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July 30, 2005

And the Beat Goes On

75 day reject on a reprint to Peridot Books. Shucks and other noises.

Greg van Eekhout has shifted the locale of his journal to Writing and Snacks. Make of a note of it, 'kay?

July 29, 2005

A Fine Line Between 'Arr' And 'Argh'

Today was it for summer session. Technically there are exams on Saturday, but I won't be at work, so as far as I'm concerned, that's it. And so to celebrate, I attempted to amputate my right hand at the wrist. But for some foolish reason I didn't use a blade. No, I tried the new-fangled method of catching it between a study carrol I was moving and a support pillar I wasn't. And before you ask why I did such a thing, I'll tell you: I'm thinking of becoming a pirate.

Now, I know what you're thinking. But it is the next logical step for a librarian, after all. And so easy! Chop a hand off, replace it with a hook, and I'm in. Yes, it's a pirate's life for me. Pillaging & plundering, wenching & rumming, plus all the doubloons I can steal. Altho' I did get the contracts & doubloons for "The Book of Ant" from my wise and kindly editor, who sends me mysterious greetings from Cincinatti for some reason. Bless you, sir. Expect a reply in kind.

July 27, 2005

Snort

Attack of the fanfic: Disgruntled Harry Potter Fan Releases "Corrected" Version of Book. A quote:

"Rowling seems to think the relationships she's described in Half-Blood Prince were clearly telegraphed in previous books," sniffed Pembroke. "All I can say is, if that's what she thinks, she clearly doesn't understand Harry Potter like I do."
...
Pembroke's version involves a new romance for Harry with an exchange student from America whose physical description is remarkably close to the picture on her website. The new character, who rapidly rises to the top of her class, has a mysterious scar on her forehead similar to Harry's famous lightning bolt. She is also an "animagus" who can assume the form of a talking winged unicorn.
Funny because it's true.

Oh, and I'm sure this is quiz is broken. I mean, really:



What Kind of Novel Should I Write?

I mean, literature? Really? I find myself extremely doubtful of that. But I bet I'd look good in a black beret.

July 25, 2005

Hollywood Has My Money

It's been hot, too hot to do much of anything. Seriously. I mowed the lawn and thought I'd given myself heatstroke, and I'm only saying that because halfway through I had to go into the garage and lie down on the cool, cool concrete for about ten minutes. Mmmm, concrete.

So, as a result, we've spent most of our time staying inside, spending quality time with the airconditioner and watching movies. Recently signed up with Blockbuster's Netflixesque service, which means they come to the door. Very handy, that. Last two were Bride and Prejudice and Hide and Seek.

Although we have ventured out a couple times. But again, just to the movies. A big dark air-conditioned room is just as good as a small dark air-conditioned room. An interesting contrast: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Wedding Crashers.

Reading: A little of that. Edgar Rice Burrough's Martian Tales Trilogy, which is really a new edition of the first three books of the "John Carter of Mars" series, rolled up into one volume. Delicious pulp.

July 20, 2005

Happy Moon Day

And in honor of the day, Google has set up http://moon.google.com/. Be sure to zoom in all the way to see the lunar detail in all its glory (although they do have the color wrong.)

July 19, 2005

Welcome To Tutorial Island

One day it's Friday. The next, it's Tuesday. Funny how that happens. I have nothing to worthy to report. Or unworthy, really.

Well, all right. A large number of patrons these days are playing RuneScape. Dashing about, smacking things over the head. Warms the heart, it does. And what else is a library computer with a T1 connection good for, really?

Read: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by that Rowling lady. Boy, it sure was exciting when That Character did That Horrible Thing to That Other Character, wasn't it?

July 13, 2005

Yours, For The Low, Low Price

Hmm. A librarian is for sale on eBay. No, not me. This guy. Interesting idea. Just hope he's not doing research while on the clock for the day job.

July 12, 2005

"High-Tech Patchery"

My apologies for those of you idly wondering about the state of the roof. My high-tech patchery of towel and plastic bag worked nicely, but the immediate problem remains. Short but wordy answer is, the leak is a subtle thing requiring investigation by a roofer. In other words, not me. My DIY skills hit their limits when it comes to standing on 45 degree slopes atop two story buildings.

Yesterday got a 15 day rejection from Flash Me. Consistent, they are.

