Monthly Archives: March 2011

Reading, Scripting, and Cold Water

The reading at Blue Sunshine was last night and it went rather well. Definitely, it went better than my first unplanned reading at SFContario last November. Seeing some of the seasoned pros in action also showed me a lot of ways in which I could improve my future readings. I just need to stop sweating bricks when I get up in front of a crowd of people.

In less fun news – my water heater died and I spent most of today trying to get it to work. One of the elements shorted, which meant that it warped badly and started to let a tiny trickle of water out of the tank. It took a little while, but eventually that water completed the circuit between two wires in between the inner and outer shell and that blew the whole mess of wiring to a black smelly mess, which must have been just before we first noticed we were running out of hot water yesterday morning. Seems to be fixed now, I just have to leave it open for a bit to make sure I didn’t leave a new leak open somewhere. It’s nice to be able to wash my hands with warm water again.

Script Frenzy starts tomorrow, and I think I’m going to give it a shot. I’ve finished Nano and this is a much friendlier word count to deal with over a 30 day period. I have a graphic novel idea that’s been bouncing around my head for the better part of a year; it’s time I did something with it. I’ve never written a comic script before, so it’s going to be horrible and unusable, but what I’m hoping for is that it will at least let me solidify some of the concepts and characters, let me get some semblance of idea flow working, and give me something I can look at later when I’ve studied scripting more, something I can work with so that I can build something readable.


Clock is ticking…

News is going around Twitter and the SFF blogosphere about the passing of Diana Wynne Jones, a british novelist.
I’ve never read anything by her, my apprenticeship as an SFF reader was done under the tutelage of other writers, but when doing a search this morning, I was struck by the fact that she didn’t seem all that old (she was 76). Many of her peers, other fantasists from the 70’s onward, are getting on in years and starting to look slightly the worse for wear themselves. It got me thinking that I’m halfway to their age, and not looking so fit myself. I wonder if I’ll get to accomplish even a fraction of what they have, from a writerly perspective.
Seeing the state of those writers who are about twice my age, but who are pillars in the SFF community, has me questioning my own role. Or at least my potential for one. More than at any point in the past, I want more than to have just the potential to be a writer.
Odd that the death of someone I don’t know, someone I haven’t even known as a reader of her work, would galvanize me to kick my own writer’s ass in gear, but in a sense that’s exactly what’s happened. I’ve gotten more writing done today than I have in any week going back to November last year, and all due to an imaginary clock ticking away over my shoulder. The ideas are coming. The words are coming. Not for just one project, either, but for several, each of which is demanding it’s own spot in my schedule. It’s like having a deadline you have to stick to, but the date and time is in a sealed envelope you can’t see. Very odd feeling.

At any rate, RIP Diana. If what I’m reading from those who knew you is even half-true, then you were a remarkable woman indeed. Thank you for inspiring those who’ve inspired me.


An Evening of Strange Canadian Stories

There are some things that happened before I had this blog up and running that I haven’t gotten around to blogging about yet. Here’s one of them:

I’ll be one of several authors doing a reading at an event Wednesday after next called An Evening of Strange Canadian Stories.

The other authors in attendance will be Claude Lalumière, Glenn Grant, Gemma Files, Nancy Kilpatrick, Natasha Beaulieu, and Grace Seybold. The host for the evening will be Mark Shainblum.

Check the link above for more details. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 30th, 8-10 pm (doors open at 7:30). Admission is free.


On Chara vs. Pacioretty

This has been blogged and newsed and commented to death, but hey, this is my blog, I’ll do what I want with it.

For those not up to speed, here are some videos and some commentary.
First, a video of the incident.

Those stanchions are brutal. Every player is terrified of them, but that also means every player knows where they are…
…Unless you’re Zdeno Chara, apparently:

And a transcript of the ruling, whereby Mike Milbury decides not to suspend Chara for the incident:

National Hockey League Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy today issued the following statement on Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara’s hit in NHL game #996 last night against the Montreal Canadiens:

“I conducted a hearing with Boston Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara with respect to the major penalty for interference and game misconduct that he was assessed at 19:44 of the second period for a hit on Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens.

“After a thorough review of the video I can find no basis to impose supplemental discipline. This hit resulted from a play that evolved and then happened very quickly — with both players skating in the same direction and with Chara attempting to angle his opponent into the boards. I could not find any evidence to suggest that, beyond this being a correct call for interference, that Chara targeted the head of his opponent, left his feet or delivered the check in any other manner that could be deemed to be dangerous.

“This was a hockey play that resulted in an injury because of the player colliding with the stanchion and then the ice surface. In reviewing this play, I also took into consideration that Chara has not been involved in a supplemental discipline incident during his 13-year NHL career.”

Some facts.
1 – Zdeno Chara clearly pushes Pacioretty to the side. Maybe intentionally into the post, maybe not. We’ll never know, but the push is there.
2 – The push came at a time when Pacioretty did not have the puck, and had not had it for quite some time.
3 – Fact 1 and fact 2 combine to form Interference. You aren’t allowed to interfere with a player who is not in possession of the puck.

I don’t understand how Mike Milbury can call this “a hockey play” when it was a play he admitted was outside the rules, an interference. It was as much a hockey play as an intentional high stick to the face or a kick to the groin. I say intentional because Chara clearly pushed Pacioretty, this was not an incidental contact of two players heading in the same direction.
I have a lot of respect for Chara as a defencemen, there are very few teams that wouldn’t want him in their lineup, but he’s been nominated for the Norris trophy (for the league’s best defenceman) twice, and won it once. I don’t buy that he didn’t know where he was guiding Pacioretty. He’s also stated that he didn’t know it was Pacioretty he was hitting in the first place (they have a bit of history of not liking each other). Again, a defenceman that good knows which other players are on the ice and where they are, so I don’t buy his claim.
I don’t think Chara wanted to put Pacioretty in the hospital, but it looks like he wanted to put him into that stanchion and he should have received a suspension. He has a clean record, so 5 games probably would have satisfied everybody involved. A repeat offender should probably have seen 20 or more for that hit.

By and large, the league blew this one. A suspension of a few games for Chara wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but the lack of suspension has the NHL looking like it really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about player safety.
They’ve been harping lately about eliminating headshots, but they’ve blown an opportunity to show that certain things won’t be tolerated. Instead of looking back at what’s been disciplined in the past, they should be looking to set new precedent. Sadly, it looks like a problem that won’t be fixed until the current batch of directors is gone. I would love to give the NHL an enema.


Getting There

Added some pages, tore my hair out a little over WordPress going “tee hee” and removing HTML tags for no good reason, but I’m generally pleased with how the layout looks, and I like its potential.

There are also a whole pile more options than I know what to do with, though in some cases the structure is anything but intuitive. In general though, if you have any amount of google-fu, I’ve found that a quick search of why the hell WordPress doesn’t do a certain thing will net you several pages showing you that, in fact, WordPress does do that thing and here’s how to do it.

I do like it, I’m glad I made the switch, and once I get a few more things looking the way I want them to, I’ll blog about more than just blog sites.


New Blog

This one’ll be short, just a hello.

I killed my old blog because it wasn’t going anywhere and it wasn’t giving me the layout options I wanted. Several other people had praised WordPress, I checked it out, I liked it, and here I am. We’ll see how it works out but I’m optimistic.

Back in a day or two after I make tweaks.


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