Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Horrible Pun

OCCURRED TO ME while taking a kitten break from working on It’s Dolly’s Birthday (or while Earnie was taking a people break from rambuncting around house as kittens do).

It’s a touchstone of the craft that there are generally two types of writers — as regards plot and how she is made in fiction. There are those who plan every detail meticulously to the last tit and jottle — hight Outliners — and there are those who just sort of wing it, or (as the saying goes) fly by the seat of their pants — called Pantsers.

And it occurred to me that I do a little of both. I wing it at first, then try to organize what I’ve got into an outline, then hare off in a new direction entirely once I think I’ve got it nailed down.

So, what’s that make me? A panty-liner?

Ooo! That is horrible!

I thought so.

Joke ‘Em

BACK IN MY mis-spent youth, I heard a phrase from several of my gay friends and none of the straight ones (at least at first), which I believe originated in a comedy routine by gay favorite Bette Midler. It went, “Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

I forget the precise details of the routine, but as I remember it, there wasn’t a joke involved, if you know what I mean. It was just one of those bit sof sarcasm that gay men in particular and insider populations in general can be depended on to deliver into the cultural mindstream with great regularity. And, of course, since it also manages to strike right at the human funny bone in its surprise factor, (not to mention it has a pitch-perfect rhythm to it), it caught on quickly in the wider culture.

Nor did it take very long for an anagrammatic version — “Joke ’em if they can’t take a fuck,” later shortened to simply “Joke ’em” — to catch on as well.

One sense in which the phrase seems to have been used is in referring to and dismissing those nosy-parker elements in society which seem bent on policing private, victimless, consensual behavior — peering into the bedroom, so to speak. People who are not adult enough to be trusted with liberty because they cannot mind their own business.

(Which leads me into a wiki-wander around the acronym MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) and the Eric Frank Russell story, “And Then There Were None,” which introduced me to the acronym, but doesn’t appear to have originated it — at least, not in any way that garnered EFR full credit.)

I tell you that to tell you this:

Reading the comments to Sarah Hoyt’s current blog post — indeed, in the post itself — I find I keep coming back to muttering under my breath, “Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.” And remembering the famous line from Heinlein:

A “critic” is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is logic in this; he is unbiased — he hates all creative people equally.

And it makes me wonder: why do we put up with critics at all? Do we really have to have reviewers? Do we need to cater to them?

Remind me of why, again?

Quote of the Day

Those who want to make gun ownership harder are responsible for the consequences of their policies which put people at greater risk from criminals. It’s not ‘unintended consequences’ either, the anti-gun bigots are well aware that what they advocate for actually increases crime, they just prefer a woman to be raped and strangled to death over her successfully defending herself with a firearm.

Robb Allen

Obama Breaks Campaign Promise

THERE’S A DOG-BITES-MAN headline if ya ever heard one.

In this case, folks — a lot on the Left — have their panties in a wad over the Feds’ persecution of users of medical marijuana. People are using this stuff to relieve pain from [politically correct diseases –ed] HIV and AIDS they say. The cost of enforcement is too high.

And, of course, the prohibitionists have the comebacks: Marijuana has no demonstrated medical use and If it saves one life, it’s worth it.
Isn’t that your line?

Which is what happens when you argue details and — scorn quotes — “practical” points rather than principle.

Because, you see, the principle is that the Federal government does not have the authority to exercise over this matter. Those who started the long march to prohibition knew this, which is why they started it as a tax. But, over time, they abandoned that (although I bet the tax laws are still on the books — the law enforcement efforts simply no longer focus on them).

Yes, it’s true that the government’s position on the medical benefits may or may not be correct; yes, it’s true that the government-created black markets in drugs may or may not be responsible for most if not all of the social pathologies blamed on illegal drug abuse; yes, it’s true that the vicissitudes of enforcement contribute to the corruption of police departments across the land; yes, it’s true that the commensurate statute and case law to prohibition have or have not led to a deprecation of civil liberty as an absolute social good.

All of the arguments pro and con have two or more sides to them, and men of good will or bad faith can argue all sides all day. It. Doesn’t.

The slam-dunk argument — as it always is (or should be) with would-be tyrants — is that the government ain’t allowed to do this.

Now: make that argument and make it stick.

Cross-posted at Eternity Road.

So Sarah’s Been to See the Elephant

OR MAYBE SOMETHING a little less momentous like a red panda — still exotic, but not so darned big. She went to a workshop from which I wish there were available fly-on-the-wall recordings. It was about how authors can become publishers in the age of e-content.

If you are a writer, or if you know or love a writer, please go an read the whole thing. It’ll save a lot of punch-line explaining over the coming weeks, months, and — yes — years.

Covering This Topic

(I REALIZE) MOST slowly. It’s been some time since I lay down my first marker that I was intending to write about covers. I’ve hesitated to move ahead, for a variety of issues.

But Monday, Passive Guy posted a provocative, if not entirely informative, item — linking to a deeper article at Author Marketing Experts. The title of PG’s post is “Bad Cover = Dead Book,” while the article at AME is headed “8 Mistakes That Will Absolutely Kill Your Book.” I was piqued to compose this post.

While the advice offered is good, (Better be; these people depend for their livings on their judgement being accurate.), I tend to want to expand on one point.

Penny Sansevieri, at AME, instructs that, when you ask for opinions on your book’s cover, you should not mention design. That’s true, and so very, very wise. But that’s not to say you should not consider it when you’re art directing your cover before you expose it to the view of a focus group. In fact, you should consider nothing but the best in design. As Ms Sansevieri observes, if you buy cover art from a cookie-cutter factory, or do it yourself in PowerPoint from stock photos, you’re going to get something worth almost exactly what you paid for it.

And, as pointed out, an online buyer spends very few seconds on the buying decision. So your cover has to connect immediately and with great impact or you don’t have much of a chance for a sale.

So, without getting into specifics of typefaces, composition, source imagery, and the like, how is a poor, bottom-rung indie author to get good cover art? By looking for the very things your high school art teacher taught you about image composition: balance, unity, shape, flow, clarity (or readability), interest (or intrigue), negative space, and color.

Now, I could explain all those terms and concepts and offer illustrations of my meanings. But the bottom line is that, if you don’t understand them bone-deep, my explanation will not help you understand the subject any better. So, for the moment, trust me you need to know about these things, and that you should educate yourself on them. And, yes, it’s hard and a pain in the ass, but that’s what it means to be an independent businessman publishing your own work. Consider it a cost of freedom.

