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April 30, 2008

Paging Mister DeMille

Oh, hi.

* * *

Stupid cold. Or allergies. Coldergies, Lisa called them. She is so wise.

Still with the words. 124 tonight, 114 last night, 124 Monday, 306 Sunday, and this reportage may be tedious to some, but I really don't give a crap. Suffer, readers!

Reading: Tales to Astonish, by Ronin Ro. All about Jack Kirby & Stan Lee.

April 26, 2008

Crisis Averted

According to John Scalzi, anyway. Let the saner half of SFWA rejoice.

April 25, 2008

Round Two

And in this corner: clothed in science, dipped in magic, and with more character retooling than Madonna, it's...CAPTAIN BRITAIN!

And in this corner: the greatest fighter from the greatest generation and packed with more steroids than Jose Canseco, Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds combined, it's...CAPTAIN AMERICA!


* * *

103 words last night. I've discovered that, if I know what I'm going to write about, I can pull that outta me in a single breath.

(if I don't know, well...)

Update: And 166 for tonight. Yay.

April 23, 2008

I Almost Missed It

It's the 2nd Annual International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day. Otherwise known as, Free Fiction day. And so, for your amusement, a free story below the cut. Yes, it's a little abrupt in the ending, and no, it doesn't have a title. I just finished writing it five minutes ago, okay?

In a related note, 414 words for today (and 138 for yesterday, but you don't get to see those words anytime soon).

Mikhail sat back in the chair and propped up his feet on a corner of the laboratory table. Well, the only available corner. The rest of the table was covered with a half-assembled small mechanical dragon that Sussue had been staring at for quite a while. He closed his eyes and relaxed, a bit too much. There was a series of bright dinging sounds, followed closely by a noise of protest from Sussue. He glanced over to see his feet had knocked over a small pile of brass gears. "Sorry," he said as he put his feet down.

"It's fine," she said. She poked the carved snout of the thing with a finger. "I have no idea how to put this thing back together, anyway."

"I've told you when you asked me to bring you one--"

"Yes, yes." She cut him off with a wave of her hand. "A mechanical dragon is like a joke. If you try and dissect it to figure out how it works, you'll only kill it. I never understood that."

"Well, it's only a metaphor."


"Whatever. You still don't know how it works, do you? And it's no longer working?" Sussue scowled, the picture of a frustrated scientist. Mikhail nodded. "Then I say, good enough. Drop it and let's move on. You have other, more pressing problems."

Sussue threw her hands up, relenting. She turned and pressed the button on the wall. A minute later the Gaunt appeared at the door. "Take this down to the furnace," said Sussue, "and melt it down. Be careful of the air."

The Gaunt nodded. "Very good, madam. Of course, madam."

"And cast the ingots as soon as you can. We can use them in the Clockwork Folk negotiations."

"Yes, madam." The Gaunt produced a large bag that appeared to be woven from midnight. Then he stepped up to the desk and, with a single movement of his arm, swept the metal remnants into the bag. There were loud crashes before the bag swallowed them up. Then he vanished out the door, bag slung over his shoulder like a dark Santa.

Sussue stared out the window, and Mikhail got up to stand beside her. Out over the lake at the foot of the tower, a trio of dragons circled, their brass scales reflecting the sun with each beat of their wings. "I just wish I knew how they worked."

"That's what I like about you," said Mikhail, smiling. "You never stop dreaming."

April 22, 2008

Behold! The Equity Apocalypse!

For those of you who've been watching housing prices circle the drain (I have, out of purely morbid curiosity), here's a website of interest: Google Maps with foreclosures. We've got two in our neighborhood, one of which I didn't know about. Not nearly as bad as some places out in Cali, tho'. Wowsers.

April 21, 2008

Threats Are Everywhere

Little more excitement than intended this weekend. My brother and his wife & young'un came to Georgia to visit and shop and whatnot, so we came over to my parents as well to make it a family affair. Unfortunately, when Paul & Joy were coming back from their shopping, some doofus in an SUV pulled out in front of them and now their car is, well, a very large paperweight. Happily, they're fine, their boy wasn't in the car so he's fine, and they've made it back home without incident. All is well enough, but man alive. What a pain in the neck for them.

