Everybody Stay Cool

Blog returns Monday, October 12.

Friday Links

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls digital privacy “a fundamental human right.” I haven’t followed Apple closely enough to know if that’s a real commitment or just smoke and mirrors. But even if it’s the latter, it’s a good sentiment and a good thing to add to the public discussion, especially when other tech giants suggest from time to time that privacy is over, or doesn’t matter anymore.

A study finds that the benefits of talk therapy for depression have been overstated. Even more interesting (to me), the problem was not in any particular study, but in the larger system of scientific publication. Studies that find an effective treatment (i.e. talk therapy works) are more likely to get published than studies that don’t, leading to a systemic selection bias. As always, the filter matters. To quote Mr. Spock: fascinating.

Finally, a little snippet from Angel that pretty much sums  up my attempts at flirting in college:

The best thing about marriage is being with Betsy. But the second-best thing about marriage is that I don’t have to try and pick up ladies anymore. Because, damn.

That is all. Have a frabjous weekend!

Haiku 365: September

#246: 9/8/2015
“Penny Lane” flows from
my dark, reticent speakers,
calling on old homes.

#247: 9/8/2015
Just like poetry,
wildfire surges and consumes,
guided by stern tools.

#248: 9/8/2015
Like castles of old,
today’s fortresses stand fast,
founded on pixels.

#249: 9/8/2015
Flowers are patient.
No meetings, nowhere to go,
sun-touched and sky-soft.

#250: 9/8/2015
Each new beginning
carries a whiff of failure.
Therein lies the test.

#251: 9/8/2015
Pair of sandwiches
await, mute, oblivious,
their executions.

#252: 9/8/2015
Betsy and Brian
take afternoon walks, explore,
whisper together.

#253: 9/8/2015
Little plastic Thor
stands in my kitchen, god of
thunder and pastries.

#254: 9/9/2015
Heavy ambition
means light sleep, furtive hours
snatched like fireflies.

#255: 9/11/2015
Morning by morning
Nature marks her round canvas –
blind, but full of light.

#256: 9/11/2015
Deep in the basement
what creeps on unfinished walls?
Here there be dragons.

#257: 9/13/2015
Washer and coffee,
heater and Betsy and I
stir, yawn, and arise.

#258: 9/13/2015
What fathomless hand
has scoured our firmament? Where
did it take our clouds?

#259: 9/14/2015
Day of laziness.
Mind creeps, craving and fearing
useful energy.

#260: 9/15/2015
One more day adjourns.
I draw up tomorrow’s plans,
hoping I can build.

#261: 9/16/2015
Rough air, placid earth,
pearls of dew, flames of the sun.
Four-element day.

#262: 9/17/2015
Today’s proud giants
loom on streets, rectangle heads,
selling svelte perfume.

#263: 9/18/2015
Present will be past,
future will be past. This, our
deepest mystery.

#264: 9/19/2015
This close to midnight,
scent of tomorrow seeps in,
warning, beckoning.

#265: 9/21/2015
Fresh week, fresh journeys,
morning by morning, grasping
unsullied secrets.

#266: 9/21/2015
Ah! Thumbprint cookies,
each stamped with Betsy’s sigil,
filled with love and jam.

#267: 9/22/2015
Stories spin like plates,
flouting doubt and gravity,
magically mundane.

#268: 9/23/2015
Early morning rise,
grasping dawn cold-fingered till
it evaporates.

#269: 9/24/2015
Whose songs are these? Whose
hymns chant at midnight, whose notes
whisper midday myths?

#270: 9/25/2015
“Draft”: a word that means
text to edit, or cold ale.
Hmm … coincidence?

#271: 10/1/2015
Who can synthesize
laziness and energy,
can invent all things.

#272: 10/1/2015
In the barefoot world,
none dream of cotton cocoons.
Socks are miracles.

#273: 10/1/2015
When am I grown up?
Will I get a plaque when I’m
not the child I was?

#274: 10/1/2015
All you need is love:
two of us wearing raincoats
when I’m sixty-four.

#275: 10/1/2015
Listen! Rushing ants
scout the earth’s secret places,
scribbling obscure maps.

This Title Intentionally Left Blank

I’m alive, just (a) busy with other stuff and (b) not thinking anything very profound.


Friday Links: Shrooms and Death Glare Edition


Ron Funches describes what it’s like to raise kids (image found here):

raising kids

This week I discovered the music video for Andy Grammer’s song “Honey, I’m Good.” It’s a catchy song, but even if you don’t care for the music, the video itself is wonderful and surprisingly touching.

