March 21st, 2008


[links] Link salad is still sick

Caption contest voting poll is still open — Vote early, vote often!

2008 Hugo Ballot announced — Congratulations to everybody involved!

This just in: ID types stupid and dumb — I suppose that's what happens when you pretend to the intellectually indefensible.

Unnamed Methane Sea on Titan — Mmmm.

Two Fired for Viewing Obama Passport File — The timing of the incidents is very curious.

[personal] Still siiiiick

Drove up to Norwescon yesterday afternoon in a burst of energy. The rooms were way late checking in (do you suppose they'll give us late checkout to make up for it) so instead of a badly needed nap I wound up being antisocial and monochromatic in the bar a while. Did get some writing time in on Green, so I must be feeling somewhat better.

Finally made it to the room, where I took a two hour nap, got up for three hours to make the Opening Ceremonies, the Art Reception and the first 20 minutes of the Small Press Party, then went back to bed for nine hours. Spent much of the night dreaming about Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who is sort of a real life Buckaroo Banzai of the nineteenth century England. I don't know why he's not the hero of a line of adventure stories.

I expect to get in several naps today, and will probably have to ditch the Match Game tonight, but otherwise believe I can be functional. See some, all or none of you here today.

[fiction] "This Is a Story"

This Is a Story

by Jay Lake

This is the beginning. The author begins here with a character in a setting with a problem. Due to an unfortunate failure of imagination, the author is the character, the manuscript is the setting and the lack of story is the problem.

He tries for some rising action, but fails. This cycle could go on a while, the author realizes, so he considers pushing some symbolism into the piece. "Would monkeys wearing my mother's underwear be too transparent to my readers?" He racks his brain for college-era memories of Eurythmics videos. A cow could walk through the scene.

A cow walks through the scene.

Oops, no setting. White rooms are bad. Even real white rooms. The author briefly wonders if he could set a story in a chip fab, where everything is white except for people's eyes. Kind of like Willie Wonka, but different. Literary oompa loompas! There's the answer.

Oompa loompa, says the cow.

Apmool apmoo.

This is the middle. It feels very muddled. Aren't stories supposed to have a muddle in the middle, the author wonders? Or is that novels? Perhaps if he spent more time reading other writers' LiveJournals he'd know more about process.

Stuff happens here. The cow is killed by bright orange midgets wearing curiously shaped white hats.

Now the end. The end should be implicit in the beginning. The author read that somewhere. On a fortune cookie?

"The end should be implicit in the beginning. In bed."

Definitely fortune cookie wisdom. He's pretty sure the workshop will hate this story. He's pretty sure his boyfriend will hate this story. He can't show it to his mom, because of the monkeys in her underwear thing.

This is the end: And then the sun went nova.

◊ ◊ ◊

Oops, have to go back and foreshadow that.

© 2008, Joseph E. Lake Jr.

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