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([personal profile] james_davis_nicoll Sep. 21st, 2017 10:53 pm)
Haven't been around long enough for an adult to reference the technology as something around when they were kids. That's just crazy talk -- 16 years ago, you say?
calimac: (Haydn)
([personal profile] calimac Sep. 21st, 2017 01:55 pm)
This has been Gustav Holst's birthday, as the radio announcer kindly informed me, so it's as good a time as any to use a Holst work to launch a musical project I've been mulling for some time, which is a series of pleasant, mostly modern, suites, first by English composers and then branching out.

This is probably the best-known one I'll be presenting in the entire series, Holst's St. Paul's Suite. It's played by a student orchestra from Poland, which might account for the unusual sonority. The players are all female, appropriately, as Holst wrote the work for the students of the St. Paul's Girls' School, where he taught music for many years.

Like many of the suites to come, it's in four movements vaguely replicating sonata form, and the finale, as with many of Holst's best works, incorporates a sturdy old English folk tune.

calimac: (Default)
([personal profile] calimac Sep. 21st, 2017 07:25 am)
In the airport, waiting for my flight out, I wandered into the bookstore to see what there was to read, and saw the newly-released Hillary Clinton memoir, What Happened (this was last Thursday, and the official publication had been that Tuesday).

Excellent. This was my chance to register my vote against those who had been declaring that she should keep silent and disappear. So I bought a copy, and read it on the trip. Now B. has it.

Anyone who says that the author blames everyone but herself hasn't read the book. She takes on a full measure of responsibility and owns up to some specific mistakes, as well as to some decisions that might have been mistakes or not (like not calling out Trump when he stalked her onstage), because who knows how it would have come out if she'd done differently?

But, you know, 'it takes a village' and Comey and the feckless media deserve their share of blame too. (And if defeating Trump should have been a slam dunk, then why couldn't Jeb, Mario, Ted, or any of the rest of that gang do it? Especially after all the pleadings to suspend the rules and do it?) In fact, the only people whom Clinton doesn't blame at all are her staffers.

Which points to the problem with the book, which is that, while Clinton may be willing to own up to having committed faults, I don't think she really understands what they are. Too much of her defense consists of demonstrating that she tried hard, as if that amounted to doing a good job (the "A for effort as a final grade" fallacy). Nor does she seem to be able to think of appropriate sound bites to respond to attacks. She was flustered by the quoting out of context of the "putting coal miners out of work" line, so why didn't she respond by putting it back in context by simply repeating the next line of the original speech, which amounted to therefore we must take care of these people?

Like the policy wonk she is, Clinton spends a lot of the book diving into specifics of proposals, which is fine; but, like Obama too often, she lacks aspiration, stars to steer by, goals that may be unreachable but that at least you aim for. That's what gives people hope, and gives them the energy to work for the lesser, practical goals that are actually achievable. Bernie Sanders understands this, and that's what generated enthusiasm. Electing a woman shatters a barrier but isn't a substitute for this.

There'll be plenty of time to move on to the next thing. But as historians, we need to understand where we've been and how we got there. This is a start.
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»

why

([personal profile] calimac Sep. 20th, 2017 05:43 pm)
You travel hundreds of miles to attend the memorial service of someone you hardly ever met because of your love and affection for the mourners in their family, whom you do know well. That's why it's more than worth the trip.
It occurs to me I haven't looked at the Heavy Gear rules in a long time....

Without fail, every single podcast and radio interviewer has complimented me on my voice. When you hear something enough times, you begin to believe it… and to believe you have the raw talent to create your own podcast. Skill will come with experience. I decided to see if I liked podcasting—and see if the Husband liked doing the post production work. Our test is Five Minute Stories.

First came the research. How do you create a podcast? Where do you host it? How do all the bits and pieces work together. Once I started getting a good idea of how that all worked; even got the recording equipment, I talked with an experienced Podcaster, Alasdair Stuart, owner and operator of Escape Artists. He told me the biggest problem he said with new podcasters was a lack of content. Thus, my first podcast is based on something I do well: flash fiction. This program is going to run for 13 weeks, from today until 14 December. Content isn’t a problem.

Next came the recording. I understand why people record in sound booths. I recorded in my office. It is small, the walls are covered with things, it was quiet. (Hah. Experienced podcasters laugh at this last bit.) Things I discovered about recording in my office:

  • Yes, you can hear the hum of my computer. (Fixed in post.)
  • Yes, the fan and AC have to be off. (During 90 degree weather.)
  • Is that me breathing, my tummy rumbling, or burping? Yep. (Fixed in post.)
  • Wait, is that my cat, Pharaoh snoring throughout my recording? Yes. (Record.)
  • Why is there only silence? Crap, my mic wasn’t on. (Note: always check the mic light.)
  • Weekends are the worst. Someone is always mowing their lawn. (Fixed in post.)
  • Cats meow for attention at the worst times.
  • Cold liquid is bad for the recording voice.

