When “They” Spoke “Olde English”

I loved Cas Blomberg’s post: “What do you like in a story?” She lists the sorts of things – her personal “likes” and “dislikes” – that should make any author think. As her take would apply to any reader, it is worth reading her post in full.

This “dislike” naturally grabbed my attention:

Difficult language — Victorian, Venusian, the Tyk’gkt’der language, etc.

“Victorian?” Uh, oh. Well, I’m not using “Victorian,” but I’m definitely employing what might be termed “Georgian” and “early American independence” – the later 1700s mostly – in Conventions.

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Stop: Don’t Throw The PC Out The Window

We spent the weekend down in Christchurch….

View towards Christchurch Priory. Christchurch, England. [Photo by me, 2011.]
View towards Christchurch Priory. Christchurch, England. [Photo by me, 2011.]

….visiting with the couple – our former neighbors there, where we used to live – who had generously lent us their flat in Tenerife back in the spring. They are also the inspiration for “Mrs and Mr Hall-Surrey” in the Atlantic Lives novels. And they know they are – and were such good sports about it when they discovered it.

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Circle Of Thirteen

Happy Fourth of July!:

Betsy Ross, 13 Stars U.S.A. Flag, 1777-1795. [Wikipedia. Public Domain.]
Betsy Ross, 13 Stars U.S.A. Flag, 1777-1795. [Wikipedia. Public Domain.]

Uh, sorry. Of course that’s not the current version of the U.S. flag. I’m spending way too much time lately in the 1790s.😉

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Decided: I’m No Fan Of “Fan Fiction”

Remember my post on writers simply ignoring the existence of copyright as if it somehow doesn’t apply to them? Apparently, Amazon hasn’t caught on yet about James Bond “fan fiction” for sale on the site. Look at this screen capture of an email I recently received:

Screen capture of an Amazon email to me.
Screen capture of an Amazon email to me.

We know how Amazon works by now. Merely because I’d visited the page for that Saving Mecca in order to write that post, Amazon automatically marketed that book, and others like it, at me. And that’s not the first email such as that I’ve received.

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Trapped In “Interesting Times”

I mentioned it yesterday. I’m sure you’ve heard in recent days about the June 23 referendum in which 52 percent of U.K. voters chose to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union. It has been a controversial choice on those voters’ parts to say the least.

The British losing minority is furious. European Union officialdom is irate. European heads of government are – if not publicly, likely privately – angry. And it seems onlookers in much of the rest of the world are baffled.

The "Big Ben" clock at the Palace of Westminster, London. [Photo by me, 1996.]
The “Big Ben” clock at the Palace of Westminster, London. [Photo by me, 1996.]
A majority of its voters having made their wish known, the United Kingdom is, for the moment, essentially “a pariah state.” This is now “the new normal.” It will likely last for some time to come.

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Back To Britain

Hello again from London! Once more I’m “home” in the United Kingdom….that is also evidently on course to leave the European Union eventually: how our world changes unexpectedly. Incidentally, my Atlantic crossing reading….

[Photo by me, 2016.]
[Photo by me, 2016.]
….from back when the world was dramatically changing in another way. In yet another sense, we are also so privileged to be able to fly the Atlantic in about 8 hours. In the 18th century, it took weeks by sea – if you even managed to survive to get across it.

For Friday evening’s flight from Newark, I got lucky. I was upgraded to a window seat in premium economy – a benefit of being a frequent flier and of perhaps flying alone. I suppose it’s just easier to move you around when alone than if you are in a party of two or more.

For a time, I also thought I had hit the lottery in another way: I had no row-mate in the other seat. That didn’t last, though. About fifteen minutes after take-off, a flight attendant escorted a Finnish woman from behind in economy to the previously empty aisle seat next to me.

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“Conventions” All In One Place

Well, that’s that for the time being. My brief visit to New York and Pennsylvania is winding down. I’m heading back to England today.

It has been good seeing Dad. He’s doing okay now, eight months after Mom’s death, so I’m not leaving feeling lousy about leaving him. He told me, “I’m adjusting to the new reality. That’s what the hospice newsletter said anyway.”

For today, I thought I’d share a brief update here on what I’ve added to the blog. At the top you may notice a new page: Sneak Peeks Into Conventions: The Garden At Paris.

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Chapel In The Woods

A few miles from our house, stands this. I drove over there on Tuesday and had a walk around it. At the time, I was the only one there:

Sign for St. Joseph's Chapel, on Route 23, Ashland, Catskills. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Sign for St. Joseph’s Chapel, on Route 23, Ashland, Catskills. [Photo by me, 2016.]

I’d been to it several times before. We even went to a Mass there several years ago. One is held there one day every year.

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“Remove your hands from my wife….”

If I have some “overarching theme” to my novels, I admit it’s that I wish everyone, all of us, always could somehow manage to be on “the same side.” I know that’s wishful thinking. But it’s a hope nevertheless.

What’s writing for if not for occasionally wishful thinking?

A view down to the Batavia Kill, Catskills. [Photo by me, 2016.]
A view down to the Batavia Kill, Catskills. [Photo by me, 2016.]

Yesterday, after having been out and about, and alone here at the house in the Catskills, I decided to tackle a bit more writing. Other than dipping into the net now and then, and Twitter, I’ve read little news in recent days. (There’s no television currently working in the house.) This morning, I had another post all ready, when it hit me as to what I’d been working on yesterday and how it could be “seen” in 2016.

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“Absolutely, Tom Cruise would be perfect!”

Tom Cruise playing the “Jack Reacher” character infuriated many devoted readers of the book series. I know about this mostly based on what I’ve read about the controversy. Also my wife loves those novels, and she explained why he wouldn’t have been her “first choice” for “Reacher” when she’d read initially that it was to be Mr. Cruise in the role.

The biggest (no pun intended) complaint regularly seen is that the relatively diminutive real-life Mr. Cruise in no way resembles “Reacher.” The character is apparently nearly 7 ft tall and consists of pure muscle. Some on “social media” were quick to point that out:

Screen capture of Facebook.
Screen capture of Facebook.

Yet in fairness to any filmmaker, casting a “superman” is always a challenge. When a fictional character is outlandish, trying to locate a human actor who largely resembles him/her on the pages, let alone one who can also ACT well enough, is naturally not easy. Making that task even tougher is when it’s also supposed to be the STAR of the potential film, for it’s then suddenly necessary also to try to find one from among a very small pool of actor possibilities who will hopefully also FILL cinemas.

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