December, 2008

I’m published! Again! I know, crazy, who’d think it could happen twice? I’m also a little behind on giving notice here. I updated my facebook when my piece came out on December 4 and it seemed like enough preening at the time. With Christmas season stuff revving up, I’ve not had time to also update here until now. This week in particular has been insanely busy, with extracurricular stuff every single night so far, and more to come.

At any rate, I’m published in a fabulous market: Escape Pod. A dream market, actually, so I can tick off one on my checklist of places where I wish to see my work appear. You may listen to my flash piece, The Way Before absolutely free of charge, distributed on a creative commons license (because we at “Tempered Thoughts” heart creative commons!). If you’re not familiar with Escape Pod and are interested in Science Fiction audio, allow me to recommend some episodes that are among my favorites:

One thing that posting this so late allows me to do is to note how super pleased I am by one of the comments that a poster wrote on the entry for my piece. John posted he had a sudden realization at the end, and his realization is completely right and I now believe what I’ve heard other writers say, which is that whether someone likes what you write or not, when they GET it you feel so gratified. Dude, you got it, and I feel great about that! Mild spoilers in his comment, if a 300 word flash piece can be spoiled, so listen before you read if you intend to listen.

A word of advice to those of you who are personal friends and family of mine. It is ok (no, better than ok, ideal really) to simply say “Congratulations.” You do not have to pretend to like what I write. You do not have to criticize what I’ve published, and be fair or objective about it. The time for fixing the piece’s flaws is long past, so you might forbear pointing them out, since plenty of people are available for that, and they aren’t people I need support from, as you are. You can elect to simply rejoice in victory with me. I encourage that! For the record, if you say you read it, but don’t say you like it, then it’s quite obvious to me how you felt about it. So instead of carefully avoiding praising my work, if you disapprove of it, simply say “Congratulations on getting published”, ok? I promise not to put you in the uncomfortable position of pressing you on your opinion, or even asking if you heard the story. Thanks!

Last but not least, in honored Scalzi tradition, you may use the comment thread of this entry to point out the cool stuff you or your friends are doing all across the web. Links encouraged! Let me start you off by pointing you to my niece performing “Silent Night”. She can seriously sing. Listen to my story, and her passionate singing, and post cool links, as the spirit moves you.

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So do you remember about eight or nine years ago, when I was obsessed with bhangra music? Oh, right, that was before I had a blog. Some of you have known me for that long, though, and know what I’m talking about. Anyway, for you newcomers, I went through this phase where I was totally obsessed with bhangra. My daughter’s Sanskrit middle name is a gift of that era. I finagled my way into an Indian wedding reception just to hear the stuff and dance. It was awesome. I still love it, even though I’m not obsessed with it the way I used to be.

Now I’m completely obsessed with electrotango instead. I mean, yeah, this makes a little more sense than my earlier bhangra obsession because tango originates in a place I’ve lived and a quick check at my tells you I listen to Thievery Corporation more than anything else except TMBG, and I’ve liked Gotan Project for some time as well. But I didn’t know there was more than Gotan Project. I thought Gotan Project was an outlier, a lone band kind of doing its own thing. Turns out there’s a whole genre there! And I LOVE it.

So in the last month, I’ve been listening to tag radio on A tag radio is a series of tracks that have all been tagged by users with the same tag. It’s a good way to get a solid mood listen, when you need a certain consistency in what you’re listening to. Or when you’re obsessed with a certain sound.

The tag I’ve been listening to is electrotango. I LOVE this stuff with intense singlemindedness. Tanghetto, Bajofondo, Supervielle, Federico Aubele, Bulevard Tango Club, San Telmo Lounge…I could (and do) listen to it all day. I wish I’d known to look for this stuff when I was in Buenos Aires last year.

The electrotango radio was in heavy rotation during the composition of both “Kenosis” and “Mi Buenos Aires Querido” and I believe they are better stories for having that musical backdrop. “Kenosis” in particular has been liked by almost every critiquer who has read it, and that sort of thing never happens to me. By and large, my stories are not well-liked, and never universally. (Some might wonder why, in light of that, I continue to write them, but that would be a question for another day. This is not the writing angst post. This is the electrotango is fantastic post).

The pinnacle of my obsession is “Perfume” by Supervielle. If you have a account you can hear it; it’s one of their free tracks. I love the lyrics, so dramatic and intense. You can rely on “Like water seeks thirst” being a blog title at some point. Listen, do you hear the tango? The sea? It sounds like Buenos Aires, that weird mix of nostalgia and anticipation: the wind and the water and the memories. Say it: “el impulso antiguo y sutil del eco de tu perfume”. Feel it in your mouth. It’s totally lovely and wonderful to say.

Right, I did say I was obsessed?

Ok, a music post deserves a scorekeeping update:

  • 2 points Sunjunkie
  • 2 points Jerm
  • 6 points Lanfaedhe
  • 2 points Dave Lartigue

WTG, Lanf, leaving all the other participants in the dust! But it’s not too late for folks to catch up, so keep playing.

If you’re wondering what the scoring is about, I give two points to the first person who comments with the line following on the one I give in my blog post title, when my titles are lyrics (which is often, though sadly, not today). There are unclaimed entries since I started the game back in July, if you’d like to dig through the archives and play along. Some day there will be a prize. I don’t know what and I don’t know when, yet. But it will be fabulous, in the style of the prizes awarded in Dave Lartigue’s leaf bag contest. I promise. (BTW, Dave, you are the first link under a google search of leaf bag contest. You must be so proud!)

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