December 7th, 2009


"I'm living in an age that calls darkness light..."

One year ago today, Sméagol came to live with us. He was called Linus then, but we soon corrected that.

If anyone's interested in gifting Spooky and me with the distractions that help to make this existence bearable, in the form of Solstice gifts, we have both updated our Amazon wish lists. You can find mine here, and you may find hers here. Thank you. This past month has taken a toll on finances, from car troubles to doctor bills, and there's less money than usual for these niceties. CDs, DVDs, books. And we are both perfectly happy with used copies. Thank you kindly.


Yesterday, I followed a link Neil Clarke (of Clarkesworld Magazine) posted to Twitter, and found a fine little essay/blog entry on writing, in the blog of Damien G. Walter: "Show Me the Writers Taking Risks." It speaks very much to my "writing process" (though I do loathe that phrase), and opens with this quote from Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles (borrowed from Frederico Fellini): "Don’t tell me what I’m doing, I don’t want to know." It moves along to another Bradbury quote: "First you jump off the cliff, then you build the wings." Which is about the best advice I could ever give any would-be writer. Stop plotting. Stop outlining. Stop writing character profiles and fretting over arcs. Kill the spreadsheets. Forget the workshops. This isn't science, and tedium won't save you. Writing is art, which means it's pretty much magic. Peer over the edge, size up the drop, then just fucking jump off the cliff and get to work, because the ground is rushing towards you, or you're rushing towards the ground (it hardly matters which). Just write the damned story. In this short essay, Walter writes:

So many writers seem set on not just building wings, but complete impact survival systems before they even venture to the cliff edge (while others are hurling themselves into the void without even a sense that the ground exists).

Anyway, yes...I suggest you have a look.


Yesterday, we drove down to Saundertown, to Spooky's parents' place. It was good to get out of the House. It helped to alleviate that feeling that I might, at any moment, shatter. We saw fields blanketed with a thin crust of snow, and we saw stark trees, and a deer at the side of the road. We got a dozen fresh eggs from the farm. We saw a leafless tree burdened with frozen apples. There are photos below, behind the cut.

Last night sort of turned into Revisit TV Shows We Hated the First Time Night. It also became an evening of These Shows Have Improved Somewhat Revelation. First we watched a couple of the most recent episodes of Fringe. Yes, it's improved. We tried to watch the series back when it first began and found it painful and impossible. But things seemed a little tighter last night (absurd science aside). If nothing else, John Noble is entertaining as Dr. Walter Bishop, and I'm seeing depth to the character that was missing early on. And Phillip Broyles isn't bad, but the rest of the cast feels extruded, mass produced, interchangeable. The series has a long way to go to stop being an inferior X-Files knockoff.

We also watched the latest episode of Dollhouse. And, you know, the only thing really keeping the episode from being quite decent was Eliza Dushku, who still can't act her way out of a paper bag. Summer Glau was creepy, and that's a good thing. I know the series has been canceled. And I hate like hell to see Joss Whedon keep hitting the wall like this, but he should have known better than to pin his star to Fox (again) and the talentless Miss Dushku. She can't even convincingly act like a blank doll. Rather, she acts like someone trying and failing to act like a blank doll. But I will watch the next episode, regardless.

So, (there's even one of me, and those are growing increasingly rare):

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