What Happens When a 13-Year-Old 4Chan Cam Girl Grows Up?
Someone in S.F. Wants You to Pay $1075 a Month to Sleep on Their Couch
Boyd Tonkin: Morrissey gets what he wants, and Penguin Classics sinks in the Ship Canal, The Week in Books
Cotswolds residents become Britain's first to run their own retirement village after owners went bust
Hilarious Yoga Mat for Sale Ad on Craigslist
Map: Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State
Dating App Founder Says Women Are Like Dogs, They Need to Be Bribed
Be a Goddamn Adult. Learn to Cook.
Why Iceland Should Be in the News But Is Not
Jill's Hash Brown Casserole Recipe
Will Have Small Glass of Wine: Helen Fielding’s ‘Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy’
"Nosetalgia" [ft. Kendrick Lamar]
Box office disaster: Cumberbatch's Fifth Estate Has Worst Box Office Debut of 2013
Spain's communist model village
The Many Sexual Euphemisms on Katy Perry's Filthy, Awesome New Album
10 Reasons Why St. Louis Is Actually Great (and We're Total Assholes)
We Can Be Heroes: 12 Years a Slave, Schindler’s List, and the hero problem in American movies.
Twenty-Three Percent of People Who Meet Online Marry Their Partners
Praise Yeezus: Kanye and Kim Engaged After Intimate Stadium Proposal
First Gay Couple Marries — Legally — in Oklahoma: VIDEO
What Are We Afraid of? (The Future of Craft)
Disney Princesses Trade Tiaras for Guns in First Black Ops Mission
Sober Lindsay Lohan Stays Up All Night Smoking, Singing Karaoke
Jennifer Lawrence stuns in latest Dior ads
Yet it’s indirectly related to both those things.
Here’s an example. Seabourn had two small ships, carrying 112 passengers. Seabourn was sold to Carnival, and those small ships were replaced with three larger ships with more than double the tonnage carrying 208 passengers. That’s not a bad size.
Except those three ships are now being replaced with 32,000 ton ships that carry 450 passengers. So, a periodic doubling of passenger capacity and a concomitant loss of intimacy.
Seabourn’s original two ships are now owned and operated by SeaDream. We love them. Sure, it’d be nice to have something a bit bigger, but their ships are really great, though designed before good wheelchair-friendly designs came out. (As a mobility-impaired person, it’s a bit challenging at times, but I manage just fine.)
When we first arrived on SeaDream, they knew our names, knew I needed gluten-free food, and so on. On our second cruise, most of the crew was the same, and they all remembered us. You can’t get that kind of intimacy on a large ship, and every time Carnival goes through another iteration, it’s to make things bigger.
Another point about gluten-free food and SeaDream: they mark every menu with what is gluten-free and what is not. They are very careful with it; I’ve never gotten sick from food aboard. Their food is truly world class.
a White Collar vid to Ideas Are Like Stars by Mary Chapin Carpenter. (It's a song about artist Joseph Cornell, though I only found that out while looking up the song to link here. Hm.)
a Person of Interest vid to Hymn of Acxiom by Vienna Teng
a Burn Notice vid to Rockstar by Nickelback
a Tony Stark/Iron Man vid to Tightrope by Janelle Monae
This entry was originally posted at http://teaotter.dreamwidth.org/92298.ht
My E-Book Royalty Calcumatic has needed some updating and TLC, but I had to update all the notes and references first. This is now done.
Hat tip to Diane Patterson who helped me find the impossible-to-locate and depressingly-obtuse Google data.
I’ve also added the cold harsh reality that is payment timetables at the bottom, so don’t miss it!
I finished Draft 1.0 of Princess X and handed it off to the editor. Right now, I'm powering through the Maplecroft rewrites, for I'm set to hand those in by the end of the week - before I fly to Florida, come Monday. When I get back from Florida, I have to pack up for a trip to Houston; and then I get a week home before I pack up again for Detroit. And of course, I want a draft of Jacaranda* done by the end of January, because I need to start on Maplecroft's followup.
So I hope you'll forgive me if I'm a little quiet, over here. I hope to come up for air this weekend, perhaps - and produce a proper post, with actual content and stuff. Then again, I might just crash and sleep for a couple of days. Hard to say.
ANYWAY. Happy holidays, whichever ones you celebrate - if in fact you celebrate anything at all. Happy December, if that's the case, and a fabulous New Year to all!
* I've added a few thousand words, but I set it aside temporarily - in favor of finishing the Maplecroft rewrites. This way, I might get to do some work on Jacaranda in Florida, in the hotel that inspired the story.
My suggestions were:
"that long series whose plot threads are diverging instead of converging are unlikely to go anywhere interesting."
"that many Golden Age writers behaved as if women were something they'd only heard of 3rd hand via malicious intermediaries."
