In the ink well

Dog Ear

March 16, 2022

Game Reaper (DOG EAR)

ames are media, too. Which is why I’m covering this here. I’m currently writing a game called Pathfinder. The game focuses on a pathfinder ship that has the ability of slingshot around the sun and go up to the speed of light. Even at this speed, the average distance between stars is four light years, meaning it will take four years or more per jump. Of course, most of the crew can go into suspended animation in their sleep bunks for the flight, but a skeleton crew will need to be assigned (and they won’t be happy to lose  four […]
March 10, 2022

Hard Time (DOG EAR)

o some of you might be wondering where I’ve been recently. No book reviews. No DOG EAR. Well, I’ve been in the jug, the slammer, the big house. Yes, I’ve been in FaceBook jail. There was a discussion that noted that we, as citizens of the United States, should resist calls to hate Russian local businessmen and immigrants for their crazy leader’s invasion of Ukraine (though, from the long view, it looks a little like Iraq, doesn’t it?) But, yes, I agree. But I couldn’t help to point out my own thoughts of our “educated citizenry”… Well, it’s true. We […]
February 24, 2022

Goliath’s Gun (DOG EAR)

am a fan of Goliath, a show on Amazon. It was a great four-season story about a very shrewd lawyer who lives out of a bottle in a Malibu bar, brought back from the pasture by a case involving is suspicious boating accident. It’s a fun set, with Billy Bob Thornton playing it to the hilt, amicable and shrewd all at once. I loved the line where an apposing corporate attorney tries to bluff him by asking if he’s trying to make a million or so in settlement and Thornton replies, “I’m going to reach up your client’s ass and […]
February 18, 2022

Ideas (DOG EAR)

‘ve had a lot of experience with short pieces over my life. I’ve written many short stories for various audiences. I’ve reffed a number of RPGs and come up with crazy adventures. I wrote blog and radio pieces for Dr. Sister. And now, for the past ten years, I’ve been blogging twice a week, either my takes on media or on books. That’s a lot of shit to generate. It’s funny how it works. Right now I’ve got a piece I need to put into the NMRA newsletter I edit – something about model railroading. And I can remember walking […]
February 11, 2022

Intentions (DOG EAR)

had a lot of intentions for this site. First off, I thought it would be a good way to drive sales (it didn’t, not really). Also, as I was moving my first book to market shelves, I thought that it would be great to make this site into a cyber coffee shop. Originally I clumped it all together, discussions about books I was reading and thoughts about publishing and media. But quickly I realized that these were two different things so I split hem into reviews (about books I read) and Dog Ear (which is about thoughts I had). Of […]
February 3, 2022

Scythe (DOG EAR)

ince I’m retired but ordered off the beloved bike because of medical reasons, I’ve taken to walking. I can venture out two miles from the house (giving me a comfortable range of operations). Given that most shops are a mile or less away, it’s pretty handy as well as a utilitarian way to combine exercises and errands. So I needed a scythe. The weeds at the club are getting long and I need a way to mow them down (the grass, of course, is inert in winter). Walked over to the hardware store and bought the tool, then hooked it […]
January 27, 2022

Sense of Place (DOG EAR)

ne important element of storytelling is a sense of place. If you feel that you know a location that the story is taking place in, if it feels real and connected to the rest of the world, the story “grounds” its foundation. And while this can work in literature, it’s very important in more visual media. We just stated watching Goliath, a tale about a lawyer who drinks too much and has fallen on hard times. Taking place in LA, the lawyer lives on the second story of a sea-side motel. Right next door is a bar. Ranging around outside […]
January 20, 2022

The world before social media (DOG EAR)

was sitting around the model train club the other day, paging through old issues of Model Railroader. I mean old, old issues, like from the late forties and early fifties. So funny and quaint to look back from a time of computer chips and 3D printing at a world of ozone-emitting electronics and block control. But what really struck me was the letters from readers. Each of them, at the end, included an address. I’m wondering how often someone might say something a person agreed or disagreed with and might have prompted a return letter or two from the readers. […]
January 13, 2022

The Cat in the Stack (DOG EAR)

veryone who knows me knows of my book Indigo, where I spent time showing how crows see the world (and how, like us, they can recognize patters, make intelligent choices, and understand a lot more than we give them credit for). This factors into my story, a tale about a book, a bookmark, and a cat. For Christmas, my wife gave me (amongst other things) a copy of the latest (and last) book of The Expanse. Now, as it has been a while since the last book, I decided to reread it before pushing into the series finale. And since […]
December 30, 2021

Best of 2021 (DOG EAR)

n what is as much a tradition as weekly blog postings, I close out my year with my Best Of review of books that delighted me. And I’ll say that it was a rough year. With everything going on, I really didn’t find much of anything that lit my fire. No Oves. No Airbornes. Nothing that really lit me up as in years past. But anyway, here are the best of my reads for the plague year of 2021.         RedShirts – A wonderful tale by a new master of scifi. It’s rather like Galaxy Quest but […]