All Posts

  1. Writer’s Log: 1881 (9/17/2018) - I picked back up on Shadow Shoals, another 10k words. Recently I tried to perform that character shift that I mentioned a few weeks ago: Start with a character’s persona on one side of a paradigm — evil say — and then try and convert that character to good. I had to be subtle, dropping […]
  2. You know? Yeah, I know already (9/13/2018) - Have you noticed the growing trend of people who use the verbal tick, “you know?” “You know, I was a high functioning expansive vocabulary guy before I got caught up in this insidious affectation, you know?” Hooboy, what an irritant that is. I find myself counting “you know”s now — ignoring whatever the person is […]
  3. One man band (9/11/2018) - In Pleasant Grove Utah, there is (was?) a small restaurant called One Man Band that served breakfast/lunch for a small Mormon town. On Sundays we’d go down there and have the place to ourselves. On Sundays, a slow day, there truly was just one guy doing everything: orders, cooking, billing, cleaning up. Slinging eggs and […]
  4. Burn one with Elon (9/7/2018) - Ran across this: And had to chuckle. Elon Musk describes cannabis as “coffee in reverse,” which I thought insightful. I haven’t watched the 2.5 hour long video, but who would blame me? Sheesh, even with the 2x speed increase (I watch almost all youtube videos at at least 1.5x), this is too much. Ten, […]
  5. Anti-trust: Bust ’em up, or? (9/6/2018) - Clearly Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and a few others are too big, too market expansive, too monopolistic. Apple less so, but the argument would still hold for them. Those first three are market behemoths with the power and capital to quash any competition — primarily through acquisition. Don’t like that company competing with your searches, […]
  6. Writer’s Log: 1852, Time (9/3/2018) - * A Writer’s Level Four topic. I picked up the axe and swung it as if I could split the world. It arced through the air and plunged toward the white aquiline neck that lay outstretched before me. Only the day before, that same neck had twisted and her eyes had glared at me, her […]
  7. Writer’s Log: 1846 (9/1/2018) - [RE: Iced, in reply to my editor…] This story is one where I’m trying to put my big-boy pants on and write to a bit higher age level. It’s still not fully “adult” yet, despite the cursing. There is one writing factor that I’ve recently been trying to internalize which I’ll be attempting to apply […]
  8. Writer’s Log: 1845 (8/30/2018) - I can fuckin’ write. (And so can you, probably.) Here’s the thing — just a short note — reading back stuff (buku stuff from my past, recent and ancient) I come across and find some turn of phrase, some eloquent flourish of words I may have (yeah it was me) penned in the past, and […]
  9. Writer’s Log: 1844 Level three (8/29/2018) - The problem with learning to write is there’s no set program. No prospectus. No itinerary. Every writer has to create and follow their own learning schedule. “Just keep writing,” they say. No, I’m afraid that doesn’t work. Not really. You could beat the crap out of a golf ball or flail the brush with your […]
  10. MTBF: Life (8/22/2018) - * Fermi Paradox topic alert MTBF is a manufacturing term meaning Mean Time Between Failure. On average, what is the amount of time a product operates without failure. In our analysis of the paucity of life in the universe, this concept — as applied to life — is less frequently addressed. But it’s critical to […]
  11. TGE is COMPLETE! (8/19/2018) - Originally posted on Dave Cline - lost and found:
    The Gribble’s Eye (TGE) is now officially complete. All 50 images are in and shaded and added to the manuscript. And to share one which really hallmarks the action, here is an image from the end of the book — a real dynamic scene. These two…
  12. Obesity: stocking up for the End (8/18/2018) - What if the current trend of obesity was preparation for the coming apocalypse? When Anak Krakatoa blows its lid, kicking off another super volcano somewhere (there are a number of them). Or when the CME finally arrives (I’ve been waiting for years). Maybe it will be that elusive rogue asteroid that sneaks past observation (I’d […]
  13. What would you say to Hemingway? (8/17/2018) - Originally posted on Dave Cline - lost and found:
