January 6th, 2011
|11:39 pm - two thousand and eleven|
Assuming I live as long as my mother, now is the perfect time for a mid-life crises.
Happy New Year!
July 25th, 2010
|11:56 pm - I'm to lazy for my journal, to lazy for my journal|
So I'm off to Europe! I'm meeting Avi in Prague, and we are gonna have madcap adventures, the likes of which have never been seen before. Also we'll go to museums.
It's pretty pathetic of me not to have posted lately I think. It got to the point where I would go, "Man I should write something...except it's been so long I'm ashamed to show my face on the internet." Which is dumb, because the whole internet doesn't have time to judge me when there are so many other more interesting people for them to flip out about. Did you hear Lindsey Lohan is in prison?
Lis came up for the weekend and we went to a game design contest to judge some prospective games from designers trying to get published by Rio Grande. Then we saw Inception, and do you know who is suprisingly hot? This guy. This guy really hotted up the screen. Also? The movie was fucking awesome, all hotness aside. Everyone knows I love a good caper film, and this was a caper science fiction. That just broke the awesomeness meter for me. Loved it.
Then today we went to Castro, walked around, gawked at some kittens for sale and then I came home and fucking stepped on broken glass because I am so damn awesome. And not bitter at all.
The glass was a piece of a lightbulb that burst--or I should say ONE of the lightbulbs that burst--when I tried to screw it in to my light fixture. The fixture needs to be replaced, and my landlord's response to this is to install another outlet. So I can use more lamps. Even though I told him (nicely, even though I didn't want to be) that lamps aren't good enough. Long story sort, I'm sitting in the dark with my foot elevated while I should be packing.
In other news, two more books I've worked on for Tachyon are out:
The Third Bear is a short story collection by Jeff Vandermeer. Most of the stories have appeared in other places--magazines or anthologies--but two of them are original to this collection,
The Very Best of Charles de Lint is another short story collection. There are no originals, but this book contains a most of the big fan favorites in one book, where you'd have to buy quite a few of his previous collections to get everything that's in this one book.
I suppose I'd best be back to prepping for europe now, so if you'll excuse me, I have to go figure out how to pack light.
June 16th, 2010
|12:30 am - GAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!|
The font problem came back today. I saw the fonts go from Times to some kind of Arial Black RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES. Worse, what I did that "fixed" it yesterday didn't work today.
I. AM. GOING. FUCKING. CRAZY.
Don't buy Summitsoft products. Just...don't do it. Dont.
They have virtually zero customer support, you have to register for their message board to view the technical support page, and there's no phone number. I finally had to google their business office number (because it's not on the website) to leave a barely polite message (because there is no operator) asking them to undo whatever the fuck they did to my poor computer that IS KEEPING ME FROM WORKING.
Fonts are NECESSARY for my work, because part of my job is to format MANUSCRIPTS. So far this bullshit has cumulatively cost me more than a day of work. I AM NOT HAPPY.
June 15th, 2010
|02:00 am - One of those days...|
Got to work, Tried to install the NEW OUT OF THE BOX printer but it was broken. At first I thought I was doing something wrong setting it up, but when I called customer service he said "Yeah it's not supposed to do that." My computer had restarted over the weekend and everything was in italics. After I fixed the italics problem everything was in bold. This was my entire morning and early afternoon. Got about an hour in a half to two hours worth of real work in.
One of our prospective renters came over today and said he'd probably take another place. He didn't like the idea of a walk-through situation, and had a suggestion that the person in the back room use a ladder to get in and out of the room instead of going through the room he'd be renting. This is both A) ridiculous, and B) Impossible, as the back room window is too small. Our house is so not up to fire code.
Tried to clean my room, but it just looks worse. I'm going to bed.
June 6th, 2010
|01:54 am - This Just In|
Well well well, what HAVE I been up to?
My brain has been in full on story mode...my body has not. I am in a very non productive place right now, but for the moment that's all right, because I intend to enjoy this weekend of doing nothing.
Last week Lis stayed with me in Oakland, and from there we went to Kubla Con. I didn't play any RPGs this time around, but I got a lot of great ideas and motivation for running my own. Right now I'm trying to learn the Hollow Earth system, which has breathed life into my fascination with Pulp art, which has brought me into trying (and failing) to draw in the style. I need more practice in many aspects of my life.
Con was fun, but exhausting. I played so much Dominion and Catan. We weren't able to get a room in the Con hotel, so we stayed down the street (and I PARKED BLOCKS AWAY IN A PUBLIC PARK BECAUSE NONE OF THE HOTEL PARKING ON THE STREET IS FREE EVEN FOR GUESTS WTF) and that was fine except for the part where I was separated from my sandwiches for long periods of time. Add to that it was the third weekend I'd spent out of the house, and there's been the stress of trying (and once again failing!) to fill our emptying rooms. THREE people have given notice. It's down to Nova, Sarah, and me to fill the bedrooms and with all the students out for the summer we are low on responses and down to the wire.
