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Hard Lessons

Peoples of the Future! I write to you from the distant past! Some of you will be reading this year(s?) in the future (like, maybe, almost 24 hours after I post it *cough*). I can only imagine the wonders your eyes have seen. The advances humanity has made in that time. The jokes, the memes, the pop cultural references of which I cannot even conceive. I envy you, future peoples.
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And the Controversy Continues

It is early and I have a couple of things I need to deal with this morning before I can sit down to do a full blog post. In the meantime, the controversy surrounding the RWA/Courtney Milan issue continues. I haven’t had time to do more than a cursory look into the latest from RWA about what happened yesterday. Here are a couple of links. I will say, no matter now this shakes out, RWA is right. It has lost the trust of its membership, on both sides of the issue. The question is going to be how it recovers and what steps it takes moving forward.

Here are the links. I’ll be back later.

12/30 Statement from the RWA12/30 Statement from the RWA

12/30 NYT article12/30 NYT article

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Soylent?

You know, we better shift on. We’ve only got two years and two days to start serving soylent green. The people-scooping seems remarkably lack-luster, and, what’s worse, I hear that New York hasn’t flooded either. Didn’t James Hansen tell us that was going to happen some time back? Or was that one one the other doomsters? It’s hard to keep track of the disasters de jour, as hard as the latest political fad de jour. I think bestiality is probably due to claim victim status… but predictions are hard. It’s best to make them about the past. After all, we all know the past is fluid and infinitely possible manipulate and adjust, whereas the future is clearly and irrevocably defined. Written in stone, as it were. Read more

It’s all over but the shaking.

Yes, the shaking. Back when I was a young pilot in Alaska, so new eggshell was still stuck behind my ears, I got myself into a situation that I just barely had enough skill to get myself out of. (Luck played an important part in that, and the grace of G-d, as well as training.)

After the airplane was no longer trying to become one with the most firma terra, after I’d flown home, after the airplane was parked and tied down (for the elements and the machine will never stop trying to kill you, until the flight is fully finished), I sat down and shook. For almost an hour.

Later, when talking to a mentor who’s been there and done that has worn out the stack of t-shirts, I was rather shamefaced and chagrined at the whole thing – and quite embarrassed at shaking like the last leaf still stuck on a tree in an artic gale ripping through the pass at over a hundred knots. And he said, very gently, “It’s all right to shake, after it’s over. It’s normal. It’s… everybody does that, girl. The key is – after it’s over. Do what you have to do, and then shake and scream and cry and cuss afterwards. Nobody who’s been there is going to look down on you for that.”

So… 2019. Yeah, it’s pretty much all over but the shaking, the after-action review, and the paperwork. Speaking of, 4th quarter taxes are due on Jan 15.

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Prompted Writing

I’ve been toying with an idea, so hear me out for a minute here. Years ago I was part of a prompt group. I don’t remember just how I got involved – through a friend, I think – but at a time when I struggled to find the time to write, getting a little prompt once a week and then writing was very helpful to keep me going. The comments I got on my writing also helped motivate me. You can find some of my prompts here, and here, and here. I did this for a year or so, taking part when I could – you weren’t locked in to doing it every week – and was very sad when the project folded. I’ve missed it, off an on, since then. Read more

Old-school journalism, old-school writers

I was interested to read an article titled “The Golden Age of Fleet Street“.  The author reminisces about his career in journalism, and how, in the old days, reporters had to “climb the career ladder” from local, to provincial, to national newspapers, and “earn their stripes” the hard way.  He points out that the current model is radically different.

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Regency Collection

At this time of year I’m more inclined to sit back, digest, and think over the past year than to do anything more creative than finding room for another piece of pie. And one of the great joys of the last year – well, the last couple-three years, actually – has been the discovery of research sources that would have made me think I’d died and gone to Heaven, back in the unlamented days when I made weekly pilgrimage to the university library to lug home a double armload of books that just might contain some of the nuggets of information I was looking for. With reprints, online books and useful websites, easily available information on Regency manners and mores, in particular, has exploded since those days; here’s a quick list of some of the sites and books I’ve found most useful (and most dangerous, considered as time sinks). Read more