    What would you say to Hemingway? The Idaho sun is, just now, rising above the treetops. The Sun Valley home you find yourself within smells of Hoppe’s, old leather, whiskey and sweat. He’s there, sitting in a stiff backed chair behind a desk. You’ve plopped yourself…
  14. Elder centers: beta reader bonanza (8/14/2018) - I wonder if there are any elder care centers around that might entertain the idea of creating a beta-reader club. Here’s a population of folks with time on their hands. They have organized activities, book-o-the-month clubs, social gatherings and whatnot. They sound like the perfect victims for assaulting with the likes of a poorly written […]
  15. Panem et circenses: 21st century style (8/8/2018) - Panem et circenses — bread and circuses — that’s what kind of world we live in today. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Apple, Amazon, Google, Alibaba, Tencent, and all the rest of the social/consumer apps and companies dedicated to feeding and filling the populace with useless, nutritionally empty, profoundly vacant nonsense — we deserve such inane […]
  16. The writer’s mind: a basket (8/7/2018) - The writer’s mind is like a basket. Initially, during the nascent years, the basket holds gross instructions and blatant rules: a. watch your use of passive. b. mind your use of filler words. c. adverbs – don’t! And so on and so forth. Later the basket fibers get infused with the earlier concepts which become […]
  17. Butterflies and SUVs (8/7/2018) - Feedback. Chain reaction. The Cascade Effect. In all likelihood, humanity has triggered calamitous climate change. Calamitous for us and millions of species that enjoyed the Holocene as much as we did. The concept that chemical, physical, environmental changes, seemingly small and isolated that may provide self-propagating feedback resulting in runaway change in systems attached to […]
  18. Writer’s Log: 1821 (8/6/2018) - Two years into this writing effort and I’m just now starting to shift from tactics to strategy. I started writing Blue Across the Sea in the summer of 2016. I literally pumped it out in 90 days. I had no idea what I was doing aside from telling a story I’d had in my head […]
  19. I’ve got a glass eye (7/28/2018) - Originally posted on Dave Cline - lost and found:
    How big is The Gribble’s Eye? Megan over at could tell you… Or, as you can see for yourself, it’s about the size of a golfball. Maybe I should draw a socket and eyelid on my hand. It looks almost fake there. But it’s real,…
  20. The Gribble’s Eye: Part I of a serial (7/25/2018) - As promised. Here is the first part of The Gribble’s Eye as done as a series of posts — destined for editing and compilation as a YA/MiddleSchool illustrated novel (eventually with all parts I-V). We’ll see how easy it might be to heighten the jeopardy and seamlessly stitch the pieces together. These were released one […]
  21. The Gribble’s Eye: Cover assembly (7/14/2018) - Originally posted on Dave Cline - lost and found:
    The cover is taking shape. With the chiseled stone “Eye” that I tapped into the patio in the back, we’ve begun our trek that leads through the forest to the glade where there blooms a sun drenched pool of possibility. The “Eye,” as Widowcranky has insisted,…
  22. How do you like your eggs? (7/11/2018) - That should be the opener to every relationship. “How do you like your eggs?” Doesn’t it say just about everything about a person? “Oh, I don’t eat eggs.” — NIX! “Sling those delicious little ovums any ol’ way you want for me.” — WINNER! “Ooh, I can’t stand runny yokes.” — GONNER! “A buttery, soft-boiled […]
  23. Writer’s Log: 1790 Sentiment Cycle (7/10/2018) - Ready for maths? No? Well, how about pictures? Nice, Mole, what are we looking at? What you see before you is a word sentiment chart of The Gribble’s Eye plotted over the length of the story. This was created using some “R” code and the libraries offered by the professor behind The pair of […]
  24. Complex entertainment (7/6/2018) - Consider the entertainment industry 100 years ago. Or 200. Or 2000. Could you ever believe you might be satisfied with shadow puppets, Punch n’ Judy, traveling minstrels, oral stories in an amphitheater or around a campfire and maybe, if you’re lucky, a play or a view of the art of a city, the wealthy or […]
