Saturday, January 24, 2009

Off to the publishers

Today was a very productive day. I wrote two long synopses for the books being published this fall and did a little more writing, rewriting and editing before sending the finals off to the publisher today. They are still swamped but the hard part is over -- putting finishing touches on the novels. I still have the editor to work with but I'm anxious to get moving on the next novel. Still can't decide if it will be the post-apocalyptic novel or something altogether different about obsession and control or a time travel novel that will most likely end up as a serial novel. It's a long story and I won't put the details here since the stories are still embryonic at this stage.

Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy writing until I get into it and the hours race by. If I watched the sun while I was in the zone, I'm sure I'd see it rise and speed across the sky just like in the movies, but my nose is too close to the grindstone. I have found that I enjoy making notes and working out plot and character points in longhand. Anyone who gets hold of my journals will be utterly confused. Day to day thoughts veer off into ruminations about books and stories and notes I keep on books I'm reading or wish to read. I go with the flow, letting the current take me where it will, but I'd definitely like to follow up the publication of three novels this year with at least two more novels next year, including the usual short story and anthology publications, especially since the hard part is over and I've broken through with the first publisher.

I told Beanie today that I'm halfway through the beautiful journal she gave me as a Xmas gift and that she should have included a couple of refills. She said I wasn't worth spending that much money on, so I shall have to spend my hard earned money to stock up on refills. I don't know if its writing with a fountain pen (I've gone through three ink cartridges) in the beautiful journal that has spurred this writing marathon or if it's something more akin to being excited about writing again, but I'm definitely not going to look this gift horse in the mouth -- so to speak.

I've also been reading new authors -- new to me, not new young authors. I called Spike's leman the other day to tell her that I was wrong about Harlan Ellison -- his writing, not his poisonous personality (or lack thereof). While I still don't consider him a genius, I am impressed and quite taking with his literary abilities. His stories are wonderful. Good thing I look at reviews that pan books in which I'm interested before buying a book. The reviews about Angry Candy, a collection of short stories, were quite vitriolic in some cases and that sold me. I'm glad I did because I am really enjoying what I've read so far and reluctantly put the book aside to get down to the business of writing. Some of the stories sparked ideas for stories of my own -- not duplicates of his situations. The imagery sparked ideas for completely different stories. That's what is so magical about reading other authors, even the bad ones. I can't help but be inspired.

However, I still have not encountered the whining and venom the reviewers mentioned with regard to this book, but I still have hope I shall. Even if it's not there, I am glad to have dived into the literary currents with Ellison. As I told Spike's leman though, I still don't get why Connie Willis is considered such a good writer. I'm always left feeling like I've sat down to a banquet and been served one small and rather empty hors d'ouevres.

Well, I'm off to read a review book (I got three new ones) before I give up the light and plunge gratefully into Morpheus's arms. I think I'll just do a little research on Atlas and Hercules before I settle down for a long winter's nap.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

In the rockets' red glare...

As Israel prepares for a unilateral cease fire demanded by Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, it occurs to me that the world, in its rush to judgment of Israel, has missed the point of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. It's not about their humane treatment of Palestinians or the way they have conducted themselves by warning civilians of incoming fire, but about war. How many countries in the world would stand by silently without resorting to return fire if another country fired over 6000 rockets at them? It didn't take one rocket on 9/11 for the American people to demand we go to war. It took four planes, one of which failed to reach its target because the passengers decided to take the plane down rather than be turned into a bomb in the midst of another American city.

How can the United Nations and the other countries in this world, including the United States, stand by and demand unilateral surrender when Israel is the injured party? How many of the heads of these countries would tolerate even one child's death or one town's destruction, let along the systematic destruction and death of hundreds over the course of eight years?

The Arab countries that oppose Israel and call "foul" because Israel is fighting back claim that Israel is perpetrating another Holocaust, even though those same countries have publicly stated there was no Holocaust. Little by little, Israel has given up more and more of its land to satisfy the Arabs and the Palestinians in a bid for peace, but there is no peace for Israel and there will be none until the world renounces its hatred of the Jews and gives the Palestinians what they should have had in the first place -- a home in the vast stretches of Arabian lands away from Israel.

Israel is a small country, about the size of Connecticut, and it has been partitioned again and again, pulling back farther and farther from desert lands it turned into a paradise of modernity that bloomed, only to hand over more and more of their territory to the Palestinians to watch it die and turn back into desert. Infrastructure is destroyed and there is no prosperity. It's like building a palace and having to turn it over to people who trash it and turn it into a pig sty.

In Arab hands before the establishment of the state of Israel, the land was a vast desert. The cities were barely above mud hut villages and there was no infrastructure to speak of. When the Jews were granted the land in the wake of World War II, the land bloomed. Cities rose. Roads were built and maintained. Power, heat and water were always available and the facilities maintained. Hundreds of years of Arab occupation had not brought such prosperity and modernity. In less than a decade, Israel became a garden spot that supported and maintained its people and provided wealth the Israeli people shared open handedly with the world in times of famine and destruction and war.

And now the United Nations and the rest of the world demand that Israel turn its cheek once again and pull back from Gaza without demanding Hamas stop firing rockets into Israeli lands. Wake up, people! This isn't about whether or not Israel is right or wrong; it is about the destruction -- once again -- of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

Ask yourself these questions. Would you tolerate rockets being fired at you for eight years without retaliation? Would you tolerate the death of your children and the destruction of the homes and cities you had built? Would you allow the U.N. or any other country to dictate the terms of your surrender in the face of ongoing attacks? How can you stand by and allow our government, Israel's ally, to continue to turn a blind eye and demand Israel give up more of its small territory?

King Obama

If anything should scare the American people, it's this. Clinton tried it. Eisenhower wanted it and so did Reagan. Clinton's still trying it by using a different tactic, the right of divine inheritance, by trying to get Hillary into the White House. What's next? Chelsea as president after her mother and her children after her?

In Philadelphia when Obama began his triumphal train ride to Washington, D.C., he disappointed hundreds of people who had flown from all over the country to see him. They hadn't paid enough money or knocked on enough doors to get him elected and so they waited in the freezing cold just to catch a glimpse of the back of his head, a hand, anything that they could hold close in memory of the moment when their messiah began his journey to the holy city. I wouldn't be surprised if the people of Washington laid palm fronds in the path of his limousine to welcome him to the feast.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Obama's eligibility to be president under the terms of the Constitution rage on three fronts. One has to wonder why Obama hasn't satisfied his detractors by producing evidence, as did John McCain when his eligibility was challenged. Instead, Obama has blocked discovery of his past at every turn. Could Obama be the reincarnation of Richard Nixon who, to hide the truth, erased several minutes of White House tapes or is he simply hiding the truth for some other reason? It's a simple question requiring a simple answer: Are you eligible under the U.S. Constitution to be president?

That is all. Disperse.