"that turning to SF for the science is like turning to Carl Barks for the ornithology."
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
I’m thrilled to be able to show off Paula Friedlander’s amazing cover art for my next poetry collection, Hungry Constellations.
This collection originates with the Mythic Delirium Kickstarter. None of my poetry collections are available in ebook form, so as incentive to make that happen I offered an omnibus poetry collection as one of the Kickstarter prizes…
…and in a fit of sobriety assessed that such a volume would not only be a nightmare to format, but be both massive and repetitive — and what I needed to be putting out was a good book, a fresh book, not an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink book.
So my thanks to Dominik Parisien as well for stepping in to serve as editor, whittling down almost 20 years of my work to a streamlined exhibition of 61 poems, old and new (one previously unpublished); beginning with “The Strip Search,” ending with “Hungry Constellations,” in between encapsulating a lot of the themes I keep coming back to, deliberately or not. (It was a really cool experience, seeing my work curated. Dom did a great job.)
Hungry Constellations will be available in trade paperback too. We’re shooting for March.
From left to right, Canada's Scandal Plagued Prime Minster Stephen Harper, Toronto's Crack Using Mayor Rob Ford and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, a personal friend of Ford, a close associate of the Prime Minister and a close pal with tax avoidage expert and Mint Chairman Jim Love. There is no reason to think Flaherty is uttering threats to the photographer.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has apologized to Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale for suggesting he was a pedophile and accusing the reporter of spying on his children.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
- Mon, 18:33: "Black Santa has become the official mascot of this holiday season." Way to go, @megynkelly! Heh heh heh. #inners #UniteBlue
- Mon, 18:35: Thank you @ftyndell for following!
- Mon, 18:36: "POTUS changed color, so maybe Santa could change too." Ya think? #inners #UniteBlue
- Mon, 18:37: @tpjmagazine thank you for following!
- Mon, 18:51: RT @StevenBrust: That dude is so right-wing, he types on a YUIOP keyboard.
- Mon, 19:08: The @NRA is the true tyranny. Good for Exeter, RI for telling them to get lost. #maddow #UniteBlue
- Mon, 19:12: 72 people in Colorado were stopped from buying guns by their background check law. Tyranny? Come on. #maddow #UniteBlue
- Mon, 19:16: RT @PruneJuiceMedia: The gun rights "side" doesn't really have a side. #Maddow
- Mon, 19:47: With this one little segment about domain squatting, @maddow outdoes @davidgregory in journalism for the entire year. #maddow #UniteBlue
- Mon, 19:53: RT @MatManz: #Maddow is not going to let Christie wriggle his way out of this one. Not a chance. Great investigative journalism work.
- Mon, 14:04: Illinois Same-Sex Couples Facing Death Can Marry Early http://t.co/T8D90qnNjt via @tonymerevick
- Mon, 14:07: An Artist Made A Bunch Of Hilarious Fake Posters That Advertise Photoshop As Though It Were A Beauty Product http://t.co/vBBbAzqskW
- Mon, 14:10: RT @suey_park: People in my mentions asked me to stop using "white people" and call them "people" instead. Funny I thought Asians were peop…
- Mon, 14:12: RT @femme_esq: I don't get why so many stories focus on how R.Kelly urinated on a girl. Are his numerous rapes so common that they're not s…
- Mon, 14:16: RT @NikiSparkles: quote from a woman @ Worksource orientation, she was there for the 3rd time. she been hired, suddenly let go, and had to …
- Mon, 14:16: RT @NikiSparkles: "I know they want us off [welfare], but making us look for these low paying entry jobs just seems like they don't want us…
- Mon, 14:20: RT @Blackamazon: So now you can't be a feminist based on who your HUSBAND is? like thats our thing now
- Mon, 14:21: Why am I not included in any of the recent cool hashtags? *weeps tears of excludedness*
- Mon, 14:43: RT @NightValeRadio: Heads will roll. Torsos will kind of roll. Limbs will roll a short distance. Jawbones just kind of hit the ground & fli…
- Mon, 17:48: RT @bimadew: In this photo, Natalie Portman is playing a character called "A Huge Corner of Tumblr" alongside Tom Hiddleston: http://t.co/u…
Don't ask me why that song puts me in a holiday mood. It just does. ;)
I've been catching up with folks I've not seen in ages--one in particular I've not seen in three years. (I thought it'd only been a year. Heh.) So much to talk about, and so much fun. Given that I've been stressy girl over the last week, it was really nice.
In the meantime, I'm in the home stretch of the erotic sf novel full draft and am plugging away at guest blog posts. The tree is up so now it's just finishing the cards and planning meals and get-togethers. Plus, more writing , natch.
It's been a full year, with lots of changes and lots of possibilities opening up. Now to figure out what to do with them.
