Ever since publishing my last post, in which I stated publicly that I was gearing up to break my four-year-long novel-writing dormancy, I’ve been in a dark blue funk.
It took me a while to figure out why. Well, to be honest, I didn’t figure it out. A fellow writer (Todd Baker: grillmaster, metalhead, and memoirist par excellence) commented on my post, and his reflections shed light on my own internal strife.
I was suffering from “The Dread.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Creativity, Writing | Tagged creative writing, Fallen Cloud Saga, Ploughman Chronicles, the writing life, writing a novel, writing novels | Leave a Comment »
You might have noticed a bit more poetry on this blog of late. There’s a reason for this.
If I’m to be brutally honest, these past four years I haven’t been much of a writer. My last novel came out in late 2012, and since then — aside from the posts, vignettes, and poetry on this blog — I’ve only written one short story.
A lot happened to us in those four years. All of our parents died which meant funerals and family strife and estate stuff. We invited a young woman in need to stay with us for a year while she reestablished herself. I had an emergency appendectomy and my wife had an emergency cholecystectomy. Our only car died and needed to be replaced. I grew deathly sick of my job and tried to switch careers. Not all of it was bad (we paid off the house, and for our 30th anniversary we bought a classic sports car), but all of it, even the good stuff, sucked up a lot of time and energy, and brought a great deal of stress into our lives.
All of which sounds like a bunch of excuses and, for a long time, I viewed them as such. Now, though, I see them as reasons.
Am I splitting semantic hairs? Perhaps, but hear me out. Continue Reading »
Posted in Creativity, Writing | Tagged creative writing, the writing life, writing novels | 3 Comments »
as you look across
your heart’s perfect home
hair goes thin/grey
dreams die/are reborn
we are inconstant
water in life’s river
we are change
is our fate
Posted in Writing | Tagged creative writing, love, poetry, vignettes | 1 Comment »
A swan, she was, with all that entails.
Long-necked, pale, graceful, a pillar of dignity,
She was also fearless and arrogant,
Intimidating with a sharp-eyed glare,
Loyal unto death.
Within her arms, I felt safe, protected by her fierce strength.
She stood behind me in maternal overwatch
As I took first steps to face a harsh world.
She taught her children with patience.
She dealt harshly with threats.
She fought all comers until the end.
A swan, she was, with all that entails.
Posted in Writing | Tagged creative writing, modern poetry, poetry | Leave a Comment »
A lot of today’s pop culture cinema leaves me cold. Superheroes. Vampires. Zombies. Especially zombies.
What is it with zombies? I don’t watch The Walking Dead. I don’t get all fidgety waiting for the next zombie apocalypse video game. And I certainly don’t queue up to see the latest action-packed, gore-spattered, plucky regular-guys facing walls of crazed, offal-eating zombies.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Movies | Tagged movie review, Movies, south korean cinema, train to busan | 5 Comments »
A long-standing obsession of mine has been act 1, scene 2, from Shakespeare’s Richard III. It’s the scene where Richard accosts Lady Anne during a funeral procession and, in the course of a few hundred lines, steers her from unmitigated loathing all the way ’round the bend to a point where she warms to his affection, accepts his ring, and considers his suit for her hand in marriage. Afterward, astonished, Richard asks us:
Was ever woman in this humour woo’d?
Was ever woman in this humour won?
Answer: No. Never. Not in a million years.
The complete implausibility of this scene has always puzzled me. I’ve read analyses of the play, pored through the variorum of the play, all to no avail. Shakespeare, generally quite good at character motivation and development, has shoehorned this relationship into his play, telling us “Just roll with it.”
My friend Barb, who knew of my curiosity on the topic, recommended I read Sharon Kay Penman’s historical opus, The Sunne in Splendour, a historical novel about Richard III. Now that I have, I’m glad I did, but the book is not without flaws. Continue Reading »
Posted in Books | Tagged book review, historical fiction, Richard III, Shakespeare, Sharon Kay Penman, the sunne in splendour | 4 Comments »
This past weekend, still recuperating from a kick-your-teeth-out head cold, I didn’t have much energy for anything beyond breathing, so I figured maybe I’d play Valley, the new game I’d purchased. Aside from that, my one major expense of energy would be to accompany my wife (who had also succumbed to the Killer Cold) on an errand to the mall. The mall is one of my least favorite places, but I managed to muster enough oomph to assist her, and I’m glad I did because whilst there, I was able to try out the Oculus Rift.
These two items — Valley and the Oculus — pretty much peg the spectrum of gaming costs. At an online sale price of $8, Valley was a superb bargain, while the Oculus headset rig ($499) is about as dear a peripheral as you can find, especially when you factor in the current requirements for both a high-end gaming PC (the model I used in the demo was $1499) and the Oculus Touch handsets ($99/pair).
Now, there’s no frakking way I’m going to plunk down over two grand for a gaming peripheral. Ain’t gonna happen. Nuh-unh. After spending ten minutes under the VR headset, though, I was tempted. Sorely tempted.
On the other hand, my expectations for a video game that costs eight bucks were low. Very low. Like, I expected to be bored within an hour, low. That didn’t happen, proving that even my jaded sensibilities can still be wrong. Continue Reading »
Posted in Hi Tech | Tagged blue isle studios, game review, gamers, gaming, oculus rift, valley video game, VR headsets, Will Oculus Rift work with glasses | Leave a Comment »