2. Some thoughts, based on the Kirkus review and on the congratulation replies, on what kind of writer I am, or am becoming, and how that affects my relationship to genre, which I am finding sometimes problematic.
2a. Follow-upped with the "what kind of writer are you" quiz/meme, which says, like my agent, that I should be writing suspense. Which actually feels about right to me too, if the suspense includes spec fic elements.
3. A discussion, based on my conversations with the kids at the ice cream place, on why Harry Potter provides a shared literature experience, where people who are mostly strangers can get into a deep discussion about a book and the way it affected them emotionally and what they thought about it, and why this is a Good Thing, or, at least, a Very Pleasant Thing, for those of us who care about books as part of the shared cultural experience.
4. An account of my trip up to Clarion last week with Toby Buckell to do a novel writing session with Walter Jon Williams and Leslie What. Mostly I wanted to write about my long drive through the backroads of Ohio, through the small towns where I spent time as a kid, and that influence on me.
5. Mention that Gordon Van Gelder is going to be interviewed on Wednesday, July 27 at 8:00 pm EST US on this show: http://www.interstellartransmissions.com/. The interview is focusing on the new F&SF Mars anthology, FOURTH PLANET FROM THE SUN.
6. Talk about how well I'm sleeping lately, and how that cuts down on my productivity, because I depend on that insomnia time to get stuff done. Damn good sleep.
I might come back to the first four of these topics in a more interesting way at some point soon. In the meantime, a couple quick stories, so I don't forget them.
Yesterday, I was driving with my (soon to be) 12 year old son, Cole, past a sign for a local triathalon.
Cole: I'm training for a triathalon.
Cole: It involves eating, watching TV, and sleeping.
Me: (pause) Good luck finding a sponsor.
Cole: I'm hoping to go pro by the time I'm an adult.
Today, we were driving the younger one, Fin, to camp. He was looking at the road signs.
Fin: (from the back seat) Hey Dad, what does yield mean?
Me: It means to give way, to let someone else go through.
Fin: Oh. Okay.
Me: I think it has an older usage in medieval times, where one knight would yield to another to acknowledge defeat.
Fin: (stares out window)
Cole: (reads graphic novel)
Me: But it's not only used in traffic today. It's also got a parliamentary, or rules of order, meaning, as in congress when one member yields the floor to another honored member. And it has a military meaning too, like when one force yields ground to another. "We yielded the city to the enemy when we faked our retreat, stringing out their forces so that we could overcome them more easily when we counter-attacked." Like that.
Cole: Okay, that's whacked.
Me: What do you mean?
Cole: When you give an example for the definition of something, you need a sentence with like five words, not twenty-five.
Fin: Yeah. "We yielded ground to the enemy so we could defeat them." That's basically what you said.
Cole: What's wrong with you?
Cole: The cement truck ran over us because we didn't yield.
Cole: You can do so much better than that, dad.
Fin: By the time he's done talking, the cement truck hits him.
Me: (silently keeps driving)
Should I fear the teen years now?
Hopefully, I did the cut tags right!