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[links] Link salad for a coastal Saturday

Really, your outline does not have to be perfect — Mary Robinette is wise.

The significance of plot without conflict — (Via @jackwilliambell.)

Grammarphobia — A grammar blog that seems to lean descriptivist. For you word and usage geeks. (Via [info]martang.)

The Elusive Girl From IpanemaThe endlessly covered Brazilian song turns 50 this year. What explains its quirky endurance?

The Seattle Great Wheel opens to a big crowdProud Mary keep on burn in’.

Man Plagued by Porn-Induced Headaches

Leap Second on Saturday Will Cause 61-Second Minute

Weird Geology

The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America’s Middle ClassThey had good, stable jobs – until the recession hit. Now they’re living out of their cars in parking lots.

Why Are Believers Willfully Ignorant About Atheists?According to the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, atheists, on average, are better informed about religion and religious believers than believers are. In fact, atheists are generally better informed about the specifics of given religions than the believers in those very religions. We know a lot more about them than they do about us. Frankly, that’s reason many of us are atheists. Because we know religion well. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

‘Why don’t you people ever seem to live near churches?’Slacktivist Fred Clark with an interesting squib on Justice Scalia and the practice of church shopping in general.

A health care ‘Judas’ recounts his conversion — Funny how people who find their conscience recant conservative positions. (Thanks to [info]shsilver.)

The Real Winners — Paul Krugman on the Supreme Court’s ACA ruling, and on the cruel mendacity of the opponents of healthcare reform. But what was and is really striking about the anti-reformers is their cruelty. It would be one thing if, at any point, they had offered any hint of an alternative proposal to help Americans with pre-existing conditions, Americans who simply can’t afford expensive individual insurance, Americans who lose coverage along with their jobs. But it has long been obvious that the opposition’s goal is simply to kill reform, never mind the human consequences. We should all be thankful that, for the moment at least, that effort has failed. Welcome to conservative America, Paul.

Doing the right thing — Roger Ebert on the Supreme Court’s ACA decision. There was little mainstream opposition to the trillion dollars in taxes that paid for the war in Iraq, despite the fact that it was never declared by Congress in a Constitutional manner. Obamacare was passed by Congress in the full light of day. The Court has found its provisions legal. No US court or lawmaker ever had the opportunity to vote on the Iraqi War before it was already underway. How did it win tacit approval from those who are now infuriated by health care?

Romney: My Individual Mandate Was Also A Tax Increase! — When Republicans do it, fantastic. When Democrats do exactly the same thing, Kenyan Muslim socialism! That’s why I love my Republican friends, because of their principled consistency.

?otD: Got beach?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (1.25 hours of Kalimpura galley edits, plus WRPA)
Body movement: 60 minute coastal walk
Hours slept: 6.25 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Benjamin Tate

[personal] On the road again

Not much to say this morning. No wit or erudition about life, love, writing, cancer or parenting. Just me, loitering at the home of [info]bravado111 after a long drive to Seattle, a lovely dinner with [info]e_bourne, and the Locus Awards pre-party.

We’re hitting breakfast shortly, then a day at the awards, then I really am off for a few days. Meanwhile, [info]the_child flies to California this morning.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, relax as much as you can and be well. That’s certainly my plan.

[links] Link salad feels that most of you soldiers are flimsy

Questionable Content explains steampunk — Hahaha.

Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil — Hahaha. (Via @daviddlevine.)

Shades of gray of shocking lingoLanguage Log on who gets to use offensive language in regulated or public settings (in this case, movie ratings).

The Nose Knows: Telling Age Based On Scent — I used to have a friend who could sit on a bench with his eyes closed and tell who was walking by via their scent: their gender, age and a lot of other details. It was very weird.

Is This the Key to Vastly Better Batteries?One company thinks it’s solved a key problem that’s been holding back new energy technology. In a world where almost every major technology has seen significant advances, Alessadro Volta would still recognize our modern batteries. Energy storage is an area badly in need of a technological revolution.

Mustafa’s Space Drive: An Egyptian Student’s Quantum Physics Invention — (via [info]danjite.)

Falcon Heavy rocket, Dream Chaser vehicle move forwardSpaceX preps its Falcon Heavy, while its competition tests a manned space plane.

