Pencil Porn from Peter Straub
At Readercon last year I went to a talk called  "How I Wrote Skylark" by the adorable Peter Straub.  I was impressed with everything he had to say about the tribulations of getting that particular novel published, but one thing I took away from the talk and immediately applied to my own writing life was this:  Palomino Pencils.  Mr. Straub referred to them as "the Mercedes of pencils" and he was 100% correct.  So here it is, today's Palomino pencil porn:
Ultimate Pencil Porn

Falling off the wagon.
I have returned to the World of Warcraft.  Weakness, addiction, call it what you will.  

But this time will be different, because I have a plan.  This time, I have to buy game time with productive time, instead of blowing every extra hour on stupid quests.  This time, every minute working out, either lifting weights or walking, earns me minute-for-minute gametime  (only if it is fitness-y, not walking the dog.  Because she frequently stops to check her pee-mail) .  

And every 500 words I write on the novel buys me one hour of game time.  

So that could work, barbara_hambly  manages her WOW habit, so can I, right?  Except she's a published writer and they are more disciplined than the rest of us....

Anyway, until my family stages an intervention I'm back in game, Wyrmrest Accord server, playing an adorable werewolf named "Roargirl".

books for writers
Great list of writing books from catrambo

Great resource for fantasy writers
Here's an ebook that all fantasy novelists should probably buy, Writing Horses - The Fine Art of Getting it Right:

In workshops and crit groups I always get dinged on horse credibility (most recently I was allegedly wrong on mules).

Other ebooks in the same vein I wouldn't mind seeing:
  • Sword fighting for writers
  • Airships for writers
  • Sailing ships for writers
  • Herbal medicine for writers

Headshots, anyone?
I just finally watched the pilot episode of that zombie TV series from AMC, The Walking Dead.  I freely admit it was foolish to watch it after 11:00pm.

So I'll just be over here in my little house in Florida, not sleeping ever again.

And so it begins....
And lo, Halloween came to pass, and it was good.  

Then the people (fortified by mini-hersheys and individually wrapped Starburst filched from their innocent babes whilst said children slept off their fright-night sugar highs) took up their laptops and their Jetstream bold stick rollerball pens and withdrew from the milk of human companionship.  And the blogosphere fell silent, except for the professional writers who always write that much in November.

Thus began Nanowrimo 2010.

And alas, woe be unto me, for I cannot count the words in this blog post toward my Nano-total.

Book purchases, mine and proposed reading list for Wiscon
Boy am I glad this nonsense with Elizabeth Moon versus Wiscon is all over.  Now that they've cancelled her GOH hopefully the conversation will die.  The whole thing did remind me that I haven't read anything by Moon since Sheepfarmer's Daughter, however, so I bopped over to Amazon to order a couple of her books.  This one looks especially interesting:  Population Remnant - about an elderly female hero who survives in an abandoned space colony.  This is the kind of fiction that, prior to this whole blog flap, defined Moon as a distinguished feminist writer.  It sure seems like Moon would be a perfect GOH at a feminist science fiction convention, but I'm sure the Wiscon organizers know best.

While I was on Amazon, I actually found a few books that might interest the Wiscon GOH committee:

There's this one,
In the Land of Invisible Women, about what it's like being a woman in Saudi Arabia.  

Another good book,  
Price of Honor, is a survey of the treatment of Islamic women in 10 Muslim countries.  

Then of course there's,
I am Nujood, about the Yemeni girl who was married off to one of her father's creditor's at the age of 10 to be his fourth wife (or is it his third wife, I guess we have to read the book to find out)

Anyway, thank goodness that whole issue is finished.  Kudos to Wiscon for publicly censuring that devil, Elizabeth Moon, and standing up for the feminist champion of us all, Islam.


Pandora is for writers
 I really like Pandora, I've found great music there for writing (writing is what I should be doing now, btw).  

Here's me on Pandora:

Maggie the Moo, my beloved hairball
 Listening to NPR not too long ago made me think about my dear dog, Maggie Moo.
Some of you may recall a blog entry a while ago about my "empty nest syndrome therapy dog".

We don't know much about Maggie's early life because we got her at the pound when she was already an adult, about six or seven years old. The staff told us she'd been picked up after a tornado tore through West Tennessee. But it's clear that she had some Bad Times before she came to live with us.

The piece on NPR was a long interview with the authors of a new book about the rehabilitation of the Michael Vick dogs. They described some neurotic, sad behavior - the same behavior we have come to expect from Maggie. Fear of loud noises is one symptom. "Pancaking", or flattening herself to the floor when new people come in, is another. She's scared of men, in particular, and does not like it if my husband hugs me. Naturally he caters to her sensitive nature by pretending to bite me on the neck while growling.

We really think Maggie was a misguided attempt to raise a fighting dog. She's a beastly girl, part coon hound and part pit bull and part something with lots and lots of continually shedding dense fur. I think some dumb redneck saw her as a young dog, with her pit bull melon head and her bear claw feet, and thought, "Ima gonna make me some money with this here fightin' dog." She has utter terror of and antagonism toward other dogs, for one thing. Added to that is the vet's opinion that the broken tips of her teeth mean she was probably caged so long that she hurt herself trying to get free.

Even though she's improved a lot (she's no longer terrified when the garbage truck comes by, for example) she still has lots of fears and anxieties. I was reminded of how damaged poor Maggie still is just now when I tried to take her outside and brush the hair machine that is her coat. If I was a big scruffy dog I would love for my human to groom me, but poor Maggie is petrified by anyone holding a dog brush. Even after all this time she just can't tolerate me bringing a brush near her.  She either rolls onto her back in submission or runs away looking embarrassed and upset.

So I didn't brush the perpetual hair generator, instead I gave Herself a hug and a snuggle, followed by a treat. And now I must sweep. And sweep, and sweep, for there are drifts of Maggie fluff festooning the house.

And I confess that in my heart, I sort of hope that reincarnation is real and that Maggie's former owner comes back as a pit bull in the Tennessee back woods.

Autumnal blogging
I had a busy summer and was rather a poor blogger, but I'm back, LJ.  This summer I moved to a new home (well, new to me).  I also took on lots more responsibility at my day job.  But my biggest life event was definitely taking my youngest son off to college.  This was much more emotional than I expected it to be and I wasn't quite ready for it.  Now that the dust has settled, the Boy is doing well and so are his parents.

So I'm glad to be back, cheers everyone.


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