  25. Writer’s Log: 1782 Cyclical story structure (7/1/2018) - Last night I watched Brandon Mull’s #9 video on youtube (he subbed for Sanderson). Mull is eccentric and idiosyncratic (to say the least). But his thoughts (once they come out) were spot on. From them I designed my own writing organization philosophy. (To be honest, Sanderson also poses similar story topologies.) It goes like this: […]
  26. I am Crow (6/30/2018) - I am Crow. Like you, I am Omnivore. Like you, I wonder at the Universe. I plan and scheme and take what I can, when I can. I dance and dodge from your wheels, your threats. Still I survive. I cock my head and caw at your fist in the air. But I take no […]
  27. Cover: The Gribble’s Eye (6/30/2018) - Tribe, I’m on the lookout for a cover concept. The Gribble’s Eye is “draft-ready” but we’re still working up the 50+ illustrations: 25 done, 25 more to do. This is the story of a teenage girl and her 20-something tutor and a couple of Greek myths who serendipitously team up to fight the minions of […]
  28. Fossil fuel volcano (6/19/2018) - I’m reading Light of the Stars “Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth” — Adam Frank. I’m about halfway through and so far Frank has supplied mostly background in his attempt, I’m assuming, to present various models — based on our solar system’s mechanics and planetary variations — to determine the probability of exo-civilizations, […]
  29. Suicide: the selfish solution (6/15/2018) - Nearly 45,000 Americans killed themselves in 2016, twice the number who died by homicide. OK, you can curtail your churlish condemnation of the Anonymole pointing out that suicide might be a drastic, selfish solution to a (potentially) soluble problem. I think of death daily. (Yes, I really do. The tape measure is out and I’m […]
  30. Bring ’em back (6/14/2018) - Courtesy of the lovely Doctor Martina, I learned of the 27 Club; musical artists who died at the tender age of 27 years. Well, shit, that’s pretty damn young to die, I will admit. And the list is sad — there’s no other way to describe it. Sad. But, let’s say that if we all […]
  31. Let the Hell Cat freeze! (6/7/2018) - I love show tunes. Computer: Play “Paint your wagon” radio. “Playing Paint your wagon musical radio from your pandora station.” From My Fair Lady: “let the hell cat freeze.” — Rex Harrison Can you imagine calling Audrey Hepburn a “hell cat”?
  32. Writer’s Log: 1751 Writing Wrong (6/5/2018) - No, not righting wrongs. I’ll leave that to the characters of our stories. What I’m referring to here is practicing the craft but doing so incorrectly. We all know, a “writer writes” (both Billy and Danny say this in the movie), but what if what you write is wrong? Poor form? Grammatically, technically, logically, or […]
  33. A bramble vine basket (5/30/2018) - Humanity evolved creating stuff. Everyone in a tribe or clan contributed to the group’s survival. If things needed to get made, everyone (I imagine) pitched in. Sure some segregation of tasks took place, but I suspect most jobs were shared across gender, age and ability. Here you see a simple bramble vine basket I made […]
  34. I give you ONE wish (5/27/2018) - Here are the rules: You get one wish. It will come true the moment you utter the sealing spell “that is my wish.” It must be specific, that is, enactable by an omnipotent being (me). Meaning, it cannot be vague, “I wish for world peace.” (What would that mean? And how would any omniscient, omnipotent […]
  35. Have we met? I love you. (5/24/2018) - Imagine having a relationship with someone for years, decades perhaps, and never having met them. I’ve known people, through my work on the net, literally for decades. One fellow, Charles Carroll, I met while writing magazine articles for MIND (Microsoft Internet Developer) in the late 90’s, and while we worked on that ancient technology known […]
  36. Writer’s Log: 1734 – If only… (5/20/2018) - For those of you who care to follow my writing progress, here’s a brief interlude: A Paleo Friendship #1: A Paleo Friendship #2: If I could slap a button, big, round and red, and send myself back to such a time – POOF! That would be the end of me. POV: First Person […]
