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  1. #76
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    I was going to protest being compared to Queen Elizabeth, but after snorting and ranting in the Writing Forum today, I have noticed that I have indeed turned into Queen Elizabeth. Is there a twelve-step program for that?
    "Our name is Katherine, and we've been regal now for some years. Our humble subjects have been most accomodating and understanding, restraining their reverence and only doffing their hats instead of prostrating themselves at our feet. This has helped us immeasurably in attaining a more balanced perspective on the plight of those living beyond the palace."


  2. #77
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Is there a twelve-step program for that?
    Attempting a formal bow and succeeding no better than Cherie Blair, I offer Her Greatness my own favorite 12-step program:
    1. Say into the mirror: people have the goddess-given right to make damned fools of themselves.
    2. Say into the mirror: I cannot save the literary world single-handedly.
    3. Say into the mirror: Even if I could save the literary world single-handedly, if the goddess wanted me to do that she’d have included it in my job description.
    4. Say into the mirror: I am not the last rational person on this planet; it only seems that way.
    5. Say into the mirror: I have my own child to worry about: I do not need to worry about the children on the sffworld forums as well.
    6. Say into the mirror: It’s not as if I honestly believe I know all the correct answers. <Say this whether you believe it or not. If you don’t believe it, then say it three times while turning around with your index finger resting on the tip of your nose and one foot off the ground.>
    7. Say into the mirror: They don’t pay me any attention anyway.
    8. Say into the mirror: It’s not as if I don’t have better things to do. <This step is always included even when the person doesn’t have anything better to do than to seduce a spouse, guide a teenager, or spit out the next great fantasy novel.>
    9. Say into the mirror: There-are-no-laws-in-writing is not a law, that if I don’t promulgate.it, will vanish from the composition books. <The Kurt Vonneguts will always appear when they’re needed.>
    10. Say into the mirror: Why do I care whether the publishers are considered the worst evil to have hit the world since the printing press?
    11. Say into the mirror: The internet makes everything I’ve ever claimed obsolete, anyway.
    12. Say into the mirror: “F*** it!” and then go do what you damned well want to do.

    Then, as commanded, I offer the first paragraph(s):
    When the mood swept him, as it had this evening, to ponder the universe’s navel, Malcolm always opted for the pea. Certainly astronomical imagery abounded. The Horse Head Nebula, the Veil Nebula. The Rosette Nebula all made fine focal points. For that matter, the Milky Way could be appropriate inspiration if you wanted to consider vastness. But, vast navels seemed to Malcolm oxymoronic. So, the universe as a pea had the distinct advantage of utility. It worked for him.
    Gazing at the pea, at its navel, Malcolm’s first path of inquiry took him to the Big Bang. Any universe navel must track to that event, he thought, and then he thought that The Big Bang would probably not fare well as slang for live birth. Men could handle it but he strongly doubted that women would see the humor. Anyway, if the Big Bang left remnants of an umbilical, then most of the mythos surrounding the event were probably wrong. An umbilical categorically eliminated a singularity.
    His next line of thought took him to Asimov’s Foundation universe. What was the central mystery again? The Second Foundation lay at the other end of the galaxy. That was the mystery. the First was established at the rim and the Second Foundation at the galaxy’s other end. Extrapolating to the universe, all the galaxies are expanding away from one another, correct? But, doesn’t the Big Bang constitute an origination point, a common center from which the galaxies must running? Then, measure the direction of expansion for each galaxy and work backwards to the origin place. Any feasible navel must lie somewhere about such a place.
    Why would a universe have a navel? Why did the pea in his hand have a navel? An artifact, a by product of its gestation. Want to know where you came from? Consider your navel. The pea carried the remnants of its pod, the universe must carry the remnants of its gestation: placenta, pod, call it what you will. The universe had a navel.
    That meant there was a progenitor universe. At least one other universe did or had existed. That could mean that more than one other universe existed. After all, it takes two to tango and how can you have an umbilical without a tango?

    Time froze.

    T-mail happens so fast that it seems as if there is no time expenditure at all in the receiving and ‘reading’ the message. T-mails are neuronic episodes. Neurons respond to electrical impulses. Electrical impulses involve electrons traveling close to the speed of light. Things approaching the speed of light increase in mass. Thus, the common saying: t-mail is a massive headache.
    Certainly, Malcolm, like most folk, was aware that electrons are damned near mass-less and photons are even more so. Still, damned near is not all the way to no mass at all and even the tiniest bit of almost-no-mass must expand as it approaches the speed of light which is why electrons are impossible to detect. They’ve gone damned near round the bend in the speed of light to energy. So, there they are: damned near no mass and damned near exceeding the speed of light. Physicists name this state complementarity.
    Humans enduring complementarity in the form of t-mail tend to experience time as frozen.

