The James White Award for new writers in SF. From their rules page (which you should read in full) "The James White Award is open to previously unpublished stories between 1000 and 6000 words by non-professional authors. Submissions are welcome from authors based anywhere in the world, but the stories must be written in English." No fee, online submission process. Deadline is Friday. (Grokked from Steven Gould)
Terri Windling on every day being Judgement Day. "Some artists fear the judgement of failure: the manuscript unpublished, the painting unsold; and others the judgement of the marketplace: bad reviews, poor sales, disappointed fans. Some fear specific kinds of judgement: the lowered esteem of colleagues or certain critics, the negative opinions of family or friends. And for others, the harshest judge of all is the one who whispers inside our own head…" And the bad part, as a graduate of Art School, I was critiqued every single day and in every class. I have about a thick of a skin as you're likely to see. And since August I've been dealing with this question of "perfection is the enemy of good." Being the grandchild and child of perfectionists it's a high-hurdle to cross once you stop running. Damn Newton, inertia is a hard thing to get past. "Perfectionism is a bargain with the Universe: If my work is absolutely perfectly, then you, oh Universe, will absolve me from my mortal share of judgement, criticism, disappointment, and hurt. But the bargain never works." I may need to read this post a few more times to let all those lessons I once learned sink back into my thick skull and try to kick out the others who have invaded it.
Elizabeth Bear on a similar vein. "Because as all writers know, the only way to get that book--the book that speaks with your own voice--is to write it… And then fail, because every book is a failure in some way, even if only its author knows it." There's a recurring theme in my reading about writing, it's "get off the internet." And it's something I'm struggling with. Hell, I've been struggling with it since Alex C. Renwick made the comment to me so many damn years ago. But I've been struggling hard with it since Nov. 8th. You might remember that I said before the election that I would be going lighter with posting here after the election. That hasn't happened (do I need to explain why). However I have taken large breaks (and have been very creative during those times). I don't know why I need to keep relearning this lesson. Sorry to make this about me (isn't this whole damn blog about me?), but it's reached a point that the Universe is trying to send me a message.
"A lot of people mix up children's names or friends' names, but Deffler is a cognitive scientist at Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla., and she wanted to find out why it happens. So she did a survey of 1,700 men and women of different ages, and she found that naming mistakes are very common. Most everyone sometimes mixes up the names of family and friends." The mind is not a computer. Also note the use of "folder" as an easy metaphor. Before graphic UI (like the Mac and Windows) they would have said "directory."
"Gretchen Rubin, mega-bestselling author of The Happiness Project, says the key to long-term habit change is understanding how we respond to expectations. She names four broad categories of responders: the Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin of habit-changing. Figuring out your cognitive house might be the key to changing your bad habits for good. Including one habit we hear about a lot: clinging to the phone right up until our eyes drop closed." A Note to Self podcast.
"The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That's the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades — down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981." Some of it is because of restrictions, but the majority is because of better, cheaper, and longer last birth control for women. Another effect of Obamacare which is about to be gutted in a one-two punch from dismantling the ACA and defunding Planned Parenthood. Also, the experiment in Colorado, which provided free long term birth control to low-income women, wasn't adopted by the state lawmakers (the trial period was privately funded) even though it would save Colorado hundred of millions in other programs.
Payola is alive and well even if it isn't called that.
"There is one fact that is both central to the debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act yet strangely absent from explicit discussion about it. One of the main ways the ACA makes health insurance affordable is by providing families earning less than 400 percent of the poverty line… with tax credits to defray the cost of purchasing insurance… Democrats who wrote the law didn’t find the money for those subsidies hidden in a banana stand — they did what Democrats like to do when paying for things and raised taxes on affluent families." This may have a lot to do with conservative scorn of Obamacare, but I still believe they see it as a threat to their power and learned the (wrong) lessons of Social Security and Medicare (when they lost power in Congress for decades). And I don't believe they'll move on from repealing the ACA because they can't propose a workable alternative, they'll just repeal and never replace (except with half-hearted gestures that in reality mean nothing). (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)
How big pharma has high-jacked the Orphan Drug legislation to get big subsidies for their best selling drugs. Yep, we have too much regulation going on. This is why we have "too much" regulation. It's because assholes always try to get a free ride and spoil the punch.
"In control of Congress and soon the White House, Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government’s most powerful conservation tools, after decades of complaints that it hinders drilling, logging and other activities." Because why the fuck not. Because after we actually have the renewable power revolution, we won't want or need any of those animals and we'll accept blasted landscape in place of natural beauty. Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)
"Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus claimed during a Sunday interview that Republicans never questioned the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's election victory, despite the fact that President-elect Donald Trump himself spent years pushing the so-called birther movement." Well that answers my question about if Reince Priebus looks like he drinks too much. The answer is yes.
Going to see your congressman in person works. "Colorado congressman Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), who vowed to 'stand up' to President-elect Donald Trump, left his own community event early on Saturday after a crowd of constituents showed up with questions." In fairness, he met with constituents a few at a time, which left many people who showed up out in the cold.
Apparently, for Trump, his first day will be Monday. Cause, you know, Friday will lead to a weekend bender or something. I would point to the Time of London article, but unfortunately it's behind a paywall. Great work ethic you've got there, Mr. PEOTUS. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)
"Some flippers, who acquired tickets to Trump's inauguration with the intent of reselling them on the secondary market, are striking out in their efforts to peddle them and are now looking at some relatively 'yuge' losses." Considering I saw the Inauguration offer "free" tickets in a Facebook ad last night, yeah, I think they're in big trouble. (Grokked from Maureen Johnson)
Tweet of my heart: @matociquala if you're keeping a safe distance from your work while you're in the first flush of creation, you're not making good art. (actually the whole tweet storm is worthwhile)