November 20th, 2011


In which Darth Vader is not a pussy

Read about why Darth Vader was a capable manager.

The title of this post?  Came from my evil warlord-wizard, Kovid, who prudently waited until the credits rolled on Lord of the Rings  before muttering, "Sauron is a pussy."  The lack of actual thought inside that empty bucket of armor was painfully obvious even across dimensions.

Scary villains are scary, sure.  But capable  villains will make your heroes work  for their win ... and maybe rip out a few hearts or other body parts along the way.

Publishing and Ebooks

my_partner_doug sent me this link for an article about how publishers deal with ebooks.  Badly. 

I don't think there's any excuse for releasing error-riddled ebooks; if you don't know how to format them properly, hire someone who does.  I'd like my books to be generally available in formats that my customers want, and I expect them to be competently presented so they don't make me look sloppy.

I'm not keen on the subscription model, though.  That's not just in one field, it's an increasing trend throughout society.  Television, for instance, used to have free broadcasting and has now mostly gone to paid services.  Result?  We have a TV set that we use only to watch recorded material.  Subscriptions are an ongoing drain on household budgets and they add up fast.  I think that for most purposes it's better to pay once and not have that constant drag.
Fly Free

Poem: "Whose Body Encircles the Multiverse"

This is the freebie poem for the November Crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] lynn_einin. The title riffs off a line from the classic Pagan liturgy "The Charge of the Goddess."

Whose Body Encircles the Multiverse

I live in many worlds at once,
my body an anchor
for my soul's wide-ranging orbits.
This familiar Earth feels the weight of my flesh
and the soft press of my feet in the dust.

Yet I am equally able to slip my skin
and walk shadow-swift through other realms,
where fleet stars race the silver ships
or unicorns nibble clover in hidden glades.
Always I know my path as I walk between worlds,
connecting them all with thoughts of gravity.

I watch, I listen,
I gather stories
like so many seashells
from the black beach of space.

When I return to my body,
the worlds I have traveled
come with me, nestling inside
with the fire of uncounted suns.
Whole universes fold themselves up,
branes closing like dragon wings
to fit the hollow of my inner space.

I breathe in, hold them within me --
breathe out, and tell their tales.
I am not merely Goddess but Bard,
whose body encircles the multiverse.

Poem: "The Inescapable Agony of Being"

This poem comes from the Crowdfunding Creative Jam.  It was inspired by shadows_gallery.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them. The rate is $.50 per line, so $5 will reveal 10 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses.  In this case, I'll go ahead and post the first verse, although there are unsponsored lines in it. 

Sponsors include: shadows_gallery, general fund, janetmiles, kyleri

46 lines, Buy It Now = $20
Amount donated = $18
Verses posted = 5 of 7

Amount remaining to fund fully = $2
Amount needed to fund next verse = $1
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $1

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The Inescapable Agony of Being

It is not the change itself that causes pain:
our bodies are malleable and it's an easy matter
to morph into some other configuration,
making muscle and bone and organ tissue
out of formerly amorphous material.

Yet once we have changed,
we must leave the safe harbor of our ship
and walk among them, strange gibbering apes
that throng across the surface of this 'Earth'
that they call home.

That is what hurts,
the crippling pressure of their expectations
trying to crush the Light out of us --
relentless demands to ignore the Truth
that all souls are One,
all minds hold a piece of What Is,
all land is Holy.

This is the inescapable agony of being
human, even in seeming,
a torment like red-hot walls
pressing against every inch of flesh
and burning the brands of bitter ideas
deep into our essence.

The more we look like them,
the harder it is to remember
that they are all quite insane
and that a life without pain is possible.
The longer we live among them,
the more like them we tend to become --
there have been scouts who lost themselves
in the misery of it and never returned,
gone native or driven to take their own lives
or murdered for a slip of the enlightened tongue.

Sometimes, the apes decorate their tall buildings
with the images of our martyrs,
repeating those wisps of wisdom to each other
even as they continue to torture their world
and their people, actions horribly at odds with words.

Only one thing makes it worthwhile
to endure such agony:
it is the very nature of light to go forth into darkness,
as the Sun sheds its golden rays across each solar system
and the Universe cradles night in starry arms.
For no matter how deeply a seed lies buried,
something within its shell
ever yearns upward toward the Light.