Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Multi-Tool

So, I found myself staring at the keyboard, like I find myself doing a lot, and a somewhat skewed thought moonwalked across my imagination: The keyboard has become a multi-tool.

For those of us that are old enough to think back before the mid-to-late eighties, there was a time when a keyboard was, well, a typewriter. Even in the late eighties, those fancy word processors were viable products to have on the shelves. For that matter, I think it was 1989 when I bought my typewriter.

What could you do with a typewriter?

I suppose, much like the mighty pen, you could incite riots, thoughts, sympathy, etc. Of course, to do these things successfully, you had to be in possession of a small portion of talent. Otherwise, kindergarten teachers would have suffered the great glue eating riots of 1973.

At some point in time, we figured out how to hook up a typewriter to an off grey box and make magic happen. Of course, it's probably a good thing our first monitor screens were made of glass. Could you imagine what an LCD screen would look like after you scraped off the white-out?

So, what can you do with this not-so-new multi-tool?

I can have an ongoing conversation with someone on the other side of our planet and I don't even have to open my mouth (except for the occasional Cheeto).

I can pay my bills.

Heck, you can pay my bills!

I can find information on almost any topic, and some of it could actually be true.

I can tell a machine how to perform a function in seconds that would typically take me minutes to do.

And I can still incite riots, thoughts, or sympathy. Though my love of glue has long since faded.

Wow! We have come a long way. Or have we?

If I cut this little black cord, I don't even have a typewriter.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Growth of a Writer

There is a writer that I am a big fan of. He began his career with a game company and has written many novels based in that game world. He is well known for his ability to write vivid battle scenes, and really, I just admire his imagination and the writing that results.

I picked up one of his earlier works, written some fifteen or so years ago, and, while it is a good story, I found the writing borderline amateurish. Do not misunderstand my critique, I still enjoyed the story, and the book was written good enough for publication. Mechanically, this book just had several flaws that I don't see in his recent writings. And quite honestly, it may just be that he used a passive voice that falls beneath the list of pet peeves.

If the action is worth recording on paper (or screen), give it the power that it deserves. Just one of many guidelines I try to adhere to. (notice I said try)

Through this writers works, one can see a simple truth illustrated: The more you write, the better you can become.

Of course, this assumes that a writer's goal is to pen something that is better than what he or she has penned prior.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Next

I actually started the next novel. Like others, this one has been rolling around in my noggin for some time. I believe that I picked a good point of attack. The main character is lying in the field, trapped beneath the body of a fallen comrade, with a broken body and a bruised psyche.

I wanted the opening to leave the reader as lost as the character, yet keep the reader engaged. I believe I pulled this off. I noticed at some point that there was a rhythm to the prose. Not really a poetic type of rhythm, but there was an obvious soundtrack lingering behind the sentences.

I like.

I would post a sample of it, but I am probably overly protective of my work. If it ever makes it in the glued bindings and tossed on a retail shelf, you can see it then.

Of course, I need to complete the first round of edits for the other novel...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Oklahoma City Shelter Smoke Screen

Here’s one that has been, I don’t know, annoying me for a while. Maybe I should preface this conversation with: The Oklahoma City Animal Shelter is run by power hungry, truth twisting, nitwits; better known as Politician Wannabee’s.

I am not directly involved in animal rescue, but I know several wonderful people who have dedicated their lives to finding homes for cast aside dogs and cats. Believe me, in Oklahoma this is a huge undertaking.

I don’t know that I can cover all the things wrong with the Oklahoma City Animal shelter in one easy to read post, so I’ll just hit a couple of items at a time. Let me start with the falsehood that Shelter Officials began to vomit to the press a couple of years ago. Oklahoma City is working towards becoming a ‘no kill’ shelter.
This is almost worthy of looking up on Snopes. That statement sounds great, and it would be commendable; if it were true.

If they wish to continue to advertise this falsehood, they should begin by telling their employees to keep their mouths shut. Let me illustrate:

An Oklahoma City Animal Shelter employee sends out an e-mail to a local rescue e-mail chain requesting help in rescuing several dogs and cats that are scheduled to be “put down”. For those that aren’t familiar with the term “put down”, it is nice speak for kill. Discarded pets are not “put down”, nor are they “put to sleep”, they are killed. In many cases, they are killed in manners that would get the average citizen arrested for cruelty, but that is another topic altogether.

Another posting from an Oklahoma City Animal Shelter employee has a photo of a very adoptable dog. Apparently, the dog was scheduled to be killed. Why? Extreme mats. Huh? The dog had some severe tangled hair! What? The poor pooch’s hair was matted!

That is right boys and girls; tangled hair is deadly, especially if you find your way to the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter. I am just so thankful that they are working toward becoming a “no kill shelter”.

Do they cut the feet off of animals if they have long nails?

These are just two examples of many that show just how hard theses nitwits are trying to become no kill. Are they really trying? You tell me.

More to come.

Monday, June 6, 2011



It has been almost a year since I even looked at this. Of course, it has been a while since my fingers have danced across the keys for anything longer than a brief e-mail. It is really embarrassing. But, enough of that. It is time to get back into the mode. Time to handcuff my muse to the railing and move ahead at break-neck speed.

Why does it take a writer years to write a novel?


And Squirrels.

I have long since finished the rough draft of my first book. I am in the middle of the first edit (of many, I am sure). I was making decent progress when the squirrels invaded my life.

Just when I had worked up a routine, my job position changed, therefore my work schedule was turned on its head. I haven't set a routine since. Then, to make matters more exciting, my daughter and son-in-law invaded my writing room for a couple of months while they purchased a house. They have since moved into a new home and one would think that my excuses have run dry; not so.

The Princess (my oldest daughter) should be moving back home soon, so my room will not be mine. Again.

It is past time for me to set a routine. The lack of progress is nobody's fault but my own. I have let the squirrels distract me. For months I have said "next weekend".

How many "next weekends" have you squandered?

Nobody else is going to finish your book. Nobody else can finish your thoughts. Screw next weekend. The time is now.