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Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Bourne Movies

Okay, well Bette wanted to see them. After seeing the previews I wasn't all that excited to see them. I knew the basic plots of the movies, or at least the story setups. Bourne is classic Cold War cloak and dagger pot boilers. I've never read the books, after seeing the first movie that will be something I need to remedy. Yes, I know the movies don't track to the books, but there that spark I can see, the burnt carpet that shows the ignition point that was the books.

So after viewing the first one, The Bourne Identity, we now own all three. If you like good stories, somewhat realistic stories, just watch the first one. If you're looking for big explosions and high drama, the Supremecy and Ultimatum will be more in line. Frankly, I like the first one most. Sure, the "action" isn't as big, the explosions not as explody, but there were fewer times when I made snarky comments. Like where did Jason get all that tech to read cell sim chips, international license plates, etc. What, is there a Spies R Us store with branches across the world. Two, even given the Cold War Black Ops paranoia that pervaded the first movie which came out in the portrayal of the Treadstone Assassins, there were very few plot coupons or stock happenings. One person who lost his memory, but not his kinetic memory (plausible with the training he supposedly received) versus someone trying to save their job.

Over all I liked the Identity the most out of the tree. To be fair, I liked the end graphics the most on Supremecy. But then I hated how they cleaned up the song by Moby in Ultimatum. I also wasn't fond of the overlap they portrayed in both and then tried to add to the Identity movie. Really, no need for it. At least some of the field craft stuff in all the movies was done well. No Q Branch high wizardry, no pithy remarks, no suddenly appearing tuxedoes. The high tech command rooms and notifications were also nicely subdued.

But for my money Identity is the better, the most believable, of the movies.

Hey Look

All around good guy and commenter tangentalist Nathan has got himself a blog. Cool.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Paging Nathan

Paging Nathan Gendzier, please pick up the courtesy phone (email in right hand column). You've got answers, I've got questions. Let's see if we have a match. Thanks.

And, if any of my other readers have experience in the Movie and Script Writing Area, I would also be greatly appreciative.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Joshua Palmatier is at it again

He's got a new contest running. This one sound very exciting. I've thought about joining OWW, and this would be a good way (first and second prize includes full membership for one and one-half year respectively), but for me it would be too much of a time sink. If you've never had real critiques of your work, or never had to critique someone else's work, a group like OWW might be the place to start. Even if you don't join they have excellent tips on how to review at their site.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Story Bones

(this is one of those "what you wake up with" pieces)

It's the fear he lives with, the horror he expects to find.

Story Bone

"It was amazing, he proved one equals one," he said.

"That's easy, that's an axiom," she said.

"Yeah, but you've never seen it proved like this before. It was like the Rube Goldberg of mathematic proofs. At one point one equaled two. Genius. Pure, unadulterated genius."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Less of Me

Since Adam (the dick spammer) was talking about diets in the previous comment thread, I thought I would just let you all know that yesterday I had another doctors appointment. Since September I've lost another nine pounds. As my doctor said, given that this is over the holidays he is damn glad to see I'm on track and continuing to lose weight (I was also worried). So, since I've been monitored (which started after I was losing weight, IMHO) I've lost 18 pounds since July. And it's only because I've been drinking less pop (Dr. Pepper is my preferred high fructose corn syrup ingestion device) and been using Metaformin. That means that if my insulin begins working well when I get far enough down in weight, there is very little chance I will yo-yo back when I go off the Metaformin (as there is no maintenance diet to keep to). I'm still north of 300 pounds (I carry my weight very well distributed, although I was getting a good sized middle, which is still the case as I've been losing my ass, which is normal with diets) so there's a long way to go. Also, my body is able to adapt to the slow weight loss. I don't crave anything, and I really don't deny myself much. This is the way to lose weight, if you can do it. Yes, I know, you all hate me. I'll deal with it.

Also, since it's the Holidays, Merry Christmas and Joyous Season of Lights everybody. My posting will be sporadic over the coming week. We've got all those aforementioned family things to do. I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating the Solstice in your preferred manner/tradition. While I always give Bette the option to open one present on Solstice she so far has declined. So we will do the traditional Xmas time opening of our gifts.

Also, lots of driving will be done. Today Bette said she wanted to see The Golden Compass before it leaves the theaters. Going to a movie means driving 30+ minutes, so we make it a whole day event, so there will be some shopping (ugh, Xmas Tide, have I mentioned that I don't like crowds. I'm not agoraphobic, and if I was running I would want a crowd, but I don't like to go through them, too many targets and way to many idiots).

Speaking of idiots, Adam, do us all a favor, drop down a cyber-well and die.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Attend the Tale

Sweeny Todd (warning, site plays music at you, it's soft, but still) opens this weekend. Given the fact that in the past 48 hours I've heard several news stories on various programs, and interviews on media focused programs, the buzz is building. And as you all know, I'm very squee over the whole thing. What what I understand the irascible Steve Sondheim actually likes this rendition of his musical. However, the one part of the various critiques and reviews I've heard is that it is very bloody. I don't need to see that, especially at Xmas.

So, I probably won't see it in theaters unless it has a long run, but it will probably end up in my extensive DVD collection.

Yes, I know what the story is about (I've seen it on stage), I know that the kiddies loves the splatter, but that's not what the musical is about. It's not a gore story, it's a love/revenge story. It's a "do not screw with the small guy who isn't bolted together correctly" kind of story. Plus, the whole plot revolves around how the Demon Barber was able to conceal what he was actually doing, so big splattertings in the middle of a city (even as grimy as London was at the time, coal power anybody?) are likely to draw the wrong attentions.

Anyway, it sounds like it's going to be an excellent movie. Don't forget to get the Coke and Mrs. Lovett's meat pies before going in to the theater (and if nobody is doing that promotion, there are some marketing people who need to be fired). Shave?

Merry Solstice

The Old Year is dead. Long live the New Year (well, you know, except for being an election year, that part could go fast). Light fires, burn the Yule log, shout to the heavens, dance, feast, give life to the Sun. Bring in the holly and the ivy, the evergreens to remind us that life is and will be. Light the tree in honor of their everlasting presence. The Wheel has turned, light will return.

Whenever I hear people talking about "getting back to the good ol' religion," I'm always reminded of Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth. When Bill Moyer brought up the subject of fundamentalism, Prof. Campbell sang "Give me that Zarathustra, just like we use-ta, oh give me that ol' time religion."

It's winter, the Coyote sings.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Coasting for the moment

In one of those "blah" kind of moods. To many whacks from the "This Is Life" stick right at the moment.

We have some sort of agreement for the Union on our new contract, but we aren't voting on it until the 5th (maybe, still only a rumor), won't get the new details of the plans until that week. Right now the rumors are flying. Some are okay, some sound like deal breakers. At least to me they do.

We have the first quotes for the water heater. Ick! Okay, well, on further research a 40 gallon hot-water tank with power vent is about $650. But full installation taking the overall price to twice that (well, in the mid $1300). The tankless heater was double what I expected on the low end and about half as much more as the high end (nearly $3000), and I don't think I would save that much in gas. The quotes also weren't itemized, nor was there a list of what services they would actually be providing. Why does it seem that contractors haven't realized they're no longer working in the 80s? Why must it always be a struggle?

The family is coming up to our house for the family Xmas. There's a whole bunch of stuff there that I don't want to get into right now, but lets just say that this is more draining than just the cleaning, finishing up projects, and prepping for the meal. Family.

And to add on top, I feel like I've been slacking off lately and am in the self-punishment mode of that whole process. Damn gremlins of the mind. Any one of these I could probably handle with good grace, but it's all coming together at once.

On the plus side, though, if that I have most of next week off from the day thing. Only have to work Wednesday.

Hope you all's holidays are going better.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Holiday Decorations

For your delight and amusement:

The relamped Xmas Tree. Yes, all those colored lights, it didn't have those last year. Again, if you ever get it in your head to redo all the lamps on a 9' Pre-lit Xmas Tree from White Incandescent Lamps to Multi-color LED lamps because, 1) it would save money and 2) your snuggle bunny would rather have multi-colored lights, resist this thought with all your might. But I do like how it turned out.


The inflatable snowman and his drunken little brothers. My neighbor across the street has an inflatable snowman and we set them up to be waving at each other. Seriously. I love my neighbors.


My magic mailbox which will one day soon hold the magic contract for publication. Oh yes, it's all magical. Well, if you saw it lit it would look more magical. Hmm, maybe I need to take another picture soon. For Halloween and Xmas I wrap this beauty in lights and she shines like a beacon in the night.


And here is the whole outdoor set up. Yeah, I should take more "gee it's awfully dark out here" photos. As you can tell this is also before we got all the snow. Hey, I've been busy. No really. See the Xmas Tree comment above.

And yes, my inside lights do dim when I turn on the outside lights. Why do you ask?

Dragon Soup? Where are we to get a Dragon at this hour?

Wild cat lover and all around nice person Mary Turzillo wants you to know about a small press for poetry and their latest release Dragon Soup. Yes, she's in it. Not the hot soup, the book.

I Hate Microsoft

Really and truly. I have to use their crappy products here at work all because of brain deadness.

So today, Entourage starts acting flaky. I immediately copy all email in the InBox (which I keep trimmed to just current items, maybe 10 or so emails) to a new folder, quit and try to find the InBox folder on my hard drive to delete it. This will force the mail program to recreate it (the wonkiness was in the InBox). But noooo, Entourage doesn't do things like that, they have a "database."

