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|Saturday, December 29th, 2007|
I have spent the last few days hosting my mom who is 83 and her friend who is 89. Now, understand, these are very feisty ladies. My mom is still driving her motorhome, very competently and her friend can out-fish most men I know. Watching them definitely gives me a perspective. My New Year's wish is that we all are as active as they are at their ages. : )
|Tuesday, December 25th, 2007|
|Friday, November 23rd, 2007|
I had a lovely thanksgiving yesterday and I hope you all did too. I realize that I have so many things to be thankful for that there is too much to enumerate here. But I'll say that I'm happy that folks read this blog and find something here of value. So thanks to you!
I'm one of those people who shop all year long and I'm happy to say, I think I'm mostly done shopping for the Christmas holidays. (Which is saying something since I often buy for about forty people.) So, I'm happy to get that done.
I'm also thankful for getting to be an early reader for Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom series which will start showing up on the shelves next November. Just finished the second one, and I'm telling you, this is one fantastic series. I predict those books will fly off the shelves as they should. Look for them. The first one is titled, "Magic to the Bone".
Hope this was the beginning of a great holiday season.
|Monday, November 19th, 2007|
|Back to blog another day.
I'm mostly back to everything. My mom, who had another recent fall and hip replacement, is home and doing well. I finally have help at work, yeah! I survived the extra workshop I did for the university and I've finished at Orycon, which was great fun this year. The last couple of years I did tons of panels, ten one year, so having only two things this year was great! And other than the fact that it turned into elevator con, since two of the four were down for much of the weekend, I had a great time. One of the most fun things was Dessert and Divination. I hope they do this again next year. Come on, how can you go wrong with various types of chocolate and free tarot and rune readings! One small complaint about people behavior. If you are sharing a reading with a group, please be on time and consider reading a piece that is no more than 1500 words. It's respectful. Just saying.
Oh, and here. Of course you all already knew this about me.
What do my stars say about me?
Lets101 - Free Online Dating
|Tuesday, October 16th, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday Series 2, # 1
I know you all missed me and Thinking Error Tuesday, so I'm back as promised for some more examples. This week, I'm going to encourage you all to go rent the first season of Dexter. this is a Showtime series about a blood splatter expert who works for the police, who is also a serial killer. I love this series and telling you that probably gives you a bigger look into my twisted mind than you really needed to know. That said, I think the writer/s of this series deserve awards and enormous sums of money. They do a great job of setting up the motivation of this character. And with his running commentary, they do a great job of showing his internal thinking patterns. Take all the information I gave you in the earlier posts and see how many you can identify. Go on, it will be fun. You know you want to do it. Tell me what you see.
|Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday #23
Hey, it’s thinking error Tuesday. In fact, since we have come to the end of the list of the most useful thinking error’s to know for purposes of effective characterization, it is the last Thinking Error Tuesday for a while. Expect Thinking Error Tuesday to return in November. In the meantime, tonight’s featured Thinking Error is Ownership. And the featured Wordo? Hey, it’s me. Yeah, it’s a bit of self-promotion, but hey, it’s my blog and you didn’t send me your story to use.
So, ownership. This is a thinking error when someone believes that the world should and in fact does revolve around them, to the point that others lose their identity unless it stems from their relationship with the person using ownership. These people also believe that "If I want it, it's mine. And that s/he wants - people, possessions are his/hers simply by wanting it. S/he becomes jealous if anyone acts in some way that s/he dislikes or is different than what s/he wants. S/he treats people as pawns.
Ownership can be used in a gross an obvious way. “That’s my (fill in the blank), I’ll do with it what I want.” Yeah, we all own something that we can choose to something with. “That’s my pencil, I can chew on it if I want.” But when doing what we want with something, hurts someone else, that’s a thinking error. “That’s my dog, I’ll kick it if I want to.” In this country, not only is that a thinking error, it’s an illegal act. We say that mere ownership does not allow us the ability to inflict pain and suffering. You see this kind of thinking from batterers and sex offenders. “That’s my family, I’ll do with them as I want.” Jealousy is generally based in ownership. “That’s my woman or my man.” Many criminal acts or assault are committed “in the heat of passion” based in jealousy. Most of us have experienced some kind of jealousy so we can relate to this. Yeah, I know you personally have never been jealous, but I bet you know someone who has. You hear it in the old saying from the south that parents shout at their unruly children. “I brought you into this world, I can take you out.” Big time ownership.
Okay, these are the gross examples. But there are more subtle examples that many of us use in day to day life without paying too much attention. Now, think hard. When you last introduced your partner to someone, did you say “This is my husband, Joe” or This is my wife Mabel,” and if so, why would that be a thinking error? The subtly is there. You introduced them first by their relationship to you, rather than by name. That identifies the relationship as being more important than their personhood which is represented by their name. Wait, you say. I didn’t mean that. I just did it that way because everybody does it that way. Of course, when you see it written that way, you can see that even though you may not have consciously intended that way, that is the impact it has. You might correlate this to making statements that are racist and see how the subtly can play out. One of the things to understand about thinking errors is not only intention, but also impact. Thinking errors are usually so well rehearsed so that you aren’t very aware of what you are saying and pay little to no attention to the impact they have on others, unless the impact needs to be countered with yet another kind of thinking error. Yes, I hear your argument that we as humans are so inundated with information that we simply use the identification of the relationship as a way to create a shortcut for getting information about a new person. But, think this one through. Now that you know the implication, why wouldn’t you say, “This is Joe, my partner,” rather than the other way around? Then he is Joe, first and foremost. And parents often do ownership with their kids in subtle ways. Do you remember a time when your parents were concerned about something you did because it was going to reflect badly on them? There it is, ownership.
The story I want to share with you that has great examples of this is one I wrote called “The Truth Shall Set You Free” which appears in Mota 2002, Truth, another antho by Triple Tree Press. Because I wanted to show the impact of thinking errors, I wrote a story about a battered wife who kidnaps her husband’s therapist. The wife threatens to kill the therapist because the husband is back in jail due to a report the therapist made to his probation officer. As the wife tells her story, she recognizes how her life had completely become an extension of what her husband wanted, to the point where she doesn’t leave the battering relationship, even when he almost kills her and one of their children. By never putting Aggie, the husband on stage, I was able to show the thinking errors completely through impact, which can be a great way to demonstrate character motivation. So, check it out and support small presses.