This week’s rewatch is up to “Him,” the S7 episode where a magic coat makes an allegedly unremarkable young man graceful, attractive, and an all ’round tasty morsel.
Here in Toronto, we got a dumping of the white stuff: nineteen centimeters of snow, or so somebody told me. Kelly and I promptly went out and got proper boots. This should be, I think, the last of the official moving expenses. The boots are waterproof and toasty and pretty clompy, and I’ve done my usual stomping about in them for the past couple of days with satisfactory results. I’ve been taking pictures, and they’ll end up here as I continue to sift through them.
It's 568, and you're living in Torcello. Bad news for you. The Lombards are coming out of Germany to take over your island. What do you do? You decide it's a good idea to abscond to the local swamp and live on sticks.
That's right. The founding of Venice was the action of refugees who moved away from invasion. Essentially, the matter of building the city was along the lines of St. Petersburg's building: when something sinks, build on top of it. Eventually, it will stop sinking.
What makes Venice a unique city is that Venice has incorporated so much water into the actual design of the town. Rather than fight the water flow, they have used it to their advantage for such things as water conservation and sewage control. Canals are drained in Venice so that gunk and other unmentionables can be scooped out of them and taken away on barges. The beautiful waters of Venice are a bit murky underneath.
In my research about Venice, I have glossed over a great deal of the early material, because the section that I wanted to study was that of the 19th century. There are a couple of things that you need to know about the city. First of all, Venice and the rest of Italy were a series of city states, not unified, and that would make them particularly susceptible to attack from other European cities. Secondly, in spite of this, Venice was an aggressive, rich trading city, always on the attack, gaining artifacts and and protecting its own port with a strong navy. Venice was in the position of the conqueror for a great deal of the Renaissance.
The system of government was built largely around the economy and the nobility. Some families were better than others, but if you were successful, you could buy your way into the noble families. At the head of the ruling body into which these families had input was a doge, elected and/or appointed, depending on your viewpoint, through a series of arcane and unusual rules.
Venice continued along in this vein until roughly the 16th century.
Mind you, there's a lot I'm not covering. Venice has serious Byzantine influence, trade with the east, the sheltering of a Pope during a time of turmoil in the Catholic church, many wars with many traders, and an entire soap opera with the reputed remains of St. Mark. But that's not the time frame of Venice I needed to know about, so I didn't go too deep.
However, next time, we'll talk about Napoleon and the Austrians, and the unification of Italy.
Mirrored from Writer Tamago.
Also had a long discussion of hospice options and how the place and manner of my death would impact
We also talked about the difficulty of predicting life expectancy in my situation. The palliative care doctor said there are two main factors in their experience.
The completely unpredictable factor is when and how some catastrophic event occurs. For example, organ failure, or an opportunistic infection. There's no way to anticipate the timing of such an event, though once it happens, I will likely pass very quickly.
The more predictable factor is rate of change, in effect. As they put it, if I am seeing significant changes in health or functionality that take place over the course of months, I have months yet to live. If I am seeing significant changes over the course of weeks, I have weeks yet to live. When the changes take place over the course of days, I have days yet to live.
Where these two factors intersect, clearly enough, is that unpredictable catastrophic event changing my health literally overnight, or over a day or two. At that point, my remaining life is likely measured in days.
This was both fascinating and sobering, and also one of the most useful descriptions of the dying process I have ever encountered. It neither gives me hope or incites despair, but it does grant me some perspective.
The palliative care doctor wants to continue to see me as I progress through the clinical trials process, every two or three months. I told them we would keep them informed. Our current followups are to check my hospice benefits with my health insurance carrier, figure out which Portland area facilities are in-network, and schedule some site visits. I'll schedule another visit with my palliative care doctor once we know more about my clinical trial schedule.
Slave Leia on Jabba’s barge. The Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, WA.
Photo © 2012, 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
I should hate Frozen. I really should. It's a blatantly commercialized Disney film with several elements carefully designed to sell toys (hi, cute trolls that otherwise have no role in the plot, hi cute snowman who was less annoying than the trailers suggested) and several other elements clearly designed to make the obviously forthcoming Broadway adaptation much easier. It features princesses, two of them, that can easily be added to the incredibly popular Disney Princess lineup. (I swear, I run into little Disney princesses at the grocery store these days, and I live around Disney employees, not Disney tourists.) It has two scenes that can be made into Disney rides.
Essentially, it is as if Disney employees sat down and said, ok, what do we need to make money and make as many cross promotional products as possible and how much of this can be thrown into the movie? Got it? Great.
Also, for some reason Disney marketing keeps insisting that Frozen is "inspired" by Hans Christian Anderson's Snow Queen.
They, er, both have snow.
And yet, despite all this –
I loved it.
