04 November 2010 ~ 4 Comments

The writing life — sundry and various

Have you been following the brouhaha over the Cooks Source plagiarism case?  Just so everyone is clear on copyright law: just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s public domain. Seems the Cooks Source editor was unclear on the concept.

In other news, work on Kate’s book is coming along nicely. Word count stands at about 86,000 words. I’m in the end game. Plus, I almost know how it’s going to end. At least I have it in broad strokes, but I’ve been surprised before. This is why I don’t understand people who outline everything.  I know that it works for them, and probably they have the same feeling of everything clicking that I do when I wing it, but still — if you know how it’s going to go, why bother writing?

Jim C. Hines, author of several fine fantasies, has a serious blog post about sexual harassment at World Fantasy Con. This is sad and disturbing, because the alleged perpetrator is someone using his power imbalance (he’s an editor) to prey on writers and aspiring writers. This is not someone who is clueless about social mores, as the stereotype of the science fiction community goes. He knows very well what he’s doing, who to victimize, and how to get away with it.

I love science fiction and fantasy, love what I do, and love meeting the smart people who come to science fiction conventions. When a city hosts a big convention, the collective IQ of the metropolitan statistical area rises by at least 20 points for the weekend.

But — it’s also an antiquated, insular, and sexist community, and has been ever since the halcyon days of fandom (either the 1930s through the 1960s, or the age of 12, depending on who you talk to).  Add in the fact that you have a convention that is part social gathering and part professional conference, and you have a chaotic, schizophrenic situation. With LARPing.

I hope that the editor has been made to understand that people are on to his game and he cuts it out. I’d like it better for someone to kick him in the balls, but I’ll take him stopping.

On another note, my sister sent me this article from The Wall Street Journal:

Does Her Face Foretell Her Fate

This beautiful compelling photo, one of the most famous of the photographic work done during the Depression by Walker Evans and others, shows a young girl, age 10, and her determined, open, guileless mien. She clearly made an impression on Evans and you can’t turn away from her gaze from 70 or so years ago. Once again, she reminds me that you can’t make up people as good as the real thing.  Strive for reality and your fantasy will come alive.

Finally, I rode tonight! And jumped! It’s been around a year since I began riding after a very long hiatus. It wasn’t too many months ago that I couldn’t consistently nail a canter depart, to my chagrin (I finally had to go onto Wikipedia and read the instructions. Yes, even though my instructor had been telling me over and over the correct cues, I had to read them before I could get it down. I think we know how I learn things.).

It’s been exciting, and I always come home in a lighter, happier mood. There’s nothing like hanging around with horses to make me happy.

Do what makes you happy!

Patrice

4 Responses to “The writing life — sundry and various”

  1. Audrey Lockwood 5 November 2010 at 7:12 am Permalink

    Glad to hear Kate’s book is coming along well! Will you start editing as soon as it’s finished?

  2. Patrice Sarath 5 November 2010 at 8:55 am Permalink

    Probably. As I near the end, I am keeping track of all the bits that I need to seed in at the beginning to make it all come together. So once I write The End, I’ll probably switch into edit mode the next day. Then, it goes off to the beta readers and that’s when I can give it a rest.

    How do you manage that shift? Do you let it rest for a while (like dough?) or do you go straight into it?

    When I write a short story, because the process is shorter, I give myself more time between first draft and edit.

  3. Maria Ragucci 11 November 2010 at 4:42 pm Permalink

    Are you familiar with Evans’s work? I was not. I’m gratified you had the same reaction I did to the photo- Carol did, too.

  4. Patrice Sarath 12 November 2010 at 8:06 am Permalink

    I’ve only seen some of Evans’ work, and I’ve never read the Agee book. The photos by Dorothea Lang (sp?) are also amazing.

    When you find out what happened to the little girl in the photo, well, my heart just broke, but I still couldn’t look away from her gaze.


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