Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pittsburgh Girly Blogger Lunch

Girlyblogger Lunch Sign

Christina recently called for another in an erratic series of Girly Blogger Lunches. I noted that the day she planned it for was Mardi Gras. And thus, a theme was born. Anne and I both brought beads, and we were generally a little sillier than usual.

Girlyblogger Lunch Attendees:  Vanessa, me, Susie, Christina, Anne

Bloggers represented included Vanessa, me, Susie, Christina, and Anne, and Cynthia via cell phone.

The blog lunch was fun!

The job I got back in January did not work out so I quit. My unemployment happened at a good time for an important reason. Within a week of being unemployed, I started writing again and am pretty close to finishing the novel. I first wrote a chapter that I've since gone back and dumped, but it at least got me writing again. I'm finally within about 15,000 words of finishing!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

James Madison Predicts George W. Bush 206 Years Early...

I've been doing some research on James Madison over the last year or so. Why? Well, other than an interest in history, I'm writing a novel. A subplot of the novel involves making a movie about James Madison (by people who believe in historical accuracy).

In doing some Web research, I found the following quite fascinating quote:

Just as important to his countrymen, Madison had not used the occasion of war to expand executive power or to create a vast patronage machine. “Of all enemies to public liberty,” Madison himself had written in 1795, “war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded…” As “the parent of armies,” of course, war encouraged “debts and taxes,” which republicans recognized as “the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.” But as Madison so powerfully argued, the danger was especially acute in relation to a particular branch of the government. “In war, too,” he added, “the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.” War always nourished the potential for corruption…

So everything that Madison wrote in this quote was written in 1795.

And when did the writer quote Madison?

At some point before 1989. The quote is from The Last of the Fathers: James Madison and the Republican Legacy, written by Drew R. McCoy and published in 1989.

Fascinating how a former president in 1795 and a historian in 1989 predicted the behavior of Bush and the neo-cons...in 2001....

Thanks to Amazon for its "Look Inside" program, otherwise I might never have found this quote.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Boskone 43 At-Con Registration Report

Preliminary Registration Statistics

1094Warm body count
  195Prereg/Program not picked up
1289Total Registration

We also sold at least 10 Boskone 44 memberships, and probably a few more.

Many thanks to: Dave Grubbs and Ann Broomhead for pre-con assistance
Kim Williams
Judson Lohr
Carol Downing
Rachel Downing
Leslie Turek
Alexis Layton
Peggy Rae Sapienza
Woody Bernardi
Irene Harrison
Richard L. Schmeidler
for working at the con

The badges looked great!


I needed to have been a little more on-the-ball about "training" because I thought the forms were self-evident and, apparently, they weren't. I didn't realize until Sunday that one or two clerks weren't filling them out properly.

Treasury and at-con-registration should review the form together
before they are printed. Someone thought that we shouldn't have been selling B44 memberships, but the form did have a field for selling them, so I did.

I should have recruited more people for Sunday morning. Luckily, both Peggy Rae Sapienza and Leslie Turek stopped by. (Thanks!!!)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What "Sci Fi" Crew Are You?

IMDB linked to this quiz today. Even though the quiz did two things I disliked (uses that archaic term "sci fi" and throws a pop-up ad on your computer), it was one of the more interesting, detailed "junk" quizzes I've ever taken. Also, I particularly enjoy the results:

You scored as Serenity (Firefly).

You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)


Moya (Farscape)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

[[Note: To make this appear properly in a narrow Weblog column, be sure to
delete the outer table from the auto-formatting, otherwise...well, try it and see.]]

I hope I'll be coherent when I see some of you later today - due to my bronchitis, I've had a miserable few nights sleeping. Since the "Dayquil"-like drugs have done the best job at suppressing my cough and nasal congestion during the day, I risked taking a dose of it at bed time (for whatever reason, a "Nyquil"-like drug failed to work three nights running). Well, I'm pretty sure there is some sort of stimulant in it, because even though I was down to one coughing attack overnight and my congestion was better, I only slept about two hours...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Into Writers Block/Out of Writers Block

I never know when I'm going to be in it out out of it. It's maddeningly random.

Except for a few short scenes and some word-changes here and there, I pretty much stopped making forward progress on my novel just before Worldcon of last year. Oh, I'd have days where it seemed like things were happening, but nothing much ever did.

I started doing some restructuring about a month ago, and liked what I saw. I've done more, and while I've thrown out about 10,000 words over the last two weeks, I've written about 15,000. And that "third act" (of a "four act") work that's been giving me nothing but headaches for over six months is finally falling into place.

I've also been sick now for nearly a week, with bronchitis (again) and I'm not sleeping. So the fact that I'm making any progress with anything right now is heartening, to say the least.

I even queried my second agent. I got turned down by one a while ago, decided to get more finished before querying again.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Congratulations Steelers!!

Well, I'm not a big gung-ho sports person, but it was fun to see the Steelers win the Superbowl today. Glad to see both Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis have pretty good games. And congratulations to Hines Ward on his MVP!!!!

I've always been a fan of Bill Cowher, the only professional coach I've ever seen sit in a bookstore and read an actual book... ;->

The one bad thing about being in Pittsburgh tonight is I have a bad feeling a lot of people will get in their cars and start driving around and honking...

Finally, one for the thumb!!