Primarily because of a seriously awesome scene where one of the princesses announces that she has just HAD IT with being good and SINGS AND SINGS AND SINGS and a GIANT ICE PALACE THRUSTS UP (don't think I didn't notice, Disney) as her Oh So Innocent Costume is transformed into a slinky number that seriously but seriously shows off her legs.
Also, ice art.
You go, Disney Princess. You go.
Alfred Shaheen: Pioneer of the Hawaiian Shirt — Oooh! (Via
How Linguists and Missionaries Share a Bible of 6,912 Languages
This is a map of the U.S., with the literal meanings of its state names and cities — This is cool. (Snurched from Lois Buhalis.)
A Baby Name That Really Tells You Something About the Parents — Yes, it tells you these parents have heartland family values, and also badly need oversight from Child Protective Services.
Neanderthals buried their dead like modern humans — The findings focus on Neanderthal remains that were first discovered in 1908 at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in southwestern France.
Hand Fossil Turns Back Clock on Complex Tool Use
Ancient Chinese cat bones shake up domestication theory — Fossil discovery an 'important step' in understanding feline transformation from pest-control to pet.
Japan's military revolution hints at Shinzo Abe's nationalist aims — Hmm.
Sex and Drugs and Border Changes — A combination of sex and drugs (and possibly rock 'n roll) is forcing two governments to change the border that divides them.
“Help, My Eyeball is Bigger than My Wrist!”: Gender Dimorphism in Frozen
North Korea's way with extreme insults — The uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, executed for treason on Thursday, has been officially denounced as "despicable human scum". Why is the language so over-the-top? Oddly, not very different from how many American conservatives, especially in the media, talk about moderates and liberals.
“Thank You, Doctor. And Now, for the Opposing View, Here’s Joe Camel.” — What really gets me is that USA Today gave Heartland a place to confuse the public about global warming. If they ran a piece about satellites, would they get an “opposing view” from a Flat Earther? It would have just as much scientific validity as climate change denial, and every bit as much Biblical basis as evolution denial.
Yeah, About That Global Warming “Pause”… — Debunking another knowing lie from climate change denialists.
“60 Minutes” does Infomercial for NSA with Security Official posing as Journalist — CBS has finally decided to go for the coveted “we have a Constitutional right to lie” FOX News market segment. Your Liberal Media, disgracing itself further all the time.
In Colorado and elsewhere, sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws. The state can't make them — All those conservatives who claim to so revere the Constitution? Yeah, right. Like Christianists who revere the Bible when it’s convenient for them, that reverence vanishes when the Holy Writ doesn’t conveniently match their prejudices.
Satanist Monument Shines Light on Christian Privilege — Yup. This. The fact that some Christians have managed to convince themselves they are persecuted in contemporary America represents a breathtaking lack of self-awareness and intellectual honesty. Unless, of course, you believe that a slight descent from absolute cultural supremacy to mere overwhelming cultural dominance somehow qualifies as persecution, in which case that conviction represents an amazingly willful ignorance about words and their meanings. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)
Hindus Propose Giant Monkey God Statue On Oklahoma Capitol Grounds — How’s that law for religious displays working out for you, right-wing Christians of Oklahoma? Sure, you got to put up your giant 10 commandments monument in front of the State House. But this opened up the door for the Satanic Temple to ask for a memorial. Now, the Hindus are calling for their own religious statue to be placed on the state capitol grounds in Oklahoma City. I want to donate to the this, and the Satanist monument. (Snurched from Ellen Eades.)
?otD: Do all things come to the patient man? When they come too late, does anybody understand?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours fitful
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Number of FEMA troops on my block falsifying climate change data: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)
Here’s the contents of our next issue, Mythic Delirium 0.3, on sale in January. The stories in this issue are by by Nicole Kornher-Stace, Kenneth Schneyer and Robert Davies; and the poems are by Lisa M. Bradley, Sandi Leibowitz, J.C. Runolfson, David Sklar, Christina Sng and Beth Cato. There’s a theme of bones and mortification (of the flesh) to many of these pieces, which makes our cover by Anita Allen (my wifey!) all the more fitting.
Here’s the complete list, as well as the order they’ll appear on the website.
Featured in January
“Present” by Nicole Kornher-Stace
“Backbone of the Home” by Lisa M. Bradley
“Old Bone” by Sandi Leibowitz
Featured in February
“Levels of Observation” by Kenneth Schneyer
“Zora Neale Hurston Meets Felicia Felix-Mentor on the Road” by J.C. Runolfson
“Cat’s Canticle” by David Sklar
Featured in March
“India Pale Angel” by Robert Davies
“Dreams of Bone” by Christina Sng
“Seeds” by Beth Cato
Want to read them all before the rest of the world gets to? Then subscribe (which you can do by clicking here.)
