Friday novel musings

h7A5C0D22It’s slowly dawning on me that yeah, I really do have to write a novel this summer, and maybe it might behoove me to spend some time actually thinking about what that might be about.  I’m kicking around a bunch of different ideas– from stuff in preexisting “worlds” I’ve created (BA 2 wants to be a novel) or a sequel for Skylightswhich is actually getting published, to a few different somewhat more nebulous ideas for newer stuff.  Part of me kinda wants to try a YA book, too, but I feel like epubbing a YA book is asking for trouble.  Kids love technology but I’ve never seen any of my students with an e-reader, even the ones who can’t go anywhere without a book in their hands.  My kids read books.  I feel like this is a loser as a proposition.

(I could go the John Green route, though, and make millions.  Nebbishy main character falls in love with perfect person, lots of age-inappropriate clever banter, and then kill the love interest.  Tearjerky!  I can do that!)

Anyway, yeah, it’s weird, and looking through my loose notes and the app I keep random thoughts in is kinda hilarious.  One whole page has nothing but the words “Citymancy/parkour??” on it.  The scary thing is I know exactly what that means.  There’s also a mess of other projects that I’ve started and not finished; I could try and reboot one of those.

I sorta want to see if there’s something larger hiding in “Crossroads” and “Confession,” too.  I wouldn’t be able to write them in the same tone; something novel-length written that way would be unbearable, I think, but with a different style of main character there could be something interesting in there.


CCPR update: Super Why

imagesDo you happen to remember my review of “Super Why”?  Here it is, if you want to go look at it.  Consider this post a follow-up, if you like.

TL;DR version: Wyatt (I’m still not going to spell his stupid name the way they want me to) is still a huge asshole.

Slightly longer: I’m writing this Thursday night to pop Friday morning, right?  The boy made me watch an episode of this stupid show earlier today.  The episode was literally about what a damn unredeemable asshole Wyatt is.

So Inexplicable Pig calls Wyatt on his phone-thing.  He’s building a sandbox!  Wyatt goes and finds the pig and watches him.  He asks if he can help and the pig, hilariously, says no, he’d rather build the sandbox his damn self rather than suffer Wyatt’s presence for even a single second longer.  Go away, Wyatt.

So Wyatt goes and finds the slutty one.  She’s having having a tea party with her mother.  While wearing roller skates for some reason.  She also tells Wyatt to piss off and that she doesn’t have time for him.  Then Wyatt goes and finds the one who likes vegetables too much.  She’s busy too!  I don’t remember why; it’s not important.  The important bit is that none of Wyatt’s friends want him around.

Do you know what this asshole does?  Go ahead and guess; I dare you.


He proclaims this… “A SUPER BIG PROBLEM!” and calls a meeting of the Super Readers, who are the same people who just rejected him, to investigate the problem of why none of them wanted to hang out with him.  He seriously and literally tells people who have just told him that they don’t want to be with him that they need to drop what they’re doing to help him figure out why they don’t want to be around him.

And, because this show is stupid, they actually do.

The super story answer, by the way, is “CREATE.”  In other words, “find something else to do, idiot.”

I hate this show.

REBLOG: Worst End of School Year Mom Ever

So, this article is a year old, but I just found it.  I kind of feel like it ought to piss me off but I was just about crying with laughter when I first read it.  An excerpt:

You know the Beginning of School Enthusiasm? When the pencils are fresh and the notebooks are new and the kids’ backpacks don’t look like they lined the den of a pack of filthy hyenas? Moms, remember how you packed innovative and nutritional lunches and laid clothes out the night before and labeled shelves for each child’s work and school correspondence and completed homework in a timely manner?
I am exactly still like that at the end of school, except the opposite.

Go read the whole thing here at Jen Hatmaker; it’s hilarious.


artworks-000048527359-8fpa36-cropIf you follow science fiction or fantasy literature at all, you may be aware of the current kerfluffle over the Hugo awards. Or perhaps kerfluffles, as there appear to be more than one.

“Kerfluffle” is a fun word, and I feel like it should have a more fun plural.  I think I’ll nominate kerfluffen.

Anyway.  I almost got a supporting membership to WorldCon, which allows you to vote in the current year and nominate in the next year, last year.  The current unpleasantness oddly intensified my desire to be part of it– funny, that– and I shelled out my 25 euros yesterday (this year’s WorldCon is in London) to buy a supporting membership so that I can get the nomination packet and I can vote.

Note the price is in euros.  My card was declined.  “Oh, right,” I thought; “my silly little local bank probably doesn’t wanna buy shit what’s in Europe with my debit card.”  So I switched cards and bought it with another card.  No biggie.

Until I got the call this afternoon that they’d detected fraudulent activity on my card and were considering putting a hold on future transactions unless I called them and straightened shit out.

Which I just did, dutifully.  I appreciate the service; I normally don’t buy shit from London in non-Americadollars and I’m good with my bank noticing and sending up a trial balloon when I do.  So I called the number and got a computer asking me to verify certain recent transactions.  I confirmed that the Europe charge was me and then they asked me about the (also online, but not in Europe) charge for the book cover, which I bought the same night.

And got the name of the company wrong.  Which… huh.  I was literally sitting in front of my computer looking at my bank website so I noticed it.

Is this, like, a gotcha or something?  The name they gave me was close to the actual company name but it wasn’t exactly right.  Am I supposed to say no right now?

I thought about it and said that, no, I hadn’t authorized that charge.

Hint: don’t do that.

They dumped me to a person who was not terribly convinced that I was who I said I was.  And it took several more minutes of talking and cajoling before I managed to convince him that 1) Yes, I was me; 2) Yes, I’d authorized the charge in London; 3) yes, I’d also authorized the charge to the book cover folks, but that they’d fucked up the name of the company and that was why I’d said no, and not because a book-cover company representative was, like, holding a gun to my head for my seventy bucks or anything like that.


Yesterday’s fun was the ISTEP Practice Test.  Which is nearly an hour of kids sitting in front of computers and having standardized instructions read at them, for stuff they’ve already done and know how to do.  They have to have taken the practice test to be eligible for the actual ISTEP next week.  Non-negotiable.  And I had to be the asshole reading the instructions.  I’ll let you imagine just how good seventh and eighth graders are at sitting quietly listening to an hour of instructions about something that is already insanely boring.  I’ll also let you imagine how patient I was with their bullshit by, say, the third time I’d wasted an entire two-period block of class time (the week before ISTEP, mind you) on meaningless nonsense.

And then I’ll let you imagine the fucking internet going out for half an hour during the second test.

I’m expecting next week to be a horrorshow again, just like last year.  But we’ll see.

On the writing end of things, I’m completing two stories right now and strongly considering massive revisions to BA #5, which you guys have already seen.  The version on the website is admittedly first-draft (if you pay close attention, one character’s name changes partway through, and I think at least one temporally impossible thing happens) and wanted an editing pass anyway, but I’m thinking about some fairly major character-level revisions here.   Most of it came from reading the piece Scalzi linked to above that referenced the “Diversity Era” of science fiction.  The Benevolence Archives are basically a male buddy story, and are wanting for some gender diversity at the very least.  (There has been only one human character in any of the stories, and his race wasn’t specified, so right now I’m not so concerned about racial diversity.)  One of the stories you haven’t seen is entirely about Rhundi, but she doesn’t have quite the pull that the two main dudes have.  So I want to work on that a little bit.   Fun stuff.  I like it when I’m actually writing.

Wait no

I just bought a Supporting Membership for Loncon.  So I get to vote in the Hugos this year.

That’s exciting.

Going to bed now.  Which is also exciting.