I’ve had a lot of fun doing these blogs, featuring Wordos and pushing a bunch of small press publications. But when Thinking Error Tuesday returns, we’ll be looking at some other authors as well as movie and TV examples and there will be more contests, so stay tuned. In the meantime, use this month to study up your thinking errors by watching the first season of the Showtime series, Dexter. This is a great example of all the thinking errors used by a serial killer, and yet the brilliant writers give us ways to fall in love with this quirky guy.
|Tuesday, September 25th, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday #22
Okay, it’s the next to the last thinking error Tuesday. Well, at least for a while. This gets us through 22 thinking errors. Well, 24 if you count the three different kinds of lying. Tonight’s featured thinking error is—wait for it—wait for it--procrastination. Now, I know that none of you have ever used this thinking error. (Wait, what were those 3 different kinds of lying again?) But you all know what the definition of this thinking error is, right? To put off; to defer to a future time. For the purposes of this being a thinking error, these delays are designed to avoid accountability. Sometimes it’s about avoiding completing something completely. My boss gave me a great example of this. During our weekly staff meeting, he makes a list of tasks he is supposed to complete for us and then adds it to his other list of tasks. From day to day, this list grows and he knows he can’t possibly complete everything. So the things he doesn’t want to do, or doesn’t believe are that important fall to the bottom of the list. He keeps the list to two pages. When it gets full, the things on the bottom of the list just “drop off.” If no one asks him about it, he decides he doesn’t have to worry about it. What does this say to you if you read about a character like this? Now, to his credit, when you do confront him about something that fell off the list, he’s great about acknowledging what happened and usually gets to it right away. Would that tell you something different about a character?
Tonight’s featured Wordo is Christina Lay. Christina won the Rupert Hughes Prose Writing Competition at the 2000 Maui Writer’s conference with her first novel. Her second novel won first place in the Journey Conference contest and was a finalist at PNWA in 2003. She also won second place in the Writer’s Digest short story competition. Her writing is fun and scary and just plain good. And I had the pleasure of buying one of her stories for Ghosts at the Coast, which I edited for Triple Tree Press. It’s a fun, creepy little story called No Place Like Home, check it out.
In this story, Eloise Finch has put off living the life she has always wanted. She sees herself in the mirror, sees that she is getting old. Time is running out. This recognition becomes her primary motivation for dealing with her lout of a husband, Edgar, who let’s face it, really is a disgusting guy. She kept meaning to get a life, really she did. And now, through a chance of fate, she has a chance. Will she take it?
Pay attention to this thinking error. Because something tells me, another contest is lurking somewhere.
|Friday, September 21st, 2007|
Found a great quote today that I had to share. "Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress. Then it becomes a master, then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public."
Ain't that the truth! Write well, fall in love, then kill the damn thing.
|Wednesday, September 19th, 2007|
|Go read this.
My friend, Mark Henry, along with a few other friends has a fun new website about writing humor in urban fantasy. Check it out at http://www.leagueofreluctantadults.com/blog.html
Mark's novel will come out in the spring, "Happy Hour of the Damned" and you should buy it immediately as he is one funny dude. I mean, he has a whole new spin on zombies. But one warning. Never sit next to him in the how to write erotica workshop unless you want an image of grossly funny zombie sex burned into your brain for life.
|Tuesday, September 18th, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday #21
Yeah, it’s Thinking Error Tuesday. Since we didn’t have any volunteers, I’ve looked to an early Wordo to be featured this week, the one and only Chris York. And the featured thinking error, Grandiosity!
Grandiosity is minimizing or maximizing the significance of an issue, and it justifies not solving the problem. Or it can be defining yourself as the best of the best or the worst of the worst. Sometimes when writing a character, you will have them so down in the dumps that they feel justified in doing anything to get out of that place. Or they will see themselves as above the law, the rules or entitled to anything they want. I’ve recently read a couple of books about the wives of Henry IIIV. Now there was a guy who really thought he was above the laws. In fact, toward the end, he had it declared that he was the voice of God and therefore, anything he said people must do in order to follow God’s orders. (Does this sound like anyone you’ve hear of in the news? I know by Mr. Ashcroft’s definition, I would likely be declared a terrorist, but of course, we aren’t discussing politics here, right?)
You can see how this thinking error can be used by your character to give themselves permission to do whatever they want. Interestingly enough, you often see characters who are not very confident in their lives using the “best of the best” component of this thinking error in their internal dialog and it is what motivates them to action. So you don’t have to use this one with a character who is entirely pathetic or narcissistic externally. Look to writing down that internal dialog and you can use this successfully to expand your character’s depth.
Chris does this very well with in her story, “Calculated Risk” which appeared in Strange New Worlds II. Chris is a great writer with more credits than I know of, but this is one of her stories I have on the shelf and it really exemplifies this thinking error. She and her husband Steven J. York have an interesting website at http://www.yorkwriters.com/
. If you go there, you can also find their blogs which are interesting as well. Anyway, back to the story. For those of you who don’t know, the Strange New Worlds anthos were opportunities with open submissions for Star Trek stories and a number of Wordos were published there including Chris, Kathy Oltion, Jerry Wolfe, and I think Rob Vagle, though I’m not sure about that last one. I might have missed a few others. It was a fun opportunity to play in one of the best known worlds possible. A Chris chose to use one of my favorite characters, Reg Barclay, the hapless, bumbling engineer who imagined himself in love with Deanna Troi, among others. In this particular story, Reg is trying to help Dr. Pulaski to isolate a pathogen using the transporter technology. Reg is only the tech guy here, but he a significant belief about the value of his contribution to this process and he day-dreams about the possible names they would give this pathogen once they isolate it. Yeah, you got it. The names are all things like Reg-Bar Syndrome, Regicilium, and my favorite, Barclaynosis. Doesn’t this one insight into Reg’s character tell us a lot about Reg? He’s not a bad guy. We pull for him throughout the story. But, we all remember a time, no matter how unrealistic, when we imagine that we are going to finally be given our due. But we also know that no one is naming anything after Reg. It becomes even more poignant when we learn that the pathogen seems to be a “love bug”. Well, anyone who knows of Reg, knows that he is an incurable romantic. Who better to lend his name to a “love bug”?
So go read the story and see what happens to good ole Reg, cause you know he’s going to get himself trouble. And it’s a fun piece. Chris is a master of working in descriptive details as well. Read the rest of her work as well.
