What Was that Quote?

I’m writing a fic (hoping to finish the last 50k draft during NaNo) about a period after a failed grab for political power and civil war, where frightened people are reforming the areas that were thought most dangerous. So I am looking for thoughts for various advocates in the story. They want to keep what works, what is humane and effective, but don’t really have a body of thought or examples to guide them in what to do or how to do it. They’ve gone too many years without thinking about these things and nearly lost all rights after frightened people gave too much away.

I remembered a quote about needing a little revolution in some movie. Digging for the quote in my memory, I thought it was Lenin or some other Russian.

Well google is my friend when it comes to trivia. I was surprised the learn it was a quote from a letter from Jefferson to Madison:

“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government.” ― Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

That wasn’t exactly what I remembered some actor saying, but by this point I thought it was Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October..

Capt. Marko Ramius:
A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing, don’t you think?

That is a slight restatement of the same insight of Jefferson. Healthy as a thunderstorm is not a common metaphor, but storm winds do clear out dangerous fogs, bringing in fresh rain and new ideas. So the change serves the concept, even if it is a little ambivalent with it spoken by a Soviet defector.

Looking back in my story’s world, it’s easier to spot problems in the story’s setting, just like real life. But how can a republic be structured to balance effectiveness and freedom? Those in my fic are quite serious about keeping the good parts of the system, and hammering out important change is so much harder than ripping it all down. But ripping it all down whole hog can make for a far worse system, just ask those under Emperor Palpatine.

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The Forests of Yen-dor…

The Forests of Yen-dor

Johm Williams conducts surprise concert at Star Wars Celebration 2017 https://youtu.be/ntRYS1OJj1Y

All the arms rising up like trunks to get and record a better view of the concert, made me think of ALL those trees on Endor. I admit I’m a Williams’ junkie streaming music from Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Potter while I do other things. Now I wish I could still do cons…

Telephonic Spam

[ring]
“Hello?”
“We’re a green company that…”

Oh, is that your ace card to get me to stay on the line for your spam call? You don’t want to rely on the reputation of your product or company to make this worth my time? You think the magic word ‘green‘ will turn off my brain and open my wallet? Does ‘green’ really mean anything significant, or do you just recycle your office cans? How does this magic word make your middleman charity be more effective or make the knee brace help my mother walk better? Are you really generating electricity from wind turbines, or buying from coal facilities and still charging the higher clean rate? What makes you think my insurance that you’re sure you can charge, hasn’t already offered the same service? Just tell me what you’re selling up front and stop wasting everybody’s time. [click]

It’s not like these telemarketing solicitations give the name of their product or a specific company. I mean if it was a call from my favorite book store telling me that the new Bujold cook came in, I would be glad to hear that spiel. (That would be an impressive trick as my favorite bookstore went belly-up a few years ago) Marketers don’t want to identify the seller or product or leave their script even when asked. They will say anything to keep you, and they’ve burnt us several times.

Really, the arrogance of these to think I want to hang around listening to them babble a script or recording when I have important nails to file, puppies to entertain, and books to read.

Reflections on Editing

Wit

“Since brevity is the soul of wit / And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief…” Polonius, Shakespeare

I read a number of blogs, some professional, some philosophical, and some web strips. For some, the regular commentators have very good things to say. Others get muddled and run on and on circling but never getting to the point. (We’ll leave the nutty out. And wise-ass usually keep it brief) But I find that few opinion essays longer than maybe three paragraphs need to have compelling writing and direction to keep my attention.

That means I try to write the kinds of things I would want to read.

I started out reading and admiring Robert Heinlein, who said he wrote his first draft and recommended cutting away 20%. It took me months of my fanfic time to realize that wasn’t a good rule of thumb for me. My tendency under that rule was to be so concise that I only hinted at things. I didn’t want to over explain things as that insults the reader. I didn’t explain enough. Oh, my sentences and grammar were okay, but I left out too many descriptions too often. I don’t want my mystery or problem’s solution to be obvious, but the clues must be present. I want to play fair. So, to prevent saying too much, I said too little.

I still struggle with that in my fiction, but instead of cutting 20%, I usually add about 30% for descriptions, feelings, and showing things explicitly. In essays or comments, I try not to ramble. The old showbiz adage to always leave them wanting more applies outside showbiz too. You can’t convince anyone if you bore them.

Twice in One Month!

Success! I managed to catch up with one of my major writing goals for last month, I finished my fourth collection. I’m really glad because this collection includes my gothic mystery. The movie Alien combined SF and a gothic Cthulhu menace, but less helpless and free of agency.

Now that it’s October, I need to kick into high gear to prep for NaNo. I want to have a cushion if finished stories, so I can still publish collections for both October and November. My ideas for my NaNo book this year feel to insubstantial to sustain 50k words. Also, I’m starting to regret that I have an unfinished fanfic and readers who deserve an ending after my dawdling…

We’re not even going to think about holiday prep for a week.


SF/F short story collection cover

Necklace of Citrine collection

Any hard won victory can still be lost. Any future denied if foresight is flawed.

 

On a tiny research station, a poor orphan gets a place as apprentice, but when she arrives she learns that her mentor supposedly committed suicide from space madness. Which secrets are worth a life? In another tale, powerful senator in a cruel empire plans against his brother, who may be his nemesis and death.

Wanting and hard work may not be enough when there are dangerous secrets in these tales of empty wastes and poisonous double dealing.


 

Earlier collections:

SF/F short story collection cover

Necklace of Lapis collection

Necklace of Amber short story collection

Necklace of Amber

Necklace of Garnet short story collection

Necklace of Garnet

It’s Been Quiet Because…

I’ve been working on finishing my third collection of short fiction. I’m proud of this one, as it includes some tales I’m particularly fond of. One has been kicking around in revision all year.  This time I’ve included more fantasy that is a little darker, and my next collection will have more SF.


SF/F short story collection cover

Necklace of Lapis collection

Edge of Change and Ruin

Sometimes the world turns a little darker than before, leaving a hunter chasing dread hounds through the night, through blood and death and places never seen. A young woman discovers that some tyrants are more benevolent than others that provide pretty ribbons. A dark fey flees the slaughter of her family, but she lacks the magical power of her people for her vengeance.

In these tales, lofty plans do not always lead to wealth and world power, they may only lead to ruin.

 

 

 


Earlier collections:

Necklace of Amber short story collection

Necklace of Amber

Necklace of Garnet short story collection

Necklace of Garnet