What all of this adds up to is that you must consider the “production values” of your design. Production values will determine the overall strength and impact of your design. Paying attention to them implies that you must look at quality of execution, to be sure, but also that you must not get so ambitious in your concept that you set your sights on something you can’t execute. Unless you have a lot of practice at pulling off experimental techniques, and are good at faking the killer dismount and the extra-points-for-style flourishes, don’t try them. People like me get paid to make it look easy, but doing it wrong can make you look like a chump. Worse, it can kill the sales of your book.

For an example of what production values can do or mean to an image, compare the movie Serenity with the television series Firefly. Same actors. Same writers, director, producer, and the rest. But the movie has ineffably superior production values, and it shows. The visual experience is just… sexier. And, while readers browsing a book store may not be able to articulate it, they do know quality production values when they see them, and will respond accordingly — and in the negative if the values are not there and are not high.

Look at the covers of the Top 100 new releases in science fiction and fantasy at Amazon. While it would be fun to go through them one at a time and comment, I suspect it could also be tedious, so let us pass on that. But you should study them yourself. They vary within a fairly narrow range of aesthetic choices taken for idiosyncratic reasons in each case. Observe both what has been done — and figure out why — as well as what has NOT been done.

Not all of these books will succeed. Just so, a good cover does not guarantee success. Nor does a bad cover assure failure. In either case, the cover — like DNA — is not destiny so much as it indicates a tendency — a probability. When a reader looks at your cover, he will take his 6 or 8 seconds to judge the tendency of your book. Whether the judgement is valid or not is immaterial — the judgement will be rendered, and on it hangs your fortune.

Now go and study your cover(s) and assess where they go right. Or wrong.

Cross-posted at Musings of an Indie Writer.

Speaking of Covers

OVER THE WEEKEND I brought home about ten boxes of books from storage. These are what I think of as my “Desk Books — the ones I like to keep handy to my working area for reference of one type or another. Aside from the fiction, these are layman’s books on subjects I want to survey, or they are abstruse texts on narrow subject areas I want to learn at greater depth. Or they are histories or biographies of people and events I’m referring to in one fashion or another in my storytelling. Or they are standard references, or how-to texts on the subjects of writing and storytelling.

I have been without them for 5 years and some. They have been sorely missed. The recent sale of a bunch of books has cleared the shelf space rightly made for my Desk Books, and now I have them back.

I use a service called Library Thing to catalog my collection. No, it’s not free, but for a bibliophile, the low price is worthwhile. I have begun entering this “new” batch of acquisitions there. If you want to look for ideas for purchases, or just to drool, check it out. If it doesn’t come up in cover display, click the Covers button at the top of the listing. And, by all means, if you want to buy, click through to Amazon — the site gets some small measure of support from your purchases and there’s no additional cost to you.

Look. You Don’t Get Away With

LYING JUST BY TRYING to redefine the terms. If you take something from me under threat of violence should I refuse, then it’s not sacrifice, it’s armed robbery. And you may be able to fool yourself and your gullible followers on that point, but me you’re only pissing off with your attempted insult to my intelligence.

Yes, I am talkin’ ta you, Joe Biden.

If Only Uncle Joe Knew

SOME OF THE MAN-CAUSED DISASTERS under the Stalin regime in the Soviet Union were not done in secret. People knew they were going on at the time, and the victims of the actions could scarcely believe their eyes. Letters were written to Uncle Joe (Stalin), begging him for relief from these importuning local bureaucrats. “If only Uncle Joe knew this was going on,” people thought, “surely he’d stop it.”

Tell yourself the truth, you’ve thought much the same upon occasion. Surely Hilary Clinton couldn’t seriously intend the utter disaster the health care plan being built in her name would visit on the American people, our economy, our nation. She has the reputation of being a smart woman — to countenance such idiocy runs counter to that.

Surely a firm liberal can’t possibly support gun control. Not with all the evidence of what despotic governments have done to disarmed populations. That runs counter to everything liberals profess to believe about liberty and self-determination.

You’ve cried out to shame the thunder that the press is obligated — as a matter of sacred duty — to challenge [fill-in-the-blank]’s lies, such as he blathered in a White House press conference only yesterday!

If only somebody in this person’s orb had the sense and the gonads to tell him the unpleasant truth about the risky nature, the wild unpopularity, the flat-out illegality of his policy prescriptions, you’ve thought, he’d have to change his mind — or, at least, consider the alternative.


Well, apparently, somebody DID tell Obama all that. And, guess what? Din’t mean shit.

What lesson should you, Gentle Reader, draw from this? Why, when a man tells you what he’s going to do to you, take him at his word.

It’s not as though Obama was at all shy about his intent to destroy the American economy, eviscerate the Constitution, and in general vitiate his oath of office.

Did you think he was lying to you when he told you he was going to make coal-fired electrical power so expensive as to drive it off the market?

Did you think he was kidding when he (in the person of his harridan wife) told you he was going to put the lie to American history, to revise our national ideals, to, in short, redefine the American experiment to one in socialism, rather than freedom?

Did you think Obama was mistaken when he told you he would gladly accept being a one-term president, so long as he could wreak his havoc in that one term?

Don’t be silly.

Cross-posted at Eternity Road.

Just Piling On Here



What would fish be doing in a barrel?


Nevermind. Sorry I interrupted.

Lots of people have noticed that Vice President Joe “The Stupidest Man in the Senate — EVER” “Plugs” Biden is guilty of … well, I don’t know … just stupid I guess … when he asserts that increasing funding for police and fire will stop rape and murder.

Now, da Doll has been in a lot of situations where her life or virtue was at risk from physically superior assailants.

And — lest you regular readers need to be reminded of it — da Doll is an actual sworn, armed officer of the law — technically. Got a gold badge and everything.

‘N’ I don’t really fancy that payin’ me any more would have made the situation any more — you know — survivable at any particular juncture.

‘N’ I also can cypher it pretty easy — since I did and it did
— that, were I to call for backup, it would take longer for assisting officers to get there than it would have taken to kill me, if I were powerless to resist.

Wouldn’t have mattered how many officers there were on the force total, or on that ‘tic’l’r shift, ’cause the important factor was the time to on-scene, and that’s pretty much fixed at — as I say — longer’n it’d take t’ kill me.

So, considering the desirability of having moi here to ‘splain this to you, it’s really lucky that I didn’t rely on backup to save me, that I had my service weapon on my person, was trained in its use, and was able to keep enough of my cool to assist my assailants in assuming room temperature.

