Monday, April 1, 2013

13 Twenty-Nineth Beginning (Nanowrimo 2007) Organizing Aunt Sheila

[Welcome to the middle of a long conversation between and Aunt and the Niece she has never met and who has been sent by the family to "help orgainize." Do not read any part of this as if it were a completed story or you will be disappointed. In 2007, my strategy for Nanowrimo was to call my efforts 'literary' use that as an excuse to dump ideas and references that had been collecting in my mind and desk and files for years. I skipped linear progression.]

[I also skipped quotation marks and dialog tags. They may or may not go back. I kind of like the ambiguity.]

[Barbara has collected stacks of notes and is reading from them as she and her Aunt Sheila sit on a log in a meadow an undetermined distance away from nearby houses.]

He is a true raconteur. 

What is that.

A very special kind of story teller.

Cool - - The movie was very loosely based on the Harry Bates short story, "Farewell to the Master." Read it if you get the chance.

Title and author.


Richard Coyne, prof of Computer Science at MIT, has written two incredible books that deal with both computer science and philosophy, and both are applicable to the day-to-day work of computer scientists.  They are difficult, but worth the effort:

1.  Designing Information Technology in the Postmodern Age: From Method to Metaphor. 1995

2.  Technoromanticism: Digital Narrative, Holism, and the Romance of the Real. 1995.

Can we buy these. 

If you like.  I always encourage people to bite off more than they can chew, especially where books are concerned.  It can always wait for you to catch up.  Or we can always donate them to the library.

I’ll mark them to check on Amazon.  Sometimes they have good sales on used ones.  And by the way I was meaning to ask you whether you wanted to try selling any of yours that way.

I’d be willing to look into it.  I have a hard time parting with books, though. 

You give them to the library.

In the library, they’re mostly still available.

Um, you do know that most donations get sold at book fairs, right?

Yes, which is why I consult with the acquisitions people before giving books to them directly after they’ve approved them.

Oh – the word was a silent movement of the mouth.  Barbara tucked that idea away for future fiddling.  Aunt Sheila was not always as ineffective as she seemed.

"Trauma and Recovery" by Judith Herman, M.D.     This is considered THE definitive work on the aftermath of violence, from domestic abuse to political terror.  A magnificently written book, lucid, precise, humane, impassioned and information dense.  1992 1997 Basic Books.

Book and author.  Add a keyword of primatology. 

Got it. There’s a note that says book – ccc.

I have no clue.  This is why I print things out.

"A Dirty Job" by Christopher Moore.

Book and author.  I don’t know why I’d want that, but it sounds like a mystery, doesn’t it?

Here’s a big list – and another one that you printed out. 

Let's see... I'm not sure what's in print right now, but classic fantasies that shouldn't blend, and should make you happy to have read them would include Hope Mirrlees' Lud-in-the-Mist, Lord Dunsany's fantasies, both the short stories in volumes like Time and the Gods, and the longer books like The Charwoman's Shadow and The King of Elfland's Daughter, James Branch Cabell -- The High Place is a good place to start: it's the story of what might have happened if Bluebeard had woken, married, and tired of Sleeping Beauty, or Jurgen, or The Silver Stallion -- and then there are Ernest Bramah's Kai Lung stories, Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books, and there's always Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday. Charles G Finney's The Circus of Dr Lao is, I think, back in print at present. T. H. White's Sword in the Stone and his Once and Future King remain marvellous...

Those should be labeled old fantasy novels.  They’re foundational books.  Some of them may be hard to slog through. 

I’ll keyword them foundation fantasy.  Give me a bit to tease them apart.

I think I’ll take another walk back through the trees while you do that.  If you have any music on that thing.  Play it.  I may groan.

Yuck.  Music up.

Barbara took her time adjusting the entries.  Just as last time, she snaked a girl scout cookie out of the pouch on the front of her sweatshirt as soon as the footsteps sounded far enough away.  There were sandwiches for both of them when Aunt Sheila got hungry, but she shouldn’t have any of the cookies.  Her blood sugar went over the limit if she had two, and if she had one, she’d have at least two.

