My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, February 12

Blogger's Block & Bad Guys

I’m suffering from severe writer’s block, or in my and Danae’s worlds, Blogger’s Block. There just doesn’t seem to be anything worth writing about. “Even if it’s crap, get it on the page,” some writers instruct. But who wants to read crap? Or maybe it’s not only that no one wants to read crap, no one is reading what I have to say, crap or garbage or words of silver and gold. Word crap, verborrhea. I wonder if there’s an antonym for verborrhea. How about verboconstipa? That’s what I’m suffering—verboconstipa. All the words are there, but the linguistic sphincter is squeezed like a fist. In some cases, that’s a better affliction than the opposite. Too many people today are so full of words they just can’t wait to find someone on whom to pour those words. Such a nice list of words for that—bombast (suggesting a barrage of words like hand grenades, or mouth grenades), prolixity, verbosity, verbal plethora, verbophilia, euphuism, grandiloquence (these last two suggesting not so much an outpouring of words as a fondness for purple prose, a straining for effect rather than meaning). But enough about crap, bullshit. What about this lack of ideas or words? I could write about the weather, the wave of severe blizzards sweeping across the east coast. But what can I say except that I’m really thankful I live here in Arizona and not back there. I might write about any movies I’ve seen lately, but I’ve either already written about them or I haven’t seen any movies lately. We did watch the pilot of FX’s The Americans last night, with it’s odd use of protagonists for whom the viewer doesn’t know which to feel, an empathy for them or an aversion to them because they’re bad people embarked on a bad mission. The main characters are a couple of Russian spies, deeply embedded in cold war America. They’ve been trained to be as American as apple pie, living apple pie lives with two apple pie children, waiting for orders to do whatever spies do. But they both seem to be so normal, such good people. Do we root for them or do we despise them? I guess we’ll just have to wait to see what the writers do with them in future episodes. I’m reminded of other fictional characters with this same double nature. John Sandford, in one of his Prey series, included a hitperson named Clara Rinker, a very likeable young woman who just happened to kill people for money, most of whom probably deserved to die, in some way connected to one mob or another. But still, she was a killer. Do we like her, root for her, or do we despise her? Lawrence Block has a series about a hitman named Keller. Keller kills people for money, and he’s very good at it. And, like Clara Rinker, he disposes of people who probably deserve to die. He, too, is a very likeable character and the reader really does root for him.
I remember reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay a few years ago, a novel about a man named Dexter Morgan, whose foster father early on recognized the boy’s psychotic need to kill. So, instead of shipping him off to psychologists, he convinces him to channel his psychosis by killing serial killers. A psycho killer who kills psycho killers. And the reader sympathizes with Dexter. That’s rather creepy, but there you have it. The television series based on Dexter takes it even further, making him a loving husband and father, the flip side of his dark side. Hard to decide these days who are the good guys and who the bad. It’s like the popularity of the Twilight series, the many fans of these fanged characters. I mean, they’re vampires, for God’s sake. And the fans of the walking dead. I mean, they’re zombies, for God’s sake. Even Clint Eastwood’s main character in The Unforgiven is duplicitous (I know, I know, it means he’s a lier, but I want it to mean he’s a two-sided character). Is he an evil man who became good and then became evil again when he goes to fight evil and does evil things? The line between evil and good is no longer as clear as it once was, when good guys wore white hats and bad guys wore black. Now, everyone seems to be wearing gray.

Whoosh! That’s a lot of words for someone suffering from Blogger’s Block. The sphincter may have loosened.

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