tmcg: (scream)
What is the problem with spelling "definitely"?

My mental spelling mechanism works semi-eidetically. I learned to spell by reading a lot. When I was copyediting romance novels, in the late nineteen-eighties, I became permanently incapable of spelling the word "feisty," because I saw it spelled "fiesty" so many times that it started to look right that way. I fear that the Internet may curse me to a future of double-checking the spelling "definitely" because "definately" has been burned into my optic nerve.

tmcg: (aw)
Bug-Eyed Baby Aye-Aye Debuts

I love these guys. Nocturnal prosimians that flip you the bird.

When the second or third aye-aye was born in captivity in the U.S., at Duke University, there was an adorable picture in the Times. I cut it out and stuck in on my bulletin board at work. Maybe a year later, my eye fell on the photo's caption at just the moment when I was thinking There is no freaking way I can come up with a new twist for a deal-with-the-devil story. (I'd been invited to write one for an anthology, and of course said yes before I had any idea whether I could do it.) The baby aye-aye was called Blue Devil. I did some research, found out that Malagasy superstitions about aye-ayes suited the story perfectly, and have been fond of them ever since. And I still really, really want to go to Madagascar.

tmcg: (quill)
Woot! Chicago 15 is coming out on CD-ROM.

You can search for the location of terms in the book at, but that requires you to be online while you're sitting there with your hardcover copy going "Dammit, I know it's in here somewhere...." Having the entire text on a local disk will induce euphoria equaled only by the euphoria of having (hypertext!) Web 11 on disk.

If they'll just make CD-ROM versions of the good Roget's and a fully updated Star Trek Encyclopedia, I'll be in writer/copyeditor heaven.

(Words into Type would be nice, too, although I've always found the WiT index to be more compatible with the way my mind works.)

tmcg: (Default)
I ran the ToC of a Russian magazine through Babelfish and got some fun results:

MOTION BY THE ANT (Karl FREDERIC): But weakly to be slain in shakhmatishki with the collective reason?

CROWN OF THE EMPIRE (Nikolai TELLALOV): ... it is heavy as any corona of the reigning person.

DESIGN with THE GHOSTS (Robert Reed): Well who nowadays deals with spiritism? Spectres it is accepted to cause with the aid of the newest technologies.

ESTUARY (Boris RUDENKO): Situation is classical: emergency landing, the absence of connection, seriously wounded comrade. But here is output...

I wondered whether Karl Frederic was actually Carl Frederick, someone I know. I ran some search terms through Google and got inconclusive results. While I was searching, though, I got to reflecting on what a neat guy Carl Frederick is. He's a theoretical astrophysicist who fences epee and plays the bagpipes. He converted the fruit-fly genome to music. (I heard it twice at last year's I-Con. It's fascinating.) He wrote an interactive novel called Dark Zoo. And he's a tremendously nice person.

Just felt like mentioning that.

tmcg: (obelisk)
Andre Norton has returned home for hospice care after an exhausting battle with illness. The update is here. Scroll down for the address where cards can be sent.

tmcg: (happywilly)
One of [ profile] thirdstreet's skits is a regional finalist in the Stand and Deliver Comedy Contest on CBC Radio One. Way to go! You can listen to "Gay Marriage--A Year Later" (and vote) here. Voting deadline is midnight Eastern on Thursday, March 17th.

Dan Persons has some more interviews up at

Bob Balaban on his role in Mamet's Romance

The directors of the mockumentary Mail-Order Wife


Feb. 5th, 2005 08:47 pm
tmcg: (Default)

is a Giant Ape that has a single Horn on its Forehead and Very Sharp Fangs, carries a Samurai Sword, fears the Military, and can Phase in and out of Existence.

Strength: 8 Agility: 10 Intelligence: 3

To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat irongall, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights irongall using

Gakked from [ profile] danielmedic. Thank you. I adore this.

I knew that Chapter 34 of AN had been generated by a computer, but [ profile] gadarene pointed at the Bonsai Story Generator, which, it turns out, did it.

Here's ) ...what I got by inputting small portions of a work-in-progress, a trunk story, and "Too Many Hells," from Dead Cats Bouncing.

tmcg: (sword)
From "The Dreams of George Bush," by Robert L. Borosage (which begins with a restating of Bush's SOTU in far more straightforward terms):

What ails America? By the President's account, our economy is hobbled because the rich have too little money and corporations are too accountable. Our healthcare system is broken because too many people have insurance and citizen juries give too many victims of malpractice recompense for their injuries. Social Security is in trouble because benefits are too high and too secure. Marriage is threatened most by gays who want to get married. Our Constitution requires amending to enshrine bigotry and save it from the activist liberal judges that dominate our courts despite seventeen years of Reagan and Bush appointments. Our military is too weak, even though we already spend nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on our military.

From Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition:

Main Entry: nightmare
Pronunciation: 'nit-mer
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from night + mare
Date: 14th century

1 : an evil spirit formerly thought to oppress people during sleep
2 : a frightening dream that usually awakens the sleeper
3 : something (as an experience, situation, or object) having the monstrous character of a nightmare or producing a feeling of anxiety or terror

("Mare" being "an evil preternatural being causing nightmares.")

Thanks, Robin.


Feb. 4th, 2005 12:08 pm
tmcg: (Default)
To put an end on the confusion: My chapter of Atlanta Nights begins and ends with the line "Inside Richard Isaacs." Upon rereading, I long with all my heart to change the last line to "Inside Richard Isaac's." Ah, hindsight. I'd also lowercase every trademarked term. (By the way: Proceeds from sales of the printed book go to the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund.)

I found these Snuggle Safe disks that purportedly stay warm for up to twelve hours after a few minutes of microwaving. I ordered one to put in the nest we made for the feral cats (which one of them is actually using). I post the link because the price is better than I found elsewhere, and hey, you never know what people might find handy.

BG, West Wing, Lost, other TV neep )

There was a really cool piece about industrial musicals on NPR last weekend. You can listen here.

Whoever is responsible for Microsoft Word should die alone, in pain, and infested by the fleas of a thousand camels into the eternal afterlife.

tmcg: (quill)
Yes, I'm one of the authors of Atlanta Nights. I may or may not 'fess up to which chapter I wrote. In order to write it, I self-induced a deep state of narrative fugue. Thereafter, lest I inadvertently divulge any details--or, woe and betide, the very existence--of the project, I self-induced a selective amnesia. Which means I should probably take a look at it before I go owning up to anything. Then again, few chapters remain unattributed. So my days of anonymity are doubtless numbered in any event.

All that aside...I'm happy to have had a gnarled typing hand in the book, and I'm delighted by the entire sting and the shady publishing practices it's bringing attention to. I salute Jim Macdonald for pulling it off.

Here's the manuscript. Here's PublishAmerica's acceptance letter.

Here's a Washington Post article about PublishAmerica that's worth creating a login to read.

Added on update: Here's a transcription of the February 5th Los Angeles Times article (transcription link via [ profile] scarlettina in [ profile] genreneep).

Added on update: Here's the Wikipedia entry, with a list of authors. (I suspect there will be a temptation for some of those authors to create entries for themselves. I was discomfited by the thought of doing that, and relieved to find this. I am tempted to make stubs for the people whose work I'm familiar with. If I can contribute on some other topic first, I'll consider it.)

Making Light's posts of January 28 and January 30 provide (of course) lots of linkage and outstanding commentary.

Here's [ profile] beth_bernobich's LJ entry. Here's [ profile] sartorias's. Added on update: [ profile] norilana's Genre Hetaera blog, where she posted about it on January 31st.

Here's Robin Hobb's rant about PublishAmerica over at SFF Net.

I'll post more soon. It's kitty city here in the freelance swamp.


Update: Mine's the last chapter. I have enough shreds of memory of writing it, and see more than enough of my own gleefully indulged narrative tics and euphorically inserted intentional errors, to be certain, but I still had to go check my archived email to make sure it came from me.

tmcg: (quill)
Gakked from [ profile] thenetwork, to whom a belated happy birthday!!

You're a Narrative writer!

What kind of writer are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Heh. A timely reminder.

tmcg: (happywilly)
Because the show must go on, managed to marshal sufficient resources against this cold on Saturday to go in and do box office for closing night of the Open Book's production of The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge--a dramatic reading for four players adapted by actor/director Marvin Kaye from his book of the same name, which picks up where "A Christmas Carol" leaves off. Lawrence Van Gelder reviewed the show in the December 10th Times, calling it "an exploration of friendship, penitence, guilt, anti-Semitism and brotherhood in the true spirit of the season."

I found it entertaining and quite moving. The way the work was broken into parts reminded me at times of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, and the players (H. Clark Kee, Nancy Temple, Stacey Jenson, and Marvin Kaye) did a terrific job, moving fluidly through narrative and characterization with great skill and what I took to be an obvious pleasure in the challenge and fun of ensemble reading.

Didn't do my health any favors by going out, but it was well worth it. The guy it looked like I might have to give CPR on the train home is another story, and was an adrenaline rush of quite a different kind. (He was okay when we pulled into the station, and an ambulance was there waiting.) I need to get recertified again.

tmcg: (scream)
So I managed to watch maybe fifteen minutes of the Sci Fi Earthsea thing tonight.

