February 11th, 2008

politics-report

[politics] Obama and Hillary

Salon on Clinton, Obama and superdelegates.

I'll stake this claim: Conventional political wisdom is already out the window. It ain't dead, it might come back, but given the current Democratic slate, it's definitely out in the yard whining to come in out of the rain. frankwu was recently speculating about traditional indicators of electoral success, such as height. I think the old formulae may be broken, and with luck they may stay broken.

What does this mean, now? Conventional political wisdom says the party with the uncontested primary process will emerge much stronger than the party with a heavily contested primary contest. This could be true, especially if the Clinton campaign reverts to smashmouth machine politics — as Hillary's attempts to seat Michigan and Florida delegates seem to indicate — but like a lot of Americans, I'm sick of win-at-any-cost politics. That brought us Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and Bush-Cheney, and the resulting political blindness has driven America very far away from both our principles and our power in the world. (Got torture, anyone?)

If Hillary and Obama can fight it out on the politics of principle, I think either one of them will steamroller McCain in the fall. That's unconventional wisdom, but I'm putting my stake on it.
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sanguine-pipe

[links] Link salad, jumbo shrimp edition

Writing

jeffvandermeer has a contest — Tell your weirdest real life story and win books. Lots of books.

John Klima talks about his Hugo preliminary ballot

stu_segal talks about his Hugo preliminary ballot

scalzi with some very sound business advice for writers

tbclone47 with a reminder about the upcoming Rainforest Writers Village — Where I will be both pro'ing and cooking. Possibly with cheese. If you find that sort of thing interesting, there's a few slots still open. Last year I walked on water!

NASA with a name-that-satellite contest — Someone from Fandom or Prodom has to be able to nail this.

Culture

Pronouns verb forms and the law — Helpful tips (!) from Language Log if you are ever interviewed by the Feds.

With Power Comes a Selfish Point of View — File this as a man bites dog story. How many times have you sent a decent co-worker get promoted, then turn into a classic manic-depressive-asshole-in-charge? Still, an interesting analysis.

The flying French whale — Zut alors! Le zeppelin blanc!

Get Fuzzy goes Swedish

Abnormal Photography — Here's a time killer...funny stuff.

Science

'Flesh-eating' amphibians filmed — The aliens among us. (Thanks to GS.)

Lemurs r us — Short video of a lemur doing the lower primate equivalent of a spit take. Paging frankwu. (Thanks to lt260.)

Politics

Obama wins a Grammy — Beats out (Bill) Clinton and Jimmy Carter. He's the new Reagan!

mdf356 with an RNC fund raising letter — More evidence for the GOP's "Hillary strategy" that I keep talking about. (Thanks to goulo.)

Bush orders clampdown on flights to US — It won't do much about terrorism, but it will certainly cut down on business travel and tourism from Europe to the US. Which given how conservatives feel about Europe may in fact be the point. But I don't want to be a part of the New Isolationaism. (Thanks to my aunt M.)

Glenn Greenwald on Bush's recent Fox News interview with Chris Wallace — "Both Wallace and Gannon -- with the opportunity to question the U.S. President -- basically asked: "Mr. President, how do you handle so well the fact that your political opponents are so crazy, malicious and anti-American"?" (Thanks to my aunt M.)

GOP funny business in Washington state — The state GOP chair stopped the vote count and declared Washington for McCain while the uncounted votes outstanding far exceeded the margin of error in the decision. Mmm, I love that good government scent the Republican party brings to everything. Ethics r them!




2/11/08
Time in saddle: 15 minutes at varying speeds (working my may back to 30 minutes due to knees being NSF Friday and Saturday)
Last night's weigh-out: 274.8
This morning's weigh-in: 271.8
Currently reading: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image, by Leonard Shlain Powell's | Amazon ]
writing-genre

[writing] "America, Such as She Is"

The novella of death has reappeared from its second trip to the editors. (All I have to say is you people in readerland better like this damned thing when it's finally done.) I am not compelled to load my weapon with editorshot, and they do not seem to be setting leghold traps with writerbait. I swear, this is my hardest story ever. (Though with revisions to "The Baby Killers" in the wings, I may be speaking too soon.)

As a result of this event, I will probably do zero pages on Madness of Flowers tonight. Tomorrow should be a power day for the novel, as like all Tuesdays where I am in Portland it is Fireside Coffee Lodge day. Today, after dad time and errands, I will be working on "America, Such as She Is." If I still have time and energy when I am done, I'll probably hit a couple of the short stories sitting in the drawer, to see if they're ready for the final revisions and sendouts.
signs-drifting_log

[language] Department of permanently embedded speech errors

Working on this story, I confront a tic of mine. I use "til" to mean "until" or "till". Apparently, I am wrong. Apparently my generally excellent English language parser (native speaker edition, college and author upgrades) simply won't let go of this. That usage runs through all my novels as well.

Likewise, "problematic" to me means "trivially troublesome", as opposed to the common meaning of "significantly troublesome."

Got any of those little tics your own self?

Meanwhile, back to work, me.
writing-flying_car

[writing] Progriss riport

So knocked out the changes to "America, Such As She Is." Except for the ending, over which I am in something of a twist, as the editor diabolically suggested an approach which had not yet occurred to me, and his idea carries significant merit. Right now I have two drafts, an /a/ and a /b/, with substantially different endings. (There's also theoretically a /c/ draft, if you consider that I had an original ending which I modified on the last revision round.) I don't believe I've ever been in quite this position.

Afterwards I spent some time revising a story which I belatedly discovered I'd already sent out to market. So I sent the revision to the market — what the hell. This is what comes of having one's work schedule spreadsheet not be part of one's record keeping spreadsheet. Plus a rewrite request surfaced today on a recent short fiction submittal.

At current count I have two as-yet-unsubmitted but requested stories to revise from draft and get out the door, this here rewrite to tackle, the (hopefully) final changes to "America", God knows what to do to "The Baby Killers", Madness of Flowers to continue revising, Green to be revised, and three more stories to write later, based on future commitments. And I'd really like to start another novel in June.

Writing is hard, I think I'll go to the mall.