Okay, I'll export the contacts and mail, and then reinstall. Pain in the arse, but what the heck. But noooo, can't export the contact or email because there's an error in the database (no shit, that's why I need to do this). But at least now I get a message saying I need to run the Database Utility which is in my Office Folder.

But noooo, there is no such application in those folders.

So I relaunch Entourage to do a help search (like I ever do this). Same message, need to run the Database Utility which is in the Office Folder. No it's not, I reply. Well, in the next paragraph, which didn't relate to the DU, I find that you need to launch the Database Utility, which is a separate program, by launching Entrouage holding down the Option Key. WTF? They can't even get their help utility right? Hey, Microsoft, don't tell me to run an application that's supposed to be in the folder and then hide that they way you really run it is by launching another program holding a special key.

And now, as I'm running the Database Utility, I'm getting warnings that I'm running out of disk space. Oh excellent.

Edit The database is repaired, things look good except for now instead of saying my name it says, "Main Identity 2" at the top. I don't think this affects the actual function of the software or the addressing. And the database repair pulled back email that I deleted over a year ago. This makes me worry about what else has slipped in or out of it's memory. But at least now I can send and receive email.

Do Androids Dream of Ridley Scott?

Blade Runner is one of those movies that helped form my love of SF. It entered my juvenile mind and exploded several cells while I attempted to process it and left me altered and skewed toward the genre. First off, Daryl Hannah as Pris, if this isn't a teenaged boy's dream, I don't know teenage boys. Then there is Rutger Hauer as Roy, the philosophical, maniacal replicant with a soul. Somewhere, somehow, that scene on the rooftop, in the rain, will come back into my writing, I know it will.

I remember seeing the original movie, I think it was at a friend's house who had HBO, or maybe it was one of those free weekends they used to offer. But I do remember watching it when I was still in high school. I saw it on the big screen when I went to college, at the University third-run movie theater. It still blew me away. I think it was after this point that I found out it was based on a book by P.K. Dick.

Then Ridley recut the movie and rereleased it. I think I saw it again in the theaters as the Directors Cut. I guess the studio forced Ridley to put a happy ending on the original, so now he got to redo it being slightly darker. To tell you the truth, I don't think I remember the difference between the two.

And now Ridley has recut the movie again. I appreciate his fanaticism. Any story you write or tell is never truly finished. As a creator you always feel the need to adjust it, push it more, change some of the focus of the story, see if you can make it better. You should resist this impulse with all your will once you get the story into "final form" (read as rewritten, edited and polished). Sure, if it hasn't been published, what's the harm besides wasting time that you could be spending on writing the next new thing. At some point, though, you have to let it go.

Ridley, Mr. Scott, let it go. Don't be a George Lucas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Okay, Well, if I Could Get Two Weeks Together, Maybe

Just saw this link and thought I would pass it on. For those workshop minded individuals, the Taos ToolBox. Instructors will be Walter John Williams and Kelly Link (which is excellent enough), tuition is $2500, but that includes many meals, lodging, etc. The place looks wonderful, although I have a feeling that much of those wonderful activities they list will go unused. At least they would be by me. I would definitely go hiking and tromping around the cabin, maybe a few night hikes as well. Applications are now open for next summer. I don't think I'll be applying for the reason of getting two weeks together won't happen, and the money is a bit steep for me. And i've had my eye on Viable Paradise for a long while now.

I guess, considering the amount of time I would probably spend doing other things than writing at these things, I like that they have wonderful scenery, but it really could be held in Downtown Cleveland for all I cared. I remember the first time I went on a trip for a former employer and when I got back I was asked, "So, what is Chicago like?" I replied, "It looks like a window this big (hold hands out) and has a tree in front of it." For three days, except for the rest of the hotel where the conference I was producing materials for was held and the trip to and from the airport, that's all I saw other than work.

That Dang Water Heater

Well, in the middle of the snowstorms yesterday, the water heater decided it didn't want to work. The blower functions, the pilot is lit, but no burner action to be had. Today we're supposed to have someone out from the company that installed it. I'm thinking it's either the solenoid, the thermostat, or a blockage to the burner. While they're out I asked to get a quote for the tankless (all them, and we buy the unit). I haven't called home to see how it's going, so I'm kind of antsy about it. The emergency service was a little too expensive, and at the time I got a call back I could barely see my neighbor's house in the snow. So I figured it would be better for everybody to wait until today. Of course that meant this morning's shower was a quick and cold one. Well, okay, slightly below room temperature one, but we keep our house thermostat at 68 degrees. Chilly.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

So that's where they've been keeping the weather!

The weather is here. Snow fell hard and fast yesterday afternoon, but fortunately didn't keep up the pace. This snow were micro pellets, like ice balls covered in frosting. I was in the Dollar General talking to a major about some dead trees on their lot, it was maybe half an hour when I came out to find my car covered. And it was slick. Only about an eight of an inch, but I could feel my tires slipping on the road as I did the rest of my errands (dropped off a get well card to a friend that suffered a stroke at the beginning of the month, bought flowers for my wife, dropped off some mail). It maybe made an inch of snow out there, before switching to sleet. I woke up twice last night to the sound of fairies throwing ice balls at my window. Fortunately they were the pixie sized fairies so the balls were really tiny, but there was a gaggle of them. This morning was freezing rain. And now we have the wind that sounds like thundering trains (or low flying C-130s, which we do get here from time to time).

So I think winter has finally come. I'm not so sure I like this one so far. Once we get to the good heavy-flake snow we'll be okay until we hit the very dry powder snow.

Today is back to cleaning and getting ready for Xmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Book Finishline crossed by Matt Mitchell

Cool new guy Matt Mitchell just finished up and he's posted an excerpt of his new book (warning, excerpt has graphic violence, not for the squeemish). You should go and congratuate him. The excerpt is nicely wrapped in a blue box so you can avoid it if you like, or just skip to it if you like.

Congrats on book number three, Matt. You sir, rock (and I'm not saying that staring at a green axe either).

Not exactly a meme, but what the heck

Since I did this at the begining of the year, I might as well update you all. Many authors have been posting their schedules online. I think it started with the hardest new weird working writer Jeff VanderMeer, canned heat Tobias Buckell, Mr. Mainspring himself Jay Lake, and the woman we all need Elizabeth Bear.

Here's my basic workweek schedule
5:10am Alarm goes off.
5:30am Steve drags his butt out of bed
6:15am (or so) Steve is on his way to the day job
7:00am (ish) Steve starts workin' for the man
(no lunch, union negotiated it away, eat around 11:30ish, shoveling food in while working)
3:00pm (ish) Steve hears standard eight-hour workday go whooshing by
(this is where the variable stuff starts kicking in)
4:30pm-6:30pm (or on Thursdays 8:30pm) Steve logs out, prints out time sheet, writes down overtime, and starts home
4:30pm-7:30pm Depending on night, running errands
5:30pm-8:30pm Steve arrives back in Orwell Village
6:00pm-9:30pm Depending on night, has meetings
6:15pm-9:30pm Depending on night, Steve sits on couch, eats dinner with wife, catches up on life, watches some TV
7:00pm-10:00pm Chores, freelance design, blog catching up, emails, editing and writing
10:00pm-11:00pm Writing, editing, reading, going to bed (hopefully around 10:00pm)

Sometimes things go horribly wrong and I'm awake until 1:00am, fewer times things go very right and I'm home by 4:30 and finished with everything else by 7:00pm.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Xmas Music

A number of bloggers seem to be posting their favorite Xmas Songs, and seeing that I just de-archived my extensive collection of off beat songs I thought I would share some of my most favorite ones. Edited to add links and correct spelling.

Susan Werner, "Thy People Are Good Enough" - this is a radio rip (I don't think it's out there on one of her CDs) of her performing a Rudyard Kiplings Poem. Excellent

Mary Gauthier, "Christmas in Paradise" - "Davey stole a Christmas Tree from Kmart last night..." what an excellent start to a song.

John McCutchen, "Christmas in the Trenches" - Christmas on the front line in WWI, during an undeclared truce.

Tish Hinjosa, "Arbolito" - talking to trees, doesn't get much better than this.

Peter Mayer, "Birthday Party" - the Buddha and the Prophet go to wish Christ a happy b-day. Peace on Earth.

Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Bells Are Ringing" - hard to find, but worth it.

And a few others from "Coventry Carol" to "O' Emmanuel" in English and Latin, an acoustical guitar take on Linus and Lucy, Mary's Lulliby (I forget who was the artist, but it's an excellent recording), some Juggernaught Jug Band, and Pat Donahue's "Christmas Blues."

There ain't no Mariah Carey or any other fluff to be found here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

(My Manuscript) Will Be Home for Xmas

Just got an email from Jude-Marie Green, Associate Editor over at Abyss & Apex regarding The Running of the Deer. She said "it was well received... but... decided not to accept it for publication." Fair cop, and the rejection letter doesn't really sound like a form (I think this is the first time I've submitted to Abyss & Apex, although I drank their hooch at World Fantasy) so pluses all around. I did send her a thank you email (still shaky on those). So now I have more market research to do.

Edit I'm liking the e-submission process, Running of the Deer is off to Electric Velocipede.

Edit redux Journey Haiku is off to Space and Time Magazine.

"What the hell was THAT?" - Krusty

This could also be filed under, "When the Universe Speaks (through the TV)" after my post yesterday.

Last night I got home from the meetings very late, so I ended up eating dinner after 9pm. My wife and I are sitting on the couch as I'm trying to wait until after I digest before going to bed, and I start flipping channels. That's when we hit the Family Channel (I forget who owns this now, if it's still ABC or not) which has been playing Xmas specials and there's one I haven't seen currently playing. And I've seen every holiday special, including "It's the Sounding of the Shofar, Charlie Brown."

