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Posts by Cedar Sanderson

Enter: Stage Right, Left, and Possibly from Above

It took me a while to start writing this morning. Ideally, the post would have been written ahead of time, but, well, working ten hour days and spending the time standing at the bench making sure everything’s proceeding properly in the lab precludes not only the writing-of-stuff but also the thinking-about-stuff. My First Reader reminded me this morning, still in the wee dark hours, that it was Saturday. Given that last week I’d confused my Saturdays and Sundays and had not written anything AT ALL for this blog, it was a legitimate reminder. So I got up, got coffee, sat down with him to have a chat about topics – we often do this when I don’t have a good idea – and the rest of the family joined us. My Dad, who is staying with us for the Ginja Ninja’s high school graduation this coming Monday. The Ginja Ninja, who needed yarn and a crochet hook. Yeah, um, the ways of teens are passing strange… who wants to crochet before 7 am on a Saturday? Anyway, that one took a while as my yarn was still in a box and if we hadn’t found a random crochet hook we’d still be looking. And then the Little Man, who is terribly excited about his upcoming trip with Grampa, wanted to go over his packing list…

I was thinking, as I fielded questions and comments from all sides (did you know that Coke will take the scale out of a shower head? And that came up because the Junior Mad Scientist hated the way their bathroom’s shower worked, and could she use mine?) that this is something we don’t see done in writing often, but it’s a rich, wonderful, and sometimes very frustrating part of my life. Following multiple people through the threads of several conversations, sometimes with intersections and interruptions, is the lot of any Mother’s life. So is multi-tasking… as I turn back to my computer from a brief conversation about today’s itineraries. Read more

Cockalorum

Definition:

a boastful and self-important person; a strutting little fellow.

This silly little insult is brought to you today by Merriam-Webster, and by an author who writes under the name Faleena Hopkins. Read more

All Upsot

They say you should write what you know. Many writers seem to interpret this as only writing about things they have experienced, which would be very limiting. Me? I’d never have written about a midair conflict between a Roc and a bush plane, or the cerebral battle between an old woman and a relentless alien foe, or… What I do is take things I have observed, or gone through myself, and weave those into tales that are set in other worlds, on other planets, but told about people (no matter their shape or color) very much like ourselves. Write what you know ought to be interpreted in a way to spin the certainties of life into new stories that come to life in reader’s minds with their elements of shared humanity. Read more

7 Habits of Highly Successful Invaders

 

I was driving home from work, appreciating that the switch has been flipped, and suddenly! Spring. The greens are moving all misty into view, and predominantly among them here in Southern Ohio is the Amur Honeysuckle. I was contemplating this, and how that trait is one of the things that makes it a highly successful invasive species, and it dawned on me that there are more ways to invade than are portrayed in movies about aliens. Sure, overwhelming military force is one way. But what other things have species done here on Earth that enabled them to conquer and victoriously rule the forest field stream continent? Read more

BioPharma in Fiction

I think we could all name a story, if asked, that starred some miracle drug that conveyed, say, near-eternal youth, beauty, or other startling effects to all who took it. I do believe there are plots that center around pills that when taken, give the patient huge intelligence. The quest for all these things is hardly new – Ponce de Leon’s trip to Florida was only the first of millions of aging retirees who would seek that warm place looking for the Fountain of Youth. Alchemists for hundreds of years believed they could cure all, or at least transmute dross into gold, and won’t having money cure everything? Elzbet Batory sought youth not in drugs, but in the blood of tender young things, and we’re doing exactly the same thing in the modern era, and no, I’m not pulling your leg. I rather recoiled from the screen when I came across that paper and the article that led me to it.

The problem, of course, is that it doesn’t work that way.

Read more

Blast from the Past: Travel

Howdy, folks. I’m writing this at the tail end of a 12 hr shift, and looking at another six hours tomorrow (normally a day off). I’m a touch loopy at the moment. Sorry I couldn’t come up with anything, um, trendy and coherent. But this post was published four years ago, and on my blog rather than here, so I hope you enjoy it, and it gets you thinking about the many ways we get from here, to there, and the adventures we can write along the way. Oh, and as a side note… four years ago, I assumed we’d land on Mars in my grandchildren’s time, if that soon. Now? I’m thinking another four years may see it done.  Read more

Writing ad Libitum

Writing at one’s pleasure. Anyway, that’s a rough translation of the Latin there. I make no claims to Latin scholarship, but I’d looked up the phrase after seeing it in a paper (rats were given food and water ad libitum) and it struck me that it’s a bit how I used to write. Used to.

Before I went pro with my writing, I’d write when a story struck me, and as a consequence, I have files (or had files, many have been lost or discarded) upon files of snips and scraps of tales that I wrote down simply to amuse myself. Writing ad libitum, as it were. Deciding that I was going to make a more professional tack with the writing took away from the ‘at my pleasure’ but it produced more polished, and egads! Actual finished work. Read more