Some advance praise, then

I just finished reading and reviewing The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite. [My full review at the Amazon page. Umm, "Laurel" if you couldn't figure it out. :D ]

I was going to put off mentioning the book, since it's not available yet, but when I tweeted something to that effect, jaylake mentioned the value of advance praise, so here we go.

It's fabulous, both informative and fun to read. Even if you don't have an eating problem, its just downright fascinating. Chris was interested in the parts which explain how food industry insiders make food irresistible... probably for cooking tips. :) (And we wonder why I have trouble losing weight...?)

I kept thinking cathshaffer would (ahem) eat this book up. If you're at all interested in how food is turned from simple nutrition to irresistible addiction, and what to do about it, take a look.


In other news, my song "The Orange" won Benjamin Rosenbaum's derivative works contest.

That was fun. I must find some other authors who will let me compose music based on their stories!

Somehow conversation always turns to dirigibles

I have been in Chattanooga all week for maryrobinette's birthday and writing retreat (plus an Iron Chef style cooking contest.)

There has been (among other things) writing, chatting, critiquing, walking in the woods, eating lots of good food, dog snuggling, pervasive silliness, fire building, and completely excessive use of online networking with people who are in the same dang room. Poor davidlevine finally joined Twitter so he could find out when lunch is ready.

This has been all over many LiveJournals (and Twitter, and Facebook, and I wouldn't be surprised if the news trucks showed up in a few hours) but just in case, Iron Chef PEAR BATTLE.

  • Current Music
    Buster barking at squirrels
  • Tags

Every Day is Day One

But sometimes the calendar says so, too. :)

2008 was... bad. Bad in an insidious way that I didn't realize until the damage was done. (And the economy sure was annoying too.) So, 2009 is a nice delineation where I can say that phase is done, I now declare things to be Officially Better, and move on.

Let's all have a good year, hm?
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    hopeful hopeful


Just a quick post while I can.

Last night's ice storm knocked out our power. Fortunately our next-door-neighbor still has his, so we've been able to run an extension cord to operate the furnace. (And, occasionally, the router.)

My 60 foot tall elm tree looks like a giant foot from heaven stomped on it. The other trees are only marginally better. :(
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    chilly and dark

Windycon Saturday

This is a rather boring entry, I'm afraid, because everything I did today is not especially discussible. Either it was personal to me, gossip I'm not going to share, or panels that were fun but not really educational.

Got out early to head for my workshop session. It was, of course, not in the boardroom as claimed. I suspected as much when I saw the computer gaming network being set up in there the day before. A sign directed me to the ISFiC suite.

Guys? If you'd like great critiques from lots of nice professional writers (along with some nice aspiring writers!) Windycon is a good place to go.

We spent a little over three hours. There were four professional writers, an experienced moderator, and two other participants. (Afterwards I got a paper with comments from the quite-accomplished organizer, as well.) It was all very, very good. I kind of wanted to corner each participant for some personal one-on-one brain-picking afterward, but really, I probably learned all needed to. Now to find the mental space to implement it.

SOMEDAY, I will have a proper opening. (I'm trying to remember how many drafts I took to discover D&B's opening. 6-10? Getting there...)

Found Chris, then he went off to do some stuff, while I had lunch with these guys in the con suite:

michaeldthomas and jimhines

Afterwards I finally managed to meet people I'd been looking for, and hang out a bit. I won't turn this into a name dropping post. Be assured they were all brilliant, charming, attractive, occasionally famous, and you totally envy me.

We headed home early because the drivers in the western suburbs are dangerous enough without waiting until they are tired and/or drunk. And we decided that while the Westin is very nice (everyone seems to agree) it's way too far, and we'll just have to get a room next time.

Windycon Day One

Posting mainly because due to a schedule hiccup, it's 2 AM and I can't sleep.