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. It's a Rankin-Bass stop motion puppet feature, but there's some awfully weird things going on. My first thought is "WTF is Cernunnos doing in an Xmas special (he's called the Great Ak here)? And that's just the first of those moments. Puck (who is speaking Esperanto and a mix mesh of other languages), Bee Queen, Japanese Ogres, John Barlycorn, the Seeley Court, those 3 Fairy Mothers from Sleeping Beauty, those things from Dark Crystal... whose head trip is this? Well, I guess it's a Frank "We're off to see the Wizard" Baum's headtrip.

This was one of those mind exploding moments. The writing for the TV Special most truly and horribly sucks out the wazzoo. But the visuals and the "WTF is that doing in with the Santa Claus story" moments more than made up for it. Plus there were songs that weren't "tear out your hair" bad. I'll have to see if I have this thing on one of the DVDs I own (it might be there on some disk, unplayed, along with "Hestor the Long Eared Donkey" and "Rudolph Saves the New Year"). It was that strange.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cue the Goldfinger Music

Set phaser to stun before you shoot your own foot off and check this out (the photo there is just a rendering). Boeing, those wonderful people whose commercials on FOX (the only place I've seen them) give me creepy feelings, have repurposed their high-energy "We's gonna shoot us some ICBMs" laser to attack in atmosphere and ground targets.

Part of me is thinking, "woohoo, actual laser strikes" and the other half of me is thinking, "say, this might not really be such a good thing." Now, to be fair, this isn't the first time a laser system has been outfitted this way, but before it was for targeting and command purposes (I have a good memory of walking through the stripped down aeral combat command center at a Dayton Airshow with two good friends of mine and pointing out the equipment that was bogus replacements, what was missing, and who exactly the guards posted inside and out worked for, yeah, I have strange friends). This is a much more powerful laser.

So there it is, a weapon system that is so totally cool and stranger than fiction (almost) and also one that makes the inner me go, "eww."

Chomping at the Bit

Word count since October has been abysmal (and word count typed has been rarer than sightings of Bigfoot). Reading has been slightly better (I finished 20th Centruy Ghosts last night), but still not spectacular. Right now I feel at loose ends with myself.

At the day job we're in the holiday slump, so I have had time to catch up on the blogeroll. I can't write here. I wish I could. I could probably be pumping out a thousand words a day right at the moment, but there's no privacy, and even typing these blog posts gets more notice than it should. And we're not allowed to bring personal reading materials to work.

On the plus side, for the past few days I've been getting energy and feeling something I haven't felt for a long time. I felt the hunger to write. That deep gut need to write, write well, and get published (which are all different neesds and habits). For about the last half year I've been looking at writing as a job, as my third job. And I think that brought a coolness toward the actual writing part of it. The hunger includes those feelings like being up on stage, I want to write things that are entertaining, things that make people say, "Hey, that was pretty neat," get them to laugh, not just the competant stuff I've been cranking out. I have the need to prove something, to stand on the mountain craig, manuscript held tight in my hands, and shout my revelation in the mad scientist voice (laughter included). That same feeling other people get when they want to drive the cool car, wear the cool clothes, and flash the cool business card at the high school reunion.

I want to get really going on the book. I'm tired of the preliminary stuff I've been able to get done. I want to type it all out. I need to do edits and such on short stories. I want to get those done. Must carve out more time.

And then we have to get the house ready for the Holidays, so there will be time spent there. After tonight I'm hoping the Council Job (job number 2) will quiet down for a bit (after the New Year there will be a flurry of work).

I've been working on the time sink of internet surfing at home, but I've been replacing that with time watching TV (you know, it really sucks, I don't know why I'm watching it). Now I need to switch that back to getting words down on the computer.

Hah! There! I've thrown the gauntlet down for myself. There are flags on the snowy mountain calling me. Their cracking voices pray for my success; their brilliant colors excite my blood, the bull-roarer sound of flapping are my herald trumpets. Hear the world moving, feel the marching feet. It is winter, the trickster stalks in my mind, his track and spore show in the new snow. He is always hungry.

Happy Holidays from the Day Job

Okay, while I appear in this, I did not do the programing. So any snorting of drinks through your nose isn't my fault. Just warning you.

Need some ideas?

Via Jennifer Jackson's blog, her day job has some ideas/"what we're looking for." Her dayjob is at the Donald Maass agency.

Hot New Toy for Xmas, Tickle Me Jesus

Just, OMG. And I love the picture and some of the google links, because no boy would play with dolls. Actually I'm wondering how Jesus will hold up under the GI Joe/SNAKE Assault. Strap a handkerchief parachute to him and throw (wasn't that the First Last Temptation in the Desert?)! I wonder if he has King-Fu Grip? Well, at least they didn't make him blonde, but he looks awfully white for a middle-eastern man. And I want the Moses doll, what's not to like about an old-man doll (and if that doesn't creep you out).

OMG. I'm just laughing. I mean, plastic hair? I guess God doesn't need marketing data for what little girls like to play with. And didn't anybody really notice the forests of naked Barbies across the land? Didn't they think about that? Well, I'm sure he's not anatomically correct. I'm imagining Talk Jesuses (Jesusii?) across the land, naked in the snow banks, spouting Mathew, Luke and John. Although (fits of laughter) New! for next year, Talking Jesus Doll with Real Blood(tm) Wounds of the Cross (help your children get their stigmata righ!). And get all the accessories, "Just Friends" Mary Magdalene (oh, think of the clothing accessories for that one, before and after saved, and she would have to have Real Hair), the Garden of Gesthemane Play Set (ha ha ha ha), "True Wood of the Cross" Calvary, and Clearing Out the Moneychangers Temple, Empty Tomb Playset (Jesus not included).

Need to stop before I get hysterics. No, really, WalMart has sold out of these.

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's Begining to Look a Lot Like Xmas!

All around hoopy frood and fellow Hamster (the writers group I belong to), S. Andrew Swann just sold two books to Bantam. Woohoo! The one book we critiqued this past summer. You all are in for a treat, it was excellent. Congrats, Steve, you also rock. And congrats on the bigger advance, that is SO totally excellent (and it shows the confidence Bantam has in sellability of these books).

Hot Diggity, Dog Diggity, Boom What You Do (to me)!

Frequent commentor and very big ham (radio operator) Ken McConnell just sold another story to that fab editor, Eric Reynolds. You all should go and tell Ken what a great thing this is. Congrats, man, you rock!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Crash and Burn!

So, I'm trying to use a service form a big box store to help do a little thing I need done. Said big box store offers said service happily, as I am told in the actual big box of the store, only I need to call big box service 800 number.

I have some time at work so I call said number listed on big box website only to find it's not the correct number. Three numbers later (and some confusing phone tree tag – hint, use actual descriptions of what the number will connect me with, not marketing crap), five different operators, and a half an hour wasted only to find, that in my area code (of which all 5 operators asked me for) said big box store is unable to provide service.

I live 30 minutes from one store, actually 2 stores are that distant with another 4 stores in the 45-minute range. I drive passed either one or the other on my way home every day. And they don’t provide that service?

Needless to say, I am about to take a 2x4 and go through said big box store enlightening them to the joys of actual customer service. And the good thing is that I can pick one up at said big box store. Convenient that is.

I want to spend about $1500 with them, but nope, that ain't gonna happen because they can't get a good service. So now I'm left to trying to get someone I know in the business to help me out. This is not a viable or acceptable business model.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Scientist Report Slight Earth Orbital Anomaly!

World scientists are very concerned over new evidence that the Earth has developed an anomaly in it's orbit. Planetologists are agreed that this slight wobble is being created by the giant gyroscope effect from all the spin the Bush Administration is doing to paint the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) that says Iran abandoned their nuclear weapon programs back in 2003 as Good News(tm) and a justification for their past actions and for justifying continued belligerence against Iran.

"If this keeps up," says Fran Helprot, Doctor of World Spinning, Geneva University, "the Earth may soon leave it's standard orbital track and begin circling the Sun in a mobious type track."

More as it comes in.

Rejection for the Holidays

John Klima over at Electric Velocipede has rejected my haiku "Journey" in record time. He says it's not what he's looking for. Fair cop (but right now my mind is playing U2). Back to the drawing board of Story Pilot and Duotrope to see where I need to send it next. I'm still digging the e-submission thing.

Happy Hanukkah

To all my friends who are Jewish. Yes, I know it's one of the lesser festivals, but then, so was Xmas (at one time it was the Feast of St. Stephen). I think for the next week whenever someone accosts me with a "Merry/Happy Xmas" I'll reply by wishing them a Happy Hanukkah, said with all sincerity.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

SFWA (the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America) seems hell bent on leather to self destruct. Which is a pity because I had really determined that one of my first major goals would be qualifying to join. If you care, I'm sure you've read about it (Making Light, Whatever, Charlie's Diary, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Andrew Burt's response) and if not, you can skip to the next post.

Right now, if I would qualify, I would put my chances of joining at 20% or lower. Dave Kletcha pretty much nails it here. That 20% can be explained because one, I've wanted to join for so long and still consider it a goal marker (an early one, BTW), and two, Griefcom is still good. As others have pointed out there are now other resources to replace much of what SFWA was good for. Once there is another resource for Griefcom, SFWA will no longer be relevant.

