Retro Den - Archives

The Den Archives are now cataloged and clickable! Read all my past transgressions, and review all my former follies ...


This was an Interview I did a while back, so I thought I'd post it here at the Den ...

Courtesy of, and Thanks to, Natasha Hollerup for Interviewing me, couldn't have been easy!

(A Soldier Died Today)

The Writer’s Den Dictionary of Stupid Words
(Brought to you by the Merriam -Webster Jest Division)
  This is an excerpt from my NaNo project called '500 Mondays'.  It's largely unedited and raw, but I hope you enjoy it.  Let me know what you think. -- David

"I’m one of those writers who will catch on to things either too early or too late. In the case of NaNoWriMo (which sounds like gibberish to the uninitiated, but actually means National Novel Writing Month) I had largely ignored it until this year. The thinking was, ‘do I need a writing event to actually get something written’, and the answer is no. However ..."

"... I believe the perfect story is a dream. I believe writing is a startling, complex, and astounding problem-solving process Nature has given to all of us ..."

"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told, for I have been almost daily in the company of the most expert story-tellers for many years ..."

 Oh the Horror …

"Despite the fact that I host a yearly Halloween fiction special over at the Campfire Pages, horror is not my preferred genre. For one, it’s simply too scary for me, and two, it’s hard to write. As Stephen King often says; in clumsy hands comedy turns to dirge and horror turns to comedy. My horror always turns to comedy. My mind just seems to go that way ..."


On Writing: More Quotes too Fat for Twitter ...

"I love posting quotes on Twitter and Facebook, but often they’re chopped up and edited to fit stringent character limits or are just too long to post because friends and followers alike prefer short sound bites ..."


In Honor of National Punctuation Day ... It's Conjunction Junction!

(Okay, this video has nothing to do with punctuation, but I'm posting it anyway!)


J.R.R. Tolkien || BBC Interview

"On this day in 1937,  J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved book The Hobbit was first published.  In honor of this special occasion I have posted Tolkein's  interview with the BBC for your reading pleasure ..."


Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

"These are rules I’ve picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I’m writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what’s taking place in the story. If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over ..."


The Underwood Effect || A Modern Parable about Old Technology ...

Me and Jeff were sitting around one night working on our movie script when he suddenly stopped typing and looked at me rather quizzically.

“Tonight I shall forego technology” he announced. He got up and walked out of the room. Minutes later he returned with a large object in his arms ...


Avoid Cliche's Like the Plague!

"As a writer in pursuit of something fresh and exciting I am often dismayed by the use of worn out aphorisms and phrases.   One of the most odious of the last decade has been the phrase ‘At the end of the day’ which is repeated by every radio talk show caller and host ad nauseam (another cliché!) ..."


The Lamentable Brain-Freeze

"In the constant battle against this stupid thing called writer’s block (Which I don’t endorse) I have yet to codify exactly what stops the mind in the midst of a great flow of creativity.  I refuse to acknowledge it as a “block” of any kind. I think it may be more of a brain freeze, the way computers freeze ..."


 So You Want to be a Writer, by Charles Bukowski

"... unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don't do it.  if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don't do it ..."

"I recently got into it with my muse, A shadowy figure not unlike Lady Godiva, who started asking me why my book wasn’t written yet. I had no haughty replies, I just stated the obvious; these things take time ...She scrunched up her brow like I had said something offensive ..."

"Sure, Nero fiddled while Rome burned. And the great Cunctator (delayer) Roman General Quintus Fabius Maximus was noted for his wariness, and for his use of hit and run tactics, to delay, and to keep his opponent off-guard. Unfortunately a lot of writers do this too; we do a hit and run on our pages, hoping that maybe the thing will write itself ..."

An editorial by George L. Trigg in Physics Review Letters, (Volume 42, Issue 12, pp. 747-748, 19 March 1979).

"The English language is your most versatile scientific instrument. Learn to use it with precision."

"Hey all, I know I've been away for a while, couple weeks, but I had been contemplating changes to the old site and took some time to work on things. I needed new scenery, a new place to bring you my particular brand of wordiness. Hope you like! Anyhow, Stay tuned for more stuff here at the Den, my life, my love; my pursuit of writing. For now, here's a few nuggets of wisdom on writing from some of my literary pals ..."

The #ShutUpAndWrite Badge of Honor Awards

"Every time I start a story or a novel I always recall that famous opener in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath: 'To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth...'

"At once a beautiful and ominous line, it sets the tone of the story completely. Why do I recall it in this context? Truthfully, I've always wanted to write an opening line as devastatingly lovely as the one in Grapes of Wrath. Like a lot of us, I usually don't succeed ..."

"I love posting quotes on Twitter and Facebook, but often they’re chopped up and edited to fit stringent character limits or are just too long to post because friends and followers alike prefer short sound bites, and if a phrase is longer than Gone with the Wind usually they’ll tune out after the first few sentences. It’s a shame because a lot of the longer quotes on writing are very interesting ..."

"... Kill the procrastinator inside you. Kill the lazy bastard writer and nurture the benevolent workaholic writer. He’s in there somewhere. Check the closet; he’s probably cowering in the back behind the shoes ..."

All this week at the Den we’ll be exploring our love affair with reading through various contributors. I’ve asked a diverse group of people what their thoughts are on books, why they mean so much, and how they’ve inspired us.
A Boy and his Book, by David Hunter
Isaac Asimov and Beyond, by Joseph Lane

Why Do I Love (Reading and Writing) Books?
by Donna Carrick

Confessions of a Brazen Book Whore, by Valerie Brooks
Where the Wild Things Are, by ggSpirit

The Desert Island Game, By David Hunter
The Fight for Literacy, by Layna Pimentel

It's a Love Affair, by Terri Locker
Louisa, Laura and Me, by Katharine Grubb

"I’ve picked fights with PETA, talked to Tony Robbins, and been constantly ignored by Alyssa Milano. I’ve been followed, un-followed, cursed at, ignored, praised, loved, hated; the whole nine yards. But what has Twitter meant to me ..."

