February 21st, 2012


[links] Link salad peels back the rind

METAtropolis: Cascadia has been nominated for an Audie — Hooray for all us writer types therein!

2011 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced — In case you missed this yesterday. Congratulations to all the nominees!

Eternal Copyright: a modest proposal — (Via @jackwilliambell.)

Mark Twain and Grant's Memoirs — Ta-Nehisi Coates on, among other things, writing. I love this: The beautiful thing about writing is it has no real respect for credentialism. You can get various degrees in writing. [...] But a degree can't make you a writer in the way that JD can make you a lawyer.

Run For Your LivesA zombie infested 5K obstacle course. Heh. (Thanks to [info]threeoutside.)

Susan Cain on introversion

Kids Who Don’t Gender Conform Are at Higher Risk of Abuse

Dead for 32,000 Years, an Arctic Plant Is Revived

Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger — I've wondered for years why this wasn't already being done.

Jupiter’s Protective Role Questioned — Is the lord of planets really our shepherd?

A new opportunity for linguistsSenator Santorum promises to protect us against government interference in education by mandating an federal accreditation program to ensure ideological balance among teachers. A dissuasion of this idea by Language Log. Teachers trend liberal for the same reason journalists do: It's difficult to keep trumping reality with ideology when your job is examining the world in an evidence-based way.

Washington’s Farewell Address and the Middle EastWhat would happen if we substituted “the Middle East” for “Europe” in George Washington’s farewell address?

David Steinberg on GOP gaffes: 'Gift from God to comedians'"It's a ship of fools that is -- it's just unbelievable."

Santorum: Democrats are "anti-science," not meSenator Frothy Mix is absolutely fucking delusional. Even by GOP standards of batshittery.

Santorum’s Flawed Understanding of Stewardship — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on Senator Frothy Mix's environmental theology.

Why would a politician attack pre-natal testing?Santorum's comments are only made uglier by their utter lack of foundation. There is no evidence whatsoever that liberals -- let alone President Obama -- are less solicitious or caring about the disabled than other Americans. Quite the opposite, I'm pretty damned sure, in fact, given the dedication of conservatives to continuously cutting programs that benefit the disabled and disadvantaged.

?otd: Who moved my cheese?

Writing time yesterday: 2.25 hours (Sunspin revisions)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bicycle ride
Hours slept: 6.0 (solid)
Weight: 235.2
Currently reading: 1491 by Charles C. Mann


[conventions] My 2012 Norwescon schedule

Thursday, April 5
6 pmJay Lake reads from Sunspin

Friday, April 6
3 pmBreaking In: Author, agent, and editor talk about how to get that first novel sold.
6 pmDiscover Your Inner Idea Mill: Where do great ideas come from and how can you find a few of your own? Writers talk about how to find ideas, how to tell which ones are good, and how to use the ones you have.

Saturday, April 7
11amThe Writer/Editor Relationship: An editor is interested in your story. Hurray! But he wants big changes. Boo! Now what do you do? Find out what goes on behind the scenes and how you as a writer can increase your chances of closing a sale.
NoonThe Blogger Effect: Has blogging ruined the fine art of editing? What do we gain (and lose) with publishing spontaneous writing? There is a growing network of SF/F professional and aspiring writers connected via a variety of blogging communities. Is it breaking down the barriers between pro, amateur, and fan-ficcer? Does it function as an informal online writers' workshop, a support group, or a black hole of cat-vacuuming?
3 pmAutograph Session 2
4 pmHarnessing Your Motivation: Writing can be an arduous and lonely task, and it can be all too easy to lose steam when your story starts to stump you. How do professional writers maintain motivation to finish the story?

Sunday, April 8
NoonBook Covers: The State of the Art: Industry professionals and Guest of Honor John Picacio discuss their favorite recent sf/f cover artworks as well as some of their not-so-favorite.

See some, all or none of you there.


[process] Sequel-itis, or the part 2 blues...

Yesterday afternoon, [info]the_child's basketball team lost their first round playoff game. It was heart-breakingly close, a very good game, but in the end, the other team pulled it out to beat them by three points. After dinner with friends, we stayed up late (and tired!) and watched Kung Fu Panda 2imdb ], which we'd rented over the weekend and is due back Real Soon Now. Meanwhile, I'm thinking ahead to the second book of Sunspin, Their Currents Turn Awry.

All of these things are essential part two of something else. The playoffs were a coda to her season. Kung Fu Panda 2 follows on the success of the first movie. Currents, well, we shall see.

It's hard to do something twice. I learned this writing both of the Mainspring and Green trilogies. The demands of the sequel/part 2 are very different. The challenge for the creator is how to maintain and build on whatever magic the original had, while still doing something new and interesting. So I worry a bit about Their Currents Turn Awry and the final two books in Sunspin. Once a reader has encountered Calamity of So Long a Life, their expectations are set. They have a view of the world that I have to both satisfy and expand upon.

Luckily for me, while very, very few movie sequels live up to their original (off the top of my head, the Toy Storyimdb ] cycle is the only movie series that truly pulled this off), there are plenty of sfnal and fantasy examples of successful series and trilogies. Writing is not the playoffs, and we're not worried about box office take. Not exactly, at any rate.

Still, there's nothing like a story the first time out of the wrapper, when you're experiencing it like never before. How to keep that magic going...?