David B Cole on coming back to writing after a lull. Yep, fear seems to be meta this year.
Nine frequently asked questions regarding querying agents. Hmm, I never thought about requerying after rewriting.
"I do sometimes wonder if the way learning is represented in popular culture—you study hard for about ten minutes and then magically you are perfected!—is part of why so many people give up when learning something new because they aren’t perfect at it within the space of a training montage. Could it be why so many people think they can just sit down and write a perfect New York Times-bestselling novel without having written so much as a haiku previously?" Yes and yes. Justine Larbalestier on exactly something that has also driven me crazy. This is why in Bladesman once our main character finds a new master, he continues to practice even though he's proven himself capable. The book starts out (after the opening action scene) with practice. This time by his lonesome. And after we defeat all the baddies at the end of the book, our main character is practicing with his master (actually a slightly different relationship). And probably getting his arse kicked by said master. It's the old koan, "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."
Jeffery Ford on being profound in writing. As someone who is attempting a book that happens to be "profound" you have to know that the story is more important. The second thing, as I made a critique of another "profound" manuscript, satire is a delicate dance. You need to keep the victim laughing as you slip the blade in. When writing this novel, I have my fool's cap pulled way down (and, yes, I actually do have a real jester's cap, just in case you wanted to know, hmm, maybe I should wear that while I'm writing?). I want to make you laugh. And maybe, just maybe, at the end you'll say, "Hey, wait a second…" This is so very different from Bladesman. (Grokked from Absolute Write)
Leo Traynor on meeting the troll. Not exactly the Billy Goats Gruff, but as somewhat typical, in person the troll loses nerve. Although, being the son of friends it echoes some of the common threads of abusers. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
Bells for Jay Lake. And now I have an image in my head of Jay donning a Jingle Dress to dance at the Pow Wow. Just remember Jay, toe first, then heel. And it's counter clockwise to drive the world.
"Maybe it’s hard to believe that in the end Big Bang Theory isn’t some sneaky plot by the jocks to make us all feel bad. We’re all geek versions of Carrie at the prom, just waiting for the pig’s blood." As a total geek, I have to saw I like BBT. Sure, it can be a little obvious sometimes, but you know, that's the slipping on a banana peel side of comedy. Sometimes what normally appear to be fully formed characters suddenly turn to cardboard, but, again, that happens in comedy. I'm not saying BBT is perfect, but it is fun. And isn't that what entertainment is supposed to be? (Grokked from Wil Wheaton)
For Sheila, the clans and tartans of Scotland all on a postcard. Well, at least some that would fit. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Because the Bible is the True Word of God, we need to rewrite it to match our culture's current prejudice. In case you don't know, Fred Clark is engaging in irony, this is what the passage actually says. You know, if you didn't already know that passage (although, I prefer the KJV, 'cause that's how I roll)
"And remember kids, Jesus drinks Mr. Pibb." Bwahahaha. (Grokked from the Slactivist)
Discover, the card tha repays you back… after fleecing you. Hey look, in the third major action by the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a few million consumers will be getting refunds of money a company scammed them out of. Yes, I have a Discover card, and it's only because I know better that I kept from being signed up for any of these, and yes, I was also given the impression that I would "just be trying it out" or that "I wouldn't be charged anything" for these services. All of this occurred over several years during which time I had 5 new discover card sent to me and had to navigate the mind field with each activation. Not to mention the endless checks (which, the one time I used one, it bounced) and the extra calls as "a Discover card user, don't you want this, and why aren't you using your card more?" There's a reason I don't use that card very much anymore. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)
Five "surprises" from Paul Allens Institute For Brain Science about human brains. Well, they're really only surprises if your a business major, I guess. But notice the search and emphasis on what makes us different (queue the Elephant Man's quote, "I'm not an animal" here) instead of things that really matter to consciousness. Also note that the one major difference between our brains and other primates or animals with complex brains similar to our own (that is the rigid organization of our cells into six layers on the cortex) isn't in here, whereas that seems to have a lot to do with what makes us different (other animals have similar depths to their brains, but so far we haven't found any that matches the cellular organization).
