Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

The Sound of Writing

Hello vodka, my old friend
I’ve come to write with you again
Because a word count slowly shrinking
Is assuaged only by drinking
And the novel that now festers in my brain
Still remains
Within the thrall of deadlines

(with apologies to Paul Simon, and credit to Laura Anne Gilman for helping me finish the last line)

Star Trek: Seekers #1 is away!

As of last night, the manuscript for Star Trek: Seekers #1 – Second Nature has been delivered to its editor. Now begins the waiting and the wondering: “What if the editor doesn’t like it? What if she asks for a lot of changes?”

In case you’ve ever wondered what it feels like for a writer to surrender a manuscript to an editor to begin the process of line editing, copy editing, and revision, it feels like this.

(I’d have embedded the video, but for some stupid reason the “start at [X] time” function doesn’t work when embedding on my blog, even though it works on Facebook and Twitter. Stupid blog.)

Time to distract myself with holiday planning….

This about sums it up

Ready to have your mind blown? The end is predicted to come on 12/21/12, and one of RUSH’s biggest hit albums is titled 2112. Coincidence?! Probably, yeah.

In all seriousness, congratulations to Neil, Geddy, and Alex on this long-overdue and well-deserved honor by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Today’s bit of schadenfreude

My friend John Ordover posted this poem by Clive James to his Facebook status today, and it so captured the spirit of quietly seething envy that infests my heart that I had to share it here. (In the event that some eagle-eyed copyright lawyer should demand I take this down, you can also find it here, on the site of the New York Times.)


‘The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered’

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy’s much-prized effort sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.
Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles
One passes down reflecting on life’s vanities,
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upon one’s enemy’s book—
For behold, here is that book
Among these ranks and banks of duds,
These ponderous and seeminly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I rejoice.
It has gone with bowed head like a defeated legion
Beneath the yoke.
What avail him now his awards and prizes,
The praise expended upon his meticulous technique,
His individual new voice?
Knocked into the middle of next week
His brainchild now consorts with the bad buys
The sinker, clinkers, dogs and dregs,
The Edsels of the world of moveable type,
The bummers that no amount of hype could shift,
The unbudgeable turkeys.

Yea, his slim volume with its understated wrapper
Bathes in the blare of the brightly jacketed Hitler’s War Machine,
His unmistakably individual new voice
Shares the same scrapyart with a forlorn skyscraper
Of The Kung-Fu Cookbook,
His honesty, proclaimed by himself and believed by others,
His renowned abhorrence of all posturing and pretense,
Is there with Pertwee’s Promenades and Pierrots–
One Hundred Years of Seaside Entertainment,
And (oh, this above all) his sensibility,
His sensibility and its hair-like filaments,
His delicate, quivering sensibility is now as one
With Barbara Windsor’s Book of Boobs,
A volume graced by the descriptive rubric
“My boobs will give everyone hours of fun.”

Soon now a book of mine could be remaindered also,
Though not to the monumental extent
In which the chastisement of remaindering has been meted out
To the book of my enemy,
Since in the case of my own book it will be due
To a miscalculated print run, a marketing error—
Nothing to do with merit.
But just supposing that such an event should hold
Some slight element of sadness, it will be offset
By the memory of this sweet moment.
Chill the champagne and polish the crystal goblets!
The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am glad.

Clive James


(FYI, all the bits that look like typos are in the original text. — Dave)

December 21, 2012: The Truth Revealed

At last the real story can be told. I bring you this recently unearthed and translated transcript of the true story behind the mysterious December 21, 2012 “end date” for time on the Mayan Calendar:

KING: Phil! Come in, have a seat.

PHIL: What can I do for you, Majesty?

KING: Well, Phil, I don’t know quite how to tell you this…

PHIL: Just tell me.

KING: All right. We’re going to have to let you go.

PHIL: What?! Why?

KING: It’s nothing personal, Phil. You’ve done good work for us in the calendar division over the last few years, but your services are no longer required.

PHIL: This doesn’t make any sense. If I did good work, why am I being let go?

KING: I don’t think we should get into this right now.

PHIL: With respect, Majesty, I think we should. I’ve worked hard—

KING: Yes, I noticed.

PHIL: Meaning…?

KING: Well, I … we … think you’ve worked a bit too hard.

PHIL: I don’t understand.

KING: Look, Phil, we all know the best thing about government jobs is the security. And I was willing to let you work on commission carving calendars because I knew it was hard work. But let’s be honest: you’ve been milking this job.

PHIL: I have not!

KING: Oh, come on, Phil. You’ve overproduced for the last three years in a row and invoiced us into a budget crisis.

PHIL: I’m just doing my job, Majesty.

KING: Cut the crap, Phil. This is what, the twelfth century? You just turned in a calendar that takes us up to the winter solstice in fucking 2012. You’re nine fucking centuries ahead. I think we have enough calendars for a while.

PHIL: So we just stop production? What happens if no one else ever makes a new calendar? People in the future might think the world ends in 2012!

KING: Phil, I know you’re desperate to keep your job, but that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I think you ought to give people a bit more credit than that.

PHIL: With all respect, Majesty, you don’t deal with the people every day. I do. Trust me, they are that stupid.

KING: Uh-huh. We’ll see. Look, this has been fun, but Florence in HR is waiting for you. Go see her for your exit interview. And don’t try to take your hammer and chisel — we’ll be watching you.