So the point here is that, were the Veep and Mr. O really and truly interested and concerned for potential victims of rape and murder, they wouldn’t lie to you and tell you that temporarily hiring more cops with tax money we don’t have (remember: 40% of the budget is borrowed money) (OK, no budget, so not of the budget, but of the money the government misappropriates and spends unlawfully, but still … FORTY PERCENT!) will save you from someone bent on fucking you up in ANY sense, and instead encourage you to buy a gun and learn how to use it.

This has been da Doll, piling on.

For Every Two Jobs

CREATED IN THE PRIVATE sector, they say, we are losing one job in the public sector.

Which, aside from the relative figures being PDOOTA (Pulled Directly Out Of Their Asses), they say like that was a bad thing.

So I Get This Cell Spammer

KEEPS CALLING ME on a cell phone that IS listed in the DO NOT CALL registry. It’s from a company trying to sell those vacation condo pitches, in which I could NOT be less interested. I’ve filed complaints with the FTC. Multiple times. It’s like dropping a pebble in a well. Nada.

Now, there’s only two options on the call menu — Accept and Decline. There ought to be a third: Reach Back Down the Line and Rip The %#+@!!#*@ Caller’s Lungs Out, Jim.

No possibility of abuse there.

Don’t start none, won’t be none. It’d never occur to me to use that gratuitously if nobody called me. I’ve got better things to do.

And everybody has your restraint?

Probably not. But that’s the chance you take when you engage in anti-social behavior.

Never get used on innocent people?

Of course it will. That doesn’t justify prior constraint.

I Guess I Slip

OUT OF THE WOOKIE suit at the shoreline. Because I disagree with Ron Paul that we should cut off all foreign aid. I believe we should aid foreign countries. We should aid those that permit their citizens at least the freedom we have here. We should aid pluralistic societies, societies that permit freedom of conscience, speech, assembly, association, the right of self-defense, against self-incrimination, against unreasonable search and seizure…

In short, we should be encouraging the spread of our own values in the world by directing our foreign aid in that direction.

We should not, as Ron says, be robbing our own poor to enrich tyrants and bandits in despotic regimes because they suck up to our diplomats in the right manner.

But then, I’ve never seen anything wrong with the idea of a Pax Americana.

Myriad Folks Have Already

POINTED OUT THE VACUITY (not to mention mendacious nature) of a commercial being run by the public employees union thugs in support of the Repeal Senate Bill 5 initiative.

(For out-of-staters, SB5 was the bill — signed into law by Gov. Kasich — which followed the trail broken by Wisconsin earlier on in aid of saving various polities from bankruptcy (and massive layoffs, it should be noted) by relieving them of the requirement to support unsustainable and outlandish benefits packages.

(This current ballot initiative is a perfect example of the treacherous nature of the Left. It refuses to recognize or even acknowledge the results of an election. It seeks, instead, to overturn the election — which resulted in a Republican governor and a Republican majority in the state assembly being elected as a part of the TEA Party tsunami last November.

(Said governor and majority discussed and brought to pass a bill enacting the principles the public appeared to agree to as evidenced by those election results. The public has been subjected to a non-stop temper-tantrum ever since the bill was signed.

(The Left — in the persons of ASFCME, SEIU, and the rest of the usual suspects — has ranted non-stop about how, if SB5 be allowed to stand, houses will burn, you won’t be safe in your beds, and your children will go barefoot, hungry, and ignorant.

(Nevermind that these conditions occur now, and the state — and municipalities in the state — are on an asymptotic curve to bankruptcy.))

The commercial in question harkens back to the old Brinks security TV commercial in which a housebreaker throws a brick through a sliding glass door in the direct sight of a female occupant of the house (one presumes the wife of the married couple whose children have just been sent to bed). Instantly, the house alarm goes bonkers and the phone rings. It’s Brinks’ monitoring facility, responding to the alarm.

(Which, if I answered that in a similar situation, I would be tempted to snark, “Don’t distract me; you’ll throw my aim off.”)

But to which commercial, the gunny community has copiously responded with snark and snorts of derision, and bumper stickers slogans such as, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

So, now, in a state with (how many million?) CCW holders, the unions are trying to scare the public with the notion that, if they support Issue 2, which vote would uphold SB5, cutbacks in police and fire (and, somehow, the teachers) would leave householders vulnerable to home invasions.

Which, as I say, is said as though that condition didn’t already obtain.

It is to laugh.

I tell you that to tell you this: As I have, I hope, amply demonstrated, the commercial — indeed, the whole campaign — is founded in a lie, and that is that SB5 will inevitably result in cutbacks when, in fact, the exact opposite is true — failure to act in this matter will result in budget shortfalls and therefor the threatened cutbacks, not the opposite.

That’s right, the unions are lying to you. Again.

::gasp!:: Shocked, I tell you — shocked!

And, for about the brazilianth time, I axes ya: why do you continue to support these people who do not have your best interests at heart, only want to further entrench and enhance their own power at your expense, to force you willy-nilly to contribute your hard earned money to their cause, and WILL NOT come to your rescue if their policies cost you your livelihood?


How Can You Tell

WHEN OBAMA is lying?

Because his lips are moving?

Well, that, too, but … no.


Yes. Every word he says is a lie, including “a,” “an,” and “the.” But that’s not my point.

OJ. I give.

O… J?

Yeah. It’s one before OK.

Oh. Kaayyy.


What what?

FOCUS, man! How can you tell when Obama is lying?

Oh! That. Easy: his ears get bigger.

Perhaps the Snark Here

IS TOO SUBTLE or something, but the post is so earnestly written that I suspect it is, at least in part, well… in earnest.

And methinks ser Williamson has made a bit of a category error, in that he assumes the #OWS temper tantrums are intended to persuade anyone of anything.

Me, I don’t think so.

This looks a lot less like the free speech movement and a lot more like the Youth International Party. In other words — shit-stirring for its own sake. Somebody, somewhere, with the money to drive this thing, sees benefit in the chaos. And that is the only end of the exercise.

Because, as Michael Z observes, this stuff is not rocket surgery. It’s old hat, has been known and taught red diaper babies in their mother’s milk for well over a century. There are no unintended consequences, and disingenuously pretending there are in the aid of social satire is a chump’s game.

He said.

Yet Another Reason to Take

WHAT CRITTERS SAY (as opposed to betas — critters are other writers; betas are readers; vast difference) with a grain of salt.

