Planets and urinals and an excuse to link

It be Talk Like a Pirate Day! Which is the same day as threaten your co-worker if he doesn’t stop talking like a pirate day.

It’s not Blog like a Pirate Day. Maybe we should start a movement.

A few quick links before the toilet humor starts:

A post-mortem of my book signing can be found at Are We Lost yet

GAFDE on blogging (which I am ignoring right now) at Writing Made Visible

The discovery of this planet isn’t monumental, (see last post for more on this process)  but the artwork is cool:

NASA has a new on-line tool to explore planets in our own system. The LA times describes it here.

“You are now free to move about the solar system,” Blaine Baggett, a manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, said in a statement. “See what NASA’s spacecraft see — and where they are right now — all without leaving your computer.”

The actual tool is here.

Eyes on the Solar System

Here ends the respectable portion of this blog entry.

So, according to the WordPress dashboard, one of the top searches leading to this site is “unicorn pooping marshmallows” which leads you to thi


That post also has one of the few clean photos of yours truly on this blog, and a video explaining the importance of the First Follower.

This post features something equally classy:

That is a Lady J – a portable urinal for women. That’s right, we span the globe to find weird urinals all over the world – even in your over-sized purse. Franly, I’m kinda disappointed the device isn’t pink.

So you know, women use these things in adventure and other travels. I learned about it from Kelly, who went around the world in a boat.

If you follow the D-backs or the Mercury, playing hard all the way through the game can get you a LOT farther than any of the talking heads would have expected.

Now you know.


8th Inning and Defending Our Silly Format

With the Diamondbacks, its all about the 8th inning. Sometimes, especially recently, they storm back to tie or lead in the eighth. Mostly, like tonight, they cough up the lead, often wasting the efforts of what would otherwise be the best starting rotation in baseball, through a combination of ineffective pitching and clown-like errors. As of yesterday, they had given up a league-leading 70 runs in the eighth inning.

Tonight, they gave up ten more. So it goes.

If you ask the panel experts at Westercon, the Central Phoenix Writing Workshop does everything wrong:

* You’re supposed to assemble a small group, 3-6, of regulars; a close-knit, steady group. We are 100% drop-in, and our meeting sizes range from 2 to 20 (though 8 is our median attendance).

* You’re supposed to have a group where every writer is at a similar level of skill and professional development. We range from career journalists to absolute newbies.

* You’re supposed to concentrate on a narrow range of genres, to better focus your collective expertise. We have everything from fan-fiction to college essays to memoirs, plus the usual assortment of genre fiction. We do, however, tilt slightly towards F/SF fiction.

* You’re supposed to meet once or twice a month. We meet weekly.

* You’re supposed to circulate manuscripts in advance, so everyone has a chance to consider them before the meeting. We find out who has work to share at the start of the meeting. That work is read aloud, where, ideally,we follow along, marking up our copy as we go. But not all of us are that organized, and that is not a barrier to participation.

* The person whose work is being critiqued is supposed to remain silent during the critique. Yeah – good luck with that.

Now, I’ve been in groups that follow most of the rules, and they’re very productive, and my writing has improved as a result of my assosciation with such groups. The Glendale Grendelmen works along these lines, and I’d still be going if I hadn’t been kinda forced to choose between groups.

I am a leader – as far as that goes – of the unruly mob of writers that meets at Coffee Unlimited. And while we’re not as productuve per minute of meeting as a small group of Serious Writers, your piece will leave the table in better shape than we found it.

More importantly, you can meet a lot – a lot – of writers, from which you can form your own splinter cell to do some Serious Work.

One last thing: Odds of Dying

An important reference tool for maintaining perspective.

Now You Know