May 21st, 2007


[writing] In which we discover your humble narrator is only human

I have a confession to make. I am enmeshed in the longest stretch of solid-cold writer's block I've had since my professional career began. It's been almost four weeks since I wrote a story.

Now, admittedly this has a lot of external causes. A freakish travel schedule, two real estate transactions going at the same time, and I am profoundly and pointlessly stressed out about the upcoming release of Mainspring Powell's | Amazon ]. While I do know the difference between constructive worry and wheel-spinning, at the moment my distraction factor is somewhere north of warp nine.

I figure that one point of this journal is to tell the bad along with the good, for the sake of perspective. You could say I'm suffering from too much success right now &mdash all of the above mentioned items are good. Whatever the case, it's pretty much derailed my concentration and my focus. I'll be back on the horse soon enough, sans peur, sans doute, but right now those reins are moving just ahead of my fingertips as she backs away from me with a wicked look in her eyes.

If you're wondering about my coping strategy, it's pretty much this: let things happen. Everything that's up my nose right now is time-based, and will resolve between now and JayCon. I know from past experience with stressors that pushing myself against them is pointless, and I have a pretty rapid-fire emotional cycle. Still, it's frustrating to be in the middle of this process.

[writing|movies] "You can't take the sky from me" — What I've learned from Firefly

Finally finished watching the Firefly DVDs loaned to me by kenscholes. I have enjoyed them greatly. (I think Jayne gets the best lines, but of course that's all about the characters in context.) While performing this morning's ablutions I was thinking over what I've been seeing and what I liked and didn't like about it. I had an epiphanette.

Firefly is mythmaking, telling us stories about the world. I compare this with, for example, westerns such as the Shadow books, or the television show Bonanza. They are at best incidentally historical, and often quite ahistorical, serving instead as mythic storytelling cloaked in Western tropes. Firefly is incidentally science fictional, and often quite ascientific, but it is mythic storytelling cloaked in SFnal tropes. This observation of course touches on the Pandora's box of "what is science fiction, anyway?"

For what it's worth, it was the theme song that finally cued me in. Listening to that over and over, I got it.

Naturally this old news to almost everyone reading this, but, hey, give me time. I catch up eventually.

[links] Link salad, lite snack edition

Japanese scientists use bacteria to store data — I used this conceit in my novella "The Murasaki Doctrine" (in Greetings From Lake Wu) as well as my unpublished novel The Murasaki Doctrine.

Hours of Darkness — A collection of nighttime and low light photography. Having been present at a total eclipse of the sun, I think it would be intensely cool to travel to eclipses to photograph people, animals, buildings and landscape during totality.

Incident at Toshi StationStar Wars fan film...sort of...about the perils of parking your Imperial walker at the mall.