“It’s that old silk hat they found.” The glass orbs hooked to Mrs. Claus’ belt clinked softly as she paced the perimeter of the map room. Each colored orb held a different mixture of magic and modern explosives. Right now, she wanted nothing more than to jam them into Frosty’s snowballs and blow him to flurries. She knew each elf at the Pole by name. They were family, every one. But there would be time to mourn Kane and the others once this crisis was over. “We knew the hat was magic. We never asked where that magic came from.”
“He’s made of Christmas snow.” Hermie the elf looked at the snow-dusted map of the North Pole, a living sculpture of frosted crystal. Frosty had struck three times over the course of the day, testing the outer defenses. “Doesn’t that mean he can never be destroyed? Santa said so himself.”
“Christmas snow is magical, yes,” said Mrs. Claus. She knew that deep down, despite everything he had been through, Hermie the elf still thought of himself as a misfit. But he was tougher than most people gave him credit for. Any dentist who could pull the teeth from an Abominable Snowman was a dentist to be reckoned with. He wore a dagger made of an Abominable Snowman fang through his sash. “But something—someone—used the power of that hat to shape the snow into what we always believed to be a jolly, happy soul.”
The map room was traditionally used for planning out Santa’s Christmas route each year. It could foretell the weather five days in advance, and used a form of supernatural radar based on tiny particles of ice in the atmosphere to track even the most sophisticated stealth aircraft. No one wanted to risk another Roswell incident.
“What about Jack Frost?” Emma was a relatively young elf who had transferred from Cookie Dept. into R&D a mere ten years earlier. She and Hermie had been smitten with each other for months, but they were taking things slowly, which was the elfin way.
“Jack is strong enough, but what does he gain by attacking the Pole?” Mrs. Claus shook her head. “Despite that awful Tim Allen movie, Jack and Santa have always been allies. Santa was best man at his wedding.”
“Krampus?” suggested Hermie.
The demonic anti-Santa who kidnapped naughty children certainly had reason to attack the North Pole, but he lacked subtlety. The Awgwas, perhaps? But they had been dormant for decades. Mrs. Claus pulled the radio from her pocket and called Galleta in the Vault. “What’s the last known location of Professor Hinkle?”
The would-be magician had once tried to steal Frosty’s hat, and had temporarily succeeded in melting the snowman, until Santa arrived to restore Frosty. Santa had shown mercy to the nasally professor, but mortals had been known to mistake mercy for weakness. If Hinkle’s defeat had festered all these years—
“He’s working a Disney cruise,” said Galleta. “I show him on the nice list, though he’s borderline. Looks like he cheated on his boyfriend earlier this year.”
“What about his rabbit?” asked Hermie. “Hocus Pocus was a friend of Frosty. He might know—”
“Hocus Pocus died two years ago,” Mrs. Claus said gently. Elves understood the ephemeral nature of childhood, but tended to forget how short the lives of mortals were. “He was fourteen years old, which is elderly for a rabbit.” She stared at the map, trying to uncover any hint of a pattern, any clue to suggest where Frosty would strike next.
Galleta’s voice cracked over the radio, half an octave higher than usual. “Vixen has eyes on the snowman! He’s in the woods to the east!”
Hermie zoomed the map in on that location. “That’s close to the flight school.”
The reindeer calves would be in the midst of their training. “All available forces to the flight school.”
“What if that’s what he wants?” asked Hermie. “Frosty could be trying to draw us away from the Pole.”
He was right, dammit. “Belay that. Send teams three and four. Tell the reindeer to hold back. I want them circling the whole perimeter.” To Galleta, she said, “Track down everyone Frosty’s been close to, and put them under guard. Especially Karen.” The girl had been Frosty’s closest friend when he first came to life. When people erupted into this kind violence, they often targeted those closest to them.
More than anything, Mrs. Claus wanted to arm herself with shield and flamethrower, and to ride Blitzen into battle to protect her home. But with Santa in post-Christmas hibernation, it was up to her to remain here to coordinate the defense.
Had Frosty and his master timed this assault deliberately, knowing Santa would be vulnerable in the weeks following Christmas? That the North Pole would be protected not by Saint Nicholas himself, but his wife?
If so, they were about to find out how serious a mistake they had made.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
* We have an Elayna! She came home Thursday. :) We are all very happy to have her here, including Bash, who's back to cuddling up with her all day. We have had some Big Serious Talks, which are always good to get out of the way first so we can focus on watching anime and baking cookies.
* For a lot of things, all I can say is Progress Is. Which is better than Progress Isn't!
* I have been at some lovely parties lately, and spent some excellent one-on-one time with people as well. I have good friends.