Also, I'm going to Europe with Avi. I fluctuate between excitement and fear of hostels and how I'm going to find a meal.
So now I'm greatly enjoying lying around the house doing nothing. I watched part of Cutthroat Island in Spanish, where I spent 45 minutes trying to figure out what movie I was watching, searching Penelope Cruz's IMDB profile only to find out I was mixing her up with Geena Davis. Now I'm watching some black and white warewolf B movie. Also I saw Shrek 4. It...wasn't that great. I still like Shrek 2, and it's probably better than 3, so there's that.
May 13th, 2010
|10:36 pm - How to Know if You Suck, A One Question Quiz|
Question one: Do you ride the exit lane until the last minute when you don't actually have to exit, and just want to cut in front of everyone who's been sitting in the proper lane for way too long and just wants to get home but your cutting is just holding up things for everyone, especially when you get pissy about people not letting you merge (and really, why should they you cutter)?
If you answered Yes, then you do indeed suck. Hope that clears things up for you.
May 7th, 2010
|12:04 am - You are Jealous|
So I was trying to avoid a traffic jam today and my GPS sent me on some crazy trek through the Orinda hills. It was worth it, though, when I discovered the absolute best view of the entire Bay.
May 5th, 2010
|07:39 pm - This entry is not interesting|
So the other week I sent a message to my local CW station. I don't remember what I said specifically, but it was something like this:
There are 21 seasons of The Simpsons, please rerunning seasons 19 and 20. It's really annoying.
In fact, those are probably close enough to my exact words. So today they emailed back, and this is their explanation:
Your note regarding THE SIMPSONS episodes has been sent to me. THE SIMPSONS has been in syndication for over 10 years. During that time KBHK (now KBCW) has aired the program either twice or three times a day (Monday through Friday) for most of that time. By our agreement with Twentieth Television we can only air each SIMPSONS episode a particular amount of times. As long as THE SIMPSONS remains on the Fox Network our contract to air the syndicated episodes is extended for each network season. Over the years we have just about used up all the early broadcasts of THE SIMPSONS. From time to time Twentieth Television will license additional airings of these early episodes. Each time we have purchased these additional broadcasts but the agreement is for only two or three broadcasts. Since we air 10 broadcasts a week currently we go through them very quickly. Each fall we automatically acquire the previous network seasons episodes. Our agreement allows us many runs of these “new” episodes but given the math, they become our main episodes.
It is impossible to keep all of THE SIMPSONS episodes in balance and at this point in their syndicated run the last couple of seasons are our primary episodes to broadcast. When and if the distributor makes additional runs of the early episodes available we will most likely acquire them as well.
I hope this answers your question.
Well yes, it does answer my question. It also tells me that the CW is under contractual obligation to annoy the shit out of me. I just don't understand why the local Fox station is allowed to air all of Friends, even though Friends is from NBC, but Fox does not let my local station air all of Simpsons. The Simpsons is really the only show I have ever encountered this problem with, and so actually, I feel left with more questions than answers, that remaining question being WHY THE FUCK.
So I did not watch The Simpsons today, instead I took a nap. Which was actually just as useful as watching that rerun I've seen 21348 times because I had a dream I was at work and there was a snake in my shirt. It wouldn't get out of my shirt, and after I finally got it to let go of my bra it chased me. I didn't know it was chasing me, I'd just look down and it be there coiling around my leg and I couldn't shake it. Then it bit me on the foot and my hand (for some reason) immediately blew up into a painful blister before my eyes that kept growing and growing and luckily I woke up before the panic attack started.
...this entry was indeed not interesting.
May 2nd, 2010
|11:59 pm - The Secret of Writing|
One of the nice things about working in a publishing house is that there happen to be a lot of books around. Go fig. So I had this book on my desk, Stable Strategies and Others by Eileen Gunn. I was using it to guage how much finger-room I needed to make galley margins and such and such things, it had been on my desk for a while. A few days ago I happened to open it up to the table of contents and was shocked to discover that inside this book was the secret of writing. Naturally, I was curious. wouldn't you be? To think that it had been on my desk for weeks, and I had no idea.
"The Secret of Writing" is a mere one page recollection of a conversation Eileen Gunn had with William Gibson, and it is actually Gibson who has discovered this secret, who shared it with Gunn, who shared it with us. I'm not going to transcribe the whole page, although I'd like to. It just seems counterproductive of me to freely post too much content from my own publishing house on the internet. So here we are, briefly, the secret of writing:
Two weeks later, at home in Seattle, I answered the phone. It was Gibson. “I forgot to tell you the secret of writing,” he said.
