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Blast From The Past: The Problem of Being Too Good

I’m mostly managing to keep up writing at least a little each day, even if the little is a sentence. It’s fanfic, it’s got problems (mostly right now a complete lack of ‘place’) but it’s there. It exists.

Other than that, well, something to write about today absolutely refused to happen, so here’s a blast from the past that is still relevant (I’ve edited out the bits that aren’t, and of course while I’m still and always up to my eyeballs in The Day Job, the rest of what I’m up to my eyeballs in has changed. These days it’s mostly either the job or the Bugger-cat’s treatment). Read more

Writing Goals for 2019

Yeah, I know. We’re over a week into the new year; who starts making their goals now? But these are ideas I’ve had in mind for a while.

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When I took art classes a few years ago — a project to be resumed when money and time meet again — my teacher used to joke that she could tell we were beginners because we were afraid of the dark. (Yes, this is when I said in a cartoon voice “Come to the dark side, we have cookies,” causing the whole class to burst out laughing. The teacher, btw, failed to understand it.)

At any rate she was right.  You can tell the beginning writers artists, even the accomplished ones, because they’re really afraid of the truly dark tints.  Even acknowledged dark denizens like myself tend to produce washed-out images for fear of the dark.

As suggested above, yes, that applies to writers as well as to visual artists. Read more

Chilling? Downright Frigid.

Very first thing: if you haven’t read Amanda’s post from this morning, go read it. While this morality clause nonsense is dangerous to writers, and it’s certainly a CYA move on the part of the publishers including it in their contracts, I can’t help but wonder if it’s *also* being used as a means of further gatekeeping. “You’d better stay in the conservative closet, if you want to keep writing in your favorite world.” Read more

Writers, morality and the #MeToo fallout

I’ve been pondering whether to write this post for the better part of a week. I’d been hearing rumbling from traditionally published authors about a contract clause that is as evil–their words and I agree–as the rights grabbing clauses that have become common in publishing contracts. But then, several days ago, an op-ed piece appeared in the NYT and I knew what I needed to write. The clause? A morality clause. Yes, you read that right. More and more traditional publishers are now including a morality clause in their contracts. Read more

Needing Traction

I spent some time on Saturday in a large plastic water-tank (about 6000 gallons) – A tank I had inadvertently put a crack into, and was now trying to weld. The tank has been used for at least 20 years to pump muddy dam water uphill to allow garden irrigation pressure – so it had more than a token amount of silty mud in it, and we couldn’t drain the last of the water out.

We tried leverage and to use a suction cup glass transporter to pull the edges of the crack into alignment – but alas, it didn’t handle the convex surface well, and it required more force than the suction could handle. So it had to be dealt with from the inside. Read more

How Much Context?

I recently finished slogging through a non-fiction book for Day Job. The book is very well written, but has a cast of hundreds, covers at least six states, and provides no background. The authors are telling the story of a small group of people involved in the Civil Rights movement, so their focus is appropriate. But I kept falling out of the book thinking, “Sheesh, I know why this happened, and I know what that term means, but I bet other folks are really going to be confused.” Unless you already know a great deal of history,  the adventures take place in a vacuum. Read more