Mind Games @ Riley’s

August 22nd, 2015

MG DateSometimes the stars align.

On the last Tuesday or every month, Story Night takes the stage at Riley’s Pour House, featuring storytellers and performers celebrating the art of story.

This month’s theme: Mind Games.

Every year, The Throughline Theatre features the works of new, up-and-coming playwrights as part of their regular season . . . [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].

Researching a Novel:
Trekking the Rain Forest

August 17th, 2015

congo-crichton-book-coverThe untouched or virgin rain forest was called primary jungle. Primary jungle was what most people thought of when they thought of rain forests: huge hardwood trees, mahogany and teak and ebony, and underneath a lower layer of ferns and palms, clinging to the ground. Primary jungle was dark and foreboding, but actually easy to move through. However, if the primary jungle was cleared by man and later abandoned, an entirely different secondary growth took over. The dominant plants were softwoods and fast-growing trees, bamboo and thorny tearing vines, which formed a dense and impenetrable barrier.

That’s Michael Crichton writing in his novel Congo, pointing out that landscapes are as varied and complex as . . . [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].

Researching a Novel:
Lost Worlds above the Clouds

August 1st, 2015

tallest mountains 2 cropped (2)It was a dull gray landscape, and as I gradually deciphered the details of it I realized that it represented a long and enormously high line of cliffs exactly like an immense cataract seen in the distance, with a sloping, tree-clad plain in the foreground. 

That’s George Edward Challenger describing the Amazonian plateau in Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, and it’s a description that came to mind when I got my first look at Mauna Kea — the tallest mountain . . . [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].

Researching a Novel: Into the Abyss

July 29th, 2015

crater at nightIt glows by night, filling the air with a blood-red cloud.

By day, its rising steam billows dull gray from an active crater. Either way, it’s a wonder to behold, a doorway to a hot spot of subterranean fires that recalls the opening lines from Canto Three of Dante’s Inferno:

Only those elements time cannot wear
Were made before me. Beyond time I stand. . .
[Read more at The 21st Century Scop].