Tag Archives: podcasts

NaNoWriMo Update, Day 15: 26,755 Words.

I hit the 25,000-word halfway point for Breezeway Blows Town today.  I hit the 25K mark, rolled right over it, and kept going for another full day’s worth of words.  I’m going to need that cushion this week; things are going to be busy at work.

My total word count for the weekend was 5,300.  I made up my deficit and got just a little ahead on Saturday, calling it quits for the evening at 23,733.  Today I wrote just over 3000 words, my highest single-day word count for the month, and probably my highest fiction word count for 2009.

I am definitely starting to feel the lack of physical activity.  Between my lunchtime writing and staying up too late writing to have the energy to get up in time for a pre-work run, I haven’t been exercising nearly as much as I’m used to, or as I’d like.  I’ve been going with the kids to taekwondo on Saturday mornings, and this week I managed one short morning run on Wednesday and a slow 5.64 mile run — ok, jog — this morning, but that just isn’t enough.  A few weeks ago a bought a couple different decks of FitDeck cards, and brought the set for bodyweight exercises down into the study. Each card has a different exercise you can do, pretty much on the floor wherever you are, for about a minute without any equipment.  I flipped over a new card every 500-1000 words and did whatever exercise turned up (except for any that required more room than I have available in the study). It kept me a little sharper and got me up from the keyboard and moving. It seems silly to even comment about 3-4 minutes of extra exercise each day, but during NaNoWriMo, with all of the extra time spent in front of the computer, I think it makes a difference.  At least, I’m pretending it does.

I also abandoned the Siren to the kids — both of them cranky and not feeling so hot — more than I should have.  She’s been incredibly supportive the last two weeks, and probably deserved better than for me to spend most of the afternoon in the study with the door closed and noise cancelling headphones on.  I should bring her some chocolate.

But before I do, here’s the word count widget showing my kickass word count:

Breezeway Blows Town, Day 15:

26755 / 50000 words. 54% done!

NaNoWriMo inspiration: I’ve been listening to a lot of Dead Robots’ Society lately, catching up on back episodes.  DRS is a podcast by three (usually) writers who are farther along than I am — they’ve each completed multiple novels, at least one has podcast it, they’ve had short stories published — but have not been published commercially yet.  They’re an interesting group, and while I haven’t been interested in every episode I’ve started, I finish far more of them than I drop.  I don’t know if any of the hosts are specifically doing NaNoWriMo, but they talk about the same issues all of us WriMos struggle with every day in November (and hopefully most of the rest of the year).  They don’t always make it, but these guys are shooting to accomplish something approaching NaNo every month.  Well worth a listen.

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Podcasts I’ve Been Listening To, #2 of an Occasional Series.

I’ve been talking about myself almost exclusively for a while now, and I think it’s time to talk about something else, so that I can come back in the next post and make it all about ME ME ME again, and you’ll think it’s fresh and new.  But what could be as fascinating as my creeping word-count and unchanging Sunday long runs?

It’s been a while since I last posted about the podcasts I’ve been listening to.  Last time, I posted about some good podcast fiction; this time, I thought I’d talk about the non-fiction podcasts that regularly show up on my iPhone.

I’m not much for video podcasts, because I usually listen to podcasts during interstitial time, like walking to the train station or driving alone from point A to point B.  Those are not good times to watch videos.  When I’m not in motion, I’d generally rather do something other than watch videos on my laptop (if I had time for video podcasts, I could watch TV, too).  But there are a couple that I’ll make an exception for, because they’re short and generally pretty interesting.

Author, podcaster, and former pro wrestler Matt Wallace has put out 10 episodes of his “Kill the Feed” video blog message to the nation, the world, and the legion so far; he seems to be on a brief hiatus, but I’d lay good odds he’ll be back soon.  He starts with a healthy rant about something that’s gotten under his skin, then talks about his writing, generally all in less than 10 minutes.  His short fiction has been podcast all over the net, and his short story collection, The Next Fix, is available for the Kindle.  I read The Next Fix a little while ago, and if you like your fiction dark and bloody, you need to check it out.