Recent Reading: Dead in the West, Joe R. Lansdale's zombie western classic. This is the 2005 edition, and I got it from Mr. Cheney under the condition I write a book review that he may post in his space. Book now read. Review? Working on it.

Ah, Summer

See power go off. See power go on. See power go off. See power go on. See librarians wish the power would make up its mind.

July 09, 2005

The Menace Of Dennis

Ah, the joys of home ownership. There's a leak in our roof.

Earlier this evening I came downstairs to discover the arm of the sofa was wet. Above it, four or five drops of water hovered on the ceiling. Followed it upstairs, spotted a few drops in the laundry room, and then on up to the attic, where I tracked a wet damp roof support back to the starting point. Dangnabit. Stuffed a towel in where the beam met the attic floor, and am now hoping for the best.

So, not a large leak. Probably just a loose shingle. Maybe not even that. Hurricane Dennis has been blowing rain our way up from the south, as opposed to the usual westerly approach for rain. This might even be a freak occurence; the wind could've just forced water up under the shingles, it had been blowing so hard. Have to wait and see.

Reading: Classic literature. The Hugo Winners, Vol. I, edited by Isaac Asimov; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum; and Peter Pan, by James M. Barrie.

July 08, 2005

The Perils Of Collaboration

I used to have this up on my wall many years ago, and recently came across it. It's one of those things that floats around on email from time to time, and I still find it amusing:

Rebecca and Gary

English 44A SMU, Creative Writing

Prof Miller:

The assignment: We will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to reread what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.

--------------------

Rebecca begins:

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

Gary:

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off, a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.

Little did she know, but she has less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-3D secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"

This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.

Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.

Asshole.

Bitch.

Those crazy kids. Squabbling away like Bogie and Bacall, Tracy and Hepburn, Bonnie and Clyde. Sniff. It's so beautiful.

July 06, 2005

Huminahuminahumina

Holy. Crap. This would look great in my yard, I think, if not for the Homeowner's Association.

(via Little Toy Robot)

Update: This thing has got flamethrowers mounted on its arms. Flamethrowers. For "testing purposes." Clearly the HA won't be an issue after all.

Rich In Office Supplies

The EXPEDIT is complete, and dividing rooms as we speak. My first IKEA assembly experience. Boy, they sure like dowels, don't they?

Tales of the Talisman coughed up the dough for "Weird Android." Fee is low, but payment is prompt (and I salute them for it).

And while buying my dinner in the Student Union, I discovered two abandoned, unopened packs of index cards (3"x5", white, narrow ruled, 100 cards per). Whatever should I do with them? Make Tarot cards? Plot my screenplay? Print my own currency? Design business cards for giants? Create that fleet of industrial strength paper airplanes? So many choices!

July 04, 2005

Happy Explosion Day

And in honor of it, Lisa and I went to IKEA. Yes, glorious IKEA. Quite the nuthouse, it was. Bought ourselves an EXPEDIT, and passed on the meatballs. Next time.

Then we went with Lisa's folks to see War of the Worlds. Very good, altho' there was one sequence where the refugees were proceeding towards not-too distant explosions, which made me think they'd all been stricken with amnesia, because when giant alien tripods are flattening civilzation, a sensible person runs away from explosions. They'd never get into the refugee union with that kind of behavior.

At any rate, we finished up the holiday by grilling out over her parents' place. Steak, potato salad, beans, garlic toast, brownies & lemon bars. Lovely.

It's drizzling outside. Despite this, I can still hear the boom-boom-boom of fireworks. Happy Fourth, Americans. Happy Monday, everyone else.

Reading: Elephantasm, by Tanith Lee.

July 03, 2005

The Soviets Would've Loved Podcasting

A site I recently came across not too long ago: propaganda images from magazines of the USSR. Very interesting, they are. I'm not sure about the propaganda value of some of them, however. I mean, pictures of Lenin or missile launchers, sure. Those are classics. But an awful lot of them are nothing more than uncaptioned shots of people gathered around shortwave radios. It's like advertising for some Eastern bloc Devry Institute. Or maybe the mag is just the old Soviet equivalent of Popular Mechanics.

Having said that, there is some cool space art in there. This space wraparound cover is one of the best. Oh my God! It's working! You capitalist bourgeois nationalists will never overcome the will of the people!

Reading: Old issues of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.