Back in ought-four or so, I was shopping Geppetto’s Log, and there was a scene in which the Walkers met Drummond’s then-and-soon-to-be-ex girlfriend, Semiramis East. And I wrote that Witchlet (who is a lipstick lesbian and GUG (Gay Until Graduation, except that she’s a post-doc)) gets turned on and ogles Semi’s hot body. Subtly, of course.

Since there’s supposed to be sexual tension and love/hate/love attraction between Witchlet and Drummond, I figured, this is a good way to heighten all of that tension.

One of the critters came down with a “no woman would ever do/say/think that.” Which, even then, I knew not to give much credence. The bit stayed in.

I do, however, feel vindicated.

Hat tip: Insty.

Cross-posted at Musings of an Indie Writer.

This Whole Meme

“I READ IT IN THE PAPERS” dodge from government officials needs to be slapped down and hard. “Mr. President, how is it that you only learned of a major initiative of your administration in the newspapers a few weeks ago? Doesn’t this touch on your competence? Shouldn’t you be expected to know — not the minutiae of every department’s quotidian operations, surely — but the broad strokes of major initiatives? If you didn’t know about it, why not? And, if it was a rogue, rump operation, why have not those responsible been fired and/or prosecuted?”

Quote of the Century

YES, I KNOW IT’S EARLY DAYS, yet, but that’s OK — it’s that good.

It’s not defensible to support communism.

Sarah Hoyt

RTWT to find out why. (As if you shouldn’t already know.

While I’m Not

ENTIRELY THRILLED BY Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan — for all the reasons so widely explicated elsewhere — I much prefer it to “Obamacare Light” from the favorite son of the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts. Not only that, but it seems Romney specializes in just the kind of trimming that has lost so much ground for us In the Right.

Tangentially — Ohio’s primary is rather late in things. I remember in ought-eight saying that I would vote Thompson in the primary and hold my nose for whomever in the general. Spare days later — and about a month before I ever even got the chance, it was all over, thanks to the odious West Virginia Collusion between McCain and Huckabee.

Talk about disenfranchisement.

The Price of Compassion

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS when you refuse to countenance the death penalty for even the most heinous criminals.

Musab Hashlemon, a Hamas operative from Hebron, who received 17 life sentences for his role in facilitating a 2004 double suicide attack in Hebron. Sixteen civilians were murdered when suicide bombers dispatched by Hashlemon detonated themselves on two city buses.

In January 2004, Hashlemon — at the time a minor Hamas operative — was released in a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hizballah. He will be deported to Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Also on the list is Nasser Yataima, involved in planning the March 2002 suicide attack on a Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya, in which 30 people were killed and 140 wounded.

Another is Abd al-Aziz Salaha, who participated in the October 2000 lynching of two IDF reservists who mistakenly drove into a mob of Palestinians in Ramallah. Salaha was photographed holding his blood-soaked hands out of the window.

Ahlam Tamimi, a female Hamas terrorist convicted of participating in the August 2001 bombing of a Sbarro’s pizzeria in Jerusalem in which 15 people were killed and 130 wounded. She has previously declared that she does not regret her role in the massacre.

Ibrahim Jundiya, who sent a suicide bomber to blow up a bus in Jerusalem in 2002, killing 11 people, will be deported to Hamas-ruled Gaza, as will Fadi Muhammad al-Jabaa, who plotted the 2003 suicide bombing of a Haifa bus, where 17 passengers were killed. Walid Aqel, who founded Hamas’ military wing, the Izzedin al-Qassam Military Brigades, in the 1990s, will be released from prison and sent to Turkey.

Somebody in my hearing quoted somebody else they remembered saying, “When you punch somebody, you hurt your fist.” I think of that whenever I call for the IDF to start at the Green Line and perform a curettement of Gaza and/or the West Bank. The soldiers who would have to perform that task would bear it to their graves. Not a thing to ask of young men and women. But… better that they should die at the hands of howling madmen? That their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandfathers and grandmothers should die at the hands of mad dogs who would offer no quarter in return?

The One Good Thing

I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT Tuesday’s prisoner exchange is that they have the relative values about right — one Israeli soldier for a thousand splodeydopes.

Talk about the iron laws of the market.

So, When O’Bambi Says

“THERE DOESN’T SEEM to be much listening going on in Washington these days,” is it rude, crude, and unattractive to ask him to kindly shut his piehole and open his ears?

No ears jokes! Remember? He’s sahns-si-tivve about them.

Oh. Right. Sorry.

Quets-chun Fer Ya

WHO, I AXE YA, is the more a bigot: the guy who wants a fence built along the southern border to enforce the laws against illegal — stress that: illegal — invasions by alien individuals, or the guy who assumes that the fence will mostly stop Messicans, and that therefore people with Spanish surnames will be offended — even if they come here legally from Spain or Cuba or Argentina or have been legal residents since before the country was founded?

Before you answer, think carefully about the meaning of the word, “bigot”.

I Didn’t Even Have to Yell, “Do You Know Who I Am?”

SO I WAS CHARGING my Kindle this afternoon. Just because. And I turned it off, unplugged it, and put it in my pocket. Toni and I headed out to Half Price Books. Toni estimated the sale of five boxes of books would take about a half-hour. I knew I couldn’t stay on my feet wandering around even a book store that long, so I took the Kindle along to amuse myself while I waited.

Got to the store. Saw the boxes of books taken inside. Found a bench out in the crisp, autumn air, and settled down to read. (H.Beam Piper’s Uller Uprising, if you must know.)

And the lady in the AT&T-sponsored screensaver started to look like she’d been a Picasso girlfriend at one time or another. Resetting the Kindle didn’t fix. Fargle.

So, when we got home after a Red Lobster dinner that couldn’t be beat (thanks, Jess!), I called Amazon, and the bright and cheerful young lady on the phone, there, took my particulars, looked up the device, and allowed as how, “That’s not cool.” And she set me up to get a replacement shipped to me — in hand by Tuesday. Ship the other one back within thirty days in the same packaging.

And I didn’t even have to act like an elected Democrat to get that kind of service.

It’s not that the good ones never have stuff happen. It’s that, when it does, they fix it.

A Question on Standard Manuscript Format

SINCE I FIRST STARTED using a digital word processor to write, I have used what I’ve come to think of as SMS (Standard Manuscript Format) — 12pt (10 pitch) Courier or Courier New with 60 character (10 word) lines, 25 lines per page, double-spaced, no smart quotes, no type styling, all styles indicated by underlines, hyphenation, widow, and orphan control turned off. As close as possible to a plain-Jane typewriter MS.

