What is the core of this scene?

coppola4Francis Ford Coppola has published the notebook that he used while making The Godfather. This thrills me because I’ve repeatedly viewed a YouTube video of him displaying the notebook. Watch the video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awce_j2myQw

Years ago I downloaded the video so I’d have it if ever it was removed. That’s how much I love this clip.

Seeing the effort that went into a masterpiece always encourages me. We’re often led to believe that great works are immaculately created. In truth, most, if not all of our favorite things, resulted from diligent, hard work. That gives hope that by applying time, focus, and knowledge of craft, plus challenging my imagination repeatedly, then good–maybe great–works are possible. That’s the hope, anyway.

Continue reading “What is the core of this scene?”


My haiku at ThreeLinePoetry.com

Overwhelmed by stress? Why not take a moment to read haikus (including one of mine) at ThreeLinePoetry.com?

My piece is in current issue #41, and reads:

Courage is no mask
Fabricated by the mind
But the heart’s whisper

Very grateful to TLP for including my work!

If enjoying some tightly crafted verse doesn’t relieve what ails ya, why not pen some of your own in the comments section below?

Book Suggestion: Write like the Masters, by William Cane

41bzh2h1h9l-_sx324_bo1204203200_Reviewing old notes in my Evernote account, I found a collection of quotes from Write like the Masters, by William Cane.

The book collects facts about the writing habits of famous writers. Go get a copy of the book at Amazon. It’s fantastic. 

Here is what I noted about the master, Ray Bradbury. As memory serves, some text comes directly from the book and some I paraphrased. I’ll add commentary at the end.

“When Ray Bradbury wrote his first draft he didn’t simply write quickly and without censoring himself, he actually purposefully overwrote, trying to come up with multiple takes on sentences and figures of speech, for instance, which he intended to prune and edit later. . . . ‘Sometimes I give myself, on a single page, 4, 5, or 6 similes which by the fifth draft, dwindle down to one or two really good ones, for proper emphasis.’ He overwrote so that later, when in ‘editing mode,’ he could choose the best phrase or the most apt figure of speech; in effect during the first draft he made his own thesaurus of words and phrases, from which he selected later while reviewing his work.

Continue reading “Book Suggestion: Write like the Masters, by William Cane”

Increase the Drama with Contrasts


yin_yang-svgAs a kid, I collected comic books. I can’t count how many had covers that boasted, in exploding fonts, a collision of “Fire vs. Water!” or “Muscle vs. Metal!” Why were these contrasts of force so common? Because they’re easy and surely the writers were deadline-driven. But beyond that, these couplings are rich with conflict. Each side is an intrinsic obstacle to the other. Continue reading “Increase the Drama with Contrasts”