Monday, September 23, 2013

A Week of Links

I am in the throes of novel revisions, and so most of my writing brain has been taken up with that. As such, I don't have much left to even come up with a blog post, so here are a few links you might find interesting.

This week is Banned Books Week. I wrote a blog post about it last year. I had just read Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and I loved it. If you haven't read it, then do yourself a favor and add it to the books on your night stand.

Carrie Vaughn, author of a series of books about a werewolf named Kitty, posted her thoughts on writing a series. She's a fan of Lois McMaster Bujold as well, and made numerous references to the Vorkosigan series in her post.

I can't write a post without referencing Breaking Bad. If you're all caught up with the series and anticipating the last show, you might be interested in this review of this past Sunday's episode, "The Granite State."

This article warns of the dangers of pushing yourself too hard in Cross Fit, but what it comes down to is, you've got to listen to your body regardless of what you're training for. We all have that little voice in our heads that sometimes pipes up and says, "Hey, this isn't right," or, "This doesn't feel good at all."

So have a good week, go read a banned book (maybe one in a series), catch up on Breaking Bad, and enjoy that workout.

Monday, September 16, 2013

More (Obsessive) Thoughts on Breaking Bad

With only two episodes left, Breaking Bad is on my brain in a big way. Beginning with the first of the last eight episodes, they have ratcheted up the tension Every. Single. Time. It's at the point where I think I might need to wear diapers next Sunday, and for sure the Sunday after that. Fair warning, spoilerific spoilerage ahead. Turn back now if you don't want to know what's going on in the show!!!

Still here? Fantastic! So... forget what I predicted here. In the last episode, Walter cleared his family of involvement in his meth kingdom. They are out of the picture and out of his life, and he's out of theirs.

He took his barrel of money and left Albuquerque in the last episode, but we know he comes back for the ricin pill. Why would he do such a thing?

I think he decides to rescue Jesse. He also owes Todd and his family big time revenge for killing Hank. Now, Walt can't just waltz into Todd's family's place with a gun and shoot 'em up. He'd never be able to take them all out, and he'd just end up dying before he could execute part two of his plan, rescuing Jesse. No, he's got to drop them all at once. He's going to give them the ricin.

So what happens after he frees Jesse? Jesse knows, now, how Walt let Jane die. I think Walt is ultimately going to commit suicide-by-Jesse in freeing his partner.

Only two more episodes, and this wild ride will be over. Who do you think the ricin pill is for? How do you think it will all end?

And just in case you've missed it, here's Jimmy Fallon's parody of Breaking Bad:

Monday, September 9, 2013

World Con 2013 Report

I could get used to being Queen
I went to two cons in as many weeks over the past month, which felt an awful lot like I was being a greedy goose. I spent several days at Lone Star Con in San Antonio, the site of this year's World Science Fiction convention. I met up with old friends as well as making new friends and meeting people I had only known via the Internet. I went to panels, a reading, I ate, I workshopped some stories, I partied, and I gave a podcast interview for the first time ever. My introverted self did well, holding on for the post-con trip to the beach where I unwound from the con's frantic days and nights.

Reproductive technology panel
The first panel I attended was on reproductive technology, medical ethics, and the law. That's a topic that could entail an entire convention, so fitting pertinent information into an hour felt much like trying to cram all the books and legos I bought (that's right, legos... for my son, of course, and not for me) into the suitcase at the end of the convention. Lois McMaster Bujold brought up several good points. With every new technological advance, new questions are raised. Every little advance means one more decision for the primary caregiver(s) to make. What it comes down to (for Bujold) is, how do we choose for someone who cannot choose for themselves?

I also went to a panel on the future of small presses. Since I'm published through a small press, I thought it would be in my best interest to hear what others had to say. Much of it was along the lines of my own thoughts, and it seemed that all the panelists thought small presses would be around for the long haul, for a variety of reasons.

On a whim, I went to a panel on making shadow puppets, given by professional puppeteer Mary Robinette Kowal. She gave a darling performance and then instructed us on making our own shadow puppets. By the end of the hour, I felt like a little kid again, and I was glad I stopped in and had the chance to play.

I went to a reading given by Vylar Kaftan. She read two of her short stories, one of which just came out in the Glitter and Mayhem anthology. The stories rocked, and I found myself thinking, "I wish I could write like that."

I also gave an interview, which will appear on the SF Signal Podcast. I'll be sure to let you all know when it airs so you can hear how scratchy my voice had become by that point.

South Padre Island, perfect for unwinding
Perhaps the awesomest thing about the con, however, was hanging out with other writers. I get such a buzz when I'm around all those creative people. I come away feeling like I want to do all the things, like, right now. I'm glad I had time to get away for a couple of days before coming back home so I could simply breathe and remind myself that I don't have to do it all at this very moment.