May 30 2010

Quick post….


I’m devoting the 3-day weekend to writing — which means no blog posting (except this).

No sign of the Lawnmower Man yet — perhaps he’s taken his family to the beach. Or to the park for a cookout.

I had feared that everyone would be in their back yards (it’s a condo complex, with one continuous back yard for all), hootin’ and hollerin’ and barbequeing. But no. Nice and quiet. Not too hot. Nice for writing al fresco.

Just to let people know: the auction for Laurie & Deb went swimmingly, and the total has come to more than $10,000. If YOU participated, you are wonderful, and we all love you.

The book, and the book plus artifact, are now winging their way to their respective new owners (Australia? Did you say AUSTRALIA??).

I had tried to make a couple of other things to auction, but the cool tote bag with map of Rowan’s world (as of The Lost Steersman) got burned in the center while I was ironing on the transfer, so: not good enough for the auction.

On the upside, I now have a cool tote bag with a map of Rowan’s world, slightly burned in the center, in which to tote my totables.

Slightly burned but still cool

May 24 2010

Lost [SPOILERS!! plus: blah]


Blah blah blah blah half of it was just a dream, ha ha ha we got you to invest your emotions in stuff that didn’t even really happen! blah blah.

Yadda yadda, the people doing the dreaming were dead, bet you didn’t expect that, ha ha blah blah blah.

OOEEOO white light = deep spirituality everybody knows that, yadda yadda.

Blah blah really good stuff that we won’t bother explaining because we don’t understand it ourselves, we only stumbled on it by accident OMG what do we do now, oh, look here’s a carpet, shove it under, blah blah.

PLUS: Blah blah “not science fiction” yadda yadda.

Also: Where was Michael and Walt?

And: Dogs, apparently, do not go to heaven.

For something more coherent, go to Catherynne M. Valenti’s post on the subject. Which she wrote, like, five days BEFORE the Lost finale.

Sample quote:

….the difference between realism and non-realism is that realism has no interest in consistent world-building or rules, or even making anything have narrative logic, because those artists think their work takes place in the real world and therefore requires none of these things. The real world is already built, yo. It doesn’t need explanations.

And this:

There is literally not a single realist show that could not be made more awesome by adding robots, monsters, time travel, or magic. You can try to come up with one, but you will fail. Why do you think Buffy and her unfortunately step-children The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, etc are so loved? Because they are 90210 with vampires, and that is better than just regular 90210.

Don’t just read quotes! Go there!
[Note: Contains expletives — AS IT SHOULD!]

May 17 2010

Another auction item


There’s some great stuff out there, folks. Remember, this is an auction by SF and Fantasy pros and fans, to raise money to help my friend Deb Mensinger, wife of fantasy author Laurie J Marks. Deb needs a liver transplant, and there are extra expenses not paid by insurance.

SO I put another item up: a copy of the Brit edition of The Steerswoman PLUS an actual example of the jewel (so-called, heh) from the book. The photo here is not so hot, I have no actual digital camera, just a webcam… But trust me, this looks cool.

book map jewel

The “jewel” is in a black frame, against a miniature of the map from the book.

No, you can’t buy it here! Go to the auction! There’s only a week left!

May 16 2010

This was distracting me, so I thought I’d get it out of the way


It seems to be a little poem, what I wrote just now:


Oh, Lawnmower man
How I hate you.

It is not possible that your lawn needs mowing
Every day, every day
ery day, ever
y day.

You have a tractor.
How pleasant for you.
You sit at your ease and ride, ride, ride.

Either you wear earmuffs
Or you are Deaf.
One or the other, it cannot be neither.

I cannot see you to tell,
So I am using pure logic, here.

I think you must hate your wife.
You say, “Oh, no, dear, I cannot converse
With you on a lovely sunny afternoon,
For as you can see, the lawn needs mowing.”

Or it is your wife who hates you?
“Fool of a man, must I listen to your blatherings
When as you can see, the lawn needs mowing?”

The lawn needs mowing every single day.
The grass cannot be permitted a fractional inch,
A centimeter of freedom.

Perhaps you are studying golf-course maintenance.
If so, when are your finals?
I will send you champagne when you graduate.

But, no, it has been five years now.
I fear you have failed in your ambitions.
Find a new dream.

One day I shall push through the brambles
Scratching my arms on the thorns, crushing
The poor little leaves as I tear through.
I will stride across your perfect perfect
Perfect grass, and come up behind you.

I’ll snatch those high-tech noise-blocking
Earmuffs from your head. You will turn
In surprise, and shut off the motor,
Agog at the madwoman.

I will speak.

I will say oh so many, many things.
They will startle and amaze you.

