Monthly Archives: June 2008

Missing from “Lord of the Rings”

When the Lord of the Rings movies came out, I went back and re-read the novel (that is, the trilogy — essentially it’s a single novel), which I hadn’t read since the ’60s. It’s a classic, no question. It will … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

It’s Not Got Much Spam In It!

My blog must be getting a few more hits from search engines. Today’s queue of blocked spam had 13 “messages,” seven of them advertising insurance and six publicizing gambling opportunities. I’m sure setting up a robot to spew out this … Continue reading

Posted in random musings | Leave a comment

Selling Shorts

Not long ago someone asked me what activity (artistic or otherwise) I feel passionate about. I couldn’t think of a darn thing. Maybe that’s to do with being old and burnt out. Maybe I’m just too cynical for my own … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The First Shall Be Last

I don’t think I’m alone, as an artist, in feeling that my creative activities are what make life worth living.* The problem is, there’s all this other stuff you have to do in order to live. Do the laundry, shop … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, music, writing | Leave a comment

Arms & the Man

This is my first direct experience of what it’s like when you start getting old. I’ll be 60 this fall, and in general I’m in extremely good health. But sooner or later something starts to give, and you don’t know … Continue reading

Posted in random musings | Leave a comment

Teasing

When a fiction writer launches into a story, the reader is entitled to expect that the premise of the story will be fulfilled in some manner — that the ending will satisfy the reader’s expectations. Nancy Kress’s “Call Back Yesterday,” … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, writing | Leave a comment

Is Thinking Necessary?

One of my guilty pleasures is reading (or actually, re-reading) the old Perry Mason mysteries. Younger readers may not even recall the popular TV series, let alone the paperback novels on which the series was based. Between the 1930s and … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, writing | 2 Comments

Nowhere to Go but Down

Cruising the WordPress posts on writing, I happened upon Cliff Burns’s free (pdf) novel, “So Dark the Night.” The writing is well above average for free Internet fiction, I’ll give it that. After a few pages of hugger-mugger to introduce … Continue reading

Posted in fiction, writing | Leave a comment

Tips for Good Writing

Found a couple of nice blog posts on writing. Here are some tips from Kurt Vonnegut: http://khaversiddiqi.wordpress.com/2007/11/05/kurt-vonnegut-got-some-rules-for-writing-fiction/. (Not sure about the “got” in the title, but Vonnegut’s ideas are on the money.) And here are some “rules” plus links: http://abagond.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/my-rules-for-writing/. … Continue reading

Posted in writing | Leave a comment

Us vs. Them

Yesterday the Flag Man was standing out in front of the Post Office again, selling American flags. I’m aware that patriotism is a widespread sentiment, both in the U.S. and, I’m sure, in Botswana and Senegal, in Finland and Poland, … Continue reading

Posted in politics, society & culture | Leave a comment