Author Archives: Mark Hollett

Reading in Recovery: Fourth of July Creek

As Gillian alluded to in an earlier post, we both took an extended break from writing for the blog due to a serious illness on my part, requiring a seven month hospital stay. I am happy to be recovering at home now. While initially I was in no state to read, physically or mentally, sometime around […]
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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

My grandfather was a ferry pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.  He died when I was too young to really discuss it with him, but essentially his duty involved flying new aircraft manufactured in North America over to Britain.  And this was at a time when trans-atlantic fligths were no […]
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Movies and Influence – Trying to Have it Both Ways

“We all know the power that a film can hold. It can inspire, enlighten, and even, at times, enrage. The ability of film to invoke strong emotions from a worldwide audience is seen time and again through successful film phenomenon: these are the kind of films that take the world by storm, grab our attention, […]
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Counterpoint on Reviewing Bad Books – Calling a Spade a Spade

I’m going to take a break from reading to argue with my wife on the internet.  I don’t see how this could possibly go wrong. In her post “Not a Rant” on reviewing bad books, one of Gill’s key points is an early line, “I know the key to a good ‘bad’ review is constructive […]
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The Martian – How much is a one-way ticket to Mars worth?

As a married father of three young children, there are many days when being stranded alone on Mars sounds like Eden.  Throw in the fact that lead Martian Mark Watney is a mechanical engineer, and heck I’ve daydreamed this scenario several dozen times already. Why do I have such compulsion to escape the people I […]
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Heat

The heat batters.  The sun beats down relentlessly on my olive drab uniform, baking me like a potato in foil.  A breeze blows, but instead of refreshing, it feels like my face is in front of a furnace vent. The heat touches.  Scrub brushes reach up and touch me on the shoulder.  A steady hum […]
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Review: The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla

In Grade Seven, our classroom had a bookshelf with a small collection of completely random books we could read when we were caught up on our work, or had nothing better to do.  I don’t remember what the title was, but there was one book on the shelf about the Battle of Britain, and invariably […]
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Flash Fiction – Death Sentence

A death sentence is supposed to mean you die.  So when I woke up after my execution, I was right fuckin’ confused.  The gut-kick from the asshole in the radiation suit didn’t help. Shoveling.  Apparently a death sentence doesn’t mean they kill you; it means you shovel radioactive shit until you can’t.  I’d swear I […]
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George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice: An Epic Tale of Sex, Violence and Gluttony

I’m coming to the Game of Thrones party late.  I’ve been a fantasy and sci-fi reader my whole life, but for some reason I never picked up on this series, either when written or when HBO started the TV series.  So when my brother-in-law dumped the first four paperbacks on my table, the 4,000 pages […]
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Poetry, Music and my Brain

One of my appointment podcasts is Scriptnotes (a podcast about screenwriting and things interesting to screenwriters).  It’s very entertaining and has a lot of great insight into not only screenwriting, but writing in general. In a November episode, co-host Craig Maizin made an observation about poetry I’ve probably heard before, but never so bluntly, and […]
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