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xiphias July 22 2014, 22:11

To what extent is Weird Al's "Fat" body-shaming? Personally, I like the video.

Over the past couple days, as Weird Al was releasing his new stuff, Lis and I were going back and watching his videos back-to-back with the things they were parodying. He stopped doing as many direct parodies after MTV stopped playing videos: during MTV's heyday, everybody would be familiar with every source video shot-for-shot, so people would appreciate a shot-for-shot parody; since then, he'll riff off of images in the original -- the flaming Pac-Man in "White and Nerdy", the "Weird Al Has a Big Dictionary" balloons in "Word Crimes" -- but there's not as much point in trying to re-create the original as there used to be.

So we've been watching his earlier stuff. I'd actually never seen the video for "Living With a Hernia", especially not back-to-back with "Living in America"; I highly recommend it. I hadn't realized just how much Al looks like James Brown. (Hint: not very much. But he makes it work anyway.)

As far as we can tell, his closest parodies are "Living With a Hernia", "Smells Like Nirvana", "Eat It", and "Fat".

And so, that brings me to my question. Is "Fat" an example of body-shaming?

Because, to me, it doesn't really feel like it. Nowhere near as much as I expected it to. Yes, there are bits where they have all the dancers getting out of breath. Yes, there's the bit where they get stuck trying to jump over the turnstiles. But, I dunno. They don't feel mean to me. It doesn't feel like the same kind of "laughing at the fat person" that really bothers me. Emotionally, the message of "The whole world knows I'm fat and I'm proud/And I tell you once again -- Who's Fat?" actually feels like the real message.

But I'm not as fat as some of my other friends, and I'm male. We males don't tend to get as much body-shame thrown at us. So I'm curious as to what other people's experience of the song is.
oursin July 22 2014, 21:21

No, I don't get this

Someone asking about the current location of a particular collection that was obliged to find a new home, via the FaceBook page set up at the time of the threat to its existing home a couple of years back.

The first four hits (including the relevant Wikipedia entry) if you google for 'The - -' refer to its current location.

I don't even.

ETA Also, people who post conference CFPs without giving the date of the actual conference.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2123946.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

oursin July 22 2014, 21:14

No, I don't get this

Someone asking about the current location of a particular collection that was obliged to find a new home, via the FaceBook page set up at the time of the threat to its existing home a couple of years back.

The first four hits (including the relevant Wikipedia entry) if you google for 'The - -' refer to its current location.

I don't even.

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2123946.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.

burger_eater July 22 2014, 17:44

Why I’ll Be Skipping Kindle Unlimited

Amazon has unveiled its Kindle Unlimited program, which allows readers to pay a ten dollar monthly fee to have access to a huge catalog of books. The major publishers have not signed on yet, so you’re unlikely to find many big new releases, but I’m led to understand that Amazon is paying a wholesale price to authors with best-selling books while most indie writers will be paid a “share” of $2 mil.

Amazon tried offering shares out of a fund before, and I experimented with that. The amount of money I received was negligible. Seriously negligible. Frankly, I’m not excited to Spotify my writing career.

I’m also less than thrilled to know that I would have to enroll in KDP Select to take part, which means that, in order to place a book in KU, I’d have to pull it from every other vendor. Guess what? I’m not doing that. Certain other indie authors have been enrolled without being forced into exclusivity (for now, at least). I’m sure this is Amazon’s need to include a few bestsellers in the KU library, but since I’ll never sell as many books as Hugh Howey, I won’t be getting the same lovely treatment he receives.

And yeah, this is a library you pay $120 a year for. That’s not a great deal for me, since I have a local library system with a great selection of ebooks, but I certainly understand that some people don’t have that kind of access or, if they do, they don’t want to put a hold on a title and wait their turn to read it. That’s especially true for people who want to read a book but don’t feel the need to own it.

