January 3rd, 2009


[links] Link salad for the first Saturday of a bright new year

A reader reacts to Trial of Flowers Powell's | Amazon ] — And of course, Madness of Flowers Powell's | Amazon ] will be out shortly.

Dilbert on the cold stench of death

Norman Bel Geddes Airliner #4 — This has always been one of my favorite examples of Big Science era design.

The New Motor, or the Steam-Powered Messiah — Pulled from Dark Roasted Blend's own best of 2008. Mmm. Steampunky goodness.

Gems Point to Comet as Answer to Ancient Riddle — Nanodiamonds. Coooool.

?otD: How low can you go?

Body movement: 40 minute ride on the stationary bike
This morning's weigh-in: 220.6
Currently reading: The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville; Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout

Originally published at jlake.com.


[contests] Results of the first Green ARC contest

The first Green ARC contest voting poll is now officially closed. The winner is klingonguy, with 14 votes out of a total of 84 votes cast. The reason he should get a Green ARC?

"Hmmm, this has never worked before, but there's always a first time... Because I'll review it in Klingon!!!"

Congratulations to klingonguy!

Also, if you're still jonesing to win a Green ARC, go enter the current caption contest [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] before I close entries and make it into a poll.

Originally published at jlake.com.


[processing] Trunking the inventory

mauricebroaddus and I were discussing handling older stories still in inventory. He said, in part:

My inventory of stories is down to about a dozen: half of them from closer to the beginning of my career and half closer in tune with what and how I'm writing now. [...] I'm pretty confident that I can sell the older stories without much trouble, but I'm wondering how much effort to put into sending out those stories since they aren't indicative of where I am now.

My response, in part:

I've retired stories along the way, but only recently have I done anything like a wholesale retirement of old inventory. My best advice from my current perspective is to retire-or-rewrite, simply for the reason you allude to. Even if and older piece is salable, it doesn't represent your current quality of work. People don't know (or care) when a story was written. They only know when it came out, or when they saw it.

It's an interesting problem, and one I don't quite have a handle on. I've sometimes taken older pieces and heavily revised them, or even done a blank-sheet rewrite. But not only has the quality of my prose and storytelling changed for the better over the years, so has the nature of the very ideas I tend to have. The fact that virtually everything I write new these days sells is an external validation of my improvement.

There's certainly a school of thought, pace Heinlein, that says send out every word you write until it sells. I don't necessarily disagree with this, but at the same time, do I want my older words being the contemporary ambassadors of my work to the reading world?

What's your take on this? When do you retire inventory, or do you ever?

Originally published at jlake.com.


[food] Would you like some statin drugs with that, sir?

Since the cancer, I pretty much eat fruit for breakfast, usually with a bit of carbs — granola bar, chow mein noodles, something. It works for me, but sometimes I miss good old bacon and eggs.

So for lunch I made good old bacon and eggs. With biscuits. That's not difficult, cooking 101. I did invest a little more time in the potatoes, though.

I sliced four red potatoes thin and small, washed and rinsed them thoroughly, then tossed them in olive oil, rock salt, paprika, pizza pepper and ground black pepper, and set them aside to soak in their marinade. I then chopped down an entire head of garlic and half a yellow onion, sauteed them in butter and set them aside. I fried the potatoes in a bit of canola oil splashed with a bit more olive oil. Once they'd come along pretty well, I moved them to a dry teflon plan on high heat, added the garlic and onion, then finished them off with the potatoes well browned and the onions almost carmelized.

Mmm... I can hear my veins closing up even now. I may not eat again til Tuesday.

Afterwards, some simple syrup for limeade when my new juicer arrives early this coming week. Mmm more.

Originally published at jlake.com.


[books] Green's in the mail

Spent a couple of hours this evening packaging up the Green ARC to go out to my mailing list, plus recent winners goulo and klingonguy. Then the_child and I hied off through the freezing fog to the airport post office under the theory that it's less anti-social to go through the line with fifty packages on Saturday night at a commercial mail handling facility than it is on Monday morning at the neighborhood postal station. (I wish more of my fellow postal customers thought this way.)

My attempt at public-spirited behavior was moot, as it happened — one window open, over twenty people in line. We waited half an hour to get to the window, then we tied it up for almost another half an hour what with all the international bits.

The resulting receipt was almost $200, and nearly as long as the_child is tall.


Her reaction? I quote, "Isn't your publisher supposed to put some money into this?"

Originally published at jlake.com.