Posted on December 11, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 45 Comments
Well, not actually, since I am proofing not one but two upcoming books at the moment. Yes, that’s right, two! (Redshirts and 24 Frames Into the Future, respectively.) I am also doing laundry. I am a busy man, I am. So: Not lazy. But mostly not here, either.
How is your Sunday coming along? Share! Omit nothing!
Yes, a lazy Sunday so far, compared to my 9,750 words written Saturday of 3 novels. All I’ve written, beyond emails and to my 4,010 Facebook friends, this morning, is for 2 of my 3 concurrent Hard SF novels:
1,650 words, Ch. 262: “Glimcher” of the novel/trilogy Alzheimer’s War
[draft of 9:30-10:10, Sunday 11 Dec 2011, 7 pages double-spaced; 1,650 words]
“Immortality isn’t what it used to be,” said Dalton. “But neither is Neuroeconomics. I think that the manipulations of the research on anti-senescence, prions, neurogenetics, and manipulations of the Finance infrastructure through some super-hack by the Big Enchilada, has been hard to pick up through the noise because of the slow, steady changes in how we understand human decision making.”
“Your point being that we should not be distracted by the wars from outer space and cyberspace,” said Shimojo, “because of how people use their brains, unrelated to Alzheimer’s? That we are not seeing the forest, because of the dendrite trees?…”
and 1,050 words of I Am Hamlet’s Ghost, Incomplete Draft 11.0 of 10:50-11:30, 11 Dec 2011, 139 pages, 26,500 words of story, expanded with 1,050 words more of Chapter 12 “His True State”:
Death, ghosts, time travel, and rotating black holes. Corpses eaten by worms, and spaceships threading through wormholes. I, Hamlet’s ghost, know more about that that you can imagine, and it would scare you to death if I let you know one percent of the truth. Tom Stoppard, not burdened down by Geometrodynamics, still gets to the emotional center of the aforementioned Compass Rose, pricked by Time’s Arrow:
Rosencrantz — Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one. A moment. In childhood. When it first occured to you that you don’t go on forever. Must have been shattering. Stamped into one’s memory. And yet, I can’t remember it. It never occured to me at all. We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the word for it. Before we know that there are words. Out we come, bloodied and squawling, with the knowledge that for all the points of the compass, there’s only one direction. And time is its only measure.
Perhaps I misled you with my speculation that the Players’ problems were Theology. Catherine England suggested that they could have been Politico-Economical. This leaves us only with Hamlet’s discussion with Rosenkrantz & Guilderstern in II.ii about the misfortunes off the players in Wittenberg. It is possible that the bad position in which the players found themselves would take more than four months to develop, or maybe not. A beard can grow in four months. Yet this whole discussion is a dramatic convenience which has nothing to do with the narrative of HAMLET, or me, the Ghost….
Hence I need to get back to novel #3, Lutetia, which I left in a turbulent corner of an alternate world where the USSR has not fallen, due to alien Electroweak technology :
Incomplete Draft 25.0 of 8:30-9:20, 9 Dec 2011, 125 pages, approx. 30,900 words, adds 1,000 word Chapter 25 “Hypercharge”
Outside the Sun had not yet risen, yet the Little Moon was a brilliant dot of light in the black sky.
When the firing pin hits the primer, propelling the bullet down the barrel, the explosive force drives the operating rod and attached bolt backward. When the shell clears the chamber wall, the ejector springs forward, popping the shell out of the gun through the ejection port. This system lets you fire continuously without reloading. One can “stitch” a human body into two disconnected pieces.
We walked up the staircase from the basement, went out the front door that the proprietor briefly unlocked, and fanned out along the streets of the capital of Ingushetia…
Revising a watershed restoration project proposal draft. Trying to incorporate comments from scientist types and federal agency people who know what they mean but don’t know how to say it in plain English.
Why is it that when you’re putting together a collaborative document, the writer is the last person to receive the information needed? This proposal is due Wednesday afternoon and I haven’t even heard from some of the major players yet! Critical info missing! Frustration level rising!
When I’m about ready to smash things (soon, I think), I’ll go outside and split some wood and then when I’m calmed down, I’ll run hoses to the horse troughs to top them off before it all freezes again. Then I’ll be ready to come back in again and deal with this !@#$%^&! proposal.
Finally got a haircut, finished 1Q84 last night (magnificent) and now waiting for the Bears game to come on. A good, good Sunday.
I’m polishing up my first ever submission to the Writers of the Future contest. I am also procrastinating on a Perspectives submission I’d like to write for KQED (NPR’s San Francisco affiliate) about energy and geopolitics. Of course, I also have to come up with something to blog about today.