  37. Writer’s Log: 1732 Neil Gaiman (5/18/2018) - EXCERPT FROM “The View from the Cheap Seats”: “I was, as I said, twenty-five years old, and I had an idea for a book and I knew it was a real one. I tried writing it, and realized that it was a better idea than I was a writer. So I kept writing, but I […]
  38. Cocky du’Cotaigne (5/7/2018) - This is a piece, rendered silly and pompous for the purpose of donating to the effort to befuddle the woman who has just now tried to TRADEMARK the word “Cocky” for all romance novels released in the US. Like Taylor Swift, who trademarks her lyrics (not just copyrights them — which is built in — […]
  39. I’m a poet, don’t you know it. (5/2/2018) - Poetry that doesn’t rhyme, Taps my brain, takes too much time, To figure out the weird, strange beat, The double meaning, the awkward mete, I’d rather just go read some tweets. ~~~ I work too hard, all damn day, writing code, beyond dismay. So complex, it sucks me dry, that in the end, my only […]
  40. Inspirational musical: The Greatest Showman (4/29/2018) - So, I’m a sap. I cry at the oddest movies scenes. Hey! Don’t judge me. (I know you don’t, but well, okay, so we’re good.) I watched (and then re-watched with the lyrics and then found this site which allows you to follow exactly the lyrics of the movie The Greatest Showman (Hugh Jackman, Michell […]
  41. To live is to lie (4/29/2018) - Fiction is lying. The fabrication of a make-believe story, perhaps without a shred of substantiation in the real world, is, in all meaningful ways, a lie. Some archeologists believe that the ability to lie, to tell stories, may be what set Homo Sapiens Sapiens apart. The imagining of an untrue event or situation is effectively […]
  42. The mother’s dual role (4/14/2018) - A mother does two things. Provide a controlled, safe, blockaded environment in which a child can grow and learn and flourish. Surrender that environment and transition to the supportive, conducive enabling agent which will see their child launched into the world. These two things are diametrically opposed. Early on a mother MUST contain and protect […]
  43. The Writer’s Stew (4/11/2018) - Imagine a tasty stew. Savory meats, root vegetables, maybe some thick noodles or dumplings, a fine rich stock all simmering for hours on low. The aroma and unctuous anticipation of slipping some of that luscious meal down your throat just makes your mouth drip like Sobaki, Pavlov’s favorite dog. That is how I think writing […]
  44. A themed universe (4/9/2018) - Something jelled recently. Those of you who read Sci-Fi will know the name Larry Niven. He’s most famous for his novel Ring World. But more than that, what he created was a broad context for (nearly) all of his stories. It’s what he calls “Known Space.” What’s curious about it is that it’s fully cogent […]
  45. Club Internet (4/8/2018) - If you have a raw nerve exposed, you can bet I’m going to be one of those who tries to tweak it, maybe shock it. Certainly pinch it a bit. OUCH! Yeah, sorry about that. (But not really.) And this is of course an exaggeration. I recently, yesterday or something, wrote about all of us […]
  46. 100% of you are bloggers (4/7/2018) - Consider this: A small town newspaper, with one reporter, one editor, one distribution manager, one advertising manger and one printer (all of whom are the same person) produces one edition per day. The ONLY people who read this edition are the OTHER small town newspapers (those that also have a single reporter, editor, etc. all […]
  47. Fiction: knowledge kills it (4/6/2018) - I spend some time over on Scrib-O-defile (which is a pretty good collaborative community for getting your writing critiqued — among other things. The moderators are draconian and the owner is an enigma. Anyway…) I batted around the concept of what irked me (or anyone) about Science Fiction tropes. I happened upon a thought, my […]
  48. I self published a novel (4/4/2018) - I just self-published a novel through (ebook only.) The process, which in and of itself was a piece of cake, took me a half-dozen tries to get the format right (downloaded from GDocs as a .docx) to make the title and copyright and all that work out correctly. D2D then gave me a 6×9 […]
  49. Blog me to death! (4/2/2018) - STOP! Stop right fucking there. If you think there’s some gotdamned yardstick you think you’re measuring yourself against by posting every gotdamned four, or six or twelve hours to this got-forsaken situation (the web/internet) — then you’ve swallowed the wrong gotdamned pill. This ain’t no way to run your pathetic life. The internet is not […]
