The problem with writing is that it’s wholly subjective. Qualitative. No hard data.
ClickStats, my clicker-training data-keeping app
Where we can do quantitative analysis, we can make reasonable judgments even when our emotions aren’t in alignment. “I felt great about this today, but we actually had only a 70% success rate.” Or, “Oh, man, today has been a total downer and I hated this session, but we nailed it with a 90% success ratio.”
That’s very nice for behavior analysis and free throws. Not so useful with writing.
Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon the Peter Cushing Centennial Blogathon and realized it tied directly to Asian folklore and therefore I could totally justify a blog post.
Cushing had a long and varied career, playing everyone from Sherlock Holmes to the Sheriff of Nottingham, but even those who aren’t film buffs will remember him as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars (as pictured here), one of the few who could successfully tell Darth Vader when to step off.
But Cushing had a particular niche in horror films, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today — specifically, his role as Van Helsing in a kung fu zombie vampire movie.
You read that right. Continue reading
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s no secret that I’m a nerd and a geek, but I’m pretty new to the gamer scene. In fact, my first Dungeons & Dragons experience was at Gen Con a few years ago. And it was a lousy experience, to tell the truth. The scenario was written so badly that even the GM (assigned to run it, not his choice) realized that it wasn’t possible to save it.
Bert knows this is wrong.
You know when you hit upon something that’s just so jaw-droppingly, amazingly awful that you just have to inflict it on someone else?
(That was your only warning.) Continue reading
So this morning was the 5K run to benefit International Justice Mission, combating modern slavery. (Yes, real slavery still exists today. In higher numbers than ever, in fact, but thankfully also as a smaller percentage than ever.)
Yes, that’s a six-year-old. Ahead of me. Shuddup.
What you have to know is that I don’t run. Really. So this was a really good cause for me to even sign up. I had planned to do at least a bit of training beforehand, but a rotated pelvis nixed that. And that’s my best excuse for why I was able to take a photo of a six-year-old in front of me in the pack. Continue reading
Truth is stranger than fiction; fiction has to make sense.
This quip, variously attributed to Mark Twain or Leo Rosten, is quite true. In story, writers must pay a great deal of attention to motive and consistency. In real life, people are hilariously inexplicable. Continue reading
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
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I remember laughing when Patrick Rothfuss confessed to book-signing performance anxiety. (I suspect he’s rather over that by now, by simple necessity.) I hadn’t ever practiced my autograph, either. But I did read Pat’s final word on the subject: Continue reading
Today’s the day: Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training Crazy Dogs from Over-the-Top to Under Control has hit the shelves. Well, virtual shelves, as it’s online for now… but it’s out! Continue reading
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