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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Workshop moment.

Years ago, I was at a writing workshop as a panelist.  I'd just discovered Slushkiller, and I'd printed out the list itself (not the entire blog post) to show our workshoppers.

-- That list is just past "3.  The context of rejection" inside the post of Slushkiller.

The person next to me, after receiving the list, immediately said, "Which of these describes my writing?" I didn't know said person at all nor had I any idea!

That's why I say that if you are going to take the list itself personally, DON'T read it.

Don't think Slushkiller is about you.  It is a list created by an editor (Teresa Nielsen Hayden) who possesses lots of experience -- and was illustrating the reasons for manuscript rejections.  In her usual inimitable fashion.  :D

And you know what?  Reading the Slushkiller list still makes me giggle.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What actors do (from Killer Dolphin).

"I think," Alleyn said, "we'd better, both of us, remind ourselves about actors."

"You do?  What about them?"

"One must always remember that they're trained to convey emotion.  On or off stage, they make the most of everything they feel.  Now this doesn't mean they express their feelings up to a saturation point.  When you and I and all the rest of the non-actors do our damnedest to understate and be ironical about our emotional reflexes, the actor, even when he underplays them, does so with such expertise that he convinces us laymen that he's in extremis.  He isn't.  He's only being professionally articulate about something that happens offstage instead of in front of an official audience... nor does it mean he's superficial or a hypocrite.  It's his job..."

Ngaio Marsh, writing this in Killer Dolphin (1966), was a playwright as well as a mystery author.

I like this observation.  Very clever, isn't it?  We get so attached to the characters they play, how often can we really get ourselves to believe the actors themselves aren't more like the characters?

But I wonder about it.  Surely some actors don't want to work this hard all the damned time.

Granted, a murder investigation would be unusual... but... still, I wonder.

BTW, I'm fond of this novel and certain characters.  I'm a sucker for many of hers set in theaters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Today and 1999.

Today is the fortieth anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  Happy anniversary to abortion rights!

Back in late 1998, I thought I'd gotten pregnant.  The doctor's office blew me off and gave me an appointment in 1999.

I was pregnant.  The Pill had failed.

When you're on psychotropic medications, like I am, that mutates the fetus.  Carrying to term is not recommended.  That's why a woman who is mentally ill needs to choose between her own health or the baby's; should she become manic, or depressive, she can't take meds or it will endanger the baby.

I'm bipolar.  Without my meds, I become depressive first, and then manic.  Not only is that not good for me, it's bad for a child.  Imagine a baby crying -- needing food or a diaper change.  Then imagine if the mother is unable to function.

I can well imagine that.  I've been manic several times, and depressive a lot more.

In 1999, the hospital sent me for a second-trimester abortion at a clinic.  The next month, the hospital gave me a tubal ligation... which I'd sought in September 1998, but my doctor refused; my being practical didn't suit him.

In most states right now, I couldn't have that abortion.  What sort of child would result?

I'd like all the conservatives to think about that.

They love babies in the womb, but once a child is born, then they're done.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

O brave new Interworld, with such space in't!

Two ways in which 2013 has already riffed off science fiction... and real life.

Chris Hadfield on Twitter, or, the Canadian astronaut and Star Trek.

This actually happened.

Official White House response to a petition for the construction of a Death Star by 2016.  I did not make this up, as Dave Barry would say, quite rightly.

Star Wars too.  There are not enough words for the coolness of this!

And remember, kids:  The Administration does not support blowing up planets.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Market news: Duotrope's 2013 change.

An author friend mentioned Duotrope's Digest to me -- and how they've chosen to close their listings to you unless you subscribe there.

Here's another author's take on why "free" isn't owed to users, which I found refreshing and pragmatic.

If you're seeking an alternative to Duotrope for market research, there's a variety to choose from, courtesy of Author Alden -- including the long-standing, of course.

Market listings:  Ralan, SFWA's Pro Market List, Spec Lit Foundation's List; submission trackers:  Sonar 3, Writer's Planner, The Writer's Database, LibreOffice; and market response statistics:  Black Holes, the Write 1/Sub 1 Forum at Absolute Write, The Rejections and Acceptances Log.

Two are new market listings:  Submitomancy and The Submission Grinder.  I've linked the Grinder in case you'd like to help them out; for all ten links, please see Author Alden, above.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Greetings from the year 2013.

I've been quiet here lately.  From mid-August onward, 2012 had a lot of rough spots.

Of course high spots existed -- Chicon 7, for one.  :D  Christmas Day was another... as was Election Night.

Family members went in and out of hospital.  Multiple times.  I had computer problems again, which made the summer highly exciting.  Okay, nerve-wracking. I didn't make it to WFC 2012 like I'd planned to.

And there was the Connecticut tragedy.

I hope you all had a good start to your 2013.  I'm anticipating this year.  Why?  Why not?  Every year I meet more people who make life matter.

Happy New Year.

And Immortal ConFusion starts on 18-January.  Hope to see you there.  8)