You know the ads that are targeted to you on websites? Sometimes I'll look at a yarn store, and then I'll get an ad for Webs. I've gotten ads for the world's most powerful commercially available laser, and for motorcycle pants. But the most frequent ad I get is for Zulily's "clothes for every size".
I have nothing against clothes for every size. But, the only clothes I've ever bought online were a small t-shirt and a whole bunch of shoes, so I have no idea that Google AdSense or whoever decided I'm the target audience for that ad.
It makes me sad.
Monday, May 06, 2013
“The Fruit of the Summer Tree.” Done.
“This is the Church, and This is the Steeple.” A partly true story. 3000 words so far.
“Don’t Choose Astronaut”. One of the reasons I started editing short stories was that it seemed like it might be faster, a good way to get good at some skills that I could then use on the novels, once I had honed them. This has not turned out to be true. Now I'm thinking, is it really any faster to finish a short story than a novel? Does it scale? If it takes me a month to edit a 3000-word short story, would it then take me a year and a half to edit a 60,000-word novel? I don't think it would.
Take “astronaut” as an example. It's a 3000-word short story. Writing the first draft, I did tons of world-building, creating characters, researching their "situation", inventing the science that goes around it. I think it's the part that doesn't scale. The actual writing and editing of the words scales, which is why I can (I hope) keep the energy up for a short story, where it kind of dries up on a novel.
Something I tried here when I was stuck with a section was I abandoned the computer. I wrote those bits on paper, copying the bad text that I knew was bad, using a pen, scribbling, etc. This helped.
“Lucky Kate”. Started reading, then the middle got me down. The start and end are good, but the middle… Maybe this one should just have no middle, I don’t know.
“Selkie Girls are Easy.” Typed. Made notes about missing scenes. This story is better in my mind than on paper, so far, but there are some things I can fix.
Ad Astra… I was considering bailing completely on this, and then just going on Sunday, but I wound up going Fri and Sun, which was good. I start to have some recognition of people at these things. I don’t know what that’s good for. The cool thing was, when people were talking about books in panels (like they do, at least at the panels I go to) I didn’t feel as enormously poorly-read as I usually do. I’ve read some of those books! A lot of them! And I’ve heard of the others, most of them! So win.
1 out there.
6 rejects for 2013 so far.
One great thing about a rejection that says “the ending seemed weak to me” is that I know they got all the way to the end! It’s almost like a win.
“Biohazard”. (pullover) Still working on that second sleeve, really I am.
“Ceremonial Armour”. KF cardigan. Finished the second pattern repeat. Two to go, then it can be my mindless project! Well, after I figure out the sleeve top, that is.
“Simone”. So I finished the front, then did the first lace panel, then the neck and armhole edges so I would know how much yarn I had left for the back, then finished the damn thing. Wearing it now, even though it’s more a fall sweater and today is the second day of real spring.
“Sunberry socklets”. Started.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
“Alabaster: Wolves” by Caitlin Kiernan, Steve Lieber, Rachelle Rosenberg, Rachel Edidin. Wow. I tend to avoid reading comics because they go by too fast. I don’t feel like I’m doing the story justice, but I don’t know how to slow down. It’s probably a “money’s worth” thing, which is stupid. I didn’t know anything about Dancy Flammarion prior to buying this.
“Directive 51” John Barnes. When Ed finished this, he said it was a great read. When I mentioned I had picked it up (he left it on the kitchen table – what else was I supposed to do?) he said it was Meh. But it was too late. I’d already read 100 pages. I found there to be a tremendous amount of “as you know, Bob” dialog, and the constitution was sort of the main character, which is kind of dry. It’s a disaster novel where a collective called “Daybreakers” have unleashed stuff to destroy all oil and plastic. Unfortunately we didn’t follow many of those characters past p. 160, so they could see the error of their ways. The author sure thought highly of small-town America! There were some interrogation scenes with one of them that were my favorite parts of the book. But the thing that drove me nuts was that all their electronics failed, but the only clothing they had any problem with was the occasional shoe. No one opened their closet to find that their stretch jeans were now 97% cotton, 3% slime, or their microfiber tee had disintegrated, or their acrylic sweater was a lump, or their sports bra didn’t support anymore. I guess I’m the fiber equivalent of a gun or horse nut?
“Errantry” by Elizabeth Hand. I probably wouldn’t have bought this if I hadn’t bought Jagganath back in December. But then Amazon kept sending me brilliant emails telling me what other books I needed, and I thought to myself, “what, do you guys read Locus?” The stories are fabulous – elegantly written, but like for grown-ups. And so subtle. I loved this book. I loved “Winter’s Wife” and “Return of the Fire Witch” the best, maybe. I’m so glad I bought this book. I want to read it again right now, actually, but I should probably read something else first.
“Penelopiad” by Margaret Atwood. Does she always have the copyright assigned to W.O.Toad? At Ad Astra’s SpecFicQA panel, Peter Halasz said this was MA’s best book. So, I read it. The voice was brilliant. I wish I could pull something like that off.
“At the Mouth of the River of Bees” by Kij Johnson. Everyone I give “26 monkeys” to loves it, and everyone I give “Ponies” to gets really mad at me. I loved what my sister said – “I was so angry I almost cried. Why would anyone want to write something like that?” But OMG so effective. The new-to-me story that I loved the best might have been “Schrodinger’s Cathouse”. For some reason I love forcing KJ stories on people, and I forced this one on Ed and the boy. Also awesome was “The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles”. While I really liked the one about the dogs, it doesn’t seem like the story for everyone.