9/15/08: Much good news

Word count: 3209 | Since last entry: 1660

A thousand words today on the werewolf story. (Did I mention I’m working on a werewolf story?)

A sale! “Galactic Stress” to Mike Brotherton for Diamonds in the Sky, an online anthology of stories demonstrating astronomy concepts. It’s not the most literary story I’ve ever written, but I hope it helps some students understand just how freaking big the galaxy is. Thanks again to Elise for the title.

An email from Wordstock, “Portland’s Annual Festival of the Book,” acknowledging that I will be a speaker this year. According to the Oregonian, this year’s festival will have a focus on popular genres such as SF, mystery, and graphic novels.

A Google search reveals that “Titanium Mike Saves the Day” has been translated into Czech, in the Summer 2008 issue of the Czech edition of F&SF.

We attended a delightful Al Stewart concert, which Kate has blogged about.

I attended a workshop (well, it was more of a talk with extensive Q & A, but still worthwhile) with monologist Mike Daisey. He had some interesting things to say about how and why he does what he does, and some of it was applicable to writing, especially the four questions he asks himself when he’s creating a new show: Is it essential? (Does it cut to the essence of what you mean to say?) Is it disruptive? (Does it shake up the status quo?) Is it cathartic? (Does it take the audience to a place they could not have reached on their own?) Is it broken? (Art should be broken; if you polish off the rough edges it is no longer compelling. Don’t be a good student.) We also talked a bit about Nikola Tesla, and I went to the library after the workshop and checked out a book on Tesla. I feel a Tesla story trying to sneak up on me, but it will have to wait… after I’m done with the werewolf story I must must must edit novel #2 and get it out the door.

I’ve been reading an old Pogo collection. When I was a kid I hated it, but I know a lot of Pogo fans, so I thought I’d give it another try. Turns out I just wasn’t sophisticated enough for it. It’s sharp, witty, topical, and yet humane, with a keen ear for dialog, and just tons of fun to read. I’d thought it was a surreal strip like Krazy Kat, but apart from the boat (whose name changes from panel to panel) it’s extremely linear; even the little bugs and worms in the background have their own consistent stories (and some great little side gags) from panel to panel.

And one bit of bad news for balance: the lenses of my glasses were getting kind of scratched up, so I had new ones made (covered by the warranty on the anti-scratch coating) and I just got them today. Unfortunately I think there is something wrong with the left one: an area of distortion and bad focus like a tiny black hole just a little below and to the left of center. I hope they haven’t sent the old lenses back yet.

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