In part due to developments I’ve just set forth on Facebook and in part because I need a break–fragmentation is not conducisive to good writing or doing good work on any creative project–I’m going to be absent from this blog through the first week in February. Come back around February 5th or so. (Any prior guest bloggers who still remember their logins and passwords should feel free to post if they’d like to.)
Before I go, a few things I wanted to talk about but won’t have time to.
– The Secret Feminist Cabal by Helen Merrick is great and you should buy it. The bits on the discussion between men and women in the 1970s and 1980s is fascinating and seems to mirror much of what we’ve seen in the past couple of years. (I still hope to review this when I get back.)
– Situations like Kage Baker’s can occur at any time. It reminds us to tell people you’re fond of or whose work you like…well, just how much you like them. Now. Not later.
– Stupidity rather than malice is the main reason bad things happen in genre. Let’s be a little more forgiving and also a little less willing to contribute to a sense of vast conspiracy where none exists. It is always good for one’s health and to a community to assume the best until it’s proven otherwise.
– Avatar was a steaming pile of poisonous eye candy that’s a rehash of every stupid Hollywood movie ever made.
– My Finch posts about technique…some wondered why more novelists don’t post such break-downs. In part it might be because it takes away the mystique. It’s one thing to talk about process and craft in the context of a writing class, where it’s limited to a finite number of people. It’s another to let the world in on it. I think I understand this better now having gotten a few comments that seem fixated on the idea that if you think about technique there can’t be anything passionate about your writing. I’ll go into this more after I come back, but there are two modes (at least): the crazy, passionate, almost spiritual spewing of stuff onto the page and then the more rational, measured rewriting stage, during which you also go back into the crazed passionate phase in places where you tear up what you did before and start all over again. But you can’t get to anything good without both.
– The situation in Haiti is dire. Please contribute what you can.