Quotes and Stuff

13 September 2002

Well, it was the day of productive phone calls yesterday. The DSL people assured me they'd received the DSL box and they weren't going to charge me $500 for it. The doctor assured me that it would be fine to switch prescriptions because there was a chemically identical formulation that was covered. Then she called to yell at my pharmacist, because there are three chemically identical brands of the same pill, and they switched me off the one she prescribed to another one that wasn't covered by my insurance, rather than to one that was covered. So. All that was good. My grandparents haven't gotten their copies of The Chinese Americans and The Jewish Americans yet, but I had a good conversation with Grandpa while Grandma was at Circle. Stupid post office.

I got a rejection from Stan Schmidt, and it confused me for a moment, because it made not even passing mention to having met at WorldCon, and usually he's kind of chatty in rejection letters. So I glanced at the date. August 20. And it arrived...yesterday. Stupid post office.

I finished the rewrite of "Another Hollywood Miracle" yesterday and sent it back to the large magazine. Even if they don't want it, I think it's a much better story now. I cut the old ending entirely -- sorry, Michelle! But I suppose it could be a sequel story if I got the urge. The story I originally sent them was 1100 words: 900 words of story, 200 words of ending, very little relationship between the two. Now the story is 4400 words, and the old story is simply the introduction, the set-up. And it has, you know, a plot and stuff.

We'll see.

Now that that's done, I'll be getting back to the Not The Moose Book as my fiction focus, which is good. I worked on it earlier in the week, and it made me happy. I think the break to write The World Builders has allowed me to see some of the things that are good about the NTMB already, and some of the opportunities I have to do good things with it. So, all right then. Good stuff there.

It's a day of good quotes. Lileks is talking about his toddler daughter, Gnat, and he says, "They don't miss anything. I had to turn the sound down on the President's speech today, just so I can ensure she'll pronounce 'nuclear' correctly." Whew. (I also love when he writes stuff that makes her little Minnesota accent clear, when Natty's house becomes "Natty's hohs.")

Blunt had a whole entry about peace, and my favorite bit was: "If there is one thing that America does well, it's marketing. I don't understand why we aren't marketing our national ideals, our democracy, and our goodwill to the middle east. Why don't we treat the middle east like they are potential consumers and peace is the product? We are a nation of sales people. Our business is business. So, let's stop this diddling around with high tech weaponry and start building brand loyalty." Indeed.

And my favorite thing so far in Terry Bisson's The Pickup Artist: "He pressed a button on his palm computer, and two men in blue suits pushed a device into the room. It was about the size of a washing machine and it rolled on rubber tires. It was, Mr. Bill explained, a Tort Engine, plugged into every media and information network in the world, and programmed to monitor any and every mention of this gathering, its participants or its discussions, disagreements, goals, agendas, failures, and successes for the next fifty-five years. Any violation, no matter how small, would be met with a flurry of lawsuits certain to cripple and indeed bankrupt any magazine, television show, or publishing company, not to mention individual. The Tort Engine was turned on briefly, so that the group could admire its rows of colored lights and, presumably, feel a thrill of fear. Then it was rolled away, and never seen again." I think Terry Bisson has designed the most American device in the world: the automatic lawsuit machine. Fabulous. With blinking lights, even.

I have a good many things on my list for today, so I'll get those. Have a good Friday.

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