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bear by san

March 2017



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holmes confidence

better bring your own redemption when you come to the barricades of heaven, where i'm from

Jeff VanderMeer went and got all shiny. Go give him some freelance work: he spent about a billion years on that beyootifool new website.

Laura Anne Gilman tells you everything you need to know about how to handle reviews right here.

More things I love about All the Windwracked Stars, in the cold light of morning:

1) Main battle shoggoths. Shoggoths are the new black, baby!
2) Doomed tragic love affairs with really inappropriate people.
3) Pimp with a heart of gold. Okay, he's more of a madam. Okay, den mother. Okay, collector of stray cats....
4) Un-evil overlord
5) Giant steampunk cybernetic war horse built on Asgardian models.
6) Loki sure spawned a lot, didn't he?
7) Floating university campuses.
8) Hoverboards
9) Yggdrasil
10) Did I mention the music?

Leonard Cohen, "Here it is" (kind of a bad audio, but there you go.)

Melissa Etheridge, "The Angels" (No embedding on that one.)

Leah Andreone, "You Make Me Remember"

Oingo Boingo, "No Spill Blood"
Good god, put your shirt on, Danny.

Janis Ian, "Light a Light"

Neko Case, "Dirty Knife"

Blue Oyster Cult, "Dancin' in the Ruins"

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, "Black Moon"

Jackson Browne, "The Barricades of Heaven"

I wanted to give you Timbuk 3's "Facts About Cats," but youtube no have.

Any guesses what the book is about? ;-)

Man, I have been sleeping a lot this week. Some of it is probably Sycamore Hill, and some of it, last night, was no doubt because I went to see my massage therapist and after ten days of sleeping on weird things and nearly falling off a trail and driving ~2500 miles in ancient rattletrap trucks, I was a bit wracked up. (I actually hurt more this morning, but freedom of motion is returning, so yay that.)

I had an adventure on my way over there yesterday, though. This is why competent truck drivers are some of my favorite people:

I was in the inside lane of I-91, about to take the left exit onto Route 9. So, fast-moving traffic, wet road, moderate rain, guard rail and breakdown lane on the left side, cars in front, semi coming up fast in the center lane on my right. The traffic in front of me started to bunch up, and that little voice that tells you such things told me to take my foot off the gas and tap the brakes, and let the semi pass me.

So I was in the clear, about five feet off the rear corner of the semi trailer, and had a really good view of what almost-happened next.

The BMW-drivin' guy immediately behind the slow-moving car three places in front of me (50 in a 65 zone, yo) decided that he didn't want to be behind that car anymore, exit or no exit, and cut into the center lane. Directly into the path of the accelerating semi. Who had exactly two places to go--to the left, in front of me, onto the exit ramp, or to the right, in front of somebody in a little dark-colored economy vehicle who was parallel with me, two lanes over.

He went right. With about three feet to spare on either side, after braking so hard the big truck was shuddering and rocking, and held it together really elegantly, and I'm not sure the guy who cut him off ever noticed how close he came to becoming a hood ornament. And there was nobody in his blind spot on that side, and nobody in his blind spot on my side, and so he had options about where to go.

Thank you, Gentle Teamster. Thank you, guy in the little black economy car. No thanks, yuppie prick.

You may have noticed that this story has a moral, relating to cooperation on the road, big trucks, blind spots, contingency plans, and courteous driving. I figure you can probably write it for yourself. ;-)

The cat kicked me out of bed this morning to feed her. I must really be home.

What's interesting about this revision--I mean really interesting--is that it's demonstrating to me just how far I have stretched the inside of my head by writing novels. In 2001, when I wrote the first draft of this book, it felt huge in my head. It lapped over all the dges, and writing it was a process of running around in circles, pushing it back inside the railings when it tried to bleb out.


It's a tidy little book, not really very complex at all. I'm trying to add some layers to it as I go, and tricky up the plot a little, but really, it's a pocket-sized novel, pretty nonthreatening. I mean, I survived writing Whiskey & Water. This book has no power to scare me, anymore.

I guess that's what they call growth as an artist.

Chill scares my pants off, however, and I haven't even started writing it yet. I think that might be a good sign too.

And now I need to go shower and make tea and get some words before I hike down to the farmer's market for produce....

Yes, I do have the best job in the world.


The cat kicked me out of bed this morning to feed her. I must really be home.

He/she has trained you well :) When ours cries for food, we won't feed her for another 30 mins. She never has decided to wake us up for food.

I guess that's what they call growth as an artist.

See... That is cool.

"Fistful of Sand" is too big for my brain, but I know it's not that complicated. Just three groups of people, all struggling against each other and chasing each other. Plus a little existentialism, Nietzsche, and Locke peppered here and there, as Gods try to kill each other.

If feel like I've got too much bread in my mouth to chew.

I can think about 5 scenes ahead, and that's it. I know where it's all going, and I kind of think I know what has to happen when it gets there.

It's good to know that the brain stretches. Because mine feels waaaaay too crowded and overflowing. Are there any techniques to make it stretch faster? :)
I don't feed her for an hour after I get up, but that never stopped her.

Neither does putting food in her bowl before I go to bed.
And yes, the technique is, write books that are too big for you head.

You'll be amazed at how small the old ones look when you get back to them.
Someone else who loves that BOC song! Yay! :-)

(Though I'm not sure I want to watch the video. I have my own visuals for that song. Always have.)
Amusingly, the subject of Loki spawning came up during the meeting of my reading group last night, when one reader asked a question about the connection between mpreg in fanfic and SF explanations of male characters being able to conceive. At thsi point, two of us began bouncing up and down in our chars and switching off babbling about Loki's pregnancy, and how ultimately he got his revenge because of the part his kids played in Ragnorak.

Which is to say, I am so looking forward to this book! And perhaps hearing more about it at Readercon?
Maybe. *g*

I might even read a little of it, if I get a reading.

That is so cool about the writing -- seeing how one gets better as one writes and writes and writes. Cool!

And. Um. You have made several sales for the musicians in question -- after listening to the list, I had to have some of the songs for myself.

I live to serve.

And peddle crack
I think my important lesson for the day is never, ever, for all that's holy, watch Oingo Boingo perform.

I hope that, like a car accident, that video will quickly fade from my memory and I will be able to properly enjoy listening to the studio recording of that song again.
God damn it, Danny. PUT YOUR SHIRT ON.
Re: Truckers!

Yeah, good truckers rule! And most of them are. There was a great article about truckers in The New Yorker. We civilians for the most part have no freaking clue how to drive. These guys train. They know. I was nearly part of a massive collision on the I84 on ramo and if it weren't for the better driving skills of the trucker.
Main battle shoggoths. Shoggoths are the new black, baby!
.. its still the very very very Old Black..

and on behalf of my union trucker nephew, thanks for your good driving skills.

You are very welcome. I would rather not force any truck drivers to kill me...
Okay. So, since I watched the Here It Is YouTube video here a day or so ago, I've bought the track and played it pretty much on loop. I am still digging it like whoa, and I wanted to thank you for sharing it with us. Thank you.
You are very welcome.

The entire album is incredible. The old genius finally figured out *what* to do with that voice.

And his poetry has only gotten better.