31 March 2003

From the part of my brain that ponders irrelevant things: Why does Harry Potter have glasses, anyway? I don't mean why did he have them in the first place, but why does he still have them? I mean, if wizards can come up with "Skele-grow" to re-grow the bones in Harry's arm, why can't they come up with a spell or potion to fix his eyesight? Then again, whenever he loses his glasses, he doesn't seem to miss them much. Maybe they're just for show.

I'm thinking this may be a good example of why one should always put limits on magic in fiction. Harry Potter magic doesn't seem limited, really, except for having to learn spells before casting them.

28 March 2003

White Foxes, Full Moon has now reached 44, 730 words! Woo hoo! (only about a bazillion more to go . . . )

26 March 2003

I had to share this one. Put down any drinks or food and swallow before you read this. (Stole the link from Will Shetterly's blog, by the way.)

25 March 2003

I've spent I don't know how long today, in little bits and bites between doing other things, trying to find something I saw somewhere on the web yesterday. It was, I think, somebody recalling talking to Alberto Manguel, and Jorge Luis Borges was mentioned. Of course, I can't remember where I read it or even exactly what it said, which makes it much more difficult to find. The only reason I wanted to find it was because I reading a book of essays by Manguel, Into the Looking-Glass Wood, which I am enjoying immensely, and I wanted to share. Alas . . . But lost web pages aside, the book is fantastic. It's essays, but has the sort of unnamable magic that is rarely found even in fiction.

20 March 2003

Maybe it's just me, but I think Todd McFarlane has hit a new low. I mean, American McGee's Alice was a little twisted, but pretty cool; Mr McF's Twisted Land of Oz is just repulsive.
Ever think about what Baghdad means?
And to get back to the main reason I started this blog -- recording my writing activities -- my novel White Foxes, Full Moon currently has 41, 094 words. That's about half of them, if the story goes as planned. Which it very well may not.

And I have something resembling a story outline (I think I use the phrase "something resembling" a lot) for the comic short I'm attempting to write (wow, look at those qualifiers) for the SPX 2003 Anthology. It's set in ancient Greece and has satyrs (I took them from the first issue of my comic Fey where they have a small appearance in a "long ago" segment). (This will all make sense when I get the bits of my comic that I want online online.)

And Sharyn November is still looking at the first three chapters of Taken, 1941 (no, I don't really like the title, either) (but I do like the book, or at least large parts of it). Someday I'll get bold and e-mail her again to see if she's had a chance to read it.

I don't seem to be having too many of my own thoughts lately (hmm . . . empty brain), but here's something from an interview with Neil Gaiman (re: Coraline):

For years I thought it was a name I'd made up and then I've actually discovered now that it's a real name. Which is always what happens when you make up a really good name. [Laughs] You discover other people made it up too.

Now I have a peculiar urge to go look for all my made-up names on Behind the Name.

19 March 2003

This made me laugh:

After 27 years of being a high school and middle school librarian, I thought I had heard and seen everything. Last week, when a sixth grade boy brought his library book in to be renewed, he said, "By the way, there's a booger on page 87." Long pause. "And it's not mine."

Find more like it at What they didn't teach us in library school. (I don't think I want to be a librarian.)

18 March 2003

Speaking of nature, here's something to think about:

Yet the overriding relationship we have with nature - and the one that television repeatedly ignores - is through our emotions. It is through feelings and imagination that we experience kinship and connectedness, the pain of separation and extinction, the renewal of spring and birth, not through the detachment of scientific accounts. And it is through myth, story-telling, art, metaphor and play that we make overall sense of our place in the world. Given that language and imagination are what define our species, it is through these that we make our most truly human, and therefore most authentically ecological engagements with the world.

Yes, "Creatures matter simply because they exist."

And here's something on the Dresden masterpieces: "As is usual in any show that presents itself as a collection of masterpieces, there are lots of things we feel we ought to be interested in, but rarely are." Heh.

I have this weird idea that nature is magical. Not magic in the sense of the exercise of will upon the universe to bring about change, nor magic as some kind of supernatural force. I've been trying to figure out some way to explain what I mean, and all I can come up with is something vague about how mind-blowingly marvelous the world (and all its scientific principles) is, so that "magic" is the only word that begins to describe how I feel. Of course, that doesn't explain what I mean, either. Not quite, anyway. Maybe someday I'll sit down and write an essay.

So pondering this as I have been, I came across an article that mentions "a feeling of awe at the majesty of the universe and the intricate complexity of life." That pretty much sums it up, and reading more of "Snake Oil and Holy Water, " it seems I might be an atheist. Not an entirely startling fact, really, but ancient religion is so much fun . . . Still, "We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further" (from page 2 of the same article). I've seldom read anything with so many quotable lines.

