Another Thought on Haiku

I woke this morning going ’round and ’round in my mind with a haiku:

Haiku Upon A Haiku Enigma

Why good ones have oft
Just seventeen syllables
But bad ones, always.

Which is a roundabout way of saying Continue reading

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In the Mouth of the Lion: Published

The official publication date for In the Mouth of the Lion was April 9, 2016. I’ve ordered 8 copies, then repeated the order about 10 days later, putting 16 copies in the pipeline. I notice a shift toward orange in the cover, despite having not made a change in the cover color. I’m hoping the next batch will be back to the original red. My next push will be to get some Amazon reviews. Cover8A-BIGREDHIRES5

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In the Mouth of the Lion proofs


C G Jung

The morning after uploading my cover and text files for In the Mouth of the Lion to CreateSpace, I got a notice that the input files met CS specs. I put in an order for four proof copies. A little after noon, I was told the copies had shipped. ETA, Tuesday. I’m busy making bookmark graphics and so on. I’m hoping to get several reviewers and another blurb or two. Here’s the first blurb:

“J Guenther’s thought-provoking WW2 novel, In the Mouth of the Lion, involves the reader in a suspenseful ‘could happen? / did happen?’ action packed story.’ –David A. Kenney, WW2 OSS Veteran

Tentative publication date: April, 2016.



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In the Mouth of the Lion uploaded

Cover8A-BIGREDHIRES5Tonight, during and after dinner, I uploaded the PDF file for In the Mouth of the Lion to CreateSpace, along with the front cover, and four blurbs for the back cover. I used CS’s “Cover Creator,” choosing a cover layout that let me apply my own front cover JPG and use the Cover Creator to do the spine and back. Mouth of the Lion has a long history:
August, 2011: One act play, 50 pages, 9,000 words
May, 2014, Screenplay:      120 pages, 20,000 words
March, 2016, Novel:           160 pages, 60,000 words

The project kicked off from a “WOTIF.” What if a psychiatrist realizes from information revealed by a client that the latter has murdered someone . . . and is carrying a pistol. A relatively simple concept, but it gathered momentum as I researched a particular murder case from 1931, 75 years ago this year. It’s still on the books of the local police as a suicide. There is a distinct possibility that this murder had repercussions that affected many others.

Next step: sit here and wait for word from CreateSpace that my file hasn’t choked their magic book plopper-outer.



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Flawed Heroes & Detective Stories


Yeah, Doc, how come you charge me for an hour, but our sessions are only fifty minutes?

Heroes are a bit boring if they’re perfect. Not everybody has picked up on this, though. In fact, as we speak, there are new writers e-scribbling about “handsome Pewsey P. Prattwarble” and his beauteous light of love, Patrice von Ditzenberg, his flawless Facel Vega (that’s a car, for those of you under forty), and the delicious meals his mother cooks for him twice per chapter. Zzzzzzzz. [“Delicious” is one of the 10 early warning signs that a story is going to be boring. The other nine Continue reading

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Fiction Punchlist for Writers


Avoid cliches like the plague? Check.

The following punchlist was originally intended for use in the Vision & Revision Workshop when rewriting novels. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as opening a copy of your book fresh from the printer and finding that something vital has been left out or neglected. But the list also has applications for scripts and other writing. Notice that there are seven different Continue reading

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Focus KISS: Barri Evins on Story Simplicity

There’s a wealth of screenwriting advice on the Internerd. Too much, if anything. Every once in a while, something gets posted that’s really important and very well put. Check out the article by Barri Evins at Script:

“Tell the damned story.” — Tom Clancy

“[That] has certainly been on my mind lately as I read scripts…and can’t tell you what they were about. I’m supposedly a pitching expert…and yet I couldn’t pitch some of these stories to you if my life depended on it. Coming up with a logline for them is nearly impossible.” Continue reading

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Bulwer-Lytton Contest Entry

From her high-up window in the attic of the old Suggins home, a run-down, ramshackle, hodge-podge of add-ons, lean-tos, and converted outbuildings that mercifully obscured the original structure, now devoid of paint these many decades, Becky Sue Suggins looked out at the manure pile, the hen house, and, beyond that, the odoriferous pig sty, and wondered if it were true that she’d never own a brick privy, the dire fate often predicted for her by her unsympathetic father, Lafcadio Suggins, a man who knew the value of hard work and avoided it at every opportunity, but esteemed it highly in others.

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20 Scriptwriting Tricks from an Actor’s POV


The first play I acted in was a high school production of Our Town. During one performance, “Mrs. Webb” recited the first of two moderately long lines. Both lines started with well. When she reached the second line, she said “Well,” slipped a mental gear, and Continue reading

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My Awful Christmas Poem

Over the years, I’ve received many Christmas letters containing an enclosed poem, most often a lame parody of “A Visit From St. Nicholas.” The meter is faulty, the rhymes wretched. One year, quite a while back, I was inspired by another famous poem which I doubt had till then served as the basis for a Christmas poem. ©1984, 2012 J. Guenther.

A Visit From the Christmas Maven

Once upon a midnight jolly,
weary from the Yuletide folly,
–decking halls with plastic holly,
rushing ‘round from store to store,
attending parties overlapping,
present buying and present wrapping–
I sat down and started napping
‘midst the holiday decor.

As I nodded, slowly slumping,
suddenly there came a bumping,
as of someone gently thumping,
thumping at my condo door. Continue reading

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