Month: November 2007 Page 1 of 4

Iron Road: Rah Rah Rah!

I’m less than 200 words from 50K and about halfway done. This is tempered by the rejection e-mail I got yesterday. Stupid, ill-timed rejection letters.

“All right, folks,” Gil said. “Let’s start unloading this stuff!”

Cochran went back into the ship. When Nancy came out with an armload of big hinges, she saw him sitting in a folding chair outside the ship. She tossed the hinges on the ground, went back inside, and pulled out a load of blankets and pillows instead.

“Getting laid?” Cochran asked.

“You make it sound like I’m an egg,” Nancy said.

“Mmm. Eggs,” Cochran said. She didn’t know what he was talking about and wasn’t going to ask; it was probably some old German sex joke she didn’t know about.

She plopped down and waited for Gil to come out. He was carrying a mesh bag full of crap.

“What are the two of you doing?” Gil asked. “This is going to take days.”

Nancy lay flat on her back and looked up at him. “You know, I could use a beer,” she said.

Cochran pulled a flask from behind the chair, took a swig, pointedly failed to offer her any, and belched.

Barlen came out of the zeppelin door behind Gil, took one look at the two of them, and stopped. Nancy patted the blankets beside her. It was a nice day. Blue. Full of clouds. Probably sliding on towards autumn. She should find out what day it was. What month. What year. Did they even use a calendar?

Barlen put down the heavy frame he was trying to carry and sat next to Nancy, who put her head on his knee and pretended to fall asleep. She’d expected to be completely restless from being cooped up in the zeppelin for days, but now that she had the run of the castle, she was content to doze in the sun and remember her fantasies about Barlen. She picked up one of his hands and studied it. Yes, it was just as strong and stubby as she remembered.

“What, you’re all just going to…?” Gil trailed off. “Damn it. I want a beer now, too.”

Iron Road: Define Crap

The zeppelin was stuffed with parts.

“What is all this crap?” she asked Gil.

“Parts,” he said.

Passing Cochran in the hallway: “What is all this crap?”

“Crap,” he said. “F—ing dead weight. I thought you were bad.”

“Better watch it,” she said. “That was almost nice.”

“F— you,” he hissed and disappeared behind the door to the engine room.

She giggled.

Writerly Ponder.

Yes, Virginia. Pound your head on the wall hard enough, for long enough, and you will have character development. But not too much at one time; that’s not believable.

Update: Damn it, the terracotta warriors weren’t found until 1974, so I can’t use them. AAAAUUUUGGGHH! Semi-historical fiction pinches in strange places.

The World’s Biggest Market…

…isn’t the U.S. anymore.

The U.S. has approximately 302 million people.

The E.U. has 495 million.

The E.U. has stricter policies regarding the environment and various toxins that can be used to make stuff, like toys and computers.

The U.S. gets the stuff the E.U. rejects.

I listened to a Fresh Air interview with Mark Shapiro today on the way home. He theorized that one of the reasons the E.U. is so willing to pass environmental/safety laws vs. the U.S. is that the government pays for health care…and they’d rather regulate now and save later. Says a lot about the U.S. problems with socializing medicine, doesn’t it?

(And why the E.U. coming down on Micro$oft was such a big deal, come to think of it.)

Update: Oh, yeah, I forgot. He also mentioned that the cosmetics industry is largely unregulated; they lobbied for an exception to the FDA in the thirties and got it. The E.U. told several companies they had to remove all: 1) cancer causing, 2) causing genetic mutation, and 3) reproductive illness-causing chemicals. Guess where the companies don’t have to do this? Supposedly, just as an example, 1/3 of ALL LIPSTICKS SOLD IN THE U.S. contain lead. And they don’t have to list it as an ingredient — basically, they can list whatever ingredients they want here. Because it’s not regulated.

Is that a taser in your pocket…

…or are you just happy to see me?

Pink seal mini taser.

(via Retrospectacle.)

Steven Brust is Screwed…

He may have to go into bankruptcy in order to pay the IRS and his medical bills. Here’s his donation page, set up under protest it looks like, if you’re interested. He says he’s doing better now, though.

Iron Road: Depression

I’m at the point where I have to say, “What was I thinking? THIS IS NEVER GOING TO WORK!”

I took most of today off to do Christmas shopping and mess around with plot: one subplot removed, another added, two chapters changed to one, figured out why the main character wasn’t ringing true in the current chapter–she didn’t just get dumped, she just realized she’d been dumped a long time ago, without her knowing about it, but it’s supposed to be okay, because it was for her sake. She isn’t the kind of person who could take this well and needs to fall apart, but slowly, because she doesn’t want to know these things.

Soon enough, it was dark and cold. She pulled a K-ration off the shelf and went back to her cabin to wrap herself in blankets and sleep, which came like a low, gray cloudbank that smothered the tops of buildings and made it known it planned to hang around for days. She woke up hungry but went back to sleep until it passed.

The House of Teller.

Teller has a house in Vegas, of which he says, “Like much of my life, this house is a reflection of everything I wanted back when I was 12.”

Don’t miss the pictures.

Gamer Face.

There’s a pirate in the book who just showed up. I asked Lee what the pirate’s beard should look like.

“A pencil-thin goatee.”

I held up a finger vertically on my chin. “Like this?”

“No.” He drew the line around his chin.

“Ohh. Like a hexagon. Hey! Our pirate’s going to have gamer face!”

One Man’s* Castle

*Or woman’s

The fifteen top castles built largely by one person. Bishop’s Castle is #2. I am totally wanting to check out #14, the Magical Museum of Robert Tatin. But it’s in France. The House on the Rock is #15, which makes two on the list I’ve seen. I could totally think of worse things in life than to mark off all 15.

(via Neatorama.)

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