Sunday, November 28, 2010


One hectic day at work, my boss said to me. "Don't build me the watch, just tell me the time." And he was right. He didn't need all the facts and steps that lead to my problem, he just needed the problem.  I try to apply this approach to my writing. It's my version of "Show, Don't Tell".  Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I leave too much off the page that it isn't clear to my reader what the hell I'm talking about. 

I remember reading some epic space opera when I was too young to attempt such a thunderous tome. Did I grasp everything they were talking about? No, I did not. But I knew that when the characters bought a drink with a 'cruple' that was a unit of money to them.  I didn't need a footnote or back info on the creation of the monetary system for this universe. You bought things with a 'cruple'.

'nuff said.  I'm putting together a Top Ten Books I Read In 2010 list. Not necessarily all published in 2010, just the ones I read.  I might try other Top Ten categories such as music and comics. Only saw enough movies for a Top Five list and don't get me talking about television because I can only think of 3 to 4 shows worth mentioning.

I'm reading Lori Armstrong's new book "No Mercy" right now. I met the author briefly at the KY Bookfair( and yes we read books in Kentucky). She told me she writes "a tough as nails character".  Mercy Gunderson does indeed seem tough as a keg of nails. Check out her book.
<strong>No Mercy</strong> by Lori Armstrong

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Paul Pope- A Bizarre Anomaly

Paul Pope is a comic book artist with the combined flavors of European style and manga tradition. His comics are hard-boiled sci-fi crime tales smoothly inked over the page.  The panels are well designed, the characters are fashionable outsiders but throughout this mythic pop imagery, the world is grounded in grit and neon shadows.

 I found Pope through his dystopian future Batman Year 100 graphic novel.  In the back of the book are early design sketches for his Batman.  Pope focused on the boots Batman would wear-military combat boots with steel toes used for jumping out of airplanes.  A pet peeve of Pope is the way footwear and clothing is handled by artists. He wants to see the seams, the wrinkles, the sweat and dirt. And he treats Batman the same way. He sweats, he bleeds and he eats.  Doesn't sound exciting?  Well, read it and see.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Diving For Every Loose Word.

I was a big kid growing up.  My size and rough nature made me ideal for an offensive lineman on the football team.  Stuck in the trenches. Never to know glory.  I came to play basketball a little later in my athletic career. 
You couldn't hide in basketball.  The spotlight shined on you and all your awkward shuffling and elbowing and missed shots.  I was not good, in fact I was terrible but I loved it.  If anything I was more aggressive on the basketball court than the gridiron. 
Talent schmalent.  Having never gotten to touch a football, my determination to get the basketball was relentless.  Every practice, every game I came home with floor burns from diving for a loose ball.
How much does talent count in writing?  I'm an okay writer. With effort, I can be better.  If I want to be a working writer, I'm going to have to dive for every loose word.  Just so you know I got good enough in basketball to win a lower division in a streetball tournament. Of course, they didn't have referees.