Jul 19 2010

Asleep at the wheel again


Hey, look what I missed.


I missed applying to attend Launchpad last year from finding out about it too late, when I’d used up all my vacation days.

I missed it this year from completely forgetting that it existed at all, and making other plans that used up most of my vacation days. Admittedly, I used those days to work on Book 5, which is a good thing. But had I freakin’ REMEMBERED about Launchpad, I could have taken those days earlier or later, and shifted some things around and tried to sign up.

Because — hello — it’s NASA.

Plus: FREE!

On the other hand, I’m certain there are writers whose need was far greater than mine… But I could have used some uplift and inspiration.

Okay. Next. Year.

Chad Orzel just now suggested that someone do something similar to Launchpad, but for quantum physics. A great idea…

Catherynne Valente has referred to the Internet as a “terrifying wish engine” — this after she voiced a desire for an accordion and a teacher, and both appeared.

So, let’s give it a try:

Ahem. ‘Scuse me? People on the internet — hello? Yes, you, the hive-mind.

We could really use a workshop on quantum physics for science fiction writers.

Because, you know, it would be good if we didn’t look like idiots when we write about it. As we so often do.

Plus: If we wrote about it compellingly, young persons would be inspired to study it, and advance the field even further, to the betterment of all mankind. No, really.

Also: after I finish the current series, I have a couple of projects in mind, and one actually involves quantum physics. If I had a workshop about quantum physics, I’d gravitate toward that project instead of the other one.

I’m just sayin’.

Thank you for your time.

nothing to do with quantum physics, just a cool picture

Jun 13 2010



With my sister away for the weekend, I thought this would be a good time to haul out her accordion and see if I could still play some music on it.

Verdict: I believe it would depend on your definition of the word “playing.” And possibly the word “music.”

Nevertheless, I do believe that Mona was glad to see me. And I’m of the opinion that if I could put in a little practice time, I could work up a passable version of, if not “Lady of Spain I Adore You,” at least “Delores Waltz”.


In a nice example of sheer synchronicity, Catherynne Valente wants to learn the accordion, and has acquired one.

This doesn’t actually surprise me… the accordion is a fantastical instrument, suitable for a fantastical author like Ms. Valente. It is weird, wonderful, half magic and half steampunk.

It is a musical instrument of mystery and romance, drenched in passion, and built on…

Built on…

Built on sheer geekery.

Seriously, folks. What did computer programmers do before there were computers to program?

They designed the accordion.

See that daunting array of buttons on the left?

Absolutely, completely, wonderfully logical. Each of those buttons is a solution. Collectively, they solve for the entire range of possible harmonic structure.

With an accordion, you can sound as if you have eight hands — or click a tab, and sound like a lonely clarinet, a lost calliope. Click again, and you’re an oom-pah band.

shiny sparkly serves the same purpose as the bumps on your F and J keys

And the bellows? The accordion breathes. If you breathe, you’re alive, and if you’re alive, you have passion.

Weep, scream, whisper. Stamp your feet and shout for joy.