January 13th, 2013


[links] Link salad is easy like Sunday morning

The Acts of Whimsy cancer fundraiser and the Lakeside Kickstarter for the documentary about me, [info]the_child, and cancer are still live. Both have made goal, but additional support is always welcome. Please check them out if you have not done so yet.

Also, Jim C. Hines reads his very first story in costume as one of the unlocked goal achievements. Hahahaha.

The wrong goodbye of Barnes and Noble — Hmm. Another 'death of the bookstore' article. This one might have teeth though.

Saving Lives in Serenity: Can a Fanboy and Physics Change a Movie? — Hah! (Via Lisa Costello.)

Non-paternity event — Interesting term of art for a retroactively obvious concept. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Buy Bigfoot's gravesite for $270,000 — Snerk.

Did homosexuality kill off the dinosaurs — Questions Christanists ask. Really, deeply stupid Christianists, apparently.

This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For — The White House responds to the petition to build the Death Star. Hahahahah.

“[There is] no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” — Guess who said that? Noted Kenyan Muslim socialist activist Ronald Reagan in 1967. We have more guns today. Are we safer?

Since 1979, Firearms have Killed 120,000 US Children, Many more than Troops in Vietnam or Iraq & Afghanistan Wars (Graph) — As a society, we have agreed that this is a small price to pay for gun owners' Second Amendment rights. Thank God for the NRA and the Republican party, because otherwise liberals would have worked to make sure those kid couldn't water the tree of liberty with their blood. Are you proud of our country for this?

Change US tax law from citizenship based law to residence based law — Huh. I had no idea. I know many people this affects. (Via [info]danjite.)

The Window for Republican Foreign Policy Reform Won’t Be Open for LongIt is possible that the damage among younger voters has already been done such that these cohorts are lost to the GOP for many elections to come, but there is virtually no chance of winning them and future cohorts of voters if the party’s foreign policy remains what it is. Failing to reform Republican foreign policy will have effects beyond the relatively small portion of the electorate that votes on these issues, because the perception of incompetence and recklessness on these issues will sabotage the party’s efforts to repair its overall reputation. It's not a perception of Republican incompetence and recklessness, it's a stone cold fact substantiated heavily by the evidence of the Bush administration and the current GOP House, not to mention the 2011/2013 GOP primary season.

?otD: Are you free?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (stress)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: n/a (forgot to weigh)
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing disability rights: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks


[cancer] We go forward

I heard from my medical oncologist yesterday about the Tumor Board meeting from last Thursday. My surgical oncologist is proceeding with the surgery as planned on January 22nd, but will probably be using radiofrequency ablation in lieu of surgical excision for some of my tumor sites. This is due to the disparate locations of my three established tumors and my one apparent new tumor.

I'll meet with the surgical oncologist this coming Wednesday to review the surgical plan. I don't expect to hear more before then, and I don't expect to know much more until after the surgery when we can conclusively establish whether Ashcroft is real or not. It seems about 90% likely that this fourth tumor is.

Next steps post-operatively will be decided between me and my medical oncologist based on what is discovered during surgery. Once we have the tumor genome sequencing results back and properly interpreted, that may cause another redirection of treatment.


[publishing] More conversations with a copy editor

A while back, I had some interesting email exchanges with Anne Zanoni, the copy editor who worked on my single-title novella Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh for publisher Prime Books. (The book is due for release in July.)

Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh is a difficult piece. It's about cutting, and extreme body modification, and an underground scene bordering on the criminal which leverages those kinks. In my view, the story is a Bildungsroman of sorts, about someone who is and remains profoundly innocent in a spiritual and social sense even amid extremes of sexuality and society. My goal when writing it had been to make the protagonist as genuine as I could, to be true to his internal perspective as a cutter and a body modifier. Not to sensationalize or moralize, but simply see the world from his perspective. I had a friend who is a cutter read an early draft, to try to make sure I wasn't skewing the voice with my own heterornomativity and relative lack of kink.

In other words, I was working very hard at writing the Other.

Quoting with permission, here's what Anne wrote to me and to publisher Sean Wallace:
This was the hardest story I ever worked on, novel, novella, or short fiction.

Going by the length, it shouldn't have been.  I expected to get done a lot sooner than I did.  Then I read it.

The reason it was so hard is because of the subject matter. 

Jay, thank you for being such a great writer.  If you hadn't been, if I'd had lots of writing problems to deal with, then this would have been much harder on me.

I read lots of dark fiction, and I work on it too -- like the novels for Angry Robot.  This story was more sick to me than "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" melded with a lot of other squicky things.  It hit many of my squick buttons (except for inside the organs, those sections were pretty neat).

So, just thought I'd tell you both that. 

After I did the first pass, I kept having to force myself back to work.  I work on projects that I like and those that I don't like, and some projects are a lot of stress and ones aren't; and they're all work.  Some are more fun than others. 

This isn't a complaint.  It was a learning experience.  I've had fiction that I loved working on and which required more concentration because it was such fun. 

I'm not sure if completely repelling the copy editor is a milestone or not, but it's certainly new in my experience.

I never expected to find a story that I wanted to scrub from my brain every time I walked away from my work.  And I wanted to run away, actually.

I was fascinated by this. My story had reached her, almost exactly in the way I intended. I replied to Anne:
Thank you. I think. :)

I'll take that as a comment on the quality of the writing rather than a comment on the quality of my character.

Anne responded:
You're welcome. 

=grins=  I suspect that almost breaking your copy editor ranks somewhere up there with distracting her so much she can't work. 

If I could make every cutter read your story, I would.  Possibly runaways also.

Sometimes you reach people despite their professional filters. I have no idea how this story will be received critically or by the general audience. Given some of the reactions to my piece "The Goat Cutter", I'm actually a bit nervous. But it's the story I wanted to tell, told in the fashion I wanted to tell it.

So, thank you Anne.