>Mad Genius Monday

>Since Dave is being hammered by all the things that need to be done following his mother’s passing, he will not be posting today.

Instead, the Mad Geniuses have opened the lab. Step carefully, mind the strange bubbling stuff over there (no, don’t drink it!) and have fun. We take no responsibility for any strange ideas you might pick up.

No politics (unless it’s fictional political systems), religion (ditto), or insults, please.

If you’ve got a work in progress, perhaps you might like to see what the Mad Geniuses think of it. Or perhaps you just want to hold forth in iambic pentameter about the weirdness of the world. Ladies, gentlemen, and others, you have the floor. Please put it back when you’ve finished with it.


  1. >Oooo! Permission to do weird stuff? Shiny! Okay. In an SF novel that's sitting on the back burner awaiting further work, I have AI, that are simply very good computers. And then I have Artificial Personalities. "Real" people who happen to be an accident artifact of an idiosyncrasy in their hardware. Taking this as a given, do you think such an AP, developing in our society would assume a gender for itself? The novel's based on Fancy Farmer the short story in Baen's Universe. Second story down, if you're interested.http://matapam.livejournal.com/

  2. >matapam,I've written an answer and erased it twice now. Suffice to say, it depends. ;)I'm steadily making progress on a short story that has been interesting to write. The main character is a raven. Nothing happens in the story without the raven seeing it or interacting with whatever is happening. The tricky part is that the raven only really notices things that a raven would notice. So I'm trying to put enough information in that the reader gets the full picture, but still adhere to the idea that if the raven doesn't notice it, then it's not written into the story.In order to do this I have to play a bit. If there's an item in a room that I want to describe to the reader, I have to describe it in a manner that indicates the interest of the raven (generally it's shiny and he plays with it). And then I compound the whole thing by dangling this question on how sentient is the raven, really? And why are the regions people so afraid of him? It has been fun so far.

  3. >I've been having a lot of fun writing it. I'm not in love with the latest installment (I think it's out of place and not particularly well written), but the raven's perspective and antics are a hoot.

  4. >Matapam,I think the APs would have to assume a gender. If they communicated in English they have no choice.Other than that, it is a really difficult question. Perhaps they could misunderstand the whole gender thing and apply gender depending on how they are feeling, based on a child-like association with emotions and stereotyping until they evolve more maturity and understanding.

  5. >My primary concern is overcoming the doubt and lack of motivation that seem to be plaguing my writing. With two separate novels almost finished, I picked a really bad time to freeze up.What keeps your nose to the grindstone?

  6. >Darwin, I too wonder how folks keep at it. My writing is intermittent since I'm given to understand that the real job does require my daily participation. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. >Darwin, Chris, it's all making yourself do it. Maybe it's only five minutes a day and maybe it isn't on your current wip. The important thing is to write. When I was at that spot a year or so ago, Sarah sent me a book that suggested an exercise. Get up half an hour earlier than usual and take that time to write. Not on what your current wip is, but just write. Oh, and you were to do it longhand, no computers allowed. Fill two pages of lined paper with random thoughts, story ideas, whatever. The whole point was to simply write something.Strange as it seems, it helped. But so did just forcing myself to sit my butt in the chair and work. It is very easy to fall into the pattern of being "blocked" or "too busy" or whatever. The challenge comes in finding ways around it. Give up the morning paper or blogs for ten minutes of writing. Same thing at night…You get the idea.

  8. >I'm with Amanda on that one – I generally try to write something in the first couple of hours while I'm at work, before everyone else starts to arrive and in between doing my actual job (I do a lot of "kick this off, let it do its thing" stuff where I can squeeze a few minutes here, a few there). That way if nothing happens evenings and weekends, I've still managed to do something.And on a completely different topic – http://nakedphilologist.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/why-teenage-girls-become-medieval-nerds-a-very-long-exposition/And no, I am NOT the Australian commenter who set up torture dioramas with barbie dolls. I just beheaded mine.

  9. >Chris – cool. I'm always interested in good additions to the Dracula mythos. (There have been some shockers. Not naming names or anything but there are some truly BAD ones out there)

  10. >Kate,You are too, too correct there. I'm always careful when it comes to the Dracula mythos. There was a trilogy I read in high school though… it was the dracula story but from Dracula's family's viewpoint. I really liked it and I really need to read it again. Off to amazon I go to try and find it.If I find it, I'll let you know who the author was and we can talk. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. >Chris,It certainly was. As I recall the twist in the tail was both well done, nicely foreshadowed, and I didn't figure it out until it happened. There aren't many authors who can do that for me.Some of them ::cougheddingscough:: I have the main plot twists figured out by book 2 of 5 or whatever. It's nice to be surprised by a well placed twist.

  12. >Kate,It's also the only book series I've attempted to provide a summary of for a family member. My Aunts response was essentially "eww, shutup!". I still don't get that. Good series. It's not like I was talking about "Ghost". ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. >Ahhhhh! Save me from the slush! The woman destined to be the love of the MC's life has just been described as a "natural bleach blond."Instead, let's talk about how Urban Fantasy writers write about places they've never been. My only attempt at the genre had to happen where I grew up, more or less. An attempt to site one in Switzerland was doomed from the start. Which brings up another question. How many of you have been tempted by the LHC?

  14. >I need some bleach for my brain, after the next manuscript. Bouncing POV, apparently does not comprehend that first and third person should not be mixed in the same scene, and is a man(or woman) of all times, past, present, and future. I am not going to look at the writer's name, so as to protect the privacy of a writer who needs a lot more experience.Mike! Quick Sell one of my manuscripts! I need to quit this job! My brains! My brains!

  15. >Oh dear lord. Matapam, I feel your pain. I'm crosseyed just thinking about that.I recommend a large dose of Pratchett followed by copious quantities of alcohol. It might not fix the problem, but you won't care any more.

  16. >LHC — Laurel Hamilton Club? I've tried, in the past, but the thing is, I don't think in sexual enough terms. Or rather… I don't think of men that way. Yeah, yeah, dirtiest mind east, west and south of the Pecos river, but dear heavens and and other ethereal dependencies …On re-reading guilty pleasures, I thought I just don't think about guys like OBJECTS and trophies enough. And mind you, that was from the CLEAN phase. I mean, clearly it has a following and all — I JUST don't think it's for me. Frankly, I hadn't even read it in some years.As for natural bleach blonde… well, my hair went white when I was pregnant with Robert and I spent ten years dying it back to its natural color. Then I gave up and started dying it whatever is on sale. Whee. I'm a natural bleach miser!

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