Place and Character

Completely unrelated to this pic, there is a new City of Bridges post available: read The Color of Light. I am still feeling my way into this world, these characters. Trying to find a balance between an engaging narrative style and the sort of poetic descriptive voice that catches my breath as a writer. A…

Investment, and Fantasy’s Secret Ingredient

I’ve watched the first couple episodes of the new ABC show Once Upon a Time, enough to offer an articulate opinion of, “Eh.” All right, I can be a little more articulate than that. The show actually has some potential, if only because it has the vast resevoir of fairy tale and myth from which…

Text-ure

A favorite digital editing trick among contemporary photographers is to layer a photographed image with textures. A “texture” is a second image—an image of anything really. A photo of cracked pavement, the bottom of a rusty pan, a scratched piece of glass. Painted textures work well, too, thin watercolor washes or thick smears of acrylic…

Music Lessons

A while back, we attended an open rehearsal of my daughter’s middle school string orchestra. They were preparing for a festival at the time, and a guest conductor&#8212he led California’s high school honor orchestra last year&#8212came in to workshop with them, offering advice on how they could improve their overall performance. As he worked with…

It’s the Small Things

I didn’t notice the tiny bug on this daisy until I was home in front of the computer doing all the alterations that one does in Photoshop that help you make up for your lack of skill as a photographer. I certainly wasn’t trying to take a picture of the bug, so the fact that…

Get in the Action

At my writers’ group last night, we reviewed two pieces that suffered from variations of the same flaw: trying to portray characters by having the narrator tell you all about them. Both pieces were first person, though one narrator was describing himself and the second was describing other people in the scene. They were all…