There’s more but I don’t remember it off the top of my head. If I do this again, I’m going to do a make shift sound studio in the cat room. Or… now that I think of it, maybe the sauna with it turned off. Hmmm. That’s an idea!

Finally came the practical side. Mostly post production. How would that all work. Fortunately, that’s what the Husband is in charge of. After he did the post production work on the first couple, he knew he liked it. I think he makes me sound fabulous.

The end result is that we both liked the experience of me recording the podcast series and the Husband doing to the post production. It’s a project that we can work on together. If Five Minute Stories receives accolades, we both will receive them because this is our project. I suspect there will be another podcast in our future. This next one will be a serialized story. I’ve been inspired by Limetown Stories, Gone, The Black Tapes, and Alice Isn’t Dead. I just need to find time to write it.

Five Minute Stories
A little bit of story to last you all day...

This podcast show is a reading of selected stories from Five Minute Stories, Volumes 1 - 5, written and read by Jennifer Brozek. Some of the stories are old favorites, some are brand new, all were inspired by real life events that have been twisted into something dark and supernatural. There will be 26 episodes of this program, released twice a week starting September 19th. Each story will average about five minutes, some a bit longer, some a touch shorter, and every single one of them will be a little bit of story to last you all day.

I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as we did recording it.
Tags:
marthawells: (Reading)
([personal profile] marthawells Sep. 18th, 2017 08:21 pm)
We've been hearing noises in the wall between our house and the garage for a while, and got confirmation today that it was rats. Apparently they chewed their way in through a hole at the end of a rain gutter and got in the garage attic, then got in and have been hanging out under the bathtub. So, not fun. But someone at the university recommended a wildlife removal company that specializes in rodents, and I think that's exactly what we need. (We're also infested with geckos, but that's actually a good thing.) Anyway, it's going to be expensive, but not nearly as bad as I thought.

***

Fireside Fiction has set up an ebook Hurricane Relief Bookstore. 100% of the profits go to hurricane relief funds in Houston, Florida, and the Caribbean. My book Wheel of the Infinite is available there, with lots of other cool SF/F novels, magazines, and anthologies:

http://www.hurricanebookstore.com/
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([personal profile] jennifer_brozek Sep. 18th, 2017 09:46 am)
Today's "Tell Me" by Ken Spencer is all about his career after he took my advice. This is one of those "You can do it!" stories. http://www.jenniferbrozek.com/blog/post/Tell-Me-Ken-Spencer.aspx
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
([personal profile] james_davis_nicoll Sep. 18th, 2017 12:19 pm)
According to my brother, one should not bounce a chainsaw off one's knee as it is very hard on denim.
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
([personal profile] lagilman Sep. 18th, 2017 07:47 am)

One of the interesting joys of the current story-series is that I'm NOT writing a broken or restricted character - I'm writing a character who has gotten his shit together & is taking on a new, out-of-comfort-zone challenge because he chooses to.

Because the story doesn't end when the broken bits of a POV character are repaired/justified.  Interesting stuff happens after, too. And we don't have to break them a second or third time to make it interesting.

Kintsugi is about the repaired form as a whole, not just the golden seams.

This post possibly brought to you by reading too damn many "hero/ine is broken in order to BE the hero/ine" story.  Which are good and necessary stories, but not the only ones we should be telling.




Now that the cover (by Jaime Jones) has been revealed, more preorder links are available. (I really, really appreciate preorders, wherever you shop, not just the links here.)


Note: Artificial Condition is a novella, around 160 pages. It's a direct sequel to All Systems Red and begins not long after that novella ends.


Description: It has a dark past -- one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself "Murderbot." But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don't want to know what the "A" stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks...

Available at:
Barnes & Noble, Amazon US and all other Amazons, Mysterious Galaxy, BooksaMillion, Book Depository, and from a local independent bookseller through Indiebound.

ebook (DRM-free): Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Kindle UK, Kindle Canada, Kindle France, Kindle Germany, Kindle Spain, and all other Kindle retailers.




Excerpt:


SECUNITS DON'T CARE ABOUT the news. Even after I hacked my governor module and got access to the feeds, I never paid much attention to it. Partly because downloading the entertainment media was less likely to trigger any alarms that might be set up on satellite and station networks; political and economic news was carried on different levels, closer to the protected data exchanges. But mostly because the news was boring and I didn't care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn't have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.

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