The inter-connected nature of everything

So here I am in South Australia, visiting my children, and I think I have packed everything so I can continue to do some writing work. This morning I typed in the list of books by Dave Freer – I was shocked to find the list had already got to 25 (including CLOUD-CASTLES) and entered the shorts (but not anthologies I have had stories in) and corrected it and saved.

OK. Done. And then having fought through Thorpe-Bowker to give it a ISBN… DONE. And now to my e-mails to get the updated cover… and then, well, to start looking at Amazon… Oh hell’s teeth. My e-mail password is NOT saved on this computer. Well, I can always ask Cedar for it to be sent again, to my son’s address. Oh… oh. My Amazon password is also not on the laptop. And the recovery goes to that e-mail address.

So: here I am, a long way from home, and no way of getting that book out until I get back there.

Which kind of brings me around to writing topic for tonight. So much of our world rests on the shoulders of other things. Yes, there are redundancies, different ways to skin a cat. Those too rest on other things being achieved. I think we’re seeing quite a lot of that in the various supply-chain issues at the moment. One small thing missing – oh we make another plan. Which in turn requires some other small thing… so we make another plan. This may work… or my hit yet another glitch.

Essentially that’s the anatomy of a good novel. The hero who comes along and moves seamlessly from triumph to triumph may be something we’d like to have happen, but personally I find little to identify with, let alone sympathize with. Besides… it’s dull.

So here am I, working on another book instead. That path is closed for now. Nil carborundum, illigitimi.

17 comments

  1. FWIW had a similar experience on a recent visit to youngest son and his family in Ghod forsaken Illinois.
    Took my travel laptop and had prepped it with links for all my regular sites, blogs, and such.
    Simply could not get my e-mail to work until the last evening of the five day trip at which point some 300 messages suddenly filled my inbox.
    Fortunately nothing particularly time sensitive that could not be dealt with when I returned home.
    Had, by the way, a lovely visit with everyone and a taste of the significant difference in cultures between red Alabama and bright blue Illinois. In Bama masks are a matter of personal preference. In the Land of Lincoln folks are still being bullied rather aggressively.

  2. I’m sorry this happened, but looking forward to getting your book! What part of SA are you in? Most of my family is in Adelaide, but some are more spread out.

  3. There are writers who maintain the hero should always fail before the end, but the vast majority of stories have the hero move forward because nothing else would move the story. Sam and Frodo do make it to Mordor.

    1. Maybe struggle is a better way to frame it? Because while they succeed in the end, they go through a lot of mistakes and setbacks along the way, even right up to the end.

  4. I am facing the prospect of over a week without computer or internet. Part of me is dreading this, because I have so much I have to do between now and the onset of the spring term. Part of me is looking forward to having an iron-clad alibi for not answering e-mails. I won’t get much writing done, either, I suspect, but that’s what this week is for.

    1. All the supply-chain and plan-backup plan-secondary backup plan mess reminds me of the rhyme of “for want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost . . .” I dearly hope that my local municipality has plans and back-up plans for the water supply system and power to the water supply system, because that’s the one thing that we can’t bring in from outside if we have to. “For want of an o-ring, the generator quit. For want of the generator, the water pump quit. For want of a pump, the water flow quit . . .”

      1. They had that in Texas. The natural gas pumps used to be turned by natural gas powered engines. To reduce ‘carbon emissions’ the government required that they be replaced with electric motors.

        So, when the power started going out, the pumps that supplied natural gas to the natural gas-fired electrical generating plants stopped. And could not be restarted until power was restored, WITHOUT those natural-gas power stations. The loss of gas supply to people’s houses and businesses was almost incidental by comparison.

        The politicians and bureaucrats never knew about that connection. In their ignorance they made stupid rules that bit everybody in the ass. How many more of those little ‘gotchas’ are lurking in the Democrats’ Big Bloated Bullshit Bill?
        ———————————
        There is nothing so simple that the government can’t fuck it up.

        1. I remember. I was d-ng lucky because my corner of the state isn’t on Ercot. Even so, we had rolling blackouts because of the cold, and the power being shipped TO Ercot. Snowvid 21 is one of lowlights of the year, which is saying a lot.

      2. I remember when the “Just In Time” idea hit manufacturing hit in the 1980s. People made a bundle teaching courses about it, books and articles were written, and everyone jumped aboard to shave that last few mills of profit margin. And I kept pointing out “what if there’s a trucker’s strike, or a bridge goes out, or a downstream supplier shuts down?” And the reply was always a condescending sneer or “STFU, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

        1. From my reading, there’s a difference between JIT as done by consultants and Toyota’s approach (TPS), which emphasizes things like short supply chains and quick change overs, so Toyota can build what people want to buy, instead of what the planners expected. When demand is unpredictable and products change quickly, unused inventory quickly becomes unusable.

        2. Years ago during my time with that small independent government agency someone proposed a considerable savings by going to just in time for major shuttle components and eliminating storage of spares at KSC. Thing is those components were produced in Louisiana and shipped by barge through the intercoastal waterway, a two week trip in good weather. Gulf coast down past Key West then up the Atlantic side to Canaveral. I pointed out that the route was subject to countless tropical storms and hurricanes which might just possibly disrupt their ever so clever just in time deliveries.
          That particular proposal hit file 13 very shortly after my remark.

          1. Again, note that an important part of TPS is short supply chains. If you don’t have them, then it really limits how lean you can be.

            A lot of trendy (aka consultant driven) JIT ends up being “push inventory back on vendors”, which really isn’t just in time.

  5. The other interesting thing about the connections is how they define and drive characters.

    I finally finished that fanfic thing I’d been working on. One of the things that jumped out at me was, once I really knew how the different characters were connected and related to each other, things just started happening.

    And when a side character just pipes in with “She’s like that kid sister everyone has, you know? The one that’s a super serious and trying to hard? And she someone, I dunno, pile drives her from low Earth orbit? You just wanna find them and make them pay.” I’m like: cool! Free conflict.

  6. I’m running into the password oopses as well. I’ve had to change several due to a data breach (luckily none of the data correlated to particular accounts, emails, or user names so they have passwords and users but not who’s is who’s, so all it’s done is make it inconvenient unless some scriptkiddie gets lucky) and I often forget just what I used and where the special character is, or what letters I capitalized, etc.

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