Gotta post this now to get it in before midnight.
|Tuesday, September 11th, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday #20
Yes, it is Thinking Error Tuesday once again. We are getting close to the end of the list here, folks. Now, if you are a Wordo and haven’t yet been featured, do not assume you are not using thinking errors, or that your characters are not either. It probably means, I haven’t been able to find some of your work that exemplifies a particular thinking error. But there is still time! If you want your work considered, send me a copy of the story or an excerpt that you think has a thinking error in it, so I can use it for consideration.
For tonight, the thinking error we are focusing on is Image. Image is where a character adopts a persona with the intent of being able to control others, to avoid accountability or to put themselves above others. Two of the most common forms of image are that of the rugged, rough, tough person who is mean, rules through violence and threats or by putting people down. S/he often has ideas of being an adventurer, cowboy/cowgirl, pirate, etc. That person walks and talks in such a way to support his/her image. The other most common image put on is that of the victim. The person walks and talks and acts in such a way to support his/her victim image. In the clinical field, we often see this in people who are bullies and commit domestic violence. They find that after the first physical assault, they don’t have to actually connect physically with their victim. Just the threat of more violence can earn them compliance.
Tonight’s featured Wordo is Deb Layne, not only a remarkable editor & publisher, but also a wonderful writer in her own right. The story I want to feature appeared in Fortean Bureau in 2004. It is called, “The Legend of Jake Einstein.” This is a sly piece of satire in which Deb has given us an interesting twist on image. According to the story, Jake Einstein is born a brilliant physicist and travels the range far and wide on his trusty steed, bring about a broad understanding of physics. Look to the end of the story where Jake has his conflict with Ned Bohr, whose theory challenges Jake’s paradigm. See how he uses image to prevail. As I said, it’s slick. And a quick read. Check it out at http://www.forteanbureau.com/may2004/Layne/index.html
. And by the way, read anything else you can get your hands on that Deb has either written, edited, or published. She’s a gem. I only wish that we saw as much of her writing as we do of her other talents.
|Thursday, September 6th, 2007|
|Who wants to be the next superhero?
Okay, I'm not much of a watcher of reality TV. But I have to own up to my most recent secret addiction. Stan Lee's "Who wants to be the next superhero?" Originally, I thought this was the funniest show on earth. People dressed up in odd costumes, auditioning to be the next superhero. They would talk about their superpowers and much of it was pretty silly. I think there was a woman who went by Braid had a bizarre wig made out of all kinds of fabric braids and the braids had the ability to zap people. Or Mr. Mitzvah who used his Star of David paddle to lash out at to deflect any attack. His secret identity is a recording artist and philanthropist.
Like most of these shows it was narrowed down to ten and each week, one person was eliminated. Tonight was the finale. We were down to three; The Defuser, Hyperstrike, and Hygenia. (Yeah, Hygenia was the only woman and sadly her power was super cleaning. Her weapon is a feather duster. That was kind of sad.) But, I have to say, I was honestly touched by these final three and the motivation behind why they wanted to win. And winning meant that you got to have Stan Lee do a comic book for your character and you got to have a line of action figures based on your character. Who wouldn't want that?
Now, some of the missions that Mr. Lee put these contestents through were also pretty silly. Once they had to get a disguise, which meant they had to convince people to loan them shoes, pants, and a jacket. But the coolest thing was, people did it. The last challenge involved getting past three attack dogs. They were appropriately suited up, but still, attack dogs. Hygenia knew she wouldn't be strong enough to make it past the dogs, so she agreed to be bait for the dogs to gnaw on. For a woman who is freaked out by all things dirty, this was pretty amazing. Our ultimate winner was.......(This is a spoiler alert, stop reading if you don't want to know)..........The Defuser. During the dog challenge, he was on the ground with two dogs attacking him and he managed to stand up and move forward to complete his mission. That was pretty amazing to watch. And in real life, this guy is a cop. He really does fight crime. So you have to give him that, especially since his cop buddies are going to laugh him off the force for wearing spandex on national TV.
Just a quick word to all you evil doers, you will never find out from me that the Defusers only weakness is, dun-dun-dun The super wedgie. Ooops. Forget I said that.
So, if you are interested in finding out which Superhero you are, here is a site which might help. http://www.thesuperheroquiz.com/
I tried it and kept coming out as superman until I went back and said I wear thongs and then it said I was Supergirl, Lean, muscular and feminine.
Honest and a defender of the innocent. Okay, some of this might only be true in my mind but a girl can dream. Come on, go do the test yourself, you know you want to.
Or go here http://www.scifi.com/superhero/herocreator/
and you can create your own superhero image. These are pretty fun too.
And watch the website. If you have the courage and the heart of a superhero, you too could audition and become Stan Lee's next superhero!
|Wednesday, September 5th, 2007|
Okay, my first contest has a winner. Actually, two winners. Of course, it only had two entrants, but since I get to choose and since both did a great job, each entrant will be getting a cool prize. Now, don't you wish you had entered? What thinking errors did you use to convince yourself to not enter?
Devon and Julie, your prizes will be in the mail soon. Thanks for playing.
|Thinking Error Tuesday #19
Well, here we go again. Thinking error Tuesday. The day after labor day. Can I just say before we get to the meat of today’s discussion that honored labor day, by really laboring. Me and my young helper moved 12 yards of gravel. Yes, I’m tired and moving slowly, but I pride myself on not only keeping up with, but often outdoing the 18 year old. I guess what they say about old age and treachery—or something. Wait, I’m too old to really remember what that saying is. Darn!
Okay, now, on to our regular feature. Tonight’s thinking error is Closed Channel. This is when you have your character being selective, closed-minded and self-righteous. A responsible person is open, receptive, and self critical. But when you want to show that your character is not letting in any outside information as a way to justify his/her own thinking. Think of the little kid who covers her ears up and makes sounds so she can’t hear what you are saying or one of our politicians not being willing to listen to another person’s point of view. To use this particular thinking error to show a deep seated antisocial leaning, show your character thinking that s/he must keep part of his/her life secret, to divert issues. S/he believes that no one is smarter than him or her, and would never think that s/he is wrong in a situation.
