Month: March 2010 Page 1 of 2

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-29

  • The "Obamacare is from SATAN" people are cheesing me off. Hello? I hope you got paid to go against your own best interests there. #
  • Don't like it? Fix it. But don't take away the chance of writers being able to GET insurance. #
  • Done writing for the night! Almost done with the first draft of mystery project–80% or so. #
  • I'm getting to the point where I don't want it to be oooover. #
  • Dude. From the new phone. #
  • @tafkae Does the dirt just float away when you listen to Sigur Ros? Apparently not. in reply to tafkae #
  • Forgot the phone at home this morning, post-blizzard. Duuuuhhhhhh. #
  • On the last block of the WIP, first draft. Waaaahhhhhh! #
  • Ugh. Nap attack. #
  • WIP first draft is done! #
  • WIP first draft done. My goal today: INBOX 0. #
  • @DaphneUn A stuffed mole. Does it have the face tentacle things? in reply to DaphneUn #
  • Snowing under a blue sky. #
  • Down to two e-mails, one of which I will resolve today. #
  • I just realized Lee's beard looks like the lead singer of Static X's hair. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWdA1DKfbwo&feature=channel #
  • Updated Alien Blue with new beginning and incorporated Richard's comments. #
  • Down to one last e-mail. #
  • And none! DING DING DING! NO E-MAILS IN THE INBOX! Yesssssss! #
  • Ray's singing, "Z is for zombies, z is for zombies, zombies eat braaaaaaaaaains, z is for zombies." #
  • @ianthealy You are having all the luck with this trip, aren't you? in reply to ianthealy #

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What’s your all-time favorite movie, book, TV show…

That is, the type of entertainment you turn to in times of trouble?  The Bible actually works with this (the New Testament, anyway), so pick something else.

I have predictions about what type of story you’ll pick.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-22

  • Blog: No more recipes for a while… http://foodie.deannaknippling.com/?p=2165 #
  • Repo! vs Repo Men. http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=58903 #
  • Lee says it's almost grilling season. Yay! #
  • Almost done with the writing slog for tonight. Come on…just one more grotesque death. You can do it…you can do it… #
  • @ianthealy I am ALWAYS open for suggestions of grotesque death. Although I keep finding myself toning them down for the audience. in reply to ianthealy #
  • @ianthealy Also, grotesque deaths pervaded with black humor are a plus. #
  • Plan: Write. Haircuts. Groceries. Nap. Mix up dough for sweetrolls tomorrow a.m. Margaritas at Pine Creek. Cowboy Beebop. #
  • Tomorrow: TAXES. #
  • @ianthealy re mistaken for m'am: "Thanks. Just because I'm a bearded lady doesn't mean I enjoy being taken for a guy." in reply to ianthealy #
  • @ianthealy But then I like to mess with people. #
  • Extended bouts of small talk are like jerking on the lawnmower cord to get a real conversation going: repetitive and painful. #
  • I really don't spend much time in small talk land. I pounce on any weird detail. Like a hobby for historical scuba diving. Zowie! #
  • Today is tax day. #
  • Today is tax day. Please distract me. Pllllleeeeeeeeaaaaase. #
  • Also, I bought a cell phone online. If I don't give you my number, it's because I haven't figured out how yet. Or it's not here yet. #
  • @ChuckWendig YOU GAVE BIRTH TO A MONKEY!?! in reply to ChuckWendig #
  • @ChuckWendig Heh. in reply to ChuckWendig #
  • @MShades01 ex, Madeleine Preyroux http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl-cVgAU8K8 in reply to MShades01 #
  • Calculate my home office, bitch! [Beats computer.] #
  • How do you figure out the value of your land without your house if it's not on your property tax statement? [Whimper] #
  • Banh mi = delicious. #
  • Er, banh mi are Vietnamese meatball subs with basil, jalapenos, pickled carrots & radish, cilantro, etc. #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-15