Want to know just what is happening the to the arctic summer ice? Warning, facts not valid for conservative consumption. Especially that volumetric measurement. I believe this is the point in the script where Bender says, "We're boned." (Grokked from Jeffrey Beeler)
You know, it must really suck when people point out the tragic fault in your politics. Especially when not only are you a governor, but one that has been giving the party spotlight. Yes, Gov. Walker wants the lockout of unionized NFL referees to end to that the scabs will stop calling plays against the Green Bay Packers. Yes, Gov. Walker, it is a damn shame that unionized workers don't get the respect they deserve. You rat fucking bastard. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen-Hayden)
"When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no - and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem. So it's very dangerous." That's our presidential wannabe at a fund raiser in Beverly Hills. So 1) I see this new "let's open the fundraisers so we don't have any clandestine video problems" policy going right the fuck away. and 2) Seriously? You know, I don't know why they don't make the airplanes out of the stuff they make the black boxes with. Cause those always survive the crash (I think that's a Seinfeld joke). I hope the election is soon, 'cause we're running out of foreheads and desks over here. (Grokked from John Scalzi)
Romney rolls out the emergency room argument, again. It's predicated on 1) we all pay the costs of the indigent (from direct payments to the hospital with our tax money, to increase insurance premiums to cover increased costs, to burring the indigent using your local tax money when things go pear shaped), and 2) that person who is in a chronic state actually makes it to the hospital to be treated in a timely enough manner to survive (typically in those cases, I hate to tell you this, but they don't because their medical condition is too far gone) (Grokked from Steven Gould)
Because it's not cool when anyone does it. That's an assistant to Sec. of State Clinton telling a reporter to fuck off. Look, here's the thing, if a reporter is asking you questions you don't want to answer just ignore them. Or you say, "I'm sorry, I think this has gone beyond my responsibility to the public and you're not representing them well anyway." ::click:: They write a story of how you're be obstinate, which you disprove by giving another reporter the story. Do we really need an orientation program for this stuff? (Grokked from Matt Staggs)
Senatorial wannabe Aiken keeps telling how he sees the world and keeps shooting himself in the foot. In this case, because some people are cynical about how Washington works, when they try to get there they take those preconceived of how they should behave with them. In this case, when you think your representative only pays attention to those who donate big money, you shouldn't be shocked when a co-conspirator runs and thinks the same exact thing. Only, it's a severe breach of ethics. But there seems to be a rash of that going around. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)
And just in case you're wondering, yes, people are gaming out a conflict with Iran. And it doesn't go so well. For anybody. Now, gaming out a scenario doesn't lead to things that will really happen. See the initial gaming of the invasion of Iraq, when the Iraqi navy, consisting mostly of a fishing fleet, beats back the US Navy in the gulf. But then notice how during our actual invasion that we moved quickly to diffuse that option (and this is the real point of war games). But all this posturing and "Oh, Israel will strike, blah blah" armchair quarterbacking in the press completely misses what will really happen. Notice how we stalled the Iraqi naval attack, but missed the fedayeen and quick involvement of al Qaeda. Something can always happen you haven't planned for. While it would take a full white paper, there are only 2 possible attack routes against Iran's nuclear program. The first is sabotage through cyber strike (already done) or by special operations demolition teams (highly risky, and involves giving casus belli to Iran). The other option is nuclear strike, which may not be successful (even with our weapons designed to obliterate re-enforced mountain fortresses, of which I don't think the Israelis have one of their weapons designed that way). And one possible outcome is an atomic counterstrike on Israel (either low-yield or dirty weapon). At that point, we can fold up the card table and go home, because all hell will break out then as we go down the path of treaty obligations that will make the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand look like a day in the park.
Alligator Quotient: They're at tradeshows, learning how to be better alligators.