Month: October 2011

Adjusted earnings




I’m of two minds on this article: On the one hand, copyright law is completely effed (thank you, Disney!) and should be scrapped and rewritten for the 21st century. Artists should be free to use others’ works to create new art, providing a. credit and attribution is given appropriately, and b. the original work is kept available for anyone to view/read/buy etc.


On the other hand, as it is, the Philip K. Dick estate has been very lenient in allowing others to play with his stories — very lenient (I’m looking at you, “Next” and “Paycheck.”) The estate is simply wanting to get what was previously agreed and promised to them, and they’re certainly in the right for that! In this case, the studio is simply looking for a loophole to avoid their obligations (as is their usual M.O.).


As a freakin huge fan of PKD, even with business ethics that put the estate in the right, aside, I want the estate to win. But I must still admit — I think the film was much better than the story, which suffers from PKD’s too-often emotionally sterile style.


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General update

This is just a general update as it’s been a while since I posted. Did I mention on here I’m  a struggling writer?Yeah, no Internet at the house right now — I’m doing everything on an iPhone on 3G with occasional jaunts to the public library for their WiFi. I attended a social media conference for my day job yesterday. They said not to ask your social media subscribers for money very often else you’ll turn them away. I get that. I’m annoyed when some organization constantly hits me up for cash. So… lemme just post in just thisparagraph and no following paragraphs of this post *grin*: you can buy my very inexpensive collection of five short stories through Smashwords for a discounted $1.99. Please consider it. 🙂

So, what else am I doing with my time?

Well, I’m halfway through editing that novel I finished. It never fails to amaze me just how badly and constantly I need to edit what I write. This novel, for example: I’d submitted the first two chapters to a writing workshop once, and naturally I edited the chapters before submitting it. And, I edited them after getting feedback. Then, I edited them yet again (along with the rest of the first 2/3 of the novel) before submitting them for my Master’s thesis. Even so, going back over them for this completed draft edit, there’s still many places where I stopped in shock at just how bad a sentence was, or a piece of action. I wonder to myself, did I write this?! 

I should be glad that I’m growing as a writer to be able to improve my writing with every passing look. I just wish the writer I was immediately before each improvement wasn’t such a bad writer!

Anyway, I’m hoping to get most, if not all, of the rest of the novel edited. Then, off it’ll go to some test readers for their comments. Following that, another edit, and then self-publish as I look for an agent. Fortunately, agents (and editors and publishers) aren’t leery as they once were to buy novels that’ve been self-published. In many ways, it can serve as a proving-ground for the the novel’s potential.

But first, wrap it up here at the library and take a 20 minute nap — it was an early morning!


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Magic’s nostalgia

I’ve been experiencing a very specific form of nostalgia lately. Coming to mind a lot has been a very particular time of my life, primarily centered around the books I was reading then, and evoking a mood or feeling in me that may be a mix of the feelings I felt then — but most certainly just a nostalgia for that time.

It was about 1998, spring. A crazy and mixed up, but at the same time, incredibly wonderful and hopeful time. My wife and I were living in Des Moines, before we found out she was pregnant. I was working, first, as a shift supervisor at a Waldenbooks, then briefly at a Sam Goody, then as tech support for an ISP. The Waldenbooks gig sucked. I’d been the assistant manager of another Waldenbooks before we transferred to Iowa for my wife’s promotion with her job, and it was a good job! But the Des Moines store was a huge disappointment. The Sam Goody was just a very brief stint while something better was found, which was the ISP support job.

We only had the one car, and wife needed to use it more than I, so I would either walk home from the mall of Waldenbooks, or take the bus to/from the city for the ISP job. And it was during that time that I started reading Mercedes Lackey. Specifically, her “Last Herald Mage” trilogy. I read it walking home, I read it on the bus, I read it between support calls. It was captivating, gripping, tragic, and magical.

Of course, I loved them, but they’re not the best books I’ve ever read. Also, I was still a voracious novel reader then so I’m sure I ate through those three and the “mage wars” books I read next within a week, two at the most — so it MUST have only been during one of those jobs. But, I remember reading them while walking, and I remember reading them while eating at this great little Chinese restaurant in the same building as the ISP job. *shrug* Memory is a funny thing.

Anyway, the nostalgia is partly for the experience of reading those evocative books: they’re the first novels I’d read that featured a gay hero, and that was fascinating. And they’re one of the rare fantasy books/series that I’d read that had such a dramatic and personal story. But also, it was a heady, new, and exciting time of my life that has become linked to those books — or, rather, to the reading of those books, most likely. And for various reasons, that’s been coming to mind quite a bit.

Is there a book or series that you’ve read that is indelibly linked to a particular time of your life?


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