Book Review: Into the Storm

Posted August 20th, 2015 by Devin and filed in Review

Into the Storm (Destroyermen, #1)Into the Storm by Taylor Anderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

INTO THE STORM is in some way pretty much exactly what I expected, and in other ways not at all what I expected. It’s a quick read that doesn’t go too far in to the explanation as to how a WWII US Navy destroyer ended up in a parallel and prehistoric universe — which I like — but deals with the actions of the characters and how they deal with their new reality.

The things I expected and did find in the book are the stock characters that make up the crew. All from varying backgrounds, they all have the typical hard-assed or meek or jokester personalities, that you expect in a book about the crew of a warship. While these generalizations are typical of military books and seem cliche at times, much of is actually on-track with what my own experience in the Navy.

In the “I expected more of this” area, I did expect more action in this book. Of course as this is the first of the series, the world building needs to be done, and here it takes up a Continue Reading »

Book Review: “Pirate Hunters” by Robert Kurson

Posted July 8th, 2015 by Devin and filed in Review

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate ShipPirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Robert Kurson’s “Pirate Hunters” relates the story of two shipwreck hunters, John Chatterton and John Mattera, and their quest to find a verifiable Golden Age pirate ship. While a true story, the nature of the search and the backgrounds of those involved make for fact that’s more enthralling than most fiction.

The quest in “Pirate Hunters” is for the Golden Fleece, the 17th century pirate ship of Joseph Bannister, a well respected British merchant ship captain that suddenly turned pirate later in life (broke bad, if you will) and raised hell all over the Caribbean, even fighting off two British men-of-war while his ship Continue Reading »

Book Review: Battleship Sailor by Theodore C. Mason

Posted July 1st, 2015 by Devin and filed in History, Review

Just finished reading this title. A fantastic look at enlisted life in the Pre-WWII U.S. Navy:
Battleship SailorBattleship Sailor by Theodore C. Mason

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mason has done a fantastic job of describing the life of an enlisted man on a battleship on the eve of WWII. His description of arriving at the training command in San Diego in 1940 was almost exactly the same as mine in 1988: the same late night arrival, not knowing what’s going on, finding an open bunk in a strange barracks in the dark, and the following days of figuring out where one belongs in a totally foreign new world.

His descriptions of time in the fleet also show how little the Navy changed in a half-century, with the Continue Reading »

Model Completed: Battlestar Valkyrie

Posted June 24th, 2015 by Devin and filed in Modeling

valkyrieMy most recent completion is the Battlestar Valkyrie. A small-ish kit at just under 6 inches long. The intial cleanup of the resin parts took a while to get done, but once completed, the build and painting was fairly straight-forward.

Added to the website HERE.

Just Some General Maintenance

Posted May 23rd, 2015 by Devin and filed in Whatever

The blog was down for a few days. According to the lovely lady at GoDaddy tech support, they “Made a change that didn’t affect 99% of our users”. But me, of course… I’m never in the good 1%.

Back online. Added links to a podcast of my short story “Forgotten” to the Writing page. Also added Instagram as a new place to find me on the net, to the Contact page.

Podcast of “Forgotten” Online at Toasted Cake

Posted May 12th, 2015 by Devin and filed in Writing

toasted-cake-podcast-logo-thumb-120x120-162Toasted Cake has published a podcast of my flash fiction piece “Forgotten”. Tina Connolly does a wonderful job with the reading. You can give it a listen HERE.

MK I “Male” British Tank, MB Models, 1/72nd Scale

Posted March 26th, 2015 by Devin and filed in Modeling

IMG_5966I finished this one some time ago, and have finally got around to posting it to the Model Building page of the website. You can see it HERE.

I’ve got another build or two that I’ve finished in the past year that have yet to be posted, and another two projects that are nearing completion. Now that I’ve upgraded my computer and got a newer version of Photoshop up and running, I’ll get around to adding them in due time.

Writing on the Run

Posted March 23rd, 2015 by Devin and filed in Photography, Travel, Writing

devin and kristenWriting, and any art, is a ritual. Show up at the same time every day, sit at your desk or stand in your studio. Keep showing up and your muse will show up as well, and all will be right with the world.

But what happens when you or your muse get bored with the same ol’?

This is the third year that Kristen and I have done the Reboot Camp in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, with Michael Andreula. We came here for the work out, and work out we do. Every morning we’re up with the sunrise and do a full hour on the beach, punching and kicking with a group of other morning warriors, working with hand and knee pads, round house kicking in the surf, yoga stretches in the sand. Breakfast and decompress immediately after it all, and then it’s 10 a.m. and I’m in a hammock on a rooftop deck with a view of the Pacific, writing.

Something about the workout clears my mind, a sort of meditation. Regular meditation has never Continue Reading »

Alice K. Turner

Posted February 2nd, 2015 by Devin and filed in Writing

a-turnerWhen I took my first serious fiction class at The New School, Alice Turner was my teacher. She knew all about plot and pacing and intent. When a student presented work to the class, though, she wouldn’t speak in those technical terminologies, she’d simply say “Wouldn’t it work better like this?” or say very directly, “What are you trying to say with this?” (I heard that one a few times). One evening as we waited for class to start and the room to empty, she and I sat on a bench in the hallway and she asked me what I wanted to do with my writing. I told her I wanted to make it my living. She nodded, smiled, said it was tough, but that if I wanted it I needed to not give up, no matter what the people like her said. Besides teaching that class, Alice also introduced me to my writing group, Altered Fluid, and without her and them I don’t know what I would’ve done. Probably not have written as much as I have. Over the years I saw Alice around at readings and parties, and she always had a smile, a kind word, and she always asked how the writing was going. I’m going to miss her.

Her obituary at The New York Times.

New York Times “Disunion”: Civil War Submarines

Posted January 28th, 2015 by Devin and filed in Civil War, Ironclads and Gunboats, Writing

27disunion-blog480My latest piece has been published by the New York Times. “Civil War Submarines” delves into the history of the submarines other than the famous CSS Hunley. As it turns out, the Union Navy was the first to field submersibles during the war, and several at that. In the South, dozens of other submersible craft were planned, started, and tested, with several entering combat.

You can read the article HERE on the New York Times’ website.