The purpose for this, of course, is to give the typesetter the plainest, most-vanilla MS possible. Since this was the desired work product end point, there was little sense to convert between other formats for the sake of a little convenience in writing.

Now, though, I’m contemplating self-publishing, in eBook formats to start. I’m also starting out with a new tool — Scrivener. And I’m wondering: should I throw out all that standard MS bunk and work as close as possible to my end product?

I Started a Joke

WELL, ACTUALLY, BOBBI X STARTED IT and I almost posted a comment to the generic blog post comment thread, to the effect of: This Post Removed by Author (which never makes it clear whether it’s the author of the post, the overal blog, or the comment who removed it — if it matters).

But then, I had the Fonzie moment. You know, the one in the opener from Happy Days when he goes to comb his hair in the restroom mirror, whips out his comb, realizes his hair is already perfect (a quart of Brillcream’ll do that for you), and he goes “‘Eeeyyyy!” and re-pockets his comb.

It (the comment thread) is perfect the way it is. And a hearty golf clap to the commenters who dove right into the spirit of the thing — even got some on their faces — and pulled it off most wonderfully.

I Just Love It When

CLUELESS LIBERALS* LEFTISTS witter on about opinions and policy stances in the Right, thereby demonstrating with 1080p HD clarity their utter bereft-ness of clue.

The GOP’s primary-voting base does believe that the media and the Democrats are in collusion to pick as the Republican presidential nominee a candidate they think their man can beat handily — or, if necessary, in a fraudulent squeaker, but surely not someone who, voicing full-throated, red-blooded Americanism would win in a tsunami surpassed only by Ronaldus Magnus’s 49-state beatdown of MON-dull in ’84.

As such, poo-pooing that belief on behalf of your favorite generic Northeast (Liberal) Establishment Country Club Blueblood Republican RINO Statist (read: Mitt Romney) will get you exactly nowhere, except with your best buds in the demo-media locker room, snapping towels at each others naked baboon-red asses.

That IS, indeed, exactly how we got McCain in ’08. NOBODY in the Right wanted him. The only reason he did as well as he did in the general was because he ran with Palin as his veep. Were it up to the voters out here in flyover country, the ticket would have been flipped, with Johnny headed for the Naval Observatory, not 1600 Pee-A Ave.

And THAT ticket would have won.

Trouble is, that probably would have upset the Georgetown-K-Street rice bowls, and we can’t have that.

So, at the beginning of the campaign season, we In the Right faced a prospect of being blessed with a surfeit of choice — the possibility of both Bachman and Palin running, and a Reaganesque landslide win, coat-tailing along with it another record freshman class of Tea Party Republicans in Congress.

But NOOOooooo. That whole rice bowl thing.

The media does this every time. They pick the most left-leaning apparent candidate and annoint him the winner. And the party establishment goes along with it, because they know they can count on the base to hold their noses and vote. And, sure as shit, every time, enough of the base says, “no more!”
and stays home or votes for the message candidate (you know: the wookie-suiter), and the Democrat wins. Unless the Republican is liberal enough to placate the establishment. Almost like they want it that way.

Almost enough to make you agree with the guys who claim “we’re not voting our way out of this.” (While I can’t DISagree, I have to ask the followup:
“Fair enough. THEN what?”)

Or hope that the current process of hollwoing out the GOP and taking it over from within going on at the state and local level will bear fruit in some near-future election cycle.

Meantime, as reporters and print shop folk join the rest of us on the unemployment line, they can wonder about the wisdom of lying to the consumers of your product. (Note: I’m not calling consumers of news the customers; they’re not; they’re the product; the advertisers are the customers, but they have to be feeling the pinch, too, and wonder about the wisdom of supporting a media that lies to its consumers.)

* ‘Struth, all the true liberals are In the Right. On the Left hand, we have the greedy, the grasping, the sociopathic, so eager to rule over others, that they acknowledge no limits to their arrogance of power.

Typical Leftists

TO BITCH ABOUT IT WHEN ADULTS move to clean up after them. (Mom: “If you don’t clean your room, I will, and you won’t like how I do it!”).

Instead of — you know — doing it themselves.

Another way the OWS Infest-Your-Place-Fest is NOT like the TEA Party.

Rush made a funny opening his show on Friday. He suggested maybe the (adults in the) TEA Party should go down to that park in lower Manhattan where the Infest Your Place clowns have fouled their nest (so typical) and clean up after them.

Can you picture the barricades? A bunch of whiney little titty babies on one side armed with their outrage and their stench. On the other side, a phalanx of soccer moms, presenting serried ranks of string mops like hoplites with their spears, the second cohort carrying 5-gallon wringer buckets filled with steaming hot water and Pine-Sol. The soccer mom phalanx advances with all good discipline, in-step, ranks dressed and holding straight. The brat brigades waver, then break and run, their courage utterly broken by the prospect of a good scrubbing.

As they scatter like roaches when the lights come on, comes the cry, “Let fly the white doves!” and countless Febreeze grenades sail over the front ranks of the phalanx to land and burst among the fleeing basement-dwellers, spewing fragrant clouds of aromatic, odor-destroying air freshener.

How Long Will It Last

I’VE WRITTEN SOME here and there that people make a serious mistake when they assume that current trends will continue straight-line. This is especially true when you consider that most trends are built from a single data point — or two at best — and a ruler. You don’t know if that one data point is accurate, and with two, you don’t know if either of them is accurate. To build a trend prediction on such thin data is arrant foolishness.

Bob Mayer writes with some countervailing thought to the current optimism that the current trend favoring independent publisher-authors cannot continue straight-line on its apparent path.

He reasons that there is no sense in assuming that the current players in these waters will stand thus amazed by the brilliance of the independent movement and not act to recover their previously (and current) dominant position in the market. Why should they?

Now, individuals and companies may make stupid moves and fall away. The die-off may make the extinction of the dinosaurs look like a mild flu epidemic, but there will be survivors among the current players, and they will more-than-likely dominate the market. They will embrace those parts of the independent movement that make sense to their business models, and they will co-opt those independents who look to be making good money, and the rest will either fall away or adapt.

Makes sense to me. The field will look differently in January, and will look differently in a year, two, and ten. But it’s like a scene. If you write a scene in which your protagonist blows in, has his way with the antagonist, and the antagonist has nothing to say about it, no motivation to resist, no agenda of his own, you are going to tell yourself that’s a stupid way to write a scene. So why would you assume that people would act like that in real life?