In response to this, we spent Sunday doing laundry. Nice, peaceful laundry.

Of course, laundry hates to be thought of as boring. So when I pulled a wad of wet clothes out of the dryer on one load, a piece of crayon felt out of the pocket of a shirt of mine. Nothing quite like the threat of melted colorful wax on your nice work clothes to get your attention. Remember, kids. Always check your pockets. Always.

Wordage: 187 Saturday, 253 Sunday, and 218 today.

April 18, 2008

Shadow Boxing

And remember, folks, always bet on Bahlactus.

* * *

129 words yesterday, 180 today. They're not my best, but they are in English.

Reading: Still Little, Big. But also Batman: The Dailies, 1943-1946, by Bob Kane. Because, y'know, who doesn't love Batman?

April 16, 2008

In The Evening

Just had to drive over to the school when I realized I'd neglected to make a small (but important) change to the library website. Normally I wouldn't have bothered, instead just doing it in the morning when I got there, but tomorrow's my late day. Won't get there until 1, which is waay too late. Twelve minutes out, 30 seconds for the change, and twelve minutes back. I mean, it's not like it was a half-hour each way, but it's still annoying.

Grumble, grumble.

On the bright side, 184 words Monday + 176 words Tuesday + 303 words tonight = One finished story, weighing in at roughly 2,600 word, and one pleased writer.

Good. Now I can go to bed.

April 14, 2008

An Evening With Jonathan Leibowitz

Oh, man. I gotta say, the last few days have just been beating me with heavy sticks all around the head and shoulders. Head, shoulders, knees and toes. Lisa's got herself smited by a healthy dose of allergies. Afrin and Claritin, those wonders of the modern medical age, help a bit, but only just. As for the boy, he is boyish and exuberant and we wouldn't have it any other way, but man alive.

On the bright side, as far as things to look forward to go, we got a pair of tickets to see Jon Stewart in our local venue next month (a date! out! on a Saturday night!). We're quite pleased, although we're not quite sure what Mr. Stewart will be doing to earn his fee. Possibly reading from the local phone book. That's always good for a laugh.

Many words have been written in the last week. For those of you counting along, that would be:

  • Monday: 128
  • Tuesday: 137
  • Wednesday: 179
  • Thursday: 200ish, on a completely different story that I don't have on hand. Honest!
  • Friday: 157
  • Saturday: 245
  • Sunday: 167
That's just over a thousand words on my current tale, something for the new Sword & Sorceress. The words, they do accumulate. Not unlike the pine pollen covering my car. It looks like it has jaundice.

Reading: After finishing the lovely T.A. Pratt's lovely Poison Sleep (excellent! gimme the next one already!), I'm now starting on John Crowley's Little, Big.

April 09, 2008


Your Score: The Basic Feminist

You are 76% on your way to being a Feminist!

You're a Feminist! Congratulations!

You have a good idea of what sexism is, how to avoid it, and how to stand up for women and/or yourself. You might have read some basic Feminist literature or thought in passing, and thought that it was pretty good. Sometimes you baulk a little at overtly identifying yourself as a Feminist due to the negative stigma. Don't be ashamed of being right! Just keep on doing what you're doing and exploring more ways to treat everyone with respect because of their humanity, not their parts, and you're helping to fix the problem!

All Results:
The Wife Beater
The Antifeminist
The Traditionalist
The Egalitarian
The Basic Feminist
The True Feminist

Link: The Feminist Test written by proudfeminist on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(proudfeminist)

Reading: Just finished Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam, by Pope Brock and have just started Poison Sleep, by the one and only T. A. Pratt.

April 07, 2008

At Last!

When stories like this come along, I can't help but think of some headline writer somewhere, hugging herself with glee.

169 words Saturday, 145 Sunday.

