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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A book like Alice


Much, I am sure, to the vexation of the various juvenile canid haters, I was not carried away by an inflammation of the lungs this last week.

And it is a base canard to imply I was as sick as a dog. You’d have put down the dog as a kindness. (Yes, I have been reading Heyer again). Read more

This, that and t’other

A large number of articles and news reports related to writing have caught my eye in recent weeks.  I thought you might enjoy a selection of them.  Follow the links provided to learn more about those that interest you.

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True Difference

One of the things that annoys me about a particular type of book is how uniformly the characters think. They may have the desired external differences, but they don’t think differently – which means they also don’t react differently.

People aren’t like that.

Heck, siblings aren’t like that – I ought to know, since I’ve got four of them. Things that one sib will lash out at won’t even register to another. Even though we all got more or less the same upbringing, the combination of the preferences we got from being born (I was apparently a whiny baby, at least one of my sibs was a happy one, another was just fine until something passed the limits, then all heck broke loose… ) and the differences that came from different experiences as we grew up meant that the five of grew into very different people.

What I really don’t get is how some folk seem to think that a person born to and raised in a completely different culture is going to have the same ideals as someone born and raised here – when two siblings quite often end up with completely different beliefs. Read more

Writing Uphill


Heinlein had Lazarus Long say something about not ruining your children by making their life too easy.

This too applies to young writers.  And a young writer is anyone who has been bashing his or her head against the deceptively clear pane of the craft for less than five years (or more, depending on rate of production.)

Me, I’m not of the opinion that if you can be discouraged, you should be.  Writing talent doesn’t necessarily come with determination.  And determination doesn’t make you a good writer, not by itself.

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I see a dark sail on the horizon
set under a black cloud that hides the sun.
bring me my broadsword and clear understanding.
bring me my cross of gold as a talisman.

Jethro Tull, Broadsword

It was a dark and stormy knight… ahem. My wife often watches TV (and as often as not reads and knits at the same time, leaving me in awe) while I cook in the evening. Now that’s around a corner, and I can’t – most of the time – hear the dialogue or see what is happening. This is good. Never watch a car chase while dealing with hot oil. Read more

Blast From the Past: The Inadequacy of Silence

The latest round of de-personing and disinviting (yes, the same one I posted about a couple of weeks back) suggests that it would be a good idea to hammer the topic a bit more.

With that in mind, a blast from the past that covered something of the same ilk – although in that case, the injured party had the resources to turn the whole mess to his favor. Whether that will be the case for the most recent injured party is yet to be seen.

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Fiction Marches On

I read a lot of historical fiction. I’m sure that’s no surprise to most of the people on this blog. I also read older fiction, because a lot of the stuff published in the last few decades doesn’t grab me, especially stories in modern settings.

A trip through my library leads to a lot of weird trains of thought that jump back and forth in time. You see, the meaning of ‘contemporary novel’ changes over time, and what was a modern setting fifty years ago looks incredibly dated to us. How many mysteries have you read where the mystery could have been immediately solved by a quick Bing search or cell phone call?
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