November 11th, 2008


[links] Link salad sings Aïda

A Doctor, a Mutation and a Potential Cure for AIDS — (I lost track of who sent me this, I’m sorry.)

A brief encounter and life erupts — Not valid for Young Earth Creationists or ID proponents. (Thanks to lt260.)

Fly Stick Van De Graff Levitation Wand from ThinkGeek — :: wants :: (Thanks to willyumtx.)

European tram makers stand to gain from U.S. streetcar push — Including my own fair community here.

Loot! — Chicago, the Iraq War and archaeology. (Thanks to Scrivener’s Error.)

Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions — And so the nation begins to be governed again, instead of simply be politicked from the White House. (Thanks to lt260.)

The Importance of Being Careful“Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly. He chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed. If Obama doesn’t raise his standards, he will exceed Bush’s total before he is inaugurated.” Um. Wow. Talk about a bad case of the conservative stupid virus. On the other hand, this is the same guy who said a few years ago, “It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.” Cult of personality, anyone? (Hat tip to Talking Points Memo.)

Question of the day: How tall was Charles the First when he ascended the throne? How tall was he when he left it?

Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 223.0
Currently reading: A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

Originally published at You can comment here or there.


[process] The inner mind of the writer

Lately, calendula_witch and I have been discussing the evolution of writers. Meaning, specifically, the manner in which the internal landscape is modified by the experience of writerdom. It’s an interesting proposition, at least to me.

I think most people’s lives are shaped like plot diamonds. When you’re young, all doors are potentially open. You identify your talents and interests, make educational and professional choices, find your way into your emotional and sexual maturity — each of those steps opens some doors and closes off many others, just as the evolution of a novel plot does. At some point, if you’re a bit lucky and a bit successful, you reach a place in your life where those choices are largely in place and you’re doing what you want to do, with whomever you want to do it with. Over time, you close more doors and focus on those which are most important to you, until the inevitable narrowing at the end of life.

I think writer’s lives are sometimes shaped like funnels rather than diamonds. Or perhaps hourglasses. My personal journey over the past decade has been a reversal of the choices and decisions I made in my 20s and early 30s, choices which at the time I honestly believed at the time would guide me through the rest of my years. The experience of immersing into my writing, both emotionally and professionally, has undone many of those choices, and added an immense number of possibilities which have not been open to me since I was a very young man.

We all grow in our own directions in life. Writers, if they are a bit lucky and bit successful, can grow in many directions in life.

All of this also has an odd echo in my experience of cancer this year. There’s a question I ask myself every day now. “Am I doing what I’d like to be doing on the last day of my life?” As a cancer survivor, as a writer, as a father, as a human being, my answer to that continues to be “yes.”

Is there a question you ask yourself every day? If not, what would it be?

Originally published at You can comment here or there.


[conventions] OryCon paneling

Saturday 11/22/08
10:00AM-11:00AM Eugene Writing about the end: apocalyptic storytelling Ken Scholes, Lilith Saintcrow, Dan Duval, Jay Lake
2:00PM-2:30PM Salem Readings with Jay Lake Jay Lake
2:30PM-3:00PM Autograph Table 2 Signing with Jay Lake Jay Lake
4:00PM-5:00PM Portland A Dog Barked: the pros create a story using audience ideas Brenda Cooper, Jay Lake, Ken Scholes, Theresa Reed, Ray Vukcevich
5:00PM-6:00PM Sunstone Group 8 SF Novel Jay Lake, Richard A. Lovett
8:00PM-10:00PM Mt. Hood Whose Line Is It Anyway? Louise Owen, UNPUBLISHED, Jay Lake

Sunday 11/23/08
1:00PM-2:00PM Medford Is there anything you CAN’T get published? Is censorship an issue anymore? Jay Lake, John Hedtke, Bobbie Hull
3:00PM-4:00PM Mt. Hood Agents and ethics: What are the ethical standards for agents? Jean M. Auel, Jay Lake, Mike Shepherd-Moscoe

Originally published at You can comment here or there.


[tech] Mac down

Well, my trusty MacBook is in the Apple store to have its keyboard and faceplate replaced (again!).  Several keys are now blank-faced divots and the /d/ is starting to stick, while the faceplate is splintering.  Just like last time.  They seem to last about nine to twelve months.

That’s what happens when you type a million words a year on a keyboard, I’m thinking.  So I’m on the emergency backup computer which, shall we say, is not a communicant of the Cult of Macintosh.

Grr.  At least it lasted through the drafting of Tourbillon.  And budget permitting, I’ll probably replace the entire computer before I am forced to replace the keyboard again.  Though the space opera project may kill this new keyboard first.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.


[links] Flist weirdness reacharound

It has been pointed out to me that some of my posts from this morning did not make the flist display. I recall LJ having a bug like this a couple of years ago. If it’s resumed, well, grr.

For your delectation, in case you missed them:

This morning’s Link Salad [ | LiveJournal ]

The Inner Mind of the Writer [ | LiveJournal ]

Originally published at You can comment here or there.