A Tinker’s Tale

I’ve taken a break from writing these past ten days to attend to infrastructure tasks — computer maintenance, Internet service provider wrangling, a lighting project in the kitchen, a round of watch battery replacements …

Linda and I have a pair of identical 4-year-old Lenovo all-in-one computers that have become unbearably slow for reasons I might be able to diagnose if I was willing to invest a couple hundred hours, which I’m not.

Far better to replace mechanical disk drives with SSD devices, a cheap and fast way to breathe new life into sluggish hardware if said SSD installs trouble-free.

You might say, “John, why don’t you just buy new computers?” Well, then I’d be faced with reinstallation of licensed software in both machines, none of which will migrate. License keys will be unrecognized on the new machines, vendors will decline to refresh keys, I’ll be forced to buy products again, some of the products will only be available as cloud subscriptions …

Continue reading “A Tinker’s Tale”


What author hasn’t imagined seeing his novel played out on the big screen? I certainly did, and if you’ve been following this blog you know I took at stab at writing a film adaptation of my novel Silken Thread.

I paid a fee for script coverage, during which I learned it’s harder than it looks. And then, lesson in hand, I took another crack at it, which you can see on the Script Revolution website by the artful use of your mouse pointer (slightly left, please).

I’m done trying that – but what the heck, might as well put it out there. To say I’m satisfied with the second draft is a stretch, but it was an enlightening story structure exercise. To wit – it made me focus on the elements of storytelling and the value of the three-act form.

But I find that screenwriting is a) heavier on craft than expression and, b) focused on selling an idea to other artists, after which art may or may not be forthcoming. I might persist if I was looking for a job, which I’m not.

All that said, the effort might conceivably influence my approach during the editing process.

Are you a novelist? How much effort do you put into concepts like ‘beats’ and story models when you’re writing?

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