“Okay,” I said. “What’s the secret of writing?”
A beat, for emphasis. Then: “You must learn to overcome your very natural and appropriate revulsion for your own work.”
It was the most useful writing advice anyone has ever given me.
This is exactly true. I think that if you don't, on some level, hate your own work than you probably aren't writing as well as you think you are. Slush piles are full of prospectors who think they just shat gold, and won't take perspective for an answer. The other side of the coin is that if you hate your writing too much you're...what, Kafka? Sure he was a genius, but it was no party to BE Kafka. So, no you're probably not Kafka, who I don't think hated his writing so much as he hated vaginas or something. The point is if you hate it too much you'll hate yourself, you won't write, and that's not going to get you anywhere. So, hate your writing by all means, and then follow Mr. Gibson's advice and overcome it.
Now here is some more writing advice via Dean Wesley Smith, who is a writer, who has a blog, who I was linked to via io9. This is from his blog post on researching your novel (Emphasis mine):
Researching for a novel is one of what I call the half-truth myths. Yet I have known writer after writer that have had entire careers stopped cold by this myth. It takes a writer a certain time and distance to find the right half-way-point with research in novels.
I was teaching a workshop with young professionals just this last week and this topic came up as a pretty solid roadblock for one of the writers. Of course, that writer was a full-time nonfiction writer and was carrying over the belief system into the fiction.
So let me repeat here clearly what I told that writer. If you have this myth issue, print this out as a big sign and put it over your computer.
Yup, I shouted that. Fiction, by its very definition is made up. Duh.
So now comes the really ugly word that I had to look up to spell right: Verisimilitude: An appearance of being true.
That's the exact definition from my dear old Oxford American Dictionary.
So, in fiction, we writers make stuff up. I give my job description as a person who sits alone in a room and makes stuff up. But what I make up needs to have the appearance of being true, if not in detail, in character action and emotions. There is where the myth is true and not true.
In every story we need enough detail to make it feel right. That does not mean it has to be right, it just has to feel right.
Or, let it put it as bluntly as I can: Writers with the problem of never writing because of research have chosen to not write.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU RESEARCH?
As with many things in writing, the answer is "It depends on the story you are writing."
But I can safely say this after listening to other writers for decades on this topic and knowing my own patterns with research: You will almost always do too much.
And finally, because aparantly this is something I CAN'T STOPT TALKING ABOUT HOLY CRAP DO I HAVE A PROBLEM I DONT THINK I DO, a word on genre stigma. Several words actually, but don't worry, they aren't mine. They are Ursula le Guin's from her essay, "The Critics, the Monsters, and the Fantasists", and it this here clip is about how people need to suck it up and accept that all genres are valid forms of literature and worthy of academic notice. Of course she says it better than I do. She says most anything better than I do *romantic sigh*:
I’m not saying people don’t read fantasy; a whole lot of us people do; but our scholars and critics for the most part don’t read it and don’t know how to read it. I feel shame for them. Sometimes I feel rage. I want to say to the literature teacher who remains wilfully, even boastfully ignorant of a major element of contemporary fiction: you are incompetent to teach or judge your subject. Readers and students who do know the field, meanwhile, have every right to challenge your ignorant prejudice. Rise, undergraduates of the English departments! You have nothing to lose but your A on the midterm!
April 29th, 2010
|11:48 pm - This is what I talk about with your brother, Lissy!|
so it started with this post on failblog and degenerated from there:
Jadesfire chan (7:22:27 PM): does that say "ball stretcher"?
Viraus (7:23:47 PM): fuuuuuuck
Viraus (7:23:56 PM): I'm jealous of these people
Jadesfire chan (7:24:04 PM): the people with the ball stretcher?
Jadesfire chan (7:24:10 PM): did you want your own ball stretcher?
Viraus (7:24:10 PM): With their buicks and their buttplugs and smiley faces and preparation H
Jadesfire chan (7:24:15 PM): because I'm sure you can get one
Viraus (7:24:23 PM): I'm just saying they have an interesting lifestyle
Jadesfire chan (7:24:32 PM): THEY HAVE A BALL STRETCHER
Jadesfire chan (7:24:36 PM): I DONT KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS
Jadesfire chan (7:24:42 PM): I DONT HAVE BALLS
Jadesfire chan (7:24:46 PM): BUT IT DOESNT SOULD GOOD
Jadesfire chan (7:24:51 PM): *sound
Viraus (7:25:03 PM): Well yes, as a proud owner I can assure you that stretching isn't really a goal here
Viraus (7:25:14 PM): So I don't know what that's about....
