A Taste of Things to Come – A Teaser for My Next Novel, ‘Mystery White Boy’

I had a great opportunity on Sunday to read an excerpt of my work in progress, Mystery White Boy, at a four-author event at Kennett Brewing Company in Kennett Square, Pa.

At first, I was a little unsure what I was going to read. But after some soul-searching and review of the MWB manuscript (as it stands so far), I figured reading from it would go over much better with the folks who would be paying to hear “thriller” writers talk about what they do. Continue reading → A Taste of Things to Come – A Teaser for My Next Novel, ‘Mystery White Boy’

Here’s to a Surreal Start to Your Week

6c2adb3c25be1696e358b

Time and space are funny things. I know this sounds like a Dr. Who quote, but stay with me.

For example, It never seems to take as long returning from a distant destination than it does getting there in the first place. Get head down in work you love and it almost seems you can accomplish superhuman feats of productivity with baffling speed. Then again, pause to check Facebook for 10 minutes and you might find you’ve frittered away an hour without realizing it. Colors and perspective inside buildings can make rooms seem far larger or smaller than they actually are. Continue reading → Here’s to a Surreal Start to Your Week

Monday Motivation: Keep Things Groovy and Weird

adams-1-502dbe6b-original

I always got the feeling when I was working in the full-time office world that – despite the diverse and disparate personalities that surrounded me in the newspaper business – I was always considered one of the worker bees who was a little … off.

Former co-workers can render their own opinions on this, but a few might agree that there was something a bit different about that Pruden guy (whether it was in a good or bad way is up for discussion). I distinctly recall this conversation between me and the day city editor at one newspaper who was filling in for the normal Sunday city editor.

Her: Scott, you’re not wearing shoes.

Me: Shoes? It’s Sunday. You’re lucky I put on pants. Continue reading → Monday Motivation: Keep Things Groovy and Weird

Wednesday Writing Tip: The Best Genre is the Genre Mashup

This video, brought to us by the fine – and brilliant – folks at Postmodern Jukebox – is a stunning example of what I like to call a genre mashup.

Assuming you have any perspective on 20th century music and 21st century TV, it’ll be easy for you to get most of the references above. For those who need an education, here’s a brief breakdown. Continue reading → Wednesday Writing Tip: The Best Genre is the Genre Mashup

Today’s Writing Tip: Embrace the Beauty of Crowded Spaces

wpid-img_20140724_074626782_hdr.jpg

If you’ve ever seen or read anything that includes Sherlock Holmes as a character, you already know a very important key to improving your writing – the art of observation.

Holmes, in nearly every iteration, seems nearly supernatural in his ability to deduce information about people, situations and – most importantly – crimes. How does he do it? He observes. He takes ┬áthe individual bits of what he sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels and he pieces them together, arriving at a conclusion based on how all those parts fit together. Continue reading → Today’s Writing Tip: Embrace the Beauty of Crowded Spaces

Power Pop Wednesday: Back From the Capital of Obsfucation and Misdirection, Enjoy Some Smoke and Mirrors

OK Go – The Writing’s On the Wall from 1stAveMachine on Vimeo.

The family and I visited Washington, D.C., earlier this week to do the required introduction of the young ones to Our Nation’s Capital. I might post some pictures if I feel so compelled to share.

wpid-img_20140622_191645172_hdr.jpg
OK, you convinced me with your infernal whining. Here you go.

 

Overall, the city was much nicer than I remember it being during my last trip, when I was my son’s age and it was the 1970 and cities felt it was their duty to be as skanky as possible.

Regardless of the bad rap that D.C. gets from pretty much everyone, I found the people to be exceptionally friendly, and not just in the tourist-centric spots. The streets are quieter, the public transportation cleaner and people just seem generally more polite. It’s a reminder that even though lots of folks in my home state of South Carolina consider it “The North,” the heavy-duty influence of southern Maryland and Virginia made it very much a Southern city. Continue reading → Power Pop Wednesday: Back From the Capital of Obsfucation and Misdirection, Enjoy Some Smoke and Mirrors

Funky Friday: Writing Routine and the Power of the Atomic Dog

I and my family recently joined the ranks of the dog rescuers, adopting a smart and handsome pointer mix puppy we have named Percy, for no other reason than his given name was Persimmon and we just weren’t cool with that.

wpid-img_20140530_120108334.jpg
Percy Pointer Puppydog Pruden, in a moment of relaxation.

So Persimmon became Percy and he’s eased into life at Chez Pruden very nicely. Not surprising since, whether he knew it or not, he was scheduled for euthanasia at the high-kill shelter in Greenville, S.C., from which the local group All 4 Paws Animal Rescue acquired him. As I’ve noted to others, Percy and I are now the only two native South Carolinians in our household (although being from Greenville, chances are he’d be a Clemson fan. I just choose not to think about that). Continue reading → Funky Friday: Writing Routine and the Power of the Atomic Dog

Your Monday Reminder Is Something I Know Way Too Much About

c4a17c2cf7fd1dbe10b0e51f

Spring tends to make people a little goofy, especially here in the Northeast where it seemed like we’d be buried under snow until sometime in the middle of July.

But alas, the snow is gone and we just frolicked through a full weekend of sunny, 70 degree-plus weather that seemed bring everyone out to play.

Of course, for me this has never depended on ridiculous things like the weather. Recently I spent a full 20 minutes at the dinner table making my kids collapse into fits of giggling by doing an extended riff on Johnny Depp’s Capt. Jack Sparrow – basically a drunk Keith Richards.

Like I said, for me it doesn’t take much.

So take some time today to do something that you wouldn’t normally do simply because you were worried that you might look a little silly. Here’s a recommendation.

After a Week Under the Weather, an Unrelated Complaint

24eb62be748ed2d229c5360

Freelancing is a constant hustle for the new gig to both pad the revenue stream and have something to fill in the blanks should an existing client decide to bail or inexplicably run out of work for you.

I spent the last couple of days not feeling so well, so trying to gin up new work was about the only thing I was good for. And in doing so, I was reminded that people really have no concept of the fact that “artists” (a category that working freelance writers unfortunately fall under) are actually trained professionals deserving of pay on par with their similarly trained and experienced – but non-artistic – peers. Continue reading → After a Week Under the Weather, an Unrelated Complaint