Plus, I’m trying to do all this stuff as my three young children squabble in the background. Sigh.
I saw the title of the post and was hoping you were going to link to Lonely Island’s first song, “Lazy Sunday,” famous for the line “the Chronic-what-cles of Narnia.” But, alas, no.
Today is tree decorating day. Both my sister and I are home for the weekend, and we’re going to get our Christmas spirit on.
Laying out a newsletter and designing three magazine ads, a postcard, a chart, and a book cover.
I also has a busy.
I saw my therapist and went grocery shopping. Uh. I guess that’s pretty good and stuff. Now it’s time to write a few installments of my black metal advice column.
Christmas tree is decorated. Holiday cards are signed, sealed, and waiting to be put in the mailbox Monday to be delivered. Waiting for the Bears game…going to be making an awesomely good dinner. Contemplating a nap.
I am utterly horrified by the industry of others; I too am hard at work, but my time is entirely devoted to knitting the scarlet cashmere lace cardigan which I promised as a Christmas present in a moment of madness back in March.
Not exactly world-shattering stuff…
I’m wasting a bit of time watching the Vikings pretend like they’re not going to lose, avoiding doing dishes, and settling in to do some work on my new WIP, which is going like a house ‘afire at the moment. So that’s good. I’m also considering applying to Clarion West, which is a bit intimidating.
We just returned from a weekend in the mountains. the trip home was a little harrowing so we are all just lying around recovering (and the six course meal last night has nothing at all to do with my semi-comatose state I’m sure)
Beef stew for dinner simmering, Christmas cards FINALLY ordered, a few presents wrapped, and one closet cleaned out. Now off to fold six loads of laundry–then I’ll reward myself by baking cookies. :-)
Laundry and dishes. (There’s ALWAYS laundry and dishes.) Deciding what to wear to the Christmas Revels this afternoon. Trying (again, and probably unsuccessfully) to figure out where I could put a tree up (hey, it’s a studio apartment full of books, fr pete’s sake).
Laundry also. The boys put festive lights on the house. I am trying to organize things (closets, cuboards etc) between loads. Fun stuff!. I will occasionally destroy a bandit or an ogre, but not my main focus.
I am ‘enjoying’ a full day at work. At some point I agreed (no one should be surprised by this) to open the station at 630, and then stay until the end of the basketball tournament that starts in about half an hour. It’s been an easy (read: boring) morning, although a tad bit cold. My bosses did however, leave me two boxes of Thin Mints. I’m working on a post – not an angry one- about Rick Perry’s most recent fumble and afterwords I’m going to go study for my finals. Overall not too bad of a day, very productive. Well, except for the eating of cookies part.
I am pretty much going to omit everything. I dont even want to know. There is clearly something wrong with the SHOE sales data in the MASS CHANNEL in the POS DATA.
I have already said too much.
I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.
I was supposed to have “The Weekend” for being productive, but I ended up doing ONE thing on my To Do list yesterday and spent the rest of the day watching “Once Upon a Time” (which, to be fair, is work-related as I review the show for Tor.com), “Breaking Bad” (so NOT work related but AWESOME), and playing Plants Vs. Zombies (definitely not work-related, but I WISH IT WERE). So, that makes today Productivity Day.
Write the following articles for Tor.com and ChinaShop Magazine: OUaT/Grimm dual review, travel write-up on the EMP Museum in Seattle.
Research two articles that are due at Tor at the end of the week: one on Sydney Paget and one on David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” :)
Outline two videos I need to shoot by Wednesday: one for a contest and one to kick-off a new video blog I’m starting.
Figure out my angle for an academic anthology about Doctor Who to which I’m submitting a paper, Outline said angle.
Find time to work on my spec script and/or novel, whichever I’m in the mood for later.
And it’s already 1PM here in L.A. Sheesh. :)
Happy Sunday, everyone!
Just took the roast chicken out of the oven. Continuing to simmer the bone-beef broth for beef stew later this week. Tried a new crepe recipe, and am sadly ignoring my knitting project. Next up, after eating said chicken, is cleaning. Boo! But it must be done. Filling in the spaces with playing with the kitties, helping my son with editing his English homework, and wasting time on Facebook. See, I could be doing my knitting, but I’m playing Facebook instead!
