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  • Comicality

    Word Connotations

    By Comicality

    One of the things that I regret from years ago was my complete inability to understand the language barrier or even the casual slang that people used in their emails or comments when giving me feedback to the newest chapters of stories that I put online. Hehehe, so my apologies if I misunderstood certain phrases or expressions of personal wit and took it as an insult or a criticism. Trust me, I don't do that anymore. Weird, right??? Comsie matured? Say it ain't so, Joe! LOL! Well...not
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Book Review: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

This novella has a simple but enjoyable premise, which Alan Bennett exploits with his sharp and intelligent wit. The queen, unusually for her, is at a loose end in Buckingham Palace and goes for walk. Around a corner she doesn’t usually walk around she discovers a mobile library. Thinking it rude not to, she borrows a book from it. This first book sets her off on an odyssey of reading. She reads for pleasure, but also her reading educates her and opens her mind. And all this reading leads t

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

A New Story

At last, Hidden Secrets is ready to read. I've spent a long time editing, tweaking and getting it just right (hopefully). It's a paranormal mystery, set in a cinema. The story originated as a NaNoWriMo project, but as part of the process it has been altered and extended. Before I began, I never realised writing a mystery was such hard work. In order to keep track of all the threads, I found I had to make much more detailed notes and outlines than usual. I certainly couldn't have written just a f

Mawgrim

Mawgrim in writing

Book Review: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

“Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.” This is the premise of Kurt Vonnegut’s greatest novel, but it is far more than that. As a middle-aged man, Billy Pilgrim is a successful optometrist, dully married to his wife with two children. As an elderly man, Billy Pilgrim is abducted by aliens, the Tralfamadores, and kept as an exhibit in their zoo on their home world. There he meets and starts a relationship with Montana Wildhack, a beautiful model who is abducted to be his companion. As

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Book Review: Minority Report – Volume Four of the Collected Stories by Philip K Dick

Before reading this collection of stories, put out of your mind any memory of the Tom Cruise/Stephen Spielberg film of the same name. The Cruise/Spielberg film was very loosely based on Philip K Dick’s story, taking only a few elements out of the story. The original story is far superior to the brightly coloured adventure film that bears the same name. In his best fiction, and this collection certainly contains some of that, Philip K Dick was a visionary—a dark visionary with a downbeat but

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

The View from This Window

My writing desk sits under the window in our front bedroom, though we have rarely used the room as such, and it gives me a clear view of the strip of grass on the opposite side of the road. It is that writers’ activity, doing anything else but write, and mine is staring out of that window and watching life pass by on that strip of grass. Whenever I do it, I stop myself, tell myself I should be writing, and turn away from the window, but so often some fascinating tableau out there will catch my a

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in essay

Book Review: La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust #1) by Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials was a groundbreaking trilogy of fantasy novels. They were breathtaking in their scope and originality; the concept of a person having the personification of their soul in the form of an animal called their daemon was both simple and a stroke of genius. It was also a wonderful writing device; characters could literally talk to themselves. For a long time, Pullman hinted that he was writing a second trilogy, The Book of Dust, following on from His Dark Materials. Finally, i

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Book Review: The AIDS Pandemic by James Chin

There have been many different theories about the spread of AIDS, some of them bizarre, but here James Chin returns to a very old one; AIDS is not a threat to the heterosexual population. Chin is an epidemiologist and bases all his arguments on a narrow reading of the HIV/AIDS statistics. He seems to want to turn back the clock to when we talked only of “risk groups”.  There are no political, cultural, social or psychological elements in Chin’s arguments, which leaves this book very one-sided.

Book Review: A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

“A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.” So reads the announcement in the Chipping Cleghorn Gazette that morning. That evening, the local neighbours all dutifully turn up at Little Paddocks, all with their different excuses for being there. At 6.30 p.m., without warning, all the lights go out and… This is the beginning of one of Agatha Christie’s most intriguing novels that is firmly rooted in post-war Britain. She chose to set

“Ah, But Underneath”: Words, Music and Character Development

She was smart, tart Dry as a martini— Ah, but underneath… She was all heart Something by Puccini— Ah, but underneath... Ah, But Underneath, Follies - Original London Cast, Stephen Sondheim   Julia McKenzie, dressed in a white silk dress, walked slowly to the centre of the stage, dry-ice swirling around her feet, and picked out by a single spotlight. Then she stopped, looked off into the middle distance, and began to sing “Losing My Mind”. She stopped the s

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in blog post

Inadvertent (?) Homosexual Love Songs

There is something about Indian poetry and music and it's the fact that there are so, so many men writing about men. And it's always been this way. This is especially prominent in the Punjabi language, and now that Punjabi culture is so trendy in the rest of north India, it's becoming increasingly prominent in Hindi-language music.  If you look back at Indian poetry, in any language, men have written about their love for men, but, for the most part, they used feminine verb conjugations to r

small mercy

small mercy in random

Winter Ghost Story

During these dark, short winter days, the possibility of ghosts rises to the surface. On a bright, warm, summer day, it's easy to put our fears aside, but on a foggy December afternoon, as the light fades, they rise out of the shadows. Our ancestors used to gather around their fires as the snow swirled outside and tell ghosts stories. Nowadays, we can just post them on the Internet. Here's my latest spooky offering: Bad Vibes - Shortly after moving in to new offices, Luke and his staff

