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.

Book Review Posted

Posted September 4th, 2014 by Devin and filed in History

swordI’ve posted a review of “Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway” over on the USS Yorktown website. This is a book I’ve had on my shelf for years, but my detour into all things Civil War pulled me away from my studies of the Pacific war. Really glad I got around to this, as it’s a truly ground-breaking treatment on the battle from the Japanese point of view.

“Before the Wind” Restored

Posted June 10th, 2014 by Devin and filed in Writing

boilI’ve added a PDF copy of my short story “Before the Wind” to the Writing page. The piece was first published by Eschatology Magazine’s website, but they have recently ceased operation and taken down most of their website. To maintain a record and keep the piece “out there”, I’ve added it. You can download it on the Writing page.

The Nautilus Part 6: Masking

Posted April 9th, 2014 by Devin and filed in Modeling, The Nautilus

IMG_5247There isn’t a lot of surface area to mask on the Nautilus, but some of what there is happens to be quite intricate. For the forward bridge area, the two “gator eyes” looking protrusions, I decided to leave the clear plastic/glass out for better visibility of the small interior that I built.  Continue Reading »

The Nautilus Part 5: Lights

Posted March 10th, 2014 by Devin and filed in Modeling, The Nautilus

I’ve learned something over the past several days: whatever skill at soldering I once had — gleaned through lessons from my father and repair schools whilst in the Navy — has all been lost. While soldering these simple connections for this model I cursed a lot, burned even more, and even completely cooked an LED from the inside out. I finally got the wiring and lights hooked up and into the model, but it wasn’t a fun process. I either need to practice this skill, or I need to start buying pre-wired lighting kits.

The setup is simple, though, and that probably saved my sanity Continue Reading »

From WWI to Thomas Edison to the New York Circle Line to the banks of the Ohio

Posted March 10th, 2014 by Devin and filed in History

8561349835_7276b0d119_oHere’s a fascinating article about one of my favorite things in life: abandoned and rusting ships. Known as the USS Sachem during WWI and Circle Line V in New York City during the 1980’s, the boat has had a long and varied life, but now sits on the banks of the Ohio River in Kentucky, rusting away. While I hope someone comes to the boat’s rescue, for now I really love the photos of this rusty old hulk.

Full article on the Queen City Discovery website HERE.

The Nautilus Part 4: Bridge and Soldering

Posted March 5th, 2014 by Devin and filed in Modeling, The Nautilus

IMG_5225Ten days in Costa Rica and the coldest winter in memory in the north east have slowed my building.  Since I still can’t airbrush a lot (opening the window is NOT an option), I’m still plugging away at other items. I’ve added brass rods through the lower hull that will serve two purposes: to mount the sub to its base, and to provide power into the hull for the lighting.

I also installed the bridge assembly, Continue Reading »

Tamarindo Monkeys

Posted February 19th, 2014 by Devin and filed in Travel

IMG_5147I always say I’m going to shoot more photos and video when in Costa Rica, but I always get caught up in the working out (Kristen and I take part in the ReBoot Camp Retreats) and the other activities and forget to do much of anything else.  I happened to have my camera the other morning as we were heading out, however, and caught this video of monkeys on the move.

Click the photo for the video.

150 Years Ago Tonight: CSS Hunley

Posted February 17th, 2014 by Devin and filed in Civil War, Ironclads and Gunboats, Writing

hunleydock150 years ago tonight the Union 205 foot long sloop of war USS Housatonic reeled from an explosion and sank off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.  The shallowness of the water, only about 25 feet deep,  would save most of Housatonic’s crew.  They climbed the masts and into the rigging to await rescue, only 5 out of a crew of 155 lost their lives.  As one of the survivors, Robert Flemming, clung to the rigging waiting for rescue, he saw something low on the water: a blue light.  He didn’t know it then, Continue Reading »