Podcasting pioneer, novelist, and geek fu master Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing podcast is a regular source of inspiration.  Lately, she’s taken to adding short videos to her ISBW feed, which are a nice addition to the regular format.  They’re short and funny, and supplement — rather than replace — the usual ISBW audio episodes.  (FYI – if you’re a fan of Mur’s Heaven series, she started podcasting the final chapter, War, just last week in her main feed.  The first episode is very promising.)

Back in the realm of audio, I recently came across Tee Morris‘s The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy, which seems to be on a bit of a break.  The most recent episode is from Jan. 2009, but was a terrific interview with Scott Sigler about how he wrote Contagious in five months at the same time that he was going through a couple of personal tragedies.  I’m looking forward to catching up on the older episodes.

Author J.C. Hutchins has his first novel in print coming out tomorrow — Personal Effects:  Dark Arts (and yes, I preordered my copy and will be eagerly awaiting my little box of horrors from Amazon) — and has two separate podcasts promoting it.  In Hey Everybody!, Hutch updates us about how his promotion efforts are going and what else is going on in the world of Hutch, and usually has an interesting interview with another author or artist.  He’s also podcasting Personal Effects:  Sword of Blood, a novella that’s a prequel to PE:DA, which is, let me tell you, pretty damn suspenseful.

Dan Carlin puts out the fantastic Hardcore History podcast every month or so, giving us an in-depth essay (usually 45 minutes to an hour) on a wide variety of people and events.  I recently came across his bi-weekly Common Sense podcast, on politics and current events.  Show 151, about the decline of print media, I thought was particularly insightful compared to most of the discussion of the issue on the net (or in the dead-tree press, for that matter).  Unfortunately, I often find myself agreeing with Dan, which makes it hard for me to say convincingly that the podcast is interesting and entertaining whether you agree with him or not, but it is, or at least it should be.  He’s a bright, well-informed guy, and I hope his audience continues to grow.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight.  I hope you find some of these podcasts interesting.  I’ll probably do this again in another month or so, when I get bored talking about myself again.

Podcasts on the iPhone, #1 of an Occasional Series.

I dropped the On the iPod section of my weekly Sunday Stats post a couple of weeks ago, because it didn’t fit with the format anymore; it started out as just whatever I happened to listen to on my Sunday long run, and turned into a list of everything I’d listened to in the past week, with links to individual episodes.  Also, the links were a real pain in the ass to do on a Sunday at the end of a post that might already have taken me a couple of hours to write.

But I like promoting the podcasts I listen to — I hardly ever listen to live commercial radio, and I want to spread the word about all of the good stuff that’s out there.  Also, it makes me feel like one of the cool kids in the social media space, or at least one of the kids who occasionally gets to hang with the cool kids.  So I’m going to do a separate post from time to time, linking to whatever I’ve been listening to lately.  It might not be every week, and it might not include everything I listen to (some weeks I listen to a lot of podcasts), but I’ll do my best.  If you’re not interested in podcasts, just skip it and I promise in my next post I’ll complain about not having enough time to run, write, spend with my wife & kids, or get my work done.

This week, I’m going to focus on the podcast fiction I’ve been listening to lately.  Next time, I’ll do the non-fiction podcasts I’ve gotten into recently, and I’ve picked up some good ones.

Serving Worlds:

I can’t remember exactly how John Mierau and I ended up following each other on Twitter — perhaps through the Absolute Write group — but after he made a crack about lawyers I checked out his podcast Serving Worlds. (Note: making unpleasant generalizations about my profession is not normally a good way to get me to listen to your podcast.  Yes, many lawyers are assholes.  I am often one of them.)  In Serving Worlds, John reads his own short stories.  I’ve listened to one story (three episodes) all the way through, and I’m three episodes in to another.  His stuff is good.  Check him out.  The first episodes of the stories I’ve heard so far are:

Serving Worlds, Episode #4:  “Marked Men,” Episode 1.

Serving Worlds, Episode #7:  “Harlan’s Wake,” Episode 1.