Anyway, I’ve tried a lot of different things over the last few years. I’ve published traditionally. I’ve tried KDP Select. I’ve sold fiction directly from my website. I’ve offered fiction on a donation basis. I’ve signed on for the Kindle Lending Library. My books are on Oyster and Scribd, which are other subscription-based services. The one thing I *didn’t* try was selling a story for a bitcoin (just too busy at the time bitcoins first became a thing, and now they’re too expensive). But I won’t be trying KU; exclusivity in return for a “share” seems like a really bad deal.

What’s more, I don’t intend to experiment with tactics like putting the first book of a series (or a piece of short fiction) in KU to prompt sales of other books. Hey, if a reader is already paying $10/month and has access to over half-a-million books, are they really going off the preserve to hunt down (and pay for) book 2? Some would, obviously, but many wouldn’t, and it seems to me that the purpose of a subscription service like this is a pool of captured customers who have no desire to go elsewhere.

Finally, I have to wonder what Amazon sees as the long-term plan for KU. Are they hoping to get people to sign up like gym memberships? Because the most profitable members of any gym are the ones who never actually go to the gym but who continue to pay their dues because they know they should. I’m hoping that KU doesn’t create an ecosystem of readers who never venture outside the KU offerings (I wonder if there’s any research demonstrating this problem with Oyster or Scribd?) along with people who never get around to reading books.

UPDATES: Thoughts by John Scalzi and further consideration over on The Bookseller

UPDATE REDUX: Kindle Unlimited from a reader’s POV.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

lilairen July 22 2014, 17:44

The thing I'm pondering hard.

The thing about the missing stair people that always gets me is that I have never been confident of being sufficiently in the in-group to be one of the ones who knows.

This is not why I never leave the house if I can help it but it does kind of sour me on lots of social groups.... Large gathering? What do I need to know that nobody's bothering to tell me? Don't know. Can't know. Better stay home.

(If you think you know what I'm talking about, it's more than that. No, more than that too. And that.)
mrissa July 22 2014, 17:26

three Fairyland books by Catherynne M. Valente

Review copies provided by Macmillan.

This is the series that starts with The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, goes on to The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, and finishes off with The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two. I say “finishes off” because that’s where we are as of the writing of this blog post, but it looks like Valente has stated publicly that there will be five books in this series. It’s an interesting thing to know, because the ending of soared is one I would want follow-up to but would not automatically assume, with my experience of its sub-genre, that all authors would want to provide follow-up to. So hurrah for not ending here.

This is the story of September and her adventures in Fairyland and the friends she makes there. Friends are very important to these books. Crucial. These books are very conscious about being a told story–the narrator is right there talking to you, personally, holding your hand and sometimes squeezing your shoulder, and if that bothers you, if you are attached to prose transparency, these are more decorative stained glass than clear, and these will not be the books for you. You can find out very readily what the voice is like just by reading a little bit of the beginning. They continue like that. If anything, the narrator gets chummier, more up close and personal, as the three books progress.

These books are not slaves to the cult of originality. In recognizing that they come from a long and beloved tradition of tales about trips to fairylands, they honor their past while allowing room for the places that Valente is genuinely original to shine through. You can simultaneously see how September is spiritual kin to Dorothy and Alice, that there are bits that remind you of The Phantom Tollbooth and Haroun and the Sea of Stories, while noting that really, a wyverary (a wyvern who is part library) is not something you’ve seen before or are likely to see again. There are bits and fragments of familiar tales woven throughout, but usually with a sideways joke. The serial structure of the original publication of the first book encouraged a new element, a new adventure each chapter, and that carried through into the non-serialized second and third, though they went into the underworld and up to the moon instead of through the lands of Fairyland proper.

The weak spot for me is the connection to our own world, and I think it will be weaker for me than for most readers because of exactly what that connection is. September is from the Omaha area in the time of WWII. I know the Omaha area well, and one of the relatives I grew up with was a schoolgirl at that time, so I am more likely to spot where those details are off than most readers. But the real world is a very secondary setting indeed–an anchor for September’s adventures rather than the source of them–so even for someone with an Omaha connection, it doesn’t ruin the tale.

