Me last night at the venue for my reading, which was the Methodist church right across the street from the University Bookstore in Seattle. Here I am looking at the patron of the establishment, hoping he would not strike me down, in my naughtiness.
He did not.
Thanks to Daniel Christensen for the photo.
Seattle was lovely. On to Portland now — or more accurately Beaverton, where I am at Powells, tonight, 7pm. If you’re in the Portland area, I hope to see you there.
Before it can do that, though, the anthology has to be funded. You can find them over at Indiegogo -- note that this is a "flexible funding" campaign, which means all pledges will be honored, even if the project doesn't make its goal. You can also see updates over there, with shiny things like the cover art (which is really, really lovely). If you scroll down the project page, you can also find a list of the contributing authors -- the ones accepted so far, that is, as submissions are still open.
So click around, and if you like what you see, lend them (us) your support. You get good stories and a good cause out of it. :-)
This entry was also posted at http://swan-tower.dreamwidth.org/588952.h
My heart breaks today for Oklahoma.
Last week I did a series of tweets talking about going through Body Politic and finding a hundred errors, fixing them, then finding thirty more, fixing those, and finding another dozen. It was an excellent example of iterative publishing. I ended the series by saying that even with all our attention beforehand, we always find mistakes in the finished books. How many? Well take a look at Tub of Happiness to the left. I’ve identified over a dozen things that I want to fix before it heads out for its second printing. That printing is imminent, so if there is a typo or other error in Tub of Happiness that has been driving you crazy, please email email@example.com with the error and page number. I may already know about it, but you just might be saving me from holding yet another printed book and finding a mistake in it.
Comments are open on the original post at onecobble.com.
This week and next week I have so many irons in the fire that there is hardly any room for a fire. I’m not likely to have brain enough to write full and thoughtful blog posts. Yet my brain is thoroughly trained to notice things, think about them, and then hold them until time to write. My brain fills up with fragments, each of which would be a lovely post, but time and I have to march onward. By the time I have space to write there will be some other thought more pressing. So I shall record some of the fragments in the hope that if I pin them down with words, they’ll stop fluttering around in my brain begging for attention I can not spare.
No one told me that the sales people would begin circling the minute my child completed her ACT and declared her intention to both graduate from high school and attend college. Circle they did, first with suggestions of the importance of commemorating high school. Surely my child needed a ring, a jacket, a hoodie, photographs, a tassel, graduation announcements, all with her school logo. I was assured that these things would be forever treasured, just like her years in high school. The brochures were pitched to appeal to nervous/nostalgic teens and parents alike. We got her a tassel. While the pitches to commemorate high school were still in full force we started hearing from colleges. All of them wanted us to know that they were very impressed and giving Kiki a very special opportunity for a fast-track application. They very carefully did not say how much they want our education dollars. Kiki applied to a single school, got in, and began bouncing the rest straight into the trash. I thought that would be the end of it, but today we got the first of a new onslaught. Our child is going to the dorms, surely we want to buy her a super value kit of bedding, laundry hamper, toilet kit, all at extremely reasonable prices. Every where I turn someone is hoping that during this transitional period in our lives we’ll be ready to throw around some money in an effort to appease our emotions. It makes me think of the stories Howard tells about the shark-like tactics of coffin salesmen. They’re worse than used car salesmen because they prey on the bereaved.
This morning I gave the final go ahead for the printing of Body Politic. I will next interact with that book when it shows up at my door. As usual, I do not have time to luxuriate in something completed. Instead I am immediately setting to work on the reprinting of Tub of Happiness and even more critically on the shipping of 30,000 coins. Latest word says that those coins will arrive at my door by Wednesday. Tomorrow I’ll begin triaging to figure out how the shipping processes need to work.
We’re in the last rush to complete school work before the year is over. It makes me resentful of the one last complex project that Patch has to complete. The other three kids mostly have at-school things left to do, not homework.
I spent this morning re-creating financial data after my hard drive crash. It was tedious, but finally validated my tendency to keep paper statements. I’m still maintaining a list of data lost. So far it is only four items long. This is good.