StarShip Sofa:

I am probably the last podcast listener interested in science fiction to subscribe to StarShip Sofa, so I’m sure you already know all about it.  I’ve only just started listening, but it has more of a “magazine” feel than Escape Pod does, with a combination of some or all of editorial, reviews, poetry, and fiction in each episode of its Aural Delights.  If you don’t already subscribe to Aural Delights and want to give it a try, I enjoyed this episode just today:

Aural Delights No. 79 (lead story, “Standing Room Only,” by Karen Joy Fowler).

Escape Pod:

Speaking of Escape Pod, it seems to be back on track, with founder and Escape Artist in Chief Steve Eley having delegated some of the responsibility for getting the show out to new managing editor Jeremiah Tolbert.  Escape Pod is working through what must have been a truly epic backlog of flash fiction — they pushed out a lot of it in January, and have sent more out on the feed in the last couple of weeks, which reminds me that I have a flash piece I’ve been meaning to submit.  EP is also in the process of publishing all of the Hugo nominees for short story.  I recently listened to, and enjoyed:

Escape Pod #194:  Hugo nominee “Exhalation,” by Ted Chiang.

Escape Pod #195:  Hugo nominee “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss,” by Kij Johnson.

Escape Pod Flash:  Grandpa? by Edward M. Lerner.

Escape Pod Flash:  “Chump Change,” by Pete Butler.

That’s all I have for tonight.  Now I need to go make sure my tux is clean; Junior’s school’s benefit is Saturday night.

Spring Sunday Stats #1: Cooler By The Lake.

I took a couple of mental health days this weekend and got very little done for work, and even left the Blackberry off (mostly).  I’ll pay for it this week, because things are still crazy at work, but it was worth it.

I’m wiped out from the weekend — lots of time outside, playing with the kids — so let’s go straight to the stats.

On Writing: I did more on the revision of Meet the Larssons on Friday on the train, and then in a solid 90-minute block on Saturday afternoon. I’m continuing the manuscript slog to a point; where a scene is still usable, I’ll mark it up as I go, but I’m not writing new scenes at this point, just making notes and moving on.  The goal is to get through the rest of the manuscript so that I can see what is salvageable, what needs to be moved, and what needs to be written from scratch.

Tonight I’ve started looking for a new place to submit “Jimmies.”  I want to have some idea where I’m sending it next before I start revising it based on the last rejection.

Also, on Saturday I tried Write or Die for the first time, and had a wonderful time.  As the sidebar widget says, I wrote 305 words in 10 minutes, and only had to listen to the horrible penalty sound one time for pausing (and that was a deliberate test).  Highly recommended.

On Running: A beautiful, sunny day for a run. I did 10 miles in a leisurely 90 minutes, my first outdoor 10-miler in God knows how long, in shorts and a sleeveless top, no less.  The temperature dropped 10-15 degrees as I approached the lakefront, though, and by the time I got to Lake Shore Drive I was glad to turn around.

On the iPod: During my run today, I listened to an Episode 27 of XFM’s series “Writers on Writing,” an interview with Amy Tan.  It was interesting enough, I guess, but was almost entirely a discussion of Tan’s childhood and how it related to the characters in The Joy Luck Club.  The show itself seems to be misnamed, however, since there was no discussion at all about writing.  This was the first episode I’ve tried; I also downloaded Episode 7, with cyberpunk author William Gibson, and will listen to that next to give it another shot.  Also on the iPod this week:  Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Show 25 (The Dyer Outlook); NPR Planet Money # 20 (Not So Toxic?); I Should Be Writing #113 (Paul Malmont and Brett Savory interviews); Escape Pod #191 (“This Is How It Feels,” by Ian Creasey); and Phedippidations #178 (All in Stride).  So there you have it: I get longer runs, you get more links to podcasty goodness.

Winter Sunday Stats #10: Things Are Looking Up.

As I often do, I’m starting this Sunday Stats post on Sunday morning, and I’ll fill it in during the day as I get things done (or not done).  What’s unusual is that I’m starting this in bed at 7am, because I woke up at 6:30, still full from the night before.