For me this is a bad con to commute to, this year. The hotel is in the western suburbs, which means 40+ minutes (not rush hour) of driving among complete idiots, through the unending chaotic construction zone that is the Illinois Tollway. Bleh. Had I really understood where this hotel was, I probably wouldn't have gone. Have to go tomorrow for the workshop. We'll see about Sunday.

So far the convention itself is running fairly well. Registration was easy, the con suite was very nice (with buckets of candy on the tables! and brownies! and, of course, bheer. Yay!)

Unfortunately, the hotel wasn't quite up-to-speed with the convention itself. One room was slated to have the first panel in it, but the ballroom was locked while it was supposedly being set up. We all stood out in the hall for 20 minutes. Finally we got a staff member to open it up, to find it dark and empty except for stacks of chairs. Oops. Started setting up the chairs only to be informed that our panel was actually in the other end of the hotel. Except nobody knew that.

After that things ran more smoothly, or at least there was a sign up when the program no longer matched reality.

The theme for this year's Windycon is military SF... which is not really my thing, but in a way that's just as well, because I will learn things I'd normally skip for programming more to my taste. Also, the con workers in their camouflage running back and forth with ice and soda and snacks are very cute.

First panel was on child soldiers. Picked up a couple points, though with being delayed and moved the discussion itself was a bit scattered. Also... John Ringo is, ah... something. So much something that I will probably avoid panels with his name on them in the future. Though he was quite inadvertently amusing. :)

Second panel was on whether the human tendency to warfare is an innate or learned behavior. Lots of good discussion and polite-but-spirited disagreement on this one. (Ringo left after a few minutes. :p )

After that, we explored a bit and I ran into a hallway where the lights were flickering, which triggered a migraine. Sigh. Headed back to the house at that point (through more idiotic traffic...) and stuck my head under a pillow for a few hours. That's why I'm up now.

My workshop session is at 9am tomorrow, so I hope to get back to sleep soon. Didn't run into any of my peeps today. Will have to stalk them after panels, I suppose. Saw kelly_swails briefly, but we were headed in opposite directions.

My NaNo is falling woefully behind. Here's hoping I find some inspiration in the critiques!
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Voting! But not that kind!

A friend of mine is a school teacher in CA, trying to win some funding for his classroom. He and his students made this music video showing what they can do if they win.

It's really, really cute, and they've made it to the finals, but they're a bit behind in the votes now. If you like the video, would you consider voting?

Here's his message:
Please help us, it is easy and will only take less than 5 minutes!

I am a 6th grade teacher in Corona, California and our class is one of the 5 video finalists from all of the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia in the 6-8 category for the eInstruction $25,000 technology video competition. We are not only the only finalist from California; we are the only finalist from the western ½ of the United States.

Voting is 30% of our final score, so we need to rack up points big time! Voting begins today and ends in 2 weeks on Friday, November 14th.

Please vote for us and help spread the word. You can vote from HERE (if you need help voting, scroll down for directions).

Please tell everyone you know, please hype this up and send everyone here, we really need the help and it only takes about 5 minutes.

Thank you very much,
Michael Grothem
Corona Ranch Elementary School

Here are step by step instructions to vote:
Go to www.eimakeover.com
Click on the yellow button that says “Click Here to Vote for the Finalists”
Click on our video titled “Technology” in the 6-8 category.
Click the button that says “Vote For This” Click the “Join” button if you have not previously signed up on this page before.
Follow the directions on the page (you must click “I am 18 years old or older” to vote)
**you will have to check your email and activate your account to vote, if you don’t see the email it may have gone to your junk folder, check there**
After you register, it will take you back to the menu.
Then of course you have to: click on our video titled "Technology" in the 6-8 category.
click the button "Vote for This" After you vote, a box will pop up that says “Success. Thanx for voting”.

Nanowrimo '08

After not doing so well last year, I'd decided I wasn't going to do nano anymore unless I had a novel planned and in need of writing whenever a particular November rolled around.

In the future, remind me not to hang around pushy, optimistic teenagers... :P

Would be nice if I had some kind of, you know, plan... ah well, one week to go!