SF author John Scalzi comments on some writers complaining about how National Novel Writing Month is a waste of time, sets a bad example, dilutes quality writing, blah blah blah.

1. Dude, a program that encourages thousands of people annually to celebrate the act of creating words — of creating their own words — and you want to piss all over that? If you look to the right, I have some kittens you canset on fire while you’re at it.

2. Even if you think it’s a waste of time, it’s not a waste of of your time, so why do you care?

3. Alternately, even if something like NaNoWriMo doesn’t match your own writing process, there are a lot of writing processes out there. So if this one works for some aspiring writers, don’t crap on them for it.


Entire post here at his site, Whatever.

As noted previously, I’m not participating this year,  but periodically I’ve felt some guilt and disappointment this month that I am not.


Noted science fiction and fantasy author Walter Jon Williams has a wonderful tirade post about Rep. John Shimkus stating that we shouldn’t worry about global warming because God told Noah he wouldn’t destroy the world.

Rep. Shimkus, it should be remarked, is running for chairman of the House Energy Committee.  So if he wins, I guess we can expect Biblical justifications for more billions in subsidies to the oil companies.

Not only is Shimkus a useless, witless, dunderhead cretin attempting to cram brainless superstition into a scientific debate, he clearly doesn’t know how to read and understand his own Bible.  Because all God promises (you moron) is that he won’t destroy the world by water.  And nowhere does it say he won’t letpeople destroy the world.  And not only that, nobody’s claiming that climate change will destroy the world.  It’ll just make it really uncomfortable for people to live here.

Go read! It will either make you laugh or cry or both!

I ain’t dead yet …

September 22, 2010

kayleigh has been away since Sunday at some training/seminar gig.   She returns late Thursday, and after she rests a bit we’re heading out Saturday on a day trip into Kentucky for some family-type goings on.

The World Fantasy Convention hits Columbus in 36 days.  I know this because I have a countdown gadget on my iGoogle page!   We’re  also making plans to attend the Chicago 2012 Worldcon.   This should be fun with GoH Mike Resnick and Toastmaster John Scalzi.  The Ohio Cabal rules!

(As a sidebar to the “Ohio Cabal rules!”, Paul Melko’s The Walls of the Universe has been optioned for a movie by some of the same folks that did Shrek.  And the book sequel has been sold to Tor).

In the meantime, I admit to being distracted and out of sorts and just plain tired.  I have a pestering — or perhaps I should say festering — story that just can’t seem to be completed the way I want.  I wanted it in circulation the first week of September but haven’t touched it for a couple of weeks.   This too causes a great amount of annoyance.  Now I’m hoping for the end of the month.  And then I can either go back to a long-term side project or something new, shiny, and distracting, or both.

Such is life.

Not much to say in addition to that, now is there?

But I will! Tobias Buckell will be GoH at Context, in spite of his reluctance to leave full-tilt writing mode at the moment.

Understandable, but still kind of disappointing he didn’t mention being GoH a few weeks ago to kind of jazz attendance and his fans up. But we love Toby anyway, and will forgive this slight in anticipation of the next novel.

Update: Toby corrected this minor oversight the day after this post 🙂

Best Novel: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade Books)

Best Novella: The Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Kage Baker (Subterranean Press)

Best Novelette: “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” by Eugie Foster (Interzone)

Best Short Story: “Spar” by Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld)

Ray Bradbury (script) Award: District 9 by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (Tri-Star)

Andre Norton Award (for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy): The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (self-published)

The final ballot, from which the winners were chosen, appeared in this article.

Other, non-Nebula awards, previously announced but awarded tonight, include:

Grand Master: Joe Haldeman (see this article)

Author Emeritus: Neal Barrett, Jr.

SFWA Service Award: Vonda N. McIntyre and Keith Stokes

Solstice Award: Tom Doherty, Terri Windling, and the late Donald A. Wollheim

And John Scalzi begins his term as president of SFWA July 1.

Justine Larbalestier and fellow writer and hubby Scott Westerfeld are offering daily tips to participants in National Novel Writing Month. Justine is offering them on her blog on even days of the month, and Scott on the odd days.

Justine has some good advice today about worrying about word count: don’t.   She states the obvious, but the obvious is sometimes lost in the frenzy and angst of NaNoWriMo.  Some people write fast, some don’t.  If you’re thinking about your novel, you’re writing too.

A second bit of advice from Justine: enjoy yourself.

NaNoWriMo is mostly about getting words on paper.  I failed miserably the past two years, but I did get something out of it anyway.  You learn by failure, not by success.  As Clint Eastwood said in one of his movies, a man’s got to know his limitations.  I’ve always known I am a slow writer – I’m more of a revisionist, writing, editing, rewriting, editing.  The story changes as I tinker with it, and I tinker a very long time, years even.

This year I debated whether to participate in National Novel Writing Month, but made the decision to not worry about word count and a 50,000 word novel, and work on a smaller project instead.  Instant relief!  I’ve had this project in my head for a while, more of a novella, maybe 25,000- 30,000 word or so.  The subject, I knew, could not sustain the longer length.

What I’m discovering is that, while still keeping track of words, I’m also relieved of the angst of doing so.  I’m able to accomplish more – not in the amount of words, but in content and quality.    And the project is getting a bit more involved, so it might actually result in more words than I originally thought — but not this November!

Of course, it’s only 4 days into NaNoWriMo.  So we’ll just have to see how it goes.  Personally I think November is kind of a crappy time to schedule, and would prefer a more dark month like January or February, without holidays.  Ah well.

In the meantime, check out Justine’s and Scott’s tips by hitting the links above.

From author Michael A. Banks yesterday:

The wisdom of the crowd is a myth: intelligence is not cumulative. The highest intelligence in a group is the smartest individual in that group.

If only more people — especially in those groups —  realized that!