  • Evil! RT @FakeAPStylebook Remember: "its" means "it is" and "it's" is the possessive form of "it." #
  • Groooan. RT @ChuckWendig Yes, grass-fed ribyes. Come to me. Come to this hot pan over here. MOO HOO HA HA HA. #
  • Yes (female) – Mom. @mightymur Question to male authors: IF you swear in your novels, do people complain and tell you it's "not necessary?" #
  • Sounds like a purity test I took in college. @elizawhat
    The MMPI test I'm taking is 500+ questions long! http://tweetphoto.com/13824065 #
  • @elizawhat You know, that purity test *was* pretty tiresome. in reply to elizawhat #
  • @Three_Star_Dave I believe that was a minor subsection. Although Felix the Cat was mentioned several times, too. in reply to Three_Star_Dave #
  • I tried that, but the shrieking made my ears hurt. @tafkae I should rewatch Excel Saga if I ever have time #
  • Why is it so hard to get anything done when it's yucky out? It's not like I'm going outside. #
  • @MargieKleerup Oh, but you should see the foodie stuff I run across. Try @ChuaoChocoholic, @averagebetty, @thehungrymouse just to start. in reply to MargieKleerup #
  • @tafkae I watched the first two episodes of Excel Saga in English. in reply to tafkae #
  • I am done with Colorado Springs traffic. Not one but TWO accidents on the way home. #
  • However, Ray is getting ready for her yellow belt test, so I may have to get over this anti-driving attitude quickly. #
  • Also, don't mock people who have just emerged from traffic. #
  • Break's over! Write write write! #
  • @tafkae I should give the Japanese setting a try. in reply to tafkae #
  • La la la la la la la laa, la la laaaa! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEY6_jcrzI8 #
  • Look, I'm a writer. "How to hotwire an armored truck" is an acceptable search term. #
  • Delicious with pancakes? RT @MsAllieD I like my bacon like I like my men… #
  • @MSAllieD @IanTHealy Brain surgery. #
  • @MSAllieD @IanTHealy And Hummer limos. The same day… #
  • I just came up with the perfect way to hide a spare key in your car, and I am so not telling you. #
  • Last night was a lot of messing around, disguised as research with a minimum wordcount. Today is getting shit done. #
  • Major milestone in WIP reached. Time for…breakfast! #
  • KKR's latest Freeland Survival Guide on risk taking: http://kriswrites.com/2010/03/11/freelancers-survival-guide-risks-part-one/ #
  • Back to work! [Crack.] #
  • @Three_Star_Dave Good job, Brown Belt Dave! in reply to Three_Star_Dave #
  • @Three_Star_Dave And give K a hug from me. She does good karate. in reply to Three_Star_Dave #
  • Took Ray to belt test practice. She learned her first kata yesterday and did it solo today. So proud! #
  • Then, raced back to the house to pick up Lee and drove to CULPEPPER'S. Then a nap. http://www.culpeppers.net #
  • I had the sampler with gumbo, red beans, shrimp etouffe, maque choux, and hush puppies. #
  • Ray had her first hush puppy. And her second. And her third. And her fourth… #
  • Lee shared his catfish and a piece of alligator. I didn't care for the alligator the last time I had it, but that was somewhere else. #
  • @ianthealy I have yet to run into anyplace in Cheyenne that I would recommend a special swing-by for. in reply to ianthealy #
  • I plead, "Come on. It could happen." #
  • Almost halfway thru WIP. However, starting to get creeped out. A sign of both effective writing and the end of the session. #
  • I thought I had reached my snort-inducing limit. No. The music swells, a romantic kiss, and a bad pun followed. #

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February Brust: Yendi (Part 3)

C11.  Laris owns the flats where the riots occurred.  Vlad hires Sticks, who has connections with local musicians.  Flats previously owned by Baritt.  Baritt had been assassinated.

C12.  Cawti reacts to the riot:  “He’s using our people.  That’s us, Easterners, being set up to be beaten and killed…”  Vlad:  “I hate them…I started ‘working’ so I could get paid for killing them.”  Sethra the Younger described as a tall, dark-haired Dragaeran woman.

C14.  Vlad figures out that Cawti and Norathar were set up to be killed.

C15.  Adron, Sethra, Barrit, and the Sorceress in Green all knew each other in the days before the Interregnum and got along.  Vlad unravels the plot.

C16.  Another desc of a meal at Dzur Mountain skipped.  Oh, well.  “You wouldn’t want her to turn you into a newt.”  “I’ll get better.”

C17.  Mentions that the Empress is a friend of the Sorceress in Green.  Crap.  I can’t remember any of that crowd who was a Dragon.  Cawti mentions that she no longer has a patronymic.