Tonight’s featured Wordo is Loreen Heneghan. Yes, there are two remarkable writers in that family, Loreen being married to Damon who was featured two weeks ago for his Writer’s of the Future winning story. Their daughter Beatrix doesn’t stand a chance. She’s either going to be a better writer than both of them or an accountant. But tonight, we are focusing on Loreen. I don’t know all of her credits (maybe she’ll elucidate her career to us in a response?) but I wanted to feature this story. When I first heard her read this in group, I was knocked out by her skill and so was happy that it has been published in Pseudopod, the premier horror podcast magazine. The name of the story is Devote Your Life To Beauty. It is a creepy little tale enticing the listener to come worship at the temple of the beauty. Don’t worry, she assures you, it isn’t a cult. But she is also sure that her warriors will convince to come worship with them. After all, it’s the way, the only way. There is no other way. See how closed channel can also be seductive. Check it out at http://pseudopod.org/2006/09/15/flash-devote-your-life-to-beauty/
Loreen’s a great writer. We’ll see more of her work if we are lucky.
|Wednesday, August 29th, 2007|
|TBook review and rant
Okay, so I try not to rant here very often. But tonight, I am so wound up, I feel the need to put it somewhere so someone will read this and maybe be influenced by it.
Amongst other things, I'm a social worker, a therapist if you will. And I hate how my profession is often portrayed in movies and novels. Therapy is a very intimate experience because it involves vulnerability and trust. In this culture, we tend to associate these two experiences with love and so it is easy for a client to confuse the therapeutic relationship with a love possibility. So, it is important for the professional to hold good boundaries and not take advantage of the client. Yeah, we even write this into our ethical codes. And most therapists respect this boundary. Even when a client attempts to seduce a therapist. Does that mean we aren't tempted occasionally? Of course we are, we are human after all. Some people succumb. There are bad therapist. But most of us do not act on these temptations. It is a violation. We take this seriously. Seriously enough that we write it into our ethical codes.
But, in movies, TV, and novels, therapists are often seen ignoring this violation, getting into "relationships" with clients as a legitimate option, and not suffering consequences or agonizing about this choice. This is not realistic. Please, please don't do it. Tonight I finished a novel where one of the three main characters was a therapist working with autistic children. She gets assigned to work with a single dad and his son. The father in this family turns out to be someone with whom she went to high school. And as you can predict, she takes the case, falls in love with the dad, and they live happily ever after. In fact, her boss encourages her to pursue this relationship. This would never happen. Even if the therapist violated her boundaries so blithely, her boss would not encourage or tolerate it because it puts the entire agency at risk for liability as well as the supervisor at risk for losing her license. It is also illegal. Yes, in this and most states, it is illegal.
Now, I'm not saying that you can't pursue exploring this situation in your writing, but please do it in context. Now, I know that everyone is probably sensitive about how their profession is portrayed. I'm sure that I've probably been guilty of doing something like this in my own writing with other professions, maybe even yours. If so, I apologize. But this for me is about more than my ego. It is about people being influenced to believe that they can't trust their therapists. And maybe not getting the help they need. That would be sad.
Reading this book made me sad. It was well written. The characters were engaging. But I could see where it was going. It was like a watching a wreck. I had to keep reading because I couldn't really believe that the author would do it. I kept saying no, no. And she clearly knows enough about the field to get a bunch of other things right. But she violated my trust. And the publisher helped her/let her get away with it. Of course, I can't recommend this book and I won't even acknowledge its name.
But let me recommend another book I read recently and liked very much instead. Two books, actually. The author, Rick Riordan. The first in the series is The Lightning Thief, the second is The Sea of Monsters. Mr. Riordan uses the myths about the Olympic Gods to good effect in this YA series. The writing is tight and fun, the characters are realistic and engaging, overall they are compelling. But don't take my word for it, go read them for yourself.
Rant over. If you read all of this, thanks.
|Tuesday, August 28th, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday #18
Back again, for Thinking Error Tuesday. And this week, I’m actually posting this on Tuesday. Sadly, no one bothered to enter my little contest last week. No, no excuses. We all know that was thinking error number one anyway. But, just to show you that I am generous gal, I will extend the deadline by one week. If no one enters this time, well, that means all prizes remain—mine, all mine. Yeah, prizes. So rev up your brains, so you can steal them from me, no I mean earn, yeah, earn.
Okay, now on to the meat of this weeks presentation. Our featured thinking error is Drama & Excitement. For the purposes of understanding your character’s motivation, use this thinking error to show how they do not live a real life in the sense of getting his/her needs met directly, s/he does anything and everything for drama and excitement instead. To a character who utilizes drama and excitement, boredom is the main evil. Excitement is necessary and generated at anyone's expense. Whereas other people may get involved in less-than-straight transactions with others in order to feel sad, or hurt, or self-righteous; this character would involve him/herself in activities for the sheer drama and excitement. It is seen as exciting, therefore, for this character to watch other people be angry, to set up fights, watch houses burn, to get any kind of action going. You see this often times with arsonists, they set the fire and love to watch the commotion. They sometimes step up their excitement by becoming the hero and helping to rescue others from a fire they have set.
Our featured Wordo this week, is our other recent celebrated WOTF winner, Mr. John Burridge. (Everybody clap. Then check out John’s Blog http://johnburridge.blogspot.com/
to see how cute he looks in a tux.) His winning story which will be published in the next WOTF anthology is called Mask Glass Magic. This is a great story. I got to read it before he sent it in and I’m glad to say I predicted it would be a winner. Pick up that antho and read both his and Damon’s stories. You won’t be disappointed.
So, in John’s story, our villains are Harrington and Officer Reid. Harrington is a creepy metaphysical glass blowing guru who lures the heroine in with the offer of employment and greater knowledge and skill after Reid sets her up to lose her job. Of course, we don’t know all that till later. When we learn this fact, we hate them even more when we learn this piece of information. A note here, police officers can be adrenaline junkies who thrive on drama & excitement. An excellent example of this is the current best show on TV, Saving Grace with Holly Hunter. Watch it and see how that character uses this thinking error to cope with her job/life. But, back to John’s story. What is best about this story is that John turns the ending on its head. And he uses the thinking error to show his characters in both bold and subtle ways. Very skillful. After you read this story, go tell John if you liked it. It is his debut sale. He’s worked hard. And he’s earned it. Congrats John.
|Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday #17, Yeah, it's Late
I know, yesterday was Thinking Error Tuesday. I didn’t make it. So, we are calling today Procrastination Wednesday. Let’s see how many thinking errors I can use to excuse my lateness. Uh, I got back too late from hearing Robert Cray and Keb Moe. It wasn’t my fault; it was the people who were driving. My co-workers kidnapped me and wouldn’t let me out of the car. We hit road construction. I was too tired when I got home. No one reads this, so it won’t really matter. I can pretend that it was a computer glitch, yeah, they’ll buy that. If my work would just let me use their computer during lunch, I wouldn’t have been late. Okay, I’m getting tired just thinking of all of these. I know, we’ll have a contest. You can all offer thinking errors for me and the best one, picked by my own subjective judgment of course, will win some kind of prize.