@Stevie – the cardigan sounds lovely, and I’m certain it will be greatly appreciated! Good on you for working on it so industriously! I’m ignoring the claret lace dress I started two years ago. :)
Stevie: I learned a long time ago that I’m better off not openly promising anything to anyone. If I get a bug in my bonnet about crocheting a gift for someone, I’d rather just do it on my own time–if I tell somebody “hey, I’m making you this”, that means I pretty much have to get it done ASAP. If I keep my mouth shut, they’ll enjoy the surprise whenever they get it.
Chang: Been reading some Lovecraft lately, have you?
Doing laundry, reading manuscripts (not mine), and preparing for the writing class I’m taking from Nick Mamatas in Berkeley.
My weekend has been not productive, except for a few stints in the Art Zen Zone.
Sleeping until noon, getting fully well after not being well, reading for class, having a discussion on Facebook while being happy that my Facebook-friends are the kind that you can have a civilized discussion with – even on a controversial topic. Buying a frozen pizza at the gas station, while swearing over the fact that I live in a country with such strict laws on when supermarkets are allowed to be open – because I would’ve bought something healthier in a supermarket if I could, blaming myself for not shopping Friday when I had the chance, chatting with a long-time online friend on msn and agreeing to maybe meet him and his girlfriend this coming May, maybe making a new online friend. Surfing around randomly on the internet, drinking licorice tea, sweeping the floor, listening to music. Not much.
…bathing the dogs seems so anti-climatic compared to the others…
Not that I have any desire to delete what I posted, as what I said is true, but is there a reason that you’ve disabled the ability to delete one’s comments?
My Sunday is faaaabulous! I’m about to get myself together and go to the annual Woody Guthrie Tribute at the Blue Door in OKC.
There. 1,350 words written on the third novel. You know you’re in Hard SF when a character explicitly calculates. The new chapter begins:Lutetia, Incomplete Draft 26.0 of 12:45-15:50, 11 Dec 2011, 131 pages, approx. 32,450 words, adds 1,350 word Chapter 26 “Triaxial”
It didn’t take long for an anomaly to be discovered by one of the dissidents. The Little Moon was still bright overhead. If one considers it, to first approximation, to be a triaxial ellipsoid, and calculates the principal axes of inertia, then the longest axis is 121 kilometers, the perpendicular to that is 101 kilometers, and the short axis perpendicular to both of those is a mere 75 kilometers. From 192,201.5 kilometers orbital radius, minus Earth’s mean radius of 6371.0 kilometers, that meant that the Little Moon averaged 185,830.5 kilometers above the ground, or 115,470 miles. The angle subtended by the long axis of 101 kilometers as viewed from 185,830.5 kilometers away was, thinking of a long skinny right triangle with base 101 and hypotenuse 185,830.5, obviously arcsine 101/185,830.5 = 0.00054350607124528788847 radians = 0.031140604 degrees = 1.86843624 arcminutes.
To put this in perspective, the full big Moon viewed from Earth subtends about half a degree, or 30 arc minutes. So, linearly, the Little Moon looked only 1.86843624 / 30 = 0.062281208, or roughly 6.3% as big in diameter as the Big Moon, but was less than 6% as bright as the full big Moon, partly because the triaxial ellipsoid had a smaller average area presented to an observer on the ground than did the close to spherical Big Moon. I could not help myself. Astronaut training, and a handy NotePad to do the trivial calculations. It’s not as if I’d ever be on the Little Moon myself, I figured.
One of the dissidents called in, by spread-spectrum radio, that the Little Moon looked strange. I stepped away from one of the few street lamps, to be in darker shadow, and looked up. Sure enough, the bright dot, not round but like a white hyphen punctuating the black sky, was pulsing brighter than dimmer, and changing color, cycling between blue-white and pink.
I broadcast a call to all the dissidents, except those bodyguards close to me and the CIA man. “There’s evidence of alien electroweak technology overhead. I can’t tell, from one viewpoint, if it’s happening to the Little Moon itself, or if there’s some forcefield or object between us on the ground and Little Moon. What do you think?”
One of the dissidents replied: “If it’s something local, then there’d be nothing on astronomy blogs. I’m checking. Don’t worry, I’m using wi-fi from a bakery I’m outside, but using an anonymizer on my laptop. Okay, nothing posted on any of the amateur Astronomy blogs. Let me check MyFace.”
MyFace was the Earth-138564 equivalent of what was Facebook on Earth-1…
Returned to work from a week off. Had to clean out the gas tanks’ spill buckets because my employees are Slackers. Politely asked a smoker to put out a lit cigarette at my gas station. Took a long walk with my daughter because she is an only child & has cabin fever.
Getting ready for roast beast & a late football game to watch.
