Friday, April 27, 2007

Chairs gone wild

So this is what I did with my week. Let's start with what I started with, which were very nice chairs, but my concept of what color of furniture I want has changed in the 10 years that I've had my chairs. I didn't want to just toss them so I came up and idea.

So I thought, Hey, I should white wash these chairs and ....

paint them groovy colors. I present chair #1

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I got to see one of the most fantastic speakers tonight, Angela Davis. I honestly feel privileged to have gotten the opportunity to listen to her discuss the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, and prison abolishment. I have to say that if anyone who has the opportunity to see this woman speak, they should do so. She is truly one of the greatest political activists and thinkers of our time. I'd write more, but I think I still have a lot to digest from the talk.

Again, go see her (or at least read her writings).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I beg your question?

Back to the logic, or my attempts to explain it to myself and possibly others.

How familiar does this sound (if you replace the necessary project and agency)?

“Unnecessary projects like the space elevator should be abandoned by all super cool space agencies.” (great example, huh?)

The speaker will then go on to talk about all the money being spent on this frivolous project, which nobody wants. The problem is that the speaker never established that this was a project that no one wanted or thought frivolous. In order to start this argument, the speaker needed to first gain consensus that the project was unnecessary or implausible. This is “begging the question,” when an individual moves onto the safe zone of the argument while ignoring the actually problem.

In a book I read recently, I found this fallacy displayed this way. Character A started a discussion about another character by saying that Character B was worthless. Character A then went on to argue that whatever happened to Character B was justifiable because of the aforementioned worthlessness. The problem, of course, is Character B’s worth was never established.

I find that this is a major pitfall for me in my writing. I want to claim things to be a certain way, so I can move on to pushing my characters forward. For example, I just love to claim that Character X’s idea was so ridiculous, and who would waste their time doing such a stupid thing, without ever going through the extra step of providing the logic behind why the idea was wrong. Oh, I do nitpick.

For the logic nerds, here are the forms (from Wikipedia):

Formally speaking, the simplest form of begging the question follows the following structure. For some proposition p:

  • p implies p
  • suppose p
  • therefore, p.

However, the following structure is more common:

  • p implies q
  • q implies r
  • r implies p
  • suppose p
  • therefore, q
  • therefore, r
  • therefore, p.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Writing advice ...

I am a nerd. It's true. So, as a nerd, I love reading about the craft of writing. What are your favorite writing techniques books?

My favorites are:
Writing the Breakout Novel
by Donald Maass (for writing)


The Insider's Guide to Getting an Agent
by Lori Perkins (agent advice)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Version control ... oh the humanity!

As some of you know, I am an editor. I work for a big software company and edit everything from press releases, to pop-up window content, to documentation. I like the work for the most part, and it keeps me really busy.

The one thing I have to say though is, version control is mucho important! I seriously just got a document set back (well into the 100+ pages range), and I have at least two versions in here. By versions, I mean v1 is what was handed to me, I edited it, becoming v1_edit or v1.1, they accepted the edits, and it became v2. I have at least one document from v1, which I edited but none of those edits are there, and another document that I wrote and that never saw an editor. Needless to say, it's a mess.

So, many of you here are writers with big novels, and presumably many of you are on your second, third, or fifth edit (that's me btw) of that novel. What system do you use to keep it all straight? Right now, I use dates in the document name (i.e. greatnovel_040407.doc). That is the name I give to my first major revision. I don't really like my system, but it works. Any better ideas?

This is my dog

This is my dog, Madison. In all honesty, she means more to me than most people do. I don’t say that to be mean, just to be honest. I wake up to her, she hangs out with me, we exercise together, and she sleeps in my room every night. So, when I read about all the tainted pet food, I was quick to look up my brand and pleased to discover that she was not at risk.

Since then, I’ve been tracking this story, as it really does matter to me what is happening to other people’s pets. I have to say that outraged just doesn’t really describe how I feel. This was irresponsible at best. I thought about it a lot over the last couple of days as I’ve been seeing the number of pets killed by the food swell to nearly 8000. There was just no real response out of the company. If there was a food product on the market that killed 35-45% of humans, it would have NEVER gotten so little attention from the company and media. Maybe I am alone in this feeling, but my dog is a part of my family. I have no children; I have her. It upsets me so much to know that so many families lost someone because of a lack of response.

I remember reading Childhood’s End and reading the part when the aliens make their only real demand of humanity; they must stop needlessly harming animals. Seems so simple, doesn’t it.