internet blather

First, an apology. In lieu of preparing the latest issue, we've let our manuscripts stack up over at the zine, and so far it looks like our sub rates are up (yea!). I have a lot of reading ahead of me.

I've found some thinking blogs, lately.

Stephen Parrish, who apparently has been lurking for awhile, is waaaay smarter than me and I can always use big doses of that. We're having a good time debating God over there. He's taxing my brain and making me articulate themes that apply to my WIP--so thanks for that. His agent is hawking, er, shopping his book to publishers and it sounds fascinating.

Steve Goble seems to have a fun crew reading and commenting.

Nathan Bransford. Even if you have an agent, he just seems like a damn nice guy and funny, too. He turned down HINTERLAND but had good things to say, and he turned my ms around in less than an hour--I covet that sort of efficiency. That's where they're fussing over the "business" of writing. For the record, I'm damned sick of talking about the business and I want to talk craft. For that, lately I've turned to:

Anne Mini, over at Author!Author!. She's covering some basics right now--stuff I've known for a long time. But it's good to have a reminder, and she's also just darn entertaining. Smart lady.

While we're on the Internet: Ebay has taken strides through software to support their sellers at the expence of the buyers. I don't know what their philospophy is over there, or even where they make their money, but the husband and I had a Great Debate over Commerce vs the Freedom of the Internet last night. Actually, we didn't debate (yeah, damn, no make-up sex)-- we were on the same side in things: Be Free Internet! and commerce be damned. OK, not quite. He's too pro business for that, but he was too polite to argue much. He could talk way more intelligently about this than me, but as far as I understand it: Ebay and Google (and prolly others) are in a race to buy up wee little companies that analyze buyers and users, basically, all of us, so that they can do us the favor of properly applying their marketing strategies. They've been doing it, they just are trying to get better at it. Yea.

The funniest recent example a google ad that came in conjunction with an email I received from my mother in law about my new nephew (Welcome to the world Kolby! Can't wait to meetcha!) . It reads:

Grandkids spoiled?
Order now.Great gift for parents.
Parenting tips from high achievers.

Boy. Those millions of dollars investing in teensy software shops are really paying off, Google.

And then, an email from my brother reads, in part:

E is home for most of the summer, hasn't found a job yet. J and N are playing lots of softball and going to volleyball training during the day. N got a kayak for her birthday and just loves it, I think I'm going to ask for one for my b-day.

And the top ad reads:

Parenting Your Teenager
A practical, proven program for
parents of troubled teenagers.

They figured out the teenager part, but my nieces are so well-adjusted that I try to emulate my brother's parenting skills. Not too many troubled teens in that house, or this one, btw. My kids are 5 and 8, for crissake, and I'm the only one with G-mail out of my whole family, so the other folks aren't seeing these ads.

Still on the Intenet, the folks at Wikipedia are trying to make a search engine based on the same collaborative principles. Not surprisingly, the folks at Forbes are in an uproar. How DARE the people (AKA Ignorant Masses) try something like this without the solid financial backing of Corperate America behind them! Do you want just some guy who's good with code to decide what comes up first when you search, or do you want to find sites through marketing plausibility and special secret statistical searches?

Hmm. Since I'm not even on the map when you google Starbucks, I'll take my chances with the Open Source geeks. However, you throw some sex in there and I'm SEVENTH! Yup. The special secret statistical search works!

As for why I was reading Forbes, don't ask. That is one BORING magazine.

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