Welcome to the Wolf’s Den

As my writing career has developed over the past 40+ years, I’ve discovered that a great many of my followers were born after 1990. The world since that time has bombarded them with so much that is new, a lot of them wonder if there’s anything of importance (well, of importance to them, at least) happened before they were born. This isn’t arrogance; it just that they don’t know where to look to get reliable information. I realized this the first time I heard a youngster in a music shop say, “Oh yeah, The Beatles… that was the group Paul McCartney was in before Wings.” I had a similar cringing sensation when I discovered that I couldn’t explain adequately just who Elizabeth Taylor was. “She was an actress” doesn’t cut it; the woman was a phenomenon.

My purpose here is to talk about books, movies, television, music, and even words as phenomena that span across decades, lifetimes (literally), and in the case of literature, centuries. Mind you, I’m not centuries old (although, some mornings, I kinda feel that way!). However, my life credentials, from experience to education, do give me a little expertise in these various areas, and my ability to write will provide (I do so hope) a little verve and verisimilitude to the discussion. So here, for your amusement, education, interest, and consideration, I welcome you to Black Wolf’s Imaginarium. Let me show you around the wolf’s den a little…

My shelvs o' books
My wolf’s nose loves the scent of old books…

We’ll start with the formal library. It overwhelms some people, if you’ll pardon my bragging. Over three thousand volumes, and no, I’ve not read all of them – only 1167, at last count (that’s at the end of 2017, in case you’re wondering). That list doesn’t include the novels, novellas, collections of stories, blogs, reviews, articles, and so forth that I’ve written and published (oh, and a non-fiction book on improvisation… but that’s for another time). There’s a bit of everything in here – science fiction, science fact, fantasy, fables, horror, mystery, history, ethnic, comedy, tragedy, philosophy, memoirs, how-to’s, reference works, even graphic novels (you’ll find each entry tagged so that you can find others in the same genre). Some of those books count as great literature, or at least they should, but I try not to be a snob about it. Between Neil Gaiman and John Steinbeck, or Raymond Chandler and F. Scott Fitzgerald? No contest. Which do I prefer? Heh heh… that would be telling. And perhaps I will, but for now, please follow me in here…

A rack o' DVDs...
More shows than Vegas in tourist season!

This is where most people would feel comfortable these days. This is the viewing room. You can’t call it a “TV room” anymore, can you? At the very least, it’s a pretty big screen these days, and the old cathode ray tubes are pretty much extinct. And in those ancient days when we had only three channels – four, if you had a PBS station in range – you had to watch whatever was showing. Here’s where I have my collection of DVDs, a few BluRays (I’m slowly overcoming my skepticism of this new highfalutin technology), some MP4s (still not at all sure about that nonsense either), and even VHS and – are you ready? – Beta tapes! I even had laser discs, once upon a time – the old format as large as a 12” vinyl record. Yes, vinyl… you know, those big round things in big square cardboard flats that are starting to make a comeback after all these years? Plus ça change…

Anyway, this room is where all the video happens. Not quite as many shows here; right at 1000 in my collection, at this point, although I’ve seen far more than that, and I’ve been plundering Leonard Maltin’s recent guide to prove it. I’ve seen films in theaters that, for some of you, go back further than the year your parents were born! And I’ve got a healthy collection of (and a healthy respect for) the really good films from the 30s, 40s, 50s… yes, Virginia, there was great filmmaking even before computers let us see “Hulk smash.” I see that I’ll just have to convince you. But first, let’s make our way to the next area…

Shelves o' vinyl...
Who knows 33s, 45s, and 78s?

Ah, this may be my favorite room. Music only in here, and nice comfy furniture to help you relax and enjoy it. Some movie soundtracks, perhaps, but lots of everything else – rock, classical, vocal, instrumental, orchestral, electronica (ooo, lots and lots of that!), folk, Celtic, ethnic, story-songs, singer-songwriters, folk, musicals, opera, old jazz, new jazz, New Age, fusion, ambient, fugues and passacaglia, tone poems, pop, swing, minimalist, chill, improvisational… You don’t know what some of those are? Hmm… Come sit at the paws of the master, Grasshopper… I can see that I’ve new students to teach, and friends to entertain.

Picture of struggling writer wolf
Is there another word for “thesaurus”…?

This space here is my workroom… pardon the mess, wordsmything can be very untidy work, and a tough way to make a living, but it’s the only way I know. Yep, here is where I make my daily bread, through all of my various exploits in the realm of the written word, from my Patreon to editing, teaching, and mentoring. You don’t have to be in one of my classes to participate; you can dive into the blogs on wordsmything anywhere you wish. You’ll find ideas for writing exercises, technique, even some discussion of specific genres. I’ve grouped them together for you, but feel free to start anywhere.

You see, that’s what it’s all about here in the wolf’s den. I get to share with you all I’ve come to know and experience through the years, so that you can expand your world as well. Here, let me show you this… I had this quote put into calligraphy and put onto the wall. When I saw this quote, I had no idea who Jac Vank is. Truth told, despite my extraordinary Google-Fu, I still can’t quite figure it out; I get the impression that she’s something to do with music, and perhaps one day the lady herself will tell me more. Until then, these words have spoken quite well… read them for yourself.

You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these…

That’s what the wolf’s den is about. I’m here to entertain, amuse, educate, share, expose you to new things, expand your mind to new dimensions, and otherwise be a proper senpai and host, for the pleasure of my honored guests. So sit, rest your hindpaws, and let’s talk about books, movies, music, wordsmything, and everything that I can introduce you to. Let me help you find your sense of play, your sense of wonder, your sense of personal discovery. I hope that my being the best Me will help you find ways for you to be your best You.

So… where would you like to start?

Take me to the Library

Take me to the Viewing Room

Take me to the Music Room

Take me to the Wordsmyth’s Room