These are the category of books for young people that are all-ages books. No book is to everyone’s taste, obviously, but some books are spoiled a bit by having read another one of those and knowing what’s coming around the corner. Having read dozens of trip to fairyland books will not tell you what’s coming around the corner. Having the plots told in the titles and in the chapter titles will still mostly not tell you what’s coming around the corner, since the title plot is a tiny fraction of what happens in each book, and either getting there will be most of the fun or no fun at all, and you will know which from reading just a tiny bit of the style of the telling. I have been careful not to burble about the wrench and the tapir and the Quiet Physickists and other favorite bits, but on second thought I will mention the wrench and the tapir and the Quiet Physickists and like that after all, because just saying those things can’t really spoil them; that’s not the kind of books they are.

Oh, and: if three points make a sub-genre, Ellen Kushner and Mike Ford now have a sub-genre for Authors Who Are, Despite Their Differences, Apparently Obsessed With Awesome Coats. There has been worse company to keep.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

james_nicoll July 22 2014, 16:55

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler


Science fiction has a long, colourful tradition of books about people with very special powers, abilities focused in specific privileged lineages through extended eugenics programs. See, for example, Doc Smith's Lensmen series, Heinlein's Howard Family stories and Larry Niven's Known Space. Generally being a participant in these programs isn't a bad thing, even though it constrains one's choice of mates somewhat, and I cannot help but feel the fact most of the authors who come to mind are white and middle or even upper class – not the groups usually subjected to such programs, upper class inbreeding aside – plays a role in how the whole affair is portrayed.

I think it is safe to say Octavia Butler, one of the very very few African American science fiction writers active in the 1970s, had an entirely different model in the back of her mind as to how the whole directed breeding program would work out in real life. Until about 1865 [1] the US had a distinct population whose activities were overtly closely monitored and closely controlled; a pattern that just leaps out at anyone who isn't a mouth-breathing libertarian or worse is that despite whatever the propaganda of the day said, the program was not being run for the benefit of its subjects. Read more...Collapse )

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.
secritcrush July 22 2014, 16:40

The Burden

At base, we recognize that a commitment to feminism means a commitment to social justice of all sorts--we might not be able to focus equally on every issue, but still we cannot pick and choose which people deserve justice and which issues we are more comfortable with. We are called to be true to our principles, even (and especially) when they are unpopular.

- excerpt from the Wiscon statement of principles

When I read the decision of the Frenkel subcommittee my first thought was that they had given Frenkel a ban that could be rescinded after a year and that Frenkel would be back at Wiscon in time for the fortieth anniversary. The wording of the ban made it clear that the committee would not be looking to take in community input or reconsider their decision. Quite frankly, it didn't seem like they gave a shit who Frankel harassed and they were ready for it all to go away.

It had all the arrogance of the original Readercon decision and has gone down about as well.

What I noticed most about the decision was that yet again the burden of dealing has fallen on the victims. What Frenkel could do to get himself out of his pickle was front and center in the announcement. No provisions for the victims other than a tepid apology was included. If they wanted to keep themselves safe from their harasser and avoid contact with him, it was incumbent on them to protect themselves. Effectively, once the ban on Frenkel is removed, the victims they get to deal with his presence or stay home.

How the fuck could anyone have thought this was an appropriate decision? Unsurprisingly, community outrage was swift and many made plans to never attend again.

Can Wiscon recover? I don't know, but it needs to act fast if it ever wants to have a hope of doing so.

First and foremost, Jim Frenkel should be permanently banned from Wiscon. He has been reported as a serial harasser for years and Wiscon should have no place for him. Additionally, he should be stripped of his status as a former Guest of Honor. It should be made clear that honoring this man was a mistake as he in no way engenders the stated principles of Wiscon.

Wiscon has apologized over and over and over for their failings, but it's clear these were just words. Actions are needed to show that the Concom is changing.