I wish I had more time to luxuriate in the process of helping Kiki prepare for her CONduit show. I would love to do right by her there. Particularly since her latest birthday was not everything she hoped it would be. Yes the circling sales people are right, we are a bit emotional during this transitional phase. I just don’t think that buying her the perfect dorm room trash can will make up for whatever lacks there have been in the past eighteen years. Instead I’ve been trying to soak up normal before normal changes. She graduated from Seminary on Sunday. Next Thursday she’ll don the classic cap and gown and march with her classmates. I don’t know where that will put us all emotionally. We’re in uncharted territory here. The kids afterward will have a road map that they can follow or avoid. For now I’m doing small nice things for Kiki daily between now and the beginning of June. It won’t be enough, or rather, if there hasn’t been enough to date, no last minute effort will fix that. But it feels like the impending launch is a good one. We’re nervous, but ready. Also, we’ve still got months. Graduation closes off high school, but it does not begin college.
Howard is feeling better, for which I am daily grateful.
I read a novel draft for a friend. It was how I spent my Saturday instead of the ways I’d assigned to myself. I love when a book pulls me in and earns my tears. Note, there is a difference between pulling strings and really earning sadness. Also, I love it when I can love the books of my friends.
My poor correspondence box is gathering dust. I hope to write letters again in June.
It is late and there are more irons in the fire for tomorrow.
Comments are open on the original post at onecobble.com.
I finished, and I wore it:
What did I learn? Paintings can do things real clothes can’t, like have skintight sleeves. Artists painting a gown never have to figure out how the gown actually gets put on. So there’s always going to be some compromises, constructing a gown based on a painting. This was never going to look exactly like the painting — because I’m not built like a Botticelli sylph. (Wearing a corset would have got me a little closer to that.) Oddly enough, what this means is the gown ended up looking more historical — more like, say, a sixteenth century Italian gown — and less like a fantasy gown than the painting. This means I will wear it to SCA events with impunity. Of course there are things I would do differently, but all in all I’m quite pleased with how it came out — it fits, it looks impressive, it got many compliments.
Costume Con was great. It’s the first con I’ve been to in ages where I wasn’t working. I went to panels! I wandered about aimlessly and talked to whomever I ran into! I shopped! Saturday was the SF&F masquerade — it was the first masquerade I’ve ever been to where master class entries outnumbered the journeymen and novice entries. I was inspired through the whole day.
And rather than decide this was as big a project as I ever want to tackle and I’m done with ambitious dressmaking… I bought a pattern for a Regency gown. Because of course I did.
Yes, Portland! I am returning on Tuesday, May 21st! To feast upon your Voodoo Donuts and other local comestibles! And to read, answer questions and sign books! Largely in that order!
You will find me at Powell’s Beaverton branch at 7pm! Please come and bring everyone you have ever met in your life. Because if I don’t get a good crowd, I’m not allowed to have any Voodoo Donuts. Voodoo Donuts are for closers, you see.
Tell me you’ll come. The donuts, they are calling.
That’s right, Seattleites — as you read this I am lurking about your town, preparing for my event tonight, May 20, at 7pm at the University Temple United Methodist Church — which, in case you don’t know, is located at 1415 NE 43rd St in Seattle.
What will I do there? Read! And talk! And sign books! And maybe play a ukulele if someone brings one! Who knows! What I do know is that it will be fun fun fun. And also, fun.
Please note: This is a ticketed event, and you can get tickets one of two ways:
1. Buy tickets for $5 at the door (cheap!)
2. Buy The Human Division from University Bookstore and get the ticket free with your purchase. Since I will be signing books at the event, this is probably the best possible way to go for this particular (I will sign your other books of course).
I always have an insanely good time in Seattle and I’m looking forward to more of the same tonight. Hope to see you there!
Some of you may be familiar with Duke TIP. (Others of you may know the very similar CTY instead.) This is a program I participated in as a kid; when I was twelve, I went to Davidson for three weeks to read and talk about science fiction short stories. The next year it was marine biology in Galveston; then it was tropical ecology in Costa Rica; then geology and a bit of archaeology in New Mexico. TIP is probably the single coolest thing I got to do during my adolescence.
And now I'm going back, this time on the other side of things. I'm heading off to North Carolina in early June to teach a creative writing course, focused on SF/F/H. It will be ridiculously intense: class runs for two three-hour blocks every day, M-F, and another block on Saturday morning. That's thirty-three hours of instruction per week, for three weeks straight. It's "Clarion for twelve-year-olds."