It’s beginning to look as though there’s a brief window of opportunity for pure-indie authors, that will last until next summer at the longest. Then the reaction of the New York houses will begin to take hold. I guess you could count that as a prediction, which looks like it might overestimate the intelligence and nimbleness of the traditional publishsing world. It’ll be interesting to look back in June and see how wrong or right I was.

So Algore Beclowns Himself Again

BLATHERING THAT AMERICA NEEDS a “non-violent” revolution “like Tahrir Square.”

Non-violent. Like Tahrir Square. I theen’ that word does not mean what you theen’ it means.

And, Al says, not like the — you know — Tea Party.

Not polite, orderly, peaceful, focused on playing by the rules, demanding fiscal sanity, respect for individual liberty, private property rights, civil rights and the rule of law.

Not like the Tea Party.


So… Same old question, eh? Is Al really that stupid? Or does he expect his audience is that stupid?

Yup. Same old story, same old song and dance.

Writing Tool

IF YOU’VE BEEN WRITING for long, seriously, or as a hobby, you’ve played with more than one application for getting the words out of your head. Text editors. Word processors. Page layout apps. Publishing apps.

And none of them were all that. For the most part, they were tools made for other purposes that you tried to make your projects fit into. Like an octagonal 9/16″ peg in a pentagonal 3/32″ hole. Or worse — peg had 64 threads to the inch and the hole was threaded the opposite hand and, like, four to the inch.

And, if you followed the scene, you’ve probably heard of a bunch of apps that were supposedly meant for writers. One I looked at was meant for screen writers. Square peg; round hole. I figured. “Hey! I could use to be more like a teleplay and less like a set of those nesting Russian dolls with multiple layers of exposition.”


And, if you really, really followed the scene, you’ve heard of this thing called Scrivener. And thought it would be the bees knees. And were absolutely crushed — I mean ripped out your heart and stomped that sucker flat — when you learned it was Mac-only.

Me, too. I know Macs. I’ve worked on them. I just never figured I could afford one for my home machine.

And, really, I’d be happy if all I had to write on was a DOS 3 box.

OK. I’m lying. I’d rather have the Mac. But — seriously? The price?

So I stayed outside the candy store and drooled on the outside of the window, staring at this nirvana machine I’d never have.

But… about a year ago, they announced they were going to develop it for Windows. Then, a few months back, they announced they’d be releasing it RSN.

Like… November 7.

And it’s available for a limited time free download in beta.(Expires November 7.) So you’ll have to buy the real thing when it comes out. But, then, it’s not that pricey, really.

And, yes, it is the bees knees.

So the Tweet from Entertainment Weekly

READS, “KANYE West blesses Occupy Wall Street protests.”

Yeah, well, we already knew Kanye was a f***ing idiot. Now we have confirmation that whoever tweets for EW is, too.

Quote of the Day

Okay, seriously now: Why is your protest doomed to fail? Because you’re not too bright, not too dedicated, have no coherent position, and are shallow and lazy, as well as enjoying a standard of living that 99% (See what I did there?) of the people on Earth can only dream about. You can’t pay your student loans? That mother of 8 in Bangladesh totally sympathizes. You have a car, but it’s tough to make payments on time? That guy in Zimbabwe with the wheeled cart feels your pain. You had to work overtime? The Egyptian contractors we had overseas understand. If they’d had overtime on top of their 72 hour workweeks, they’d have been sad.

Michael Z.

Warmistas to Gore: Get Lost

COON’T HA’ HAPP’N’D to a nicer guy. So I’ve got a question: does this mean that all those idiots (useful or not) who Algore sucked into the warmist movement with his lies will suddenly see the light?

Surely you jest.

No. I’m dead serious. And don’t call me Leslie.

Worse than Robespierre

SO THE “INFEST YOUR FACE” crowd are still out there demonstrating…

Considering they’re calling for the violent overthrow of the Federal government, when do you start saying they’re revolting?

Oh, pretty much from the start.

Oo! Hoo-hoo-hoo!

Makes you wonder if there’s any common root between ferrous and feral.


Because of the irony, y’see.

Ha! And — oh, yeah — HA! Swennyways: what are they demonstrating? (And don’t say, “What’ve ya got?”)

Mixed yer metaphors, there, Dolly. As for the “what” of it, I’d have to say they’re demonstrating with crystalline pellucidity why nobody should ever pay any attention to any of them ever again.

Ah! I see. Good point.

Quote of the Day

OCCUPY THIS edition, from Jeff Goldstein.

As these astroturfed spectacles gain more and more media attention, remember this: the Democrats, and the Obama Administration in particular, own this. And the problem with enlisting the aid of anti-Semitic Marxist anarchists to try to turn the “middle class” against the banks and corporations (incidentally, a necessary, manufactured and orchestrated step for bringing about a public outcry for socialism, according to Cloward-Piven and Alinsky), is that you can’t spell “useful idiots” without “idiots” — and at the end of the day, your revolutionary foot soldiers are precisely the kind of people who will erupt in violence, gin up race hatreds, give voice to anti-capitalist/anti-Semitic sentiment, and, of, course, begin taking dumps on cars.

– And all for a demonstrable lie.

According to Reports from the Scene

THERE WERE MORE PEOPLE at the “We Stand with Gibson” (and, by implication, against Obama regime) rally in Nashville, yesterday than there were at the “Infest” — er — “Occupy Nashville” rally. Demonstration. Riot. Temper tantrum. WHAT. Everrr.

Tangentially, this from the Real King of France.

Heh. Too true, although I think Roger pegs the start date a tad late. There will be leftists with us always. World without end.

This Morning’s Ear Worm

Quote of the Day

I am unwilling to publicly present work under my name (let alone charge money for it) which isn’t a wholly professional presentation.

–Laura Resnick, in comments
at Dean Wesley Smith’s blog.

Get a Job

OCCUPY THIS occupy that! Occupy your own underpants. All this occupying puts me in mind of this fact: in the sense as-used, as well as the military-slash-geopolitical sense, “to occupy” is a verb that implies more than mere — well — occupation. It implies that one is unwelcome where one is doing all this occupyin’. It implies that one has taken the place one occupies by — shall we say…? — less than entirely legitimate means. By force, even. (Or, as Latin scholars will recall Caesar used to say all the time, “by storm.”) (Stormtroopers, anyone?)

And it occurs to me to ask… Is that really a good political argument, persuasiveness-wise?

Of course, there is another sense of the noun occupation, which I suggest humbly those occupied in all this occupation engage in.