A humorous look at some crazy writer habits and peccadilloes ...

"Recently it occurred to me that I’d been neglecting my blog, letting it get moldy, cobwebs in the corners. It’s not that I don’t love this space, I do. And I love that people want to read my words, things I write and think about. The ability to write, it’s a gift; but it gets lonely ..."

"How important is a writing space? For most of the winter months I had a small desk tucked away in one corner of the apartment; it was cozy, and I was very productive there, but you know how artists are - never satisfied. I thought I would move over near the large window where the sun would shine through in the mornings. It LOOKED nice, at least. It turned out to be a mistake ..."

"I've been long neglecting the prose writing process, and haven't been giving it it's proper respect. Writing is a profession, a job, an art form, and that has to be respected, and that means putting in the time and work to get the words down, and to get things finished. I'm afraid I stretched myself a little thin by blogging too much, a sentiment that is rapidly going viral among the many writers I know ..."

"Can pictures yield good writing? I’d never tried it before, or even thought about it. I’m sure someone , somewhere, has thought of this. I suppose it’s natural; a photo is visual, physical, aesthetically stimulating, and any other adjective you can think of. Sometimes we even READ for inspiration. So why not photos ..."

"I gotta clarify this, of course; I have millions of ideas, and they all just want my attention. For instance, as of this writing I have about 6 blog post ideas that I’ve wanted to work on, and wouldn’t you know it, this Magic Box post wasn’t of them? The Magic Box? Yeah, sounds kinda loopy. It’s a small cardboard file box that I found at work. I brought it home and started putting all my notes in it ..."

A little journal entry from my trip to Calgary, Christmas 2009 ...

by Betty S. Flowers

Here's an interesting article on writing that I came across while leafing through the Harbrace College Handbook for Canadian Writers, and I thought I'd share it with you all - hope you like it ...

As Posted by Margaret Atwood, at her wonderful site: The Year of the Flood

"Speaking of writing, which we did a lot in Tofino: I put these together for a friend, but maybe someone out there could also use them…"

"Months ago I wrote a post called How To Lose Friends and Alienate People on Twitter, which was wildly popular, one of my most read pieces. It detailed the common annoyances Twitter followers had with each other. I thought I was being clever, and somewhere in the murky depths of my brain I knew I would piss someone off ..."

"Writer’s Block. I want to deny its existence. The sad fact is, an inordinate amount of people complain and curse about it, so there is grounds for its standing in reality. Writer’s Block, the Basterd, or whatever we want to call it, rears its ugly head at the worst of times, for me ..."

A guest post by Stella Darkely

"In this largely isolated world that we live in -- in the lonely crevices of our mind, we search out the little things throughout our days and nights that catch our attentions and keep us from blinking ..."

"You wouldn’t believe how I’ve been living lately; food has been a low priority. So has housekeeping; there are articles, magazines, newspaper clippings and related dementia strewn across my work area. Seems my books have been multiplying like rabbits too ..."

"The day started out innocuously enough; the employees at our company started trickling in to Crooks Field for our annual company picnic and soft-ball game about 10:30 AM. When I got there some of the guys were already peppering the outfield with fly balls and line drives. Even at my advanced age (37) I still turn into a little kid at the sight of a ball field ..."

"No doubt there are tons of voices out there, approximately 5 billion personal websites, or “blogs” if you will, and when put in this context your little domain may seem rather insignificant and small, but that’s not the point. You need that blog, it’s your voice. I came to that realization slowly, and painfully ..."

"Just a little note to everyone as to my whereabouts lately. I recently moved into a new place, sans room-mates, and the silence is deafening; I can finally hear my own thoughts again ..."

"There’s been a million blogs written about “Twitter Etiquette,” but I thought I would throw my three cents in on this topic as well. Disclaimer: This is all in fun, I may be completely wrong and you may be doing the opposite of everything in this list and STILL have twelve thousand followers ..."

"There’s another thing, sometimes I get angry with myself when I feel I should be writing more, or writing better, or when I don’t write at all; I get down. I start to feel like I’m losing my grip on things. I feel like it’s all slipping away; the writing, the career, the manuscript, the book deal, everything ..."

"THAT'S RIGHT. I know it sounds like an ad for some sleazy writers' school, but I really am going to tell you everything you need to pursue a successful and financially rewarding career writing fiction, and I really am going to do it in ten minutes ..."

"Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water ..."

"Race issues do only one thing for me; remind me that I’m white. Otherwise I walk through life not even thinking about the color of my skin, or anyone else’s for that matter. I suppose it’s easy for me, being Caucasian ..."

"I stand on the beach strewn with rocks and shells and crazy collages of human refuse; old bottles, faded shoes, sunglasses, a pair of worn Levi’s; a real sandy junk yard. Everything looks old, but it’s just the sun having beaten down on them for so long ..."

"Like most people, I tried Twitter on for size. Its austere nature was odd to me; no photos, no applications, nothing; Just one big message board. But I found it very immediate, lively, and addictive. The dangerous part; crashing, coming down ..."

A brief goodbye to Walter Cronkite ...

“…And that’s the way it is.”

"Walter Cronkite said those very words every evening for 19 years behind the anchor desk at CBS news. He was there when John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th president of the United States ..."

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