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Archive for January, 2008

A new bug named after the Big O.  (thanks to Joe in Cheese)

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orbison redux

I have a character, of sorts, named Orbison in my upcoming novel.  Here’s a paragraph where we and Deluxe the cat meet him:

While we busied and entertained ourselves all week, Deluxe befriended the lovely Orbison, an elegant and vainglorious red and blue Siamese fighting fish who lived on the coffee table in a heated ten-gallon tank with a porcelain srequiem-mass.jpgponge diver.  Deluxe was fascinated with this exquisite creature who seemed to defy gravity.  And Orbison seemed quite taken with Deluxe and his attention.  Whenever Deluxe hopped up onto the coffee table, Orbison swam in enthusiastic circles, rippled his long and flowing fins, and then nosed up to the glass and primped himself for Deluxe.  He might blow a bubble, execute a graceful turn, or fan his pectorals.  Deluxe spoke to Orbison in muted, sweet meows and chirrs.  When Deluxe left the table, Orbison retreated behind the frond of plastic kelp.  He seemed to deflate.  He’d sink to the bottom of the tank and lie there listlessly by the treasure chest.  There were times I saw him slam his head against the glass.  If Deluxe were gone too long, Orbison punished him by swimming to the opposite side of the tank and keeping as far from the circling and apologetic cat as he could until he felt that Deluxe had been punished enough. 

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a thousand words

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today and tomorrow

Voted this morning for Barack.  Not that it means much since the Democratic Party has stripped Florida of its convention deegates.  The party would rather have the white states decide for the rest of us.  The poll worker tried three machines before he could find one that worked.  Said it had been like that since they opened.  Off to the AWP Conference in NY tomorrow and probably won’t get back online till Monday or Tuesday. 

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Frank Rich on Hillary, Barack, and Bill. “In a McCain vs. Billary race, the Democrats will sacrifice the most highly desired commodity by the entire electorate, change; the party will be mired in déjà 1990s all over again. Mrs. Clinton’s spiel about being “tested” by her “35 years of experience” won’t fly either. The moment she attempts it, Mr. McCain will run an ad about how he was being tested when those 35 years began, in 1973. It was that spring when he emerged from five-plus years of incarceration at the Hanoi Hilton while Billary was still bivouacked at Yale Law School. And can Mrs. Clinton presume to sell herself as best equipped to be commander in chief “on Day One” when opposing an actual commander and war hero? I don’t think so. “

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james wood on character

“There is nothing harder than the creation of fictional character. . . . The unpracticed novelist cleaves to the static, because it is much easier to descrie than the mobile: it is getting these people out of the aspic of arrest and mobilised in a scene that is hard.” 

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gonzalo barr

The Miami Herald has a nice piece on lawyer turned writer Gonzalo Barr.  Barr does not have an agent or a publisher for his novel, and Leejay Kline, his mentor and creative-writing teacher, gonzalo2.jpgcalls the move ”pretty ballsy.” But what Barr does have is an impressive debut to his credit. His first book, the critically acclaimed short-story collection The Last Flight of Jose Luis Balboa (Houghton Mifflin, $12 in paper), won the coveted Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Prize in 2005, garnering attention and admiration from several established writers.  (Thanks to Jeffrey in Miami Beach.)

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