    Malcolm’s t-mail read: Standard Form 666: Notification of Evil Intent. You are herewith notified of my intent to conquer the known universe and all its inhabitants, sentient or otherwise. As evidence of this intent, I intend to deduct one of the triplets – Miinie, Moe, or Claudine. There is nothing you can do about this but I am required to let you know anyway. Having satisfied all appropriate regulations, laws, and commonly accepted socialisms, I remain faithfully yours, The Sacred Cow.
    P.S. I am well aware of the difference between abduct, deduct, and subduct. I’ve kept up to date with my geology studies. I’ve also been to a chiropractor.
    P.P.S. Minnifred, Maureen, and Claudine are also aware of my intent.
    P.P.P.S. Have a nice day.

    Time melted.


    Beefeaters, please!
    Last edited by Hereford Eye; May 17th, 2007 at 03:47 PM.

  3. #78
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye View Post
    T-mails are neuronic episodes. Neurons respond to electrical impulses. Electrical impulses involve electrons traveling close to the speed of light. Things approaching the speed of light increase in mass. Thus, the common saying: t-mail is a massive headache.
    I love that bit! All in all, another nice episode of HE-ism. Thank you.

    Back on the subject of HRH KatG, despite our teasing, I do want to make the point that I think it really is "very good thing" that she is preaching her message. There are plenty of people who are more than happy to expound on rules, but precious few willing to stand up and point out that they are, in fact, really techniques, as she notes. We've all seen so many posts from new writers worried to death about this nit or that, instead of focusing on finding their own true voice.

    I'm reminded of an adage from the world of car racing: owners always say that is better to have a driver who goes too fast and have to slow them down, than to try and get a slow driver to go faster. I would rather have a writer with vision and a unique point of view, who might then need only polishing for commercial use, than to try and expect such vision to emerge from under a morass of pre-emptive rules that stifle creativity and focus attention on the wrong things. We're in the idea business, not the manuscript formatting business. The latter is a means toward the ends, as they say.

    So more power to our resident Queen. On such subjects, I am happy to be one of her loyal subjects.

  4. #79
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I'll be right with you after I get off the floor from laughing. .....Okay, better now.

    HE: Magnificent! How do you come up with these metaphors? Of course, we might have a slight hitch as most fantasy readers will have run away screaming by the time they get to: "An umbilical categorically eliminated a singularity" but if you could throw in a magic sword somewhere, I'm sure we can work around it. (Seriously, it's really good. I don't suppose we could work the geisha narrative in it somewhere -- not quite the right tone maybe.)

    So, does anyone know a good website for shipping liquor?

    We've all seen so many posts from new writers worried to death about this nit or that, instead of focusing on finding their own true voice.
    Yes, but I scare them. It is not productive to unload a decade's worth of frustration on some poor soul who is wondering whether a prologue can only be set a long time in the past or not. It stops conversation, and it doesn't teach them the options of technique, which is a different thing from just saying these aren't rules.

    The problem, I think, is that my filters are somewhat shredded now. Working in publishing, you could tease an author you've worked with for a bit about being an idiot, but you couldn't stand up at a writer's conference, say, and tell them they are talking like the Mad Hatter at the tea party.

    It would not even be fair to do so. Many publishing folk and prominent authors believe really strange stuff to be true. And when I was younger, I was told and believed certain "rules." I believed you could not write a longer work in second person. That turned out not to be true. I believed you could not have a murder mystery in which the criminal is not brought to justice because mystery readers wouldn't like it. That turned out not to be true, even back in Arthur Conan Doyle's day.

    As I've stopped professional work and taken to hanging on websites as a hopeful author, I don't have to worry so much about filtering what I say, and sometimes I think I go overboard. But I appreciate the cheering up. And that you all have no problem telling me when I'm being too, er, imperious.

  5. #80
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Ah, but you all missed the glaring error in the hero's logic. Everything is moving away from the Big Bang so the place to look for the traces of the navel are somewhere out on the rim of existence. But, it makes a nifty thought problem to wonder what is happening right now back there at the origin point. Are things still coming into creation, new matter, new galaxies, new stuff?! Could it be a leak from the mind of the goddess?

  6. #81
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Kevin:
    You are probably already aware of this site: http://budplant.com/Default.asp?bhcd2=1180013907
    but I just received their catalog in the mail yesterday. How I got on their list I have no clue but it was serendipitous. Found a really cool birthday present for about-to-be-teenage grandson. I could spend a lot of money here.

  7. #82
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Yes, they have some amazing stuff. I haven't actually ordered anything in particular from them yet, but have turned down many pages. (I imagine you've seen all the Vallejo and Frazetta in there, too!)

  8. #83
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Big Brother Sleeping on the Job

    In England, where security cameras dot every street corner in London and the major cities with occasionally voices warning folk not to litter, and where privacy rights are the big issue with fears of the novel 1984 coming true, apparently a bicycle is stolen every 71 seconds. 430,000 bicycles are estimated stolen within a year period.

