Sometimes correcting what you’ve written using Dragon Dictate is like playing mad gab.

That giddy feeling
Upon finishing a work
greater imagined

Think, tweak and edit

Write logline to capture tale

Submit to agent–wait.

 

A project, daunting
Turns into flowing river
As the words pour out.

I was pretty crushed when Pluto had its status removed, and was “cast out” of the solar system. Today I was relieved, to hear that the dwarf planet’s feelings weren’t too badly hurt. Apparently its relationship with the rest of the solar system was totally plutonic.

And so it begins, Nov. 1, the national novel writing frenzy that motivates authors all around the world to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days, an average of 1667 words per day. This is my first year attempting the tremendous feat, and I will be writing a cyberpunk novel… wish me luck! I’ll be posting about my progress and possibly a record of my sanity, or lack thereof, as the month progresses.

This week from Oct. 17 to 24 Diana Nuttall’s students will be doing a Reviewathon, where we play our old repertoire on the cello as many times as possible in order to raise money for people in Somalia (the money will be donated to UNICEF). It’s sort of like the “Jump Rope for Heart” thing where you can either donate a fixed amount, or an amount per # of times that I play my repertoire. Why is it a good idea to send money to Somalia? To quote the NY Times:

“In the summer of 2011, the country was hard hit by a famine that extended across much of East Africa. A combination of drought, war, restrictions on aid groups and years of chaos have pushed 4 million Somalis — more than half the population — into “crisis,” according to the United Nations. Agricultural production is just a quarter of what it normally is, and food prices have soared.

The Shabab were blamed for much of the suffering, as it blocked many international relief groups from bringing food to famine victims. The Shabab, which had taken a beating in steady urban fighting against a better-armed, 9,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force, abruptly pulled out of the bullet-ridden capital of Mogadishu, in August 2011, leaving the entire city in the hands of the government for the first time in years.

The situation had only worsened by mid-August, when the United Nations confirmed that a cholera epidemic was sweeping across the country.Hundreds of thousands of Somalis had fled into Kenya, Ethiopia and to camps in Mogadishu, where cholera and measles are preying upon a malnourished and immune-suppressed population.”

If you can donate any money, that would be greatly appreciated. Here is a list of my repertoire from the Suzuki Cello School Vol. 1 & 2:

1. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

2. French Folk Song

3. Lightly Row

4. Song of the Wind

5. Go Tell Aunt Rhody

6. O Come, Little Children

7. May Song

8. Allegro

9. Perpetual Motion

10. Long, Long Ago

11. Allegretto

12. Andontino

13. Rigadoon

14. Etude

15. The Happy Farmer

16. Minuet in C

17. Long, Long Ago v2

18. May Time

19. Minuet No. 1

20. Hunters’ Chorus

Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Last night (Wednesday, July 20) I participated in “Story Slam of the Fantastic” with OnSpec Magazine at the Haven. It was MC’d by the fabulous Roxanne Felix, who did a great job of ad-libbing and providing kind remarks for the courageous writers. The OnSpec editors were present and gave out free copies of their magazine to anyone who had never heard of them (I should have feigned ignorance). They also gave out a free one-year subscription to the winner of the Slam, and a free one-year subscription on a random post-it note on page 42 of one of the copies (which copy remains unknown).

I read a story I  recently wrote called “The Quantum Idiot”. I was hard-pressed to trim it to the five-minute cutoff of the Slam, and ended up losing 2 points for taking 5:35 +/- 10 (you know when you’ve been doing too much thesis writing when you give error bars for EVERYTHING). Roxanne drew names out of a hat to determine who read, and I ended up going last. It’s pretty nerve-wracking when you’re waiting to see if you get called, and being last when everyone’s tired isn’t the most ideal situation. It was still fun to try and go for a humorous sci-fi story, a goal I believe I achieved from the few bursts of laughter I got from the geeks in the audience. It’s a strange crowd, with scores fluctuating widely and unpredictably. I’ve heard that you can’t really target a certain type of audience in a slam, because it has a huge standard deviation (damn you, thesis!). The stories which I thought were very good did not get the recognition they deserved, in my opinion, and tonight the winner happened to be a comedian rather than a good shortstory teller. It also had nothing to do with speculative fiction, which cracked my nerdy heart a little bit, but the series of jokes was not without its merits. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again — I’m still trying to grok the experience.

I created this site! It’s so exciting! I’m looking forward to customizing it and keeping it sleek and shiny.