March 24th, 2012


[links] Link salad drives to Seattle

Hot Dog Heroes — Some frank statistics.

Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study — Sometimes the jokes just write themselves. (And no, I don't take this very seriously.)

Space junk forces astronauts into escape capsules on International Space Station

National Ignition Facility fires record laser shot

U.S. Inches Toward Goal of Energy Independence

Defend the change, don’t deny that it happenedSlacktivist Fred Clark on the Orwellian worldview of conservative Evangelicals. Look back 35 years and you won’t find evangelicals saying, thinking, believing or voting the same way. Roe v. Wade did not spark this change, it came later than that and apart from that. But something did, in fact, change. […] But achieving disagreement isn’t an option with those who claim not that this was a change for the better, but that it was not a change at all. That is an unreal and unserious claim. “We have always been at war with Eastasia.”

Toward justice for Trayvon Martin — and for all children

Allen West On Trayvon Martin Case: 'This Is An Outrage' — A black Republican says and does the right thing. Good for him.

The GOP’s Dated and Shallow Foreign Policy Criticism — Given that Obama is largely governing as a 1990s conservative, even on HCR, this amounts to "B-b-but it's bad because he did it! Look! Kenyan Muslim socialism!"

On campaign trail, Gingrich often ties Obama, IslamWhile claiming he believes President Barack Obama is a Christian, presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is increasingly connecting Obama to Islam, playing into a commonly held myth in the Republican primary electorate. Truth is always the first casualty of conservative rhetoric. Lying is what you do when you can't win on ideas.

Does cutting taxes create jobs? — In a word, no. And it never did. Supply side economics has always been a knowing conservative scam. Reagan’s first budget director, David Stockman, later admitted to journalist William Greider that he pushed through the 1981 tax cuts knowing full well they would lead to massive federal budget deficits. He hoped this would keep Congress from spending on domestic programs. In other words, Reagan's people cynically and knowingly lied to meet a political goal, a lie that has since become one of the "truths" of the conservative movement.

?otd: Ever been to Vader?

Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bicycle ride
Hours slept: 7.0 (fitful)
Weight: 240.2
Currently reading: Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch


[writing] The state of play, updated once more

After correspondence with my agent yesterday, I can update the state of play on various projects.

Sunspin (four volume space opera): She really likes the revisions to volume one, Calamity of So Long a Life. I need to produce a short marketing-focused synopsis, about ten pages covering all four books, and she has suggested one more line editing pass for dropped words, et cetera. I'm feeling a little glassy-eyed about doing another line edit on the manuscript, but I probably ought to re-read it anyway in preparation for drafting the balance of Their Currents Turn Awry, which is my project for April and May. I only need another 100,000 or so words on that project to call it done in first draft, so it will fit nicely into that schedule. I expect to produce the synopsis over the next few days, and will come to grips with the line editing issue shortly thereafter.

Going to Extremes (nonfiction book about cancer, parenting and Antarctica): She is still reviewing the proposal, but likes it so far. We're having a somewhat technical conversation now about cross-licensing and subrights and other nonfiction issues which are new territory to me. I won't be doing any more new writing on this until she has given me full feedback on the proposal and we agree on what more we need to do for the submission package. I do feel some time pressure on this one, simply because of the timing of being able to make an Antarctic trip.

Little Dog (urban fantasy about a werewolf with achondroplastic dwarfism): Once [info]bravado111 and I wrap up the synopsis, which ought to be fairly soon, she will review it, as will his agent. At that point we'll decide whether it makes more sense to go to market as a proposal, a partial or a full. Collaborator [info]bravado111 and I will be discussing the writing schedule today, actually, and working out between the two of us how to approach that question from our end.

Our Lady of the Islands (independent novel set in the Green universe): She wants to review this one more time, possibly have another revision round, then go to market, but not in the same immediate time as Sunspin. Since Calamity of So Long a Life will probably be going out in the next few weeks if not sooner, this means Our Lady can go out later this spring. Collaborator [info]calendula_witch and I are in agreement on this plan.

Short Fiction: I have now completed all requested short fiction due before the end of the summer. I need to send "The Cancer Catechism" into the requesting market, and later on in the year I have to write a Fathomless Abyss novella and a Cthulhu short. I have tentatively agreed to take on a couple of anthology invitations in June, when I have another month of Doing Miscellaneous Stuff on my writing calendar, but I don't have guidelines for those yet. If you're an editor and you're expecting something from me that you suspect I've missed, please let me know.

Cancer: Of course, all of this is subject to change should next month's re-tests show that my recently detected liver lesion is in fact a fourth round of cancer. I expect Sunspin to go forward mostly unaffected. Likewise Our Lady of the Islands. [info]bravado111 and I need to discuss a fallback plan for Little Dog if I get seriously sidelined, so status unknown there. Ironically, it's Going to Extremes, the big, ambitious cancer book, that will likely be the most disrupted from a return of the cancer, simply because of timing. If I spend the second half of this year going through another round of chemo, there's no way on God's green Earth I'll be fit to go to Antarctica during the southern summer of 2012/2013. Also, my short fiction and miscellaneous project work will fall off the table complete if cancer returns, as will most or all of my already limited convention and conference schedule.

A lot going on, and I like being this kind of busy. I just hate the uncertainty.


[personal] What I've been doing just lately

A quick update of my personal peregrinations. Thursday, I did the radio interview with Susan Wingate and Joshua Graham. I also performed my last round of guest teaching at [info]the_child's eighth grade class. I'll be creating a printed anthology via from their stories. Those kids are pretty darned sharp. That evening, [info]the_child and I had dinner with [info]talekyn, who was in town on business. After a misfire involving a closed Mongolian bbq joint, we wound up at Eastburn, which happens to be one of my favorite restaurants. Good food and good conversation.

Yesterday I took off from work and (mostly) from writing. Instead I ran errands, goofed around, read some more of Red Seas Under Red Skies, saw both [info]kenscholes and [info]lizzyshannon, had dinner with [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister) at the always delightful Portofino (can you say "pan-fried gnocchi"?). I also spent another two hours with the reporter from the Oregonian and his photographer. Entertaining for me, and I think for them, though they seemed the most boggled when I showed them my liver segments. Most people don't keep substantial chunks of their internal organs on a shelf in their dining room, I suppose.

This morning, quite shortly actually, [info]the_child and I are off to Seattle. She'll be attending a tae kwon do tourney where both of [info]bravado111's children will be participating, then we're all going to Mark Bourne's life celebration this evening. Back to Portland tomorrow, probably leaving late morning, where I then have to prepare to hie myself off to Omaha at the crack of Monday.

Who has time for cancer, really?