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August 1, 2019

Millennium (DOG EAR)

love the English language. I love its flexibility, the way you can make up words that work in the context of story. And I love that, with all the reading I’ve done, I have access to words and phrases dating back to the Napoleonic Era, even older. It’s a blast, when a character slips out of town without a forwarding address, to say they slipped their cable. But as I work with millennials, I’m beginning to find out just how short their awareness-horizon is. Recently I used the word “powder keg.” Emptiness. And “goldbricking”. “Featherbedding”. Blank looks at “Snipe hunt”. […]
October 31, 2019

Hello, Darkness, my old friend (Dog Ear)

’ve got a trip to make this weekend, a flight across the country to San Diego to run prototype operations at the La Mesa club, a sprawling layout with dozens of guys that work twelve hour shifts to completely model the workings of an actual railroad (here, between Mojave and Bakersfield in the 1950s) all the way down to the terminology and carbon paper. It’s a fun time travel game where you’ll stand around doing nothing (the railroad way) and grab food on the run. And why am I noting this on my writing blog? Did I select the wrong […]
May 7, 2020

Fire and Bronze Revisited (DOG EAR)

nteresting call from mom the other day. As mentioned in the last DOG EAR, I was hunkering down and dealing with the depression of plague politics. But she called and I was in mid-something, so I put it down and talked. She told me that she’d been sitting around in her own doldrums and saw my novel, Fire and Bronze, under her coffee table. I’ve always seen it there and it’s always given me a little pride. You see, my dad and I had little in common as I grew up. He had been an only child and had done […]
June 4, 2020

Old Fiction (DOG EAR)

he library has reopened for book delivery. Coming off a Black Sails binge, I decided to reread Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. What did I notice as I finished that first chapter? I noticed how lame some of the other books I’ve recently read are. I just finished a Libertarian fiction that was, frankly, pretty damn dumb (if you now have literal heaven on earth, if the dead can return and you can visit, then why are we talking about the second amendment (with the author putting words in Jefferson’s mouth))? And then there was that yellowing space opera I […]