Okay, in reality, I played hooky and went to a concert last night instead of doing Thinking Error Tuesday in a timely manner. I could have written it on Monday, but I chose to make other things a priority. Accountability. Damn, it just isn’t as fun. But the concert was great!
Now, on to the real stuff. This week’s featured thinking error is Victim Stance. The underlying issue is to using this thinking error is aggression (especially passive aggression) and power plays. The obvious way to show this thinking error is to have your character act as if they are unable to think, solve problems, or do anything for themselves; they could whine, shuffle, look woebegone, act helpless, pretend they are too stupid to do anything for themselves. The belief is that if /she doesn't get whatever s/he wants, s/he is the victim. Since the basic belief is that s/he is good and others are bad, s/he justifies his/her victim playing at all times. The position of victim playing is used to strike back and make fools of others. The victim player transacts with others to invite either criticism, or rescue, from those around him/her.
Tonight’s featured Wordo is our own Damon Kaswell. Damon is one of two Wordos currently in Hollywood participating in the Writers of the Future Workshop after being one of this year’s winners. This is a contest worth entering. If you don’t know about it, google it and check into it. Lots of Wordos have won and report great rewards, both of the financial and career booster types. Anyway, Damon’s winning story will be in this year’s anthology. It’s a great story. Pick up a copy and support the winners. Damon’s story is called “Our Last Words.”
This story starts off with these words. “I volunteer to go, because I have no connections. I've lost my wife, Amanda; my parents; even my small son, Daniel, gone in the war. I've lost God, or at least misplaced Him.”
Damon clearly establishes character immediately with these words. We feel this guy’s pain. We also know he is not motivated for whatever he is volunteering for by a sense of loyalty, patriotism, knowing it is the right thing to do. No, we know he doesn’t care anymore. Turns out, the military, (okay, you knew they had to be involved, didn’t you?) have developed a mechanism for this guy to visit the future. Now, I’ve got to tell you, when you have someone who doesn’t care anymore, they make a poor candidate for taking orders and following through. In this scenario, the odds are, our hero isn’t planning on doing what the military wants him to do. We seen this early on in another exchange.
“Efrem is quiet for a moment, and I start to think he's sleeping. Then: ‘Bill, go ahead another two weeks, would you?’
I have no problem with that at all. In fact, although I'll never tell him, I'm planning on eventually going much farther than that.”
Yup, our hero feels totally justified in doing what he wants. He’s lost everything. He agreed to do something he had no intention on following through on. He feels entitled to do what he wants. And the future is looking grim. Here is a few more examples of our hero being defiant. And remember, he believes he can act this way, because the world has treated him badly.
“I go forward a few more times, in unplanned fits and starts. It isn't very long before I see the mushroom clouds.
It changes nothing. My family is still dead. I stop speaking to Efrem at all for a week, and just let time run normally.”
“For some reason, I keep exercising, and I shave. Military habit, I guess. But I ignore the insistent buzzing in my head that tells me somewhere in the present, Efrem and my commanding officer are trying to talk to me.
And then, for no reason I can name, I decide to let them.
‘Corporal Glassbury, explain yourself! You've been off-line for a week with no explanation.’
“Sir, sorry sir. But if you'd seen what I've seen, you might take a moment to contemplate it.”
‘My God, it's true, then?’
‘Yes, sir.” I close my eyes, picture the mushroom clouds. Picture Amanda, holding our baby boy. “I suppose you will have a moment to contemplate it, sir.’”
We feel this guy’s pain. His life sucks. But does that give him license to lie and manipulate people. Yeah, it’s the military and they are likely taking advantage of him. But again, does that mean he is justified to act without integrity? Well, go read the story and find out what you think. If you think his choice is okay in this instance, where would you draw the line? Regardless of your answers to these questions, see how Damon spins an entire story out of this character’s victim stance, how he sets up the character’s motivations and how that helps to make this story an award winner.
|Tuesday, August 14th, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday #16
Yeah for this week’s Thinking Error Tuesday. Today’s featured thinking error is Power Plays. A character uses a power play whenever s/he isn’t getting his/her way in a situation. Examples are things like walking out on an argument, refusing to listen to what someone else has to say, not following through on something s/he agreed to do, or shirking responsibilities. Remember that saying, the best defense is a good offense. Uh-huh, power play. We all know folks who have done this. Ever been passive/aggressive? That’s another power play. Frightening someone is often more effective than beating them and is a great example of a power play. A batterer can get more mileage out of breaking something or hitting the wall than hitting the other person directly. People also use power plays when they set up other people to be angry at the one who is obstructing them from getting their way. Sway the mob, take the focus off of you, get off the hook.
Our featured Wordo tonight is the scintillating Kathy Oltion. Kathy has written lots of short stories and co-authored The Flaming Arrow (Star Trek: New Earth, Book 4) with husband and fellow Wordo, Jerry Oltion. According to Wikipedia Kathy Oltion is a science fiction novelist known primarily for her Star Trek work, which began with publication in the first two Strange New Worlds anthologies from Pocket Books ("See Spot Run" in the first, "The Quick and the Dead" in the second).
For tonight’s feature, Kathy agreed to share her piece, "While You
Wait" that was published in Analog magazine in the September 1998 issue. This story is about an interesting way of managing cryogenics. The character who is shown using power plays is an aging rocker who is awaiting completion of his clone’s body while residing in the body of a parrot. And boy, is he cranky about it. So, he is taking it out on poor Bill, our protagonist. You will notice, that part of part of using a power play is to do whatever you can to take power away from someone else. Kathy does a particularly fine job of showing how the antagonist is only concerned about himself. Read on.
“Jet Black paced up and down on the beam that hung at eye level from the ceiling of his private room at the Marilyn Quayle Aviary and Cryogenic Laboratories.
Bill, Jet's current captive audience and latest caretaker, noticed that Jet waved and flapped his wings when he talked. He figured the musician probably used to gesture with his hands when he was in his own body. Bill turned away to dish out bird seed and listened politely as the parrot continued. "Gawd, those lyrics were searin'. I mean --HEY! What'd ya think yer doin'?"
