Work Work Work

Teaching writing today. We’re up to vowels!

What are you up to?

87 Comments on “Work Work Work”

  1. Is that vowels first? Or vowels after consonants? It makes a difference as to whether we should be impressed.

    Dr. Phil

  2. A glass of what is probably the best rum to be found on the planet mixed with the sweet elixir that is Coca-Cola (real sugar, not Kayro). It’s nine in the evening here on the wrong side of the world (both hemispheres are abnormal relative to my usual location).

  3. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    (Trying hard to not make jokes about vowel obstructions. But then I suppose trying hard is a symptom of that, isn’t it?)

    I don’t know about the rest of the gang, but I’m anxiously waiting for Behemoth to drop tomorrow. You know, that seems like it should rate a special midnight opening at bookstores across the U.S.

  4. @gilmoure: Nah, we’re just having a timeshare arrangement, especially over the Ls and Ws

    Repairing the back screen door, which finally tore completely open.

  5. pennlynn – I'm just me, and I'm also someone who has been cursed by being born with a facial difference and I struggle with this every day!! I'm hoping those who find this blog will be apart of my journey as I go though this life.

    I’m working as well taking calls from CRAZY people!! Seriously what is wrong with people!!

  6. I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

  7. It probably says something about human nature, but I don’t mind if our insect overlords invade someone else’s kitchen…I just don’t want them in mine. :)

  8. shaunduke – Shaun Duke is a podcaster, a reviewer, a blogger, and a writer. He is a host on the Hugo-nominated Skiffy and Fanty Show, a blogger at The World in the Satin Bag, a freelance editor at The Duke of Editing, and a co-owner of Young Writers Online. He also co-hosts Totally Pretentious, a movie discussion podcast, with David Annandale. Outside of fandom activities, he is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Florida, where he studies science fiction, postcolonialism, and Caribbean literature.

    I’m reading Politics of Friendship (100 pages) by Jacques Derrida and Metamorphoses of Science Fiction by Darko Suvin.

    And I’m re-reading some Nalo Hopkinson and Tobias S. Buckell for my MA thesis, which is fun.

    Other than that, I’m stressing about my Spanish exam…

  9. Posting another “First 200 Words” excerpt online. This one from Randall Garrett’s essay, “The Bite of the Asp.” For you science fiction history buffs, it is about Hugu Gernsback butchering one of Philip José Farmer’s early stories.

  10. Ethical arguments and whether or not it is ethical for me to set college freshman against each other thunderdome style for my own amusement.

  11. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    Waiting at the ferry. So cold. So cold….

  12. Today has been filled with the social worker equivalent of making sure the cover sheets are all filled out for the TPS Reports.


  13. I invented numbers today.

    But I’m not exactly sure what this “0” thing is, exactly. It’s like it’s not there, or something.

    Going to have to do more research.

  14. Bork Bork Bork.

    Second, third, fourth and fifth grade here. (Swedish grades, our kids start at seven years old, not five)
    Now thats a workout!

  15. Came up with a clever new ploy to get myself to start to write when I don’t feel like starting to write. Later today I get to test it.

  16. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    GWH@43: Ask the government to donate seven or eight 0s to help your research. Maybe on a bank draft, with a one at the beginning. I’ll bet they’d be glad to help.

  17. ten apples’ worth of sauce, one pot of homemade chicken soup and two small children taking turns having time-outs for the last two hours. I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords as long as they can be in charge of administering timeouts while I try to write…

  18. I’m teaching math too–step functions, what’s e all about. Finished the new Terry Pratchett, very sad. (to have finished, not the book) Is it fun for you, teaching, John Scalzi?

  19. Speechwriting for one set, process flows for fun and profit for the other. It’s not good when your students start bleeding from the eyes, right?

