. For it was that third sentence which, listening while doing a work-place audit some fifty years later, gave me pause. […]
October 8, 2015

Organized (DOG EAR)

ave you taken a recent glance into my Library of Alexander, where I keep track of what I’ve read and what I think about it? 195 titles so far. The first one was written back in December of 2010 and, in the last year or so, I began to push for one review a week. So that’s a lot of reviews. The problem is that it was fine to originally just post them one at a time as they came in, right at the top. And me, I could find stuff easy, but I don’t think too many people can […]
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 […]