November 24th, 2008

david bowie realism _ truepenny

sky and sand where mountains used to be

Happy Darwin Day! In celebration, let's all see if we can't evolve a little.

According to my radio this morning, the legalization of same-sex marriage may bring the great state of Connecticut up to $13 million a year in additional revenue. Apparently, letting gay people get married could be a partial solution to the world economic crisis. Who knew?

I am privileged to live in an era of normalization in the United States of America. Perhaps the greatest benefit, over time, of making an effort to extend social justice to everyone is that it makes it unexceptional to be something other than the quote "mainstream." It widens the mainstream, de-exoticizes, and makes it no stranger, in the public eye, to be gay or a woman or a Jew or in a wheelchair or of Nigerian or Korean or Tuvan descent than to be Ward and June Cleaver.

And that is exactly how it should be. Diversity is beautiful. It is interesting. It makes us a better people, and the world a better place. But part of social progress is that diversity stops being other. The nice couple down the block should not be judged by the color of their skin or the religion to which they subscribe or the details of their chromosomes--or whether they happen to be a couple composed of more than two people, dubious math aside.

They should be judged by whether they keep an eye out on the neighborhood kids, rake the leaves before they blow across the neighbors' yards, and take good care of their dog.

Joe Six-Pack, in other words, isn't what he used to be. And all you have to do is look at the ads on television to see that it's so. I remember when if there was a person of color in an ad, they were there as a second banana, a gesture to inclusivity.

Now, I see an awesome rainbow of car shoppers, and the Ikea commercials look shockingly like my peer group. How long will it be before that Audi target market is middle-aged gay men with two point five kids and a corgi?

Does that mean we've got a prejudice-free society? No, of course not. And we never will. In the immortal words of Jefferson Starship, "There will always be assholes."

But it does mean that we really are getting somewhere. And in fifty years, it's possible that the issues of social justice on everyone's lips will be ones that never even occurred to me as ills that needed addressing.

Or maybe we'll run out of others.

I wonder what the world would be like, if we all dealt with each other as people, rather than categories.



My own personal evolution today might involve eventually, sometime this morning, making it off the couch and into the shower. And convincing myself that finishing a draft yesterday means I really am off-duty until after Thanksgiving. Because, hello, brain chemistry, we just finished an enormous project. Yes, we do have other projects lined up. Including revising this thing into something like an actual finished book instead of just a bunch of scenes thrown at a wall.

But not this week, man. Today, I get to cross something off. Something big. And then I get to putter with whatever I feel like for a while.


for 2008

Finish Chill
Revise Chill
Write S2 Shadow Unit episode: "Lucky Day" (with coffeeem (started));

for 2009

Rewrite The Sea thy Mistress
Revise One-Eyed Jack and The Suicide King
Shadow Unit S3
Write Grail
Sell some books before I starve

When they get done:

Write "Smile" (Bone Garden) (started)
Write "Snow Dragons"
Write "The Horrid Glory of her Wings"
Write "On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera."


Today's honeydew list also includes feeding the cat and eventually running errands. And phone calls, oh dread. And mailing things. And backups. And practicing my much-neglected guitar.

And then going climbing. I didn't blog it last week because I was busy, but Wednesday, I stanked (it was all I could do to show up), and Friday, I actually had a pretty good climbing day--I got an evil 5.7 that I had only succeeded at once before, and I did it with much better style. More technique, less BFI. (It's the one that was unrated when I sent it. I'm exactly the wrong height for it, so I can neither reach the next handhold from any given position nor crunch myself up to get on the footholds.)

Given how much the guilt gorilla has been dragging its heels over getting behind me and helping me write Chill, you would think it would go kick in the hammock for a while. But no, now it wants me to get started on something else right away, nevermind that the various short stories are currently somewhat formless, and January is set aside for revising The Sea thy Mistress. Which may be in better shape than I have been fearing: I just opened it up and peeked, and the writing isn't as bad as I had been afraid. I know it needs a lot of transitions and some character transparency and probably some other stuff--and that first scene is really trying way too hard--but it's not as bad as I worried.

Which means it might be less of a death-grind and more of a cheerful meander around the garden making things pretty and pleasing and harmonious. Like the little teahouse fox in the Gmail themes.

I'm getting very attached to the little teahouse fox in the Gmail themes. He seems to have a pretty nice life. He must be retired, or of independent means, as he spends most of his time puttering around making art and entertaining friends. And the ancestor foxes are really charming, if one manages to stay up that late.

I also think I know what the next few things I'm going to pitch to Tor are. I have three potential books. (One of them is even written. One is set in the same world as Bone & Jewel Creatures and "Love Among the Talus." And one is a followup to the Edda of Burdens.) We'll see what happens after I get The Sea thy Mistress delivered.

writing goddamned verbs slithytove

it sounds like you had an epiphany.

You know, I wonder if one of the problems I've been having with the writing lately is that I've been microsteering. I bet that's it exactly. that's what it feels like. Like I've been--rather than looking as far ahead as possible and following the grand curve of the road--making constant tiny little adjustments. Which would be a necessary consequence of trying to write Chill before it was really ripe, in tiny little segments rather than as one long controlled/fluid sweep of line.

But just like in driving a car, it's exhausting. And just like in art, if your line is made up of broken segments, it always looks a little jittery, even if you join them together after.

You need the confidence of being able to look ahead and see where you're going to be, eventually.

And now, in celebration of having finished the damned thing, I offer the first line meme, for outstanding projects:


The Sea thy Mistress:

Breathless.

#

"Smile"

It's harder to get good roles when you're dead.

#

"The Horrid Glory of Her Wings"

No first line yet, but it does have an epigraph:

"Speaking of livers," the unicorn said, "Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back. The true witches know that."

--Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

#

Grail
also has an epigraph:

And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.

And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.


--KJV

#

"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"

"We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you'd flunked Algebra."

(This story is my "The Amelia Earhart Pancake." I've had the title since 1989, and still haven't written in.)

#

"Snow Dragons"

They're not actually dragons.

#

"Lucky Day"

Gray Putnam was reaching for the door handle when the semi went past, rocking his Audi on its shoes and drowning the driver's side in a wall of water.

#

...and that's what I need to be going on with for the next little while.

writing carnival

i'm on the pavement, thinkin' about the government

Well, I get a B in Civics:

You answered 28 out of 33 correctly — 84.85 %
Average score for this quiz during November: 78.1%
Average score: 78.1%

You can take the quiz as often as you like, however, your score will only count once toward the monthly average.

Drat. I had the Gettysburg Address question right, too, and second-guessed myself.



ozarque talks about her workspace, or artist's studio, and the differences between a real artist's studio--a room of one's own, squirrelled away where it fits--and the ones you might see in a magazine.

My entire apartment is my studio, and it's designed so that I can work in any corner of it, as the spirit moves me. (The laptop is a powerful tool.)

However, it is a small apartment (two modestly sized rooms and a galley kitchen)  and I live in it alone, so I have the luxury of spreading myself out as I see fit.

As greygirlbeast notes, 'tis the season of Jethro Tull. Because no other modern music goes better with winter. 

Now I need to practice my guitar and braid me some bread.