"What?" Bill asked. The sharp tone in Jet's voice caught him by surprise. Ms. Chan, his supervisor, had warned Bill that Jet had a bad temper and he had been kind of surly when Ms. Chan introduced them, but Bill thought Jet's bad mood had been due to the presence of Ms. Chan. Her stern businesslike manners certainly kept Bill on edge.
Jet was only Bill's second bird-person, or "client" as the Aviary people insisted on calling them. The first had been a woman whose clone was just about ready to receive her soul, her "essence" she liked to say, back into it. She had been easy to deal with, being happy to get back to human form and all. Jet was another story altogether.
"Jeezus, look at that. You're spillin' my special Columbian grown millet and nuts all over the freakin' floor, you moron." Jet screeched and shook his feathers in irritation.
"I'm sorry Mr. Black," Bill said, "I'll clean it up."
"'I'm sorry'" Jet mocked. Bill was amazed at how much sarcasm the guy could fit into a parrot's voice. "I'll say you're sorry. You obviously don't know how much that stuff costs. And now it's in the carpet, so you'll have to vacuum and I freakin' HATE the vacuum." Jet's feathers were completely ruffled and his clawed toes were working back and forth on the beam, wearing splinters free.
"I'll take care of the carpet when you go for your afternoon exercises," Bill said, trying to placate the angry bird.
"Fuck!" Jet screamed, "Exercises. I HATE the freakin' exercises. I hate this whole freakin' place! And I hate being a freakin' bird!"
"I bet you do, but you won't be a parrot forever. I'm sure your clone'll be ready for you soon." Bill knew that talking about a person's clone made most clients happy. It was like talking about an upcoming vacation. This wasn't the case with Jet though, and Bill immediately regretted bringing it up.
Jet flapped his wings wildly and started squawking and hopping from one foot to the other. Most of what Bill could make out of the noise were swear words. Then Jet flew from one beam to another, squawking louder now and dropping feathers. “
Poor Bill. He is at the mercy of a bird who isn’t above using his position to abuse someone else. But go read the whole story, because Bill finds a way to get his own. Power plays can be big and loud, or quiet and cold. But they are really an effective of showing an important dimension to your character. Just as important as how they use a power play is who they are used against. Who would your character want to jerk around?
|Tuesday, August 7th, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday #15
Thinking Error Tuesday # 15
I’m back from the land of conferences, having attended both, PNWA and Willamette Writers in the last two weeks. Hung out at PNWA with the wonderful Devon Monk who is great person to do a conference or con with. I also ran into lots of old friends and met some great new folks and had a lot of fun. Waves at new buddy, Mark Henry who has an astonishingly funny sounding book coming out next spring called, “Happy Hour of the Damned”. This book seems like it will be one of those great funny horror novels, with every weird, gonzo idea possible. Look for this one, sure to be a winner.
Now, I know you all are panting to get back to our regular Thinking Error Tuesday report, and I’ve been saving a great one for you. Tonight’s featured thinking error is Anger. This is not Anger, the emotion you feel appropriately when injustice occurs in the world. This is anger that you use to justify your actions, the anger you use to control others or the situation. This anger comes into play when the character has an unrealistic expectation about the people in the world and controls using aggression, blaming, isolation, giving up, power plays or anything s/he can do to freeze the situation and make it as s/he wishes. We all have done the dialog in our heads where we really feed our anger so we get to feel righteous indignation and justify our actions. This is anger, the thinking error.
Our featured Wordo tonight is the amazing Jerry Oltion. Jerry either has the record or is close to holding the record for short stories sold to Analog and I think over 20 books. (Jerry, please tell us the scoop here.) When Jerry and I discussed his appearing here, he offered up this great excerpt form Paradise Passed. Once again, this is published by Deb Layne and her amazing company, Wheatland Press. Go check it out. If you haven’t seen this one, read this excerpt and see how skillful Jerry is at having his character Ken using all the forms of Anger, the thinking error in just his one passage. Get the book and get more fabulous examples of great writing. Extra points for anyone who can identify an example for each of the five basic forms of anger.
Excerpt from PARADISE PASSED, by Jerry Oltion
The story so far: Ryan is acting captain of the starship while the actual captain is on the planet below. The planet is perfect for human habitation, but it has intelligent life on it. The crew has just voted to go look at the other planet in the system before making a decision on which planet to colonize, but Ryan's father, Ken, is furious about that decision because he thinks it's an affront to God, whom he believes prepared this planet (which he calls Eden) for the colonists.
Ken is coming back to the starship, and one last wave of people are taking shore leave before they go to the other planet.
The next day he went to greet the few remaining first-wave crewmembers coming up on the lander from the island, and to say goodbye to the last wave on their way down. It was a less happy occasion than the previous arrivals and departures. Despite the vote—no, because of the vote—there were hard feelings, and certain people avoided certain other people as they passed in the observation deck. Ken, Bob Thorpe, and half a dozen others formed a tight knot of rejection, but Ryan braved their hostile stares and went over to them.
"Welcome aboard," he said.
His father just looked at him a moment, then said, grudgingly, "Thank you."
They both fumbled for something else to say, but though it quickly became evident that they were doomed to failure, neither of them could turn away. At last Bob broke their deadlock. "Come on," he said to no one in particular. "We've got some unpacking to do."
"Right," said Ken. He turned away, then, as if finally thinking of what he had wanted to say all along, he turned back to Ryan, but instead of speaking he grasped him in a tight hug that forced Ryan's breath out of him in a whoof. Ryan could feel his father's fingers pressing into him with such intensity that they trembled. Bewildered, Ryan hugged him back. Finally Ken pushed himself away and, without explanation, turned around again and went on into the ship.
What was that all about? Ryan wondered. Was that Ken's way of saying he forgave him?
He was still puzzling over it nearly an hour later while he floated in the bridge and monitored the lander's final descent down to the island. Everything was going normally. There was no reason to believe it wouldn't, but he felt better being in the bridge where he could watch all the lander's vital signs and coordinate things most easily in case of a mishap. He supposed his brief tenure as captain was teaching him how to worry constructively.
The lander made its final braking turns out over the ocean, engaged its atmospheric engines, and flew to a gentle touchdown on the island. "Landing completed," the autopilot informed him. "Engine shutdown commencing. Right engine off. Left engine off. Full stop."