Notes:

Brust has been laying down the setup for the third book, Teckla, since book one. (Aiyy, I dread rereading that.  It’s good, though.)  I suspect that Teckla wasn’t written in response to his divorce.    Wow.  I’m really having a hard time finding info on that, as probably I should.  Nevermind; I’ll let it go.

I still haven’t seen any sign of the Duke of Galstan, who is one of my favorite Brust characters.  Oh, well.

Next month:  Teckla.

February Brust: Yendi (Part 2)

C4.  Description of Adrilankha, noted as the town where Kieron met with the Shamans and made a stand.  “…but Kieron won the battle anyway, thus securing the foundations of an Empire of Dragaerans.  Shame about that.”  Vlad determines to build a spy network, if he gets out of this.  Vlad meets with Morrolan and corrects him on a point of witchcraft, gets money.

C5.  A brief description of how Vlad met Morrolan and attacked him.  Kiera gives Vlad a diamond to help keep him funded.  (How did she find out?  We know, now.)  “I had occasion to visit Dzur Mountain recently.”  The Jhereg is tired of the war; Vlad is taken by Toronnan to Terion and warned off.  The Empire is putting pressure on the Jhereg.

C6.  A description of the Empress.  Vlad mentions that he’s descended Deathsgate Falls.  Vlad’s office is destroyed; he decides to set up in Laris’s office.  The Phoenix Guards leave the area.  Vlad attacked by the Sword and Dagger.  Vlad dead.

C7.  Revivification.  Devera calls Vlad “Uncle Vlad” and mentions Aliera as “mommy” and Morolan as “Uncle Rollan.”  “Don’t mention to Mommy that you saw me, okay?”  Vlad meets Cawti and, five minutes later, is in love.

C8.  Aliera and Morrolan arguing about Norathar.  Aliera mentions that Kragar was thrown out of the House of the Dragon.  Sethra discusses how to join the Phoenix Guard.  Athyra never serve, nor Phoenix.  Empress’s lover is an Easterner; Morrolan claims never to have met him.  Sethra the Younger wants to conquer the East.  ‘”That isn’t the point,” said Aliera.  “If we drain off enough resources, what happens if a real enemy shows up?  The Easterners are no threat to us now–”  “What real enemy?” said Sethra.  “There isn’t–”  I stood and left them to their argument.  It couldn’t have anything to do with me, in any case.’  The plan to conquer the east, or the real enemy?

C9.  Vlad attacked again.  Establishing the plan to switch weapons.  Vlad beaten up by the Phoenix Guard.  Daymar did a mind probe on the guards, who were pulled from the Jhereg war due to a riot in the Easterner’s quarter.  Suspicions of Laris being supported by someone who’s rich.

C10.  A meal at Dzur mountain.  Aliera:  “Second, Daddy wasn’t really the heir.  …There was a war, and he was killed.  There was talk of his child not being a Dragon.”  Heir is Norathar. First gene scan of Norathar done by Sethra the Younger. “She served her apprenticeship about twelve hundred years ago now.  When I’d taught her all I could, she did me the honor of taking my name.”  “Dragonlord?”  “Of course.” … “If someone did a spell to make it look like she wasn’t a full Dragon, Baritt must have been in on it.  The Lyorn could have been fooled.”  Nobody ate anything.

More later…

Belated February Brust: Yendi (Part 1)

I think if you fined me a nickel every time I spelled “Steven Brust” as “Stephen Brust” I’d probably be a poor, poor woman.  Cripes.

Yendi is the book that starts out with the onion metaphor.

Kragar says that life is like an onion, but he doesn’t mean the same thing by it that I do.

He talks about peeling it, and how you can go deeper and deeper, until finally you get to the center and nothing is there. I suppose there’s truth in that, but in the years when my father ran a restaurant, I never peeled an onion, I chopped them; Kragar’s analogy doesn’t do much for me.

When I say that life is like an onion, I mean this: if you don’t do anything with it, it goes rotten. So far, that’s no different from other vegetables. But when an onion goes bad, it can do it from either the inside, or the outside. So sometimes you get one that looks good, but the core is rotten. Other times, you can see bad spot on it, but if you cut that out, the rest is fine. Tastes sharp, but that’s what you paid for, isn’t it?

