Friday, February 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes Vol. 31

Still hosted by Conversion Diary:

1.     So, Lost City is officially on hold now. I realized the story and characters just weren’t jelling because they lacked any kind of unified theme or purpose apart from cool dinosaurs, so I needed to step back and settle on that. This requires some major story restructuring, and though it won’t be quite as extensive as I thought at first, it will require me to come up with yet another new opening.

2.     All this means I’m effectively between projects again: I have about three or four different novels I could be working on right now other than LCD, but I can’t seem to settle on any of them. They all require either more research or more story or both. I hate being between projects; I feel so frustrated and restless. It’s like when you have a bad cough and you take cough syrup, only it doesn’t stop your throat from scratching, it only stops you from coughing to relieve the scratching, so really it just makes things worse!

(I really, really hate cough syrup).

3.     Speaking of which (books, not coughing), Gods and Monsters the blog has now gone public, since the ‘invite only’ list was causing more problems than it was worth. So, if you want to read any of the fiction I keep talking about, you can hop on over. I recommend starting here, where you can read the still-ongoing Chronicles of Hendricks (which is actually nearing its end, and I have nothing to replace it with!).

4.     I’ve been listening to The Forgotten Man, a new history of the Great Depression. It confirms my great dislike of FDR, which has been growing for some time. It also makes me interested to learn more about Coolidge, whom I’ve been developing an increasing respect for. Partly I think it might be that I relate to the introverted Coolidge much more than the extroverted Roosevelt. A case study comparing the two presidents would be interesting, I think; the gregarious FDR who liked to play games with other people’s lives and the reserved Coolidge who maintained a firm grip on the impact government policies actually have on people. It’s an interesting contrast of expectations – the ‘people person’ forgets real people and the ‘non-people-person’ remembers them – and would make a fascinating study.  

5.     This week I learned that I seriously need to exercise every morning, at least during the week. Otherwise, I barely have the energy to get through the day without going on a rampage (my resignation can’t come soon enough). Exercise gives me a nice influx of good cheer and optimism to help me survive another day of soul-crushing toil. And it means the added bonus that if I do go on my rampage, I’ll be able to make something of it (I have classical tastes, so my idea of a rampage mostly involves kidnapping an attractive lady and climbing a tall building).

6.     I’ve been working on a lot of blog posts, mostly about hammering out my own views on life, the universe, and everything. Mostly it’s been a stripping away of the assumptions I’ve been indoctrinated with for most of the first few decades of life about history, competition, art, and so forth. I might be posting some next week, so stay tuned.

7.      If nothing else I always have the comfort that I’m the kind of man who uses the evolutionary history of sharks as an argument against modernity. This might appear in one of those promised posts, but the short version is that sharks demonstrate the popular notion of ‘progress’ to be false because they show that nature actually works not by experimentation but by maintaining models that work for as long as they work: sharks haven’t changed appreciably in over 400 Million Years.

Vivat Christus Rex!

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