Storytelling > Writing

“…I have always been so skeptical of the whole contemporary critical scene, in which the text is regarded as some immutable miracle, to be worshipped or dissected as if it were the story itself. What anyone trained as an editor and rewriter knows is that the text is not the story—the text is merely one attempt to place the story inside the memory of the audience. The text can be replaced by an infinite number of other attempts. Some will be better than others, but no text will be “right” for all audiences, nor will any one text be “perfect.” The story exists only in the memory of the reader, as an altered version of the story intended (consciously or not) by the author. It is possible for the audience to create for themselves a better story than the author could ever have created in the text. Thus audiences have taken to their hearts miserably-written stories like Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, because what they received transcended the text; while any number of beautifully written texts have been swallowed up without a trace, because the text, however lovely, did a miserable job of kindling a living story within the readers’ memories.”

—Orson Scott Card, from Maps In A Mirror

Remembering the Pain

Even more so than kidney stones twelve years later, my peritonsillar abscess was the worst pain I’d ever experienced.

About twenty-five years ago, one of my tonsils died.

It became a lump of dead tissue, joined with the other, still living, tonsil only by their shared infection in and around my throat. In the middle of a Friday night, I looked in the mirror and they were touching. My airway was completely closed off.

My wife drove me to the emergency room, where I sat for the next six hours or so, until their ENT specialist could be reached (and, I speculate, sobered out, but I digress). When he arrived, that Saturday morning (looking a little bedraggled), he settled in and looked at my tonsils. He then told me it was an abscess and brought out a tool by which he intended to drain the puss out of the infected tonsils. For all the world, it looked like Toilet-Aid Tongs for Self-Wiping.

Tongs for the memories.

This was to be the first of those three surgeries that the doctor’s note mentioned. He was sitting on a little stool with wheels, while I was seated in one of those wide-metal based dentist’s chairs with the attached armature and lamp overhead. After warning me that it ‘might hurt a bit’, he then proceeded to reach into my throat with the tongs.

Continue reading “Remembering the Pain”

Great Writing

“He gazed around him as if he expected something new and wonderful to pop into his ken at any moment. He behaved as if a cruising speed of twenty-five hundred miles per hour in a thin-skinned pressurized device were exactly what Man had always been yearning for.”

—Algis Burdys, Michaelmas (1977)

Jerkwater Tweet #016

People who devote an entire Twitter profile or YouTube channel to their own opinions are like that guy back in the 70s who used to hang around the barber shop but never get a haircut.

My Thoughts on Gender Identity

In honor of National Woman’s Rights Day, I wanted to post my thoughts on the topic, with an understanding that a lot of the pro-gender identity discourse is really just a trojan horse to roll back the historical gains of feminism:

1. Sex is sometimes relevant, but not always. The facts are that there is typically  more overlap in characteristics between the sexes than there are differences. At the extremes, though, the differences are more stark (ie, Serena Williams wouldn’t break into the world’s top 500 tennis players if she played against men).

2. Sex is an immutable scientific reality, whereas gender is a pscyho-social construct (like “being intelligent” or “being middle-class”): e.g., 50X more people identify as “trans” as are diagnosed with actual gender dysphoria.

3. People of either sex should be free to:
√ Dress & behave how they like, 
√ Express any gender identity they wish
√ Not to be confined to the stereotypes of either sex. 

4. People who disagree with these things should be encouraged to openly discuss it, in a fact-based but personally respectful, discussion.


Life has been happening this Summer. Good (even Great) things, and some things less so. So, I’ve taken a break from the nonessential activities. Blogging had to fit into that category and precious little writing was done, too.

But I aim to turn that around. If anyone was tuning in (and this was circa 1985), I’d simply say: Stay Tuned. 🙂

Oh, and on a happier note:

Pro Tip to all you Cheaters out there: If you and your accomplices really want to fix a sports league so that you win, don’t publish a “FINAL” standings saying otherwise.

Great Writing

“That’s [Kamala’s predicament with her powers] quite a puzzle. But then—if you have lived like I have, lost what I have—you learn to find beauty in the pieces.”

—Sana, Kamala Khan’s Grandmother,
“Ms. Marvel” (2022)

Me and Ron, “Kevin Smith”-ing…

Ron is the handsome fella on the right.

I was pleased to recently hang with my friend Ron Marz (DC / Marvel / CrossGen / Dark Horse / Image …you get the idea), the comic industry writing Legend and all around Great Guy.

He was very helpful in guiding me when I wrote, edited, and produced my own comic anthology.

If there’s anyone, anywhere who spins a better Silver Surfer yarn, I don’t know who it is. And, for my money, his Justice League: Endless Winter graphic novel stacks up against any other JLA adventure.

As we posed for pics, I suggested we do a ‘Kevin Smith’ and he knew exactly what I meant.

Back When Life Was Simpler

In 1967, Paul McCartney let a stranger claiming to be Jesus Christ sit in on a Beatles recording session, saying, “Well, it probably isn’t. But if he is, I’m not going to be the one to turn him away”

Jerkwater Tweet #015

I don’t want a preacher in a pulpit telling me how to vote or a politician at a podium telling me how to pray.

Yet, strangely, I want Scarlett Johansson telling me how to do everything. Hmmm.