links for 2007-01-25

· Music

Pardon our dust

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I got tired of the old design and wanted to take advantage of some of the new-er features of the blog software I’m using, so I’ve temporarily redone the design with one of their canned themes. Soon I’ll start tweaking the typography and colors and spacing and such and adding back in some of the features stranded in the old design.

Feinstein can pry my MP3's from my cold dead fingers

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Adina Levin sent me a head’s up (discussed on her blog: BookBlog: Dianne Feinstein wants to ban mp3) about the resurrection of the PERFORM act (why am I not surprised Lieberman is a co-sponsor?):

Hi, all. Don’t know if you’ve seen this, but Senator Feinstein has just re-introduced the PERFORM act, a bill that makes it illegal to record music from the internet and bans the use of mp3 by online music services (!).
The EFF has information and a handy action alert. Please sign it, pass it on, and blog it.

I did it. It’s kind of funny sending Feinstein a letter asking her to oppose her own bill! But it also got sent automatically to Boxer too, who may be somewhat less likely to ignore it. I may mail it as well as I hear emails are often ignored. (EFF also faxes your letter for you.)
In the past I’d have blogged this at Edgewise so here’s an example of the sort of blog-consolidation I was talking about earlier.

Local blogging gets a site

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The talented Lisa Williams has launched Placeblogger: PressThink: Check out Placeblogger.com. It’s About All Those Hyperlocal News Sites Springing Up…
…via George, who pointed out the article in Poynter wherein it is written

[…] Today, Lisa Williams debuted Placeblogger, an online resource that lists and showcases placeblogs — so far 713 from around the U.S., with a few scattered elsewhere around the globe. What’s a placeblog? Williams defines it as “an act of sustained attention to a particular place over time. It can be done by one person, a defined group of people, or in a way that’s open to community contribution. It’s not a newspaper, though it may contain random acts of journalism. It’s about the lived experience of a place.” Her own community site for Watertown, Mass, H20town, is an example of a placeblog. […]

(emphasis added), noting that I (or really Adrian Chan) had once speculated on this site that identity might in some sense, at least online, be equated with “attention over time.”
(George will be on my “Every Breath You Take” panel at South by Southwest this year and we’ll be talking about identity online, as well as attention, privacy, trust, and presence. Got to remember to add the “see me speak at SXSW” badge sometime soon.)

I'm a weiner

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nano 2006 badge The novel isn’t done. Well, the month isn’t over until midnight tonight, and I haven’t hit “The End” yet but am aiming to do so sometime today. But I crossed the finish line from the National Novel Writing Month perspective last night when I exceeded 50,000 words written in November. w00t!
It only took my two nanos and just over a year to write the entire first draft of For You, The Stars and I did it without ever looking back or re-reading, so I have no doubt there are continuity problems, crutch words, hemming and hawing, rambling, extaneous scenes, too many characters, pointless digressions, and so on.
I expect I will take a little vacation from this story in December and then in the new year actually read the novel myself for the first time. After that I expect to embark on a revision process. I’ll reorganize the chapters, fix the timeline issues, probably reduce the number of characters and possibly combine some. I may also have to write some new material. Who knows?
If I can get a coherent second draft written, ideally by the early spring of next year, then that’s when I’ll send it around to trusted friends and colleagues for their feedback. If that works, I’ll do a third revision and then the goal would be to send that out to a few agents and editors, possibly sometime next year.
We’ll see. Right now I’m just glad to have the final page in sight.

That time again

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Last year I did National Novel Writing Month and managed to bang out 30,000 words of my novel For You, The Stars.
I wrote nearly every day of the month and averaged slightly more than 1000 words a day, short of the 50,000 word target for NaNoWriMo participants but still a heckuva lot more fiction writin’ than I usually do.
In fact, in the elevent months since I’ve added just one or two thousand word installments to the pile. So this year I’m going to do it again. I estimate that the first draft of this novel needs to be about 80-100,000 words, so if I keep up the pace I managed last year I’ll have the draft 2/3rds done by the end of the month.
For those hooked readers who occasionally send me “what happened next?” comments, thanks! Your encouragement – while not sufficient to drive me to the keyboard much since January – has definitely contributed to my desire to keep writing this occasionally very dirty novel.