Dog Ear
Doldrums (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 09 January 2019 21:49

his isn’t writer’s block. At least I don’t think so.

There was an old Odds Bodkins comic (a Berkley counter-culture strip from the late 60s) where a character mumbles that it’s Monday and his brains are in the basement. I’ve always remembered that and it comes to mind now while considering a Thursday blog. Sometimes I just don’t feel like writing. Nothing creative comes to mind.

It's like that with game writing. I’m still adding functionality and adventure to StoreyMinus. During the day, I’ll be so excited to add new stuff to my adventures, like old bomb shelters (complete with a scattering of bones and a crashed German bomber) and the London Underground. And once I’m home, once I’ve had a beer and watched some anime and had my dinner and finally sat down at my desk, nothing. I just don’t feel like coding. I just don’t feel like anything.

So this is my fallback. When I don’t feel creative, I just write about increativity. I’m sure I’ve done this trick before. But for writers who must produce, it’s hard to deviate from your novel of love on the moors of Ancient Scotland and have your characters chat about writer’s doldrums. (“Ah ken no understand it. I jus’ dinna feel like writing today”). But what you can do is organize. One trick I did while story-writing was that if the ink wasn’t flowing, I’d go back and look at some of my earlier chapters. Read through it. Clean it up. And maybe it will get your quill quivering and ready for scribing. See, it worked for me here. I couldn’t think of a thing to write and now I’m going like gangbusters.

So yes, if you can’t write, you can always edit. Or straighten your desk. Or change a printer cartridge.

Just do something!


A reflection on time (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 03 January 2019 00:00

ime is always a sore subject with me.

I’ve never had enough of it. Even without kids, even with a quiet, low-maintenance wife, there isn’t any to spare. I haven’t written seriously (my old Tuesday/Thursday lockdown) for years now. And there are the dusty model  trains, the abandoned telescope, the unwatched movies. But still, in all this, I’m active, frantically so.

My recent efforts have been writing StoreyMinus, an interactive game that is nearing something like completion. And then there are two nights each week at the train club. Oh, and my buddy who is in a distant hospital, necessitating a long 2-3 nights/week drive. So yes, all my time drains away and I’m left with nothing.

Especially not time to focus on writing.

However, one good thing – I’ve been thinking of retirement (early retyrement, nyuk nyuk). I was thinking of putting in for it in November and backed out. Now, suddenly, the company is trying to reduce its grayhairs and I’m eligible for a handsome buyout. I plan to take it. Not sure what this sudden deluge of time will actually be like. It could be like those hardscrabble desert communities that suddenly are inundated with rain and become swampy morasses. And the retirees in my club tell me they never have time now, now that they’ve jumped ship.

So I’m looking at having to restructure myself for the next part of my life. Wondering if maybe I’ll assign writing days and review my older works (specifically Indigo and Wenamon) for submission to a new generation of literary agents. I’ve got to do something. In a matter of months, I’m going to have buckets of time.


Last Updated on Thursday, 03 January 2019 17:46
Best of 2018 (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 27 December 2018 00:00

s traditionally on this site (well, as of last year), here are my outstanding books from 2018. I am not ranking these in any order. Simply put, they are the best five from the 50 or so reviews I did this year. If you are looking for something to spend your Barnes & Noble gift card on, these are you best choices.

Leviathan Wakes – This has become a powerful series on the Sci-Fi network, a great saga of books that follows four characters on a small stolen ship in a universe defined by our solar system (in a hundred or so years). It was funny, scary, thoughtful and magnificent. Check it out!

The Last Days of Magic – Apparently, the real history of the world involves the spread of civilization and the suppression (or collection) of magic. Now the Catholic Church, with its monopoly on spell-casting, eyes Ireland as the final collection of raw, green magic.  Check it out!

The Shack – I’m not one for religious books but this one met me halfway. Can a man whose daughter has been killed by a serial killer find forgiveness and acceptance by God? For once, the dynamic trio is on the stand, having to answer for the sins of the world. Check it out!

A Man called Ove – Yeah, I said I wouldn’t rank books, but his one was my number one favorite. How can you like a cranky old man surrounded by the idiots our world produces? At the end, I don’t think it’s possible to not blink back tears – I was crying like a baby. A beautiful story told in magnificence. Check it out!

Dark Matter – Okay, so Ove was my number one favorite. This one was also. Everyone dreams that they’d love to have the world where they made the right choices. But what if you did and found it still sucked? This book will change the way you look at parallel universes – stunning! Check it out.

And so that’s it. You’ve got your reading list. Pick one of these up and then meet me for coffee and let’s chat about them.


Last Updated on Monday, 24 December 2018 15:24
Alas, Blogtorium II (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 December 2018 00:00

o, last week I mentioned the week I was down for a crash. That was in November. So where was my site since then?

Well, I’d mentioned my vow, how I would run official backups through GoDaddy (and not these self-launched efforts I’d been laboring with). I called them and signed up for the program. No problems. The tech checked my site and said it would be fine (refer to the blog before this on how fine “fine” can be). The next day I logged into GoDaddy and checked my backups.

They’d crashed.

Back on tech support, it turns out my databases were some-sort-of-way, but needed to be other-sort-of-way (ever seen Jen listen to tech-talking on the IT Crowd? Yeah, static noise). So they opened a case against it on Nov 18th to move my databases over. Got an email and all that – “we’re still working on it.”

Time passed, with a birthday (60th) and hernia surgery (I can now very convincingly write the POV of a gut-shot cowboy – I’ve had the experience). No message from the front. Nothing from GoDaddy.

When I felt up to it, I called them – three weeks after the initial effort. I was told that the email had bounced off my server and not gone through (hmmmm. Sounds like maybe you should have a way of checking that before closing my case). Anyway, the tech guy I talked to was nice. He looked at what they wanted me to do (further) and said it would take him five minutes to do (as opposed to all day for me). And he did it. The backups went in.

So we’ll check again tonight (just to be sure). And then I’ll run the first part of this DOG EAR chain Thursday. Assuming you are reading this, I must be up.

Eventually, a month and $200 later, we’re back up.

Five more years of inanities, coming up!



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