For the SFWA leadership (and particularly Mr. A. Burt) you continue to tell us how intelligent you all are (particularly Mr. Burt). As the great axiom for writing goes, it's time to show, not tell. If Mr. Burt, as rumors say, does run for President and wins, my probability of joining SFWA will go somewhere south of Zero.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Whatever works, Babe, whatever works

The illustrious ebear is doling out more advice on writing. I agree with her 100% on this one. When somebody tells you that to write you must (write for only two hour a day, writin only in the morning/evening, outline, write in order, do indepth research before writing, create protognists/antagonists that are like..., write a story in order with no flashbacks, use only Word, blah blah blah) they're trying to kill your creativity. If any of those things work for you that's excellent. They may not work for others. Heck, even my golden rule (do NOT twart the will of the characters) doesn't work for everybody (and not everybody gets what I'm saying, some very successful authors claim the characters don't talk to them; mores the pity, IMHO).

Seriously, do whatever works for you to get the words out. It may not make sense in the generation of the work. Don't worry about that, that's what rewrite is for. Heck, some people claim they never have to rewrite (I personally don't believe them). Write however makes sense for you to write.

I'm a seat of the pants writer. I start from Story Bones (just like what I share here) and discover the story as I'm writing it. While I may know where I'm going before I end a story, I hardly every know where I'm going when I start. Hell, My Favority War Stories was supposed to me mainstream fiction, and it turned into a Lovecraftian Horror piece. Who knew? Well, the Characters new, that's who.

Xmas Decoration PSA (Public Service Announcement)

If you ever get a wild idea to relamp a nine-foot tall prelight Xmas Tree with lower energy use LED light (also changing to multi-color lights form all white) resist this idea with all your will. Just sayin'.

There goes a day of cursing little Chinese fingers. And I'm only half done. I still need to remove lights on the middle section and relamp it. It'll probably mean another $60 worth of LED lamps. My back hurts, I'm late for bed, and there are plastic pine needles everywhere. I'm sure it's a lot easier if you have the right equipment, table, and a diet of rice. I'm reminded that I never did well of those manual dexterity tests some of us took back in high-school. Good thing I can make my living mostly with my brain.

So the bottom and top sections are done. And that was most of the day with me and my wife. Take this as the warning it is.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rejection and right back out

Ann VanderMeer over at Weird Tales sent me an email today passing on Daddy's Little Girl as not what she's looking for. Fair cop. Also, I sent Ann a thank you note for her reply. I'm still a little shaky on that. So tonight it's off to OSC Intergalactic Medicine Show. In and out in a day, man I'm liking this electronic submissions thing.

Got the outside lights up. Also was able to re-caulk the flashing on the roof while it was sunny (well, I did that first, before the decorations). Tonight it's snowing, so we times it well. The tree is sitting on the floor, so tomorrow we'll put that up.

Busy Be(e) Me

Found the letter for Daddy's Little Girl, so I update the Braggin' Rights. In the middle of a lot of things getting the house ready for winter (a little too late, but maybe I can calk the one flashing today, but the temp is still below freezing) and Xmas (there's still outdoor decorations that need put out, and the tree needs to go up). Plus cleaning up from the shelves. Yes, I'm slow as molasses when it comes to that stuff. This is why I haven't been posting all that much.

Work has been busy. Even through the new process took my 6 hour job on Thursdays down to 3 hours (and halved the internal sales people's work as well) it was still a busy week (although not as busy as last January). On top of that everyday I was running errands. Next week isn't looking much better with meetings starting back up and several big projects at work.

Plus there's a new novel segment to read before next Sunday for the writers group (and probably a short story or two will come in this week). I want to get at least two of the stories in edits out by the end of the year and a poem (non SF/F) that wants to be written. When I think of poetry my head bings, so I'm guessing there's more there than "Affected Lake" (that poem I need to write, the first stanza of which came out when I was driving home last week).

NaNoWriMo is over. I hope everybody that was participating made it (I know some of you did and some of you didn't, but there's a lot of you I don't know about). And if you didn't make it at least you got something useful out of it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Journey of Rejection and Other Writing Things

Forgot to mention that my haiku "Journey" was rejected by Ideomancer. Ms. Jaime Voss, Poetry Editor, said while nicely done it just didn't work for her. Fair cop. So now it's over to Electric Velocipede. Let's see if they can use it.

My other poem, "Rag-a-Bag" is still at Andromeda Spaceways even though we are past the three-month exclusive deadline they asked for. I'm taking this as a good sign.

The past two nights I've wanted to do rewrites to "My Favorite War Stories." I open the file and just stare at the screen. Last night I got some words down, tonight I wasn't as lucky. I know what I need to write, know where I want to go, the words just won't come out. This is something that needs to be ended. Is this writer's block? It feels more like trying to move a wheeled cart that has sat way too long in one place. The axel doesn't want to turn, the wheels are stuck to the surface. I need some more energy to get it all moving again.

In other writer news, I need to buy my membership for Confusion for January, also need to reserve the room. I also just got a postcard from Marcon. I've been wavering between going back to Marcon (the nice person at World Fantasy registration, who is some one involved with Marcon, said they're shifting the focus back toward writing after having gone in a different direction for a few years) or going to WisCon as they're both on Memorial Day Weekend. Well, Steven Brust is toastmaster at Marcon this year. That's a ringer for me. I need to register and reserve a room for that.

Also, I'm halfway through "20th Century Ghosts." Joe Hill is one of my favorite new writers. I think I've explained this before, there are some writers that are excellent and I love their stuff, but they leave my mind and empty slate when it comes to my own writing. John Scalzi and Tobias Buckell are in this category. Then there are writers that leave my mind a cornucopia of ideas (not releated to what I'm reading, just ideas) like Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, and now Joe Hill.

I support this message...

All around niffy kind of guy Jim C. Hines is taking time out of his busy schedule of working the day job and writing his next book (which I believe is titled, Hear a Goblin, They're a Goblin) to think of other people this holiday season. I support him whole-heartedly, especially because of his choice of recipient and choice of what he's donating. Jim's asking for published authors to share some signed copies of their books that he will see get to his local women's shelter. My local shelter is my prefered philanthropic cause, and they have more business than they can handle.

As Jim says, the women and families that come to the shelter have typically fled their homes with not much more than the clothes on their backs. It helps to have a wide variety of things on hand at these shelters, including gifts for the holidays. This is a very rough transition these women and kids are going through. Many will return to the homes they've fled, usually the first time. I think it helps the councelors and volunteers mission to be able to show these women that others are supportive of their choice to leave. They have so little when they arrive, being able to have one or two things they can take with them means a great deal. Personal things, not just clothes and a direction.

So if you're an author, got some stock and would like to help a good cause, I recommend you take up Jim's call.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bragging Rights

For a long time I used to have an "In Progress" side bar, but that didn't get updated all that often. Then other stories would take off and zoom past the stubs I'm pushing toward the end, so I stopped it. It might come back in a different incarnation, but I've removed it and replaced it with one called "Bragging Rights." Right now this contains some placement info from the Writers of the Future Contest (3 Finalists and 2 Honorable Mentions, I had forgotten one Finalist placement, but I was going through updating my paperwork and discovered it), but will (hopefully soon) contain some published credits. Plus I also get the nicest rejection letters.

Prizes and Honors Galore

Really nice person, all around excellent writer and friend of cats, Mary Turzillo's new poetry anthology, Your Cat & Other Space Aliens was selected for nomination for the Pushcart Prize. Congrats, Mary. I hope it gets to the short list, and then wins.

Open Letter to Home Depot, Moen, Delta, and anybody else that makes or sells showerheads

To those that make showerheads, I'm pretty sure you all have hydro-engineers on staff (and if not, you should have). Please use them.

Over the weekend the fixed showerhead in the main shower I use decided to blow a gasket so when I would use the "low water usage" setting, water just poured out the back. Now, I have tried other showerheads, tried to "upgrade," and I've been disappointed and would reinstall the old cheap non-brand name showerhead. So this time I was worried.

To try and avoid the difficulties I've had before I bought a premium Delta showerhead (note to Home Depot here, clean up your displays and put displays of items that can be manipulated down where people can manipulate them instead of being out of reach, also, your selection is nice but the stock-on-hand sucks). The color available (a brushed nickel) doesn't really match anything, but hey, it's a showerhead (and nothing else really matched either).

But here's where there are problems. I'm not in the Navy. So while I appreciate the trickle, low water usage option, if I wanted a true trickle function I would buy one of those switches they have on ships. What I'm looking for in low water usage is one-third or a half of normal water pressure. Enough water-flow that I can rinse my hands, re-wet the washcloth, rinse off my face from the shampoo. My old showerhead, if I went slowly, I could wash fully under the low water usage setting. And finally, put the "full-stream" right next to the "low water usage" settings on you dial. Don't make me scroll through the various massage (don't really need) and "Champaign" settings to go from full shower to low water. Seriously.

Also, when you say "full-stream" it better be full-stream, not some aerated half-pressure thing. If you want to create "an experience" in the shower this is where you need to make it work. This is where the majority of my time in the shower is going to happen. Make this setting the best, not the, "oh, yeah, we need to have this one." I don't use the massage settings unless I have a tense back (and it doesn't help much then either). Spiraling water may look cool in the video, but doesn't do squat. The "Champaign" feature shouldn't sacrifice pressure.

Now, I'm sure if my showerhead was directly over my shower space many of these problems wouldn't matter so much. But mine isn't, and I doubt the majority of people have such a shower arrangement. Your showerhead needs to project water into the space.

