In the ink well

Dog Ear

October 24, 2013

A word, an idea, a thought… (DOG EAR)

There are two ways to string multiple words to make your point. One is like this… The tornado blew the house apart, throwing boots, a bathtub, books and the sofa all across the fields. And the other is like this… A tornado is a wind, a gust, a breeze, a blow. See the difference? Read it again. Both string a halting series of words behind it, to force the reader though a series of quick-start descriptions (perhaps for reasons of pacing and evidence). However, in the first, we are denoting the wide variety of objects scattered, their unique differences, trying […]
October 17, 2013

Facing the Obvious (DOG EAR)

I‘m reading Pillars of the Earth and, while it’s a good book, the writer is playing a cheap trick on me. His villains are ugly. His heroes are handsome (or at least not blemished). That’s a basic trick. I mentioned seeing it in Trapped, but that’s not the only place I’ve seen it lately. It’s a lazy way win points for your hero with the audience, and make your villains more villainous. Really, come on – you have 400 pages, all sorts of room for development. Why rush to establish characters? There are countless examples where this isn’t true – […]
October 10, 2013

Good Relations (DOG EAR)

A year or so back, my site got hacked. I first found out when GoDaddy (my provider) told me they were getting activity off my site that denoted it had been compromised. Yes, I was being used to launch denial of service attacks. My site had become a zombie. I went to the same site I’d gotten my great book cover, Elance, and put out a job for website security (and backup – what the hell had I been thinking that I didn’t need backups). Looked at the various bids and picked a guy out of Greece, Stergios Kolios, to […]
September 25, 2013

Night Scribe (DOG EAR)

So you’ve just dinnered with your two Canadian couples, watching the setting sun play over German fields from your riverboat, guzzling down glass after glass of wine. And with all that rich food in your belly, with your wife’s hand in yours, you retire to your stateroom, close the door, loosen your tie, and… And..? Write. Or, specifically, blog. I always blog my vacations – you can find the page HERE. Every trip I take, I try to make a blog entry for each day, and run them one per day on my site so fans (all three of you) […]
September 19, 2013

Ramping up (DOG EAR)

I haven’t been too busy over the last half year, outside of writing my twice-a-week blogs (these dog-ears and my book reviews). Really, there were the little things here and there I had to do, helping co-workers’ kids with their homework efforts, reviewing resumes, that sort of stuff. Just low key, low gear stuff. Then it got busy. First off, Jurassic London posted me a entry notice for two collections they are going to produce, two kicky little submissions (one flash fiction, the other a heavier effort) combining the historic and the fantastic. Okay, so I did my research and […]
September 12, 2013

Purpose (DOG EAR)

I write all sorts of things – short stories, longer stories, ideas I’m playing with, erotica. I blog a minimum of twice a week. I review student work (for co-workers) and even dust up resumes (for soon to be ex-co-workers). I also write the Employee of the Week piece at work. It’s been a while since I’ve really focused on a task (one with deadlines, and one that might mean publication (and money!)). But a posting just came up from a little English publication, a call for short stories, one under 750 words, the other 3000-6000. I’m game. I’ve already […]
September 5, 2013

Ask Amy II (DOG EAR)

Part II of a series that started with THIS. Instead of coming to me with her concerns she has written an online review that is more of a personal attack on me than a review of my book. She has accused me of “viciously attacking” her, of “not being over my jealousy of her”, and “needing counseling.” None of this is true. I used to feel jealous of her, but the jealousy my fictional character has is much exaggerated from what I actually felt. How can I convey to her that while this fictional character shares many of her attributes, […]
September 3, 2013

Dark stories (DOG EAR)

I‘m going to stay apolitical here, which is tough. In the midst of the 2013 Government Shutdown, you’d have to be a doorknob to remain apolitical. But we’re looking at stories here, storytelling and the art of foreshadowing, convincing, of setting moods and moving hearts. And it’s happening faster-than-light these days. We’ve all heard the story – A group of minty one veterans came in on an Honor Flight to visit a memorial, only to find it closed from the shutdown. They crash the gate, and now there are cameras aplenty and politicos circling like vultures. This is spin-time, a […]
August 29, 2013

Ask Amy I (DOG EAR)

Dear Amy: I recently published my first book. Although it is fiction, a lot of the events and characters are based on my real-life experiences and the main character is based on me (though her actions are very different from mine). I wrote the book under a pen name because I was afraid of negative feedback, but I told a few friends who I thought I could trust. One of these friends, however, does not like the way I portrayed a character that I loosely based on her… I read this in the paper’s advice column the other day and […]
August 22, 2013

Writing hazards (DOG EAR)

I‘ve mentioned my favorite writing place, right HERE. This is where I do my blogs and short stories, as well as anything else I pen-name out onto the web. It’s a perfect place for breaking one lousy work day into two small half-days. I get a boost of creativity and lose myself in my art. Perfect. But there are dangers. The other day, I was writing right from the seat shown in the piece above, nobody around, a clear and perfect day. I was just wrapping up my writing for that day, scanning the last paragraph to make sure everything […]