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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Well, it fits better than pig....

3. Tiger.
Powerful, freedom-loving, restless, passionate,
magnetic, courageous, seductive, and sensitive.
You might have mood swings a lot and be kind of
intense. You're probably a natural leader and
quite ambitious. You can be: too sensitive,
impulsive, and bossy.

What's your TRUE Chinese astrological sign?
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As I'm sure you know, Massachussetts courts have stated that same-sex marriage is constitutional in the Commonwealth. Go New England: your prodigal daughter loves you still.


If you write, go read an Ideomancer editor's opinion on why you should make sure your research is spotless before you send a story out.

I concur.

I'm the dog geek, by the way. My mother raises and shows Briards, and I can geek everything from coat color genetics, temperament and conformation to dog evolution and pack dynamics. If you send me a story with a wolf in it, it had bloody well better act like a wolf; that's all I'm saying.

It's not so much "Write what you know," as "Know what you write," I think.


quinnclub wanted an explanation of "cat-waxing." I buh-lieve it's actually originally cpolk's term: essentially, cat waxing (or 'waxing the cat') refers to those writerly activities that may or may not look productive, but amount to procrastination.

This can include such delightful pass times as waxing your car, your legs, your floor or your cat, reading fanfiction on the internet, websurfing for movie reviews, reorganizing your desk, and so on.

Actually activities that contribute to writerly production or development (betareading for friends, research, staring blankly at the monitor while the hamster runs on the wheel) are not cat-waxing. That's 'writing,' although it's not 'wordcount.' 'Wordcount' is what goes on the page and into the spreadsheet at the end of the day.


Saw two very nice smoky Leonids out in the desert last night, and a wiggly hovery jiggly red flickery dot that kept going away and coming back and going over the mountains and in general not acting very much like a helicopter. We have declared a flying saucer, because we live to close to Nellis Air Force base to admit that it was probably an experimental aircraft, given the provisions of the Patriot Act.

Slept about three hours.

Will be watching the expanded Two Towers tonight, and will probably get another three hours of sleep. It's a damned good thing I'm indestructible.

Which reminds me. Go here and answer truepenny's LotR question. It's a good one.

And enough waxed cats for me this morning: I need to kill some words by noon, because my afternoon and evening are shot.


The distinction I'm used to is between "cat-vacuuming", which is the things you find an excuse to prioritise in order not to write, like tidying one's tapes, going to buy more beer, or in extreme cases running for governor of Minnesota, which term I think originates from rec.asrts.sf.composition; and "yak-shaving", which is Perl-geek slang for doing something that arguably allows you to get on with what you're meant to be doing somewhere half a dozen steps down the line, like fiddling about with the operating system of the computer on which you write in order to make it crash less often.
And the best kinds of cat-vacuuming are the ones that superficially might be helpful to the WIP, but in reality are as unproductive as... well, as vacuuming the cat. Examples include things like: working out the family tree for 12 generations of the WIP's royal family or producing a detailed, hand-coloured map of the entire continent (when the action never leaves the capital city).
Or writing scenes you know can never be used in the book because it ends a month before them, but you claim that they're for "character purposes" and "go towards sequels".

Not that *I* would do a thing like that, of course
Or--my personal bête noire--abusing Search and Replace mercilessly in pursuit of that ever-elusive Grail: The Perfect Name.

I dreamed about doing Search and Replace last night. I think I need to get out more.
I think we all do.

Personally, I prefer to wax the cats than vacuum them. It takes longer before you have to do it again, and cures shedding for months on end. *g*
Oh, yes, the family tree one is my favourite. I've been resisting it so far this month, but I can tell it's just a matter of time. I mean, I even have genealogy software -- how can I resist forever?
Aha! I think that's the difference. Cat-waxing is *intentional* procrastination, in that you set out to wax the cat so that you have an excuse not to write. Cat-vacuuming is more incidental....

knowing what you write

If the editor doesn't catch it, some readers will. The Connie Willis story in the latest Asimov's has someone highly knowledgeable about weather listing Hawaii as a place where it never snows. There are parts of Hawaii where it snows regularly; they're at very high altitudes. I'm probably not the only reader who knows this.

If she'd had anyone but an expert saying this, I would probably have let it pass.
It's not so much "Write what you know," as "Know what you write," I think.

Which is really good, because my fiction would be deathly dull otherwise.

Just spent an hour walking around the mall accosting random people. What fun.