Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008
Waning Moon
Mars Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

I’ve actually watched a bit of TV the past few weeks. I watched REAPER the other night, and I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Clever writing, great casting, a sense of humor about itself. Really great.

Unfortunately, THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES is on my drop list. I tried watching a couple of episodes. However, the pattern of destroying someone’s life’s work in each episode because, supposedly, it’ll become this evil machine out to destroy the world – sorry, not buying it. They don’t have the right to make those decisions and cause that kind of destruction, both on physical and psychic levels, even if they claim they can time travel and are destroying now to save a later future. The bad karma they’re setting up with their choices of destruction at all costs rather than finding a creative way to destroy the machines – that’s where they’ve doomed the human race.

The Karma Dogs always win. Beyond machines, beyond everything else. It might take centuries, but Karma always has the last word.

I had a brilliant morning’s work on Wyatt yesterday. Just awesome. The story’s flying, Wyatt’s even smarter than I suspected, and it’s surprising me in the best possible way. I need to find a pithy title for it, but that’ll come.

Banging my head against the wall with the Tracking Medusa rewrites. I’m really struggling here. But I just keep pushing. I’ve got just over a week to get at least another draft done (because this one isn’t entirely there), the logline, one paragraph, outline, synopsis, and query ready. Well, that’s part of being a pro. Coughing it up on deadline.

So, Problem Client admitted they haven’t sent payment yet, for any of the outstanding invoices. They claim my invoice “confuses” them. Let’s see – it has the invoice number, the date, the publication, the contact information, my contact information, the name of the article, the byline of the article, the issue for which the article was contracted, and the agreed upon payment. At the bottom is a “total”. I think that’s pretty clear-cut, don’t you? And if they were “confused”, what kept them from ASKING ME about it? Can you say, “liar, liar, pants on FIRE?” We seem to have sorted it out, but I’m ready to take book on whether the check clears or not. Takers?

On a happier note, I’ve been invited to guest blog on a lovely site. I’m working on the posts this week (it’s a three-part series), and I’ll let you know when it’s up and post the link.

On an even happier note: Books. On Tuesday, a book I mooched at BookMooch arrived: Was This Camelot? Excavations at Cadbury Castle 1966-1970 by Leslie Alcock. Yesterday, Strand sent me Arthur’s Britain – also by Leslie Alcock, which I hadn’t realized when I ordered it, and which talks about the documentation that supports the finds in the other book, and The Picts and Their Symbols by WA Cummins. Add to that the book I picked up in Philly at the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology: Fieldwork and Families: Constructing New Models for Ethnographic Research edited by Julianna Finn, Leslie Marshall, and Jocelyn Armstrong.

These are research materials for the next two Gwen/Justin books, since we’re spending more time in the field doing actual research than with them chasing around cross-checking other people’s research. The Balthazaar Treasure takes place in the same area where I set Cutthroat Charlotte, so I’m using a lot of the research I did for that in the back story, setting it in the Bahamas, and re-reading the book on the excavation of a pirate ship that I read a few years ago. The bulk of Sandoval’s Secret, once Gwen and Justin are in the same place at the same time, is set at Pict archaeological site, so the methods used both at Cadbury Castle and the info from the Pict book will come in handy. The beginning of Sandoval, the Justin chapters, anyway, mostly take place in Rome, Venice, and New York, with a slight foray to Geneva. I’m so tempted to put an inside joke about Charlotte into Balthazaar, but since the books are under different pseudonyms, I’m not sure if I could get away with it. I can always put it in and cut it, right? 😉

So, a bunch of po-faced, self-righteous ignoramuses were talking sanctimoniously about how they “live within their means” and that the recession should happen because the people who are struggling deserve it. I wanted to puke, and believe me, the Karma dogs will come right on their doorsteps and take a nice, big, steamy dump. The majority of people I know who are struggling during the economic rape Bush’s buddies have performed on the country for the past eight years have worked their ASSES off to live in their means. What’s killing them is the unexpected – the medical emergency, the natural disasters, the tree falling on their roof, Con Ed causing a blackout via human error that causes tens of thousands of dollars of loss in a mom-and-pop shop and insurance companies refusing to cough up on the policy, identity theft — where they have to borrow, and then the interest rates go up every month. You can bet that none of our credit card interest is going down, in spite of the Federal Reserve’s cut. We won’t see that ¾ of a point drop on any of our bills. If anything, they’ll keep going up 3 percentage points per month, like they have for the past year and change, so even if you pay double your monthly minimum, you can never climb out. These are not people who go to Starbucks every day or buy new tech toys all the time or wander around in designer clothes. Don’t worry – the self-righteous assholes who sit around and pontificate will pay. It’s a shame I can’t be the one to make them pay, but you can believe the Universe will come up with a far more interesting way to teach them a lesson (especially in Saturn Retrograde) than I ever could. So I’m going to let the Universe handle it, and, other than writing about my disgust at their false piety and my contempt for them, I’m going to let it go.

Okay, so maybe I’ll knock a few of them off in a novel, but . . .;)

Colin, I think “The Ink Tank Chronicles” sounds wonderful. Of course, we also have to reveal “The Tale of the Possessed Printers”. The HP is getting a mind of its own. It popped its cover and actually SPIT OUT an ink tank yesterday. I practically had to burp it to convince it to accept another one. And the MultiPass, which isn’t even connected to the computer anymore – TURNED ITSELF ON and had a hissy fit. It started color printing some stuff I’d scanned a couple of weeks ago. (the printer’s not hooked to the computer, but the scanner/copier/photoprinter/fax still works).

