April 3rd, 2006


PSA for magazine editors

Please do not tell writers that their stories are in a particular genre if you do not have a good deal of experience with what that genre is and is not.

"Romance," as a genre, is not the same thing as "fiction where two people fall in love." "Christian fiction," as a genre, is not the same thing as "fiction where the protagonist is a Christian clergybeing." "Western," as a genre, is not the same thing as "fiction set west of the Mississippi and before the First World War," nor even "fiction set west of the Rockies and before the turn of the 20th century." I could write you a science fiction story wherein a Christian clergybeing falls in love west of the Rockies, before the turn of the 20th century. I'm not going to, because I have a lot of other stuff to do today, but I could. Or a fantasy story. Or a mystery...do you see the point here?

It's not that I think they should have bought my story, because clearly they didn't think it was right for their magazine, and these things happen. I just really, really hate being told so definitively what genre a story falls into by someone who has clearly read very little, if anything, in that genre. We seek quality rejection slips here, people.


On my to-do list, along with "wrap Amber presents" and "bank" and "make banana bread" and "mend green coat" and "draft dinosaur story," is "sort dragons."

I love my life.

Any fun items on your lists this Monday? Or is it all mending and banking?

Poll about the gods

Context for this poll: this is asking about deliberately fictional entities, in which you have no literal belief whatever. Fantasy novel gods, not beings you personally worship, although if you have things to say about the appearance of novel characters with the same names and allegedly the same attributes as beings you personally worship, please do tell (in the comments). I just don't know how much I'm outside the norm here for cutting my teeth on D'Aulaire's.

Poll #703617 (Im)mortality and Deity

Are the gods immortal?

Of course. That's what makes them gods. Not immortal, not a god.
By default, I'd assume so, and I'd have some difficulty if a author made casual mention that they weren't.
By default, I'd assume so, but it wouldn't be a big deal if an author said they weren't; I'd just go on with the story.
I assume not but am willing to hear arguments to the contrary
I have no default assumptions in this regard.

What ought to happen to a dead god?

Same thing as to dead humans in that cosmology
An afterlife of some sort, mixed in with humans
An afterlife of some sort, no humans allowed
Total annihilation
Roaming the world(s) as a zombie god
Something else I will detail in the comments, especially if it is amusing

Three tired things

--I went to get timprov a sandwich before I go to bed (he doesn't drive these days, for those of you who didn't keep score on that issue, so that's why he didn't go get his own sandwich), and I shocked the middle-aged Hispanic gentleman working the drivethrough: I had my long coat on and buttoned, and a short nightgown underneath it, so all he could see from the window was my coat and my bare legs peeking out from under the coat. He averted his eyes with a polite and pained look. Poor fellow.

--I really, really hate it when medical personnel use the phrase "insurance might not cover it" in tones that convey threat instead of information. The subtext should be "just want to make sure you know before you make that decision" rather than "so just shut up and do it like everyone else even if that way doesn't work for you, because it's way easier for me."

--I like being smart, and I also like being clever, but they are definitely not the same thing. I am going round and round with "Flight of the Paleontologist" because it's about balancing accurate and appealing information in science journalism for the lay person. (Sounds thrilling, right? But there are dinosaurs. Relevant dinosaurs, even.) But my brain has gone and plotted a short story playing with Eudora Welty and the Grateful Dead and dwarves, all without my consent. (Title: "Why I Live in the Silver Mine.") Clever, probably; probably not particularly smart, however. Stupid brain.