Obsessing Over a Written Story: a Creative Dead End

One of the things that discombobulates me about the holidays are all the little problems and speed bumps that crop up and get in the way of my writing. I will be glad when all these holidays are over and we get into next week so I can concentrate on the mundane aspects of writing. …

Ikiru: Making Death Relevant by Kurosawa

This film examines a fundamentally human question we all wrestle with from time to time. Is the universe a dark and cold place, or do our actions have lasting, and permanent, consequences?  Kurosawa doesn't answer the question because it's fundamentally unanswerable. As most human questions are. But his characters speak and react as if they …

Philosophy, Death, and a Virgin Murder: Three Superb Films You Must Watch

My Dinner With Andre This is one of the best movies about philosophy ever filmed.  Even if you don't like philosophy you're going to like this film.  It's about two friends in a French restaurant.   One is the Everyman and the other is Knowledge and they both learn from each other.  Nothing but dialogue here …

The Challenge of Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone

I have always believed the best stories and the best writers are those that operate outside a comfort zone. Don't get me wrong. I like easy-to-read and quick stories sometimes. But when I first envisioned this novel I instinctively knew it would A.) Be hard to write, and B.) Be challenging to write because it …

More Conversation with Story: You’re doing it wrong, except when it’s right.

Story: Morning. Me: Hi. Story: Ready to work? Me: No, I"ve decided I'm only going to work at night from midnight to two. It gives me a nice two hour window of peace and quiet. Story: Hoo boy. What fresh hell is this? Me: What do you mean? Story: This is not your normal routine. …

Conversing with Story: Writer’s Block, and Defining Yourself as a Writer

Story: What's wrong? Me: I'm not writing. Story: That's bad. Why not? Me: I think I'm blocked. Story: Maybe you need a high colonic. Me: No, I mean I have writer's block. I can't write. I'm stuck in the mud. Story: Uh huh. Me: You don't believe me. Story: I believe you believe it. Answer …

Conversation with Story: The Heartbreak of First Love, Lost

Me: I'm sorry. Story: So am I. I wanted it to work out. Me: I feel I've failed you in some way. Story: No. We both wanted it to work, but it didn't come together. Hey, it's not like we didn't try. Not like we didn't care. Me: When I first had the idea of …

Another Conversation with Story: The Synergy of Creativity and Process

Me: One thing I don't understand. Story: Just one? I doubt that. Anyway, that's why I'm here. Shoot. Me: Why is it sometimes you seem to write yourself, and other times it's like pulling teeth from a wolverine to get you finished? Story: Oh, boy. I was afraid you were going to ask me that …

Flapper Talk and the Reflection of Language on Human Culture

As a writer I am fascinated by processes which shape and form human thoughts and ideas in a social context. This interests me because as a writer I feel it is my duty to present human beings in their full and unadulterated light. Therefore, as we study different cultures and ideas, we see patterns and …

A Private Conversation with Story: Who’s really in control?

Me: Okay, it's early in the morning and I have coffee. Let's get started. There's this science fiction passage I want to get into today that will lead to the big reveal for the main character. Story: No. Me: What do you mean 'No'. Story: I mean no. Me: Come on, quite playing around. Story: …

“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, …

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 …