shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


hangovers for a sunny thursday

Far too many open tabs, so why not share?

1. Tod Goldberg is on a streak, with some absolutely excellent posts this week. Especially check out his post on "permanently bookmarked" books and the one detailing his encounter with a pre-published writer bearing a manuscript titled SECRET OBSESSIONS (in 24 point type, of course). I've heard this term "pre-published" a number of times and it just sounds innane to me. If you were trying to become a lawyer, you wouldn't call yourself "pre-legal" or if you were trying to become a taxidermist, you wouldn't call yourself "pre-stuffed" or if you wanted to play Arena Football for the Arizona Rattlers, you wouldn't call yourself "pre-professional 50 yard indoor war player." So why do aspiring writers call themselves "pre-published" as if it isn't something that is earned, but something pre-ordained?

2. Moorish Girl asks the writers of StorySouth's finalist stories for the Million Writers Award to talk about their stories. S & S fave Terry Bisson sez of Super 8: I'm a science fiction writer, and rarely deal with my own history. Super 8 came to me when I saw a video that an old friend had patched together from "home-movies" of our dome-building commune days. I imagined the film itself as a character, and took it from there. I happen to be a Southern writer myself, and even thought of calling the story Rank Strangers. Don't forget to vote for your favorite.

3. Jami Attenberg on the Schwartz Foer she could have been. (Via Maud.)

4. Maureen McHugh has a wonderful, brief post on what bravery means to her:

In China, historically, when young women have killed themselves, because they were pregnant, or chattel of their husbands and mothers-in-law or all the historic reasons why Chinese women chose to kill themselves (including having their feet bound into four inch golden lillies) they drowned themselves in the well.

I always assumed that was because there weren't many options for killing oneself besides knives, hanging and the well, and once you threw yourself in, the well was pretty irrevocable. But I read once that one of the results of someone drowning themselves in a well was that the body in the well, unless it could be quickly retreived, contaminated the well for some time. So the suicide became an act of revenge as well as escape.

There are lots of ways to poison the well when you have cancer. My idea of bravery is, as much as possible, not to poison the well.

5. Instant Fanzine reports that Joe Haldeman's Camouflage and Johanna Sinisalo's Troll, A Love Story are co-winners of this year's Tiptree Award.

6. Everyone's favorite Susan is on the road and listening to the radio. She's staying exclusively in h/motels with net access, so these reports should be regular.

Radio watch: the last half-hour or forty minutes of the drive, I caught part of a Biblical Prophecy program, where the host was talking to a woman about Yellowstone. This woman, she had a vision several months ago, God told her to go to Yellowstone and pray to prevent earthquakes and volcanoes. So she got a prayer group together and they went to Yellowstone. At Yellowstone, they discovered massive natural disturbances--a high and escalating number of micro-earthquakes, the whole park stinks of sulfur, Old Faithful isn't regular anymore, in some places the ground itself has heated to over 200 degrees and normally peaceful animals are attacking tourists. She and the host discussed this. The host has apparently been gathering information on this, and they believe that Yellowstone is actually a massive "supervolcano" that is getting ready to erupt. Furthermore, this eruption is part of the Lord's plan for the End of Days as foretold in the Book of Revelation; the woman confirms this, as along with all the geologic signs at the park she could also feel a large demonic presence.

Some quick googling reveals that they're right about the supervolcano stuff, and possibly even about the likelihood of eruption. What fascinates me about these radio programs is the juxtaposition: they move smoothly from what sounds like very technical and scientifically-informed discussions of geology into talking about demonic presences and Biblical revelation and prayer groups.

7. March is Small Press Month. Everyone go buy a Small Beer Press book to celebrate. (I stole this link from somewhere, but I don't remember where.)

8. Coffee and Ink posts a short but fascinating review of Huruki Murakami's Underground.

9. Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash jam session. It will make you happy. It will make you a better person. (Thanks, Reechard!)


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