15 March 2003

I just attempted some small changes to my Blogger template. Let's hope I didn't completely screw things up.

12 March 2003

Call me weird, if you like. If I'm weird, I'm in good company.
Who knew the history of juggling could be so funny? Though it makes sense it would be, if you think about it.

New juggling obsession aside, I just did the first edit (well, technically the second, but it doesn't matter) of a short story (technically three short stories in one, but that doesn't matter either) I wrote over the summer (mostly) while I was taking an ISIS workshop. Parts of it are still not quite right, but quite a bit of it makes me happy.

And I just now discovered that if you click on a bookmark accidentally and go "oh crap, I meant to do that in the other window," and quickly hit the back button, all the stuff you just typed into Blogger is still there. Or it was for me. Thank the gods.

I've finished three very nice suede juggling balls and have been practicing throwing just one from hand to hand, so (theoretically) I'll throw better when I start using more than one. Actually, I've been doing two-balls exercises, too. Not quite ready for three, but I found a very useful Instant Jugglers' Manual. Like a fiend, I tell you. Soon.

11 March 2003

As a nice complement (or maybe an antidote) to the Sequential Tart article I mentioned last time, they now have one up about why Vertigo used to be great: Read This or Die: Vertigo Turns Ten. There are a few things there I'll have to start searching for.

09 March 2003

There's great article on Sequential Tart subtitled "Why I No Longer Read Vertigo Comics." Pretty nearly my feelings, too (though I haven't given up all hope yet).

On an entirely different topic: dreams. I have weird ones. Lately Penn & Teller have been making peculiar cameo appearances in mine (imagine a battle scene from The Two Towers -- all bloody and intense -- and suddenly there are Penn & Teller, trying to make everyone laugh). (Yes, I really did dream that.) Obviously, my very strange subconscious is trying to tell me something. (Does your subconscious send Penn & Teller to deliver messages?) Clearly it must Mean Something. I decided it means I need to start teaching myself to juggle again (that is, start teaching again, not juggle again, as I never quite learned last time).

Alas, it is very difficult to learn to juggle when you haven't anything to learn to juggle with. So off I go to Google to look up juggling balls ("juggling balls" always makes me laugh; I am weird, yes). I found an online store with all sorts of wonderful things to juggle, including lovely clear acrylic balls for contact juggling. I need some of those. Just call me Queen of the Labyrinth Goblins. I also found patterns for making your very own handsewn leather juggling balls. I now have two finished and one more to go. Soon I'll be juggling like a fiend. Oh yeah.

08 March 2003

On Bitbooks Digital Fiction Links my story "Come-From-Away" currently has an average rating of 10 (yay!) (on a 1 to 10 scale), yet it's listed way down on page 14 of the fantasy category (new stories are listed first, with the rest organized by popularity). So I did good out of 10, but not so good in the popularity contest. Hmmm. "A Gift of Bones and Motley Feathers," on the other hand is rated 7.5 but listed nearer the beginning, on page 9.

05 March 2003

Tea. Mmm . . . My friend Rowena always brings me really nice loose tea when she visits (my friend Rowena is always welcome). I guzzle tea like -- searching for appropriate simile -- like a -- oh, forget it, I just read The Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snicket, and any simile I come up with for a few days will probably be a poor attempt at Snicketism. Anyway, I drink a lot of tea.

So check out these "architectural teapots." Very steampunk. Some of the later pictures are truly strange, but the first few are very, very cool.

And speaking of Lemony Snicket, I think Daniel Handler is up to something that may result in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series ("Series series"; heh) becoming Literature (oh yes, with a capital "L"). If nothing else, it's a wickedly clever puzzle, and thoroughly addictive. The Unauthorized Autobiography comes with a reversible dust jacket, so you can disguise the "extremely dangerous" book as The Pony Party by Loney M. Setnick. How can anyone resist a reversible dust jacket?

04 March 2003

Answering a question about used books and BookCrossing (release books into the wild!), Neil Gaiman said this: "Booksales are booksales, readers are readers, and the two things aren't exactly the same. I'd rather look after my readers and let the booksales take care of themselves." Doesn't that make you want to go out buy all his books brand new, in hardcover?

01 March 2003

Well, I finished the short story (called "Seeing Stars") yesterday morning. I don't suppose it'll actually win me the contest, but it's done and I'm not too unhappy with it. (It just occurred to me that I didn't get the autoresponse I thought I was supposed to get from submitting; I hope that doesn't mean something went wrong and my story didn't go through.)

Also, if you need something to make you laugh (but swallow and put down the drink first), read this.

I'm off to write a book review and then to the library.