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Book #21; Where Am I?

Fiction! All over the place!

  • Wrote a scene for Luck for Hire. Eric and I both agreed that it was a snoozer. Rewrote it. Hopefully, the new version is better: Other Interested Parties.
  • Pas de Chat, chapter 13 is available for consumption as well. I need to set up a few more chapters today or tomorrow.
  • I have a short bit up at 52|250 as well: "Bouncy with Anticipation". Just realized that my first piece for 52|250 was entitled "Bounce!"
  • Okay, not fiction, but about fiction (of the movie type): I posted a rare Obscure Media Monday entry on two horror movies that utilize the sea.


Book #21 – Cat in the Mirror by Mary Stolz

This is another case where my memory of something does not match my recent experience of it.

I first read this book in 7th grade. I had switched from a Lutheran school to public school that year. My 7th grade English and Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Hayenga, may be one of the most influential teachers I’ve had. She presented interesting books instead of the dry classics. The other book I remember reading was The White Mountains by John Christopher. Science fiction! In an English class! It gave the genre fiction I loved some legitimacy. Why couldn’t all English classes be this way? (I’m of the opinion that they can be.

As I a kid, I had an interest in ancient Egypt, so this book was right up my alley. Erin, the main character, is fantastically transported from her mundane life to Egypt where…well…things aren’t all that different. What I didn’t remember, or didn’t appreciate, is that Erin’s kind of whiny. I suppose that’s the way we are as adolescents when nothing is quite what we hope it will be. But as an adult, it kind of chafes. The Egypt section was very didactic and not very narrative.

During this ten-day, I also read "The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model" by Charlie Jane Anders. Good in a pretty traditional science fiction kind of way.

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I realized on Monday that Obscure Media Monday was slightly over a year old. In that time I wrote 32 entries. I should post more often, or at least more regularly. I’ve been shooting for every-other week and posting less than when I was trying to post every week. *shrug* Human beings seem to harbor the desire to share their opinions with others. It’s been fun to occasionally have someone say, “Hey, that sounds cool. I’ll check that out.” To wit: OMM Anniversary Updates


Since I haven’t posted anything about ebooks and ebook readers in a while:
Will today’s eBook readers be obsolete? | PC Mike – Tech News and Reviews

I’ve been an early adapter of this technology, globbing on to the first Kindle when it came out two years ago. Since then, there have been two new versions and some of the latest improvements aren’t compatible with my older Kindle. I paid about $350 for it in 2007 and, while it’s still quite usable, I’m somewhat frustrated that, well, it’s been left behind in the technodust.

Eric and I were talking about the Kindle in particular last night, regarding how long its working life might be from a physical standpoint. In another three years, will the originals start getting glitchy? I suppose it might not matter if the stream of upgrade/obsolescence is fast-moving enough. Which raises the question: If I buy a $350 piece of personal electronics, how long should I expect it to be useful? Is that length of time getting shorter?


Book #21 – Slippage by Harlan Ellison

It’s been a while since I’ve read much Ellison beyond re-reading “The Paladin of the Lost Hour” or the occasional essay. I’ve read many short stories this year, and honestly, the best of them weren’t in this anthology. And such is my experience with Ellison in general. Sometimes, his writing clicks with me. Other times, I can take him or leave him. I did enjoy “Where I Shall Dwell in the Next World,” in which Ellison gives a glimpse of his process in relation to a couple of short-shorts. The benefit I do get from him is in the periphery things. There was mention of “One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts” by Shirley Jackson (a story I had on hand and read — very enjoyable!) and of Gerald Kersh.  Interestingly, back in 1997 when Slippage was published, Kersh was out-of-print and perhaps close to being forgotten. Now, he’s available at and there are several web pages devoted to him. I wonder if that would have occurred in the absence of the internet, the thing with which Ellison and other fantasists have an extremely contentious relationship.

Could it be that the internet, that downfall-of-civilization, actually helps us share the things we find important or, at least, enjoyable?

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OMM and Dracula Thoughts

A new OMM is posted: Obscure Media Monday: Music: Murder By Death
I’m hoping to even out to an every-other Monday schedule for OMM and an every-other day schedule for journaling here.

Spent most of my time yesterday reading. I got behind on the Dracula chonological reread because about 1/3 of the book occurs between Sept. 30th and Oct. 4. I’ve enjoyed the reread more than I expected to. I read Dracula twice before: when I was about 15 and going through my vampire phase and then two years later in my senior year English class. I wasn’t that impressed with it. Now, with age and an English degree behind me, I can see how very revolutionary this story might have been. Borrowing from what I can pull from my head at the moment and involving no research, it seems to me that previous to Stoker, tales of vampires were somewhat rural in nature. They dealt with bad luck at crossroads and corpses that were buried too soon and Eastern European royalty that probably treated the peasants badly. What Stoker brought to the table was a smart vampire. Dracula plans. Stoker and his title character bring these horrors to civilized London where there are gas lights and phonographs and women who keep notes in shorthand. I’m not sure if that had been done before in such literature. (It’s probably also a concept that been written about by others, and I’m just now coming to it.)

