Exercise: The Lot Across the Street


I am sorry to those who tried to get to my website recently.  It has been down without my knowledge.  I contacted Dreamhost who promptly fixed it and fixed the other errors caused by it.

The Exercise

Today’s exercise was to go somewhere and describe the scene.  Preferably using as few words as possible for each description.  Here it is:

The lot across from my apartment doesn’t change often.  The only thing that changes is the people who go in it.  On weekends kids play in the short, burnt grass while on the weekdays adults cut through it to get home quicker.  You can’t see it, at least you can’t read it from my window but at the intersection of the two busy streets it meets there is a for sale sign and an advertisement for the UPS store a couple of blocks down.  The lot has been for sale since I have lived here, even though that is not long.

It is not quite clear what this lot used to be, it could have been many things.  The fact that it is more or less level with grass and plants indicates it could have been a park.  Uncompleted paved roads and paths lead into the lot.  At the end of two such paths are piles of wood chips and mulch.  Seveal tall light posts that don’t light up at night imply that it was once a park of some kind.  A third possibility is that it was a parking lot, a sign on one of the light posts indicates that if you park without authorization you will be towed.  This theory is unlikely, the uneven terrain (despite how slight it is), the plants, the grass, and the fact that the paved areas are not all big enough to hold cars, all work against this idea.

A log, prepared like a phone poll but not as long as one lays alone in the lot.  A smaller version of it lays also by itself on the other side of the park.  Miniature versions of them staked in the ground on the edges of the park hold a thin cord to discourage people from entering.


Well I have sad news for you folks.  Computer number two just bit the dust so while I was writing an article, it is going to take a little longer.  Expect it later this week.

A summary of the most recent Joe Gunther book I read is coming.

And by the way, check out http://thebravenewword.com/ .  Submissions open tomorrow.  And our first issue is out.

Archer Mayor’s Open Season

Archer Mayor’s book Open Seasons won 4.5 stars with me.  Through out the book I was engrossed in what the character was doing if not always why.  Lt. Joe Gunther, the main character, is highly believable and in most cases likable.  In no way is he the perfect cop or person though.  He has his flaws from the Korean War haunting him, to romantic issues, all the way to big mess ups on the job.  All of these flaws help frame the character and make him more believable.

Lt. Gunther’s struggle to get his man keeps the reader invigorated even after several smoke screens.  Every time Gunther finds a new suspect or lead it is compromised.

My one big issue with the book was timeline.  In the beginning I had no idea what time period this was set in.  He mentioned Korean War and I was able to abstract a rough timeline after I did some math.  One of the last things you want to make your readers do though is math.  If this had not kept me wondering throughout a big chunk of the book I would have ratedOpen Season5.0.