Debbie Notkin, Piglet Evans and Joanna Lowenstein should resign from the Concom effective immediately and should be banned from being members of the Concom for at lease five years. These three were at the heart of the fuckups associated with Wiscon's failure to deal with harassment in an appropriate and timely manner. Lowenstein and Evans were at the helm when they failed to deal with the Frenkel accusations in any manner and even allowed Frenkel to return for Wiscon 38. Their failure was so complete that no formal reports were ever generated. Notkin was the new Safety Member Advocate and head of the Frenkel subcommittee, and led the spectacular failure to regain the community's trust by giving Frenkel a slap on the wrist and also there's this, especially the ETA.

Should these people elect not to resign, they should be removed and banned permanently from being members of the Concom.

All members dealing with member safety and responding to harassment accusations should receive appropriate training. Whatever training they may have now is clearly not adequate.

Anyone who reports harassment should be assigned a personal advocate. to speak for the victim during deliberations about how to handle the harassment claim and should be responsible for keeping the victim informed of progress on their case. Personal and compassionate communication along with preserving the safety of the victims should be key here.

End the cloud of secrecy. Yes, anyone who reports harassment is entitled to have their details and circumstances of this harassment kept private, but no such confidentiality should be extended to the harasser if the accusations are found to be valid. It should be announced when people are banned from the convention and for how long. The community should be kept safe from those who choose to harass.

Place the burden of future inconvenience and stress where it belongs: on the harasser. Every decision which affirms that harassment has taken place should include a requirement for the harasser to not contact their victim and to never get within 50 feet of their victim without permission. And not just at Wiscon, anywhere.

It's the harasser's life that should be made difficult. They should be uncomforatable or anxious if anyone is. They should be the ones looking around a party and scanning for their former victim and leaving if they catch sight of them. They should be the ones who may not be able to attend programming because their victim may be there. They are the ones who should be deciding to stay home if they see that their victim is attending another con. Maybe then they might begin to understand what they have done to others.

If harassers violate this requirement, then they should be permanently banned from as many cons as possible.

I'm so tired of all this shit.
abennettstrong July 22 2014, 16:28

Serial: Bodyguard of Lies, episode 16: And No Answers

Bodyguard of Lies is a serialized science-fiction novel updating once a week on Tuesdays. If you missed last week’s episode, Questions, it can be found here. You can catch up on the entire serial on this page with a description of the story and links to all published episodes.

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

ursulav July 22 2014, 15:23

Turtles, Turtles, Everywhere

So for those of you not on Twitter, Turtle-Bob made a triumphant return last week, all patched up (though with a scar) and was duly released in the garden. (The rehabber informs me that Turtle-Bob is a girl, incidentally. Also, when I arrived to pick up the turtle, I was handed a bottle and drafted to bottle-feed a fawn. Needless to say, I did not resist terribly hard.)


You can see the scar and the lump there--they had to drain the cyst repeatedly, so she'll probably always have some kind of lump, but it no longer looks like she's got another head.

Now, box turtles are nearly invisible when they're in leaf-litter or mulch, so I have no idea where Turtle-Bob got to--she could still be lurking in the garden, she could be in the next county, I have no way of knowing. We commend her to whatever saint watches over small box turtles and hope she lives to a ripe old age, and of course I'll be delighted if I trip over her again in the garden.

This morning, however, as I strolled down the path, I nearly stumbled over ANOTHER box turtle, this one twice the size of Turtle-Bob. He was, for a box turtle, very large, and not terribly impressed by humans. (He looked at me, I looked at him, neither of us retreated.)

It's been very cloudy for the last few days, and I know they navigate by the sun and sometimes wander afield when it's cloudy, so he may have trundled off his territory and into the garden--or this may BE his territory, for all I know, although given that adult boxes have come through before, that could mean that a couple are sharing this particular chunk of their range. I have no idea if they do that. It'd be considered a food-rich environment, I suspect--veggies to raid, worms and slugs to nosh, lots of mushrooms--but this requires an insight into box-turtle behavior I lack.