The footsteps sounded sooner than expected.

Everything come out all right?  I can’t believe I’m saying that.

I’m sure it’s because I’m a bad influence.  Did you know that you curl over that thing like you want to press your face into the screen.

No, but I’m sure that will be a character building thing to contemplate sometime soon.

The Rhythms of History: A Universal Theory of Civilizations by Stephen Blaha.  Odd name.  Book and Auth?


Be prepared to be disappointed, however, in obtaining an authoritative answer; as Nobel laureate Eric Kandel notes in his autobiography, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind

Same again.

K.  Now this is truly odd.  Welcome! This Volume of animal placentas was created to assist with the examination and evaluation of the many different types of mammalian placentas.

Websites I haven’t plowed through. 

I’m not going to add it.  I’m going to email it to you and you’re going to pull it up and bookmark it.  That’s what bookmarks are for.

Have I ever told you about bitrot?

No.  I’ll make a note of it and you can tell me later.  Note made.

Your nose is going to grow until it touches the screen.  You know that, right?

And if I eat watermelon seeds, the vines will grow out of my nose.

Exactly right.  I saw a picture of it on a newspaper by the checkout stand once.  Only it was a tree.  I couldn’t understand why a small boy would eat an acorn.

Aunt Sheila shook her head in a show of dispelief.

Barbara grinned.  Boys.

I suppose.  mind wide open Johnson


Same.  commentary by Tara Calishain, a New York Times Best-Selling technology author.

Sounds interesting.  No title, though.

Still under Books I Haven’t, though.


Death’s Acre – book, check the library – I assume that means you don’t know the author. 

I have a vague memory of checking the library and not finding it.  I could be shoveling, though.

Ha!  This will tie in with a Book you haven’t written.  These ancient giants fascinate Jon Harrison. A physiologist and professor of biology at Arizona State University, Harrison wants to know why giant insects evolved, and why they then disappeared.

Oh, yes.  I want that one. 

There’s no title.

I can find something.  I’ll take you to Shields Library and introduce you to their databases.

You made my arms tingle.

Sure you’re not cold?

Nope.  Bundled toasty.

There’s Science With Shit again.  I already have that entered, so I can delete it here.  Here’s one called ‘A’ Story.

I wrote that.  Then I lost it and started over.  I can finish it off with no problem if I can decide on an audience.  The first version was really flip, and I was doing the second as a children’s story.

Not sure where to put it.

Books I Haven’t Written.

Got it.  Familiar Feeling.

Books I Haven’t Written.

I found a fair sized file for that.

I’m up past twenty pages, but I don’t know what happens next.

I’m going to pick one of these out for our next hour write.

I have no objection.

Island California, Iowa.  Any comment

Island California is a series.  It’s a fantasy.  I started it and got a fair way, but I petered out.

I am so going to enjoy forcing you through these. 

That’s a seven book series.

Wow.  I’ll give you time off for short stories.  And you only have to finish the first one.  You don’t have to start the second until the first one sells.

Assembly of God.

That’s another novel.  I have a bunch of novels that explore alternatives for the afterlife or almost afterlife.

Almost afterlife.

Assembly of God started as a sort of pun in my head.  If you were assembling a god – would each factory work on a different one, from scratch, or would one factory concentrate on legs . . .

How can you roll your eyes while you’re looking straight at me?

I don’t know.  That was a very bad pun.  Not to mention blasphemous.

It’s people being pulled through into a world where belief makes and shapes the gods. 

Ah.  How far did you get. 

Introduction of most of the major characters and the beginning of conflict between them.  Then they and the main character, who is mysterious, are confronted by emissaries of the established. gods. 

Their god is not established.

No, she’s new and young.  Relies on her creators a lot.  Much possibility of danger.  Need to step back and flesh out the older gods and the world they’re in.  Can’t get much further.  And the ideas for that haven’t come.
[the conversation will continue, and more half-begun stories will be discussed, next post - yes more of them will have already been posted here]

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