My Boskone Schedule

My Boskone Schedule:

Friday, February 17, 2023 8:00 PM
Reading: Walter H. Hunt, Walter Williams
Griffin (25 mins)

Saturday, February 18, 2023 1:00 PM
Noir & Moral Ambiguity in SF
Harbor 2 (60 mins)

Saturday, February 18, 2023 2:30 PM
The Romantics and their Influence on SFFH
Marina 3
(60 mins)

Sunday, February 19, 2023 10:00 AM
Non-Traditional Fantasy Heroes
Marina 2
(60 mins)


To outline or to write by the seat of my pants

I’ve written fiction both to an outline and without one, and the one thing I’ve found in writing without an outline is that I’m able to get closer to the POV character.

What happens next is based on what does the character want to be doing after the events that just transpired. For me, this is an easier question to ask on the micro scale as I write it instead of trying to do this again and again and again in an outline form which I’ll then transfer to the page as I write the text.

That said, using an outline was very helpful to ensure that I’d woven my theme throughout the story.

Writing to an outline is also valuable to develop the voice of the many characters so they show as distinct from each other. I’ll need to work on this in my editing.

I’m enjoying writing without an outline, and will have to work harder in the editing stage to ensure my thematic elements are well woven into the narrative.

There are benefits from both approaches.

Don’t let anyone tell you that one is better than another. Use what works best for the story you are writing, and don’t be shy about trying an alternative approach for the next story.

Silence in writing

I’m listening to music while working the day job and can’t help but pause and think on the beauty of the pause, the unexpected silence within the rhythm.

Two of my favorite songs: Watermark by Enya, and Universal Here, Everlasting Now by The Fireman (Paul McCartney) both have a pause in the way the piano is played. This pause, the small break from the rhythm, is what makes the music more beautiful.

We can do this in our prose.

We can do this in our poetry.

Break from the rhythm we’ve established. Let in the unexpected silence.


Write it.

Violence in response to verbal abuse: The Power of the Dog (film)

The recent film, “The Power of the Dog” was praised as a critique of toxic masculinity.

I find this interesting in the context of the events that happened over the weekend (when I saw the movie initially I’d dismissed it, but now I think it deserves some thought)

Spoilers in what I write below.

The story begins with the one character saying he acted as he did to protect his mother.

We find out that what he did was to kill the man who was verbally abusing his mother. That verbal abuse was killing her, she had no defense for it and was retreating into alcohol abuse which was killing her. Her husband did not defend her. Her son did.

The character with the toxic masculinity was embodied, supposedly, in just the character of the abuser.

It is the son who kills, a son who is portrayed as openly sensitive and artistic, who loves flowers, animals, and books. Who makes flowers from paper. Who kills the abuser of his mother when his step father takes no action.

Kills to defend someone who is the victim of verbal abuse.

This movie does not critique “toxic” masculinity.

This movie posits that an appropriate response to verbal abuse is physical violence – killing the abuser.

Interesting that the way this story is understood is as a critique of “toxic masculinity”. As if only the actions of the verbal abuser are open to critique. As if the actions of the son, who kills, are acceptable. As if the passivity of the husband is acceptable. As if the wife’s turning to alcohol is acceptable.

I find this movie to be a poor critique of anything, but a good example of how our society teaches men that an appropriate way to act against someone who is verbally abusing a woman you love it to react in violence.

Is the violence of killing less toxic because it comes from a mild mannered, thoughtful, articulate son who is defending his mother?

I don’t have answers.