He most definitely did NOT come in through the chain link though--he wouldn't fit--so he had to come in under one of the two gates with a gap. Or he lives here full-time and I just haven't had a good look at him before because, as previously stated, box turtles can become damn near invisible.

rysmiel July 22 2014, 15:18

stability, stability

Have received email from my sister, talked to my mother at length on the phone, and mailed my father. It looks like most of the potential rucki associated with trying to organise family stuff have been headed off or are receding, but it is also looking quite unlikely that I will find a way to see my Adoptive Big Sister on this trip, which really kind of sucks. (Particularly as I only found out the other week that she is visiting family in New Jersey right now, and there's this nagging feeling that if I had organised things a bit better or with more advance notice I could maybe have sorted out her visiting me for a few days before that.)

Reprinted railpass is back with me all present and correct, finally and thankfully. Also got a bunch of organising stuff done at the weekend, including taking a couple of street art photos that should be up soon, and watched Pacific Rim again, which was fun and uplifting, and The World's End, which was less so; am definitely not in the right frame of mind to be sympathetic to guys almost exactly my age embracing fairly stupid/self-destructive values of immaturity in desperate attempts to hold onto their youth. Even if the writing is sharp, the acting good, and the soundtrack perfect.

Combination of world news, work being frustrating, and stuff going on with various people I care about and in various bits of the internets, is making me feel kind of shaky and worn (particularly when I let my blood sugar get low), so for the next bit I am endeavouring not to seek out things that might worsen that. Note: this does not mean I am any less willing to listen or be otherwise helpful as I can to people I care about: I do have a concern that the people I am most motivated and happy to be a supporting presence for often tend to be people who might easily think that me being a bit of a twitchy pangolin means they should leave me alone and not impose on me, so unless I have said directly in so many words that you are imposing on me, work on the basis that you're not.

redbird is going to be here tomorrow evening, which should be fun, though coming in later than I had thought. And, in an incident reminiscent of things that appened with annoying regularity at my previous workplace, I have been invited to a work colleague's housewarming the evening after I fly to Hyperborea.
marlowe1 July 22 2014, 15:15

Stupid shit

Every so often Facebook presents a link so dumb that I have to post it here. And that link will be - Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do.

Of course, I could just post this - - in response. But still, the whole point of the article is to tell people what mentally strong people are like without actually being practical in how to BE mentally strong.

Oh sure, it's great if you -
1. Don't feel sorry for yourself
2. Refrain from "giving away your power" (meaning not making other people responsible for your happiness)
3. Embrace change
4. Stop worrying about things you can't control
5. Accept that you can't please everyone
6. don't fear "calculated" risks
7. avoid dwelling on the past (like the item #1 which is almost the same thing)
8. Avoid making the same mistakes (also way too related to #1 not to think that the author is just trying to fill up a list)
9. Are happy for the success of others unreservedly (even people like Stephanie Meyers and Dan Brown who do not deserve it)
10. keep going after the first failure (unless it's something that you should just stop doing - and not just bad art but also, wouldn't things have been much better if Hitler would have stopped after failing to take over Germany the first time - I was going for Ted Bundy)
11. are ok with alone time (although that is called introversion)
12. Don't feel like the world owes you anything
13. Don't expect immediate results (and don't notice that this is a re-phrased version of #10 - complete with the same possibility of attributing it to Hitler taking over Germany and Sylvia Plath killing herself)

These are mostly nice statements of what it means to be mentally healthy (or strong) with some serious bullshit in there. There are plenty of artists who just keep going after the initial failure who are so far removed from "mentally strong" that they practically put that one into the mentally weak category. Forget about Hitler and Sylvia Plath for a moment. Can you honestly say that Hemingway and Fitzgerald were "mentally strong" for not giving up on their writing (or their drinking)?

And even when these things are mostly positive - like embracing change and not worrying about what you can't control - they are not always possible. If you apply it to a fuzzy self-help business speak situation where the major issue is a promotion or a new information system, well then awesome! Go you! But apply it to breaking up with your girlfriend of four years only to realize that all of your self-worth was posited on being in a fairly healthy (and even boring) relationship and actually being worth something to someone - or putting your mom in assisted living - or trying desperately to pay the rent on your Washington Heights apartment, knowing that you are not going to find a place bigger than a shitty studio if you get kicked out since you have 4 cats - and then say how much I should embrace change and not worry.

