June 13th, 2008


[links] Link salad says TGIF

Schools Struggle With Dark Writings — Wow, this article is disturbing on a number of levels. If my mental health was being judged based on my fiction, they’d never let me out. It happened to me once, that I wrote a story which scared an instructor so much I was blackballed from a program. You might know that little piece as “The Goat Cutter.” (Thanks to willyumtx.)

In which I ask for your opinion on my greatest hits

Another Internet doppelganger surfaces — It’s amazing how I get around.

Thai Ladyboy Test — I scored a 90%. I think that’s good. (Thanks to willyumtx.)

Baby Supernova ID’d in Milky Way — They’re so cuuuute.

BMW GINA — A fabric-skinned automobile. Which is oddly reminiscent of BMW’s original business line, building engines for WWI era fabric-skinned aircraft. (Thanks to sheelangig.)

Photo of a frilled shark — Fascinating but sad story attached.

54 sickened at hospital after farmer’s chemical-fuelled vomit generates toxic gas — That’s like something out of cyberpunk. (Thanks to willyumtx.)

Right Wing Bloggers Employ Investigative Journalism “Skills” to Skim Documentsnomissnewo has some fun at the expense of people who are far too easy to make fun of. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch, either.

Ex-Clark Co. GOP chief admits performing oral sex on a sleeping man — As the story notes, the perp was also chairman of the Young Republican National Federation. This is why gay marriage must be opposed at all costs! Because Republicans just can’t control themselves without a Constitutional amendment! Mmm, family values.

Time in saddle: 0 minutes (still recovering from surgery)
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 262.2
Currently reading: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia Amazon ]

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.


[process] Inspiration

This morning my brother wrote me an email saying, in part:

I am starting to feel like there are two classes of inspiration:

1. The inspiration to artistic impulse that gives birth to the nature and intent of the expressive work; and
2. The inspiration to motivation which is required to forge the work itself.

As I said to him, I find this an excellent observation. He wasn’t specifically referring to writing fiction, but he just as well could have been.

I think for most, if not almost all, of us, his first class of inspiration is what drove us to trying our hand at fiction in the first place. Some variation on “I can do better than that|Wouldn’t be cool if I could read this kind of thing|Man, I just had the sweetest idea!” That onset-of-concept falls well within the range of what we consider inspiration.

What I find interesting about my brother’s comment is that his second class of inspiration is more commonly thought of as discipline, or dedication to task. Or, as I have often called it, psychotic persistence. His referring to it as inspiration speaks to an attitude that I have encountered in many working pros, but had to work pretty hard to learn for myself.

The books don’t write themselves, and as much as working novelists joke about cat-waxing and moan about wordcounts, we work. I can remember being 15 and thinking that I had to be inspired to write. Now, I mostly need time to write. The inspiration has been packed into my assumption set.

Sometimes it helps to remember how I got to the point where even apparently tedious work like revisions and marketing still can feel like a joy.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.