Sunday, December 26, 2010

Robert T. Bakker and The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek

"Stegosaurus was common only on well drained, dry soil."-- Robert T. Bakker, Author and Paleontologist.

Bakker's novel, Raptor Red, always reminds me of my favorite dinosaur novel from my childhood, The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek. I guess as a kid I read quite a few books, but there weren't a lot of them that I read and reread and reread. The novel by Evelyn Sibley Lampman is one that I did.

That it wasn't founded in solid science didn't matter to me. The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek was a great book of adventure, where to children encounter a holdover from the Jurassic living out in the empty wilds near their desert ranch. It caught my imagination.

As an adult, Bakker's Raptor Red, a novel about a year in the life of a Utah Raptor, did catch my attention and interest. It is founded in solid science and scientific theory, making it an interesting mix of fiction--historical fiction from the early Cretaceous period.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rudolph & The Godfather

Maybe this reflects my sometimes twisted sense of humor, but I find this parody of one of my favorite Christmas programs as a kid to be quite funny: Raging Rudolph

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wordle of Flank Hawk

Wordle: Flank Hawk
Click on the picture to view the Wordle image created from using the back cover description of Flank Hawk.

Kind of neat. Learned about this website during a recent inservice at Upper Valley JVS, where I work.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

E-books: Are You, the Content, and Your Actual Reading being Tracked?

On the way home from work I listened to this report on NPR: Is Your E-Book Reading Up On You?

A lot of the report's content I just assumed--Like, if you purchase through a Kindle or Nook, they track the purchases you make, when, where and for how much. But it apparently goes much further than that. If and when you read the book, what pages you stopped on, how long you spent on a page or chapter, and even where you did your reading is all part of the return data stream recorded. From Google and Apple, to Amazon and B&N, they're all apparently less than forthcoming about the data collected, for how long it is saved, and its use.

Can your reading and location be used as an alibi in court, the NPR report asks?

The report also discusses how such data could be useful for authors, among other things. Stephen King even provided some input on this.

It does appear to me to be a version of 'Big Brother' looking in and tracking one's every literary move. It sounds a little intrusive to me. Unlike purchasing a book at a good ol' brick & mortar store, if you pay cash, nobody knows what you purchased...well I guess if you belong to a loyal customer program of some sort, you'd be tracked...and I suppose if they had a surveillance system and kept the tape/digital file, what you purchased would be known. But if you gifted the book or magazine, lent it out, kept all to yourself and read it--when and where included--would not be known.

A sign and direction of the digital times.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why a remake of True Grit?

Why a remake of True Grit? The original 1969 Western starring John Wayne, in which he won his only Oscar, is a classic that stands on its own without the need for being revisited and, as Hollywood in its wisdom apparently believes, improved upon.

I think the remake will do ‘okay’ in theaters and even in DVD/electronic download release, but not because it’ll be that spectacular of a movie. The acting, cinematography and music present in the remake won’t be noteworthy enough to carry the piece to serious profitability on its own—not without leaning on the name both of and behind the original. I believe a major portion of any success the remake garners will be due to the legend it uses as a crutch. I suspect the executives and investors behind the remake are counting on it. The True Grit storyline isn’t so remarkable that a comparable script couldn’t have been written for a modern-shot western. Lonesome Dove and Unforgiven are two prime examples. For translation into film, it isn’t the storyline but what the actors within bring to the final product—in this case, what John Wayne brought to the original.

I’m a big fan of Westerns, but this 2010 remake is one I won’t be supporting. I will, however, always support the original:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bonny Portmore: Inspiration for a Scene's Backdrop

`I recently finished writing a scene for Blood Sword (sequel to Flank Hawk) where music on stage in an auditorium takes place. Although not named or arranged as shown, this short video of the traditional Irish folk song helped give direction to the scene where Krish/Flank Hawk watches over Grand Wizard Seelain as she enjoys a concert during a diplomatic mission to the Reunited Kingdom.

Take a listen through the video below. Loreena McKennitt, I think, is quite talented--understatement.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Must Mutter Interview

Stuart Aken was kind enough to interview me on his blog, Must Mutter.

Click on over and find out some details of what's in store for Flank Hawk, some writing advice, and some interesting odds and ends (or at lest Stuart and I thought so).

Link: Interview with Terry Ervin at Must Mutter

Friday, December 3, 2010

Interview on Sarah M. Eden's I Need a Friend Friday

I had a really fun interview with Sarah M. Eden, where I got to be her Friday Friend. Click on over and give it a read--we discuss hats, continents and best of all, The Princess Bride.

Don't hesitate to comment and of course, admire the artwork Sarah drew.