Archive for 2009

The Things We Lose, Part 1

In 1983 one of my favorite toys was a Return of the Jedi sand skiff. It was light gray with a retractable plank (for making my action figures jump to their terrible deaths in the sand pit) and a huge, black laser canon. When it was playtime, I might play with Legos one day and knights another day, but I played everyday with that sand skiff. When I became a huge collector of Star Wars figures in my teens, I dug up my old collection. Only I could never find that sand skiff despite the many hours rooting through the closets, the basement and the attic.

We all lose things in our lives.

The Classics 101: The Crossman Ten

Classics. I have been talking a lot about classics recently. Classic movies. Classic World Series. Classic bands and singers. And classic books.

As I went through college, I always imagined I would end up being a high school English teacher. Maybe even a college professor. And one of my main duties would be picking a reading list for my students. As I thought about it, my temptation was to choose books they would enjoy reading.

A Woman’s Vital Role

As I grow older I find myself becoming something of a people watcher. At first it was just a general interest because people can be really funny. Now I watch because people are amazing. I learn so many things just by watching how people react and respond to each other, how they handle tough life changing situations, how they handle children and what comes out when they reach their tipping point.

As I continue work on my book, Addicted to Love, I find myself watching couples quite a bit. I digest their conversations, the way they physically respond to each other, the way they approach each other.

Chocolate – The Secret Health Food

by Barbara Dearing Have you heard? Chocolate isn’t the bad guy anymore! Sure, too much of even a good thing can become a bad thing, but when eaten in moderation, chocolate actually has a number of healthy benefits. Made from the cacao bean, chocolate has vegetable origins– which means it contains some of the same [...]

Bruce Golden

When I first started editing the Opinion Guy, I came across the writing of Bruce Golden. His short stories always fascinated me with their strange and intuitive perspectives. His ideas were good and he was creative in the way he got them onto paper. His books are just as good. I consider him a thinking [...]

Submission Tips From an Editor

Of all the articles I have written for writers, this one is probably the one I wish they would take to heart the most. What follows are simple, seemingly common sense words of advice coming from an editor who has read thousands of submissions. However, everyday it seems I get stories or submissions that would benefit from this advice.

Editors are mostly hardworking folks who spend much of their time pouring over the written word of fledgling writers. It is not a glorious job; the writers get all the credit, the fame, and the wealth when things go well. And when things don’t, well editors get all the blame and bad eyesight.

OG’s Speculative Fiction, Issue 20

Great news! OG’s Speculative Fiction, Issue 20 has been released! In J.F. Peterson’s “Salt Ice” a good or bad choice is as thin and breakable as salt ice. Edward W. Robertson’s “Every Song is a Love Song” tells the story of man finding home on a faraway planet. Also included is poetry by Bruce Boston. Let us know what you think of the issue! Don’t miss our other issues of OG’s Speculative Fiction if you haven’t read them.

A Writer’s Gameplan: Dialogue With a Purpose

Charlie Chaplin was a movie star who never talked. People loved those movies. I love them. But there is a reason that no production company makes silent movies anymore. People love to talk. And people love to hear what others are talking about. Let’s look at this example. “Paul and Mary sat together on the [...]

A Writer’s Gameplan: Developing Plot That Kills

When I talk to writing students they say that merging a good character with an interesting plot is one of the hardest parts of writing. I agree. A good character is only really as good as the situations he is written into, the experiences he gets to have, the conflicts he struggles with, and the [...]

Adding Character Depth Through Perception

By Lee Masterson How do you describe your character’s physical appearance? It’s not always easy to describe your characters without resorting to the cliched “She looked in the mirror and saw…” Likewise, setting the scene for each part of your story is an important element of building your fictional world. In fact, some authors go [...]