I can’t help but wonder whether Brust sees Vlad as rotten in the core or with a bad spot. Probably the former, or Vlad wouldn’t be so sympathetic. Vlad, on the other hand, probably sees himself as the second, at least in this book.  There’s Vlad’s character arc for you across the series right there–figuring out that it’s just a bad spot, and then cutting it out.

Oh, yeah.  It’s also the book where Vlad takes over Laris’s territory, falls in love with Cawti, and pisses off the Jhereg for the first time.

I didn’t manage to spot Our Favorite Yendi, Pel, overtly in the pages of the book, but I have to wonder if he’s behind it all.  Or at least in part.  Indirectly.  He’s still around in Vlad’s time, as far as I can tell.

C1.  A party at Castle Black.  Brust nicely lays down the “You need a wife” theme; Vlad’s tired of visiting brothels.  Vlad is sneered at by the Sorceress in Green, who isn’t an Athyra (she’s the Yendi, if you remember).

C2.  Vlad lays out the timeline of his start in the Jhereg and how he got his territory.  The math of working for the Jhereg is strangely interesting, implying that something has to be unreasonably profitable for the Jhereg to want to take it on.  There’s a freelance Dragaeran named Ishtvan (an Eastern name).

C3.  Meeting at a restaurant.  The wine Kaavren/Khaav’n is mentioned, as is the fact that the restaurant (The Terrace) has been there since before the Interregnum.  Meal:  pepper sausages, green rice covered with cheese sauce.  Parsley fried in butter, lemon juice, rednut liquor.

More later…

Book Review: First Blood (Rambo)

by David Morrell.

This is the original Rambo novel, which a writer buddy loaned me quite a few months back, and which I am just now reaching on my to-read list.

I never would have picked this up on my own.  Never.

I’m very glad I read it.  It’s not just the story of Rambo, a Green Beret just back from Vietnam, but the story of Sherriff Teasle, a good ol’ boy who’s willing to cause some trouble in order to keep trouble out of his town.  One of the things the ladies said at the Spring PPW Workshop was that for real conflict, both characters, from their own points of view, have to be right.  I don’t think I’ve seen a better book to embody this.

At first, I was rooting for Rambo.  He gets chased out of town for no reason other than vagrancy, and the Sherriff comes across as a dick.  Then you switch chapters, and you sympathize with the Sherriff, who shouldn’t have to put up with this shit sneaking back into town over and over, spoiling for a fight.  Then the two men start one-upping each other, and the body count became uncountable.  Neither one of them would back down, even when they stopped to see things from each other’s point of view.

In the introduction, David Morrell notes that he wanted to put the Vietnam war in America.  He succeeded.

(Spoiler)

I loved the ending, too, in which the two characters main characters die, but with something like compassion for each other in their hearts.  Who else understands?  Nobody who hasn’t been through it.  And us, a little, through our window.

Book Review: Unseen Academicals

by Terry Pratchett.

I liked Nation, but in a distant, pastel kind of way.  I liked Unseen Academicals much better.

One.  Hey!  It’s not just a romance, and a competently written double romance, with four interesting main characters.  This, I might note, is not easy to write, and Terry Pratchett handles it with the facility of a second Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.

Two.  The Shove.  Terry Pratchett digs into the group mind and comes up with a consistent but not-directly-stated psychology.  How do people act in groups?  Why do they become like a different creature when they get into large groups–and why sometimes, but not always?  How do demagogues shove us around so easily?  Why do obvious lies get so much credence?

With the Shove, Unseen Academicals is a small education in thinking for yourself, like all the best Terry Pratchett novels.

Book Review: Old Man’s War

by John Scalzi.

This book is a pleasant ripoff of Heinlein, with better humor, better writing, better plotting, and a better touch of the perversely funny.

Not as touching or moving as Heinlein at the top of his game; no Fridays or Jubals or glorious star-named twins.  But good.

Also, check out this opening:

I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife’s grave. Then I joined the Army.

C’est magnifique, non?

Also, I really like the conceit that only old people are allowed to sign up for the war.  Logically speaking, there’s an excuse for it, but it really doesn’t make any sense when you get right down to it.  Nevertheless, I really liked it as a hook, and it set up the end of the book, which I also stand behind as a hell-yeah.  Expect a review of the next book within, um, mere months!

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