Depending on the wifi and my schedule, I'll probably be gone for this weekend, too. If you're in Detroit, come out to Penguicon and see me there. Or not. Or come to see the other cool* people I'll be hanging out with. (*for certain values of "cool" which equated to geeky and nerdy)
Mur Lafferty finally put up the critique template (well, a while ago when I bugged her about it, but the page is finally working for me so I could check it out). So if you ever felt yourself stumbling for what to talk about during a critique of someone's writing, here is a good start (look for the link "critique template from producer Patrick"). Thanks, Mur. Also, just a general note, don't forget to find at least one positive thing to say about the work, and not in the "this book can stand next to any other on the shelf" vein. Even on a devastating critique I had to give where I explained that I knew where the person copied their story from (slightly less than outright plagiarism, but cribbed enough that it was the exact same story - not derivative), I found one thing nice to say. And that was hard.
And speaking of Mur, yes, this. Writing, the actual putting words on the screen, is a lonely job (even when done in the presence of others, 'cause unless you're lips move while you write, nobody knows what's going on in your head). In our loneliness, we sometimes forget there are people out there who are having the exact same types of thoughts that you are, that they may be in the exact same hell. To quote the end of the story, "You: 'Why did you jump down, now we're both in the hole?' Friend: 'Because I know the way out.'"
Because you'll need a handy guide heading into the November election… once Romney is able to "relaunch" himself in a way that sticks (I'm up to 3 "relaunching the campaign" moments in the past week - it might be a born again thing, I don't know), here's one on rhetological fallacies. Make up your bingo cards early, kids, there's tons of prizes to win. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"But these (people demonizing people who disagree with them) aren’t just fringe characters telling us that liberals are Nazis who murder babies and love the Satan whom they serve. These are Roman Catholic bishops, state governors, influential clergy and elected officials saying this… So either the threat of the Satanazis is real, or else we’ve reached the point at which Roman Catholic bishops and Republican state governors have become indistinguishable from the lunatic fringe." I'll take, "Who Are the neo-Whackaloons" for a $1000, Alex. Oh look, it's a daily double.
"Not even Republicans want to go back to the Bush years, which is why you will hear Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or All The Rest talk about the Bush years approximately never, plus or minus one 'when hell freezes over.'… The first rule of Republican Fight Club is that you do not talk about George W. Bush." But we'll talk up the exact same economic policies that got us into the mess in the first place, and talk about them like we had never tried them before. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Here's an interesting story about a state test and a talking pineapple. Can I get a "harrumph"? Anyway, what I think is hilarious is that people are upset about the question, in which I think their problem is the improbability of an actual talking pineapple and completely gloss over the talking animals with gambling problems (queue the "would you look at that, a talking horse" jokes now). But here's the thing, the state basically threw up it's hands and said, "We can't come up with a good test, you do it, here's some money." And then they get pissed when that company comes up with a test. Maybe it's confusing because the teachers, principles and parent "contacted by The News" aren't all that bright to begin with, and so it's no wonder they're also confused. But probably it's because they didn't know the question was there and so didn't drill their students in the ethics of talking animals and fruits. (Note, I'm soon to take a test administered by the testing company detailed here) (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Alligator Quotient: They're probably wondering where I went. Don't worry, guys, I'll be back in the pile Monday.