And of course, I have already accepted that I can't please everyone. Only I didn't get that from a fucking self-help article. I got that from my formative years when I was both 1. the weird kid who ate his crayons and 2. being raised by a mother who was bi-polar. When Mom was going through her depressive states, I would be very much on eggshells, hoping that she would get happy. And when mom was in her manic states, I would hear way too much about her life than I would ever want to know. But by high school, I was angry with everyone (who isn't?) and by the last year of high school, I had found enough friends who appreciated my weirdness to be fine with not pleasing everyone.

The flip side is that I have some serious fucking problems with not being a total asshole. More to the point, I know I can't please everyone. Hell, I am an Orthodox Jewish liberal with Zionist leanings that make me criticize Israel up until there is a war and then I end up reading the "Israel kills babies" articles that send me into a jingoistic tailspin (I do not agree with my positive review of Meir Kahane's books but I do not take it down because I find it fascinating that I was once that wound up). Hell, fuck that. I believe that intervention is sometimes not only warranted but the only option. Of course, it's too late to do anything about Syria. But I have to go an point out that ISIS is just as much the fault of the "doves" that were perfectly fine with Syrians killing Syrians as it was the fault of the hawks who pushed for an invasion of Iraq without a viable plan in regards to how to rebuild the place beyond a vague "well the Kurds seem like they are doing ok in their dangerous and limited independent" (go Kurds!)

But the thing is, it's very easy for "you can't please everyone" to easily transform into "fuck everyone else. I'm right about everything."

And of course, that's one of the underlying assumptions of this kind of article is an Ayn Rand "I got mine and you go fuck yourself" belief (I hear that Alec Goldstein likes to post these things - which isn't surprising since that little psycho loves to be the wounded party - I bet the fucker is still claiming that I turned a bathroom light off when he was in the bathroom as the reason for why he hates my guts - which I never did - as opposed to what I did do which was to express happiness that Obama won in 2008 - which is the exact moment when he unfriended me on Facebook and started glaring at me whenever I said hello to him in public). Signs of "mental strength" do not include compassion, an ability to talk about your problems, admission that you are not in a good place or compassion for others who are going through the same things that you have gone through.

No, instead you are supposed to read this article and then pretend to be "mentally strong" and that's it. No assembly required. So you read the article, decide not to dwell on old things and then your friend is broken up about a dead cat or a cheating girlfriend and what are you going to do? Well, you can give your friend this article and tell them to read it many times in order to let them know that they are NOT mentally strong. At which point, hopefully, your friend will go "no shit, I'm not mentally strong right now, that's why I'm trying to get some fucking empathy or even sympathy or just some emotional support" and stop talking to you. And then you can prove just how little you care about being alone.
jhetley July 22 2014, 15:01

Tuesday floral report

Blue cornflower all over the place, goldenrod as contrast, damned purple loosestrife.  All the rest of the usual midsummer crew blooming.  Couple of squashed frogs for fresh roadkill, plus that young raccoon still decorates the paved shoulder up near the golf course.  I'm surprised nothing has collected it -- tasty little morsel.

Warm out there, 78 F now and dew point 63, but I got out on the bike before it got worse.  Did not push for time.

15.27 miles, 1:13:26
oursin July 22 2014, 14:33

Well, my initial response is that 30 books a year is for amateurs...

Via a comment in yesterday's post by [personal profile] hunningham:
How to Read More: The Simple System I’m Using to Read 30+ Books Per Year

It is to point and mock at Little Mr Gradgrind, C21st incarnation:

Now, there are plenty of excellent articles on the web, but generally speaking, the quality of good books is better. Books typically have better writing (more tightly edited) and higher quality information (better fact-checking and more extensive research). From a learning perspective, it’s probably a better use of my time to read books than to read online content.