What I would want in a showerhead? Okay, for a fixed showerhead you can pretty much can the massage crap. If I have to move my body into the massage water, you've lost all the benefit of the massage. Plus, most massage functions don't have enough pressure to make it worth my while. Give me a good full-stream function; nice coverage area and pressure that will push soap off my skin, not just rinse it off. Then have a one-third or half stream function right next to it. This should be enough flow to throw water into the space, enough to rinse off if you have time, but not enough to really get all that wet. It should be enough, though, to also keep my temperature settings correct. If you want to add a trickle setting, have at it, but don't replace the trickle with the low flow setting. For most showers I want to get wet fast, switch to low water and get clean, then maybe switch back to full-stream to rinse off. Finally, give me a deluge option, a full-on water extravaganza.

You may think you have a showerhead that "is just like showering in a waterfall." Bull. When I worked on Habitat for Humanity homes in Tennessee I had to shower in waterfalls. That was the most excellent part of that time. Really, if you never have showered in a stream with a waterfall you're missing something. I know what it means to use a waterfall to shower, you're 2.5 gallon per minute "Champaign" feature doesn't even come close. Tell your marketing people to get a grip on reality.

And here is the part for Home Depot again. Remove the "Self Checkout Lanes." I've tried them 6 times and have never had a successfully completed transaction through them. I am not a technophobe or an idiot. They don't work for you. Stop annoying me with them. When I went to checkout last night they were the only lanes open. Never do that to me again or I will dump what I was planning to purchase on the nearest aisle and walk out. If you think you're saving money, you're not. It took your clerk four times as long to help me as it did for us to walk over to the regular check out and ring out that way. If you want me to go through that again, give me a discount for checking myself out. That's the only way I will use those lanes again.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

On Writing Sex

Oh, you think I'm going to pontificate? Not when the inestimable ebear will do it. The new story Sean and the Moon has a sex scene in it and I have to admit that I was blowing it big time; 14 year-old boy, moon glow, foxtail touches, I was squicking all over the place. With a lucky message from the Muse I think I'm back on track, but with the advice of Elizabeth Bear (aka matociquala), I think I'll be able to handle it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Decoration Weekend

Well, the weekend after Thanksgiving is here and it's time to decorate for Xmas. I'm way behind on my chores so today will be spent catching up. We'll start by raking very wet and cold leaves and scrubbing bathrooms. I probably won't be able to get on the roof because of the wet so hopefully we'll have a warm dry spell where I can get the leaves off the roof. Depending on how my back is holding up (I slept wrong, those of you who are young don't know what I'm talking about) I'll probably put some decorations out. My Mom gave us two inflatable snowmen for Thanksgiving (well, it was also Bette and I's wedding anniversary) so I might put those out next to our normal inflatable snowman.

I'm not really a big fan of inflatable decorations, although my neighbor across the street goes hog wild for them. I like that they store easily, and that you can see them in the daylight, but they use a huge amount of electricity. My outside sockets are on the same circuit as my living room (yeah, one of those things you learn after buying your first house). I need to hire my nephew to change that. Normally when I turn on my Xmas lights the house lights dim. I've been migrating to LED lights because of that (fortuantely I can afford them at this point), but I haven't been able to find white-wire white lights that I can relamp the deer with. I also will try and relamp some of my Xmas tree with LEDs this year. Bette also wants to go multi-color, so that works together.

In other news, Bette got me On Writing Horror for our anniversary. Have I said how much I love my wife?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I probably won't be on later tonight or all day tomorrow, so I wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. For those of you in the US, I hope you have a good time with family, the family you're born to or the family of your choosing. I wish you all warmth, good food, laughter and good company.

Also, I missed it, Story Bone is 2 years old. Happy B-Day you ol' Bone.

LOBSTER!

(shades of "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe")

Via La Gringa's Swivet, (and because I know you all get jollies from excellent fossils), the Giant Sea Scorpion. All I can say is, time to melt that Butter Cow out in Iowa, 'cause we're gonna need it.

Story Bone

Sure, you've heard of making a meal out of the free food giveaways at the grocery store. "Would you like another eighth of a pizaa slice?" Sure!

And you've heard about how when a big meeting that has sandwiches, bagels, or donuts to ply vendors or clients ends and the food is put out in the break room that the rest of the working people, the ones who are not normally in meetings because they're working, decend on such scraps in a fashion to make carrion vultures blush with embassasment. "Sandwiches in the break room!" Stampeed!

But how about a character that makes his lunch by grazing the candy and snack bowls around the office. They go around in a loop to gather up what they can, maybe timing their rounds to the best places (pretzles, chocolate, or those strawberry candies) to when that person is away (lunch, meeting, or bathroom).

That you may see the meaning of within

To all air travellors, the TSA wants you to have a wonderful holiday and know that you're totally screwed if you want to fly this weekend.

Okay, well, they didn't use those words exactly. Instead their saying that "if you know the rules, and obey them, you'll get through faster." Yes, know the rules. Stay in line. Do not touch the barbed-wire. Achtung, allies lookenpeepers, take off your shoes, your coat, turn off your mind, relax and float down stream. It's not dying. Lay down all thought, surrender to the void. It is shining.

And in other travel news, all that union busting back in the 80s is about to bust the FAA Air Traffic Controllers. Talk about your chickens coming home to roost. Good thing the Pres wants to go to that new control system that needs fewer traffic controllers. Because obviously having a lower rate of pay for incoming people is doing wonders for the recruitment plans. Strange that. Gee, a high stress job that requires a high amount of training, and then they cut pay, cut benefits, cut breaks, cut backs, here a cut, there a cut, everywhere a cut, cut, and Old Farmer Reagan's Air Traffic Control Towers seem to be a little vacant these days.

But listen to the color of your dreams. It is not living. Or play the game, existence to the end of the beginning.

God to Left Behind Authors, "Nertz to You, Pal-ies."

So, for my book I tried to listen to "Left Behind" (co-written by an second-rate evangelist and a disguarded political operative, they've said worse about other people, live by the sword, die by the sword) to just get the drift of what the crazy was about. I didn't make it much past Chapter 1, which is the scene on the airplane. Between the airplane's captain looking in a mirror and admiring his well-shaped body that all the stewardesses (and most of the females he's ever met) wanted (and that he's enjoyed), the cardboard stock characterization, the poor dialog.. (did I mention how I didn't make it past the first chapter, yeah, there's reasons for that) there was a reporter returning from Israel with the good news about how God had saved Israel from the evil Russians by sending a meteor storm to knock down bombers, fighters, tanks, and nuclear weapons (never mind that isn't how you fight a nuclear war). He obviously was on the plane all a jiggle to bring the news back to the US about this miracle because apparently in the late 80s (when this book was written) he was the only witness to some striking devastation and nobody had film cameras and photo transfers (like AP Wire Photos), international phone calls, diplomatic channels, satellite communications, telex or short wave radios. We were basically back to taking a high-tech wheeled-cart from village to village crying out the news. No, seriously. Did I mention how I couldn't get past the first chapter?

So, when I heard this news about how a hail storm had set off some Israeli Cluster Munitions left over from the ill-fated recent invasion into Lebanon, I just started laughing. Yes, God has spoken, and he destroyed the Israeli munitions, not the munitions of those that have attacked Israel. Note to authors (and most others), God hates war.

So imagine me looking at those aforementioned authors (who in my book will be giving Post-Rapture Tours of Holy Sites until a 5 year-old exposes their charlatanism), pointing and making a Simpson's Nelson Mutz "Ha ha."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

On a Field in Pennsylvania, in July, Day 1

I'm listening to Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels on my iPod, and I know I'm gonna cry. I did when I read the book, when Longstreet goes raging into the fields of Gettysburg looking for a Union bullet to end his pain. I cried because I know that feeling. Anybody who has commanded knows that feeling, we avoid it the best we can.

It ranges out there, stalking us like a cougar. We can smell it's breath and it's musk, just working hard to keep the strike at bay, if we can see it first, if we can halt it's charge. If only we're confident enough, smart enough, daring enough, hold your head high, back straight, never show a weak moment we'll keep that cat in the trees. Never show anything that could be construed as "prey activity" or it'll come busting out of the cover right at you. Never let it know you're thinking about it, don't look in the trees or you'll see it. And if you're good and eat all your peas, you'll be able to wish it away on the other guy. The other guy you're trying like hell to make dead for his cause.

That "God damn, (insert your most colorful stream of creativity here)" feeling you get, having asked boys (and now girls) who trusted you with their lives, to walk into the buzz saw, hoping you'd at least get to the objective. And failing to do anything but get them killed. And wanting, desperately, to not only join them but end the torment of carrying that weight, carrying all their bodies back to their homes and never being able to leave everything behind. To take that cup of poison away.

It's the feeling (I'm only guessing here, but I'm pretty sure) that Cheney and Rumsfeld had after seeing the dead Kurds, laying in their Villages. Kurds dead from the weapons they handed to Saddam. Those Kurds come and visit them at night, in the car, when they get out of the shower, when they eat their breakfast. I think those two old bastards wanted this Iraq war so they could say to those revenants, "Look, we got rid of Saddam. We avenged you." This is like the child pulling the blankets over their heads because monsters can't see through blankets. The monsters are always there when you lower the blanket.

Only now there's a whole new chorus of dead for them.

We've asked our boys and girls to win Iraq three times now ("Mission Accomplished"/First Insurgency-Fedayeen/Surge-AQI). Each time they've done what we've asked, and each time there was no political follow up. We railled against the Iraqi Parliament for taking August off. It's now 2.5 months later and they still haven't fixed their problems. Are we going to ask our boys and girls to win Iraq a fourth time? Time for this administration to show some political savvy and balls and get Iraq's political situation straightened. Their fear, though, is that they'll ask us to leave. Well, then, we leave. either than or drop the pretending and make Iraq a protectorate and get it done.