I'm not only allowed, I'm expected to make this the most awesome and challenging three weeks those kids have ever seen. We're talking about seventh- and eighth-graders who have scored a 570 or better on the verbal portions of the SAT. Want to know what I'm giving them for a "how to write" textbook? Delany. I'll be lecturing a bit, but there will be much more in the way of discussion, and they'll be doing writing exercises until their brains fall out. My challenge will be to figure out how to pace things such that they get enough variety to keep the brain-falling-out stage from happening too soon.
I won't be blogging the process as I go, because I don't think that would be appropriate. But I'll probably have thoughts about it after the fact, and I'll certainly share my syllabus/readings/etc. In the meantime, if I'm less chatty online than usual during June, you'll know why.
It's because my brain will be on the floor, along with those of my students. :-)
This entry was also posted at http://swan-tower.dreamwidth.org/588755.h
I sat at the temple this morning mulling over my personal inventory.
How am I doing?
I have been feeling sadness and (of course) anger a lot this past week. It seemed almost anything could set me whirling into shame and disconnect. As I work through the 12 Step program I am learning my disconnect comes from not wanting to feel feelings. Even happy feelings I've tried to escape. Feeling anything at all can be difficult sometimes.
Those things I used to lather myself in for the thrill of happiness just don't do it for me anymore. Certainly, there are little drops of joy in what I used to relish in--the colors in my house, new clothes, parties--but it's so far diminished from what it used to be. Happiness for me now begs for more than what is pretty or perfect.
It's imperfection that is beautiful to me now. I find myself buying into it more and more. Imperfection is the story of Christianity. It's the taking up of the cross. For centuries Christians have told stories of weakness and work, of overcoming great personal obstacles and broken relationships. Their imperfections told their stories. Why would my story be different?
The more I try to develop a relationship with God, the more I am aware of my pride and lust, my worshiping of idols and denial of truth. I know of my desire to be desirable, to have everything I want to have, to be just a little bit better than someone else.
But then, while gathering in my confessions and awareness, I have a moment where God transforms the worst of my vices into strengths. When my vanity turns from despair into a sweeping love for myself, I know I am seeing myself as God sees me. And in that moment I derive power from the idea of helping someone else swim in that sentiment too. Oh. Oh. Oh happiness.
Happiness beyond purchase and beyond colors and born from grief.
I’m still waiting for someone — anyone — to present an argument against same-sex marriage that doesn’t boil down to, “My religion doesn’t approve” or “I think it’s icky.” Using the former as an excuse for discrimination is about as unAmerican as you can get, and the latter is just asinine.
While politicians and bigots continue to argue that “those people” don’t need “special rights or protections” under the law, here’s some of what’s been going on recently…
In Texas, a judge enforced a clause in Carolyn Compton’s divorce papers which states that, “someone who has a ‘dating or intimate relationship’ with the person or is not related ‘by blood or marriage’ is not allowed after 9 p.m. when the children are present.” Since Carolyn’s partner of three years is a woman and Texas has laws against same-sex marriage, the judge has essentially made it illegal for them to live together.
In New York, Elliot Morales shot Marc Carson, a gay man, in the face at point blank range, killing him. Elliot had followed Carson and his companion, and was heard yelling anti-gay slurs and asking, “You want to die tonight?”
In Chatham, Canada, an openly gay 13-year-old boy was attacked by four older teenagers, who called him “faggot” and “queer,” told him he was going to hell, and beat him. One of the boys pulled a knife and threatened to kill him.
Rep. Mark Pocan became the first member of Congress to obtain a congressional ID card identifying his same-sex partner as his spouse. However, his husband is still legally excluded from receiving health, pension, and other benefits.
In Washington state, lawmakers have proposed a bill that would provide an exception to anti-discrimination law and allow businesses to refuse service based on sexual orientation.
David and Jason married in New York in 2012, but Jason is a UK citizen. As a result, Jason is unable to stay in the country. In order to see his husband, Jason has to get a Tourist Visa, which allows them to be together for 90 days. Jason is now being warned that he’s used too many Tourist Visas, and has been advised to stay out of the U.S. for at least six months.
In New York, two gay men were pursued by a group that shouted anti-gay slurs and then beat them. Both victims were hospitalized. One required eye surgery.
So go ahead. Explain to me why we’re still denying people equal rights and protection under the law. Explain to me why any of this is okay. Explain how you sleep at night, knowing that these things are the direct result of our refusal to recognize “those people” as equal. Or even to recognize them as people.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Anyone who reads fairy tales knows that things happen in the tales for seemingly no reason at all. But just because there’s no reason in then doesn’t mean something interesting can’t happen when reason is added to them. Just ask Madeleine Robins, who mined a classic fairy tale when imagining Sold for Endless Rue.
