Saturday, May 2, 2015

Rewriting Is The Essence Of Writing Well

Rewriting is the essence of writing well: it’s where the game is won or lost. The idea is hard to accept. We all have emotional equity in our first draft; we can’t believe that it wasn’t born perfect. But the odds are close to 100 percent that it wasn’t.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oil Change

Got my tires changed on the van this morning. Faster and cheaper when you own the rims. Also, had an oil change. Oil changes for this van cost more because of the different type of filter. Strange looking filter. 6' high and about 2' across. Looks like an air filter. I'll put up a photo. On the way home it started to snow. Turned to water on the ground.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Daily Newspaper

      Well, there are three days left on my newspaper subscription. I didn't bother renewing it. $350.00 for a year. I hardly read it - just the obituary and the comics, and lately, I have been doing that on my pad. I can go on a comics site and get stacks of them. I read Blondie, Luann and Alley Oop.
      Of course, there other uses for a newspaper, spread on the floor for this or that. Fortunately, there another newspaper in the area that is free. Just pick it up at the supermarket.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Snow Tires

      There is no snow on my lawn, which means it's time to change my tires. I have to bring them up from the shed. With rims on, they're quite heavy. It's almost May, and normally I'm cutting grass by now. At least it has stopped raining.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good Old Days

 You often hear people reminisce about the good old days. Well, I remember something special - the toilet paper was a lot rougher. And it didn't matter whether it was Eaton's or Simpson's, it just didn't crumple up all that well. If you were out in the woods, you could always use grass. The flies would be on it before it hit the ground.
      After the printing press came out, do you know what the most popular books were? You are going to say the Bible. Well no, it was books of poetry. The pages made fine toilet paper. They say you could see crumpled poetry pages tossed in the wind across the fields of England.
      Did you ever wash you hands after going to an outdoor toilet? No bathroom sinks there. When you were a kid, and they called you shitty-pants, there probably was a reason. And when they said you were as green as grass, they probably meant your ass. Yep, you're as green as your ass.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Prescription for Writer's Block

My prescription for writer’s block is to face the fact that there is no such thing. It’s an invented condition, a literary version of the judicial “abuse excuse.” Writing well is difficult, but one can always write something. And then, with a lot of work, make it better. It’s a question of having enough will and ambition, not of hoping to evade this mysterious hysteria people are always talking about.



      I'm trying to force good weather by wearing short sleeve shirts. After the last few days, I'm worried that it might be the recipe for a monsoon. It started raining yesterday morning and it is still at it. I had an appointment for tomorrow morning to put on the summer tires, but I cancelled it until next week. The problem is, my back yard is like a swamp and there is still snow in some spots. And that's a problem because my tires are stored at the back of my shed. I built an extension on the shed to house my snow blower, the tires, and all the snow shovels. So I have to drag the tires through the swamp. I'm going to use a wheel barrow. Those tires are heavy. I rolled them down hill getting to the shed, but I certainly can't roll them uphill, and, of course, it's still raining.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Did you ever see those cartoons of a small desert island, where there is just one palm tree? Usually it has a guy with a long beard, standing and watching. When I was on a cruise a few months back, I saw a few of those islands. There it was, all alone in the Caribbean Sea, with one palm tree. As far as I could see, the population was zero. The palm trees were quite high, so they must have been there for awhile. I wonder if those islands get larger or just sink out of sight. Could you land on one of them, plant your homemade flag, and say, this is mine? Set up a little bar. Get on the list as a cruise ship stopover. You would probably need a good radio to warn you when a hurricane was approaching.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ask A Friend

      You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You've been backstage. You've seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Old Age

      One day I saw this woman I hadn't seen for many years. My God, you haven't changed. If I saw you walking down the street, I would recognize you. I blinked and said, "What? You mean to tell me that I looked 72 yrs. old when I was in high school.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Be Ruthless About Protecting Writing Days

      Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have "essential" and "long overdue" meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Line In the Sand

When you draw a line in the sand, do you have to use a sword? That sentence makes me think of the Alamo, Walt Disney and Davy Crockett. I just finished a bottle of Davy Crockett wine. Visited Fess Parker's winery a while back. Wine tasting at 10 in the morning. That set the tone for the day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

If you go to a restaurant and don't have a steak - it's like wasting your time. So says my wife.

Monday, April 13, 2015

St. Peter's Bones

        I put my latest book "St. Peter's Bones" on Amazon the other day. I took a Mediterranean cruise a while back, so I used that trip as the background for my book while adding a spy plot to it. People I saw on the boat became part of the story. Two ladies from Australia became spies for M-I6. I depended on scenes that I saw to move the story along. For example: At Pisa, a walkway was covered with plywood sheets. They were braced by 2x4's at each end, but the center wasn't. When someone stepped on the sheet, it sank. Of course, the next sheet stayed level making it easy for someone to trip. As it happened, I was passing a group of Japanese, and an older gentleman caught his toe on the wood and tripped. He ended up with a cracked nose. For my book, I added a sniper to the scene.
      One of the woman spies I called Jeopardy and that's the name of the next book I am writing.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Maybe.

So, here it is, Sat. and no snow. That's like a miracle. We have had a storm on Sat. for the longest time. We had snow last Tue. when I had to use the snow blower. After each storm, I would say, "Well, that's it for the snow blower for this year." That hasn't worked out too well, so last Tue. it was mouth shut." We are into rain and fog now. Last night the snow banks dropped by 6 ins.
      I put my latest book on Amazon. "St. Peters Bones." The bones actually tie into the story. I'll explain it all tomorrow. The what and the why and the how.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

You Have to Sit Down and Work

It’s a job. It’s not a hobby. You don’t write the way you build a model airplane. You have to sit down and work, to schedule your time and stick to it. Even if it’s just for an hour or so each day, you have to get a babysitter and make the time. If you’re going to make writing succeed you have to approach it as a job.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

 It's snowing like a bugger. The weather channel says its light snow. Yeah, sure, when you weigh one flake at a time.
The garbage man just picked up the recyclables. He's certainly not a wimp.
Had to get out the snow blower. I suppose the plow will come and fill in some more.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

No Day Without A Line

It is helpful to write always at the same time of day. Scheduled obligations often raise problems, but an hour or two can almost always be found in the early morning-when the telephone never rings and no one knocks at the door. And it is important that you write something, regardless of quantity, every day. As the Romans put it, Nulla dies sine linea--No day without a line. (They were speaking of lines drawn by artists, but the rule applies as well to the writer.) As a result of all this, the setting almost automatically evokes verbal behavior. No warm-up is needed. A circadian rhythm develops that is extremely powerful. At a certain time every day, you will be highly disposed to engage in serious verbal behavior.


Friday, February 6, 2015

With the help of a Doctor, you can now commit suicide. I think it is a short step from here untill society tells you to get in that lineup.