Archive for the ‘random rants’ Category

Ten Things I’ve Read That You Probably Haven’t

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

I saw John Scalzi’s famous Ten Things You’ve Done Other People Probably Haven’t blog post linked off Andrea Kail’s blog a couple weeks ago. Many people’s lists I read were full of encounters with celebrities, or crazy (and drunken!) feats.

I’ve never met any big celebrities, and when I drink my coordination gets even worse than usual, so I don’t have many neat escapades that few other people have done. My uniqueness I think comes from inside that strange enclave of my own mind. So I came up with a better list for well-read, uncoordinated drunks like me. :)

Here are Ten Things I’ve Read That You Probably Haven’t:

Light in August
Suldrun’s Garden
The Dragon Waiting
The Armageddon Rag
The Military Revolution of Sixteenth-Century Europe
The Guts to Try
Hornblower and the Hotspur
Where Eagles Dare
Your Code Name Is Jonah

Well, maybe not that last one. :) And I haven’t finished Armageddon Rag yet. But I bet few people out there have read more than two or three off this list.

I’d love to see other peoples’ lists, and see how few of their electic ten I’ve read. If you read them while performing a drunken stunt, all the better!

The Freedom of Shackles

Friday, November 30th, 2007

It’s Friday, and despite a fusillade of rejection letters earlier in the week, I’m feeling rather good because I finished the first draft of a new story yesterday. It’s short, for me at least, and it’s not stunningly original because it’s a pastiche of a classic but unknown fantasy author. It’s also at this point destined for a private publishing venture instead of the usual markets.

The neat thing that I realized after finishing it was how liberating all of those constraints ended up being. I didn’t need to outline because I followed the structure of the story I was satirizing. I didn’t need to worldbuild a society because the story moved quickly through only a few locales. The antiquated narrative voice perfectly fit the more pompous and baroque side of my own. I usually stretch the literal connotations of language, which many readers aren’t spry enough to follow. For this story I embraced that whole-hog, even to the point of inventing new words. And because the story won’t go through traditional submission channels, I had no nagging worry that some editor would get snarky at my poetics.

My first-reader thought the story came out very well. I’ll get another critique or two, then see where it stands. But at that point, I’m quite curious to see if this completely off-the-cuff effort might actually seize an editor’s interest. That would be hilarious, and quite a comment on this less restrained process. Who knows–stranger things have happened….