March 17th, 2010


[links] Link salad is watchin' all the lights blink down below

Two of my short works made Tangent Online's 2009 Recommended Reading List — Short story "On the Human Plan" (Lone Star Stories) and novelette "To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves" (The New Space Opera 2).

Erectile dysfunction is strong predictor of fatal heart ailments, study finds — Oh, joy. I get ED from cancer surgery, ED gives me heart attack risk. (Or not, since my ED is not primary. Still...)

Finding the Real Planet X — Lots of interesting stuff about Kuiper Belt Objects and Trans-Neptunian Objects from Centauri Dreams. Good skiffy here.

The Rise and Fall of the Human Genome Project

Cpl. Jeffrey Goldberg, Guarding the Prison of the Nationalist Mind — Juan Cole on, among other things, concervative political discourse on Israel Fascinating reading, if you're curious how the media actually comes up with stuff. Uncomfortable reading if you're conservative, but he cites cases and details, so worth it if you're interested in intellectual honesty rather than confirmation bias.

Conservatism And Power — Ta-Nehisi Coates with some killer observations. Money shot: ...a skepticism of change almost necessarily means a skepticism of those who seek to expand democracy beyond property-owning white men. Taken in sum you have an ideology, whatever its laudable merits, that will almost always, necessarily, look charitably upon those with power, or those who control the institutions, and skeptically upon those without power, or those who seek to change those institutions.

In Africa, a step backward on human rights — Bishop Desmond Tutu on Christians and homosexuality. Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God. It would be nice if a few more Americans actually read their Bible instead of simply using it as a blunt instrument.

The Beck Factor at Fox: Staffers say comments taint their work — Um, no. Working at Fox taints your work. If you want to do news, work for a news organization, not Fox.

?otD: The earth is turning; why does it go so slow?

Writing time yesterday: 90 minutes
Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Hours slept: 9.25 (solid)
This morning's weigh-in: 227.4
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 4/10
Currently reading: [between books]


[cancer] Writing, sleep, shedding

Wrote about 90 minutes yesterday on "The Stars Do Not Lie", my spec steampunk religious lost colony novella. I think I've found the voice. Damned thing is taking a lot of incidental research, though. And I'm writing very slowly. Not sure if that's voice-finding, cancer issues or what. We shall see.

After sleeping a bit short the past few nights, I also took a Lorazepam. Whee, 9.25 hours of sleep! My body obviously needed it, and I feel pretty decent this morning, but for someone who routinely sleeps 6 hours per night, that feels like such an utter waste of time. Needful, but frustrating. Part of the price of chemo.

In other news, early evidence suggests this is shedding day. Always a pleasant time in my chemo cycle. I'll spare everyone the details this time, barring unusual events. More unusual than normal, I should say.


[writing] The vorpal copy editor

Dear Lew -

I've been going over this section of your mss, and I've spotted some problems. We're having some issues with the manual of style here, but also a lot of your attributions.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

I'm assuming "brillig" is a typo for "brilliant". Also, "slithy" for "slimy". Having trouble running down "toves". Can you provide a cite for prior use?

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

"Gyre" misused here, I think. And "gimbal" is misspelled. What did you mean by "wave"? This is a maritime reference, right?

All mimsy were the borogoves,

"Mimsy" for "flimsy"? And the closest I can come to "borogroves" is "Borogravian".

And the mome raths outgrabe.

I'm correcting this to "mommy rats outgrew" if that's alright.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

Ok with this line, assuming "Jabberwock" is a proper name.

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

All good here.

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

"Jubjub" for "jojoba"? Desert plant belongs in a maritime poem?

The frumious Bandersnatch!"

"Furious bandsaw."

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

"Vorpal" for "vortex"? Would fit with "gyre".

Long time the manxome foe he sought --

"Manxome" - Isle of Man?

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

You may have a trademark issue with "Tumtum".

And stood awhile in thought.

All good here.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

"Of fish he thought"?

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,


Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

Cannot find cites for "Tulgey". "Bulging"? Though we may have a giggle factor with "bulging wood"

And burbled as it came!

All good here.

One, two! One, two! And through and through


The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

"Vortex" again. Also, a trademark issue with "snicker", possibly, given its use with "snack."

He left it dead, and with its head

All good.

He went galumphing back.

"Galloping" for "galumphing"?

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?


Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

"Beamish"? Cannot find reference. "Beaming" would make sense in context.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'

"Frabjous" for "fabulous"? Cannnot find cites for "Callooh! Callay!" either.

He chortled in his joy.

"Chortled" = "chuckled"?

As above for this last verse.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Please let me know if you have any further questions!



[process] Privileging the extroverts

jess_ka, talking about the process of writing, made an offhand observation that struck me as very powerful.
Face it, extroverts are privileged in our society. That everyone else should have to follow suit in order to gather more attention and, thereby, success, is exhausting to those of us who simply are not extroverts.

Though I'm not sure "privileged" is exactly the term I'd use here, I take her point. Society skews toward people who can speak well, exude social energy, draw constructive attention. Eric Witchey has used the term "bending light" to refer to this kind of interaction.

I've written before here about my own struggles with being forced by cancer and chemotherapy into an introvert's lifestyle despite my nigh-pathological extroversion. My emotional and social needs are still those of an extrovert, but my body's needs are very much those of an introvert. With all love and respect to my variously introverted friends (and you guys definitely know who you are), how the hell do you do it?

What does this privileging mean? I don't know. Another of those things I need to untangle for myself a while. But it does seem important, especially given the wide variety of socialization and public behaviors we as writers are notoriously stereotypical for.

Are you an extrovert?

Does society (or writerdom/fandom) privilege you for that?

Would you be if you could?

I miss bending light, myself, down here inside the chemo well. But I'm climbing out.