Only that way can we truly refocus of Afghanistan and take this war back to where it needed to be.

Huddle up for the 7th Inning Pep Rally and Hat Trick

Dear Santa, for Xmas I want a metaphor Cuisinart to help make those headlines easier.

All around nice guy and East Coast raconteur Todd Wheeler is in the midst of NaNoWriMo (as are many of you, from what I understand) and continues to chug along, pumping out the words like a... like a... Damn it, Santa, I could use that thing now (Oh we need a little Xmas, right this very minute...). Anyway, Todd points out a pep talk by the Neilster himself. Neil Gaiman gives you these words of encouragement, which work if you're participating in NaNoWriMo or not. Really, if you're writing, you should read them and know that those feelings you have about the work, we all get them.

Oh, and Santa, while you at it, I could use some Elf Help on my Chapter 9.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It Must Be Winter and Rejection Holiday

Well, if it weren't for the snow over the weekend (no, none of it staid around for long) there are other signs it's winter. Say, like the 3 pages of hand written notes on three different stories in different levels of progress, including a short-story stub I hadn't thought about for a while. Add to that the full scrap of paper notes I made this morning here at work. And all of it is story (with a few notes on research needed, such as "Snake Eaters" are Force Recon, and do the kids these days say SpecFor or SOCOM).

Also this weekend I got a rejection from Dark Wisdom on "My Favorite War Stories." It read as a form email. Yesterday I killed my darling (the first 900 words) and started rewriting. Some of the notes form the weekend and this morning were for the rewrite. The SEAL character now has a name (Casey Batterson, dont' make fun of it, that's what lead to him being a SEAL). The gist of those 900 words will be there, but I have to get to the main story faster, so they have to go and get meta instead of inference (more telling than showing, or a different way of showing that doesn't include the stone by stone journey log).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Kids These Days

So, we had a bomb threat at our local K-12 School. A student wrote the warning on a wall. I guess they forgot about the video cameras. Not exactly the valedictorian of the class.

And you might notice that on the high school page they have a tag for "Academics" but no actual link to a page about them. Unlike Athletics, Arts, Guidance, and the Report Card (No Child Left Behind and Ohio's Wonderful State Requirements).

Record Setting 275 Plates!

This week was a record for the day job. With the help of a client merger, and the Holidays approaching (everybody suddenly has deadlines) we squeezed 275 small-press plates out this week, with a normal amount of overtime (actually down from last year). Last record was 268. Yippie!

Story Bone Redux

From a previous Story Bone, this line came to me.

Reading the comments on Scalzi's Creation Museum trip, the Creationists that whine about all us rational scientific types not being open minded, logical, scientific, rational, and intelligent enough to really understand Creationism just makes my inner Klingon giggle with glee.

I'll Take "Things That Are Cool" for $400.

Oh, okay, maybe it's my inner child that remembers going to the Phildelphia Natural History Museum and seeing all the bones, but new, weird dinosaurs turn my knobs up to eleven.

Tough Enough?

So, the President is going to help all those weary holiday travelers out. Yes, the Prez has got a plan.

First, they're opening up the air space over military reservations along the coasts so flights don't have to route around. My guess is that the Whitehouse Airspace is still verboten.

First cluebat to the President, transit time isn't the problem. Flights are already calibrated for fuel usage and travel time.

Next, the President is relaxing FAA maintenance standards. No, seriously. He's relaxing regulation passed by Congress. You know, something that might not be all that legal.

Second cluebat to the President, maintenance is scheduled months in advance. This isn't a problem. This is an excuse by the airlines for their screwups and it's an excuse by you to deregulate a deregulated industry. Remember back in the 70s and 80s when airplanes fell out of the sky? Like a couple a year. Know what stopped that from happening? Bingo! Welcome to the old days of Air Soviet Union, but without the wonderful benefit of no meals, no peanuts, no service, and we might, might have a working bathroom. Edited TO be fair to the President, he was a heavy drinker in the 70s and 80s, so he may actually not remember the times before all the maintenance schedules were made because of safety reasons.

Next the President wasn't to continue to roll out the new air traffic controller system. A system that is dependant on every aircraft transmitting their GPS and other data continuously (after they're all updated). Because, you know, there's no flaw with that concept. Like bad guys turning the system off, or faulty transponders or equipment failure, or..

Third cluebat to the President, your plan will weaken our defenses, lead to job losses, and cost the industry a fortune, mostly on the low cost carriers. This is another attempt to lose workers that could unionize and weaken the federal employment programs. Plus all those easily identifiable flaws above.

Finally the President wants to double the amount of the payback if your, the consumer's, ticket isn't honored and you're bumped.

Fourth cluebat, most people take the free tickets or cash that's offered them to voluntarily give up their seat. How about something with real teeth, say triple the price of your ticket, the tickets of those traveling with you (say if you're bumped but your wife isn't), plus a new ticket on the a flight to get you where your were going.

So, basically this is nothing but a giveaway to industry. The airline industry, which has lobbied hard for these changes (including the new air traffic controller system, because it will cost the right people more money), is the only beneficiary. It has nothing to due with actual consumer protection.

So the President is still a cream puff. A lumpy cream puff.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Joshua Palmatier Is Throwing a Contest

Josh wants you all to know that the second book in his trilogy is out in paperback. The first, The Skewed Throne, has been available in paperback for a while now. But now you can continue your paperback fix with The Cracked Throne. Josh also wants you all to know that the capstone third book, The Vacant Throne, will be released into the wild in January. So if you decide to fill someone's stocking with good reading material this holiday season, once their hooked, they won't have to wait too long before getting their final installment. And speaking of getting fixes, you can sample Josh's books at www.joshuapalmatier.com. Oh yes, the first taste is free.

The contest is to win a copy of the final hit, I mean installment, when it comes out. As I've said before, I'm a sucker for free books.

Ground Control to Major Tom

For the past decades Ohio has been a local laboratory for Republican Theories of Government. Fortunately, we now have a Democratic Governor, but we're still limping along fomr the wounds inflicted by what continues to be a Republican controlled legislature.

The latest wound inflicted on us is the removal of local cable franchises in favor of state-wide franchises. It was all sold to us as "increased competition, lower prices, better service" and all the other lollipops and suger-plum fairies that dance in conservative minds when they get giddy with power and drunk with control. So the Ohio Legislature violated local control and enactd state-wide franchises for cable TV operations.

So now AT&T is our first state-wide licensee. There's two more in the dock, ready to go. And now comes the report that even though we'll have more competition, in those places where AT&T wants to compete, that nobody expects cable TV prices to go down (except for the teaser rate months). Most are predicting that after the first three-months of service rates will increase faster than before.

Next up for our legislature, fixing our electricy deregulation problem. The major companies chased out any competetion by unscrupulous business practices, and rates are about to open up. Again, nobody is predicting that rates will go down. In fact, most are predicting they will skyrocket. What does our legislature do? Proposes a bill that further weakens our PUCO (already a puppet of industry).

These are the last in a long series of decisions and laws that have weakened individual citizen and worker rights, strengthened business protections by raping consumer laws, and removed home rule (local laws). All while jobs flee the state, businesses fleece consumers, tax rates are lowered for everybody but real people who don't make over $250,000 a year, and we solve no problems. Welcome to the future of Conservative Politics. Frankly, this future sucks.

Story Bone

"Don't bother me. I'm getting in touch with my inner Klingon."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Scalzi Book Give Away for Your Best LOLCreation Museum

John Scalzi is holding a contest to win Ghost Brigades. A special edition, no less.

I think this is the only newer Scalzi Book I don't have (read it from the library). And as you know, I'm a Whatever for free books.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Story Bone

Semi-frequent commentator, author in his retired life, and all around cool guy Jim Wright, sends us this Bone. (cool guy = Alaskan resident, get it! Ha! Oh man, do I have to go to bed, I'm so tired)

It seems Jim and his son sat down to watch "Night at theMuseum" (which, BTW, I happen to recommend, practically the only Ben Stiller movie I own, but hey, Mikey Rooney as a crotchety old man in a gang with Dick Van Dyke and Bill Cobbs, that right there should be enough to watch it but there's also Robin Williams, forget the logical fallicies of "okay, it works for flesh, but how does that make the train go and the catapults work?") and has been joining in the fray over at the Whatever and John Scalzi's trip to the Creation Museum and thinks they're two great tastes that would taste great together.

Adam and the T-Rex go out for coconut mixed-drinks ala the Skipper and Gilligan. They play with the lambs and the lions and then go romp with the pocket-sized dinos that fit on Noah's Arc. Professor Brand(tm) Coconut Radios in a week, I say. I mean, "NatM" had some stinky ol' Egyptian tablet, heck, Yahweh's got Two Tablets. Just like Alka-Seltzer for the soul (can you tell I've been worked up by the discussions over at the Whatever, and I'm a little tired). Now, of course, when I see Charlton "Cold Dead Hands" Heston come off the mountain in that Easter Perennial, Cecil B. Demille's "The Ten Commandments", I'm going to be singing in my head, "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what-a belief it is."

edit Sorry about the double post last night, was having connection issues.

Story Bone

Can you trust a guy who eats his pizza with a fork?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another Writer Podcast

I'm not all that into podcasting, really, but from time to time I check some out.

This is one I've been listening to lately, and she seems to be pretty good. I Should Be Writing is something you might want to check out. Mur Lafferty, our host there, does a pretty good job of it.