Wanted: alien life – dead or aliveMuch of the work of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California is focused on searching for traces of past life on Mars, but what astrobiologist Kevin Hand dreams of finding living creatures on watery moons. (Snurched from Scrivener’s Error.)

The threat to global health from the hunt for bin Laden — Feel safer yet?

Rattlesnake bite kills snake handling Pentecostal pastor

Police: Seattle gunman kills 5, then himself — Thank God for the NRA and the Republican party, standing for every citizen’s right to defense of essential liberties. Why, without freely available firearms, who knows what might have happened in Seattle yesterday?

?otd: How the hell did you get over as an emcee?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.5 (solid)
Weight: 243.0 (!!)
Currently reading: Shattering the Ley by Benjamin Tate

[travel] Off to Columbus, yawn

I’m away, leaving Seattle shortly for Columbus, OH. Going to be a bit of a tough day, as I was unintentionally up late last night. Had a lovely dinner with [info]scarlettina and we lost track of the time. Really hoping to knock out some good sleep on the plane, and I am so going to bed early tonight in Columbus. I have to protect my sleep.

See some, all or none of you tomorrow night there.

[personal] Updatery of various kinds

In no particular order…

I’m off to Seattle shortly this morning for a Day Jobbe trade show. Somewhat unusually for me, I’ll be taking the train from Portland northward. Thursday I fly from SEA to Columbus, OH, for a day of meetings on Friday. Back home Saturday morning. So three travel days this week, and what look to be two twelve-hour work days as well as one more (hopefully) normal work day. Oh, the glamor. There is, however, the Open Dinner in Columbus, OH Friday night. [ LiveJournal ] Watch this space, though. If my meetings run short, I might try to catch a late flight home Friday and cancel dinner accordingly.

On the plus side, I’m (probably) one writing session away from finishing the first draft of Their Currents Turn Awry, Sunspin volume two. At that point, it will go into the drawer for a while, likely until the fall.

My next effort in sequence is to process agent feedback on the book proposal for Going to Extremes, though I’ll take a few days off for a brain break, not to mention dealing with the forthcoming crazy week, before picking that up. I’m ahead of schedule in terms of my production calendar. This is nice. June is set aside for short fiction and miscellaneous projects, so if you’re looking for something from me, now would be a nice time to remind me. I do track that stuff, but sometimes projects slip through the cracks.

Yesterday, [info]the_child and I (and a friend of hers) went to see The Avengersimdb ]. As my (step)mother commented, “But no Emma Peel!”

For reals, it was an awesome movie. So awesome I don’t really have a review. The film bypassed my critical brain and inserted raw entertainment. Not a lot of books or movies can do that to me anymore. If you’re any kind of a fan of action movies, this one is a real winner.

I think I was most impressed by the dialog, which was often extremely apropos, rather witty and sometimes inducing of swoon in my otherwise silent-at-that-point writer brain. Which given this was co-written and directed by Joss Whedon should be unsurprising. I will also comment that you don’t have to be particularly familiar with Marvel comics or the recent spate of Marvel-based superhero movies that serve as prequels to this film, though it would help if you were. I’m sure I missed a bunch of in-jokes, but the ones I caught were enough.

So, yeah, things go boom with witty banter. Though for my money the best line in the whole movie is Harry Dean Stanton’s cameo security guard talking to Incredible Hulk Bruce Banner. “You got a condition, son.”

Ok, maybe that was a review.

Off to be busy. Posting may be more irregular than usual for a travel week due to the odd schedule.

[travel] :: blur ::

I’m flying home from Omaha to Portland this morning. I’ll be sole parent on duty this weekend, as Mother of the Child is making a brief trip out of town. I’m off to Seattle early Monday, then off to Columbus, OH, later that week, not back til Saturday next. I’ll be making a couple of appearances at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival that day in Portland.

The week following I’m off to Austin and San Antonio for six days. (There may be another open dinner in Austin, I haven’t figured out yet if that fits my schedule.) I’m back briefly, then off to Detroit for five days as a headliner at World Steam Expo. Then I’m back, and, uh, May has run out.

It appears I’ll be out of town 22 days this month. This is a stretch even by my standards. Life, she is very inconvenient some times. On the other hand, I am having fun (as I do) and keeping busy with both Day Jobbery and the writing life. So, well, what more can I ask?

See some, all or none of you somewhere around the country.

