5.15.2006

One World, One Book

My dad sent me a link to a fascinating article about the project to digitize every book in the world. It explores not only the practical "how," but also the "why" and the "why not." I know most of you are probably not riveted by discussion of copyright law, so here's your warning.
It is a long article, but very well written. (It's a nytimes.com article, so I hope the link works.)
Scan this Book! by Kevin Kelly

5.13.2006

More Internet Fodder: Gender and Reading

In clearing out some old "Favorites" links I have, I happened upon a discussion about Gender and Reading, or more specifically, images (paintings and photos) of men and women reading. I thought it was really interesting, so I decided to post it. The discussion reminds me of college, actually, where such intellectual ruminations are more common.

The beginnings of the conversation appear here:
Earmarks: The Gender of Reading (part 1) (04/19/06) and there is a bizarre post immediately before it "Anatomical Model of a Pregnant Woman"
Guardian Unlimited: Solitary pleasures (04/29/06) Apparently, there is a book coming out called Reading Women available at amazon.co.uk.

but the heart of the conversation are concluded in the following two posts:
Purse Lip Square Jaw: Reading: "a sense of belonging to herself" (05/01/06, amended 05/06/o6)
Earmarks: The Gender of Reading (part 2) (05/05/06)

It's been a long while since I've had the leisure to think along such lines and indulge in the sort of link pursuit that following such a discussion involves. It reminds me what is good about the Internet.

Blogs from the Publishing World

I really enjoy reading about writing and publishing, mainly because it's a good procrastination technique when not actually writing my own stuff, but also because I can learn from it.
Recently I've discovered two blogs that are highly entertaining and highly educational.
I know not all my readers (maybe just one) are interested in writing, but this is a little peek into what interests me.
Miss Snark, the literary agent answers questions about submitting work and the ins and outs of the publishing world. She can be harsh at times, but it's rare for her to post without providing a useful insight. In fact, it was her blog that led me to the following one:
Evil Editor is just starting out - blogging that is. I assume he's been an editor for a while. He's currently doing a series of posts in which he is playing query-letter-balderdash with his readers. Of much more interest (in my opinion) is his series of query-letter "face lifts" that you can find if you go further back in his archives (end of April, beginning of May). In them, he posted real query letters he had received, along with his comments and a rewritten query letter. Reading them gave real insight into the thoughts of an editor. He has the potential to address the same material as Miss Snark, but from a different angle, and it'll be interesting to see how his blog develops. He is also highly entertaining, but a bit less evil than he purports to be.

And a discovery just today:
The Internet Speculative Fiction Database is a prosaic, but very interesting database of "speculative" fiction. I don't really know what that defines, but it seems to include everyone from Alexandre Dumas to Dan Brown. I think it's still under development as some authors are very well covered and some only have a few of thier novels listed. It is limited to long works, not short stories. It has the potential to be extremely thorough and useful, particularly what shows up on thier homepage: a list of upcoming books.

5.08.2006

Aries the Scapegoat

I hate what generalist astrologers say about Aries.
Sure, I can be stubborn or adventurous or have leadership qualities, but I would hope that I don't have to dominate others or trample thier feelings or fight all the time.
I can't think of another star sign that gets as bad press as Aries does.
I hate the generalizations. It's one reason I won't read horoscopes anymore (the other reason being they're often the opposite of what I experience).
Pbbbbbttttt! :P

5.07.2006

Feeling Human Again

My deadline was reached handily on Friday. I even had time to go back over the set and look for stupid stuff. Of course, we didn't really complete everything we really wanted to do, but we could work from now till the Four Horsemen arrive and we still wouldn't have every-single-little-detail worked out. I think it sufficient to say: I wouldn't be embarrassed to have someone senior to me look at it. Which is good, because a heck of a lot of senior people will be looking at it. This project has been really challenging, not only because of the size and complexity of the building, but because it was my first experience managing people and managing a project. It was really really really really stressful and scary, but I made it through without any major screw-ups (yet).
On Friday evening I was so numb I really didn't know how to feel. It didn't seem real. A friend and her husband asked me out for a drink and then we ended up having a very nice dinner (I treated myself to the filet mignon).
On Saturday I slept in (yay!) and had an interesting dream about a treasure hunt. When I woke up, I lay in bed thinking (yay!) for a while, because it seemed to me to be a great idea for a young-adult novel. Then I got up and went to my computer and started writing (double yay!)! It was such a relief after not being able to for so long. It blew to smithereens my fears of not being able to write again. I wrote a few pages, then the cats walking up and down in front of my face finally drove me to get up and give them breakfast and whatnot. Then I got dressed and went out and bought tires (yay!) and a few household odds and ends (including a silicone loaf pan, which I've been dying to try). When I got home, I baked (yay!) a pound cake while watching (yay!) Finding Nemo. I always rewatch movies when cooking, since I know what will happen and can leave the screen for a few minutes to check or stir something.
On Sunday I slept in again, then read in bed for a while (yay!) - L.E. Modesitt, Jr. The Ethos Effect, which I read while I was waiting for my new tires. Now I'm well into the book, so I can continue without too much self-reminding (yay!). I put together the ingredients for the dessert I was bringing and went to my sister's for lunch (yay!). Her wonderful chef/husband made ribs, BBQ and herb-encrusted, and she made grilled artichokes. Both were delicious. My brother brought salad, and I brought dessert: Grilled Pound Cake with Pinapple Salsa and Tequila Whipped Cream. It was yummy! (And I forgot to take a picture, darn it!) Then I went and played soccer. We lost, unfortunately (not yay), but them's the breaks. When I got home, I talked to my mum and dad on the phone and this evening I have been reading and tidying the kitchen (yay!).
I'm glad this weekend wasn't only lounging about, though there was a good deal of it. You may also assume there was much lounging on the deck while keeping an eye on the cats as they explored the backyard (mew!). I also got some household things accomplished. A well-balanced schedule goes a long way towards feeling normal again.