The description from her blog says, "The podcast for wanna-be fiction writers, by a wanna-be fiction writer. Freelance writer Mur Lafferty discusses rejection, cover letters and getting the oomph to keep going." And that seems to be about it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Write-tober is over

Just finished all the Write-tober events tonight with the conclusion of the meeting of my writers group. It's been an event filled month that didn't see a whole lotta words getting down on paper, but every weekend had something going on with writing. I'll be glad to get some time back to actually write. One thing I have learned this month is that broadband is something I should avoid if I want to get words down. There is too much cool stuff that requires broadband to go look at. So I guess I'm saved with mostly having only dial-up access when I'm writing. Where sometimes it taked whole minutes for webpages to finish loading. And video? Forgettaboutit.

Now that we're in the middle of NaNoWriMo, some people's Write-tobers continue. I'm not on that track, but I wish all of you a merry good time (Todd, Leafy, and everybody else).

Also just realized it's time to synch my links at work with my links at home. I know there's two more people who have commented here about NaNoWriMo, but their RSS feed links are at work.

Doggie in the Window

We've found the puppy a good home and she's off to that home. She really will be on a farm with at least one other dog to play with. The person who picked her up was very nice and knew her way around dogs. She will be giving the little puppy, whom she called "Lucky" some training and structure, which dogs need.

The positive end of this is that the puppy has a good home and will get the attention she wants. We've also found out that if we do get a dog, it can't be a big dog. Lucky was a little too much for us. Although I liked that she got us out an moving (okay, mostly my wife). We've not received any calls about Lucky, and nobody we asked had ever seen her.

Good luck, Lucky.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Weekend Roundup

Camille continues to sell stories like clockwork. This new one to antho "Desolate Spaces."

Todd Wheeler is cruising along with his NaNoWriMo project.

And the rest of the world continues to spin along. Write-tober is coming to a close this weekend with my writers group meeting tomorrow. I still have to read a short story, a novel segment, and a synopsis for critique tomorrow. I also still have that novel I need to continue to critique for a friend. Things have just been going crazy lately.

Puppy update: We still have her, she's calming down a little, but she doesn't get along with cats. That was the big determining factor. We're still looking for a good home. She likes people, doesn't get playing fetch (yet), is good being outdoors, needs a good home. We're working through her worm medicine to make sure she doesn't have any.

Story Bone

"Looks like the house settled," the handyman said, looking from the crack in the wall to me. "Houses do that."

I wasn't sure if he was talking about the gash in the plaster or about my own home improvement skills.


If I had time to write this, I would call the story, "Crack in the Wall." As I've said before, I really suck at short story titles. I already have some story ideas for this, and I might eventually write it, but this felt like it needed to be released, so I'm betting one of you needs it as well. Have at.

Get thee to a Museary

This is why you should get a Muse. Blam-o, right out of the sky while I was ::cough:: indisposed of one day at work.

"Her hair was a coppery red and her eyes the color of purple twilight. the fragrance of midnight shade in an apple orchard surrounded her. After he had been successful, he purchased an orchard to work his retirement away in sweet cider-press bliss. When she brushed past him, just the hairs on their arms reached out for each other like their bodies were filled with electricity that needed to pass to the other and he thought of the foxtail clip again...

"She didn't say that she would marry him, but that they had already been married (scene of him making a twisted dew-grass ring) and she was just waiting for him to realize that."

Okay, the second paragraph is more like story notes than actual text. There were also notes about the foxtail clip and how the touch of the moon was just like that. The text above is about the main character's childhood girlfriend that he ends up marrying. She's also a "substitute/analog/daughter of" the moon. The story has transformation and growth of the character. The "conflict" is mostly between him and his Dad, but I'm not sure that's enough. Does that make for a good story? I don't know.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Yippie! Another Sale (for someone else)!

Ken McConnell made a sale to Space Westerns that will come out in March. You better give us a link when it's posted, Ken, so we can all go and experience the writing. You rock, Ken. Congrats. This makes #2, right?

Everybody else should go over and tell Ken he's doing great. He posted this last Friday, so I'm late to the party. Still catching up on the blogeroll.

The thing about internet submissions...

is that you don't get a pysical paper rejection letter. Kind of hard to send a SASE through email.

OSC Intergalactic Medicine Show bounced Running of the Deer. The rejection email reads the same as my rejection for Changelings, so I'm going to go with that it's their form rejection. It was there a good long while. I have to update my submission files to see where I need to send it next.

Radio Freefall - for free!

The inestimable Matt Jarpe is holding a contest to get a free copy of his first book, Radio Freefall.

I would enter myself, as you know I'm just a man ho for free books, but I have a copy I won the old fashioned way - by winning it in a silent auction at WFC.

So go forth and win.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Polls Are Closed!

It's about 9pm and results are available, yet.

For anybody who really cares, here are the results from my last election. That was an actual contested race (3 seats open, 4 people running). It was also a contest for mayor. At 172 votes I wasn't exactly blazing a trail, but I also was only in the Village for 3 years.

This year my tally will be less. How do I know this? Well, when I got back into the Village to cast my vote it was about 6PM. At that time I was ballot number 119. Yeah, just a fewer amount of voters turned out this time. Well, one there really is no contest (3 people are up for 3 seats). Add to that that today is the first bad weather day this year. Low voter turn out.

When the results are in, you'll be able to see them from the links right here.

VOTE FOR ME!

Today is election day. I'm on the ballot for Orwell Village. Don't forget to go out and vote.

Given the emails I had for the village when I got into work, I don't know if I'm going to vote for me, but I don't think I have a choice.

Snow!

Yes, Jim, we now have snow here in NE Ohio. It probably won't stick (and it really wasn't on more than roofs and cars). But there were the pellets of snow (first lake effect snows come as pellets).

Also, in puppy news, apparently the puppy likes being outdoors. This is good news as we've been trying to figure out how to have her indoors. So now a dog house purchase will probably be in our future. I did make a crude shelter for her out of some hay bales we had with a tarp thrown over the top.

Monday, November 5, 2007

World Fantasy and the Whatever

Meeting everybody at WFC was just a mind blowing experience. You all are very neat and cool.

I spent about a half hour talking with George Scithers when I just wanted to thank him for his personalized rejection letters. Sat with Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear for ten minutes (I didn't contribute much to the conversation). I was able to talk with a boat load of authors; some I knew, some I didn't, some I should have been reading (sorry about that L. E. Modesitt, I really do want to read your stuff).

And there were about eleven or fourteen people who asked me if I was the Steve that posts on the Whatever. Yes I am. I recognized some of your names, but not all of them. Thanks for saying hi, though. It freaks me out a little (so that's why I kind of hesitated each time). I mean, I'm still there to play fanboy to the writers and editors, so when it happens to me, it's a little disconcerning. When you're at these cons, there's lots of badge checking. When you see someone you look to their badge to grab their name. I'm not good at that. But yeah, you guys and gals zoom me. It's a serious rush to have that happen.

But I do have to make clear some things about me.

One, I'm horrible with remembering names. Seriously. I blew that section of my mind out with NutriSweet. Before I tried diet pops, I was pretty good with names. Afterward I have to work very hard to remember them (the people from the first night, I wrote their names down on scraps of paper, I didn't have the opportunity on the other days). But I never forget a face. So walking around places like WFC is an experience, I know many of the people walking around having seen them all before. The people I've talked with I know I've talked with them (I can remember most details about those I meet). It's just not remembering names.

Two, I blew some of my hearing out playing in marching band, orchestra, jazz band, and my own rock band. My HS marching band (GlenOak, under Roger Hall) was small, but we outplayed bands twice our size. We were very loud (controlled sound, not blatty). The "cocktail party effect" (where you can focus in on one person talking in a crowd) doesn't work for me. So when I'm in a crowd, hearing someone even if they're right next to me is very hard. I sometimes go by reading lips.

Anyway, you all were great. I hope to see you all again real soon.

Homecomming

Made it home in one piece, mostly. Didn't get to say good-bye to most people.

However my wife had several surprises for me. First, she had taken down the Halloween decorations. The second was waiting in the garage for me.



Bette found her playing in traffic in downtown Orwell Saturday morning. We've called the police, no missing report. We'll put up flyers to see if anybody knows her. Then we're deciding if we're going to keep her.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cha cha cha Changes

Well, the clocks have changed over, but I haven't. Although dead tired and stark awake and getting a slow start to the day.

And it maybe the paranoia but I think I was an awful bore last night at the party. I blame the demon rum from Friday night. I hope I didn't kill anybody with conversational deadening skills.

So today, must pack back up, take my duffle full of books, load up the car, and drive with Karl back to Ohio. It's gonna be a long day.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

WFC Saturday

Met way too many people to remember at the Tor Party. You all were excellent and I'm sorry I was such a bore. As you can see, it's only midnight, and I hit pumpkinville about an hour ago, but kept on trying to keep going. I wasn't successful. 'nough said.

Too much to write about as I'm falling asleep. Tomorrow is the long ride home (about 7 hours).

Won Matt Jarpe's Radio Freefall but didn't win The Coyote Road in the PK Dick Silent Auction. I would put in a bid for the Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet but I think the bidding is above my comfort level at this point. But that action doesn't close until tomorrow, so I still might.

Anyway, time for sleep. Glad I took Monday off. I think I'll sleep until I have to get up to take my car for the 60,000 mile checkup.

Should say I met Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear, who are wonderful people and allowed me to sit for ten minutes with them as they waited to go to dinner.