Well, we did find out that the new scumbag owners hired unlicensed electricians to work on the building . . .

Of course, having Possessed Printers is just so much more interesting! 😉

It never ceases to amaze me how wanna-be writers turn up on forums every few weeks, begging for tips on how to get published (in badly written and spelled posts), and then, when you tell them they actually have to work at it, they’re horrified. “The joy would be gone” if they did any work. Fine. Don’t work. Don’t get published. Don’t have a career. I don’t care. But don’t expect me to help you if you’re not going to put any work into it. Just because I’m published and make my living writing doesn’t mean I “owe” you help when you’re not willing to put in the work.

Virtual Finger.

I think the graphic would be a bit offensive, so I’m just putting in the words “virtual finger” because, well, you know, all of you have imaginations and know what I mean. 😉

Flipping through channels last night, I was shocked by how the so-called “entertainment news” shows are intentionally misrepresenting information given out by the NYPD about Heath Ledger’s death. The way they’re editing clips of the live interviews so that what they broadcast taken out of context and quite different from the actual factual information, the insinuations, the sensationalistic “reporting” making it sound like he had a $20 bill with drug residue in it, when it was tested long before and the tests were NEGATIVE. But then, these shows don’t care about the truth. They care about hurting people, because that’s how they get attention. It makes me sick.

I had to read a stack of those hideous celebrity lie-sheets for a section of Real, when Callie and Sam are hounded by the press, and they literally made me throw up. Not only is the writing some of the worst I’ve ever seen in my life – I know first graders who can write more creatively than that – but it’s all badly created fiction parading as material from “sources.” Lies, lies, lies.

Or when these shows put up a scan of an autopsy report, enough so you can read it, and then willfully misinterpret it. Now, I learned how to read and properly interpret autopsy reports years ago when a someone I met at a conference who was a medical examiner taught me. The way these shows crib from it – well, they’re not doing it to promote truth.

And it doesn’t say a whole lot about the intelligence factor of those who believe it just because it’s on TV or in print. Well, what do you expect from a culture who spends most of its time watching so-called “Reality” TV, where people are rewarded for being their worst selves.

I’m telling you, exile in Iceland looks better every day!

At least they have 100% literacy rate, genuine health care, a high quality of life, and most of them are capable of independent thought!

A little grumpy today, are we? 😉

Keep your fingers crossed – I might have some good news on a fun project soon. I’m still in negotiations, but, if it comes through, I will let you know.

I’ve got some article pitches and other job pitches to get out today (hey, it’s Thursday, Jupiter’s Day, good time for all that).

Right now, though, it’s back to Wyatt, which makes me feel better. And then, because I gave myself the day off from it yesterday and I really can’t afford to do that, it’s back to tackling Tracking Medusa.

Devon

Wyatt – 10,516 words out of est. 20,000 (52.58%)

Devon’s Bookstore:


5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.


Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:

Published in: on January 24, 2008 at 9:13 am  Comments (10)  

10 Comments

  1. Feeling a little “ranty” today are we? 😉

    I am with you on the Heath Ledger thing. The press is absolutely trying to smear him in ANY way after his death. Vultures. They will try to scavenge a new story out of NOTHING.

    Confusing? That’s funny. I’m with you on the Liar Liar thing. I hope the check clears!

    It sounds like you’ve got a lot of good research material for your work. Just bury yourself in it, and try not to think about all the annoying people around you! Works for me!

  2. Whoo! You are fired up and full of spunk today! *g*
    This Saturn Retrograde that you keep alluding to is freaking me out. I’ve had a pretty bad month already, I’m not sure I can handle much more stress.
    Love the idea of a possessed printer, in a freaky-scary way. *g*

    I hope you have a good day and get good news on the secret project!

  3. It’s not a PC technician you need it’s a flippin’ exorcist! 😀

  4. :::sending you good luck vibes on your fun project:::

    re: Heath, the media should leave him and his family alone.

  5. You covered so many topics today, I couldn’t keep up. Just a couple of comments: good luck with the unpaid invoices; and yeah, shame that the wolves can’t stop rolling around in Ledger’s blood;

  6. I don’t watch the news or even the pseudo-news anymore. Journalism should not be about pandering for ratings or twisting facts to draw in viewers. The poor man died. Accidentally. One report I heard on a local all-news radio program was he was found next to a bottle of sleeping pills. Period. Yet I’m hearing from others possible drug overdose, possible addictions, etc. etc etc. It makes me sick.

    I’m SO with you on new writers who want someone to validate them but won’t lift a finger to work. There’s one writer in particular who will ask for my advice and then argue it. Whatever. I’m telling you what works for me and every other writer out there smart enough to take the advice. If you want to argue everything, good luck finding repeat business.

  7. Was This Camelot? Excavations at Cadbury Castle 1966-1970

    Oh, this sounds like a great book! My minor was Anthropology and I love this stuff.

    I know I’m late, and I know this has been said, but I’m right with you on the Heath Ledger stuff. I’ve only heard a couple of our news channels report this honestly – the rest suck.

  8. Dude, you guys watch way to much TV…..

  9. You’ve been tagged for the six unimportant things meme. Check my blog for details. Enjoy!

  10. I agree with you THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES needed improvement.


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