Mawgrim

Mawgrim in Writing

Doodle

I won’t say I’m much of an artist but drawing the characters is certainly a lot easier than writing about them lol

small mercy

small mercy in Doodle

Resonance in Writing

"Drawing On the Power of Resonance In Writing" by David Farland is a quick read.  As I continue my tour through books on writing by other authors, I stumbled across this one.  It makes a pretty good point with several modern examples.  Such as how Fantasy novels tend to resonate on Lord of the Rings.  Pretty much all of Dungeon and Dragons and rooted there.  Avatar has echos of Dances with Wolves. Everything we do builds off the zeitgeist, so to speak.  This book is a nice look that gives y

Myr

Myr in Books

Real Admiration

This week I read for what must have been the fiftieth time Jorge Luis Borges's "Garden of Forking Paths." Like a lot of people on this website, I am an aspiring creative type. When I'm in the heat of a project, I often revisit certain artistic touchstones. They are reminders of what can be done and even guidebooks, if one knows how to read them, on how to do them. So, knee-deep into a new project, I revisited the Borges and was again dumbstruck. The story is only a little north of four thou

Z.A.N.M.A.T.O

Z.A.N.M.A.T.O in entry

Nobody

I have been very turned off by the lecturing nonsense that's been released from Hollywood the last few years.  The hack Millennial moron writers that have taken on scriptwriting and laid waste to subtlety and entertainment have virtually destroyed an entire industry and murdered my hobby of video collecting.  I have over 1300 DVD's and Blu-Rays.  But I've only bought 5 in 2021.  And 4 of those were 80's and 90's movies on 4K.  But I heard Nobody was both good entertainment and lacking any obviou

Myr

Myr in Movies

The Infographic Guide to Grammar

When I posted yesterday about Write Right!, I mentioned that we would be doing a new weekly blog feature focused on Grammar.  Another book I'll be using for reference in that endeavor is the Infographic Guide to Grammar.  If you are a visual person, this book is the one for you.  It's colorful and straightforward.  It's worth keeping around if you are the type to keep reference material on hand.

Myr

Myr in Writing

Finding Love, Awkward Edition

I've decided to deflower this blog with a story, so you can get to know me a little. Perhaps some of you, especially the anxious gay youngsters still waiting for "the one," will even find it useful. It's the story of how I met the guy I suspect will end up being the love of my life. I should start off by saying that I'm awkward as hell. Some of you are no doubt thinking, "join the club," and remembering that one time your joke was greeted with silence, or that time you and a stranger had a

Z.A.N.M.A.T.O

Z.A.N.M.A.T.O in entry

Write Right - For Grammar Reference

It seems lately that I've been doing an endless round of blogs, emails, and posts.  When I haven't been doing that, I've been doing research.  As is my habit, I've gone way overboard on the amount of reference material and writing books I've been sinking into. (Including being a super backer on Kickstarter now, having supported my 80th Kickstarter. Almost all of them on something world building related) But that brings to one of the many writing books I've zipped through recently.  Write Ri

Myr

Myr in Writing

Book Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick

Philip K Dick’s name gained notoriety with a string of Hollywood films, but none of them have done justice to the dark and paranoid worlds created in his books. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (filmed as Blade Runner in 1982) is Dick at his best, combining so many of his favourite themes—post-nuclear war, religion, identity, technology and dis-utopia. It is set in the near future, on an Earth that has suffered a nuclear war but at a high cost. This Earth is dying, everywhere is su

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Based on Real People

“I gave you good script,” Ma to Alan Cocktail Sticks, a play by Alan Bennett   The writer Alan Bennett has been very open about how much he is inspired by real-life events. He has written plays and film scripts all inspired by real-life events; he has written several volumes of autobiographical essays, and every year or so he publishes extracts from his diary. I’ve seen and read all of them and enjoyed them so much. In his autobiographical play Cocktail Sticks, about his relations

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Writing

Book Review: Liverpool Murders - Kirkdale Hangings 1870–1891 by Steven Horton

The premise of this book appears simple; it chronicles the 29 hangings that took place within Kirkdale Prison, Liverpool, until it was closed. But inside that premise lies a fascinating social history. In 1868, an act of parliament stopped all public executions; after that, all capital punishments took place within a prison’s walls, away from the excited crowds of onlookers, and Steven Horton uses this as the starting point of his book, ending when Kirkdale Prison was closed in 1892. He res

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Book Review: Logical Family: A Memoir by Armistead Maupin

For so many of us, Armistead Maupin is known for the Tales of the City series of books. Though set in San Francisco, these books chronicled so many of the changing events of the seventies and eighties in such a personal way. Logical Family is Maupin’s memoir, starting with his birth in very conservative 1940s/1950s North Carolina up to 1970s San Francisco when he first started publishing Tales of the City as a serial in a newspaper. This is an amazing and complicated journey that Maupin tel

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

Book Review: The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

Alien invasion is a staple of science fiction and has featured far too many novels and films, but in The Midwich Cuckoos, John Wyndham turns that classic theme into a frighteningly original story that is still disturbing now. The Midwich Cuckoos begins with Richard Gayford (the novel’s narrator) and his wife Janet returning from an evening in London, celebrating his birthday, to the English village of Midwich, where they have recently moved. Midwich is the stereotype of the quiet, sleepy 19

Drew Payne

Drew Payne in Book review

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