Dog Ear
Grasshopper (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 09 May 2018 21:19

n interesting test for a writer.

Today (after my enjoyable bike/train/bus commute and some sit-on-my-can meetings) I slipped quietly out of work and drifted over to a fast food place. Early lunch, it isn’t too noisy and they keep the muzak to a minimum. I sat down and ate lunch while reading my prior efforts on my tinytop, then easily slid back into the story line. This was enjoyable. It’s the way writing should be. Even in a noisy plastic environment I sipped my coke and wrote. I was like a shopper in a market, picking out the words and phrases that were the most clever, the least stale. I really felt good about writing (and smiled all the way back to the office).

So now it’s last afternoon and I’m sitting here after a long day. I’ve got a couple of windbags yacking seven feet from my desk. I’ve been data-harvesting all afternoon and suffered a tedious staff meeting. Now my energy is low. I’m sipping stone-dead coffee and thinking that I’ve got a DOG EAR to get out tomorrow and I need to come up with something. I can’t seem to think straight.

But three hours ago, I was writing like a concert pianist. Now I’m like a gorilla with a suitcase.

So which is the sign of the better writer?

I considered this as a started writing this email home (which, by tomorrow, will be a blog entry). I thought about the difference in effort writing can take; spring-day-in-the-garden writing (which we dream of) as opposed to 2-am-before-the-deadline writing (that we are forced into). And if you are going to be a versatile writer, one that can work with editors under pressure and come up with solid skillful writing, you’re going to have to learn to get yourself moving when your energy levels are low and your enthusiasm is as slimy and cold as a garden slug. The interesting thing is, as I write this, I don’t hear the conversation much at all. The words are coming easier. And I’m back in my groove.

So keep this in mind – you need to be able to write when you need to, not when you want to, if you are going to produce professional prose.

Now if I could only get myself enthused to go back to work.

>>>READ ABOUT A GUY WHO HATES WORK AND FALLS THROUGH TIME, BACK TO 300BC. HIS NEW PROBLEMS BECOME OLD ONES, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. ANYWAY, FOLLOW THIS LINK TO AMAZON!<<<

 
Stories (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 03 May 2018 17:04

love stories. Stories determine our past, present and future. The world is a web of stories.

So there I am on a sleepy suburban rail platform (story) with my Brompton folding bike (ongoing story) with my NYC subway map t-shirt (old story).

To this story, let’s add the Sunrail ambassador and make a new story.

She’s the lady who helps you to buy your tickets and not tumble onto the tracks (explanative story). And she’s crazy and vibrant and more animated than a Disney flick (background story). So she comes over and points to a spot on my chest-map, up about Lexington Ave, maybe towards Queens. And that, she tells me, is where she was born.

Years back, her mom was out shopping and was coming home on the subway and her water broke. Somehow she got word to her husband that their daughter was on the way. She made it to the hospital, met her husband in the hall, and suddenly our feisty, two-fisted, can-do, no nonsense Sunrail ambassador was pushing into the world. Out popped her little pink head. Her dad (a man I want at my back in a crisis) caught her as she ejected, right there in the hospital hall.

I mean, blood on the linoleum, a spool of umbilical cord and then the cry of a new life. What a story.

That’s why I like riding the train. I talked to another ambassador about her purse collection. And the bus-link driver about recently snagging a winning lottery ticket.  I even had someone on the bus tell me that a friend of hers was bitten by a rattlesnake, incurred $25,000 dollars of medical bills but her insurance claim was denied as an “Act of God”.

That’s why I’m perplexed by all the phone users I see. Nothing can compete with talking with other people. The stories you get might be long-winded or boring, but they could be crazy and unique and special. And I’m willing to take that chance.

Just say hello. Then listen.

>>>AND IF YOU WANT A REALLY GOOD STORY, BUY ONE OF MINE. THIS LINK WILL TAKE YOU TO MY AMAZON GIFT SHOP<<<

 
Mr Congeniality (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 26 April 2018 19:30

pparently I have a problem.

It seems I’m a crank.

I guess I’ve known it. I’ve had a pretty good life so far but like every life it’s had disappointments. I got screwed out of benefits by a company who owed me so much and curbed me like garbage. And my rocket ascent to historical writer reentered prematurely when my publisher died in a car wreck. There were also three or four women I knew to be perfect wives for me who did not share that assessment (“I still look for them in crowds,” as a favorite movie puts it).

So I never gave it a thought in my writing. It showed up in Kingdoms, a novel that went after middle-class acceptance of life with a rolled-up newspaper across the nose. One publisher asked how I was supposed to attract the primary market when I was busy insulting everything about their lives.

Over the years people have mentioned it, my mom in particular. I just figured it was “who I was”. A couple of people dropped me in Facebook because of my cussedness. My adapted daughter found it cute (the enabler!) but then again, her idea of a fun night is to sit in Barnes & Noble and spit acid at the yuppies. I love her all the same.

But it’s come up a couple of times this week alone, people mentioning it. And while serendipity has a place in explanations, it seems more like a form of consistency. So I’m left with that.

Yet “This above all: to thine own self be true”, as the bard put it. But can one be true in modern life, in the wedding bed and across the corporate boardroom table?

I’m going to think about this a lot, this notion that, for public consumption, I need to limit my bitter side. I’m really not sure how I’ll pull this off, especially with the world giving me so much to disdain. But I’ll try. If I can write thirteen-year-old Phoenician princesses, I can embrace the positive (or at least limit the negative).

So let’s see how I do.

>>>IF YOU WANT TO SEE HOW, EXACTLY, I WROTE A THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD PHOENICIAN GIRL, FOLLOW THIS LINK TO FIRE AND BRONZE, MY ANCIENT HISTORY NOVEL.<<<

 
Books as Pals (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 19 April 2018 18:31

’ve been getting a lot of work shit recently. Other than one or two people, a lot of folks have turned their backs on me. That pisses me off since last year I hemorrhaged purple and avoided a major auditing scandal that would have lost the company tens of millions of dollars. And now they’re like this? I feel like the main character from Falling Down – “When did I become the bad guy?”

So fuck you.

Got home and decided to sit out back at the Indian table under the breeze sky with a glass of wine and some cheese. I’m halfway through Luftwaffe Fighter Aces but I didn’t feel like any of that. So I dug through the sack near my bed and found A boy and his Tank, an old scifi. Looked cool. Looked like just what I needed. So I sat out there and caught up with Mickolai Derdowski, who has just been sealed up inside an automated fighting cybertank in the far future. Lots of fun. And interesting setting, an interesting character (and not like those bland drones and pasteboard walls and bland pasteboard friendships of work).

And that’s why books (like cats) make the best of friends. They are always there. They great you with great imagination and their presence calms you. You might be alone in the world but inside the head of a main character, suddenly his problems become your problems (and your problems cease to exist).

So don’t binge watch when you feel bad. No, go to the bookstore and buy a bunch of books you’d love to read in some future date. Stack them somewhere in your house. And when you are down, troubled, and need a helping hand, you can just dig your arm up to the elbow in pulp and yank out a new tale to enjoy. It’s right there.

Trust me on this. You might get backstabbed at work, but all a book will give you is a papercut. And a smile.

>>>AND HEY, NEED A BOOK? I’VE GOT A BUNCH RIGHT HERE! CHECK THEM OUT!<<<

 
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