“I don’t always eat roast beast, but when I do, I chose Shiner Bock, Stay busy, my friends.”
My best friend just came down from up state but will be leaving soon so we spent most of today chatting away about silly things and watching Escaflowne and eating cookies.
We plan to watch Dragonheart and some other stuff before the day is out.
Oh… And talk more about silly things. You know, books, anime, movies, fantasy, scifi, and what ever other nerdy but wonderful things we can come up with.
It is a highly unproductive Sunday but probably one of the bests.
Somewhat lazy. Woke up and did laundry, then worked at making homemade chocolate turtles for the office Christmas celebrations, which are actually a lot of work. They’re worth it though. Now for dinner and some relaxation time.
Writing a paper on the cultural differences between US and Chinese students method of learning in their respective educational systems for my Cultural Anthropology class, reviewing for a math final on Tuesday, if I have the time I’ll be reading a chapter or two in ‘Mr. Lincoln Goes to War’ by William Marvel and then going to be writing part of my dark fantasy short story I’m working on…oh yes, and I’m listening to Dream Theater at the moment. So, all in all, not a bad Sunday :D
Umm, “”24 Frames Into the Future””, was I sleeping when prior mention pof that title was made? Hints? Clues? Spoilers?
Dana: It’s a collection of my movie columns.
Breakfast, chores and rehearsal in the AM. Had a concert (different group) at 3pm for which we had to leave at 1:15. Concert is over and we are home. I am now letting the dog through the door enough to make up for all the trips she missed while we were gone. Also doing laundry. making sure there is bread for the kids’ lunch tomorrow, and catching up with blog reading. Dinner is catch-as-catch-can from leftovers and the basement freezer.
Laundry, procrastinating on doing the very last homework for my Stats class. Also procrastinating on studying for Tuesday’s final in Stats class. Trying to imagine what it will be like to have finally graduated and not have all my time consumed with avoiding, thinking about, doing or planning work for college classes. After 9 years and at the age of 52, I will have finally achieved a BA in history. Go me.
“Ssssshhhh! Be vewy, vewy quiet. I’m hunting Plagiarists.”
Two long days of grading World Civ and U.S. History since 1877 exams and papers. Two long days of realizing that the rriting is FAR too good to be one of my students, then finding it via Google online. Then entering the final grades to crush the academic aspirations of some of my students and send others on with a blessing and a shove on to their next History class. Hopefully with a bit more knowledge, hopefully with a realization that the Internet knows everything and plagiarists get F’s only because the grading system won’t let me give them G’s.
Then, just before “^0 Minutes” started, I wrote this evening’s Jasmine-scented chapter, as I flipped from a Capitalism Neuroeconomics theme to a Communism in 2020 theme.
Ch. 263: “Handful of Chopsticks” of the novel/trilogy Alzheimer’s War
[draft of 18:20-19:00, Sunday 11 Dec 2011, 5 pages double-spaced; 1,300 words]
On July 1 next year, 2021, a meeting has been scheduled to celebrate the Chinese Communist party’s 100th anniversary. As everybody knows, On 1 July 1921, thirteen representatives of the Chinese Communist Party slipped away from Shanghai in an effort to avoid arrest by the Kuomintang police. They convened their party’s first congress on a boat in Jiaxing’s South Lake.
This is one of the stories that every student in China sees and hears again and again, in school, on state HoloWeb broadcasts, on stage, and in music. Another story tells how, when the young Mao Tse-tung agitated for revolution, he found a vivid way to get his point across to an uneducated audience: He picked up a single chopstick and snapped it in two. Then he picked up a handful of chopsticks: They would not break. Thus he showed that so long as everyone stood side by side, no force could withstand the tide of revolution. By gathering together China’s scattered, indignant chopsticks, Mao finally was able to ascend Tiananmen — the Gate of Heavenly Peace — on 1 October 1949, and announce the establishment of his republic.
South Lake (Nán Hú) is a scenic lake located in the South of Jiaxing City, China, covering an area of 0.54 square kilometers. It is also known as “Mandarin Duck Lake”, due to its shape, and is a frequent destination of tourists and sightseers. Beside the lake are the ruins of the Misty Rain Tower, built in the 10th century. In 1548 AD, during the Ming Dynasty, the local government dredged the waterways and piled up the mud into the center of South Lake, forming an islet. The Misty Rain tower was rebuilt on the islet the next year. In the following years, a group of ancient garden-style architectures emerged around it.
