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Showing posts from April, 2007

A Fine Conspiracy

Getting your future home inspected is a bit of a muddle, isn't it? I mean, you hire this fellow, that is usually recommended by your realtor, to find all the faults in the building that the realtor would rather not be found. Although it is you who is in fact paying him, he really gets his continuing business from the realtor. At the same time, the inspector's harshness and keen eye is in line with your needs (find the thick piece of balsa wood they've used as a support beam; point out that the flashing is improperly installed according to Section 849201-a of the Building Code and will result in catastropic failure of your condo/townhouse/house/small grass hut in approximately Specified Amount Of Time Too Soon To Ignore; spot the tell tale signs of a deadly mold or that the previous owners enjoyed the work of Chuck Norris in a non-ironic way), and yet, is at odds with the realtor's needs (get this puppy sold so they can move on to their next deal). It's a bit like,

People Who Write Marvellously

It's a rare occasion when I stumble upon a blog that's written so well, I feel that perhaps I've bypassed some payment screen. That unbeknownst to me, I somehow hacked past some credit card requiring site, and am suddenly reading some juicy, marvellously written blog that is only shared among Those In the Know, or perhaps, Those Willing To Use Their Mastercard To Read Good Stuff; as opposed to the general drivel that tends to flood the intertubes: endless posts about cats and kittens, and perhaps aforementioned felines mashed up with the meme-o-the-day. Now, I'm not sure what the etiquette is for announcing said links. I think if you are of the cool set (and really, if you are wondering if you are, I suppose that means you're not), you simply do not make any reference to it, and only add it to you links (or blogroll, I think is the term). Which is perfectly fine. It's like the cool kid suddenly taking under his wing the slightly odd exchange student from a newly


Somedays are easy and breezy, like so many pina coladas on a slightly illegal Caribbean hot spot, like that one time you have surgery on an infinitely unpronounceable body part and they give you some highly addictive but oh so dreamy narcotic. We all strive for the ease of days. (Those of us who don't thrive on it of course. There are a cursed few who live for it, ER doctors, say, or air traffic controllers, maybe the odd bomb specialist, and of course, the ubiquitous Extreme Sports Guy on an edgy, Gen-Xerish commercial touting yet another way to get caffeine into your system). And yet, and yet there are times when the Fates -- being the vindictive harpies they are -- conspire to shovel unto your unsuspecting, in full repose self, a mountain of stress. A heaping mountain of Everestian stress. And I'm not just talking about the base of Everest, I'm talking about the whole sack of hammers; even the top where countless numbers of once brave, stiff upper lipped British explore

Lovecraft Exercise

I recently finished a novell by H.P. Lovecraft, "At the Mountain of Madness". Lovecraft was a writer in early 20th century who wrote commercial horror for pulp mags and the like. He's as influential in the Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy camp as say, Edgar Allen Poe, or almost as much. He writes in a florid style, usually taking about thirty pages what can be said in two. But he has a style, and it can be quite interesting to read. In an effort to build my writing skills, I wrote a short story that hopefully does a good job imitating his voice. I initially thought to make it Lovecraftian and humourous, but was not equal to the task, so I give you this instead: Culling Beans A most hated day. When a hellspawn intelligence dreamt up a nameless horror, then bent the world and willed it into existence. It burst forth from the lowest places of Hell, from the depths of the Lakes of Fire. It was a day that will burn in my mind as the day I undid the world.      But it was not a day unto i

Some Serious Sci Fi : The Slide

I'm still having a hell of a time getting some words down on "Hayden Smith : Sardonic Space Cowboy", so I decided to give some serious type sci-fi a try. I wrote this short story on Sunday. It probably needs a bit of editing, but as a first draft, came out pretty well, I thought. It's not hard sci-fi, but it's serious. Hard sci-fi being all about the science and atoms and gluons and such. It was a pretty easy write since it's written as a retelling from the main character's point of view. It basically became a very long dialogue piece without the quotations. And for better or for worse, I do find dialogue to pretty much write itself. It may not be good dialogue, or witty, or interesting, but damnit, it helps me hit my word count targets! Short story in the comments.

Mercurial Baby

Babies. If the thought of them confuses you or angers you, you can skip this post right now. Because it's all about babies, and really, it'll just be preaching to the choir. I'll give you some time to bugger off. Are they gone? The sorts of people who roll their eyes or quickly duck out at the mention of diapers, binky, or "does he sleep through the night?". Not that blame them. I mean, honestly, you are not into babies, better just duck out then feign interest. Kind of like me and sports. Or power tools. Or anything, actually, that is more manly and more appropriate than the latest video games. But enough about me. You baby lovers have stayed to read about babies! BABIES!!! What is the nature of the baby? That new soul thrust into a world of feedings and diapers and Not Comfortable At All Times? Chinese tradition informs us, or tells us, or clucks disapprovingly at us, that babies are bad things, inherently evil. At least that's what I've heard. Maybe I&#

Like a Many Layered Cake of Frustration Part 2

Alrighty, this post is to continue my wildly popular (at least to Nighthawk, heya!) post about the types of writers there. 4) Agented This is a tricky business. An agent gets thousands of queries to represent their work. And of those thousands, they maybe accept about .01%. That's right. Not 1%, .01%. Crazy eh? Literary Agents have become the new keepers of the Gate. The Gate in this case being the Gate to Getting you Book Published. Being repped by an agent means that your manuscript is making it past some of the mandatory sieves and barriers that un-agented stuff must go through. You maybe picked up, you may not. Much of getting published has to do with market timing, who likes what, and a bunch of other stuff that I'm sure is influenced by a butterfly beating her wings in Japan somewhere. 5) First Time Published Ah, the author has gone through the gauntlet. Usually after around 2ish years (this is after finishing the book, after getting an agent, after it getting bought by a


So my good buddy Funka! (not his real name, at least I'm pretty sure, no, I'm sure. But his real name isn't nearly as fun to say. Who wouldn't want to have a punctuation mark in their name!) has requested some more of my fiction. Which is a tremendous compliment. And I thank him for what was probably an innocuous comment (made to fill up that awkward MSN pause where nobody is sure who's turn it is to type something, but neither wants to just exit MSN, and you are both just stuck there, watching that little window, hoping it doesn't flash, just trying to finish off your word document or excel spreadsheet, or that one last mine you have to find in Minesweeper, whatever). Er, so, I put it to you readers (who have dropped from the heady number of 60 something returning visitors to a meager 38 (I can only assume Google is cracking down on spiders and bots)), what sort of fiction would y'all like to read? Right now I'm working very sluggishly on my third unpu