    Now, I'm sure that some of the stolen bikes were in alleys, but some of them had to be out front in public places and a lot of them had to be in the cities, where these cameras might catch them. So why is the amount of bike theft increasing in England, instead of decreasing? Because the amount of bikes are increasing?

  9. #84
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Perhaps because it's harder to steal shopping carts now?

  10. #85
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Hey, Kevin, I just picked up a book on the used/bargain book counter called Animist by Eve Forward published by TOR in 2000. The cover is less than remarkable but the story flows pretty well with some nice touches to it. Her bio states simply that she lives in Washington State prompting me to wonder whether you've crossed paths with the lady. BTW, she thanks Dr. Robert L. Forward for assistance rendered and that makes for pretty impressive credentials.

  11. #86
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye View Post
    Hey, Kevin, I just picked up a book on the used/bargain book counter called Animist by Eve Forward published by TOR in 2000. The cover is less than remarkable but the story flows pretty well with some nice touches to it. Her bio states simply that she lives in Washington State prompting me to wonder whether you've crossed paths with the lady. BTW, she thanks Dr. Robert L. Forward for assistance rendered and that makes for pretty impressive credentials.
    Haven't encountered her up here; it appears that her books are out of print (there were two, one in '95 and the other in 2000). My con going started in 2001, so I may have missed her period of activity (assuming she went to them). Robert Forward was her father, apparently. She's also done TV screenplays (according to an entry in Wikipedia, which I just disparaged over in Gary's forum. )

  12. #87
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    A while back Her Greatness and I were involved in a discussion that included my notions on what our children are being taught these days. Today, I came across a K-12 website and discovered this list: http://kf001.k12.sd.us/suggested_reading_list.htm
    That intrigued me so I checked around the site to learn more about this teacher. Doing that, I came across this syllabus for an Advanced Placement Literature class: http://kf001.k12.sd.us/suggested_reading_list.htm
    Almost makes me wish I'd grown up in South Dakota because, of that list of 100...well, I have a BS/BA earned when I was over 40, I've been reading all my life and there are a handful of authors and/or works on that list I have never heard of. At least a quarter of the list I've heard of, know something about even if I haven't read them. But, I ask you, who - other than me - would think of putting Montaigne on a required reading list? I was introduced to Montaigne a couple of years ago through a book, a gift, titled The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton. That prompted me to go get a copy of Montaigne's essays. Without receiving the gift of de Botton's book, I would never had known to do so. Yet, in the Heartland, there is a teacher who thinks our children should be aware of Montaigne prior to entering college.
    Wow!

  13. #88
    Registered User vicki_girl's Avatar
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    It's sad for me to say that I have only a handful of these works. Maybe 4-5 in my AP English class and 2-3 on our own.

    I have heard that schools in the mid-west are far superior to those in other parts of the country. I live in various parts of the region until midway through high school and then moved to the southeast. The difference was astonishing.

    Now that I'm thinking about it, even the few books on that list I did read, I don't think I got much out of them. I still don't understand the point of "Their Eyes Were Watching God"......

  14. #89
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
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    I've read 11 of those titles, most in high school and the rest in college. (Seen movies of several others, of course). I do recall that reading Heart of Darkness was a big eye opener for me, both in terms of understanding that books could have mutlitple layers of meaning ("Oh, you mean it's not just about guys in a boat on a river?"), and in my understanding of human nature (beginning a very cyncial phase about the whole thing).

    So much of the reading experience at the high school level depends on A) motivated and inspiring teachers, and B) motivated and interested students. Unfortunately there rarely seems to be enough of either. A sad story from son's experience comes to mind. The class had an assignment to read and report on the book To Kill a Mockingbird. Afterwards, as the teacher discussed in class some part of the plot, my son realized that what the teacher had just said was not correct. And so he raised his hand to make said point. The teacher said no, she was right. My son then, having not yet learnt the dictum of political correctness, proceeded to point out in the book itself on his desk the relevant passage. The teacher, having now been thoroughly backed into a corner, had to admit in front of the whole class that she had just watched the movie and not read the book, and that was the way that plot point had been changed to fit the cinematic version.

    Failing grade for that instructor.

  15. #90
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    I have been taking pride in the idea of writing stories from the Radical Thorn's art believing it was somehow unique to me. Of course, I have read everything Tracy Chevalier has written and most of that is based on art of some sort, e.g., Girl With a Pearl Earring, but I never made the connection with what I have been up to. But, this morning I stumbled upon this: http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Alien-Enc...3125650&sr=1-1
    Note in the middle of the page, this encounter with art has evidently been happening for quite some time. Ergo, though I was unaware of this sub-genre, my own efforts are not even close to being unique.

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