Whether chopsticks are imported from Malaysia, Vietnam, Washington State USA, that they can come singly or in a handful is now an issue in China again. Mao’s successors do the opposite of what he advocated, mobilizing immense resources to keep chopsticks from gathering together. The government knows that angry chopsticks are everywhere, but as long as they stay scattered, it believes it can break them in two, whatever their numbers.
By 2010, “stability maintenance” had become a key term in China. The government would not make public what it spends to maintain stability, but popular estimates go as high as 600 billion yuan as of 2012. As mass protests became more frequent, that figure only increased.
The typical incident, as is usually the case in chaotic dynamics, is triggered by something relatively minor….
Finished one six page research paper, taught a two hour review session, desperately trying to get another 4-8 page paper that must sufficiently deal with the reasons for and result of three separate statistical analyses done before 9AM tomorrow, replaced my truck battery, helped pack up home made candy, (mostly) refrained from panic. This is the most un-lazy Sunday in the history of Sundays.
Finished up 28 hours of lifeguarding. I’m now certified in adult, child, infant CPR/AED/First Aid & Lifeguarding!!!! A totally awesome day here in Big Bend, Ca
We got our little artificial Christmas tree up last night and decorated it today. With all the decorations and other Christmas things about, we totaled 1 Christmas mug and 1 Christmas ornament broken for the day, neither of them very important, which isn’t bad considering the combination of a toddler and a room full of breakable stuff with a very unforgiving ceramic tile floor.
I actually saw Rosie walking around with the mug in her hand and decided to let that play out, since I’d rather have her start to learn that things break with something that means nothing to me than something I care about. She actually did really well while carrying it, but then set it on a shoe rack she subsequently knocked over, whereupon the mug’s handle broke off. We may yet glue it back together. The ornament is wooden and even more fixable.
Both were things that she managed to reach while they were on tables. The ever-expanding reach of a growing child is hard to keep adjusting for…
Well, it started out quite nicely, seeing how the elder girls were off at their grandparent’s house and the baby was still asleep and at this point I’m pretty sure you’d prefer that I omit quite a bit thankyouverymuch…
We also wrapped all the presents, mixed up the chocolate chip cookie batter, wrote up the Chemistry and Physics finals, repaired the heated base for one of the chicken waterers, continued to fight off the Plague of 2011, and (finally) revised the chemistry of this year’s fruitcake to account for the altitude here in Northern Colorado.
What do you mean you “don’t like fruitcake”? I’m not talking about stale gummi bears encased in cardboard here, I mean actual fruit in actual cake. Don’t make me send out a fruitcake just to prove a point. (Cause I’m out of rum and would have to get more before baking another.)
Well, I’m late with this but I’ll give it a go. Early church, then to the radio station for the blind to read the newspaper on air, then home to watch the Saints (barely) beat the Titans, followed by late afternoon coffee with a friend, home to rustle up dinner with local produce virtuously purchased from the farmers market Sat., and finally collapsing on the couch to watch Dexter and Homeland–the two shows I wait for all week. Reasonably productive but not outstanding. If you do this again, I’ll strive for something more impressive but I didn’t know we were going to be tested.
Out to breakfast. The Village Vault was out of fritters, so we had to settle for a maple roll. Followed by some wandering through shops looking at overly-expensive Christmas stuff. Followed finally by a ‘visit to Bethlehem’ at a local church. I admit that while I accepted some ‘dried locusts’ from a vendor, I didn’t actually eat them. (I think they were just dead crickets)
My Sunday was awesome. Coffee and pumpkin bread with the lady, then I wrote from about 11:30am to 5:30pm, which included plotting a couple upcoming chapters and then writing 1000 words. Could have been more productive, sure, but a solid Sunday nonetheless.
5:30 was, of course, Skyrim time.
I went grocery shopping, made chicken soup (first, cook a chicken, then make chicken stock from the bones), did laundry, cleaned house, and rounded things up to put into storage. When I posted this to FB, I was accused by my friends of making them look bad. :)
Skipping over a productive Lazy Monday, here’s my summary of Lazy Tuesday.
10,700 words of fiction written/edited today.
1,000 Ch. 28: “How Strong is Weak?” of LUTETIA;
…700 Ch. 29: “Take a Deep Breath” of LUTETIA
2,650 Ch. 265: “Luo Hun, Naked Marriage” of Alzheimer’s War;
3,400 Ch. 15: “Brutus Killed Me” of I AM HAMLET’S GHOST;
2,950 Ch. 16: “The Mouse Trap” of I AM HAMLET’S GHOST
10,700 words of 3 novels, all serialized on my Facebook Wall.