May 4th, 2010


[links] Link salad comes over all hopey-changey

Your Government Will Kill You — Today is the 40th anniversary of the Kent State massacre. pnh says it far more eloquently than I ever will.

CoverFail RevisitedScrivener's Error with some data. Of interest to me personally for several obvious reasons.

Gorilla No-Threat Glasses — Man, I want some of these.

Sugar — An interesting post about sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Astrobiology’s Far FutureCentauri Dreams with some cool speculation, and a bit of history. Must-read for SF writers.

A Hall of Mountain Glory — More awesomeness from APOD.

Will Quantum Money Breed Quantum Crime? — My bank account often seems to be in a quantum state.

Cardinal Levada Blames Celibacy for Clergy Sex Abuse — This is interesting and disturbing at a number of levels, but purely as a linguistic (and PR) matter I am struggling with the wisdom of having sexual misconduct investigated by a body known as the "The National Lay Review Board". The optics of that are challenging.

Who Can Mock This Church?Maybe the Catholic Church should be turned upside down. [...] if the top of the church has strayed from its roots, much of its base is still deeply inspiring.

Church Counsels Women Addicted to Pornography — "In the Christian culture, women are supposed to be the nonsexual ones." Man, am I glad I'm not a Christian. (Snurched from flemco.)

Internal GOP wars shaping policies nationwide — Conservative America, poisoning the well for everyone as usual.

Commemorating CHM: Terrorism — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Confederacy, the Klan and the long, sordid history of conservative white terrorism in this country. I love how Ta-Nehisi Coates writes. His closing summary: Never fear talking to the willfully ignorant about their history. Soon enough, they'll be begging you to stop.

Sarah Palin: "Hope is one of America's unique virtues." — "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Teh stoopid, it burns. Brightly in the hearts of conservative America, apparently. How is all that hopey-changey stuff working out, Sarah? Uniquely well?

?otD: What other virtues are uniquely American?

Writing time yesterday: none (chemo brain)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 (interrupted)
This morning's weigh-in: 235.6
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 6/10 (fatigue, emotional stress, GI issues)
Currently (re)reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett


[photos] Your Tuesday moment of zen

Your Tuesday moment of zen.


Derelict Burlington Northern caboose in NW Portland. © 2006, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

More train pr0n for garyomaha. The interior of this caboose was obviously being used as a party pad. Amazing graffiti on both exterior and interior.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[cancer] Some calm

8.25 hours of uninterrupted sleep, sans Lorazepam. GI has finally calmed.

Mostly dreamt of struggling with my medications and being on an aircraft carrier from which one could see Kilimanjaro over the curve of the Earth. (And yes, I've seen Kilimanjaro in person from the Kenyan side, but not from the deck of a ship.)

Some meditations on professionalism, focus and chemo to come, but I'm not quite ready to put them to words yet.

I feel okay today. That makes this a very rare day.


[writing] Miscellanea and a sale

Yesterday I emailed casacorona and arcaedia to tell them that I had not completed revisions to Endurance as planned, and enquire as to what we should do next. The book is complete, the plot is basically where I want it pending editorial guidance from them, but I have some minor continuity and characterization holes to fill, plus [street name here] geography to fix. After brief discussion, we determined that the needed changes were lateral to what they would be reading for, so I sent the manuscript along with some holes in it.

In short, not my best work. A concession to chemo. I am very frustrated and unhappy, but I recognize this is a cooperative effort, and neither of them would allow me to be truly unprofessional. So my feelings of unprofessionalism are essentially a coping issue.

But man...

Today at Fireside I have been trolling through my spreadsheet, finding balls chemobrain hasn't dropped. That would include (ahem) two unrecorded sales and several more unrecorded/misrecorded rejections. Various queries were sent, some submissions made, and spreadsheet updated. All ship shape and Bristol fashion now, at least until the next round of silliness on my part. At this point, I have five stories out to market and none in idle inventory, which would be my lowest level of short fiction submission activity since the year 2000. Oi.

There are several reasons for it. A busy novel career and chemotherapy are two obvious ones, but there's more going on here. I used to write virtually all my short fiction inventory on spec. My submission-to-sale ratio used to be above 5:1. These days the majority of short fiction inventory is written to invitation, and I hit those markets perhaps 80% of the time. So much less of what production I do have goes into spec inventory. Then my submission-to-sale ratio is down to about 3:1 now. So short fiction doesn't remain in spec inventory so long, either.

Mind you, these are good problems to have. Very good ones. But when I come out of the cancer thicket, I think I'm going to lay down some short fiction smack for a while, to build inventory (or sales, really) back up. And yes, I've sold thirteen pieces (in nine acceptances, one sale was a quintet of linked stories) this year either solo or collaboratively with calendula_witch. So no, I'm not complaining. But if I don't write more stories this summer, the well will go dry.

Speaking of sales, in my frenzy of querying, a query and an acceptance crossed in the email, thanks to the good offices of my spam filter. Which resulted in some very amusing correspondence. However, I'm quite pleased to announce short story "The Speed of Time" has been accepted by

It really has been a good day.