  50. Do you love your slavery? (4/2/2018) - Aldous Huxley had to have been one of the most prophetic seers ever there was: “Actually love his slavery… actually happy under the new regime.” And here we are. The drugs and communication techniques — the internet being both — are controlling and placating us. Are we beginning to love our enslavement? Here is evidence […]
  51. Just some stuff… (3/30/2018) - Here’s some random stuff I’ve written here and there, recently. A 99 word challenge about flying fingers… “Drop your spoon!” My grandma’s favorite spoon clacked to the floor, batter spraying her shoes.” “What in God’s name are you making?” I popped the tupperware lid and showed her. “And what are you going to do with […]
  52. Writer’s Log: 1570 (3/22/2018) - Writing keeps me alive. The experiment continues. A couple of months ago, death and its long ivory fingers reached unerringly for my throat. Writing, the act of writing, held them off. The effort of putting words to paper continues to do so today. The stories that I wish to tell implore me — do not […]
  53. Writer’s Log: 1562 Golf (3/15/2018) - Learning to write fiction is like learning a difficult technical and physical game. Take golf for instance. A few decades ago I decided to learn to play golf. It looks easy, right? The game itself is simple (except for all the USGA rules), the equipment obvious — used clubs can be had for a song, […]
  54. The first page tells all (3/3/2018) - I’ve got a new novel acquisition rule: I must be able to read the first few pages. Think about it. Where will an author put their best effort, their greatest focus, their highest level of refinement? Page One. For all books I consider reading, I expect to be able to read the first 500-1000 words […]
  55. Writer’s Log: 1523 To all new authors (3/2/2018) - To all new authors out there, (here’s a shaker of salt, spread that around first won’t you…) Now, to all authors who are starting out on their first novel. STOP! I mean, don’t like, STOP completely. Only stop and listen to this short public service announcement: DO NOT WRITE A COMPLETE NOVEL WITHOUT PROOFING IT […]
  56. Earth: galactic laboratory (2/26/2018) - Here’s an alternative “Zoo” hypothesis regarding a solution to the Fermi Paradox. We’ll call it the Lab Hypothesis. If you’ll recall, the Zoo Hypothesis is the idea that intelligent, space-faring cognizants exist and they, either a single species or a collective, have intentionally isolated Earth (we’re effectively quarantined) in order to allow humanity to sink-or-swim, […]
  57. Writer’s Log: 1522 Staying on the Clock (2/24/2018) - One of the more difficult aspects of writing, I find, is remaining cognizant of clock and calendar time within the story. Imagine if your story’s internal time frame spanned only a single day. But, it took you a number of months to write it. Here you are on chapter 7, maybe 30,000 words in and […]
  58. The Pulse and Glow 1.1 (2/23/2018) - I’ve had this story in my head for a long time. I decided to give it a start and see how it felt. The Pulse and Glow The world balances at the tip of peak energy. More, ever more, beg the people of the planet. And who are the First World nations to hold back […]
  59. Writer’s Log: 1488 Nuances of clause placement (2/22/2018) - ‘Milly paused, wiped her lace handkerchief across her brow, and looked up, startled, to find Antonio sitting upon the impatient stallion, staring intently at her, later that afternoon.’ I’ve been editing Blue Across the Sea, my first, anxiously anticipated novel and, as I do so, I find numerous occasions where I flip, mix, or bludgeon […]
  60. Changing the mind, again (2/22/2018) - I copied this from an email From Mr. Pollan. I’ll delete it (probably) when his book comes out in May, 2018. I’m a fan of Michael’s, I’ve read most of his books. And I’ll be reading this one. I bothered to copy this here as the topic of “changing your mind” seems to be popular, […]
  61. I live with my ideas turned off (2/20/2018) - I am surely cursed. I can look at a blade of grass, a cloud, a mote in the sunlight, or nothing at all — the emptiness of a tipped bucket or unfinished barrel and see a story, see the makings of the work-a-day effort, the striving, the agony of completion as the task is done […]
