Posts Tagged ‘livejournal’

Physically impossible

Lisa Mantchev posted this video of You Think You Can Dance and I clicked on it because usually Lisa is smart about these things.

At the 1:34 mark, the male dance did a move that I specifically teach new puppeteers to avoid because it is physically impossible. Let me repeat that. Physically impossible. He stands up, rolling over his toe, in a way that makes it look like he’s being pulled up and back by a string.

He does it three times during the course of the video — which also includes a fantastic dance and is worth watching on its own — each time, I backed the film up and watched it over and over.

Now, the thing is, that clearly, he’s a very strong man and that he’s getting a little boost from his partner, but STILL if I did that with a puppet I’d be accused of breaking every rule about Muscle and gravity in the books. Granted, there are times when we break the rules on purpose, but if one is aiming for realistic movement, what this man is doing would be avoided because it looks impossible.

The funny thing is, that it’s like fiction. There are all sorts of things that happen in real life I could never get away with in fiction because because it defies belief. It fascinates me that the issues involved in creating verisimilitude on the page and on the stage are same. It doesn’t matter if it’s true if it doesn’t look real.

Why Modern Readers are Less Tolerant of Description

Nancy Fulda has an excellent post about her theory on Why Modern Readers are Less Tolerant of Description, which rings totally true to me.

One hundred years ago, or even fifty years ago, the average reader did not travel widely and did not have access to full-color photographs or television. They had never seen pyramids, or elephants, or tropical rain forests. Many people had also never seen a prairie, a pine forest, a stretch of English farmland, or an industrial city. This means that the reader’s repetoire of pre-conceived images was not as vast as the modern reader’s.

I think much of her post is also true for dialects in fiction. Once upon a time, not only was it possible for someone to have never heard a German accent, but it was also likely that they would be called upon to read that passage aloud. So writing dialects phonetically helped the reader. Fashions and readers’ expectations change.

Realms cover – And here’s how it ended up…

Realms AnthologyI thought you might be curious to know how it ended up…

Neil says:

The three covers in the poll were presented in chronological order and represent a sampling of our favorites. During the 24 hour period prior to the poll, there was a lot of discussion about color, framing, fonts, and such. I have to admit to being a bit of a troublemaker. As reflected in the poll, there was a lot of support for cover #1. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the portal-effect the framing had on the art I had selected, so we pressed onward.

REALMS is now available for preorder at the Wyrm Publishing website and should be listed at Amazon and (hopefully) other bookstores within the next few weeks.

In appreciation for all the input I received, for the next week, I’m running a special 30% off promotion on preorders for this book.

Best of Apex 2006 collection

The Table of Contents for the Best of Apex 2006 anthology is out.

The list is final. The decision has been made. We are publishing the following stories in this year’s Best of Apex 2006 collection.

Blood Baby – Jennifer Pelland
The Queen of Stars – Bryn Sparks
That Old Sandlands Fever – Douglas F. Warrick
Cerbo en Vitro ujo – Mary Robinette Kowal
Genesis Six – Shane Jiraiya Cummings
Starfish – Steve Parker
Indigestion – Robby Sparks
How to Raise a Human – Deb Taber

Battery woes

I’m sitting in the Portland airport and just realized that I left my spare computer batteries at home. I have a total of three batteries. This one has two hours of life. I’m figuring between this and my palm pilot I ought to be able to write for a good chunk of the five hour flight. It could be much worse. The battery I usually have in only has a half-hour life span.

I also have Jay Lake’s Trial of Flowers for when I run out of battery life.

Calendar babe

Now, if you’re in the voting mood. Apex is considering doing a calendar with each month having a scene from a story published in 2006. Wouldn’t you like to see my story, “Cerbo en Vitra ujo,” have a page in this calendar? All you have to do is drop by Apex’s site and vote. Such a small, small thing.

Dinner and a movie

I had dinner with Jay Lake tonight, which was fun. It’s nice to catch up with someone, like, in real life, instead of just existing online. I love you guys, but it’s nice to see facial expression beyond an emoticon. That and Jay is funny.

Afterwards, I went to see The Curse of the Golden Flower with Rob. My comment upon the films end was, “Wow. I never expected something so lavishly produced to make Phantom Menace look good.”

I have loved every one of Zhang Yimou’s films so far and this one was unredeemably awful in almost every respect. It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to leave a film. Also, one of the worst choices for end credit designs ever. Bad from beginning to end? Sadly, yes. We were trying to decide when we turned on the film, and I think it might have been when the prince arrived at the palace a full day before Chan, despite the fact that they left ten minutes apart, both riding horses at full gallops. And yet, Chan’s mother arrives a mere two minutes after she does, despite leaving considerably after her and having to battle what appear to be ninjas–several times–on her way to the palace. Yeah. Ninjas in the T’ang dynasty. I’m not worried about spoilers, because really, you should not see this film.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoyed dinner with Jay?

Insect Lab

Lepidiota StigmaJay Lake mentioned the Anthology of New Weird, which has a very cool clockwork bug on the cover. That bug is made by Insect Labs, which combines antique clockwork parts and actual bugs to create confections of neo-victorian clockwork. There are also some “higher tech” ones with LEDs. These are very, very cool. Go check out the butterflies, spiders and the rest of Insect Labs’ gallery.

Bones & Clones – Talebones #35

Talebones just announced the table of contents of #35. The cover artist will be Richard Pellegrino who is doing the fantastically cool “Painting a day” blog.

“Landing Day” by Michael Canfield
“Two” by Jack Skillingstead
“Mildred’s Garden” by James C. Glass
“Death Comes but Twice” by Mary Robinette Kowal
“Sweep Me to My Revenge!” by Darrel Schweitzer
“The Old Husband’s Tale” by Patricia Russo
“El Regreso” by Richie Narvaez
“A Little Animal Throb” by Andrew Tisbert
“Iron Ties” by Hayden Trenholm

Quizzes

I spotted this on Patrick Swenson’s blog.

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don’t get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
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I had to go back and see which ones I missed. #3, which didn’t surprise me and #14, which did.

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know “no” from “know.” Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
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