What are Blogs For?

As usual, through a weird series of interruptions and oddities, I saw an older post of Kathryn Cramer’s regarding “What is a blog for?”

This is Kathryn – like, for sure.

Kathryncramer

So, I still don’t know “what a blog is for.”  Kathryn’s post gives 25 answers ca. 2006.  Today, those answers could well be “Stonehenge Blog 1.2” or something.

There’s a large snowy white egret outside having an “issue” of some type, being dramatically vocal.  Living by the Ballona wetlands, beautiful, large sea and estuary birds frequent my area all the time. In the city, there are millions of people who have no idea of the value of this natural area.  The Ballona wetlands are the last coastal estuary and wildlife preserve in Los Angeles County, and they are now only 25% of their original extent.  However, for the last 30 years, they have been protected and preserved.  I’m now in my second summer season and I see more wildlife this year than last, so these efforts are paying off.

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Teen Titans #15: A Very Short Review

Teen Titans is sadly fallen away from its glory days and is currently a mere sideline to this year’s summer spectacular over in the Green Lantern titles.

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Due to the exigencies of maxi-series plotting this particular issue is very nearly story free.  I assume that all the important developments are reserved for the main titles.  However, without any plot worth speaking of, character has to carry the load.  Writers know that the two things you absolutely have to have are character and plot.  Experienced writers can juggle this, squeezing character down to a nubbin and letting plot carry the load, or vice versa.  This issue demonstrates that pure character exposition and development can make for a passable comic after all.

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When Life Calms Down

Any number of people have told me that they intend to start writing that book just as soon as life calms down and they get some time, or that they just need to get past this divorce/new job/old job/kid problem/insert-disaster-here.

This is not the way life works, though.  There’s ALWAYS a divorce/new job/old job/kid problem/insert-disaster-here to deal with.  This is the difference between writers and people who want to write.

Case in point.  For four or five days, I’d written very little because I kept getting interrupted for family matters.  Saturday I had set aside the entire day to write, dammit.  Not just write, but WRITE, DAMMIT.  But we had no milk, and with three kids in the house, this was a major problem, so I decided to run to the store.  Then I would come home and WRITE, DAMMIT.

Fate intervened.  On the way back from the store, I was driving behind a man on a motorcycle.  Another car turned out of nowhere and he smashed straight into it.
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Giving the Boys Their Due

flyinghorse_bvc

(c) Lynne Glazer

Geldings are the Buicks of the horse world. They’re general-purpose vehicles, family-safe, good for all road conditions, and won’t give you the kind of grief a sexier vehicle will.

But when you’re writing your novel, especially if it’s in a genre that likes the sexy, a nice gelding just won’t do it.

So that means…Stallion Time! Continue reading

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Steampunk & The Singularity

Cross-posted from The Singularity Watch blog:

Could there be two more disparate subjects than steampunk and the Singularity? Both have ties to science fiction: Steampunk started as a science fiction subgenre about 20 years ago; the Singularity has been embraced by the science fiction community as the latest best guess as to what our future looks like. Science fiction is where their connection ends.

From its beginnings as an experiment in one small corner of the literary world, steampunk has exploded onto the youth scene. With its stories set mostly in the Victorian age of corseted women and top-hatted men, it’s tailor made for fashionistas who love upsetting the mainstream. Who at this late date of extreme casual dress would have thought we’d be heading back to petticoats, bustles, fall front trousers, and waistcoats? In addition, the steampunk world is filled with mechanical computers, analytical engines, and steam powered technology. It is based on the idea that we could have gone digital without the use of semiconductors, electronics, and all things tiny. Things in a steampunk universe are big, brassy, and buildable by anyone with a blowtorch or crochet hook and a place to rest them on. Regardless of how lo-tech they are, however, steamage machines can do higher math, thanks to Charles Babbage’s difference engine.

Science fiction writers, apparently tired of using neural networks and transistors as fodder, latched onto Charles Babbage’s idea, creating a new arena based on old materials. As modern tech gave writers little choice except to move into the virtual, the universe of science fiction seemed to be shrinking to molecular size. For those who work hard to learn the craft of describing the world, disillusionment crept in. The Singularity seems to leave little of the world to describe. The clever sf writers, slaves to the gee whiz factor, reacted. They encased fabulous new toys in velvet and made them work with gears instead of miniscule switches. The steampunk aesthetic was born.
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Pitfalls of Writing SF & Fantasy #5: Species v. Specie

Read This First!

McIntyre’s First Law:

Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you could be wrong.


Pitfall #5: Species v. Specie,
or,
How Much for Just That Species?

A species is a group of living things reproductively isolated from other groups. The plural of species is species. Specie means money, specifically, coined money.

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BVC Announces Steampunk Anthology

news-logoAs part of our 1000th member celebration, Book View Cafe is proud to announce that we will be releasing our first original fiction project; THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY.

In THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY, the Book View Café’s lineup of powerful authors will combine creative forces to create an anthology of stories set in an unforgettable alternate world of steam-powered science, fantastic magic, and dark conspiracy. Continue reading

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Weighing in on BookViewCafe.com and 1000+ Members

We’re actually beyond 1000 members now. I hope everyone’s gone and listened to the cheer. That’s actually us. That’s not stock audio. We loaded our separate cheers into Garageband, mixed it down, and turned it into an mp3. Just one small example of how much fun we are.

There’s more. If any of you have participated in our group chats, you know we’re a barrel of laughs. Funnier’n a rubber crutch. Seriously this group has some of the sharpest wits on the ‘net. Brenda Clough and Jennifer Stevenson come to mind immediately, but we all have our moments on the administration forum.
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