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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Getting back together

The loves I’ve left behind…

I’ve just had a couple of weeks of my cousins from Brittany visiting. Like us, they’re a family quite content to companionably read, but they like having adventures with – as they call me – Robinson (as in Robinson Crusoe – when the boys were teens, visiting us from French urban life, I introduced them to being hunter-gatherers, which made me ‘Robinson Crusoe’ long before I lived on an island) as well as eating the ‘exotic’ (as in shot or caught or collected ourselves) things which are our normal diet (like the picture), not theirs. It’s been a busy time, spearing, netting, diving, shooting, to say nothing of the prep of the gear, and processing and cooking. Read more

Formatting for Beginning Indie Author-Publishers

I’ve been noticing a few posts from writers just starting to test the waters of Indie publishing. They seem to fall into one of two categories. They are either convinced that they can’t do anything except the writing, and need to pay people to do all the rest, or they are being barraged with replies telling them to get their manuscripts professionally edited. Read more

Escaping the Cave

Rather more often than I would have expected when I started doing this, I find the software testing blogs I read cross-pollinating my observations about writing in general and the industry. I ran across one of them today, talking about Plato’s Cave and how the allegory applies to software teams in the industry, particularly the tendency of those who have been in the “cave” for a long time to fight against any suggestion that there might be another way.

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These People!

These People is a way to start a book not with immediate action, but in a way that makes us interested in what is going on because these people aren’t the sort we meet on our regular walk around the park.

These people grabs with the sheer weirdness of what these people are thinking/doing/talking about.

Mind you, after that you have to hook them with your plot, because, well, you can just keep flashing fascinating people in front of the reader, one after the other.  Or rather you can, but then nothing holds together and even the fascinating people become boring after a while. Read more

The dark side of the man

You love the thunder and you love the rain
What you see revealed within the anger is worth the pain
And before the lightning fades and you surrender
You’ve got a second to look at the dark side of the man.

Jackson Browne: You love the thunder.
Humans are a little like having a lion for a house-pet. Yeah, you raised it, trained it, fed it, cuddled it. It may die one day with its great head on your lap, having lived a happy, contented life with you, as your adored pet.

But there is always that chance… that something, somehow, will take it back to you being prey and it being a very powerful predator. The capacity is there, and, if it remains a lion, always will. Read more

And a Mystery is Solved

If you’ve ever had to deal with medical oddness (which is probably something like 150% of the readers here, because most of us deal with it at least twice over) and had to try to explain to the more normal folks why you just can’t do that – whatever “that” happens to be – you’ll understand the sheer relief that happens when you figure out why something is a problem.

In my case it’s rumbly bass that moves into the vibrating range. It’s given me trouble since I was an angsty teen, making me dizzy, vaguely nauseous, and leaving me feeling as though some bastard replaced my joints with rubber bands. Of course, that’s exactly what the mechanical room next door to my new workplace does to me.

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A Brief History of English and Why it Matters

Languages are anything but static. Some change very slowly, like French- which owes much of its ponderousness to a government department specifically tasked with rooting out heretic words that creep in from the outside. Other languages undergo periods of very rapid change- the English of Chaucer (late 1300s) would be very confusing to Shakespeare (late 1500s and early 1600s). Two hundred years seems like a long period of time, but in the history of an entire country, it’s a drop in the bucket.

English doesn’t just borrow words; it lifts whole phrases and grammatical ideas from other languages without so much as a by-your-leave. With the coming of the Saxons to Britain, Germanic languages crashed headlong into Brythonic and became Old English. Then the Vikings went for a multi-century beer run starting in the late 700s and left behind a bunch of Norse words, because who doesn’t invent a new language every time they go out carousing? In 1066, William the Bastard decided he didn’t like his name, and brought Norman French with him when he went to the town clerk’s office to have his name legally changed to William the Conqueror. Read more