“The sky is the killer of us all.” Enemy Ace – A Review

DC's Showcase: Enemy Ace , written by Robert Kanigher and penciled by the legendary Joe Kubert, is the most unrelentingly nihilistic comic I've ever read. It presents the face of war from the side of the enemy.  In this case it's Hans Von Hammer, a WWI fighter pilot modeled after Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, better …

Great article in Centauri Dreams: explains fallibility of Fermi’s Paradox, human impatience

“Lost in Space and Lost in Time: The Consequences of Temporal Dispersion for Exosolar Technological Civilizations" by Dave Moore, Centauri Dreams. Mark here. This is an excellent article. I have always believed the problem lies more with our human-centralized impatience to "find idealized Star Trek aliens" rather than the simple fact we A.) are alone, …

Planning another camping trip…with writing a novel on the side!

Thinking about going camping this weekend. A couple of reasons. It's getting late in the year and if I wait much longer it's going to get cold. I don't like the cold. I can deal with the heat much better. Just me. 😛 There are also the buffalo. I'd like to follow them around for …

In Writing, Like Life, There Are No Guarantees

I must admit I am sometimes taken aback by how writing at its most fundamental core is so insane. Think about it. You sit down and write a story. Okay, fine. You make it the best story you can with the tools you have available. All right, nothing wrong so far. But there are absolutely …

Typewriters I have known and loved….

My earlier post about writing got me to thinking off the typewriters I have used down through the years. What's that you say? Yes, we used to have typewriters. With ink ribbons that you had to change. I know, it was prehistoric! The first typewriter I ever owned was a manual Royal machine. I got …

The Story Endures: My Growth as a Writer

I remember the first real story I ever wrote. I was living in South Texas and I was in seventh grade. I think we were living in Kenedy at the time. It was a one-horse town surrounded by weeds and cactus, tortoises and horned toads. It was there I got chased by a red wasp …

Haxan is My Corner of the Universe – You Need One Too

I have often said Haxan is my own little corner of the universe where I can play with matches. That much is certainly true, but I don't think it would be as much fun if it weren't for the fact Haxan is a series. Maybe it's somewhat surprising, but working in a series appears to …

Foundation Repair Part 2: Hey, it didn’t leave a mark!

The guys finished working on the foundation. They did a pretty good job, I think. The crack in the garage floor is all but gone and the crack between the wood and brick on the side of the garage is much better now. They patched everything up and now we are back to normal. Or …

Lighthouses and Stories Guide Us Through Darkness

I came across this quote many years back which speaks to the seeming futility of writing. And how wrong we are when we have that opinion. Whenever I am especially down about some aspect of writing, or doubting myself, I think of this quote. I think it captures a philosophical truth about perseverance, and why …

Writing 101 – Three Rules for Success

Many of my writer friends who are starting out sometimes ask if I have any rules they should  follow.  Now, I’m not one who believes there’s a magic bullet to get your work published or attain literary success. In fact, when I hear someone say there is only one way to write I immediately put …

On Rejection and Courage in Writing

I don't think I have many stories rejected anymore because of the writing per se. (Although I am capable of  writing the occasional sentence that makes the reader stop and say, "Wha?")  No, I think the reasons I get rejected now is due to length: too short or too long, the editor having a bad …

My 10 Favorite Opening Lines for Fiction

Here are my top first lines from books I've read.  These books have had an impact on my maturity and growth as a writer.  But they aren't arranged in any particular order.  I've tried to include  lines that weren't selected a while back by American Book Review, though there are one or two I couldn't …