What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday's links cry cold tears in a dry land

First up, all around hoopy frood and fellow VPXIIIer (The Fightin' 13th!) has her first published story up at Electric Spec. Go read and enjoy.

For the love of all that is holy, I'm going to be a writer. I think my heart just stopped. Bwahahaha!

The first time I met John Scalzi, okay the second time I talked with him, I mentioned something about wanting to be a writer. You could see the switch being thrown in the back of his head and any interest in continuing the conversation, on his part, went away right then. Too many people have had a similar conversation with him. Hell, I've had it too many times myself. (It was only after he discovered I was involved with a professional level critique group that I think I redeemed myself, somewhat.)

Sometimes, however (especially in the last half of this year), I feel like I'm playing the part of the male bear. Maybe not to that extent (and, yes, I've had very similar conversations, to varying degrees, but I can say I've had people hit the high notes in that video). At least I don't bring the rank cluelessness with me (I don't think I ever did, but then I also have a faulty memory and friends are welcome to correct me here).

The blog reader is up over a hundred again. And this is after I've knocked out all the reporting from Tor (really getting annoyed with seeing the same article pop up 3 or 4 times). Just not enough time in the world. And then when I do have time, it's spent trying to recoup instead of getting ahead. Including staying up late trying to relax instead of sleeping.

Here's an interesting poll. I wonder how many conservatives will be called out on just what the "will of the people" is when they talk about extending all the cuts. Permanently. Because, despite the headline of that report, the data shows a majority want either all the Bush Era Tax Cuts to expire, or at least do so for the wealthy. A majority larger that what the Republicans got voted into Congress with (even with gerrymandered districts). No. I doubt they will either. Your liberal media at work.

And a look inside to all those shiftless people hanging on the government dime, not really doing anything until their unemployment ends. Uh. Yeah. While the Democrats and Republicans gear up for another round of playing chicken with people's lives, I've been repeating to myself that many people in this country have never experienced social upheaval. If you think letting the tax cuts expire for the rich is the most horrible thing that will ever happen to them, you might want to reflect that at times in this world, when the poor went hungry and it looked like the burden wasn't being shared equally (as in, "as to your prosperity, so too your debt" or rajadharma) the rich were drug from their homes and at best were incarcerated by the new governments.

Look, I know a few people in the Tea Party movement. I've had some knock-down-drag-out conversations with them. So, yeah, I don't think all of them in the movement are idiots or racists. However, it seems to be a pattern that their titular leadership and most vocal supporters in public office keep outing themselves as such. Seriously, people, if you want me to take your movement seriously you're going to have to deal with this instead of ignoring it. That is, of course, as long as the TPM isn't actually just a front for social conservatism (which it's also appearing to be more and more). Going about saying, "We're about lower taxes (read as: "No Taxes!") and 'Constitutional Government' and we don't want to have any more platform than that," and then continue to put forward and elect these kinds of people, if you have the other stuff as your platform or not, you'll be known for it. The rest of us will fill out your platform for you by observing those people you put in office.


Eric said...

I wanted to laugh at "So You Want To Write A Novel." Only, see... I kept thinking the pig had to be James Frey, just had to be. And, well... that son of a bitch has made umpteen millions, hasn't he?

Also, doesn't bestselling horror author/actor/director/composer Garth Marenghi stand for the proposition you don't need to be an avid reader to produce stories that are frightening and yet touching windows upon the ingredients of that monumental architecture we call "life"? That great emotional ballet with its green fields of hope and dark dells of despair, that storm of human yearning in the ebb and flow of years that turn round and around with the pages of the calendar?

Steve Buchheit said...

Eric, Frey actually was pretty savvy with the business. And I'm sure you're aware he is now trying to bilk newbee MFAs out of their work.

And I agree that you don't need to be an avid reader, but it does help if you do read something. Anything.

sheila the fabutronic said...

I didn't dare to laugh at "So You Want to Write a Novel," it was like watching and listening to a machine programmed to step on a writer's dreams.

Granted, not everyone will become a great writer, no matter how much they want to become one. But that's not the point, and no one should ever be discouraged from trying.

I enjoy using the written word, but I have never aspired to write because I don't have anything to say. I always have admired writers, because they do have something to say and they have the courage to say it in writing. I especially marvel at writers of fiction, as they need to spend countless hours observing people and noting the patterns of their thinking and speech, in order to create convincing characters and dialogue -- and perhaps even do a ton of historical research in order to get the details right. That's something I would never have the patience to do (the people watching part, that is).

sheila the fabutronic said...

Oh, and I followed your link to the essay by the woman who had been unemployed for years, and my heart goes out to her.

I've only been out of work for about 515 days and my benefits will expire next week. Now lazy shiftless me gets to find out if my meager amount of life savings will tide me over long enough to find a job, or if I will eventually join the ranks of the bankrupt and destitute. Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!

Steve Buchheit said...

Shiela, most writers out there will encourage other new writers something fierce. And I'm not sure you've listened to the video, the wantabee writer has absolutely no clue but expects not only instant success, but instant fame. It reminds me very much of my nephews and their "get rich quick" schemes. And the wantabee writer is not only extremely clueless about writing, but about life.

That said, I think you should write. I know you have enough stories in you, and you have the skills to craft the works. As it is, with your history you would start out at a distinct advantage to most writers, having worked with several publications and having written technical articles. And if you'd accept some direction, if you don't want to tell your own stories, I would wager writing a remembrance memoir of your father's life would generate a good deal of interest.

And you always have my best wishes for luck.

Eric said...

Shelia: you absolutely should write.

Steve: good points on Frey. As for Garth Marenghi... I hope you're familiar with his work. If not, you need to see if there are still some Darkplace episodes posted at YouTube. Or anywhere else they might be around online or DVD. Start with "Once Upon A Beginning."


Trust me.