Attentive readers may remember from post #200 a month ago that the Green-Eyed Siren and I have not been out to dinner, just the two of us, in a long time.  Thanks in no small part to your many suggestions in the comments, we went out last night and had a terrific time.  We found a French restaurant we’d never been to in a neighborhood where we used to hang out (back in the last millennium).  There was a wait for a table, but they took my cell number and we walked over to a nearby bookstore/wine bar and spent a happy hour talking, drinking, and picking out books.  Funny but true: without knowing it until we got there, we walked into the store intending to look for the same book, Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair.  The Siren had seen an extended review of it on Necromancy Never Pays, and I had heard about it during the last meeting of the novelists’ support discussion group.  By itself the hour at the bookstore would have been the best night out we’d had in a while, but we were very glad to go to dinner.  The food was great, the company and conversation was better.  And it was nice to see that all of the restaurants in the area were crowded — maybe the economy isn’t in total collapse yet.

We figured out that the last time we could remember going out to dinner alone was the night before Mother’s Day, 2006.  It’s possible that there was one time after that, but we couldn’t place it.  Certainly not in 2008 (let alone 2009).

So we’ve promised each to do it again much sooner, but the deal is that first we have to read the books we bought last night.  I suspect we’ll be doing a lot of fast reading in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks again to those of you who suggested “research” for the dinner date scene in Meet the Larssons.  I still think having the date canceled was the right thing for the story, but at least I could write it now if I needed to.  It would be better, however, to have more data.  One night out is a pretty small sample…

On Writing:  Putting aside mouthing off to the Siren about Project Hometown last night at dinner to keep her laughing (although I didn’t think the mugging scene was that funny, may need to rethink it), I didn’t get much done this week.  It may have been a short week, but it was a busy one at The Firm.  I finished a chapter in the manuscript slog through Meet the Larssons, and I’ve outlined the first six scenes of Project Hometown.  As Randy Ingermanson describes it in Step 8 of the Snowflake Method, the scene by scene outline is best done in a spreadsheet, which is how I’m doing it.  Randy recommends just two columns:  one to identify the point-of-view character, and one to describe the action.  I have columns for POV character, the characters involved in the scene, the location, the time, a description of the action, and finally, any interesting character development or reveals.  Of the six scenes I’ve outlined so far, two are not described at all in the five page outline I drafted at the beginning of January.  That will happen more as I get deeper into the outline, but it was a fun surprise to see things I hadn’t thought about before come out so early on.  I haven’t gotten any work on either novel done today (just this nearly 1200 word blog post, which should probably tell me something), but I may be able to work on one or the other this evening, if I can stay awake.

On Running:  A not-very-long long run today, just a little over five miles in 42 minutes (8:18m/m pace) on the treadmill at home, due to a late start.  In 5 weeks, I need to knock nearly 7 minutes off that distance for the Shamrock Shuffle (time last year around 35:50).  I think I can do that, but I’ll have to start speed work this week.  I haven’t been able to get to the gym at all — I really need to get a little weightlifting in every week if I’m going to keep my weight down — but I managed a couple of good weekday runs despite not nearly enough sleep, both on the treadmill.  We did make it to Taekwondo yesterday, and Unfocused Girl broke a board with an elbow strike on her first try.  Junior wasn’t able to break his, but he’s still little and hasn’t been practicing that long.  He’s motivated now, though.

On the iPod:  For the treadmill runs, I’ve been watching Battlestar Galactica (Season 2 – I’m way behind, so please don’t post any spoilers!) on my laptop.  The Siren bought something called a SurfShelf, which fits over the treadmill control panel and lets you secure your laptop with a good view of the screen and easy access to the keyboard.  Obviously I’m not going to type while I run, but it’s great for watching videos (and occasionally reading blog comments) as the miles go by.

