Would you Like a Trilogy With That?

I love to read books with my favorite genre being sci-fi. I’d say my next runner-up is horror, but badly written horror can turn my stomach faster than two-month-old milk. Regardless, when I get my monthly Audible credits, I love browsing through all the various books, looking for a new read.

Lately, I’ve been noticing a trend for each book I’ve found and it’s a trend that irritates me a little. Actually, it irritates me a lot.

To me, there’s nothing worse than finding a book which reads “Part of the x Series”. It makes me rage inside to see such text so let me tell you why.

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Gone in but a Blink

Last July, my family and I drove to Portland, Maine to visit my sister. We spent the weekend on the beach, picking strawberries, and cooking some good food. Once the kiddos went to bed, my sister suggested we go to the local watering hole and see her friend, Darren.

The bar was interesting. Most of the people were drunk, including the bartender and we almost found ourselves in the middle of a good old-fashioned bar brawl. Thankfully, the fight was subdued before it got off the ground. It was stopped by Darren, himself.

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Evolving the Language

Years ago, when I was in prep school and just getting my “sea legs” under me, I remember my history teacher entering the classroom in a fluster. He had just sent out an email, and he had managed to misspell a word. He hadn’t caught the misspelling and I’m guessing someone emailed him back, letting him know the error.

He was mortified and went on this tear on how email can make us lazy. The year was 1993 and his small typo seems almost quaint by today’s standards.

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Wrestling with Grammar

Years ago, when I was in fifth grade, I had to take part in a spelling bee. It was a classroom only affair. Everyone stood then, one by one, the teacher asked each of us to spell a single word. If you got it wrong, you sat down.

I hated the pressure. I hated all the eyes on me. I hated the word that took me down. It was grammar. My teacher, Mr. Innis, said it wasn’t “grandma” so I went ahead and spelled grandma instead.

I had to sit.

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Evolving Opinions

Almost twenty years ago or maybe even longer … I remember attending a writing group with my then girlfriend. At the time, I was pursuing filmmaking (and screenwriting). Still, every once and awhile, I’d attended my girlfriend’s workshop fiction groups.

Every so often, I’d bring a screenplay with me and no one would know how to workshop it being that everyone was focused on fiction.

One of these sessions was at this bearded man’s house. That’s all I remember of him. Yet twenty years I can still see the outline of his face. He was a strange man, a science fiction lover and could tell a good story or two. I guess that’s why I’m writing about him today.

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One File Format to Rule Them All

Long long ago in a galaxy far far away, I discovered a word processor (well, my parents bought one) and I felt my imaginative world open in front of me. I was no longer limited by the typewriter and could write – and edit – all my terrible stories without having to rewrite entire pages.

I wrote every idea that came to mind and when I was thirteen, I got the idea of writing a novella – which I finished, but never polished. Everything was saved on floppy disks and I made copies and copies, fearing to lose a single tale.

In time, my parents changed word processors and in doing so, I ran into my first real pain point of the digital age — incompatible file formats. Loading up my old stories brought forth cryptic error messages and what was once super easy to access was then gated behind a file format.

Thirty something years later, things haven’t gotten any better. In fact, I’d say, things have gotten worse.

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