The line where I bailed? Sparrowhawk after voicing some complaint to a young woman pouring water into his bath: "But you've got the massage thing down."

You've got the massage thing down.


It's like listening to a Beach Boys setting of E. R. Eddison.


I'd have to look at a repeat, which I am highly unlikely to bother doing, but did they spell Ursula K. Le Guin's name "Ursula K. le Guin"?

tmcg: (obelisk)

I believe the Nobel Committee recognized the links between the environment, democracy and peace and sought to bring them to worldwide attention with the Peace Prize that I am accepting today. The committee, I believe, is seeking to encourage community efforts to restore the earth at a time when we face the ecological crises of deforestation, desertification, water scarcity and a lack of biological diversity.

Unless we properly manage resources like forests, water, land, minerals and oil, we will not win the fight against poverty. And there will not be peace. Old conflicts will rage on and new resource wars will erupt unless we change the path we are on.

To celebrate this award, and the work it recognizes of those around the world, let me recall the words of Gandhi: My life is my message. Also, plant a tree.

From Trees for Democracy, by Wangari Maathai, the 2004 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, NY Times, 10 Dec 2004.

The Green Belt Movement homepage.

Web Comics

Nov. 21st, 2004 07:11 pm
tmcg: (kimba)
Alien Loves Predator: In New York No One Can Hear You Scream. This one is my favorite so far, although the Chinese-character tattoo is pretty funny. (Thanks for the link, person who knows who s/he is but the link was in a locked post so I'm not sayin'.)

Zombies Calling.

Unicorn Jelly. I used to link to this from here while it was running. (The project completed in 2003.) The archives are here.

Kevin and Kell. Russell got me into this strip years ago, and then my reading fell off. Maybe this will remind me to start following it again. There are complete archives.

tmcg: (Default)
This made me laugh out loud over breakfast. It's on the front page of today's Times, and I knew that while I was looking at the picture, but I still thought it had to be a gag. And typos, no less. Whee.

Around lunchtime, my SO said that he'd heard someone on the radio (probably Jonathan Schwartz) say that Nancy Franklin (someone we used to work with at The New Yorker) said that George W. Bush "carries himself as though he were holding an invisible porcupine under each armpit." By god, he does! I've been laughing at the image ever since. The piece in which she said it is "On Television: Blue Blood" (TNY, November 15th issue). Here's the bit, since the article has gone into archiveland:

The day after the election, the most widely cited exit poll was the one showing that "moral values" were the most important concern for twenty-two per cent of voters. Within no time, this news became the Statistic Most Likely to Be Repeated Constantly in the next four years, and, just as quickly, the news pundits began flagellating themselves for not getting it (though the news that sixty-one per cent of regular churchgoers favored Bush was known, and had been cited, before the election), and wringing their hands over what was seen as a "wake-up call" and a "spiritual crisis" for the Democratic Party, which would force some "soul-searching." Only a few people, such as Andrew Kohut, the director of the Pew Research Center, who appeared on "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," pointed out that you could conclude just as much from the way the moral-values question had been asked as you could from the response; many people, when presented with that answer on a list of choices, are likely to choose it, because it has a "social desirability factor," but he noted that during the campaign, when people were asked open-ended questions about their concerns, moral values were not at the top of their list. Once again, TV viewers were pounded with the notion, as Tim Russert put it on Wednesday, that, "particularly in those so-called red states," people identify with Bush’s "jeans," his "belt buckle," and his "swagger." (Jeans, O.K. Belt buckle, maybe. What remains a mystery is the magnetism of a person who carries himself as though he were holding an invisible porcupine under each armpit.)
tmcg: (quill)

A faded license
Dollars like damp autumn leaves
I washed my wallet.
tmcg: (sword)
Katrina vanden Heuvel has posted the start of a Republican dictionary in Editor's Cut. She solicits contributions. Her entries include, among others:

BI-PARTISANSHIP, n. When conservative Republicans work together with moderate Republicans to pass legislation Democrats hate.

CLEAN, adj. The word used to modify any aspect of the environment Republican legislation allows corporations to pollute, poison, or destroy.

FAITH, n. The stubborn belief that God approves of Republican moral values despite the preponderance of textual evidence to the contrary.

MORAL VALUES, n. Hatred of homosexuals dressed up in Biblical language.

MANDATE, n. What a Republican claims to possess when only 49 percent of the voting public loathes him instead of 51 percent.

Book meme

Nov. 7th, 2004 11:06 am
tmcg: (quill)
From [ profile] gadarene. (And [ profile] stevendj, who pointed out that attributing the source is not part of the instructions.)

Grab the nearest book.
Open the book to page 23.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the sentence in your journal...
. . . along with these instructions.

The infotrope went wild.