Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A River Runs Through It

Well, not exactly through it. More like alongside it.

Once upon a time, back in the 1800s, actually from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, the port city of Cairo, Illinois was a boom place. Even Charles Dickens visited it. but Cairo has had its problems, and now, sadly, it's a shell of a town.

Wendy and I and a couple of good friends of ours drive through this southernmost Illinois city the other day, mainly because it's such a fascinating place of contradictions. Of formerly beautiful and magnificent Victorian mansions that now have the Addams family look.

Cairo bumps against the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, but, traffic was diverted away from the city many years ago by two bridges. Now there's not much to support it. Seemed appropriate, in a way, to post these photos of the once-thriving community on Halloween.

Keep writing, friends.

Friday, October 13, 2017

It's About Time

Yes, it is. Time travel, it is. And a few other matters fantastical, science fictional, and horrifical.

I was in one of those near-dream states while trying to wake up or go to sleep the other day, I don't remember which. You know, where the half-real blends with the half-not-so-real. Anyway, I was thinking about a few issues involved in supernormal writing.

Time travel, for example. Ya gotta be real careful when writing about time travel. I love time travel stories, have been fascinated with them ever since I read The Time Tunnel back in the late 60s. As with so many other science fiction themes, it's easy to get hung up on the idea of time travel. You know, the old "Well, if I go back and throttle Adolf Hitler before he came to power" sort of deal. That becomes the stuff of late-night-too-much-coffee-or-other-chemical conversations between fanboys or other writers.

When using time travel, it's best to have it as just another tool. It's a vehicle. It can get you to the past or the future. Just don't let all the minutiae get caught up in your story. 

Not to be ragging on other works, but there was a TV series Wendy and I watched for a while called Heroes. Great show until they got lost in their plot devices. They had this character named Hiro, who could hop about in space and time. So, they fell into the trap of having him change things in the future or the past anytime they needed to write themselves out of a jam. Uh uh. No can do, folks.

Which leads to another theme in the fantastical. Godlike powers. Take Superman, for example. Sometime in the late 60s to 70s, I don't really remember when, he lost his kryptonite weakness. So, he became pretty much ultra-powerful. Nothing could stop him. And with that, he became uninteresting. There's no conflict for a character like that.

And that's a topic for the next post. We'll pick up there later.

Keep writing, friends.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Well, Askews Me!

Hi de ho, folks, I'm in print again. I'm a member of a great online writing group called Rhetoric Askew, and they have just released volume 4 of Anthology Askew, featuring many talented authors.

It's chock full of lots of vitamin-packed words. It'll be good for your head.

Y'know what? It's best if I just stop rambling and copy and paste from their Facebook announcement. Here 'tis:

We did it again!
It is with pride and pleasure that I announce Anthology Askew Volume 004: Askew Communications is live and available for purchase!
Once again, we have collected over 200 pages of talented artists, poets and authors, and this 4th book in the series is as amazing as the first three!
E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0762Y9CVK
Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/7586806
all the information will be available soon at: http://rhetoricaskew.com

And, as always:

Keep writing, friends.