The Music of the Spheres

Han Solo

Han Solo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Working on a science-fiction short and surprising myself with how much I’m enjoying it. One of my writers’ group last night commented that a character was “a mix of a symphony conductor and Han Solo” — and I’m pretty happy with that description.

I went searching today for some title ideas, and I happened across this nifty toy — tool — program — quest — thing, a computer code meant to blend mathematics and light and sound into a literal music of the spheres. Continue reading

Ben-Hur: Drama, Conflict, and Parody

Cover of "Ben-Hur (Four-Disc Collector's ...

Cover of Ben-Hur (Four-Disc Collector’s Edition)I love Ben Hur.

I love Ben-Hur.

Yes, it’s become somewhat fashionable in recent years for critics to wave their hands disdainfully at the film which was previously held in such esteem. Fine, they can have their pretense of superior taste. And okay, sure, trends in acting have changed in the last half-century. But I still love the film.

No, seriously, I once calculated that I’ve spent maybe half a week or so of my life watching Ben-Hur. Step aside, amateurs. Continue reading

A Game Not For One Night, But For A Thousand and One Nights….

English: Princess Parizade Bringing Home the S...

Princess Parizade Bringing Home the Singing Tree, 1906, oil on paper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My friend Mark gave me a new board game for Christmas. The setting is the world of the traditional 1001 Nights, in which Scheherazade is weaving tales to amuse Shahryar and keep herself alive. Players are story characters, with literally thousands of game paths (very re-playable).

It’s a bit different, as games go, rewarding not just game accomplishments in terms of points or accumulated treasures and things, but extreme storytelling — that is, the more dramatic, tragic, twisted, inspiring, and generally enthralling your character’s journey is, the more likely you’ll win the game. Continue reading

Choose Your Own Hamlet Adventure?!

I’m not making this up. Check this out. Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a choose-your-own-path book. With lots and lots of illustrations.

I really love Hamlet, and I also really love parodies of Hamlet. This sounds kinda awesome.

Continue reading

Our Annual Christmas Movie, and Don’t Argue With Me.

English: Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna...

Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly every year of my life, my immediate family has gathered on Christmas Eve, invited friends and pseudo-adopted family, eaten ourselves silly on shrimp and brownies and cheese balls and red and green M&Ms, and watched It’s a Wonderful Life.

“That old hack of a film? Really?” you ask.

If you asked it silently to yourself, read on, and I’ll explain. If you asked aloud, there’s the door over there. We don’t argue about It’s a Wonderful Life. Continue reading

The Seventh Day of Kitsune – Where Are They Now? Part 1

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

So for thousands of years, creatures of folklore and mythology have stalked the Japanese countryside, keeping wayward children in at night. But what about in the era of electric lights and digital cameras? What happened to the youkai, the bakemono, the monomo and ayakeshi — where are they now?

They’re glad you asked. Continue reading

The Fifth Day of Kitsune — Dining with the Daimyou

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune
nishiki food market, kyoto, pickled vegetables...

nishiki food market, kyoto, pickled vegetables (nukamiso) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we’re going to have a meal with the oyakata-sama and okugata-sama, the lord and lady of the household. Have you been practicing with your chopsticks? I hope you’re hungry! Continue reading

Pep Talk from Hell.

Anger Controlls Him

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone on the NaNoWriMo chat group mentioned a technique in which a writer writes a pep talk from his or her characters. She said she had found it helpful.

I hadn’t heard of the technique, but just the thought of it scared the snot out of me. Continue reading

The Next Big Thing (Week 25) — Shard & Shield

Question book

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In which Laura reveals intimate answers to fascinating questions! Don’t miss a moment!

Well, okay, so we’ve found the reason I am not a marketing copywriter. But stay with me a moment anyway.

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Signposts on the Way to “Making It” – Goals

Audiobook Collection

(Photo credit: C.O.D. Library)

It’s good to have realistic expectations as well as goals, right? And likely goals as well as shoot-for-the-moon goals, right? Authors — and everyone — should have many small goals as they make their way toward large goals.

So in a fit of procrastination from Real Work, I’ve compiled a just-for-fun list of things which would make me happy, small or large signposts on the way toward Arrived — wherever that is.

Continue reading