February 29th, 2012


[links] Link salad doesn't tell you where to go, baby

Staying in Touch with Your Writing — Jeff VanderMeer on the danger of emphasizing word counts, with some positive comments on how otherwise to approach writing. (Via Steve Buchheit.)

Reprint Recommendations: War and Space: Recent Combat — Editor Sean Wallace is looking for reprints of space war stories.

Distances among genres and authors — Some linguistic neepery on word corpuses etc. from Language Log.

Bad News for People With Hard-to-Pronounce Names — I think authors and publishers have known this for a long time.

Teller Reveals His SecretsThe smaller, quieter half of the magician duo Penn & Teller writes about how magicians manipulate the human mind. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

If You Feel O.K., Maybe You Are O.K. — An objection to early diagnosis. Speaking only for myself, neither of metastases so far had expressed themselves to me somatically before being found by imaging. If we'd waited for me to show symptoms, I would have been in a lot more trouble. Early diagnosis continues to save my life.

Oetzi the Iceman's nuclear genome gives new insights

Revolutionary vehicles that never caught on — Mmm. Dynasphere.

Flying Through a Crack in the Ice — A cool animation from NASA's Earth Observatory.

Why We'll Never Get a Cashless SocietyThe arguments against cash are rational, but our attachment to it isn't.

Shame on the RichAre the rich more dishonest? I believe the word you're looking for is "entitlement". (Via my aunt.)

Republicans' war on common sense

G.O.P. Greek TragedyIn the old days, the Republican ego had control of the party’s id. The id, sometimes described as a galloping horse or crying baby, “the dark, inaccessible part of our personality ... chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations,” as Freud called it, was whipped up obliquely by candidates. Nixon had his Southern strategy of using race as a wedge, Bush Senior and Lee Atwater used the Willie Horton attack, and W. and Karl Rove conjured the gay marriage bogyman. Once elected, those presidents curbed the id with the ego, common sense and reason. But now the G.O.P.’s id is unbridled.

Erasing the History of the Bush Era — Conservatives don't like to recall the horrible, horrible costs of our country's last era of conservative government. Denial, thy name is GOP.

?otd: What if I ride? What if you walk?

Writing time yesterday: 1.75 hours (0.75 hours of WRPA, 1.0 hours of Sunspin revisions)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 (solid)
Weight: 235.6
Currently reading: 1491 by Charles C. Mann


[personal] Leap day mumblings and miscellaneous updatery

I do a fair amount of event work — master of ceremonies, charity auctioneer, and whatnot. Plus the occasional bit of improv comedy. Plus tons of convention panels. One important lesson I've learned over the years of being on stage or behind the podium is never try compete for attention with a cattle auctioneer. (Trust me on this.) No one can possibly be as loud, snappy or entertaining as someone who does that professionally.

Another important lesson I've learned in that situation is never try to compete for attention with a clown on a unicycle in a strait-jacket. (Trust me on this, too.) After he came on, I lost the audience completely.

Last night, I added a third rule. Never compete for attention with puppets. (Really, really, trust me on this.)


Luckily, Mary Robinette Kowal is so utterly charming that even when she is destroying you socially and crippling your book sales with a totally unfair comedic puppet show you can only be amused and enchanted. And we did have a good time being hosted by the terrific booksellers at the airport Powell's. [info]the_child and most of the rest of my family were there, which was terrific. Some friends even turned up. And we did sell some books.

In other news, [info]the_child and I head out to Seattle this afternoon for Mark Bourne's funeral tomorrow morning. I've got the eulogy in a full and nearly final draft. This is one of the toughest things I have ever written. My profound thanks to everyone who has contributed stories, information and time to review it.

In other, other news, somewhere in the next few days Calamity of So Long a Life (Sunspin volume one) will soon be tottering to a close. For obvious reasons I've been a bit distracted from my focus on that goal these past few days. So I'll miss my self-imposed deadline of, well, today, by two or three days. It's in a good cause, however.

I still haven't had a chance to decompress and process my feelings even from the new cancer information of the past few weeks, let alone the deaths of Mark and Kathryn. I sort of wonder if I'm going to have a screaming meltdown at the Rainforest Writers Village this weekend. (Hopefully in the privacy of my own cabin, if so.)

Off to be busy. Happy Leap Day, everyone.

Photo © 2012, B. Lake

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