  62. What is wrong with us? (2/18/2018) - Humanity must be pretty god-damned-fucked-up to continuously have to defend its very existence at this stage of the game. Instead of everyone of us directing our waking moments to solving the galactic and universal issues that constrain our species — you know — those that say, “hey, humans, you’re just a puny single orb-locked species […]
  63. A poor wizard? (2/17/2018) - How is it possible that the Weasleys in the Harry Potter universe — are poor? Most likely, Rowling didn’t pay enough attention to cogent world building. She told a great (7 great) stories, and that’s was enough. Specifically for the Weasleys, of course they wouldn’t want to be poor, or seen as being poor (“Let […]
  64. Be rid of annoying friends and family (2/15/2018) - Here’s a way to be rid of annoying friends and family members who nag or pester you with their social media: Ask them to beta read your novel. As soon as you send them a link to your book, you’ll never hear from them again. As they probably won’t read it, and if they do, […]
  65. Here come the choppers (2/5/2018) - When you hear the sound of a helicopter(s), what do you think? • “Oh, it must be a Life-Flight, or the Coast Guard out saving someone, hurry, hurry!” Or • “It’s the authorities come to spy/harass/nab me or someone I know.” Or • Nothing, you never hear helicopters or if you do you don’t even […]
  66. I’m an impatient reader (2/3/2018) - I’m an impatient reader and I’m sorry for it. Mostly. Most of the books I read I blaze through, skipping ahead, scanning for important words and passages, impatient to get to the meaty actiony parts. And most of the time this works. The actionless drivel (or even the more literary stuff) I slog through, meanders […]
  67. The dog licks the plate (2/2/2018) - If you’ve ever had a dog. And you’re not a a stuck up fucking prig. Then you’ve probably laid your dinner plate down on the ground (in the kitchen or near the table) and let your pet lick the porcelain disk clean. So clean, you could probably place it back in the cupboard and nobody […]
  68. Leaving Las Vegas – wisdom (2/2/2018) - Consider that the movie Leaving Las Vegas embodied everything we know about existence. And that the ultimate fate of man was death. And that to die, comatose, drunk off your ass, was, really, the absolute acknowledgement that life is futile. What of the opioid crisis? Maybe every one of those overdoses is actually someone acknowledging […]
  69. Oligarchs are evolution (2/2/2018) - While watching a In a Nutshell episode (below), I extrapolated the concept that intelligent life consumes all of a planet’s resources. It’s like a machine that eats until everything it can eat — gets consumed. But, the oligarchs know this, and plan for lifeboats which are escape pods shot from a planet’s surface out to […]
  70. Sadness feels comfortable (1/31/2018) - There’s a smooth easy feeling to sadness. I find anger to be distasteful. Vehement reactions that raise my ire just leave me feeling spent, like I wasted a substantial fraction of my life drawn up in a taught knot of energy. Blech, eff that! But sadness is calm. Like a velvet coating on the world. […]
  71. Ranking vs rating (1/29/2018) - This is a reoccurring theme with me. When we have a choice, we don’t want some numeric number to help us choose, we want binary options. All choices, even from an array of options can be reduced to a series of binary choices. When it comes to reading a book, you have one choice of […]
  72. Versus: The love I remember (1/27/2018) - Two people sitting on a bench. He turns to her. “If this is what addiction is about, then I can understand why it could be a problem. But for me, addicted to you is the only cure for loneliness I could have hoped for.” “Just a touch, from the tip of you finger, and I […]
  73. Wax on, wax off (1/27/2018) - This is a continuation of the topic of of unlearning how to write poorly. Mr. Miagi, I want to learn how to write narrative fiction. Anonymole-son, you must first learn wax on, and wax off. No, no no. Not like that, like this. Ah, better. Now keep going. (later) How’s this Mr. Miagi? Very nice […]