"Very good, thank you," Ryan replied. "Cease reporting." The tracking monitor became a swirl of static, the digital readouts of altitude, velocity, heading, and so forth below it blinking back to zero. Ryan tapped it off and turned to leave the bridge, but his eye caught red lights blinking in another monitor station and he hesitated, curious. The activity was in the main drive section. Someone—almost certainly Warren Terrill—was evidently running the main engines through a diagnostic check to make sure they were ready for the trip.
Except that the blinking lights were over such legends as "FUEL PRESSURE REGULATOR," and "FUEL FEED RATE REGULATOR." As Ryan watched, another red light blinked on over the label, "AUTOMATIC IGNITION SEQUENCER."
Someone was shutting off the safeties.
Maybe it was all part of the normal drive diagnostic procedure, but somehow Ryan doubted it. With the safeties disconnected, the drive was little more than a bomb ready to go off at the first wrong move. And with its cable reeled in the way it was, the blast could take the entire ship with it.
"Mac, give me one-way visual into the drive section control room."
The intercom monitor lit to show a wall covered with racks of machinery and festooned with wiring conduit.
"Widen the view."
The wall seemed to recede. An airlock, its inner door open and a crumpled emergency pressure suit lying half in, half out, came into the picture. On the opposite side of the frame, a face moved out of eclipse.
Ken. He was sweating profusely, the drops beading on his skin in zero gee. He reached toward something off screen, and another light began blinking on the console in front of Ryan.
No alarm sounded, though, and it should have. No doubt Ken had disarmed that circuit first thing. Ryan searched for the proper switch to re-arm it, flipped the toggle, but nothing happened. Ken had evidently done more than just switch off the alarms. Ryan tried toggling the safeties back on as well, but that was equally ineffective.
So this was why the hug. Ken had been saying goodbye.
Damn it, Ryan thought, not sure if he was angrier at Ken or at the ship's designers. It shouldn't have been possible for one person to destroy an entire starship. There should have been more safeties, more protection on critical systems like the drive, more—
More weight. The safeties already in place had probably added months to the travel time. And more idiot-proofing would only have made Ken's job harder, not impossible. No amount of protection could stop sabotage; a starship was just too complex. Too many fragile systems had to work perfectly all the time just to keep it going. If a determined person could stop any one of them, he could shut it all down, and there was no way to protect every subsystem on the ship. Ken had just chosen the quickest method, that was all.
"Open—" Ryan said, but his voice cracked and he started over. "Open two-way communication with Ken."
He watched Ken jerk in surprise when the screen lit in front of him. "Ryan!" he breathed.
"Ken. Dad. What are you doing?"
"That should be obvious. I'm going to prevent you from leaving Eden."
"By blowing us into atoms? That's what's going to happen if you keep up what you're doing there."
"I know what I'm doing. I've been preparing for this since I realized it was going to be necessary. But I don't intend to blow up anybody but myself. Two thirds of the crew are already on the ground, and as long as nobody tries to stop me, I plan to give you and everybody else who's still on board time to take another lander and get away from here before I set it off."
Ryan took a deep breath. "You don't want to do this."
"I do and I am. Now don't argue with me. I want you to get a lander into position for launch, then make a shipwide announcement that everyone should meet in the shuttle bay immediately. Don't tell them why. If you do, I blow the drive now."
Ryan looked at the controls in front of him. The fuel pressure was still at zero and the reaction chamber was still unprimed; it would take Ken at least ten minutes to carry out his threat. Not a lot of time, but maybe enough if Ryan used it properly.
He gripped a chair back for support. "Dad, listen. You don't know we're going to leave here forever. We could find that Centauri B's planet isn't even habitable and we'll have to come back. If living here is really what God has planned for us, then don't you think that's what'll happen?"
Ken glanced up at the monitor and shook his head, then bent back to his work. Another light glowed on Ryan's console. "I can't take that risk."
"It's not a risk. If you're right, that's what'll happen. God will make it happen. Trust in Him, Dad."
"I do trust in Him, Ryan. I trust that He's guided me to do this. He's given us Eden, but in order to stay, it's evidently going to take one more sacrifice. I'm willing to make that sacrifice so the rest of you can stay."
Ryan snorted. "We don't want to stay."
"Such is my shame. Had I been a better spiritual guide, you would have. But without the ship it won't make any difference. You'll be there, and future generations will grow up in innocence."
"There won't be any future generations if you blow up the ship. All of our colonization gear is still on board."
Another warning light blinked on. "You don't need it. This is Eden. You can live here without tools."
They probably could, Ryan thought, but it wouldn't be much of a life. He looked around him at the bridge, at the banks of meters and controls on all sides. There had to be something he could do from here to stop Ken from blowing up the ship. But what? Think.
And keep trying to convince him not to try it in the first place. "We don't want to live there," he repeated. "It's our choice, not yours. Not even God's. He gave us free will, and we're using it, for better or worse. It's not your decision."
Ken consulted a pocket note pad, then flipped another switch. "It is. One of the duties of religion is to protect people from themselves. You'll thank me for this later."
Ryan gripped the edge of the control console to keep from waving a fist at Ken. "No we won't. We'll curse your name. If you do this we'll remember you along with Hitler and Bush and—" Ryan couldn't think of another historical figure in their league, but another name suggested itself and he went with it instinctively. "—and Satan himself. Think about what you're doing here. You're talking about killing a third of the crew and—"
"I won't kill anybody if you do what I tell you."
Ryan's eyes found a caged, doubly interlocked combination switch marked "EMERGENCY DRIVE DISENGAGE" that looked promising, until he realized it was used to shut off the drive once it was running, not before. By the time that circuit became active, assuming Ken hadn't already disabled it anyway, they would all be a radiactive cloud.
He glanced back at Ken, who was still methodically flipping switches on his side of the screen. Maybe he could be scared into stopping. But what kind of a scare would a man about to sacrifice himself respond to? Only one. He said, "Even if you let us all get away, there's one person you'll still be killing, and that's yourself. That's suicide. Isn't that a mortal sin? Won't that send you straight to Hell? I don't think that's quite what you have in mind, is it?" He paused just long enough to let that soak in, then said, "Now listen; you and I are the only ones who know about this so far. Let's keep it that way. Undo what you've done over there, come back to the ship, and we'll forget it completely. I promise. I won't put it in the log and I won't tell anybody and it'll just be between you and me. Okay?"
Ken grinned a sickly, scared grin. "Nice try, but no. Martyrdom in the service of God isn't a sin. My duty is clear, and so is yours. Get the crew on the lander and get out of here."
