Friday, January 25, 2019

Examining Expletives

© by Gerald So | 7:00 AM

Even among fans of crime fiction, where the most terrible things happen to innocent characters, some still object to profanity in the prose. Earlier this week on SleuthSayers, Barb Goffman analyzed how often she uses expletives in her fiction and asked readers if she had gone too far in her new Flash Bang Mysteries story, "Punching Bag".

In my comments, I explained that my parents never used profanity at home. If they reached the level of anger or frustration where other people curse, I never knew because it didn't show in their language. I heard profanity everywhere else: school, friends, books, movies. I can curse, but I generally don't because it didn't get me anywhere with my parents.

Similarly, if someone addresses me with inflammatory language, I give the language no credit and try to reach the issues behind it.

In creative writing, though, all words are tools to be used for precise effect. Click over and read Barb's post and the comments. Mine include my own look at specific expletives and what I cringe at reading, and why.

Your comments welcome here or there.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Marvel's The Punisher Season 2

© by Gerald So | 5:00 AM

At a Michigan roadhouse, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), alias Pete Castiglione, crosses paths with a girl (Giorgia Whigham) hunted by professional killers. Saving her, Castle takes her with him, staying one step ahead as he learns her story.

Free of the obligation to tell The Punisher's origin, Season 2 further humanizes him, thanks to Bernthal and Whigham's chemistry. Whigham pulls off an independent character who is also properly scared. Corbin Bernsen and Annette O'Toole add star power as the vicious mastermind power couple.

I also appreciate how this season bears out the impact of last season's events. While Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) was so broken he remembered less than I liked, Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah) clearly hadn't moved on.

Marvel's Netflix shows have never perfectly paced 13 episodes, but there are some gems worth jumping to, particularly "The Abyss", featuring Daredevil's Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll).

Friday, January 11, 2019


© by Gerald So | 4:00 PM

I started this blog on this random day in 2004 as a way to get myself writing about anything. It's still the home of many of my TV and movie reviews, but it's also where I check in every few weeks with whatever's going on in my life. There's no plan. I'm sure you'll see patterns in retrospect, but I seldom look back. I am grateful for the friendships this blog has made and maintained, and I look forward to keeping it up.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Joined in Progress

© by Gerald So | 10:000 AM

I didn't finish everything I wanted to do in 2018, but that means I start 2019 with momentum. Today is World Introvert Day, and many writers are relishing the return to quiet routine. Here's wishing you the best possible year.