[conventions] Norwescon Day Four

Well, that was an easy day. Woke up, worked out, spent some time with [info]lizzyshannon, packed, checked out, loaded the car with the help of [info]the_child, hit the panel on book covers which was oh so ably managed by John Picacio, with supporting roles from Jack Skillingstead, Mary Robinette Kowal and me, then hit the road for home.

I hadn’t expected to write much if at all yesterday, but I did managed 75 minutes in back seat of Irene Radford’s car, pulling out 2,600 words of Their Currents Turn Awry. Given my state of mind and body, I doubt they’re very good words, but that’s what revision is for.

My next writerly appearances are a DAW reading in Seattle on the evening of May 10th, then the Paradise Lost conference the week after that in San Antonio. For now, I’m staying home, working on the book, and trying to keep my happy ass out of the oncology ward.

[conventions] Almost off to Norwescon

Tomorrow I’m off to Norwescon with [info]the_child and [info]lizzyshannon. My public schedule, for them what wants it, is here: [ | LiveJournal ].

Saturday afternoon/evening is crazy, otherwise, my schedule is reasonable. I’ll be relaxing as much as possible while also being in convention mode, if that makes any sense. Plus trying to knock in at least an hour a day on drafting Their Currents Turn Awry. Because, well, that’s how I roll.

See some, all or none of you there.

[personal|photos] Mark Bourne’s Celebration of Life

Yesterday, [info]the_child and I drove to Seattle and attended Mark Bourne’s Celebration of Life along with [info]bravado111. It was a party, someone called it MarkCon, where many of his friends, mostly from the genre world, got together and remembered him. People talked about their memories of Mark, [info]scarlettina read one of his stories, several folks sang, and to cap it off we watched Mark’s favorite scene from Duck Soupimdb ]. [info]e_bourne was gracious and hostly, as was their son Austin.

[info]the_child took a few photos while we were there, and had me snap a few more…

[info]the_child and Janna Silverstein

Eve Gordon and Harold Gross

Mari McKenna

[info]the_child, Tami Vining and Shannon Page

[info]the_child and Shelly Rae Clift

[info]the_child, Miki Garrison and Lindsey Johnson

Me and Janet Freeeman-Dailey

[info]the_child and Jack William Bell

John Pitts his own self

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

Photos © 2012 B. Lake and Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by B. Lake and Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[personal] What I’ve been doing just lately

A quick update of my personal peregrinations. Thursday, I did the radio interview with Susan Wingate and Joshua Graham. I also performed my last round of guest teaching at [info]the_child‘s eighth grade class. I’ll be creating a printed anthology via from their stories. Those kids are pretty darned sharp. That evening, [info]the_child and I had dinner with [info]talekyn, who was in town on business. After a misfire involving a closed Mongolian bbq joint, we wound up at Eastburn, which happens to be one of my favorite restaurants. Good food and good conversation.

Yesterday I took off from work and (mostly) from writing. Instead I ran errands, goofed around, read some more of Red Seas Under Red Skies, saw both [info]kenscholes and [info]lizzyshannon, had dinner with [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister) at the always delightful Portofino (can you say “pan-fried gnocchi”?). I also spent another two hours with the reporter from the Oregonian and his photographer. Entertaining for me, and I think for them, though they seemed the most boggled when I showed them my liver segments. Most people don’t keep substantial chunks of their internal organs on a shelf in their dining room, I suppose.

This morning, quite shortly actually, [info]the_child and I are off to Seattle. She’ll be attending a tae kwon do tourney where both of [info]bravado111‘s children will be participating, then we’re all going to Mark Bourne’s life celebration this evening. Back to Portland tomorrow, probably leaving late morning, where I then have to prepare to hie myself off to Omaha at the crack of Monday.

Who has time for cancer, really?

[personal] Funeral for a friend

Mark Bourne’s funeral is this morning. [info]the_child and I will be heading over to West Seattle soon from where we’re staying chez [info]bravado111. I’ll be delivering the eulogy. Which is one of the most difficult things I have ever written. I’m fairly certain I won’t get through it without my own tears. This is for Mark, and for Elizabeth. They deserve my very best.

This afternoon I’ll head out to the Rainforest. Connectivity can be intermittent there, so blogging may be disrupted over the weekend. See some, all or none of you today or tonight.