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Why Can’t You Just Watch the Movie?

There are two kinds of people in the world: the people who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the people who don’t. (**Rimshot**)  Among the many binary categorizations of humans, one that I run into a lot is: people who want to figure out why a story works, and people who don’t.  And these two kinds of people can really get up each other’s nose.  From my perspective, there I am, having a swell discussion about why the film we just saw worked (or didn’t), when someone… Read more Why Can’t You Just Watch the Movie?

Balance, Juggling, Life

This year’s biggest accomplishment may be that I found a job.  A 9-5 gig.  After 14 years away from the “salaried workforce” (it isn’t like I haven’t been working for all those years, just that I was freelancing). There were persuasive economic and personal reasons to do this (and to the person in my social circle who seemed to believe that by taking a job I was somehow either betraying My Art or giving in to The Man–chill.  Really).  And in fact I can confidently say, after four whole days… Read more Balance, Juggling, Life

It Must Follow, as the Night the Day

I had a perfectly splendid time last weekend, making cake for Tachyon Publication’s 16th birthday party (it was a Sweet Sixteen cake.  With a rhinoceros.  In a tiara) and attending the party.  And as a nice add-on, I wound up getting to hang out with writers Nancy Kress, Jack Skillingstead, Pat Murphy, and Ellen Klages, all of whom are really smart people, funny, and know lots of stuff.  At dinner, apropos of something or other, Nancy said despairingly that in her writing classes she often had students who want to… Read more It Must Follow, as the Night the Day

How Story Saves Our Lives*

Once Upon a Time, I worked with a man who did not believe in fiction. He admitted its existence, he just didn’t get it. In every other particular, Justin was a lovely man: charming and funny, sharp as a tack, and very successful. He was visually handicapped but a huge consumer of the written word. But what he liked to read were how-to books, essays, commentaries on real estate law, history–things factual. “Fiction is a lie,” he said. “Why do you want to read things about people who don’t exist?”… Read more How Story Saves Our Lives*

We are the World(con)

I am just back from Renovation, this year’s World Science Fiction Convention.  It was a perfectly excellent six days; I saw people I don’t see often enough; met people I hadn’t known before; got to do improv (at 11pm, when by rights my brain should not have been working–but panic and good improv-mates pulled me through).  I was on two panels, had a kaffeesklatch, and did a reading from The Sleeping Partner.  Also ate a lot of good food, talked about long and deep about writing, publishing, and the state… Read more We are the World(con)

Goodwill, The Story Needs It

There are all sorts of promises a storyteller can make to her audience, but one of the cardinal ones is, I think, “I won’t come between you and the entertainment.”  By which I mean, during a dramatic moment I won’t break the tension with silliness; I won’t ask you to believe six impossible things before you know who the characters are; I won’t present my story as intelligent and undercut it with dumb; I won’t drag you through fascinating-to-me-alone arcana and forget where I was going in telling the tale.… Read more Goodwill, The Story Needs It

Cats and Boyfriends

I have been derelict, for which I apologize.  And I really ought to write a post for SarahTolerance.com first, but I’m mulling something over there, after several posts about Regency sewing (!) and here I can talk about less, um, historical things.  Like cats.  And old boyfriends. I no longer have cats because we’re all allergic to them.  While it was just me, and I was acclimated to my late cat Alexis, this didn’t matter.  Then I got married and had a kid and, sixteen months into the kid’s life,… Read more Cats and Boyfriends