If you’ve ever played the computer game Limbo (and, statistically speaking, you probably haven’t) then you know it’s a short, stark, beautiful experience, the kind of game you point to and say “This is what games are supposed to be like.” Well, Limbo developer Playdead has a new game in the works called Inside, and it looks amazing.

And finally, blog reader branks263 caught my attention yesterday with an insightful comment on Monday’s Transcendence post. Turns out, he has a nascent blog of his own, where he posts stuff like the Buffy death glare:

buffy death glare

Attention, Internet: this is why you exist.

Anyway, I’m off to be productive and/or watch that “Honey, I’m Good” video again. Have a cromulent weekend, and don’t let anyone tell you “cromulent” isn’t a word – not spellcheck, and especially not Merriam-Webster!

News on the Writing & Editing Front

  • Yesterday I met with the local Area Director for N2 Publishing. She manages a neighborhood magazine called Run Life (the “Run” is a reference to local geography – it’s not related to running). Looks like I’ve got some writing work, and the potential for editing work down the line. Excellent!
  • I’m continuing to do copyediting for business writing from Creative Sparks Writing (not sure if I’ve mentioned them before). Creative Sparks was recently the source of my first-ever editing paycheck, so they have a special place in my heart.
  • I’m also still copyediting for Pen-L Publishing, though I’m in between projects at the moment. So far I’ve edited three book-length manuscripts: a Western novel, a paranormal-romance-ish novel, and a memoir. Learned a lot from all three.
  • I’m taking the first of three EFA classes, branching out from pure copyediting into the wider, more nebulous realm of developmental editing. Gwahahaha, the power!! Ahem.
  • Still working on Crane Girl. The first-and-a-half draft of part one got very positive feedback from beta readers. Lots of good suggestions, too. At the moment I’m working on fleshing out the characters, making them stronger and more interesting. Also figuring out how to make one of the settings, a fantasy city, less Earth-like.
  • Still doing the Twitter thing.

As always, if you know any writers, it would mean so much to me if you wanted to let them know I’m available as a copyeditor, and point them toward my site. When you’re just starting out like this, every new client makes a huge difference. Thanks in advance!

A Totally Serious Guide to Computer Abbreviations

  • a/s/l – This is how someone asks for your area code / superpower / favorite Lego set. A typical answer would be “937 / invisibility / Taj Mahal.”
  • backup – Allegedly a way to protect your files. Don’t fall for this scam. Two locations for data means twice the vulnerability to hackers.
  • blog – A juvenile balrog.
  • broadband – An outdated, sexist term for a woman’s connection to the Internet. The modern, gender-sensitive term is “damewire,” and the male equivalent is “phallifax.”
  • byte – An alternate spelling of “bidet.”
  • DB – Dorito Burrito.
  • DNS – Do Not Suscitate.
  • Error 404 – Page not working. Page needs encouragement. To load page, refresh 404 times.
  • flash drive – A hell of a lot more effective than a bake sale, I can tell you that.
  • forum – A small organ between the duodenum and the jejunum. It performs little digestion and primarily serves to pass along waste.
  • homepage – An online real estate listing.
  • HTML – High-Tech Masculine Libido.
  • HTTP – Hungarian Truck & Tulip Program. (Later changed to “Tubes” after it was discovered that the Internet is not a big truck.)
  • I/O – Iago/Othello slash fic.
  • IP address – The locations of the Italian Palaces, that is, the castles in Super Mario Bros. “Our princess is in another castle!”
  • Linux – The Borg-assimilated version of Linus van Pelt, originally planned for the Charlie Brown Christmas / Star Trek: First Contact crossover special. Eventually scrapped, mostly because somebody ratted us out to Charles Schulz. Bastard.
  • LOL – Land O’ Lakes butter. The traditional reply is GFY, “Good Food – Yum!”
  • malware – A common misspelling of “mallware,” so called for all the great deals you can get.
  • Microsoft – The third-worst male nickname of all time, just behind “Nanolimp” and “Picoflaccid.”
  • online – What words become if you underline them.
  • PDF – Partially Digitized Ferret.
  • pr0n – Priests, Rabbis, Zero Nuns.
  • RAM – Ritalin and Mescaline. (Sometimes measured in GB, or grams/bushel.)
  • social media – The correct plural of “social medium,” a gregarious clairvoyant.
  • SQL – Squash, Quidditch & Lacrosse. Pronounced “squall.”
  • wiki – What the Witch of the West is.