September 24th, 2007


[links] Link salad, Monday again?

The Death of Irony, part 247 in continuing seriesSalon has this quote running on their War Room page right now:
Fox News' Chris Wallace to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: "Why do you and [former President Bill Clinton] have such a hyper-partisan view of politics?"

Divine Politics — More from Salon, on separation of Church and State in a book review of The Stillborn God, by Mark Lilla Powells | Amazon ].

"Bagatelle" as a verb

Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs — Why doesn't "wound" rhyme with "wound" anyway?

Opening up the patent process — Applying crowd wisdom to patent review, courtesy of the USPTO.

Lessons of Little Rock — After 50 years, Central High School is still divided.

Scary art — Stupid people?

Meanwhile, I have a series of process and other posts backing up, but not the time this morning to deal with them. I'll leave you with this thought. bravado111 and I were talking in chat about "America, Such as She Is." I told him, "I'm trying to avoid pretty language in favor of a stronger story here."

This is of course a fairly stupid statement. There's nothing about pretty language that precludes a strong story — unless you happen to be me. I'm trying to step out from behind the wallpaper and build better story bones. That requires that both I and my readers not be so distracted by teh shiny in the words themseves. As always, your mileage may vary.

[fiction] "Heading West"

As recently mentioned, I'm am now posting occasional reprints of my fiction here on this blog. Watch for the tag "fiction," as in I'm starting the series with a short story called "Heading West."

This was written for Fundamentally Challenged SLF Review | Jeff Turner Publishing ], edited by Jeff Turner, published in 2004. It has recently been reprinted in my 2007 collection from Wheatland Press, The River Knows Its Own Tangent Online Review | Wheatland Press ]. This story is 6,800 words long, and it concerns a man who has a pressing desire to go home. If you like this story, please consider supporting Jeff Turner Publishing and Wheatland Press with a purchase.

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© 2004, 2007 Joseph E. Lake Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

[writing] A few thoughts on podcasts and publishing

Various items of interest from the writing life. I'm having trouble getting to acknowledge my feed. Their podcast submittal process is totally pants as far as I can tell. Any thoughts on that are appreciated, along with other suggestions for places to register my podcast.

Just posted "Heading West" as fiction here. I'm going to try to do that once or twice a month for the foreseeable future. If they prove popular, I'll up the post count a little. For now I'll restrain myself to shorter works with prior publication. I may eventually serialize longer work or post trunk items, we'll see.

I was talking over dinner at Foolscap about the relationship between novels and food. Back in the old days, say, 1970, novels were skinny. Go to a used bookstore with a good speculative fiction stock and look at all the old yellow-spined DAW titles. Note how thin they are. 40,000, 60,000 words. Nowadays, outside of YA, a novel has to be 90,000 - 120,000 to even get started.

Then books like M.M. Kaye's The Far Pavilions (Bantam Books, 1979) started appearing. Big books. Books that people liked and wanted to buy and read. Combine this with fantasy's apparent genetic tendencies toward trilogies (and worse), and we all got bigger.

Much like food. Restaurant portions, from drive through quickies to Claim Jumper feasts, have gotten larger and larger during the years of my adult life. We conflate portion size with abundance, I think. Readers like a big bite...what is the relationship there?

I'm sure pnh or casacorona can comment much more knowledgably about the size trend in books (not to mention correct my errors), but it strikes me as an odd and interesting coincidence.

More to come. the_child wants taking to her Do-Jump class.