And if it should be that you actually are
I will say exactly the same in American Sign Language.
Because I have that ability.
So be warned.

No escape for you,
As there is none for me.

May 16 2010

Okay, I have exactly two tasks today.


1. Write!

2. Put together another item for the online auction to help Deb get a new liver.

See you later.

May 14 2010

Plus: Get off my lawn


Okay, I’m done talking about the repercussions of Facebook’s evil policies. I’ve just realized that I sound like some old person who just can’t let go of his or her pet obsession.

Said obsession usually being something incidental to real life.

Which this is. There are better things to think about, and write about. This is a waste of creative juice.

Plus: eats up time.

Also: the more you do it, the madder you get!

I shall continue to chase people off my lawn, yes, but I shall cease to report on it.

May 14 2010

Will the insults never cease?


So, got a little email from “The Facebook Team”, saying that a facebook friend suggested I would like a page called “Is this Real!?!” They named the friend, by first and last name (I won’t name him myself – let’s call him BL), so I figured, might be legit…

When I got to the page [I forgot to include the fact that I had to log into Facebook and that it was a Facebook page], it told me “I’m about to show you the craziest thing! Is it real? Decide for yourself…. to see what I’m talking about, click the code in the following box copy and paste it into your browser’s URL box and hit enter…”

And I’m already getting suspicious, because if they have something to show me, why isn’t it on the page? Plus: the quoted comments by other viewers have that whiff of insincerity, the way a moderately skilled ad-writer sounds when faking the enthusiasm of several ostensibly different persons. Also: the one photo displayed, of a previous “crazy thing” example, was a cross between a pig and a human being… And although I don’t know BL so well as to entirely rule out the possibility that he might have a weakness for National Enquirer-style sensationalist photojournalism, it strikes me as unlikely that a man of his intelligence, wit, breadth of knowledge and social responsibility would wish to share faked pictures of pig-babies with me.

But here’s the kicker: Above the box it said: “Note: please be patient, it might take a few moments if you have a lot of friends.”

Wait, what?

If I have a lot of friends? How could my number of friends affect the loading time of a web page? And remember, we are inside Facebook at this point…

Well, there you are, you see. That’s not a web page URL they want you to copy and paste. It’s a Java script. And although I do not know enough about Java to be able to tell what a script is going to do just by looking at it, I can’t help but notice that it does refer to a “SocialGraphManager”.

Yep. They’re just trying to capture my Friends list. Which probably already happened to some friend of BL. And they’re using BL’s friends list to try get access to his friends, all the way down the line.

I have no curiosity about what photo they would show me, should I foolishly decide to actually put that script into my browser. Probably involves extremely large breasts.

All this thanks to Facebook sharing your personal connections with the whole world — unless you search out and click on that “Do Not Abuse Me and My Friends” box.

End of rant.

May 12 2010

Why there’s no new post


I just spent two hours this morning, and an hour yesterday dealing with the repercussions of Pandora adopting Facebook’s sleazeball marketing tactics. I had to go through layer after layer of “opt outs” in both Facebook and Pandora. In the end, nothing worked and I had to get Pandora customer service to handle it on their end.

One should not need to locate and click a “DO NOT ABUSE ME AND MY FRIENDS” option box.

Then, of course, posting complaints on Pandora’s blog…

I want my three hours back. I had plans for them.

May 8 2010

Help my friend Deb Mensinger get a new liver!


Deb Mensinger, the wife of fantasy author Laurie J Marks needs a new liver, and it looks like the whole fan-and-pro community is jumping in to her out.

You can help, too! There’s an online auction to raise money for the incidental expenses involved. Go, there, buy some cool stuff — there are cookies made by a lawyer, voice lessions from a professional singer, a personal monthly letter from your very own Finnish correspondent! Plus any number of rare and autographed items. Jewelery, books — even someone offering to write a blog post for you!

Am I contributing items? You bet. I’ll be offering two things:

Item Number 1. an autographed copy of the British edition of The Steerswoman,. Ever since Del Rey combined The Steerswoman with The Outskirter’s Secret into one volume (The Steerswoman’s Road) it’s been hard to find a stand-alone copy of just one or the other. But I have some copies of the British edition of the first book. This is good for introducing friends to the series, when they might balk at investing the time to read a double-sized trade paperback. Plus: different cover art, and all exclamation points removed from the back-cover blurb (hey, they’re Brits).

there's a much better image on the auction site, so why not go there?no exlamations please, we're British

Item Number 2. Ha! I’m not telling. Yet. You’ll have to go to the auction site to find out! (In a day or so… it’s not up there yet, but go ahead and look at the other things offered.)

It’s all for a good cause. These are two people who are very dear to me.

Laurie seated, Deb standing