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“Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.” - Girl Genius, by Kaja & Phil Foglio

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Perspective, it's all about perspective ...

Friday, February 17, 2012

WRoE Update 1

The current edit pass on my WIP is officially terminated as of today, at page 80 of 119.  Version 1 goes to the trunk.


I had a great idea for a plot change today.  I shall have Rori kidnapped by the main antagonist after all.  I rejected that back in November because I couldn't see a way for her to survive; thought the logical thing if he got his hands on her was to just kill her.  Now ... I can see a way.  It involves Our Hero busting his handsome butt, but he's good at that, and this time he may not end up with three cracked ribs and a fractured skull! 

Gotta give the guy some incentive ...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Love Song for Valentine's Day

Gordon Lightfoot has long been one of my favorite singer/songwriters.  I will always love this one for the memories it brings ... Pussywillows, Cat-Tails.  Sadly there doesn't seem to be a video of him singing it. 

May it spark pleasant memories for you, too.  Or inspire you to create some new ones.



Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm listening to ... Suzanne Vega AND Richard Thompson

Suzanne Vega's songs are often short stories.  Richard Thompson is one of the most accomplished guitarists evar.  Here he accompanies her.  (The third person on stage is Loudon Wainwright III.)

And here's Richard Thompson playing one of his most famous songs.  As he says, "a simple boy meets girl story, complicated somewhat by the presence of a motorcycle." (In case you haven't heard it before, it has a sad ending...)

I hope you enjoy their music as much as I do.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. Dickens

Today is the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth.  We all recognize him as an author and can probably name at least one, if not more, of his books.  And those books have never gone out of print!  (If he'd been writing in the 1960's instead of the 1860's that might not be true.  But of course he'd have written different books under the influence of a different century, so it's comparing apples and penguins.)

In England, there is The World of Charles Dickens Theme Park.  Very cool. 

Each of his novels was hand-written, every draft! 
Hug your computer and give it chocolates...

(Dickens in 1858; photo from

Monday, February 6, 2012

Our Blue Marble

NASA scientists have released a new picture of earth.  Remember those pictures from the moon of Earthrise?  Now we have satellites that can produce images of our home.

National Public Radio's program Science Friday has a video of how these images are compiled: 

Flora Lichtman of Science Friday narrates ...

The results are beautiful, but also useful.  Environmental scientists can use these satellite images to track changes in vegetation cover, ice cover, ocean productivity, and so much more.  They provide real time data on how our world is changing.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I was going to call this an update, but since it's my first post about the topic it's more of an introduction.  :-)  My writing friend Dixie designed her Writing Rules of Engagement (WRoE acronym, duh) as motivation to keep working on large projects.  The very condensed version of the rules:  work every day on The Project for a year (or until The Project is completed); set a daily minimum (time or word count); report your progress each month.

So this is my progress report for January.  The Project is my 2011 NaNoNovel.

I renamed characters so there weren’t so many with the same starting letters and named the companies that didn't have names yet.  [This Agency] and [That Agency] are gone from the text.  Then I reformatted the document (wider margins and 1 1/2 spacing) and printed about 20 pages to start.  Some editing just goes better for me on hard copy, and paper is easy to carry around.  That morning hour before work thing didn’t happen in January, but I took the hard copy with me and worked on my breaks and at lunch.  On my days off I tried to spend at least two hours each day working on it.  That’s when I typed in the changes from the hard copy and made additional adjustments.   

I put in 29 hours for the month, almost my one hour a day goal.  This edit pass I’ve been tightening the language, correcting verb tense issues (I tended to wander into present tense during the writing), adding some descriptions and identifying plot holes.  I have a list of the plot holes to make it easier for me when I start filling them. 

I’m on page 37 (of 118), almost one-third of the way through.  The word count was 53150 at the end of November; now it’s 51360. 

For February, I’ll keep the goal of 1 hour per day, and add the goal of finishing this edit pass.

So that's it.  Now you know how I spend my free time ...