It started with a conversation. Or rather, an idea about a conversation.
When my kids were small we read a picture book of Rapunzel, gorgeously illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. You know: pregnant wife craves rampion, sends husband out to get it; he steals it from the garden of a witch, who catches him and demands his unborn child in return. The witch locks the child in a tower, where the girl grows her hair long enough for a passing prince to climb up. Merriment ensues.
Zelinsky’s art sets the story in an early Renaissance could-be-Italy, and the central spread, chock full of drama, is of the witch taking the baby. There’s a rumpled bed with the mother, post-partum, lying exhausted among the sheets. There’s the young husband, sitting with his head in his hands, horrified at what he’s given away. And there’s the black clad sorceress, a classic old hag, stealing from the room with the newborn babe in her arms.
Well, that musta been a hell of a conversation. Imagine the husband coming home: Honey, I got you your vegetables, but there’s a catch: the witch gets the kid. What would his wife say to him? And why does the witch want the baby? In fairy tales motivations don’t matter: the witch wants the baby because she’s a witch. But I am contrary and difficult and I want a real motive for taking that child. Sold for Endless Rue is, among other things, my attempt to do that.
As happens with these sorts of bolt-from-the blue notions, it sat around gathering dust-bunnies and stray factoids while I wrote other things. I began cursorily reading up on daily life in the Renaissance, thinking of ways to rehabilitate the witch. Maybe she’s a midwife? At least that would give her a reason to be in the room when the baby was born. But why take the kid?
I had nuthin.
And then I stumbled across a factoid that rewrote my whole idea of the middle ages and, by the way, this story. The first medical school in Europe, the Scuola Medicina Salernitana, not only had women as students, but women instructors. One of the most famous, Trotula di Ruggiero (immortalized in the Jack and Jill rhyme as “old Dame Trot”), specialized in women’s medicine–what we’d call OB/GYN. Her texts on the subject were in use for centuries. Dame Trot was not a damsel or a peasant. She was a professional woman. How cool is that?
One of my secret vices: I love medical history, medical mysteries, medical technology. Now I had an excuse to research the Scuola and dig deeper into medical theory of the time. Boy, did they have theories. Most of them are scary-laughable, but some of them were solidly sensible (for instance, the Scuola recommended a moderate diet, clean living, and lots of sleep). Pretty quickly it was clear to me my witch wasn’t a witch but a doctor, and that her reason for taking the baby was rooted somehow in her ambition.
I hate the sort of historical fiction where the heroine is a 21st century soul in a 13th century houppelande. Unless you show me why that character is an outlier from her own culture, you lose me. How would a peasant girl even think of becoming a physician, a profession overwhelmingly male, occupied by those wealthy enough to have the education required to enter the Scuola? Where would she get, for lack of a better word, the balls?
Then, among the dust-bunnies and factoids I’d been collecting, I got this image of a child running up a hill, trying to escape someone very scary who is as determined to catch her and beat her to death as she is to escape. She reaches the top of the hill and is stopped cold by her first sight of the sea, stretching out from the bay of Salerno. It overwhelms her with its vastness and strangeness, the sight of the city spilling down into the harbor, the newness of things she’d never imagined. And then she hears the sound of her pursuer and runs again.
That’s where Laura’s story begins. Everything she is comes from one moment when even terror can’t stop her curiosity, and when determination is all that keeps her alive. That’s how she can go against the grain of her time and place.
There are things Laura loses in gaining what she wants. There are people she loses. Just like now, devoting yourself to your profession can have very personal cost. Taking that baby, in Laura’s mind, evens old scores.
But of course, taking the baby is only half the story. Babies, even babies raised in the towers of academe, grow up, and make plans of their own…
I’ve had a couple people ask for a comprehensive list of my online fiction. You know, stuff that can be read for free in a web browser.
I’m not positive this list is comprehensive, but it is at least nearly so. More recent publications are listed near the top. Older stories are at the bottom. Happy reading!
Dawn, and the Stars, A Dark Expanse tie-in story, published by Deorc Enterprise, May 2013.
A Song of Blackness, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, October 2012
Godshift, Daily Science Fiction, March 2012
The Death and Rebirth of Anne Bonny, Daily Science Fiction, January 2012
All or Nothing, Daily Science Fiction, January 2012
Simulating Sentience (article), Clarkesworld, September 2011.