In other news, I twisted my own arm hard enough that I finally cracked and bought an iPhone.  Yes, I love it.  I will probably by a Shuffle for running, but the phone has allowed me to start listening to podcasts again while I walk to and from the train, or while I’m driving.  This week, I started to catch up, and listened to:  I Should Be Writing, Special Episode #42 (James Patrick Kelly interviews Kim Stanley Robinson) — I didn’t finish this episode, because I was listening in the car and the sound quality wasn’t quite strong enough to overcome the engine noise (Kelly’s questions were fine, but I kept missing Robinson’s answers) so I’ll have to finish it today; Grammar Girl #156 (What Is the Plural of Scissors?) and #157 (When to Use a Comma with “Too”); Writing Excuses, Season 2, Episode 18 (World Building Governments) and Episode 19 (Do Creative Writing Classes Help?); and various episodes of NPR’s Planet Money.  Auria Cortes from the blog Murder She Wrote recommended the Writers on Writing podcast.  Intending to give it a try, I looked on iTunes, found a podcast called “Writers on Writing,” and downloaded a couple of episodes (interviews of Amy Tan and William Gibson).  I’ll let you know how I like them, but the iTunes feed for this XM Radio-produced podcast only goes up to Oct. 30, 2008.  AC’s recommendation didn’t sound like she was talking about a discontinued podcast, so I checked the interwebs and found another podcast called “Writers on Writing,” which looks like it comes out three times a week and has for a while.  On iTunes, though, it’s called “Pen on Fire,” probably because of the other podcast.  So there you have it, two writerific podcasts for the price of one.  I’ll listen to them both and let you know what I think.

Winter Sunday Stats #9: Back to Real Life from AWP09.

DATELINE:  Sunday, February 15, 2008.  I started this post on Sunday but didn’t finish it until Monday.  I am too lazy to go back and correct all of the “yesterdays” and so on, so please read it as if I posted it on Sunday.

I spent so much of the last twee days tweeting on Twitter (tworry, it twounds twike I twave a tweech imtweadement) that sitting down to write a longish blog post seems like an impossible task.  Like writing a novel.  And like writing a novel, the only way to finish is to start (I’m feeling profound tonight).  Let’s get to the stats.

On Writing: This week, I did all the things that writers do that aren’t writing.  I talked about writing.  I listened to other people talk about writing.  I talked about talking about writing.  I even made some notes about ideas I had for my writing.  I did not, however, do any writing, except for 171 words of flash fiction for a contest held during the Association of Writers and Writing Programs 2009 Conference, which I attended.  I didn’t win the contest (I told the story of a successful bank robbery from the point of view of the robber in the form of a series of Twitter tweets; can’t imagine why I didn’t win).

AWP 2009 was a very interesting experience.  Because it isn’t just a conference for writers but also for people who teach writing, there were a lot of academics, and a lot of the panels were directed towards teachers instead of writers.  If the conference hadn’t been here in town, I might not have gone.

I’m glad I did, though.  First, I was able to hang out with a couple of friends who I haven’t seen since the early 1990s — one a successful author, and the other with her first book coming out soon.  I’ll post a link when it comes out.  I got to know some of the people in my novelists’ discussion group a little better, which was nice; they’re a fun group.  I even managed to overcome my usual shyness and reticence and talk to a few new people at one of the receptions and at the book fair.

I got into a couple of conversations with literary criticism PhDs that I frankly didn’t understand — I wouldn’t be concerned about that, but one of the conversations involved some kind of deconstruction of The Simpsons, and I still didn’t get it.  So I walked away and drank with a trio of writers who teach at a community college in Minneapolis — they were a lot more accessible.  One of them looked just like Cory Doctorow.  In any case, everyone was friendly.

The panels on writing were interesting overall.  About 2/3 of the panels were either about teaching writing or literary criticism, and another significant chunk were readings by or tributes to authors I had never heard of, which made it pretty easy to choose what to attend.  On Thursday and Friday, I went to interesting discussions about writing first novels, writing about Chicago neighborhoods, mining your experiences for fiction material, writing historical fiction.  Two of the panels I wanted to attend (publishing your first book and writing flash fiction) were so popular people were sitting in the hallway hoping to hear some precious, precious wisdom through the open doors.  In each case, I decided I wasn’t that desperate for advice and got more coffee or hunted around the exhibitor tables looking for candy (there was a lot of candy).  I was sorry I skipped the panel on “Shameless Self-Promotion” — mostly intended to discuss internet and social media strategies — if only for the Q&A period, in which (I am told) every single “questioner” got up and spouted his or her elevator pitch before asking an obviously irrelevant question.  Everyone I spoke with who attended thought this was hugely annoying, but who did they expect would attend a panel on shameless self-promotion other than shameless self-promoters?