* Really I had one of those nights last night where I had tears about how lucky I am. I have had a year and a half of almost every major stressor a human being can have. It's been so incomprehensible at times that I have given up trying to comprehend and have just taken everything step by step, day by day. But through it all, I have the best daughter and the best partners. So despite everything, I am sometimes overwhelmed by how lucky I am.
Among other things the author mentions the discomfort of running into the same authors she'd reviewed and knowing that they remembered that review. Yep, that can be a problem, especially in these days on the internet where every word continues to exist forever. It's a valid consideration for a reviewer.
But the author then goes on to say this:
I have written some epic snark, and I have written a book, and let me just tell you, there is no comparison. Books are hard. Reported features are hard. Sarcasm and outrage are easy, which is why they tend to peak in adolescence, unlike, say, mastery of nuclear physics.
I also think this is rather true. I've seen some epic denunciation of my book which left me more bemused than anything else.
But here's my take on this particular issue:
Not every book is going to be to my taste. Most of the time when I don't like a book, it's just because it didn't speak to ME. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad book. And to be honest, if it doesn't speak to me, I'm probably not going to finish it. And carrying that through to the next level, I'm not going to spend time reviewing it, either. I just don't write bad reviews because I can't be bothered to do so.
The truth is that there are some great books I just don't like. Let me give you an example that won't hurt anyone's feelings. A friend of mine in college lent me a copy of Starship Troopers. I plowed my way through it but what I remember about it was that I found it a dead bore. Clearly, millions of people disagree with my assessment. And that's OK, because I know that the problem was that the book simply didn't speak to ME. I'm not sure if it was the format or the main character (or because someone told me I HAD to read this book), but I never could develop much of a connection to the book.
The link to the article about reviews was weirdly timely for me because a review of my book popped up today where the reviewer didn't care for my book. He found it boring and distant (my term there, not his). And at the end, this is what the reviewer said: Good novel that probably just isn’t quite to my tastes.
I have to say that this is an excellent review, even though he didn't like the book. He's not snarking at me. He's not insulting. He's giving his opinion, telling people who share his tastes not to spend their money on my book because they're probably going to be disappointed. This is valid information, and I have NO beef with it.
Now I'm not a reviewer, so I don't have a reader base who are expecting me to review books. I have the luxury of not bothering with books I didn't like, so I don't write bad book reviews at all.
Anyhow, I found it an interesting series of linked articles, particularly given the timing...
11 Annoying Things People Say About Teaching
86 year old makes a beautiful rage comic
Julianne Hough is So Sorry She Wore Blackface for Halloween
The Truth About That UC Irvine 'Before and After' Job Interview Image
white ink tattoos
Joss Whedon on the Strong Female Character
'We Hurt A Lot Of People,' Westboro Pastor's Granddaughter Says
‘LOST LONDON’, The edible cityscape revealed in Selfridges’ Christmas Window
Chapeau Chic: 3 Hat-friendly Hairstyles
In the Thick of It: 3 Fancy Hairstyles for Thick Hair
Old Economy Steve: A meme for frustrated Millennials
WHAT IF STAR WARS EPISODE II WERE GOOD?
Australian Couple Unwittingly Wins a Canadian Drug Mule Gig
For My Mother, Who Runs
SNL’s Wes Anderson Parody Movie Trailer: The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders (Video)
Fat Cat + Tiny Kitten = Uncontrollable Cuteness
Maru and Hana Perform Their Famed Fat Cat, Tiny Kitten Routine
Old Economy Steve: A meme for frustrated Millennials
McCain To Fox News: No, The Shutdown Is The GOP's Fault (VIDEO)
SCIENTISTS ORGANIZE MASS WIKIPEDIA EDIT IN HONOR OF ADA LOVELACE DAY
An adorable little boy began voicing a long string of regrets while pooping. Luckily, his mom recorded the whole thing.
Res ipsa loquitur siiiigh
AGENTS OF SHIELD GETS NINE MORE EPISODES IN ITS FIRST SEASON
- Current Location:Glasgow
- Current Mood: pleased
- Current Music:quiet
Apparently it's election season again ALREADY.
So the mayoral election in Minneapolis is over, they've counted everything, and I hung up my political-blogging hat in mid-November thinking, "done with THAT for a while."
But...it turns out that here in my new district in St. Paul, our State Rep, Michael Paymar, is retiring. (He's represented this district since 1996. So -- for a while, although our State Senator, Dick Cohen, has been representing District 64 since 1986.) The caucuses are in February (February 4th, I think; I wrote it down on the calendar) and the Senate District Convention is in March (late March, thank goodness! it shouldn't interfere with MarsCon). And if things in this district run like things in my old district, odds are excellent that it's the Senate District Convention that will effectively pick our next State Rep.
I mean, officially there is a primary, and there's an election. But the DFL endorsement holds an awful lot of weight in these races, and the DFL-endorsed candidate has a definite edge in the primary. And come the general election, well, I expect that a Republican will run, but I would be pretty shocked if they won.