Viraus (7:25:40 PM): this is totally brilliant
Viraus (7:25:47 PM): It leaves so much mystery
Jadesfire chan (7:25:56 PM): I kinda wanna google it, but I also really dont
Viraus (7:26:29 PM): AAAAUGH NOOOOOO
Viraus (7:26:33 PM): WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT
Jadesfire chan (7:26:38 PM): i didnt
Viraus (7:26:47 PM): No I mean the people using ball stretchers
Jadesfire chan (7:26:52 PM): DID YOU GOOGLE IT?
Viraus (7:26:53 PM): It doesn't look healthy
Viraus (7:26:57 PM): mmhmmm
Jadesfire chan (7:27:02 PM): D:
Jadesfire chan (7:27:12 PM): do they...stay stretched?
Viraus (7:27:46 PM): Well it's the scrotum that's actually stretched, not the balls themselves
Jadesfire chan (7:27:54 PM): what, so they hang lower?
Viraus (7:27:56 PM): But no I don't think it would be permanent
Viraus (7:28:00 PM): Temporarily, yeah
Jadesfire chan (7:28:03 PM): because that'll happen on its own as you age
Viraus (7:28:10 PM): heh
Viraus (7:28:15 PM): or they're just kinda squeezed
Jadesfire chan (7:28:19 PM): my understanding is its not a fun
Viraus (7:28:35 PM): I guess for some people it is?
Jadesfire chan (7:28:35 PM): like, I wouldnt buy a product that yanked my boobs down
Viraus (7:28:54 PM): I really don't think that's an apt comparison....
Jadesfire chan (7:29:04 PM): well I dont know
Jadesfire chan (7:29:07 PM): they both hang
Viraus (7:29:53 PM): Well "Labia Stretching" is in wikipedia's related links
Jadesfire chan (7:30:01 PM): whyyyyyyy
Jadesfire chan (7:30:10 PM): what would be the point of that?
Viraus (7:30:15 PM): 8[
Viraus (7:30:26 PM): It is performed for sexual enhancement of both partners, aesthetics, symmetry and gratification.
Viraus (7:30:53 PM): AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGHGHGHG
Viraus (7:31:04 PM): Don't search wikipedia for "elongated labia"
Viraus (7:31:07 PM): just.....trust me on this one
Viraus (7:31:29 PM): *gets eyebleach*
Jadesfire chan (7:32:01 PM): WHAT THE FUCK DOES THE LENGTH OF THE LABIA HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING
Jadesfire chan (7:32:15 PM): how is having a longer labia a good thing?
Viraus (7:32:20 PM): Yeah I was hoping you would tell me that
Jadesfire chan (7:32:23 PM): are there people who go, gee, I wish my labia were longer
Viraus (7:32:24 PM): Not really in my territory
Jadesfire chan (7:32:36 PM): I have no idea, its not like I've compared my labia
Viraus (7:32:50 PM): hahaha
Jadesfire chan (7:32:57 PM): I dont think it matters
Jadesfire chan (7:33:00 PM): I mean, what?
Viraus (7:33:05 PM): Sorry, just a pretty hilarious Sorority girl sleepover image there
Viraus (7:34:02 PM): hmmm up to about four inches apparently
Viraus (7:34:09 PM): can we talk about something else?
Viraus (7:34:11 PM): I like gin!
Jadesfire chan (7:37:12 PM): I think this would be an awkward bedroom thing
Jadesfire chan (7:37:27 PM): like, you meet some new guy and then its like WTF IS UP WITH YOUR LABIA
Viraus (7:37:35 PM): Yes. I would ask this.
Viraus (7:37:45 PM): and then I'd run far away
Jadesfire chan (7:40:24 PM): I think they'd get in the way
Jadesfire chan (7:40:32 PM): it seems like they would
Viraus (7:41:17 PM): ughghghghg
Viraus (7:41:30 PM): Well, I feel a lot better about being single now :P
Jadesfire chan (7:41:45 PM): yeah Bill, theres a world of huge labia out there
Viraus (7:42:12 PM): D:
Update! (via airie_fairy )
Billy: I find it hilarious that Liz uploaded the now-infamous Labia discourse
Airie: =D Airie: i enjoyed it greatly
Airie: or not at all
Airie: probably both simultaneously, really
Billy: Shroedinger's Labia?
Airie: schroedinger's pussy
Airie: it could indeed go either way
Billy: HAHAHAHA Billy: Ok, that was well played
Billy: Can we upload this too?
Billy: I think it's a good companion piece
So, in closing,