Monthly Archives: July 2008

[Writing] Word Count Wednesday 7/30

This week’s fiction: 429
This week’s non-fiction: 0 (uh-oh)

So, if I write 429 words per week (which seems to be my max at this point), I’ll have 90,000 in only 4 years!

In the mean time… I need to figure out when I’m going to finish all my player profiles for the fantasy basketball draft guide. I guess since I set the deadline of tomorrow, I’m going to be pulling an all-nighter tonight.

Neal Stephenson is an NBA fan

I don’t remember anyone pointing this out in any of the various blog post recaps I read of his seminar at Gresham College came out just after the seminar, but Stephenson said (about 26:08):

It’s a miracle, actually, that Gresham College was able to get me over here during the middle of the NBA playoffs.

I’m really only pointing this out because I am a fan of both Neal Stephenson and the NBA, and it makes me happy to know that Neal (Mr. Stephenson?) is also a basketball fan. As a resident of Seattle, I wonder what his thoughts are on the Sonics moving to Oklahoma City. Well, if he is/was a fan of the Sonics then he probably wouldn’t even have to explain. But, since he grew up in Iowa, I can’t help but wonder if he didn’t become attached to the Bulls during high school (the Timberwolves didn’t exist when he graduated in 1977).

Anyway, here’s the video (thanks Google Alerts!):

Prepping for the return of Heroes

In addition to reading all the Heroes graphic novels this summer, I’m also listening to last.fm to see how often Hayen Panettiere comes up in My Neighbourhood Station. (Check out those related artists, and feel free to leave embarrassing comments)

And for the people who will undoubtedly arrive here from Google image search, last.fm has a fairly decent collection of Hayden Panattiere pictures.

Finally, for those who don’t know, Heroes is back on September 22nd with a 2 hour premiere. I could have sworn at one point they said it was going to be a 3 hour premiere (I assumed this was to make up for the writers’ strike-shortened Season 2). Chuck returns September 29th.

[Writing] Word Count Wednesday 7/23

So, despite spending 3 days in NYC (working during the day, partying at night) and then driving 13 hours on Saturday (not to mention spending 4 hours in Scranton), I managed to get 446 words this week, topping the 416 cobbled together over the prior 2 weeks.

Another random picture (taken by my wife, painstakingly color edited by me; you can click on it for a larger version):

[Writing] Word Count Wednesday

Now, I didn’t do WCW last week because I was on a schooner, sailing around islands in Maine. I should have been writing (well, at least, I should have been writing more), but instead I read Stephen King’s The Gunslinger. I did at least get through the whole book. And in the mean time (over the past 2 weeks), I wrote 414 words of fiction (for The Nine Mothers). I also got a lot of thinking and note-taking in as well.

And to make this post a little more interesting, here’s a picture I lomo-ized from the trip:

Movie To See: The Fall

From Jeff VanDermeer (click through for the trailer on YouTube):

The Fall is one of the most visually striking movies you’re likely to see, but the fantasy element is firmly tied to the emotional resonance of the realistic scenes set in a hospital. Some reviewers have complained that the fantasy element is inconsistent, but it is in fact, for the most part, brilliantly inconsistent. [emphasis his]

A man who has lost the use of his legs tells stories to a child to manipulate her into getting him morphine. He has no interest in internal consistency – and in fact as his aims change and the child’s interests shift, the story shifts, as it should. If the child eventually inhabits the fantasy story, it is because she has taken some ownership of that story. The best description I can give for this movie is that it’s Pan’s Labyrinth meets Baron Munchausen. It has neither the escapist quality of the latter nor the political element of the former. It also features a bit of a self-absorbed bastard as the lead, but he has good reasons for his attitude.

It does look pretty awe-some, and seems like a very unique concept to boot. The non-story (non-fantasy) part can’t be any worse than The Cell, right? That was rhetorical, but if it had an answer, that answer would be “No”.

The Fall only has a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I can see that half of all movie reviewers would not fully understand and/or embrace the concept. I’m pretty sure I’ll be with Jeff, and the 53% of fresh reviewers, on this one, though.

Update on Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

Not sure when this popped up, but there is now a little more lengthy description of the plot of Neal Stephenson’s book on Amazon (comes out in September):

Anathem, the latest invention by the New York Times bestselling author of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle, is a magnificent creation: a work of great scope, intelligence, and imagination that ushers readers into a recognizable—yet strangely inverted—world.

Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside “saecular” world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent’s walls. Three times during history’s darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside—the Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.

Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent’s gates—at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious “extras” in. During his first Apert as a fraa, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn’t seen since he was “collected.” But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change.

Powerful unforeseen forces jeopardize the peaceful stability of mathic life and the established ennui of the Extramuros—a threat that only an unsteady alliance of saecular and avout can oppose—as, one by one, Erasmas and his colleagues, teachers, and friends are summoned forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster. Suddenly burdened with a staggering responsibility, Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world—as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and beyond.

Click here for previous information posted about Anathem.