(DFL = "Democratic-Farmer-Labor." It's just the Minnesota name for the Democratic Party.)
Anyway. I feel much less well-informed in St. Paul, mostly because I have less of a sense of who the jerks are. In Minneapolis, there are certain endorsements that people will put in their materials that will cause me to write them off unless they are also endorsed by the people I know I like, to balance them out. I'm sure St. Paul has a similar crowd of People I Would Hate, If I Knew Who They Were, but I don't know who they are yet. (Does that mean I pay more attention to who you know, than what you believe? Well, not exactly. It's more that I pay more attention to who your buddies are, than I pay to what you say you believe.)
This is all preamble to note that I got a phone call this evening from Matt Freeman, a candidate to replace Michael Paymar. He gets points for being the first candidate to call me, although mid-December is honestly a point at which even I do not really want to be thinking about elections. We chatted a little (I told him I'd moved last year from Jim Davnie's district; he wanted to know why I moved, and it wasn't until I was telling him my answer that it occurred to me that I might be tipping my hand about how best he could craft his pitch. I don't think he did, though.) I wrote down the caucus date and his name and then told him to go ahead and give me his pitch.
The two big issues he talked about were (1) raising the minimum wage, and (2) improving the opportunity gap with Early Childhood education.
Having listened to that amazing This American Life episode about free universal preschool as well as having read about studies, I'm on board with Early Childhood education funding as a potential panacea for the opportunity gap. I'm also a fan of raising the minimum wage, although I was curious what he wanted to raise it to. Matt said he thought $9.50 was achievable although he would prefer $10.50; he also wants to peg it to inflation and to work for mandatory sick leave and parental leave. (Universal paid sick leave is one of those "everybody wins" sorts of ideas. Totally aside from the fact that letting sick people stay home is the humane and reasonable thing to do, I do not want people with the stomach flu handling my food.)
I asked him about his stance on gun control (which has been one of Michael Paymar's signature issues, not that he's had much success with it.) He talked about background checks and mental health screenings, which is actually a huge red flag for me because what exactly does that mean? Does this mean that people who seek help for mental illnesses are going to go into a database accessible to gun salespeople? Because no. I'm a big fan of medical privacy, particularly regarding mental health records. He backpedaled when I asked for details and it was clear he hadn't thought about this much.
One thing he had thought about was that we needed to work harder to figure out how to sell gun control to outstate Minnesotans. And he's right about that. Minnesota has a strong hunting culture in the rural parts of the state, and guns just have a different place in people's lives when they live in the country as opposed to the city.
(My friend Elizabeth, who is a Quaker and a committed pacifist, bought a gun when she moved to the country, because they were raising chickens and were troubled with possums. In the city, if a possum moves into your garage, you can call Animal Control. In the country, you have to deal with this stuff yourself, and that means either owning a gun, or having a neighbor with a gun.)
Anyway. He does not have a smooth, polished political pitch down yet, and I'm wondering now how long he's been making these calls. You would think people would start with the people who've been to caucuses in the past, but we haven't been to a caucus in this district yet so presumably he got my number off the voter registration records and that suggests he's cold-calling registered voters. Seems impractical, but what do I know about this stuff? (He was Chris Coleman's campaign manager so I expect he knows what he's doing.)
There are currently seven people running for this seat, I think. (All of them Democrats.) In looking for information, I discovered that someone else is already obsessively blogging about this race, relieving me of the responsibility: http://www.theracefor64b.com/ I'll probably write about it anyway, though.
So. Did some 3300 words’ worth of rewrite on Apocalypse Pictures Presents, so Magic Meter now looks like this:
Hey, it’s better than last week. A little. The trend is upward, and that’s the right direction.
Yeah, right. Whatever ya gotta tell yourself, Rotundo.
Anyway, your snippet:
“Got a message for you, Catherine.”
With no cell phones or land lines still functional, shortwave operators spent much of their time relaying messages. Granddaddy Telsa was good, and he charged accordingly.
“Who for? Over.” She kept her pen at the ready.
“I just said it’s for you, didn’t I? I thought you had me five and nine, over.”
“For me, personally?” That was a first. She tried to think of people she knew in the Bakersfield area, drew a blank. “From who? Over.”
“Someone who prefers to be . . . cautious.”
By which he meant anonymous. Catherine set down her pen, eyed the microphone warily. “Ah . . . I’m alone here. But I suppose anyone could be listening in.”
Thought it was unlikely, shortwave radio signals were easily intercepted, and she and Granddaddy Tesla would be none the wiser. Whoever was trying to contact her apparently knew that, and was concerned about it. Wariness deepened into suspicion.
No updates for Write Club.
