Made a pact with myself to write every day for 30 days and finish a
certain word count by the end of it. Using a technique I found in the
work of psychiatrist Albert Ellis, I've written a check for $500 to the
NRA. If I don't complete the set number of words I will have to mail
the check on March 1st 2005. Since I probably won't even have that much
in checking at the time, I'll also get a $25 overdraft fee, and be in
the hole all month. Talk about incentive. Think of it: even Moses wants
me to fail!
Today's total: 1700 words.
Thoughts of encouragement are always welcome. Stop me before I fund the NRA!
Stay tuned, this could get embarrassing.
Finally, a lucid, practical, and mature comment on file sharing (or stealing -- depending on who you talk to):
"'We have to try as an industry to get ahead of this and give the audience an attractive model before the illegal file-sharer providers meet their needs,' said David F. Poltrack, CBS Television's executive vice president for research and planning."
Honestly, though, who has the time to steal television? Or, more to the point, who has the time to watch the television they've stolen or listen to all that pirated music? As the zen master says: If a ripped DVD is played in the forest and nobody is there to watch it, is it really stolen?
It's an interesting, lively issue, with serious consequences in the arenas of economics, free expression, and personal liberty, yes, I do not doubt. But the more I think about it, and despite that I should be personally invested in it, I can't help thinking how easy contemporary life is for many of us (me especially) that one of our most emotional hot-button passionately-driven debates is over the control and distribution of entertainment (or art -- once again, depending who you talk to.) Not food or shelter or health care. Send somebody's kid to Iraq, well that's troubling, but delete our TIVO'd episode of "the L word" after two weeks and we will take to the barricades. Or, as Tony Soprano and clan would say, "to the mattresses!"
Let the flaming commence ...
Not that Al Jazeera is any voice of reason, but they do represent a point of view, like it or not.
And I wouldn't like hearing that the U.S. were muscling Murdoch over Fox News either. Link: The New York Times > International > Middle East > Under Pressure, Qatar May Sell Jazeera Station.
I recommend the documentary "The Control Room" (see link in column to the right) on the "information wars" in general and Al Jazeera in particular.
Is going on right now, thru Saturday night. Fun to check out, some Kate Wilhelm and Michael Bishop first editions, plus tons of rarities for the Neil Gaiman fan.
I've got a couple bids in myself, I won't say on what, lest you swoop in on me, but there are a lot of bargains.
The Clarion email auction is now closed. Looks like someone swooped in and doubled my bid on Michael Bishop's PKD novel, but my bid on Tim Pratt's "Little Gods" held. Good, I hope they made tons of bucks.
Article: Sports Illustrated.com
A few mentions on the web of my story in From the Borderlands.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the disturbing 'Food Processor' by Michael Canfield, although I am still not sure I understand it ..." Marie D. Jones www.curledup.com/.
"up-against-the-wall bizarreness ..." D. Dyszel Creature Feature Library
"This piece is told in a mood and feel that is fairy-tale strong and thus could be really good at establishing a creepy, take-careful-steps-reader mood. The only thing I can really knock in this is that it doesn't suggest any point. The ending is deus ex machina to the max, and I never get enough real detail to feel, picture, or experience anything that happens in the story. Probably would've made a great and creepily surreal script for Jim Henson's old "Storyteller" television series. This would've been great in that "Young Monsters" collection of some years back."... Ron Horsley Midnighters Content
I saw "Million Dollar Baby" the other night. What a movie. (Clint Eastwood directed and wrote the musical score-- and co-stars w/ Morgan Freeman, Hillary Swank). Some people thought it was depressing. It's not, but it is devastating. It starts out like the most straight-forward boxing movie you could imagine (just a really, really well made one) then it turns off into unexpected territory (some say it merely switched from one formula and genre to another). I thought it was very powerful. I've heard some (to my mind) amazingly simplistic opinions of what this film is alleged to be saying, or advocating. But I don't think it's about that at all. (Can't get specific without spoilers) I think it's about some people who know each other, and start to care about each other. And get things they want, and don't get other things they want, and make their peace with it, or don't. Nothing more, but that's so much more than most stories bother with. The movie's generally garnering praise, but some, like David Edelstein (scroll down past his review of "The Aviator" to find it -- but his "Million Dollar Baby" review contains spoilers) thought every inch of the film is cliche, I thought everything wasemotionally honest. It's not "saying" anything in the sense of a message, it's just people trying to work it out, and making choices and accepting those choices. I simply don't know why someone would rather act superior and snotty about their awareness of cliche, and feel the need to show everyone how smart they are, when it means cutting themselves off from such an extraordinary, moving experience. But one man's truth is another's cliche, I guess. My problem with many reviewers is two-fold. Edelstein is bad, and David Denby of the The New Yorker, and Richard Roeper of across the aisle from Ebert are two of the worst. (Ebert, and the other New Yorker critic, Anthony Lane are excellent however). First the truly incompetent reviewer has no idea what goes into making any piece of art. But there is no reason why he or she should should. But worse is that he seems to have no idea why people even seek out movies, or any work of art , in the first place. I think that's the real crime of shitty movie reviewing.
My Realms of Fantasy story (Feb '05) is reviewed by Joyce Ellen Armond on the Science Fiction Romance website:
"'Peas and Carrots' by Michael Canfield is a piece of magical realism that was a little hard to get into, but boy was I glad I did. It’s a romance set on a metaphysical stage with an invisible audience and the most emotionally engaging hero. Struggling with him to break out of the tyranny of the script and find love pushed all kinds of buttons in my romantic soul. The narrative style spotlights the hero’s wistfulness and courage, and also lends the charm of an enchanted clock-work feel to the story. I’ll certainly remember Michael Canfield for next year’s Sapphires short fiction nominees."
A very cool, if somewhat complicated, site composed of several classic anthologies of Chinese poetry. Chinese characters (ideograms?) along with English and French translations. Click on an individual character to see its etymology. Hours of fun. Wengu --- Chinese Classics.
Here's one of my favorites, perfect for today's weather. From "300 Tang Poems" --
A Suggestion to My Friend Liu
by Bai Juyi
There's a gleam of green in an old bottle,
There's a stir of red in the quiet stove,
There's a feeling of snow in the dusk outside –
What about a cup of wine inside?