  74. Learning to unwrite, writing to unlearn (1/26/2018) - As I learn to write narrative fiction, what I find to be the most frustrating aspect and what I continuously ask myself, over and over, is: WHY THE HELL DIDN’T I LEARN TO WRITE THE RIGHT WAY TO BEGIN WITH? I can write. I write rather well. But not narrative fiction. I was taught, primarily, […]
  75. A Wizard of Earthsea (1/24/2018) - Ursula lived just down the street. I should have paid her a visit. She was, after all, my first taste of a world I would spend the next forty years or so enthusiastically wallowing in. A Wizard of Earthsea was the very first fantasy/sci-fi book I ever read. Ursula K. Le Guin then led me […]
  76. Writer’s Log: 1401 (1/24/2018) - When you build a home, a building, a bridge, a road — things, substantial things, that take months, years to construct, you follow a design. That design has patterns. And for the most part you replicate those patterns, over and over. Framing a home’s floors, walls, rafters, joists – becomes easy be cause you repeat […]
  77. Blue Across the Sea: Intro (1/23/2018) - Here’s the first few thousand words of what my copy-editor and I call BATS. Sample back-cover verbiage: A raging storm threatens as Tillion sets out alone to fish the sea for their means of trade. Regretfully, his sister must remain with their father, a broken, untrustworthy man. ‘Fill the barrels and return’, Tillion tells […]
  78. Writer’s Log: 1400 what we remember (1/23/2018) - Update: I’m back on my first manuscript, Blue Across the Sea, rewriting it for self-publishing on Draft2Digital here soon. This story portrays a designed environment, a bucolic dis-utopian future set in the Great Basin (which is now the Bonneville Inland Sea). I had a great time writing it, but my skills were pitiful — and […]
  79. I need a new alcohol (1/22/2018) - No, it’s not “I need a new drug”, I’m not Huey Lewis & The News. I don’t want a pill or a powder. I want a new alcohol-like substitute. One that doesn’t cost too much, taste too bad, one that’s yeah, just right. But I DO want it to make me sick if I take […]
  80. Comedic impedance mismatch (1/21/2018) - Could you be a comedian? Imagine the mind of Robin Williams, Jim Carey or Sarah Silverman? (Or any of the hundreds of manic, amazing comedians of our time.) I could never be a comedian, even close to their caliber. However, my mind is capable of understanding and instantly embracing what those folks relate through their […]
  81. Arrogance vs humility (1/20/2018) - “I’ve got the biggest muscles, the smartest brain, an inexhaustible stamina and the longest penis; if you dragged me behind ten horses I could plow a thousand acres with my stiff rod. Follow me and I’ll lead you to greatness!” “I’m no one in particular, but I’m pretty sure that that first fellow is lying […]
  82. Transitory associations (1/19/2018) - If you’ve have had a number of jobs in your life, you’ll understand that, although some of those friendships you developed at prior workplaces may linger, if you don’t share some fundamental feature of human understanding — they’ll probably fade. The same goes for neighbors you’ve had as you’ve moved your body around the world. […]
  83. Mirror, mirror (1/16/2018) - Here’s a curious concept you might ponder today: Humanity has only, within the last 3-5000 years (and really only in the last few hundred) been able to few their own visage in a mirror. Prehistoric humans never knew what they, themselves, looked like. Sure they could look into a clear pond (or often a wide […]
  84. Which one are you? (1/15/2018) - In ninth grade (freshman high school) I sat, dull-eyed, at a desk while the English teacher, a fellow who, I’ll admit, was pretty animated, proceeded to, oddly enough, perform a statistical test on the class. “Who wants to bet that at least two of you (a class of 30) have the same birthday?” We all, […]
  85. Suffer the fools: Sarresh & Gor (1/15/2018) - Sarresh & Gor because I’m addicted to writing (but I still suck at it so until I get better I need to practice and vent — and you’re the foolish, unwitting souls on whom I’ll cast my tepid pages.)
  86. Whence madness (1/14/2018) - If you are aware of the onset of madness, are you truly mad? Does self-awareness of degrading mental health accelerate or stymie recovery? A quick writing practice, 1st person reflective.  