Forging ahead . . .
|Originally published at Matthew S. Rotundo's Pixeltown|
- Current Music:"Tear the Roof Off"--Triumph
I cannot begin to describe what a relief this is. I haven't sold a story since April 2012. In that nearly two years I haven't scored a single honorable mention in Writers of the Future, and have only gotten two personalized rejections.
And I don't even have the excuse of the engineering study to fall on, either. That was 2011.
This will be my second sale to Ad Astra. And actually, it is a pretty old story (2008, maybe). One of the first ones I wrote when I decided to switch gears from novels to short stories for a while.
So, it's good to be back in the pixels.
The main thing I wanted to write about today had to do with women and voting in Texas. The newest version of the voter registration cards went out last week, and it seems there are some big problems. You know, when I read about the new Texas voter ID laws being directed at women specifically I wasn't entirely convinced. Yes, such things do effect women more often than men due to the fact that women often change their names when marrying. But I figured it'd be more of a pain in the ass for other minority groups due to the lack of an acceptable ID. I never felt specifically targeted... that is, until I started seeing messages on my neighborhood's email list.
Dear Women Living in Texas: double-check your Voter Registration Card. NOW. Even if you've made no change to your name in the past year. If you've ever made a change to your name at all, double check it. Your name has to absolutely match your driver's license.
For example: Suzy Smith said that her original card read "Susan L. Smith" which stood for Susan Lucas Smith. Her new voter registration card reads "Susan L. Lucas Smith" which isn't even her name. Hers isn't the only complaint I've seen. Remember, this is a neighborhood list where posts are normally non-political. The website you're supposed to go to fix these issues is currently NON-FUNCTIONAL and it takes up to 30 days to process a correction. This is bull shit, plain and simple. Texas Republicans really are attempting to prevent women from voting. Bad plan, guys. If you think all the orange you saw last summer was scary, just wait until this bullshit hits the fan. Texas will go blue sooner than you fear. No. Joke.
Over at Apex Magazine, Rachel Swirsky has a story up called All That Fairy Tale Crap. (Warning: It's not safe for work.) And Female Game Developers Can't Even Submit A Game to Greenlight Without Receiving Harassment. ThinkGeek White-washes Uhura with its StarTrek family decals. Buy these prints of Ripley (of Aliens) instead. ;) On John Green, genre revolutionaries and sexism in lit. The BookSmugglers discuss gender parity and cover art. What a magazine did to Jennifer Lawrence. (And here's a related link about what media frequently does to images of women.) Literary self-loathing--I want to point out the differences in attitude between a successful female and a male literary author.
In politics: Danish PM Objectified for Sitting Near President Obama.
 Not her real name.
Like this month's SF Novelists post: "I'm not allowed to tab away until this post is done," in which I talk about distractions.
Or a very wise post from Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith, on "Who Gets to Escape?"
Or some frickin' amazing tattoos.
Or an explanation of this poll. My family and I had been speculating that guys were more likely to have scars on the underside of their chins, due to exactly the kinds of hijinks various people described in the comments. But it turns out the data, at least as collected from my readership, does not support the anecdata; a slightly higher percentage of the women who responded have such scars than men.
Or, um . . . okay, I don't have a fifth thing. Feel free to suggest #5 in the comments!
This entry was also posted at http://swan-tower.dreamwidth.org/604510.h
I have an e-book royalty calcumatic that needs some TLC, which I’m about to do.
However, since it is one of my more popular pages, I thought I’d ask in case someone needed something I hadn’t thought of.
Selling Off Your Own Site
Back when I wrote the Calcumatic, there were reasons I didn’t include the option of selling off one’s own site. However, there are now good tools to do so. For example, Easy Digital Downloads is a WordPress plugin that does all the heavy lifting. There are add-ons for cost, but the basic setup is for PayPal, and is free (apart from the cost of using PayPal).
Here’s a quick-and-dirty comparison of the existing options. (I may need to tweak this data.)
|Sales Source||Revenue per 1000 sales for $2.99 book|
|Amazon Select (not combineable with other options)||$2093|
|iBooks||$1046 (requires ISBN)|
|Easy Digital Downloads + PayPal or ZenCart + PayPal||$2603|
There are other options for selling off your site, like various shopping cart programs, some of which have ongoing monthly costs.
The Monthly Cost Problem
Because I’m trying to do something back-of-the-envelope, ongoing monthly costs really affect the way the bottom line is calculated. Then you’d have to calculate what percentage of those sales are from the site and over what time period in order to figure out effective revenue.
Catch is, most e-books sell under 200 copies, meaning: it probably isn’t cost effective to commit to anything with ongoing costs.
Unless some of you think that’s useful, I probably won’t bother with it for now.
What Else Would You Like?
I’m interested in other options I may have overlooked that you might be interested in. Suggestions?