These are some of the things C. Flynt has been up to, some of our personal lives, some reviews of things we've read, some stuff we've learned.

The blogs are organized by date.

Comments will appear when we've had time to check them. Apology for the inconvenience, but it's a way to keep phishers and spammers off the page.

Technology doesn't drive stories, but it has driven how literature is produced since folks figured out that a clay tablet didn't forget anything (unlike the actor who was supposed to speak Euripides's deathless prose.)

The Church scribes who recorded births and deaths replaced the scalds who would memorize lineages and a few years later Gutenberg's movable type brought Bibles and literacy to the common man, replacing the need for a Church official to recite biblical passages.

The middle-1800s saw the invention of the Linotype machine, Rotary Web-Fed Presses and Double-Sided printing. The Dime Novels followed shortly thereafter, providing mindless entertainment to the masses.

The way literature is produced is changing drastically these days.

Print-On-Demand makes production fast and easy. Even traditional publishers that used to schedule a book's release based on a printing shop's schedule use POD now.

Computers and word-processors are cheap and available, and much easier to work with than a typewriter or yellow pad and pencil.

The apex of my first foray into writing came in the 1970s when I got a rejection that requested I rewrite my story to fix a problem.

I'd typed that story so many times on my manual typewriter that the thought of retyping the entire thing AGAIN was too much. I gave up on writing and found a job as a chemist.

Word-processors make the mechanics of creating documents easier. Unlike the technological changes of the 15th and 19th century, word-processors lower the cost of entry, rather than the cost of production.

That's opened up the field of writing to a vast number of people who would never have tried to write a story on a typewriter.

But just being able to type words more easily doesn't do anything for quality.

Yew kin stil tipe garbaj az eesily az evur.

Fortunately, along with lowering the entry bar for generating prose, the computers have tools to identify mechanical problems with your writing.

Spell checkers, grammar checkers and even content checkers go a long way towards replacing the copy editor. Early Unix computers came with The Writer's Workbench (WWB) which included the programs diction to check for problems like doubled doubled words, and style to tell you if your writing had become excessively turgid.

These tools are still around to point out potential passive voice and superfluous words.

I wrote my own tool to check for words that are overused, and perhaps used confusingly. For example, it will complain about overuse of the word look in this sentence.

    He looked up at the cloud that looked as angry as his wife and said "It looks like rain".

Nothing but practice (and some native genius) will help you write Shakespearean prose . But today's tools mean that more people can write grammatical works than before.

One wonders why so many new authors don't.

And, for the record, according to style this blog can be easily understood by a Jr. High student:

readability grades:
        Kincaid: 9.3
        ARI: 10.9
        Coleman-Liau: 11.0
        Flesch Index: 62.7/100 (plain English)
        Fog Index: 12.5
        Lix: 43.7 = school year 7
        SMOG-Grading: 11.3
sentence info:
        2330 characters
        484 words, average length 4.81 characters = 1.47 syllables
        25 sentences, average length 19.4 words
        44% (11) short sentences (at most 14 words)
        8% (2) long sentences (at least 29 words)
        18 paragraphs, average length 1.4 sentences
        0% (0) questions
        28% (7) passive sentences
        longest sent 78 wds at sent 1; shortest sent 6 wds at sent 5
word usage:
        verb types:
        to be (9) auxiliary (5) 
        types as % of total:
        conjunctions 6% (31) pronouns 7% (34) prepositions 10% (47)
        nominalizations 1% (7)
sentence beginnings:
        pronoun (6) interrogative pronoun (0) article (4)
        subordinating conjunction (0) conjunction (2) preposition (0)