Sometime in the near future, I am going to declare "Fiddler's Rose" DONE, and am going to start asking people to read it and post reviews. It's a necessary part of the process, but I HATE it.
I have been asked to write a few reviews lately, and I have done so. I have yet to post any of them in the public fora that were part of the original request; rather, I have sent the review to the person doing the asking with a comment along the lines of, "I suspect that you will be happier if I keep this one to myself," and the reply has always been something like, "Please do."
This breaks my heart. I KNOW how much effort goes in to producing a finished work and releasing it to the public. R.A. Heinlein has made noises to the extent that critical impartiality comes from hating all creative people equally, and as a creative myself, I am far from that. But I still far too often find myself thinking, "I watched/listened to/read your work, and it was a chore; I would not have completed it if you had not asked me to." It tears my heart out.
I have written positive reviews; I love doing so. I have gotten fan mail for the reviews from the creators of the original work. But they have to be sincere.
And through all of this, my subconscious helpfully plays Harry Chapin's "Mister Tanner":
The critics were concise; it only took four lines. And no one could accuse them of being over-kind: Mr. Martin Tanner, a baritone, of Dayton, Ohio, made his Town Hall debut last night. He came well prepared, but unfortunately, his presentation was not up to contemporary professional standards. His voice lacks the range and tonal color necessary to make it consistently interesting. Full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order."
It's an awful process. It's necessary. I hate it.
Daniel Dvorkin: A fine example of the "beautiful women looking out windows at space stuff" genre of SF art. Seriously, I like a lot of those pictures, but it just recently hit me how many of them there are. I'm not quite sure why it's such a common theme. Beautiful women are an eternal theme in art, of course. It's the particular looking-out-the-window trope that I'm noticing. I think I've seen like five pictures with that theme in just the last month. I have the feeling it speaks to something, I'm just not sure what it is.
Paul Haynie: The call of the horizon is also an eternal (or at least centuries old) theme in art, and space has the biggest "horizon" of all. So these images combine the mundane comfort of the nude with the longing of the horizon. At its simplest, "This is a good place, but out THERE..."
Daniel Dvorkin: Ah hah! I think that may be it exactly.
Life in my household:
Hyena: (Outlines complex morally ambiguous plot segment for future reference.)
Dementia: You know what that is? It's a Star Trek episode.
Hyena: It is, isn't it. I can live with that. Of course, it begs the question: Who wins head to head: Jim Kirk or Rose Stonecrow?
Dementia: Rose would eat Kirk for breakfast.
It is difficult for me to express how charmed I am that this conversation was even possible...
Saw my first Tesla in the wild, yesterday. It was right in front of me at a traffic light, sitting right on the lane line, occupying both lanes of a two lane road. Which is to say, the driver had gone out of his or her way to be as obnoxious as possible. Tesla marketing needs to hunt the driver down and take the car back...
I am completely and utterly sick of celestial dandruff. (I'm also sick of the Facebook widget that posts short messages in huge fonts...)
The DBA paperwork for "Spiral Path Publications" came through today (the newspaper lost the paperwork the first time around), so to celebrate, here is the current (incomplete) state of the company logo, which started out as a pencil and paper design for Dementia's turtle tattoo in 2006. Don't ask me where the spiral is. Really. Don't. (Accompanied by "Celtic Turtle" image.)
It's Dementia's birthday today.
Bane of My Existence
Oh, thou bane of my existence,
Torment of my waking hours,
Source of all of life's frustrations,
Who my sanity devours.
Drive me crazy (you will, anyway);
Drive me right over the edge;
And I will not cease to love you;
This is my undying pledge.
Just did a trial PDF export of "Fiddler's Rose." 722 pages. Oops. (Dialog generates a lot of whitespace. Physical books are looking prohibitively expensive.)