Friday night I mooched free drinks at the University of Utah reception and went to the “Literary Rock & Roll” readings by Z.Z. Packer, Joe Meno, and Dorothy Allison.  I am embarrassed to admit that I’d never heard of any of them, because I am ridiculously under-read.  Allison, author of Bastard Out of South Carolina, was up last, clearly the headliner.  She read a short story called “Frog Fucking.”  I’m not going to describe the story — assuming I even could — except to say that I don’t know that I will ever look at baby carrots the same way again.  It isn’t about intercourse with amphibians.  She said up front that she liked the name of the event because she always wanted to be Janis Joplin, and she read like I imagine Janis would, in a throaty growl with a heavy southern twang.  I wanted to bring her a bottle of Jim Beam.  Packer and Meno were great, too.

Saturday was the best of the three.  I started off with a panel called “Truth or Consequences in Nonrealist Fiction,” which included multiple references to Swedish vampire movie Let the Right One In, which has already been recommended to me, as well as an extended discussion of the writing of Samuel R. Delaney.  I bushwacked my way through The Einstein Intersection when I was 13, hated it, and have avoided his books ever since; I may give them another try.

Next up, I fought my way into an overcrowded panel on “Reading to Write:  Top Ten Ways to Read Like a Writer.”  I have no idea what this panel was about, because I stopped paying attention when one of the panelists told us to read the last page first.

After lunch and wandering the book fair, looking for free copies of literary journals, I went to “Writing in the Windy City:  Local Writers Reflect on Making It in Chicago.”  The panel included the director of StoryStudio Chicago, where I go for my novelists’ support discussion group.  It was an interesting discussion — I especially enjoyed the professor from an MFA program at an art school railing on MFA programs attached to English departments.  Toward the end, during the Q&A, there was a discussion about making room for your creative work; I’m not sure exactly what prompted the comment, but a woman near the back raised her hand, stood up, and said something like, “I was a visual artist, had an idea for a book, wrote the novel.  Four million copies sold worldwide.  Do whatever you want.”  Then she sat down.  Later, someone told me that she was Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife.  So there you go.

Next was “The Steady Gaze:  Writing Frankly about Sex and Sexuality in Fiction.”  During the Friday night readings, Joe Meno read immediately before Dorothy Allison’s “Frog Fucking.”  There was a sex scene in his story, and it went something like this:  “She took off her yellow tights, and then we did it.  Afterwards…”  My immediate reaction was that I would write a sex scene in pretty much the same way, so I went to “The Steady Gaze” to push my writerly boundaries.

Not to listen to people read pr0n for 75 minutes.

Well, mostly not.  You will be shocked to learn that the panel, held in a large ballroom, was full.  It was interesting, and stretched my boundaries a little, but I suspect that I will still write sex scenes more like Joe Meno than Dorothy Allison.

After that, where else could I go but “Then She Lit a Cigarette:  Strategies for Rethinking the Fictional Gesture”?  The point of this was that writers have characters light cigarettes when the author can’t think of anything else, and this type of stage business doesn’t advance the story or tell the reader anything interesting about the character.  The take-away:  When you describe gestures, you should make them count.  Richard Bausch was one of the panelists — his readings were terrific, I’m ordering one of his books today — but his off the cuff comments were absolutely hysterical.

That was the end of the conference for me.  I do want to mention two interesting conversations I had Friday night, that may help me rethink some of my writing.  When I was talking to the writing teachers from Minnesota, I described “Jimmies” to them.  One of the Minnesotans said it sounded like what I was writing was “slipstream,” or “the new fabulism.”  Since these categories are at the boundary of literary and genre fiction, it’s possible that I should try submitting to some of the literary journals that are interested in slipstream instead of the science fiction and fantasy outlets I’ve tried so far.