Over the Past

COUPLE OF WHATEVERS (weeks, months, years — whatever), there’s been a whole tank-car full of pixels expended on the death throes of the traditional, New York publishing houses. I’m not certain that all of those houses will be going away in the near future — only the ones who aren’t smart and nimble enough to adapt to new realities. (I’m betting on Baen’s making the transition handily, inter-unnamed-alia.)

David Gaughran has a take on some of it.

Here’s an illustration of how easy it is to do some of the mechanics of this.

I got a late start on my dinner Wednesday night. It was coming down on eight-thirty, and I’d just thrown some sirloin cubes on to brown. Figure five minutes per turn/stir. I picked up my Kindle and realized I’d finished the book I was reading. I wanted to read the sequel, but knew it wasn’t available on Amazon, so googled for another edition. What I found was in Word .doc format. So I dl’d it. At the same time, I googled, dl’d, and installed Calibre. That’s just by way of telling you I had no experience or practice in the process. While I was at it, I found the third book in the series in .doc format. (These are all out of copyright, BTW, by a long-dead author so I’m not ripping off the author or anything.)

I loaded the .doc formats into Calibre. Tried a conversion. Got told I needed Open Office format. Fair enough. Fire up OOO Writer. Text is unbroken. Go through and put hard page breaks before all the chapter starts. Save. Re-load in Calibre.

In between this, I’m popping downstairs every five minutes to stir my beef.

By 9:00, I was eating my own idiosyncratic steak-and-eggs, reading the sequel to the book I’d finished at 8:30 — having, in essence, self-published the book.

Food for, as they say, thought.

Cross-posted at Musings of an Indie Writer.

Musing on Learning Your Craft

SCIENCE FICTION author Sarah Hoyt posts on a text on writing called The Art of War for Writers. And her take on it seems spot-on.

But I want to jump off from that to this: If you’re anything like me, and have any history at all of trying to break into the publishing game, you have a shelf — heck, several shelves — of fiction writing how-to texts. If you’re anything like me, you even have special edition sets of how-to texts, such as the one from Writers Digest Books on writing fantasy and science fiction.

I’m here to at least get you to think about throwing them away. Or taking them to Half Price Books or some-such. Or, at least (probably) half of them — the ones that purport to tell you how to write a story or novel to fit a particular market or market segment.


Because the market is in a state of flux. Entropy. Change. Chaos and opportunity abound. Nobody knows, and everybody thinks they know, what the market will look like tomorrow, next week, or next year. Truth be told, nobody ever did, they just faked it better in the old days.

No. What the future of the market looks like will have to wait until it gets here. But there is one thing for certain that the winners in it will all have in common: quality of story.

And THAT, grasshopper, is where you should concentrate your study: not seeking shortcuts to fame and fortune in sci-fi techno thriller murder horror mystery, but in honing your craft at telling good, compelling, and affecting stories.

And dump the rest as excess baggage.

Cross-posted at Musings of an Indie Writer.

By the Way, I Have

RECENTLY BEEN PUSHING as a source of authority author/publisher/editor Dean Wesley Smith. I have to admit, before I read of him in Sarah Hoyt’s blog posts, I’d never heard of him. However, once referred, I went and saw for myself. (So should you.) And I got sucked in.

Part of it, I’m sure is due to confirmation bias. DWS is saying things — and dissecting old publishing shibboleths — that I have thought for years.

Back when I was involved as a sysop on CompuServe, I worked with the science fiction author Jack L. Chalker, who filled me up with a lot of lore about the writing and publishing game, including the canard that there were no more than 3,000 (number varies) fiction writers in the U.S. who earned a full-time living at it. I’ve heard that one retailed many, many times since.

This myth “You can’t make a living writing fiction” is so clearly hogwash, I shouldn’t have to include it as a chapter in this book. All anyone has to do is look at a certain fantasy writer in England being richer than the Queen. And the number of fiction writers on the Forbes List every year. And that’s not counting all the writers publishing their sales numbers each month just from Kindle alone.

So what about when you hear this myth spouted by a big name bestseller? I heard a New York Times bestseller in a keynote speech once tell 500 people there were only two hundred people in the nation making a living at fiction. Kris and I almost fell out of our chairs laughing, but we were just about the only people in the room laughing. Everyone else thought he was right. As it happens, I’m sitting next to him on a panel the very next hour, so as we were talking, I turned to him and said, “You know that 200 number is totally wrong.”

He look sort of stunned and said, “That’s what I had always heard.” (The myth hits again and is repeated by big-name writer who is making millions.)

I said, “If that’s the case, then don’t you find it pretty amazing that there are seven of the two hundred on this one panel?”

He looked down the panel at the seven of us, all full-time fiction writers sitting on the panel. Then I asked the 100 people in the room how many were writers making at least $80,000 per year with their fiction writing. Five more people, two of whom I recognized, raised their hands. Twelve of us in the same room at a writer’s convention. That stunned the keynote speaker, let me tell you, and we ended up spending the entire panel talking about this myth. And where that 200 number came from in the myth.

– DWS, from Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing

Which is all very well, but, since — as I said in this post — it’s raining soup, how do you get your hands on a bucket?

And — here’s my point — DWS is out to tell you at the very least how to figure that out. He’s writing a book, and posting it free on his blog. It starts here. RTWT. Or, not — at your own peril.

Cross-posted at Musings of an Indie Writer.

Do the Math

DEAN WESLEY SMITH DOES SOME and explains a few facts of life in the publishing biz as she is becoming, and not as the legacy folk would have her roll.

Pay particular attention to both the actual numbers and the calculus used to derive them. It should prove to be of value to you, do you desire to make money at this game we call writing independently.

Cross-posted at Musings of an Indie Writer


PASSIVE GUY on Thursday took note of an item at The Book Designer on styles. A.K.A. Named Styles.

Learn it. Live it. Love it.

Strong discipline in using Styles and NOT — EVER — using what Joel is calling Local Formatting has long been the hallmark of a professional. This is why standard manuscript format specifies a plain, serif, monospaced typewriter face, certain line length and spacing rules, no double-word-spacing after periods, etc. Why? Because it makes it possible for a typesetter simply pour text into a page layout program — such as PageMaker, Ventura Publisher, QuarkXPress, or — latterly — InDesign — and get on with the job, without having to comb through the MS-becoming-a-book ONE MORE time to fix errant styles.