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Now that the trip to Omaha and FiestaCon are out of the way, I can get down to a regular living schedule. Until Chris hits town in sooner-than-I-expect weeks. After that, it will be time to get fall league set up for VOTS. Yeah, I just need to take advantage while I can, don’t I?

Today, headed to the library (not that I need more books to half-finish) and did some work on Divine Fire. Eric will read some of the changes tomorrow, after which I’ll declare my goals for the rest of the week.

Managed a Obscure Media Monday entry on Probe, the 1988 science fiction show.

The rest of tonight? Reading. I’m behind almost everywhere.

Current productivity hacks (ha!):
Been using David Seah’s Day Grid Balancer.
Using TweetDeck to follow #writegoal tweets.

It was UG. Chances were fairly high that it didn’t have a subject.

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I was feeling mentally cruddy yesterday and dispelled it by lots of relaxing EverQuest, a good bit of reading, and getting laundry done. I really should make an effort to get Obscure Music Monday posts done on the weekend, but I never do. I’ve inadvertently posted Obscure Movie entries during mouths with five Mondays.

Time to get to work on actual work. We have an early disc game tonight, and I’ll have some not-actual-work to do later.


Cable Industry Starts to Regret Putting Free Shows Online –
Interesting that the headline is different between what was sent to Deepest Sender (the headline above) and what is at the to of the article: “Some Online Shows Could Go Subscription-Only.” It was the latter version of the headline that caught my attention. I took it to mean that shows would be offered through an online subscription model. Alas, no.

He said NBC Universal was testing technology to identify Time Warner Cable subscribers online, and is also talking to Comcast, Cox and other providers about similar moves.

It seems that I would still have to be a cable subscriber. Which means I’d still be paying a bunch of money for services that I do not use and am not interested in.

Also, I guess online views aren’t iincluded in ratings:

The ratings for some programs, like “Lost” on ABC, would rise as much as 25 percent if online views were included, according to the ratings service Nielsen. / Science fiction and fantasy / Blog posts / Tor announces The Gathering Storm, Book Twelve of Robert Jordan’s legendary Wheel of Time® fantasy series:

Tor Books is proud to announce the November 3rd, 2009 on-sale date for The Gathering Storm, Book Twelve of The Wheel of Time and the first of three volumes that will make up A Memory of Light, the stunning conclusion to Robert Jordan’s beloved and bestselling fantasy series.

It does seem fitting that the final book of the Wheel of Time should be a trilogy.

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Keith linked this to my Facebook wall:

The Kindle Revolution | The Big Money

My response, since it was a little long for FB:

The publishing industry (like most industries, I suppose) has been very slow to change. alone has been a complicating factor to their distribution model since its inception, but changing the attitude of the consumer might be the bigger challenge.

Amazon changed music distribution as well, but the digitization of music has been a pretty painless process for most listeners. (Less so for the actual artists and labels.) Music buyers were already accustomed to changes in format. I alone have lived through vinyl, 8-track, cassette tape, CD, and digital download. In the last case, the change was made by the consumer and prompted the music industry to change.

In the land of book publishing, the consumers have been very reluctant to change formats. We’ve had the book for hundreds of years. I don’t know what the Kindle’s sales numbers are like, but in comparison to what (and how) the general public is buying, I’m guessing that its less than the hype would suggest. Regardless, the industry is creeping toward some changes. Whether they will be better or worse for the mid-list writer remains to be seen.

I kind of wonder how independent music artists are doing on their smaller labels and downloads.


Speaking of independent music, I haven’t linked to any updates to Obscure Music Monday in a while. I took February off in an effort to catch-up. Which I didn’t.

I have the galley proof of Lucinda at the Window work on this week. Hopefully, that will consist of a quick read-through.

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All About the Writing

Continuing down Surreality Road, my editor (and an author herself) sent me the cover copy for Lucinda as well as a blurb.  It all makes me giggle, ’cause otherwise my head would explode.

As a reminder to myself and other writers to be nice and understanding of the agents and editors we submit works to even when they reject us :
Et in arcaedia, ego. – query wars: stats for 2008:

Number of queries received: Approximately 6,500

Six and a Half Thousand. We all work hard in this biz.

Looking at Fuel Eaters, my NaNoWriMo novel. Taking notes over what needs to be changed, who is who, names of places, etc. Eric and I will have a good pow-wow about it soon. Once he and I are actually awake at the same time. And there’s less college football.

Back on schedule:
Obscure Music Monday: Ruby
What was I thinking scheduling a blog to update on the busiest day of the week for me? I need to sit down, bang out about five entries on some lazy Thursday, and let them auto-update. If I was ambitious or something.

As I was walking back from the mall, it occurred to me to do something. But I can’t remember what. It was something simple. …