And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Linkee-poo doesn't give a damn about his bad reputation

In case you can't tell, things are cray again at the day thing. Gee, and I worked out last Saturday and Sunday. Plus on Sunday the words started flowing. And I've already put in about 42 hours this week. Who could have seen that happening? Don't mind me, I'm just bitching here. On to the links.

Your brain is your worst enemy. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Ken Scholes on writing the Other with fear and trembling. Yep, fear it is. Also, as someone who is writing a female, African-American secondary (but important for at least half the book) character, I need to re-read this a few times. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

A G. R. R. Martin interview. I haven't been able to listen to all of it. Yet. (Grokked from

The next generation of motion/gesture control, the Leap. (pointed to by Dan)

The business of Bond. James Bond. Cool interactive infographic about the movies and their profitability. (Pointed to by Dan)

"That is so different from what my book (Guns, Germs and Steel)actually says that I have to doubt whether Mr. Romney read it." This article brings up many things I've been saying in private. It's an uneasy thought of mine that Mitt Romney, and his staff, simply aren't ready for prime time. Now, I'm not talking about experience or drive or the silly argument, "Well, he's never been president so he has no qualifications to be president." I'm talking about that I don't think they people have read even the Cliff's Notes for this job, let alone the textbooks. "Mitt Romney may become our next president. Will he continue to espouse one-factor explanations for multicausal problems, and fail to understand history and the modern world?" That pretty much explains conservative politics since 1980. (Grokked from ChiaLynn)

This video is from his first run for the 2008 election. See comment above. It doesn't look like Mitt has grown any or become more savvy at this thing since then. (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

"The sequester facing the country today was the result of a long bipartisan negotiation to avoid last year’s default crisis and prevent one from re-emerging in the chaos of an election year." And now the conservatives believe you're too stupid to remember just a year ago and are trying to lay it all on Obama. Also, I'll just note here, notice how all you're hearing about in the media is the DoD cuts. You're hearing hardly a peep about the matching cuts in the rest of the budget. Also, anybody who states "We should change the law to stop the sequestration" is basically saying, "We don't give a Goddamn about the deficit." Look, Mr. Boehner, this is a complete failure of your leadership. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Alligator Quotient: Buzzsaw.


Gristle McThornbody said...

As a non-writer I may not have much to offer in way of help in writing the Other and having the character be realistic, but I have read books written by authors that HAD to have been using male pseudonyms and was appalled. It was akin to reading a Harlequin romance, supposedly written by a man. The book I'm thinking most about was a science/mystery/thriller and I swear that more page count was spent analyzing the characters' feelings and emotional responses and romantic thoughts than any bodice-ripper out there. Plus, the author used some really stupid moniker akin to Remington Steel, but I can't remember the name for the life of me.

Anyway, all I can suggest is to write any female character to fit her vocation in the story. In other words, a female character who is an assassin will have pretty much the same mindset as her male counterparts. A female slave will have the same emotional responses (fear, rage, resentment, hatred) as a male slave.

I don't think women and men think all that differently. I half-assedly followed the postings about male privilege and can see where men are having a hard time trying to understand how that affects a woman's outlook and responses. You seem like an empathetic kind of guy (and that's NOT an insult); all you can do is try and put yourself in your female character's place in each written situation and you should be able to determine how she'd feel.

I know, I know - if it's so damn simple why isn't she writing best sellers? It's a conundrum ;)

Eric said...

I think Romney's entire foreign tour has been an example of how he isn't ready for primetime. It was basically a string of unforced errors.

How hard is it, when you're asked about the Olympics, to just say, "I know, from my own experience, how complicated it is to host these events and I think London is doing a wonderful job. I look forward to seeing all these amazing athletes from all over the world compete. My wife and I are having a lovely time here and thank the British people for being such great hosts for our visit"?

This guy isn't ready to be Governor of some state, much less President.

Rick said...

Only 42 hours so far this week? I've done 60, but then again I own my own business. Choices, choices, choices.

On writing the other, I've never really cared about doing that when it applies to gender or race, but can appreciate that it's got to be hard sometimes.

I tried writing from an Asian standpoint one time, until so many Asian friends told me how offensive that was to them. Haven't tried it since. Best of luck to you, though, Steve. Maybe it will be a more rewarding journey for you.

Steve Buchheit said...

Jeri, thanks for the support. I'm using my experience with women bosses, and specifically my experience with one executive assistant to base on how this character behaves. I've written women before, but they haven't been as complex (or on the screen as long) as this one. She's tough as nails and makes sure all the work gets done, but there's going to be at least two moments where she becomes vulnerable. I've already written one and think I did pretty good. So it now just remains to be seen if I can pull it off convincingly.

Yeah, I also don't accept the whole, "I don't understand the female mind" bs that goes around male circles. There are differences, especially in how we communicate, but the majority of those are actually enforced by the culture more than anything else.

Eric, yeah, that's like the first thing that would roll off the tongue of almost anybody. "Hey, great to be here. I'm not in charge of these Olympics so I don't want to make any comment in that direction, but I look forward to a wonderful opening ceremony and a great competition." How hard is that? This is the guy who tells us he has an economic plan, but won't share the details with us. But when he goes to the Olympics suddenly he's Mr. Detail and critique. (This is leaving aside the various, "Mr. Whiterthanthou" comments in the UK by his "aid" and his complete cultural superiority in Israel).

Well, Rick, I was writing this before noon today. And you have to add on to that 2 hours of commute a day. And it is different when you're 1) working for yourself or 2) in an executive position. When it's because other people can't get their shit together, there's a different mood to the workday.

And I know people who think that any writer, especially a white male writer, trying to write any Other is being disrespectful. It's a complete bullshit position though. Do I know what it is to live as an African-American in our white society? No. But then I also don't know what it's like to live as a hired sword in the 14th century, but I can write it. Will I get things wrong? More than likely, but if you don't have an issue we me writing that character, it's only because you feel a misplaced "cultural appropriation" infraction has occurred. I'm not trying to pass myself off as an African-American female, but I want to write one convincingly.

Rick said...

Yeah, me too, Steve. Two hour a day commute 7 days a week. Costs a fortune in gas and it sucks.

I've worked for others and worked for myself and neither one of them are satisfying. I'm all for patronage! Whoever got rid of that idea should be flogged.

Re the writing as thing, that's sort of the same bag for me. I've just found there are limits for my own writing that I try to stay within. About as far as I can go is a core character that I can totally relate to and secondary characters I do the best I can with.

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Rick, usually I find the time in the car to be nice for setting my head in the proper space. But lately about after the first 15 minutes my brain starts repeating, "This is too far, I wish I was home and could stop already."

As for patronage, I'm not sure it was much better. I point to the Medici family, known patrons of the arts and the people Machiavelli wrote about and sort of pissed off. It didn't end well for him.