January 12th, 2012


[links] Link salad thanks you for those items that you sent it

You Know, I Learned Something Today — A reader reacts, with critical eye, to the anthology Human For a Day.

A World Of Comic SansIn a world where Comic Sans is the only font, logos would look like this. Hahaha. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

We’re Eating Less Meat. Why?

Discovery Could Lead to an Exercise PillA newly identified hormone acts like a workout, and transforms bad fat into good. How very Silver Age sfnal. Up next: food pills.

Exoplanets are around every star, study suggests

Astronomers weigh in on Milky Way's true colours

Darwin for economists

Evolution: A Game of Chance — A nice, clear explanation of evolutionary processes. Warning: Facts and informed speculation not valid if you're not a member of the reality-based community.

Church-state separation extends to religious schools, Supreme Court rules — Well, this is a good idea. Not.

New Supreme Court Ruling Should End Hysteria Over Religious LibertyConservative religious groups have long predicted that church freedom would perish at the hands of “activist judges.” But the Supreme Court’s new exemption of religious groups from discrimination laws should silence the false alarms. Or not. The NRA is still screaming about Obama coming to take their guns, against all evidence. And then there's GOP freakout over the nonexistent EPA farm dust rule. Conservative hysteria and outrage has repeatedly proven immune to reality-based evidence.

My Guantánamo Nightmare — In case you labor under the delusion that Gitmo is about justice. Or even terrorism. Security theatre ruins lives.

The Tea Party’s Not-So-Civil War — It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of racist loons.

Why Republicans Deny Science: The Quest for a Scientific ExplanationSome of the conservative denial of science may well be cynical in nature. But there's no doubt from polls that large numbers of conservatives really believe this stuff--that global warming isn't real, nor is evolution. And indeed, the denial of reality extends well beyond science and into other fields like economics and history. I'm voting for cynical, myself, at least among the GOP political leadership.

Do Republican Primary Voters Actually Prefer Moderates? — Interesting, but not sure I agree with it. Romney and McCain aren't moderate, except by comparison to the outright bugfuck lunacy of a Bachmann or Santorum. Certainly not in any sane universe.

?otd: What's up with the plywood violin, anyway?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (2,400 words on short story)
Body movement: n/a (hideous weather)
Hours slept: 8.75 (fitful)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes


[writing|process] The outline for Mainspring

Since people seemed to like my recent post with the outline to Alternating Current, I thought I'd post the outline to Mainspring, my first trade novel, which was released by Tor in 2007. Note this book didn't sell from outline, it sold from finished manuscript, but the outline is still an important sales document even in that context. This was originally written at a workshop as part of an exercise at a writing workshop, but I returned to it later. What you see below is the revised outline.

It also occurred to me while drafting this post that I've never revised an outline after the fact to match the finished manuscript. More to the point, I've never bothered to. I find myself wondering if revising the outline (or possibly even rewriting it from scratch) after the first draft and before the revision passes would be productive. Have you ever tried that?

Note this outline comes more recently in my career than Alternating Current, and it helped sell a novel in New York. Also as discussed above, this was not revised post-drafting to match the final product, so if you're familiar with the finished book, you'll seem some variances. Another interesting exercise would be to go through several writers' outlines and look at their variances — it would tell you something about their individual processes, I think.

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[personal|writing] In which both progress and regress are made

Yesterday's weather here in Omaha was beastly. The kind of weather that makes me wonder why anyone not under the supervision of a court actually remains in this place. In fact, this morning, when faced with 10 degrees, wind and ice patches on sidewalks in the predawn darkness, I gave myself a very rare bye on my morning exercise.

Day Jobbery yesterday was productive if lengthy. At home, if I get tired (and fatigue is still very much an issue), I can go sit in my easy chair for 15 minutes and read work email from there. No such option in the office, where you're pretty much full on the entire time you're in. It's the little things that are wearing. Still, I'm holding up and doing well.

On the home front, [info]the_child did another high school visit yesterday. We are coming to grips with her choices for next year. And though some subjects are definitely harder than others for her, she remains diligent in her assignments, while playing hell for leather on the girls' basketball squad. She makes me proud every day.

In my own world of assignments, I got another writing session in after work. 2,400 word in an hour on "You Will Attend Until Beauty Awakens". Plus the plot sort of did this origami lurch and I now see what my subconscious was foreshadowing the other day. Fred, the little man inside my head, is way smarter than me. I'm sure glad he's in there. Doubtful there will be writing today due to my work and social commitments, but there will be more tomorrow.

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