That Undiscovered Country, Baen.com, 2011.
Movement, reprinted at Escape Pod, originally in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine March 2011.
Like Rain From Silver Skies, Basement Stories, January 2011.
The Scream at NewMyths.com, December 2010.
Nothing This Fun Could Be Good For You: A History of Evil Entertainment (article), Clarkesworld, December 2010.
Knowing Neither Kin Nor Foe in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, April 2010.
The Breath of Heaven, reprinted in Kasma SF, originally in The Sword Review, 2007.
cross-posted from nancyfulda.com
One is near the end of his term! One’s term has yet to begin! Can you guess which is which?
Photo by Catherine Shaffer.
One of the reasons I love writing is because of the things it allows my subconscious to tell the rest of my brain. I’ve never yet written a story that didn’t include a couple of surprises, little turns of phrase which change the color of the universe in my eyes. I’ve always said that I hope my readers come away from my stories as a slightly different person than they were before. I know for a fact that I come away as a different person after writing them.
This week Dawn, and the Stars appeared on the Dark Expanse web site. This is one of those stories that I thought would be an open-and-shut case. The objective was to explore Chitter culture and physiology, set up a couple of story elements for later on, and end up with a short, sweet, intriguing-but-not-particularly-deep bit of space opera.
As usual, my own story surprised me.
(No, really. If you’re the type of person who likes to experience stories before discussing them, go read it now. It’s really short.)
Near the end of the story, a hive-bred alien is struggling with an assignment to join a starfaring expedition — something his genes were never intended to handle, and which fills him with dread. He doesn’t think he can do it. He feels genetically inadequate.
As he turns to go, one of the geneticists calls him back. “Jaktul,” she says. “Remember that a Chitter is more than his genetic pattern. Our genes determine the landscape of our existence, but not the path we take across it.”
That, right there, is the cogent description of the complex interaction between nature, nurture, and agency that I’ve been mulling over for years. And it just popped out. I had no idea the geneticist was going to say that until I’d already put the words on the page.
Like I said, this is why I love writing fiction. Because on the first draft, I get to experience the story right along with the reader.
And I learn something new every time.
cross-posted from nancyfulda.com
I love to scrap with the patriotit kits!! They are my absolute fave!
Well, at some point in the night I was startled awake. Some people are woken by the other person in the room snoring. But not me. I was woken by Charlie barking in her sleep. It was adorable. And thankfully didn't last long.
We both went back to sleep and had more dreams.
The winners are in bold. Also noted: The Norton and Bradbury awards, as well as the Solstice and the Kevin J. O’Donnell Service to SFWA Award.
- 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
- Ironskin, Tina Connolly (Tor)
- The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
- Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
- After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
- On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
- “The Stars Do Not Lie,” Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
- “All the Flavors,” Ken Liu (GigaNotoSaurus 2/1/12)
- “Katabasis,” Robert Reed (F&SF 11-12/12)
- “Barry’s Tale,” Lawrence M. Schoen (Buffalito Buffet)
- “Close Encounters,” Andy Duncan (The Pottawatomie Giant & Other Stories)
- “The Pyre of New Day,” Catherine Asaro (The Mammoth Books of SF Wars)
- “The Waves,” Ken Liu (Asimov’s 12/12)
- “The Finite Canvas,” Brit Mandelo (Tor.com 12/5/12)
- “Swift, Brutal Retaliation,” Meghan McCarron (Tor.com 1/4/12)
- “Portrait of Lisane da Patagnia,” Rachel Swirsky (Tor.com 8/22/12)
- “Fade to White,” Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/12)
- “Immersion,” Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12)
- “Robot,” Helena Bell (Clarkesworld 9/12)
- “Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 4/12)
- “Nanny’s Day,” Leah Cypess (Asimov’s 3/12)
- “Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed 7/12)
- “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species,” Ken Liu (Lightspeed8/12)
- “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain,” Cat Rambo (Near + Far)
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
- Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (director), Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Abilar (writers), (Journeyman/Cinereach/Court 13/Fox Searchlight)
- The Avengers, Joss Whedon (director) and Joss Whedon and Zak Penn (writers), (Marvel/Disney)
- The Cabin in the Woods, Drew Goddard (director), Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (writers) (Mutant Enemy/Lionsgate)
- The Hunger Games, Gary Ross (director), Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray (writers), (Lionsgate)
- John Carter, Andrew Stanton (director), Michael Chabon, Mark Andrews, and Andrew Stanton (writers), (Disney)
- Looper, Rian Johnson (director), Rian Johnson (writer), (FilmDistrict/TriStar)
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book
- Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (Pyr)
- Iron Hearted Violet, Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)
- Black Heart, Holly Black (McElderry; Gollancz)
- Above, Leah Bobet (Levine)
- The Diviners, Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom)
- Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)
- Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House; Doubleday UK)
- Enchanted, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
- Every Day, David Levithan (Knopf)
- Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
- Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
- Above World, Jenn Reese (Candlewick)
Solstice Awards were awarded to editor Ginjer Buchanan and astronomer and entertainer Carl Sagan, the latter of which was accepted by his son Nick Sagan.
The Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service Award was awarded to Michael Payne.
Also, of course, we formally invested Gene Wolfe with the title of Grand Master. He was gracious and touching in his speech, which is of course no surprise at all.
I am delighted to say that my final Nebula Award ceremony as president went along swimmingly, with Robert Silverberg as our emcee. I got to introduced Bob and give him some good-natured ribbing; he got up and dropped a house on me, which may go down as one of the highlights of my time as SFWA President. If you ever get a chance to get zinged by Grand Master Silverberg, I highly recommend it.
Congratulations to the winners, commiserations to the other most worthy nominees, and many thanks to the volunteers and other who made the Nebula Ceremony, and indeed the entire Nebula Weekend, possible. It was a great time. As a fan, I was thrilled. As the President of SFWA, I was relieved.
In a less than a week, I'll tell you about the short story just finished for the Ministry Initiative. As part of the blog hop to promote the Kickstarter, I'm giving away some steampunky goodness. Keep your eyes peeled!
Also, I am working on a novella set in the Unnaturalists universe, which should be available in e-edition only sometime this fall. No title yet, but it involves a certain Mr. Waddingly, for those of you who may wonder more about the nefarious Charles. ;-)
Lastly, you'll see me in Casper, WY this September for the Equality State Book Festival. More on that to come!
- Blog post: http://t.co/5Kk9UaapnY – Tweets for the week of 05-04-2013 00:00:27, 2013-05-12
- @jimduckett Well, you seemed like a man of obvious taste and discernment. in reply to jimduckett 22:56:50, 2013-05-14
- I interview alternate history author @LauraSAndersen over at the blog of the Association for Mormon Letters: http://t.co/GgypjWQ2hC 13:58:49, 2013-05-15
Three years ago I had the privilege of meeting you at a PostSecret Event. That same night, I also met a guy named Tyler. He was extremely good looking and we both loved PostSecret.
We started dating a month later and it has been an amazing three year journey with him. Just last month he proposed!
We are now in the midst of the crazy, yet exciting wedding planning and I just wanted to say "thank you" for creating such a wonderful project that brings people together - in many ways - through anonymous secrets.
The day before Easter we colored eggs as a family. Wes is 5 and Carissa is 2, but this is the first time we’ve done this. We’ll be doing it every year now, because they loved it so much.
On Easter morning the two older kids had an Easter basket with a chocolate bunny (not processed in a facility with nuts; that was hard to find), a couple Easter eggs filled with their favorite things (like M&Ms), bubbles, and a wind-up Easter toy.
Then, before church, we took Wes and Carissa outside to find Easter eggs. This was their favorite thing.
Afterward they pulled out their eggs (Wes lined his up in a neat row) and ate and ate and ate. While baby Elizabeth (nearly 5 months old) watched. It was a lovely, fun, sugar-filled day.
In March (I know! I’m so behind on this blog) after our Easter Egg hunt at BYU John and I took the kids to BYU’s spring football game. Wes was in heaven.
Most common words from his mouth:
“Touchdown!” (no matter what was happening)
“Oops, try again!”
Me and Jay Lake at the Nebula Mass Signing yesterday. I taste of executive power. For another few weeks, anyway.
Picture borrowed from jay’s site, here.
Welcome to Saturday.
First: Look! A video interview with me from RT Book Reviews, taken during the Booklover’s Convention a couple of weeks ago in Kansas City. I talk about The Human Division, the RT convention and some SFWA matters:
Second: Jamie Todd Rubin reviews The Human Division in Intergalactic Medicine Show, and has nice things to say about the book. For example:
The Human Division is not just John Scalzi at its best, it is science fiction at its best.