  20. Alia@51: I welcome our new yogurt overlords, especially if they’ll manage things so I have more time to write.

  21. My day consisted of the proper amount of pouting and whining over the Bears horrid performance last night (actually, if you answer no amount is proper, then we’d have to say a slightly improper). Then, I spent half the day pretending to be a professional freelance writer (a task that actually has been netting me not-so-pretend money). Then I used the next half of my day to perform at my big people’s job. It was not as fun as the first half, but it does a rather splendid job of paying for my mortgage.

  22. Vwls r sfl n wrtng nd crtng cmpllng strs. Brv t y, Jn Sclz, n yr tsk!

    I, on the other hand, am spending my time putting buckets under the newly-discovered leaks in the roof.

  23. Currently reading S.M. Stirlings A Taint in the Blood (elves as vampires, and I’m not speaking of elves in a complimentary way).

    I’m also starting work on a game based in part on Taint, and in part of Kate Elliot’s Cold Magic (alternate history, alternate Earth, early Victorian steam punk, dystopian urban fantasy where a young Carthaginian woman has adventures and experiences bad events in an alternate Victorian Britain). I’m using a modified Burning Wheel for the mechanics.

    Later I’ll be attending a local sci fi meet up.

  24. DaveH @49:

    I’ve done that before, they never seem to send a check.

    Oh, wait. I was proposing to build actual real hardware, not just investigate something. You may be onto something there, I hear that research that only outputs papers and powerpoint slides is easier to get approved than actual hardware.

    (hustling over to PowerPoint to start on the slide deck: “Zero – threat or menace?” …)

  25. Is storyboarding like waterboarding? Strap a zombie squirrel to a plank and shove “Battlefield Earth” down their throats?

    I’m back up to the surface in Minecraft.

  26. That would be awesome!

    Storyboarding is where you visualize a film after the story is written. You draw it out in panels, and it helps to tell the director, director of photography, and everybody else helping with the production how the shot is going to look. It is much more fun when it involves zombie squirrels.

  27. #Louise, I hope your plan to plan a way to write pans out. In other news, that procrastinator’s club picnic has been postponed…again.

    I’ve been trying to brainstorm a way to either take over the world or destroy it. Not sure which is more useful or desirable, these days. I actually think the destruction would be easier than cleaning up the current mess. (Random thought: Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?” Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!”)

    I spend the day in class in Atlanta suffer–er learning the proper care and feeding of Microsoft SharePoint Server. Which may be contributing to my desire to destroy the world.

  28. LOL!!
    We had an opossum on our back deck a few weeks back, eating our dog’s dogfood. (as an aside, I confiscated my dog’s “dog license” that night…) I tried poking the opossum with a stick. It just sat there and stared at me in a creepy “I can take you,” sort of way as it bared its teeth but refused to move. Obviously, it was a zombie opossum.

  29. White chili.

    Actually, more of a yellowish beige, with indescribable things floating around in it, and enough heat to make you think twice.

  30. Launching the three-week poetry unit for my fourteen year old high school freshman. Ah, poetry…sheer artistry with words as the medium. Gonna try to infect the teens with a love of reading poetry just for fun. Wish me luck. Used Billy Collins’s lyric poem “Introduction to Poetry” to start the campaign. Google it. You will be glad you did.

  31. Surfing the crockpot/ slow-cooker websites looking for a recipe that will utilize my limited food resources.

    I’m leaning towards the ground beef, soup, pasta side of things.

  32. Recruiting debate judges for high school forensics.

    Hey, John, you have a degree in philosophy… want to judge a debate for us?

  33. I always thought high school forensics should be training to be a CSI. I know that’s wrong, but it’s what it sounds like.

  34. ytimynona – FLORIDA – I'm a big wannabe. Wannabe a truck driver, PotUS, scientist, writer, and teacher. Well, I already am a teacher. :-)

    We’re on avoiding comma splices today….and every other day! I work in the Writing Center, and no matter how many times I explain how to avoid them, there will always be comma splices. *sigh*

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