(no subject)

  A short story is like a pal at a bar. Not when you're writing it—most writers talk about that, the struggle, the craft, etc etc. Later, when it's done, it's a place you visit that's familiar. You have a lot in common. Like any friend, not everything it does pleases you, and some nights you'd rather not take the phone call. And some days the phone doesn't ring.
  But it isn't your pal, it's your gang and your hang. The conversation is stimulating; more than that, it's satisfying. It takes you somewhere you need to be from somewhere you had to be. It's exactly the right place for it, too: this is where, and when, these people would say those things.
  You replay the soundtrack. Fast forward and rewind. Linger. Hesitate before the payoff, knowing you'll be back again. It isn't enough. It isn't the last door you'll walk through, but it is on the way.
  Some days you bring a screwdriver and tighten a hinge, or a cloth for the glass. Most people notice the door, but you remember when it was unformed. Some say it's a child, that you birthed it, but no. It's a piece of art, not a living being. It doesn't grow or evolve except by your hand, but it can change that way—if you can, if need be.

Fly Me Beyond the Moon

A new verse for "Fly Me to the Moon".

Raise me to the sky
Faster than the speed of light
Take me past the sunset into
Starry starry night

In other words, walk beside
In other words, smile at me

Lighter than a cloud
Silent as the dawn of time
Nothing in the world except the
Thought that you are mine

In other words, pull me through
In other words, I love you

Recent Books

Classical Mythology: The Greeks. Audio lecture series.
Aeschylus: The Orestia (The Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides). Translation (Paul Roche) used a lot of modern equivalents; my complaint with that is that I like to know whether a classic is the source of a phrase.

James Patterson: 1st to Die (audio).

Dean Koontz: Forever Odd. Good; moved on to Brother Odd (audio).

Walter Lord: A Night To Remember. (might have listed this already - it was a few months back)

Lillian Jackson Braun: The Cat Who Said Cheese, The Cat Who Tailed A Thief, The Cat Who Sang for the Birds.

Peter W. Huber: Galileo's Revenge. Case studies where cherry-picked expert witnesses won cases despite giving testimony that was discredited in scientific circles.

Recent Books

The Cat Who Moved A Mountain
The Cat Who Came To Breakfast
The Cat Who Wasn't There
The Cat Who Went Into The Closet
The Cat Who Blew The Whistle

The Silence of the Lambs (audio)
Silent Spring (Librivox)

Not much to say about any of these except Silent Spring. I wrote my uncle, a farmer with graduate degrees in horticulture, to get his perspective on pesticides and herbicides, and that's becoming an interesting correspondence.

Recent Books

Continuing my review approach of letting them speak for themselves, if they were worthy of it.

Solzhenitsyn, Alexander.  Stories and Prose Poems.
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Tao Te Ching
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Frost, Mark.  The List of 7
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Lieber, Fritz.  Lean Times in Lankhmar (omnibus of Swords In the Mist and Swords Against Wizardry)
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Braun, Lillian Jackson.  The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare.
Braun, Lillian Jackson.  The Cat Who Robbed A Bank.
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Carr, Caleb.  The Angel of Darkness.
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McDevitt, Jack.  Chindi.
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Preiss, Byron (ed.)  The Ultimate Frankenstein.
   Not bad overall.  Most of the stories dealt with some way of bringing the original monster into the modern world or showing what sort of thing a twenty-first century doctor would create.

Preston, Douglas and Lincoln Child.  Riptide.
   Well, I enjoy their techno-thrillers, and this was a strong entry in their series.

Petroski, Henry.  The Evolution of Useful Things.
   Wow, that was a slog.  Would you like to know EVERYTHING about the history of modern cutlery?  How about the variations in patents on early paper clips?  Etc ad nauseum, or at least that was my experience.

Tyers, Kathy.  The Truce at Bakura.
   Early Star Wars novel, and as such some departure from current dogma about the Force.  Generally a bit precious.

The Great American

A coworker says that if the Mayans are wrong, and world doesn't end on Dec 21, he's out of excuses and will start his novel. I said I'd go along with that. Anyone else in?

Dec 22 is the day pen hits paper, so to speak. There's no rule that says you have to wait until then, and certainly research and plotting and other preparation are already underway. The idea is to have no remaining impediments to writing on Dec 22.


It's been a while, so I'll do this again...

I don't want to die. It's my goal to see the year 2050. I'm fairly paranoid about things and situations that could lead to my demise or serious damage.

So if something happens to me, rest assured that it was an accident, and I did everything I could to avoid it.

And no, there's nothing in particular going on that makes me feel the need to say this, other than driving in rush hour traffic. Matter of fact, I have a million to-dos involving long-term plans and generally fixing up life. I says this every few years just so nobody has to deal with those particular difficult thoughts in the hopefully unlikely event.

Spring Cleaning

Shee-wow, I have a lot of stuff. Right now I'm measuring my personal worth in empty containers and full trash bags. Some of this stuff has been around for a long, long time. Some of it is inexplicable.

I finally understand the motivation for scrapbooking. Nowhere near doing such a thing, just saying I get it.

Now, since my woodchipper is broken, I need to find a place that does bulk paper shredding.