April 04, 2008

Those Crazy Kids

As I sit here finish the evening's words (145! Also, 157 yesterday and 164 the day before!) I have the baby monitor sitting by my elbow.

From it I can just barely hear the occasional snore.

We are so crazy in love with him, it boggles the mind.

* * *

Local news is less interesting, which is saying something. I rearranged my office at work so that my back is no longer to the door. This means when they come to take me away, I will see them coming and be able to activate the doomsday device.

Admittedly, I'm not covered if a ninja assassin slips in through the drop ceiling, but that's why you release the poisonous asps up there. Ninjas don't bother carrying anti-venom kits, as it only slows them down.

Perhaps I've said too much.

* * *

Something to leave you with for the weekend: a boy and his panzer.

April 03, 2008

"Ah, the searing kiss of hot lead. How I've missed you!"

And here's the other half of it all: 4 day personal rejection on a story, from the Catscurious anthology. Called it "well written, but not what they're looking for." Well, fubar.

(Actually, the only reason why I'm even mildly annoyed about this is because cat stories are a bit of a hard sell elsewhere. Everyone and their mother writes them, apparently. Except those crazy dog-lovers.)

However, 164 words last night. So there, universe. And now is the time on Sprockets when we dance!

Thursday Morning Soundtrack:
"River Man," by Nick Drake.
"Harlem Nocturne," by the BBC Orchestra.
"Fat Lady of Limbourg," by Fluttr.
"Never Did No Wanderin'," by the Folksmen (Mighty Wind Soundtrack).
"Heading For Light," by the Traveling Wilburys.
"Porcelain," by Moby.
"Jane," by Barenaked Ladies.
"Cherry, Cherry (Live)," by Neil Diamond.
"Space is the Place," by Sun Ra.
"Monty Got a Raw Deal," by R.E.M.

Bonus twofer:
"Goodbye," by Hootie & the Blowfish.
"The Wrong Child," by R.E.M.

Um, yes. That's some real danceable music there, iPod. Thanks.

Reading: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely. You know, the Illuminati, the C.I.A., and Madison Avenue. Those guys.

April 02, 2008

Wholesome As Ever

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

Well, shouldn't be a problem for Ian to read this in a few years.

April 01, 2008

How To Kick That Gong To Life

No April Foolage today. Although I'm extremely aware (read: suspicious) of just about everything I see or read on April 1st, I lack the organizational skills to pull off any prankage of my own. Because it has to be good, frankly. Maybe next year.

* * *

Thanks for the encouraging remarks from you guys. They're such low numbers that I find myself occasionally questioning if they're even worthwhile, but still. Last night I submitted the first new story I'd completed in...(hmm, consulting file creation dates in my writing folder)...oh, sweet jebus. One year, nine months. Where does the time go?

We all know the answer to that, of course. But as the song goes, it's nobody's fault but mine. I'm a reformed binge writer who lost the opportunity to binge. I should have reformed my ways, but didn't, until the lovely Ling mentioned the dare. Tim figured all this out much faster than me (go see his new essay, "Not Now, Sweetie, Daddy's Worldbuilding" for particulars). Clearly he's a smart guy. Did you know he's got a new book out? Have you bought it yet? I did, this afternoon.

In truth, I'd actually considered the idea of quitting, or at least taking a really, really extended vacation. As in, I'll try this again when Ian's in elementary school. But I'd read an interview somewhere with Charles Coleman Finlay, who'd said that after he became a father he got serious about writing because he didn't want to have to explain to his kids someday that he'd just given up on his dream. I'm seriously paraphrasing this, of course. If he said nothing of the sort and I'd somehow misremembered it all into words of encouragement, well, then, go subconscious mind!

I doubt this, but who knows. I'm glad I decided not to do that, because I think it would've nibbled at me. Catching up on sleep would've been nice, of course. Hm.

* * *

Word count for last night was 186. Tonight, 179. I started something new, not because I'd gotten dissatisfied with the old story, but because I like to write for anthologies when the right one opens up. It has.