Friday, November 2, 2007

WFC Friday

OMG, what a day. And I've been a little shy (yes, I know, you can't imagine it). So I haven't gone up to everybody I wanted to.

Hung out at the parties more tonight, had a great time. I'm so tired, I'm going to forgo linking, sorry. I might put them in tomorrow.

I started posting several times per day, but kept on getting interupted. So much to do. Finally got to say high to a lot of people, especially at the book singing. I got to tell Ellen Datlow that she was the person who sent me my first rejection letter. If you all think you've had a bad rejection letter, my first one basically said, "Thanks for submitting to Omni Online. As of February we have decided to close the magazine. We are returning your story unread. Good luck."

Yeah, get over that. Your story was such a stinkeroo, we closed up shop and went home. Yeah, now that's a rejection.

I said hi to Jay Lake. He knew my name from my sometime blog commenting (excellent person he is). Thanked Tamora Pierce for her book recommendations for my wife that she kindly gave me at Confluence (which, although she did add her books in, she didn't start there, and her book selections form her own published works made sense, very classy woman). Said hi to David Hartwell. Let him know that my writing had progressed from the time we first talked and he said, "Your writing probably (stinks) right now." He was playing the odds. Tried to say hi to Patrick Nielsen Hayden, but that man is quick on his feet, I tell ya. There was a panel to honor Bette Ballentine. I came in late, found a seat near the front, and then looked around at the people sitting around me. I was WAY out of my league. I'm glad I went, Bette was a hoot and a half (and overly modest). And just sitting in that room with those people was a personal rush. I don't even know where to begin listing them all. Look at the membership list and pick out all the big names and you pretty much have the packed room audience.

So tired, must get sleep.

Did I mention however long ago that Camille also sold another poem. I must have. If I didn't, congrats Camille. right now I'm feeling all fanboyish and wondering how I've gotten to know these amazing people I have the temerity to hang out with.

Other cool things at World Fantasy

So, this morning I went down for the first panels, and stack in boxes under a homemade sign saying, ""Free Books, these Arrived after the bags were packed" (or something like that) were copies of Jay Lake's Trial of Flowers (trade paperback).

Also, best line from first panel, "I fell bad when the ghost are having a better time than I am." - Daniel Olsen

Another Sale for Mer!

All around hoopy frood and multiple language raconteur ("qua?" "quoi?" thanks Mer) Mer Haskell has sold story to Electric Velocipede. If you don't know either (Mer or EV) you should really check them out, and go tell Mer how great this is. Mer, you rock!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

World Fantasy Fever Dreams

Well, I called the hotel and asked if they had free wifi access. Sure enough, they have access all over the place, and it's all free.

So, I said to my wife, it seems to me like I'm looking for a reason not to take my laptop with me. She agreed and said that I would be over-hyper worried about it. And then made a snarkey comment about my obessesive compulsiveness.

Here I am at World Fantasy with my laptop. Ha. Ha. Ha.

"And is it excellent," I can hear you all ask. "It most certainly damn is," is my response.

And it is. I can't talk too much about the surrounding town, except for a almost futile hunt for dinner. The town has a very "walk around and shop" feel to the main throughfare with a "dangerous bar off the beaten path" feel to the side-streets. We eventually settled on a pizza shop that turned out to be decent, but I ordered something way too spicy. Well, I was trying things.

Then my friend Leaf (whom I am sharing the room with) and I came back to the hotel for the ice cream social where I had a rootbeer and goggled the BNA's roaming around. Obviously Leaf and I don't rank as several people took a look at our names and turned around before saying hi (oh well, I didn't recognize their names either, and they should probably read Tobias Buckells "Getting Past Being Joe Blow Neopro"). Ah well. Ran into Josh and Sam down there. Met a few other people.

Then I went to Mary Turzillo's reading. Mary is an excellent writer, BTW. I really feel honored that I know her and I get to talk to her on a regular basis. Mary read from her story about a smilodon, which I've heard before but it keeps on getting better every time I hear it.

Then I went to the party called "Zombies Need Brains." Excellent. There's something delicious about a party that has free beer and books for sale. Also, there's excellent people at this party. First off is Amy, who I keep forgetting her name (sorry about that), but then she doesn't have a name tag on. Amy was very gracious about me being an idiot because she doesn't know me and my sense of humor. Sorry, Amy. I think I carried a joke too far.

Then, as I'm looking for the paperback of SC (Sam) Butler's first book, Reiffen's Choice, I get introduced to a pacel of other writers and editors. Including Matt Jarpe, author of Radio Freefall. Ian Tregillis, whom I am told is an excellent person that we can expect great things from. From what little I've talked to him I believe that. I can't find a website or blgo for him, but here's a story from Trabuco Road of his. Then there was Catherine Cheek, who is a recent graduate of Clarion. I didn't get to talk to Catherine, but she pointed at me while talking to Ian, and I was standing right next to them. So I think I've met her, or something like that. She also seems to be a very interesting person. And last by not least I ended up taking with Matt Jarpe and John Joseph Adams (aka, the Slushgod, maybe you've heard of him). How psyched am I at this moment? BTW, all these and more (I'm sure I'm forgetting people, like the name of the person who registered me in who is the programmer for Marcon).

I've also seen people in the hallways. Big Name people. It's excellent. But right now I've been zombified. And I think it's time for bed. The curse of having a job that starts at 7am and has an hour's commute. Add in the creaping crud from my wife's job and the slight sickness from last weekend. Yes, the eyes are droppy, and the typing is going down hill.

Oh, before I forget, for World Fantasy, as a part of the "welcome gifts" they gave cookies and a duffle bag with books (not filled with books, but a goodly amount). My BNA book inside, Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts. How cool is that. I did a little geek victory war dance. This was the book my wife badgered people about last Xmas because I asked for it. I put it on my list as I saw the new NA Edition was out. And now I have a copy! Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

World Fantasy Hiatus - possibly

So, I think I've decided to not take my laptop with me to World Fantasy. This way I won't be distracted by worring if the laptop is secure, yadda yadda yadda. More than likely you may not hear from me until Monday late afternoon.

Although, the conference center does have free WiFi, which would be excellent. Hmm, okay, maybe 80% sure I won't take my laptop. How's that?

My Halloween Costume for Next Year

Via Joshua Palmatier.

Your results: You are Apocalypse
Apocalypse: 67%
Dr. Doom: 67%
Mr. Freeze: 65%
The Joker: 65%
Magneto: 65%
Lex Luthor: 60%
Catwoman: 59%
Green Goblin: 58%
Venom: 53%
Poison Ivy: 53%
Riddler: 51%
Kingpin: 51%
Mystique: 46%
Dark Phoenix: 46%
Juggernaut: 46%
Two-Face: 42%
You believe in survival of the fittest and you believe that you are the fittest.



Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz


Okay, I've got to start doing more work and less surfing.

Thankfully I'm not Catwoman. Those high-heeled boots would have been killer on the calves.

Happy Halloween!

George Bush is still President! Boo!

Okay, if that one doesn't work for you, here's one for your side:

President Hillary Clinton! Boo!

Just remember, when the wacko evangelists talk about Neewollah or how Halloween is totally evil, etc, that the Puritans (you know, the people whom popular culture says founded our nation when they were neither first, not successful, and were a very minor minority of settlers) did ban Halloween. But they did so because it was too Catholic.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I can haz talent

In what is my fastest response time (except, I think, years ago some simple form letter rejections) in the Writers of the Future Contest, Daddy's Little Girl was an Honorable Mention in the last (4th) quarter.

Apparently, according to the second line of the letter, "This means you have talent."

Take that Bembridge Scholars!

Lots of markets close their reading in a few days, but I don't have much free time this week (notice how many blog posts I made today). So I need to figure out where she goes next.

And while I'm thinking about posts, is it going to be very bad if I don't haul my laptop to World Fantasy and blog from the con, or should I do that? I'm literally 50/50 on this. I would like to blog some things that I hope happen, even if they fail to happen (as you can see I share the ups and downs here). But then I have a big laptop (17" for graphics work), so it's a little big of a pain to haul. I think Confusion wa a little more fun by blogging about it (certainly making comments of John Scalzi's blog, especially after he said, "You can't say that (that nothing is happening). Make something up, be entertaining." And the rest is furry history).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's Passing Like a Disease

Well, because everybody else was doing it (here at the lake, John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear).



Your Aspie score: 110 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 107 of 200
You seem to have both Aspie and neurotypical traits

To be fair, I disagreed with many of the questions.

The Aspie Quiz.

Morning Is Broken

Gun shots in the morning, sure fire way to get me up. I guess it's duck season (rabbit season!) here in Michigan. The body of water outside is Gun Lake, so I don't know that I really should have been expecting anything else. The morning fusillades now over, I'm working my way back to try and get at least another hundred words in, but you know, broadband. (insert angelic choir voices here).

This has been a lot of fun. There's something energetic about a bunch of really smart people sitting around a table writing that can bleed energy and overload the circuits. It's loads of all kinds of joy. And it sure beats the pants off of writing at home, you know, except for my wife being there. Yes, that's a plus for writing at home. This is sure fun, though.

edit It's also strange that this sotry doesn't have breaks in it, although it takes place over a year. I dont' know what that means.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Indian Writing Sprints

Well, after dinner we did writing sprints to get to the drinking part. After however many sprints I'm now at 3200 words. Not all of these last one will probably stay. And it was uncomfortable writing (which is probably why I might want to cut, I don't know how much the world wants to read about teenage boys having normal spontaneous errection problems). But now it's drinking and Eddie Izzard time.