I might feel more confident about this if I didn't think he was using this time to read Really Useful Books of a kind that will become obsolescent very fast (the sort of thing I see all over airport bookshops).
I usually wake up, drink a glass of water, write down 3 things I’m grateful for, and read 20 pages of a book.... As of today, I’m 100 pages into my 7th book. At that pace (7 books per 10 weeks) I’ll read about 36 books in the next year. Not bad.

Here’s why I think this pattern works: 20 pages is small enough that it’s not intimidating. Most people can finish reading 20 pages within 30 minutes. And if you do it first thing in the morning, then the urgencies of the day don’t get in the way.

Finally, 20 pages seems small but adds up fast. It’s a great average speed.

If time allows, I’ll read at other times as well.... But regardless of what happens during the rest of the day, I still get my 20 pages in each morning.

While working out on his treadmill and glugging down a nutritious breakfast smoothie of kale and blueberries, no doubt.
What if you woke up an hour before you needed to each day and worked on yourself? How much better would you be at work, in your relationships, and as a person?

How much trying to keep my eyes open would I be?

We do not think that the concept that reading can be a pleasure and something one does not grind through at a 20-page a day rate (honestly, that sounds like the reading-reducing maintenance diet for the reading addict, no?) but pursues avidly in any spare moment has really crossed his horizon: '[I]nvest in yourself. Before your life turns into a whirlwind of activity, read a book that will make you better.'

I sure hope this young man does not come across one of the pieces abou the value of playfulness - such as this one encountered recently - because he'll then have to schedule in some time to be freely and spontaneously playful. Or his head might explode...

Give the guy a P G Wodehouse and see what happens.

Though, ghastly though the above may be, I am also vaguely creeped out by this: Outlaw Catalog of Cagey Optimism. No, really, I am not entirely on board with the concepts such as:

* AGGRESSIVE SENSITIVITY. Animated by a strong determination to be receptive and empathetic.

* ALIGNMENT WITH THE INFINITY OF THE MOMENT. Reveling in the liberating realization that we are all exactly where we need to be at all times, even if some of us are temporarily in the midst of trial or tribulation, and that human evolution is proceeding exactly as it should, even if we can't see the big picture of the puzzle that would clarify how all the pieces fit together perfectly.

which make me want to bop him one with a codfish on which I had tastefully calligraphed Desiderata ('Go placidly amidst this, punk').

This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2123596.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comment count unavailable comments.
matociquala July 22 2014, 14:30

but she brings you only sorrow

We made a book! It looks like One-Eyed Jack is available a little early from Amazon (and possibly from your local independent bookstore--check there first, they love to order things for you!) both as Kindle and trade paperback. (Barnes and Noble should be in the game soon, I am assured.)

Oh, look! It's on Barnes and Noble!


Now, off to sign at Fantask in Copenhagen with that boy I like in an hour and a half! Eeeeeeee!

marthawells July 22 2014, 12:55

Audiobook News

Some great news! The audiobook narrator for Stories of the Raksura Vol I will be Christopher Kipiniak, who did the first three Books of the Raksura.

If you like audiobooks and are new here, all my fantasy novels plus the Star Wars novel are available in audiobook at Audible.com, Tantor Audio, Audible UK, iTunes, and other audiobook retailers.

A note about conventions, because this comes up occasionally: authors and artists (who are not in the top 4-5 or so headlining guests) do not get paid to go to SF/F conventions, to do panels or workshops, even all day long workshops. We pay our own travel, hotel, food, etc, and usually all we get is a free membership (the same thing volunteers who work on the convention get). For large conventions like World Fantasy and WorldCon, we have to buy our own membership. (Often, if a WorldCon makes enough money to pay its expenses and has money left over, it will reimburse panelists for their memberships. But that's never guaranteed.)

Couple of links:

Kickstarter: Imagined Realms: Book 1 - New Fantasy Art by Julie Dillon

Aliette de Bodard: Some thoughts on the Hugo nominees

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