Later that night, I had dinner with that college friend with her first book coming out soon (well, I had dinner — it was 10:30, she’d eaten hours earlier and was just keeping me company).  I described Project Hometown, the novel I’ve been outlining off and on the last couple of months, and she suggested that it sounded like a young adult novel.  I thought there was too much adult material in it for it to be YA, and she said that really anything can be addressed in YA these days.  Since she’s a YA writer herself, I took that comment seriously, but also with a grain of salt, until I went to the panel on writing sex scenes and heard one of the authors on the panel read the sex scene from his successful YA novel.  So maybe it will be YA; it’s something I have to consider, at least.

On Running: I had one run on the treadmill on Tuesday, and that’s it.  Too busy getting out in the mornings during the conference, and Junior (who spent much of the week with a noxious stomach virus) stayed home from church on Sunday morning, so instead of going for a run, we made monsters out of cardboard and went to Starbucks.

On the iPod:  I don’t have an iPod anymore.  It’s broken.  *Sob* I need to get a new one.  I have, however, purchased the entire second season of Battlestar Galactica from iTunes to watch on my laptop during my treadmill runs.

That’s all I’ve got.  Feel free to follow me on Twitter, although I probably won’t be as active as I was during AWP.

Winter Sunday Stats #7: Watching the Ads, Having an Argentine Malbec.

… because I’m an effete liberal snob.  Actually, I’ve enjoyed the game a lot more in the last couple of years since we got the HDTV; I do love the Super Bowl ads, though.  I’m very curious to see how they change this year, considering our current high-speed train trip to economic armageddon. If I had to pick a team, I’d root for the Steelers.  First, all of America is Pittsburgh now, given the economy.

Second, I’m not going to cheer for any team that never plays home games in the snow.

On to the stats:

On Writing: Not much accomplished this week, due to massive amounts of work for my day (and night) job.  I got a few pages further on the revisions of Meet the Larssons, up to page 208.  “Jimmies” was rejected not once but twice — one market had it for six weeks, the second for less than 24 hours (love the markets with the fast turnaround) — and is now back out on submission again.  I try not to get too wrapped up in the short story submissions; it’s a cold cruel world out there, and editors of even small webzines receive far more manuscripts than they could ever accept, no matter how good they are.  Still, I’m particularly fond of “Jimmies,” and I think it’s the best short story I’ve written so far.  More than anything else, I feel like it deserves a home.  I suppose I could just post it here, but that will be my last resort.

I also made the mistake of typing out a 1200-word summary of a post-apocolyptic science fiction novel.  I’ve put a lot of effort into outlining Project Hometown, and expect that to be my next novel when I get further on the revisions to MTL, but this other one — I’ll call it Project Werewolf, even though it isn’t about werewolves — looks like fun.  It’s the shiny new object.  Pretty.

On Running: Today it was warm enough to run outside, which was wonderful (even though my winter running gear doesn’t fit quite as well as it did this time last year).  I took it slowly because of the ice that was still on the ground, but still managed 7.12 miles in 64 minutes (8:59 m/m) — not what I’d like to do, not even what I’ve been doing on the treadmill lately, but reasonable for my first run outside in over a month, especially considering the ice, stoplights, etc.  My mileage for last week was just over 20 miles, which is where I want it to be regularly, at least until half-marathon season.  Two of my mid-week runs were in San Diego along the harbor, which beats staring out the window on the treadmill hands down.  All in all, a pretty good running week.

On the iPod: I’m still working my way through Scott Sigler‘s Ancestor — just two episodes left.  I picked up Infected at the bookstore this week, figuring Scott’s given me enough free entertainment.  I haven’t listened to much in the way of other podcasts this week while I’m listening to the audiobook.  I have noticed that I haven’t received a new episode of Escape Pod in my iTunes feed since January 9.  Usually the editor/host, Steve Eley, puts out a new episode every week, and based on the download numbers in his last metacast, EP has the second or third largest circulation of any science fiction magazine (including print).  There’s no information on the website about a hiatus, and several of the pages are disabled, including the forums. Steve took a hiatus last fall, and gave advance notice in the feed.  Since there wasn’t any mention in the last episode and there’s nothing on the site, I assume this wasn’t planned, and I hope he’s all right.

Final Note: Just saw the commercial for the new Star Trek prequel.  My shouted “Yes!” startled the children.