Drama At Sea

One of the troubles with writing is you feel awkward discussing what you did at work today with those humanly closest to you. It is simply too difficult to explain. It just feels more comfortable to take to a keyboard and share it online with social media friends and readers who follow because YOU want to.

Meaning that here on my own writing site I’m not risking making a total “bore” of myself (I hope).😉

But one of the challenges in sharing what you did at work is if you include any excerpt it also shouldn’t give away too much; inadvertently “spoiling” your own upcoming novel is, frankly, idiotic. However, yesterday’s work, and this morning’s, was full of plot detail and “surprises” that I just don’t want seen yet. That said, having scoured it, I think I can share this:

Sneak Peek into  "Conventions." Click to expand.
Sneak Peek into “Conventions.” Click to expand.

Continue reading

The Reading Minority

Blogger John Guillen touches on a reality. Most of us indeed have noticed it. It’s tough not to:

….I know some of you are really interested in BookTube and similar Instagram accounts, but I want to ask you something. When you think of your favorite book accounts on any social platform, who’s running it? Is it a man or woman.

In my experience I’ve found that girls are far more likely to be running these types of accounts. I’ve also found that they’re far more likely to gain a following through them. Maybe men are expected to be talking about sports or politics or something more manly, but some things I just don’t understand….

….But I’d just like to ask why it’s so odd for a guy to enjoy reading. Should he be reading comics instead? Or should he be in the gym working to improve his overall health? Reading is one of many forms of entertainment (and much more to many) that people enjoy. I don’t know why it needs to be for one sex over another….

The issue of who reads fiction seems a perennial one. Every author craves to know generally who their audience is. Social media has also now allowed us more insights into that question than ever before.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of books.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of books.

Thinking back, I recall my late mother was a novel reader. A happy memory for Mother’s Day: I remember her with some huge – literally enormous-length – novels. In the late 1980s, for example, she read Karleen Koen’s historical romance of 17th and early 18th centuries’ England and France, Through a Glass Darkly. I remember Koen’s book – Mom had the hardcover – being about 5,000 pages long or something and Mom reading it cover to cover.

Continue reading

Avoid Social Media Junksters

As you know, I don’t usually post twice here in one day; but I wanted to share this in a timely manner. Three accounts followed me on Twitter at some time earlier today. I noticed them a little more than an hour ago.

Three sudden new followers out of the blue all about the same time when you hadn’t tweeted anything for nearly 24 hours? That’s always suspicious. I screen captured them. Notice anything, uh, “interesting” about them?:

Continue reading

Broadband-less In Tenerife

I have not vanished. The broadband in our friends’ apartment complex – the entire building (a couple hundred flats) broke down on early Wednesday morning. We’re told it’s being repaired.

So we have to wait. I can’t really use any of my expensive mobile net here to post – photos especially. It uses too much data.

As soon as the broadband is back, I’ll be back here as well. One good thing to come of it has been I’ve been getting not only some reading done, but some (new novel) writing done (finally) too!

Have a good weekend.🙂

The Art Of Creating A Person

As usual, a Kate Colby observation got me thinking:

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

We often don’t reflect on it systematically, but writing characters is a big responsibility: an author has the final say over everything about them.

Continue reading

Bookcases Filled To Bursting….And Snow

Well, we finally woke up to something to make the Catskills non-snow, mid-winter gray….a pleasant white:

[Photo by me, 2016.]
[Photo by me, 2016.]

It’s days like this – if you don’t have to be anywhere, or even go out at all – you can say I’m going to kick back for a while and have a read. Starting on Adele Archer’s International Relations the other day also reminded me about one of my growing concerns. Now that I am writing novels, I feel I don’t have as much time as I once did to read.

Continue reading

Bring Out The Penguins

I’ve been taking advantage of the Catskills quiet. So I’m having a few days’ pause from my own work. The 18th century gets tiring.

I’m also having a read of Adele Archer’s enjoyable International Relations. (Americans. Always the Americans.😉 )

Continue reading

“I enjoyed this book….”

I saw this yesterday on Google+ (via Adele Archer and DL Keur). It’s a link to a Grimace and Giggle piece by author Russ Linton. He writes on Amazon’s “cracking down” on reviews written by those with a so-called “established relationship” with the author:

Screen capture of Google+.
Screen capture of Google+.

A year and a half ago I noted how ugly I believed at times the “reviews” issue had become on Amazon. It’s a problem not unlike what we also encounter regularly on TripAdvisor – including (if we authors think we’ve got troubles) the dimwits who “rated” Auschwitz. Given Russ’s post, I thought I’d revisit a few of my thoughts here, and expand on them slightly.

Continue reading

If You’re Lost In Your Writing, Seek Out Yourself

That post in which I included two 18th century paintings pretty much sums up my outlook on here. I enjoy posting a mix and mishmash of stuff. This blog’s supposed to be a “journal” that’s built on my writing, but I’ve discovered over these last three years that lots more touches on that than I’d originally thought.

Excerpt from "Frontiers," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Frontiers,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.

That comment in 2014’s Frontiers stems from a “Madame de Staël” observation once made by a friend longer ago than I now care to remember. I recalled it while writing that novel and decided to fit it in not only because I liked it, but also because it well-reflected what I so enjoy: chatting with friends about whatever strikes us as interesting – particularly over a drink, or two, or…. uh, who’s counting.😉

Continue reading

“An attempt to explain to the English reader….”

Last year here in London at my in-laws, I stumbled on a virtually pristine 1948 British published hardcover of Raymond Chandler’s famous The Big Sleep. Yesterday, I found another 1940s hardcover; it’s condition isn’t quite as good, but it still possesses a mostly intact dust jacket. It’s a 1944 book by a British academic:

[Photo by me, 2016.]
[Photo by me, 2016.]

Continue reading