Now that you’re an indie, you are your own publisher. This also means you are your own typesetter and book designer. There are major and minor arcana of book design, some of which you must learn — fail at your peril — and some you may ignore. But know this: no matter which class an item falls into, following a disciplined workflow — of which standard MS format and the use of Named Styles are the first steps — will help to ensure that your output is professional in appearance and function.

Why does it matter? Does the appearance of your work matter? Does neatness count? Do you even have to ask? Take a samizdat book that’s typeset in Courier, with uneven line spacing, pages all wibberty-jobberty, inconsistent styling of various page elements. Compare it to a book that’s professional in design and appearance. Which are you more likely to plunk down good money for? Or, having bought both, from which author are you likely to buy a second book?

Yes, poseurs and hacks like to poke fun at “slick” production values. But, as a professional, allow me to assure you, those production values exist for a very good reason. And, if you want your book to look like samizdat, or a Xeroxed MS, passed form hand-to-hand in the underground, well, that’s a style, too, and it takes a great deal more artifice to produce than the “slick” standard production values take.

But, if you want to make money — or even your living — as a self-published writer, then it behooves you to follow a disciplined workflow that delivers consistently professional results to your ultime customers — the readers.

Putting Down a Marker on Gun RIghts

BROKEN RECORD TIME. Yeah, I know I sound like one. But, as Dolly would put it, a broken record is still right twice a day.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution’s independent clause (You do know what an independent clause is, don’t you? Wassa matta, bunky? Sleep through the Fifth Grade?) reads, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (Changes in punctuation style from 18th to 21st Centuries elided.)

In legal terms, the use of the word “shall” makes this an absolute imperative. So long as the Constitution holds sway — whether in truth or in fiction — no actor, public or private, state or citizen, at any level of jurisdiction, shall infringe upon this right. As subsequent and recent case law has made abundantly clear (as though the original text didn’t already do that), this right inheres to the individual citizen.

Please notice that there is no “except for…” clause. There is no compelling public interest. There is no Get Out Of Jail card for prior restraint. Breaking this law is breaking this law and carries penalties such as Congress may prescribe. (Viz 18 USC 241-242.)

The Ninth Amendment to the Constitution reads, “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The people retain the right — trammelled as it has been in statist abuse
— to put whatsoever they wish in their bodies, no matter how stupid their soi-disant — scorn quotes — “betters” make think the various practices this permits.

The people also retain the right — enumerated in the Declaration of Independence — to liberty.

Wait just a minute, Alger! The Declaration isn’t law! Says so right here — Congress never passed it into law. Besides, if they had, it would be thrown out of court, because it’s not structured like a law.

Quite right, Dolly.

::wobbitta:: What!? You agree with me? World without end!

Of course! You are correct. But read this: nowhere in the text of the Constitution say that rights “retained by the people” have to be written down in proper legalese — or even written down at all.

Oh. I see.

Therefor, the people may be seen to retain rights never claimed and nowhere codified. In short, for the United States, if it is not made mandatory in the text, it is forbidden for the government to do it. On the other had, for the people, if it is not forbidden in the text, the government may not infringe, (so long as the exercise of the right brings no harm to others).

And thus, for the fact that state regulation of alcohol, or tobacco, or firearms is thus expressly forbidden to the United States, the very existence of the BATFE is unconstitutional. This is purely a matter of first principles.

But isn’t there a compelling public interest… in the maintenance of good public order?

Possibly. But I would circumscribe that like so: first, the state must demonstrate conclusively that each and every possible case lain the damage to good public order was affirmatively caused and permanently so by a specific action of a citizen against another citizen.

Not against society as a whole?

Society as a whole cannot have a legal existence. It cannot be brought to court for a cause of action. Therfore putative harm to society is illusory.
Harm can only be caused to or by individuals. The very notion of collective guilt should be anathema to a free people, and harm to a putative amorphous collective is merely the other side of that coin.

Then what’s the point of maintenance of public order?

As far as I can tell, except as it affects individuals, there is only the point that the state control the citizen — which also ought to be anathema to a free people. It is certainly not how this country is constituted.

But what about collectives of individuals? Like…

You mean corporations?


Corporations which are legally defined as persons for purposes of law?

::eyes widen::


I think so.

So, anyway, as I was saying, given that the We the People retain the rights to consume what we wish, and to liberty, and as the activities of the BATFE-I-E-I-O infringe upon both, as well as Second Amendment rights, and also the right to freedom of commerce, said Bureau must be held to be in violation of the Constitution, in its conception and its activites, and irreparably so.

So, while I have to agree that, in the current attacks on the Bureau over the Fast and Furious/Gunwalker scandals, immediate termination of the Bureau is unlikely politically, even though it should be a slam-dunk morally and legally.

And, as we wend our way through the process of extirpating the BATFE from American life, we must continue to make that last point — even to the point of boredom.

As Glenn Reynolds Says

WELL… DID SAY in fact, “Faster, please.”

I wonder what improving the survival rates of Type II diabetics woulld do — actuarially speaking — to medical costs.

(Hat tip: Insty.)

Yet Another FIrehose

OF INFORMATION ABOUT e-pubbing and self-pubbing for you to try to drink at Writer Beware (an independent subsidiary service of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)). (With the caveat that these are largely folk embedded in the “tradpub” range of things.)

As I look at these sources myself, I add the ones I think may be of enduring value to my blogroll, at below left (on the BabyTrollBlog site, if you’re reading this at Musings). Check them out at your leisure. I’m contemplating expanding certain portions of my blogroll into a general links section of one of my sites, if I can work out an organizational principle. (CdT, if you see this and have suggestions, they’re most welcome.) I’m also thinking of making some of my research material available in connection with the Dolly Canon (or the more-general BabyTrollChronicles), as interesting extra reading for the Dolly Obsessed and Gabsmacked.

And, drifing even further aglay, I’m looking for a different name for the BabyTrollChronicles. I have already got the BabyTrollBeta mailing list, and (of course) BabyTrollBlog. I’d like to call the overall Dolly story arc the BabyTrollSomething-That-Starts-With-B-But-Means-Chronicles-or-Annals-or-Something-Like-That. If somebody less vocabularily-challenged than I has an idea, I’m all ears.

Poste in abbreviated form at Musings of an Indie Wwriter

Posts Are Backing Up

SORRY Look at it this way: tomorrow you’ll have all manner of bloggy goodness. For today, sorry. I had some intractible network issues to work out. (Hangover from bringing the Kindles into the house and their … special … needs for wireless.)

Update: and, Murphy says…

Thursday, the Internet was out, and Road Runner blamed it on our equipment. Friday, the whole damned cable system was out.