  87. Civilization: how thy collapse? (1/13/2018) - Depending on the mechanism of the apocalypse, the end of civilization would occur in vastly different ways. Here’s a recent video sponsored by the Royal Institution and conducted by Dr. Lewis Dartnell (of The Knowledge fame).     It’s of pretty standard apocalyptic fare, but there are a few standout notions posed by the panel […]
  88. Country size: An interesting perspective (1/13/2018) -   Here’s a curious image. I’m not sure I recall where I found the site on which I built that, but, what it allowed me to do is drag countries around to see their relative sizes. (Alaska is rotated to bolt to the US.) I lined all the biggest along the equator, from largest on […]
  89. I need a new Magic (1/12/2018) - I lay in bed, thinking about things, as I do, and I wondered if there was a new type of magic that I could dream up that had not already been imagined. So, in order to determine what might constitute “new” I had to itemize the existing types of magic. Here they are in no […]
  90. Would you rather… (1/10/2018) - Would you rather: Have your vision expanded to see in infrared or ultraviolet? At any time, once a day, be able to levitate one foot and float at will for one hour, or fly as high as you like for one minute? For one day the year, be given Harry Potter magic or Cassandra prophetic […]
  91. A philosophical minute (1/9/2018) - Our lives are simultaneously accelerating, while becoming ever shallower. We’re like skipping stones glancing off the pond of life. To truly live, we must slow and sink into the world around us. -AM
  92. Shadow Shoals 1.5 end of part one (1/8/2018) - This concludes Part One of Shadow Shoals at 17,000 words. Shadow Shoals 1.5: I figure by perhaps the end of my fourth novel (this is #3) I’ll have honed my skills to the point where my work becomes publishable. Until then, I hold no delusions. In the mean time, writing keeps me busy. It […]
  93. Why buy a story? (1/7/2018) - Have you ever bought a novel? Paid money to see a movie? Bought a DVD? Rented a netflix, redbox or, gasp, a Blockbuster video cassette? Have you ever watched TV? Of course you have. We all have. But why? Because we love to be entertained. Our brains are so big, so complex that they crave […]
  94. Writer’s Log: 1382 Suffer the children (1/5/2018) - Can you create characters to which your readers feel emotionally attached? What are the tricks to getting someone to care about your main character (or supporting characters)? This is the heart of good story telling. When you, as a reader, care about someone in the story, you emotionally invest yourself with the character’s plight, their […]
  95. Shadow Shoals 1.4 (1/3/2018) - Another 4k words. About a 15 minute read time. The story sits at 14k words now which is about 1/6 of a novel. The characters are established. Time to speed up the clock, heal, collect ourselves and jump into the next conflict. Shadow Shoals 1.4: 1.3: 1.2: 1.1:  
  96. Campfire, surf, forest = chaos (1/1/2018) - Much of the mind is dedicated to pattern matching: cerebral, visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory cortexes and subsystems which load and store and recall patterns. Our life as modern humans rely on these facilities to navigate and work our world. When you exhaustively tax such systems, you know the feeling, there are a few simple things […]
  97. Death to Success (12/31/2017) - I’m going to conduct an experiment. You can participate as well. Or you can watch this spot for progress reports. Or both. The hypothesis for this experiment is as follows: The mind is plastic. Evidence of this is that the internet and specifically, social media (through PCs and smartphones) has, unbeknownst to us, rewired our […]
  98. If you become popular (12/30/2017) - If you become popular, be prepared to lose me. Now, that might not be a worry. No, let me rephrase that. That most definitely will NOT be a worry. Only hubris (of which I have bucket-fulls) could figure into that first assumption. And only humility (of which I have gobs and gobs, oodles of, in […]
  99. The Content Economy: update (12/28/2017) - In the spirit of full disclosure the following sites/services were found which may or may not apply to this concept of the Content Economy. Both Jamatto and LaterPay have WordPress plugins. Some strange ones: Numerous “tip bots” on Reddit. Wikipedia has a minimalistic post on the topic: Unfortunately, none […]
  100. Warning: You look nice (12/21/2017) - Gender differentiation has come to an end in the office. Hi Sally, you look nice today. HOW DARE YOU OBJECTIFY ME. I’LL SEE YOU IN COURT! The end of any, and I do mean any, kind of attribute acknowledgement: hair length, skin tone (tan), clothing length (or curvature, or clingy-ness, or plunge, or exposure, color, […]

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