No, Ryan thought. My duty is to the ship, as well as the crew. But time was running out. Ken had already started the fuel pre-heating sequence. As soon as it developed enough pressure to flow into the reaction chamber, he could blow them up anytime he wanted.
Ryan studied the drive controls once more for a way to defuse the bomb Ken was rapidly turning it into, at the same time searching frantically for anything he could say that would reach him. There had to be something he would listen to. Reason hadn't worked, and scaring him with eternal damnation hadn't worked; what else was there?
There was love. Laura had told him that. "Let him know you still love him," she'd said. "If anything can affect him, that will."
It was worth a try. If he could just say it. "Dad," he began. "Dad, I—I know it looks like I've fought you every step of the way, but you've got to understand why I did it. I did it because...I did it because I love you. Because you're my father. I don't want to see you hurt yourself, and that's what you're doing. I want to help you. Do you understand that?"
Ken looked up at the monitor, at Ryan's face, and his own expression softened. "Yes, son, I do understand that. I understand perfectly, because that's exactly the reason why I'm doing this for you; because I love you. I don't want to see you hurt by your own ignorance."
"It's going to hurt me just as much this way. Can you imagine how I'm going to feel if I get on that lander and leave you alone up here? I don't think I could live with that."
"You'll learn to."
"I don't think so."
"You will. Your mother's already halfway there."
His mother. Space. She had moved out of the apartment just this morning, anticipating Ken's return. "Is that why you're doing this?"
"I'm not going to blow up the ship because your mother divorced me, if that's what you're asking. I've told you why I'm doing it."
"But you're mad at her. I can hear it in your voice. You think she moved out because she doesn't love you any more. Well that's not so. She loves you too. She was hoping she could get your attention, make you see how hard you were making things for yourself as well as for her. She wants to help you."
"I don't need help."
"Ask Michelle about that. Ask Bob Thorpe. Dammit, Dad, you're about to destroy everything we've spent twenty years of our lives to achieve and you don't think you need help?"
Ryan could see the worry lines crease Ken's face. Could he actually be considering what Ryan said? "You trust Bob Thorpe, don't you? He's on your side. Will you talk to him, ask him if he thinks you need help? For me, Dad? Because I love you?"
Ken closed his eyes. He was trembling. I'm getting to him, Ryan thought.
Ken shook his head furiously, as if trying to shake the confusion out of it, and when he opened his eyes again, they once more burned with fanatical zeal. "No!" he shouted. "No. It's too late for that. I'm doing what I have to do. I mean it, now, get off the ship."
"Don't talk to me anymore! I don't want to hear it. Leave, now, and don't try anything or I'll blow the drive with you still on board. Goodbye." Ken reached forward, and his image disappeared from the screen.
"Mac, give me one-way visual again," Ryan said, and the screen lit up with the same scene as before. Ken was once again working busily to turn the drive into a bomb, and there didn't seem to be anything Ryan could do to stop him.
Was the crew actually going to have to abandon ship and let Ken blow it up? It certainly looked that way. Ryan glanced around the control room again, hoping for sudden inspiration, but it was all just a maze of switches and dials to him now. He was too rattled to think straight.
He felt like a complete idiot. He should have been able to do something. All the heroes he'd ever heard of would have. He'd had his chance, too, but he'd blown it. If he'd gone after Ken the moment he'd seen what he was doing, he might have been able to physically drag him out of the drive module, but it was far too late for that now.
No, that wouldn't have worked anyway. Now that he thought about it he realized what the pressure suit lying in the path of the inner door signified. Ken had effectively locked the outer door that way, since the airlock safeties wouldn't allow it to open unless the inner door was sealed tight.
Unless of course Ryan could have bypassed the safeties somehow, the way Ken was bypassing the ones controlling the drive.
It was a moot point. He didn't have the time.
But Ken didn't have a suit on, either.
Ryan felt the hair on his neck rise at the thought that had just occurred to him. There was one way to bypass the entire airlock door. He could do it. He could save the ship. All it would take would be for him to kill his father.
He looked at the fuel pressure gauge. It was beginning to climb.
He looked at Ken, sweat flying away from him now in fat globules as he worked frantically to finish his preparations before Ryan thought of a way to stop him. Would he really give the people on the ship the time they needed to get into a lander and out of range of the blast? Watching him work, Ryan didn't think so. Ken was too scared. The moment he got the opportunity, he would push the button.
"Mac," Ryan said. "Arm the explosive bolts on the drive module airlock."
He held his breath, expecting the control program to require captain Van Cleeve's authorization, but evidently his temporary authority was enough.
"Explosive bolts armed," Mac responded.
"Prepare to blow the bolts at my command."
"Prepared to blow."
Ryan took a deep breath, then let it out in a long sigh. He couldn't do it. Not like this. He had to at least give his father one more chance.
"Reestablish two-way communication with Ken."
Ken didn't look up, but his flinch told Ryan he had heard him.
"Dad, I've figured out how to stop you. You've got one chance and only one to live through it. Put your hands up where I can see them, right now."
"I am not, Dad. Put you hands up in front of you."
Ken looked up at the monitor, locked eyes with Ryan, and said, "You cannot thwart the will of God."
"Maybe this is the will of God, then, because I can stop you, and I will. I'm giving you a chance to live through it, is all. Now get your hands up where I can see them."
"No." Ken looked down and reached forward toward the control board again.
Ryan couldn't know what he was reaching for. It could have been just the video cutoff again, or it could have been the main throttle control. He couldn't afford to wait any longer.
"Mac, blow the bolts."
Ryan closed his eyes. He couldn't close his ears, though; over the intercom he heard a thump and a whoosh and a startled cry of alarm from Ken, rapidly fading to nothing. When he opened his eyes again, the drive control room was empty. The inner airlock door remained open; the outer one was missing entirely. A tiny flash of motion that might have been Ken or might have been the empty pressure suit winked at him from the blackness of space as it tumbled away from the ship.
|Wednesday, July 25th, 2007|
|Thinking Error Tuesday
I heard that live journal was down yesterday, so just a quick note to say thinking error Tuesday is on vacation for two weeks. In the meantime, here's a quote from Russell Simons that I think is rally useful.
"The reason most people fail to reach the finish line is that they confuse a setback with failure. A setback isn't a dead end, it's just a learning curve on your journey to sucess. In fact, setbacks can actually speed up your journey toward sucess if you pay attention to them."
Apply that to your writing. It's all about the journey. Now, I'm off to PNWA. Write well.