Old-school time travel

· Enterzone, long story short

Cover of THIEVING FORESTPrivileged to read an advance draft of Martha Conway‘s stunning new novel, Thieving Forest, I was thrilled to attend her book launch party in San Francisco over the weekend.

Besides the great spread of victuals and lovely wine (a champagne, a chablis, and a pinot noir) at the sadly now-closed Beast & the Hare, we also enjoyed hearing Conway read an excerpt from the novel, which she preceded with an anecdote about a fascinating memoir she read of a Spanish explorer who became lost and more or less went native in North America before being recovered, almost unrecognized, by his own people.

She explained how this led her to the original ideas for the novel, which tells the story of young women – one a settler, the other a native – lost in the Ohio woods in search of four siblings of the settler taken by Potawatomi Indians.

Here’s my Amazon review of the book, which I am re-reading now in its fine print edition:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Amongst the Natives
August 7, 2014
As soon as I started reading this fascinating novel I was fully engrossed and in some ways as out of my depth as the main characters. My preconceived notions of how such a story might unfold (informed most likely by Leatherstocking tales and Laura Ingalls Wilder and perhaps the more recent Whiskey Rebellion) constantly failed me as Conway kept me up late with a night light eager to learn how everything would turn out.There is an immersive quality to great writing that beats any Hollywood effects-laden costume drama. Thieving Forest draws you into a fully realized world, one that is alien in many ways and yet somehow easy to relate to, and at times perhaps hints at why some things still are the way they are for us in this world today.A+++++ WOULD READ AGAIN !!!!


Greasing the wheels

· Throat Clearing

Didn’t add anything to this blog for the past few days. Didn’t even see the great suggestion from Christina about a daily September #writeprompt google group called 500 Words a Day, which I just signed up for.

(Up for which I just signed?)

So, I thought, how do I help keep this a daily habit?

The emawrite-onil prompt is a good ‘un, but a little bit of behavior-affecting interface design is called for here, and so I added a bookmark that points to this posting window (“this window” in the sense that I see it in front of me as I write this, not that you can see it or should really know what I’m talking about except just in general) to the bookmarks bar of my preferred browser, just to make it that much easier to write every day.


Not my longest blogging drought yet

· long story short

So it’s been well over a year since I wrote a new blog post here. Of course I continue emitting content elsewhere, on the twitters and most recently youtube, and so on. And, of course I have a big backlog of stuff, such as relevant reviews of rainbow riches slots that can be played online. Of course, I’d really like to write about and comment on more fully. And books I’ve been in that I haven’t listed here yet. And podcasts of panels I gave at famous conferences. And the last WordPress update broke my custom design and hid the promo for social interfaces book (which we’re getting ready to update). And I really want to rebuild this stuff from scratch (again?) along the lines of Indie Web principles. And yet, and yet…

All of those just become yet another reason not to write. So how about this? Maybe I can go back to trying to write a little something every day. Old school, livejournal style if need be (or I could even go the full Dave Winer route, since his model is clearly more durable than the old “mini-article” blog style that was fashionable in the oughties. But I do want all my stuff in one place, and I don’t want to rely entirely on external services, and I want to be able to organize and present my stuff.

Plus I need to write more. I have been keeping a nearly daily journal in a private system since Jan 1 and I wonder if I could do something similar here, but more suitable for public consumption.

I know I want to write more. I have an unrevised novel, an unfinished memoir, vague plans for a play, and lots to say about the world as it is and what’s wrong with that, dammit?

Understand, rubberband?

· long story short

The old junglejims with their rubber jigsaw mats beneath to break your fall had given way to more conceptual installations. Large wooden structures with chain-link bridges, rope swings, tire obstacle courses now stood rooted in deep sand. Each playground was slightly different. Only one had the tire swing. Another had a fortress or a wall of climbing ropes.

The old corrugated-metal manually operated merry-go-rounds were still there. You’d run alongside, holding one of the metal tube handholds and jump aboard once you got it up to speed. Sometimes a kid’s older brother would get the whole thing spinning faster than our stubby legs could do on their own. Rarely did anyone fall off and even more rarely did someone throw up….

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(read the rest of Understand, Rubberband? at Fictionaut.)