Yup, that’s a jacket blurb right there.
Third: Nebula Weekend fabulous so far. Wish you were here.
Pure space opera, delightfully old school. As we know I’m a sucker for big spaceships, and oh they were so beautiful.
The plot. . .standard, and some of the details didn’t pass the refrigerator test. (Is your disbelief suspended until you get home to get a drink from the fridge?) Heck, they didn’t pass the two second test. So it’s best to skate as fast as possible through this thing. Too bad most of the action scenes went on twice as long as they needed to. That’s my big complaint. And there was some really goofy science. Cold fusion? Really? I do not think this means what you think it means…
But there also was a lot to love: Peter Weller and Noel Clarke, for example. Uhura speaking Klingon. Pretty, pretty spaceships. Some fan service in the climactic moment that I thought was marvelous, but some of my companions thought was goofy. To say more would be a spoiler. But did anyone but an old fan even get what was going on there?
Also, does it strike anyone else that the Enterprise is basically structurally unsound in its entirety?
HUGE SPOILER BELOW, WHERE I HAVE REWRITTEN A PORTION OF THE MOVIE IN MY HEAD BECAUSE I COULD:
There’s a moment in this movie where the story could have zigged instead of zagging — and I think I prefer the zig. Like, what if Khan isn’t the bad guy? This is an alternate timeline. Things are different here. What if old Spock tells new Spock this is the most horrible person ever — but before Spock can tell Kirk, Kirk has decided to give Khan a chance. Kirk decides not to stun Khan on the bridge of the Vengeance. Khan has been used and manipulated, and at this point he needs an ally — he’s planned on betraying Kirk, but has a change of heart because of the trust Kirk shows. Because Admiral Marcus is the real bad guy who’s manipulated them both. What if what if what if… It’s a missed opportunity, I think. The new Trek movies seem intent on rehashing old plot lines in shiny new ways (tribble cameo, anyone?). Why not really make it alternate? Really upend our expectations?
Anyway, that’s how I would have done it.
And to answer the age-old question, no, I don’t know the way to San Jose, on account that for the last two days I was driven around by other people and have no idea, navigationally, how I got here. Thank God for GPS.
Nevertheless I am here, in San Jose, and about to formally embark on my last ever Nebula Weekend as president of SFWA. It’ll be fun. Those of you who are in or near San Jose, remember that there is the mass signing today at 5:30, with me and dozens of your favorite science fiction and fantasy writers; here are the details. See you there!
This morning I’m thinking about The Doctor’s speech about time during the episode Blink. It is all about how time is wibbley wobbley Timey Wimey. My brain adds that to The Doctor’s insistence that some points are fixed in time and unchangeable. My life is like that. There are some spots that are fixed, usually not by me and definitely not to my convenience. They are events that can’t be moved like graduation ceremonies, birthdays, or school performances. Everything else wibbles and wobbles its way around those fixed points. Usually I can see the fixed points coming from a long way away and adjust to make space for them. These next two weeks are like a slalom course of fixed points. The opportunities to forget something important arrive daily. My lists are my friends right now.
On the other hand, it is 8 am and I’ve already completed the things that absolutely had to be done before 9 am. So maybe we can manage it all if we just do one thing at a time.
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During Penguicon, my wife noticed what looked like an elongated callus on my right hand, below the ring finger. (Spoiler: It’s not a tumor.) When it was still there two weeks later, I hopped online to do a little research, then went in to talk to the doctor. His diagnosis confirmed my guess, and the winner is…
That link goes to the Wikipedia page, which includes a post-surgical picture with incision and stitches, so don’t click if that kind of stuff gets to you.
Basically, some connective tissue in my hand is misbehaving, which starts to restrict the extension of the tendon. Right now, it’s just a little vertical speed bump on my palm. Eventually, it will restrict the movement of my ring finger, and I won’t be able to extend it beyond a curved, clawlike position.
I think of this soon-to-be claw as the first step in my very, very slow transformation into a werewolf.
The good news is that it’s not painful, and it’s fairly straightforward to correct. Basically, the doctor said to let him know when it starts to become a problem, at which point he’ll hook me up with a hand surgeon to go in and clean out the affected tissue. Six weeks of recovery and physical therapy, and I’m good to go.
Note: I’m not looking for medical advice.
