October 21st, 2008

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writing and chai

Did a little writing with some chai before work today. About 700 words on "Invasion!" and we're to the sad part that makes me sad. The trouble is always getting that "sad" into the manuscript. And now that I realize what the sad part is, I'll have to go back and set it up earlier in the story.

Also, since the cell phone battery was almost dead I couldn't take pictures. You'll have to accept this picture of chai, and this picture of a laptop, at proof. You can trust me.

While at Peets, I watched two business people flirt over coffee. He looked like Stanley Tucci, she looked like Felicity Huffman. They were very cute, flirting like that. They also both wore wedding rings. I hope they were married to each other.
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lunchtime writing and SF links

- Suzy McKee Charnas on writing characters, especially those you might not like. The whole post, talking about reading a friend's manuscript, is interesting. The section that starts "a good writer knows that she must *love* all her characters, even the dimmest and dullest and meanest of them" is excellent. As a former Drama major the statement "it's related to acting" clicked with me. As I've also heard: You might not like your characters, but you have to respect their choices.

- eljaydaly talks about the "little Kelly Link on her shoulder". Good stuff to remember. We should all have a little Kelly Link on our shoulder.

- Author and linguist Juliette Wade talks about how to keep your characters from being the same (via maryrobinette). Great advice. It really relates to the Suzy McKee Charnas post above.

- Writer and Media Strategist Jason Stoddard on 5 Small Things Science Fiction Can Do To Improve Its Image and 5 Big Things Science Fiction Can Do To Improve Its Image. These are older, from April, but very interesting. Hell, the whole month of April in Jason's blog is interesting.

- Jeff VanderMeet on My Favorite Fantasists in the Short Story Form. An excellent list with some excellent folks, in both the real list and in the "I'm not going to list these obvious people" list. Many were not obvious to me!
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some economics and politics links for the evening

- This American Life has done a couple shows on the economy. The Giant Pool of Money (from May) explains the housing loan crisis, step by step. Another Frightening Show About the Economy reviews the recent fiscal crisis and the attempts to deal with it. Both shows are very good.

- Using a different method, The Subprime Primer explains the fiscal crisis with stick figures and attitude

- A CNBC interview with Warren Buffett wherein he talks about all things economic. I still haven't read it all (it was a three-hour interview).

- If I Were Running This Campaign session at the New Yorker Festival. Includes Donna Brazile's marvelous closing remarks (available as a separate video).

- Naomi Wolf talks about her book "The End of America". The concept sounds crazy, but once you listen to her you might start thinking "this kind of makes sense" (in a "no-fraking-way" kind of way).

- Political Scandals, by the Numbers. Want to talk scandals? Let's talk scandals.

- The Politics Test (at OKCupid). I haven't taken it yet, but I can guess where I'll end up.
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tweets for the day

(Posted here for reference. At twitter, I'm also "jeffsoesbe")

  • 11:06 @DianePatterson Your local state senator's campaign, in a nutshell: "I am not a republican." (add Nixon voice as you see fit) #
  • 11:08 work (answer email), samosa chaat, work (email and programming), the rearrange my new cube in prep for the Big Move #
  • 11:08 no running today, as my right hip really hurts. what am I, 65? #
  • 12:03 that chai latte from peets must have had extra caffeine, cuz I'm all jittery... #
  • 12:19 will somebody tell me why I keep usnig Internet Explorer? #
  • 12:31 @StoneTable oh yeah, that's right ... #
  • 12:45 @StoneTable and you're still awake? #
  • 13:29 @DianePatterson time for a write-in campaign! #
  • 13:35 @gregvaneekhout dude, I wanted to joke at your expense but ... I just didn't have the heart. I feel the threat of my "old man days" coming. #
  • 13:45 Ahhh, Firefox. Why do I ever foresake you? #
  • 21:09 wow, I'm tired. Why am I tired? Oh yeah, less than five hours of sleep last night. #
  • 22:55 @MaryRobinette So, it's a "no-sleep" contest, is it? I can win tha- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz #
  • 23:05 @mswriterkim Just checking on the cat. #
  • 23:05 watching "Eleventh Hour" (the one with Patrick Stewart and the woman who played "Maggie" on _Extras_) #
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