So at 3:30 in the morning on July 12th, Rasa wakes me up to say “it really hurts” and we should probably go to the hospital. Granted, we were scheduled to be there at 7am anyway, so our 3:30 wake up call was only 90 minutes ahead of schedule. Turns out, we needed the extra time because when your wife is in labor, the movies just don’t do it justice. There’s no madcap dashing about trying to flag down cabs or traffic cops pulling you over only to turn on the sirens and lead you to the hospital once they’ve learned the full extent of your situation. Nope. It’s a lot of coaxing someone who can barely walk down three flights of stairs and calling a friend to come and make sure the dog gets taken out so you don’t come home to an “extra” surprise. Continue reading
Okay, I admit it. I’m a sucker for underwater monsters. Give me a giant squid, a Kraken, an octopus of unusual size, hell, even an overgrown shark and I’m there. For me, America said it best – “The ocean is a desert with its life underground and the perfect disguise up above.” It’s that “perfect disguise” which makes it interesting. No matter how calm, there could be any number of unknown dangers lurking just out of sight.
This is why, despite being terrified of the water, I’ve been certified as a scuba diver, twice. In another reality, I’m a marine biologist, who spends his days as a dive instructor on a tropical island and doing research on the side. In this one, though, I’m just a writer who likes the monsters hidden beneath the sea
So one day my friend Ian Rowland directed me to the site of his friend Gianni Sarcone, a designer of optical illusions. Specifically, the post on How To Create Monsters & Mythological Creatures. That’s an example over there to the left.
Once you see the method, like a number of magic tricks, it is deceptively simple. And yet, the results are awe inspiring. As someone who has a penchant for the idea of urban fantasy (I’d love to write one, just don’t quite see it so instead, I read ’em) all I can see are a number of powerful beings trapped in static forms or natural figures waiting to make themselves known in that luminal time between dark and light.
Maybe you’ll be able to find inspiration here. Or maybe you’ll just enjoy some clever photography. Either way, it’s definitely worth a look.
And if you can watch a movie about the theatre? Heaven!
“In 1980, science fiction writer and editor Ben Bova told a group of women writers, ‘Neither as writers nor as readers have you raised the level of science fiction a notch. Women have written a lot of books about dragons and unicorns, but damned few about future worlds in which adult problems are addressed’.”
In Women Who Pretended to Be Men to Publish Scifi Books, we get a nice list of the varied and fascinating female authors who, in order to not alienate male readers, had to pretend (at least on paper) to be men.
As the soon to be father of a daughter, and as a science fiction lover, I find this despicable in a number of ways. So please, read the article. Then click over to Amazon or, better yet, hit up your local book store. Do yourself a favor and grab some books for summer reading. You can thank me later.
I love learning about writing. I love how there’s “theory” for creative processes. Makes me laugh when it all gets winnowed down to a base formula. That said, the TV Trope website is great for looking up things which have been done to death as well as learning new phrases for old ideas.
Here, a designer named James Harris uses the TV Tropes site and ideas to give us the basic building blocks with his Periodic Table of Storytelling. If you need inspiration for a new piece of fiction, all you have to do is combine elements like a chemist and add your own spin to things. It’s like alchemy when it works.
Of course, when it doesn’t, no harm no foul, right? You learned something in the process. And hopefully, you had fun doing it.
Happy Father’s Day!! As this is my last year of NOT being a father, we decided to take a little time and seek some advice from the best father I know – mine!
This short interview is a condensed form of a conversation we had (and I assume we will continue to have).
Thanks, Pop! You mean the world to me!
And hey, since the world of print is limiting, here’s a couple of bonus shots of us from when I was a wee one:
He’s doing amazing stuff in the world of Vegas theatre, helping to build our scene and culture. Remember, there’s more to live performance than the Strip and the Smith Center.
You know, Shakespeare didn’t always sound like Shakespeare. Sometimes he sounded like a pirate. And in fact, just for good measure, English didn’t always sound like English.
Anyway, here’s a couple of videos to get your brain working. Continue reading