Dupuytren is less common in people my age. I guess I’m just precocious. There seems to be a correlation to diabetes as well. And it sounds like there’s a decent chance of recurrence in the long run.
Compared to some of the medical complications I’ve seen friends and family deal with, this is little more than an annoyance right now. I am a little anxious about the eventual surgery, though. I’m a writer, which is a much easier job for me to do with functional hands.
Fortunately, I should have a little while–maybe a few years?–before that becomes necessary.
The silver lining: It looks like the surgery leaves a zig-zag scar on your palm, which means after I heal, I’ll be able to tell people I stopped a Killing Curse WITH MY BARE HAND!
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
This camp-out which is put on by our church is for dads, sons,
brothers, grandpa's, nephews and so forth.
It is consisted of ward members, neighbors and friends.
aprons and enjoy being together as mothers and daughters should.
is working on her next album NOW!
She has been in Nashville recording this new album, and I am so excited!
It's a cool way of involving people in the making of her new album.
When you contribute to her new album, you will get something awesome in return.
Depending on your
level of funding, you could get:
* A copy of the new album
*A phone call from Mindy to sing you to sleep
Please visit PledgeMusic.com for more information and to help
Mindy with this amazing new project.
This campaign ends in 3 weeks!!!
Please help today!
She is such a talented woman. A beautiful friend with a gorgeous
heart and soul which shows up in work.
I love her.
These are my things, not all of my things, because I know I am forgetting some of them. I’m pretty sure the kid leaving junior high also has some things, but I haven’t seen that list of events, so I don’t know what they are or where they fit.
Also missing from the list: me collapsing because my brain has frizzled out from trying to track all of it. I do not recommend having three children graduating from their schools the same year. Particularly if you have also agreed to ship 30,000 coins.
Help child assemble and decorate a rocket
help child prepare 5 homemade items for trading post, must be cool enough that other kids want them.
help child put on trader costume for trading post
deliver books and merch for transport to Phoenix Comic Con
possible coin delivery today
Do not attend trading post nor volunteer to help with it despite multiple emails asking for said help.
Figure out how to relocate old couch
accept delivery of new couch
Must remember to make business phone calls and emails
Continue re-installing software and discovering what data I lost because of the death of my hard drive. (Report on this in a blog post sometime next week.)
Acquire gift for child’s birthday party
Deliver child to friend’s birthday party
Weed whack before the wilds begin to be inhabited
clear the garden patch
plant tomatoes and basil so they have a chance to bear fruit by end of summer
clean the house
do the laundry
Seminary graduation for oldest child
Accounting (including the re-creation of data from paper info because I had to restore from back ups.)
communicate with coin shipping volunteers about schedule (hopefully by then I’ll know something concrete)
Organize house for coin shipping
Do not attend child’s rocket launch at school. Hope it goes well
Help child finish up construction on last major assignment
Make sure kids have opera costumes
Start work on Tub of Happiness reprint
Attend opera performances for two 20-minute long operas for two kids
Admire all the opera scenery I did not help paint and the costumes I did not help construct despite the many emails asking for volunteers
Probably assemble coins into bundles, if we have coins. If not, organize invoices and plan
Senior sluff day
Elementary school 3K fun run, must remember to send water bottles and make sure they dress appropriately
Do not attend nor participate in the run despite the many notes of invitation
run the errands
Maybe shipping coins
Pack Howard for a convention
remember to send kids to youth activities
Drive Howard to airport
Attend 6th grade graduation
Attend 6th grade celebratory BBQ lunch
Admire all the food and effort to which I did not contribute despite the emails asking for volunteers
Attend honors night for high school senior
Maybe shipping coins
6th grade class auction. Remember to send one item to be auctioned, must be cool.
Remember to send the mummy chicken to school so that it can be unveiled on schedule.
Deliver art to CONduit for art show
Probable deliver of the remaining thousands of coins
Maybe shipping coins
Possibly attend CONduit for part of the day
Maybe stay home and clean all the things
Retrieve art from CONduit
Pick up Howard from airport
Maybe coin shipping prep
Elementary school dance festival. Make sure kids wear their costumes
Clap for the dancing children
Maybe shipping coins
Field day at the elementary school.
Do not volunteer for anything despite the emails asking for volunteers
Maybe shipping coins
Last day of school
High school graduation
After that there is more stuff. I’ll think about it when I either get all of this stuff right or recover from failing at it.
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