Painting With Shotguns L
Your Contributions To Der Wendighaus v2.0 Are Appreciated
We need a new mower, for one. Push mower. Preferably rear wheel drive, as we’re on an incline. Looking at either the Husqvarna or the Toro, but am willing to listen to other recommendations?
Also: leaf blower. Yeah, we now live in the woods. Woods are made of trees, and trees — as it turns out — are made of leaves. And leaves fall. They’re already falling. Summer is on its last legs, apparently, even though it’s only August, and leaves are starting to come down. This is just an appetizer, an amuse-bouche, and already we’re inundated. So! I need a leaf blower. Probably a serious one. Help?
In other home news, things continue to be pretty dang awesome. Turns out, we have to watch out for deer even when driving in our own driveway: the other night, two fawns crossed right in front of us. Saw the Doe-Mom over in the woods waiting for them. This must be the same family we saw crossing the yard when we looked at the house a while back before we had purchased.
Found a treestand out in the woods yesterday, too. And, then, not far from the stand I found a dead deer. By which I mean, bleached, picked bones. It was funny, actually: the deer skull (a buck, a five-pointer) sat right next to a golf ball. As if it was the golf ball that killed him. “Fore!” Whack. Brain contusion. Deer hunting for yuppies. “Honey, that’s an eight-pointer out there. Give me the nine iron.”
(For the record, I don’t hunt deer. Won’t. Can’t. We raised them as pets, with two of them raised in the house before going to pasture, and for me hunting deer is like hunting dogs. Now, birds…)
Inside, things are good. The previous owner clearly had a lady-boner for light-switches. Because a) They’re everywhere and b) The switch plates are different in every room. Angels. Birds. Lighthouses. Seems every individual recessed light gets its own switch, too. I go down to the kitchen in the morning, you’d think I was powering up a nuclear reactor with all the switches I’m fucking flipping.
I also got the television (uhhh, the free one that she just left here) off the wall — and damn if those people weren’t very, very concerned about the aesthetics of the television mount and not so much the television itself. The television was mounted high on the wall above the fireplace — a terrible viewing angle, for one. But her concern wasn’t the viewing angle, it was the cords. She buried everything in the wall. And then some. All the speaker cable was wrapped white, just like the co-axial cable. Then I found a number of HDMI cables just hanging out in the wall. The television itself had its own surge protector glued to the back, along with an under-cabinet light glued to the top and surrounded with tinfoil (!) so as to cast a backlight from behind the television up onto the ceiling.
All of this was professionally done, and my assumption is it cost her an arm and a leg. Because every damn cable was Monster Cable, which is of course a) Very Expensive and b) A Complete Scam. The power strips were all Monster, too. So, I spent a whole day gutting everything out of that wall, trying to make sense of the tangle of cables and assorted craziness.
I get now why she didn’t want to take the television.
I’m not complaining, mind. Small price to pay for a nice TV, but… wow. I wish I lived in a world where I could just walk away from expensive appliances.
Oh, and I’m thinking on painting the office. A lot of this house is that “neutral brown tan beige yellow” gig. Thinking the office could be a relaxing tea green. Yes? No? Alternate opinions?
Yesterday, Gareth on Twitter asked why there appears a stigma against having long conversations or discussions on Twitter. Technically, he’s right — you could definitely chop a discussion into a mash of tweets. Lord knows I’ve done it, and done it poorly, and so for the most part I endeavor to avoid such lengthy chatter on the Twittertubes as a manner of Tweetiquette. Couple-few reasons for this:
a) Robust, reasonable discussions often require nuance. Twitter’s 140-character limit forces brevity, which is good, but in brevity one often loses nuance. Which means that discussions can more easily be misunderstood and/or turn into arguments.
b) Twitter for me is very much a balancing of signal-to-noise. When a tweeter becomes noise, it’s possible I’ll stop following. Which, by the way, is nothing personal. I know others have stopped following me because I became noise, and that’s okay. That’s the name of the game. I can still continue to follow them if I choose, as Twitter doesn’t require reciprocal relationships. Big throbbing discussions can become noise very quickly. Because a number of Twitter clients only capture so much previous activity, it can end up where a big discussion suddenly fills up one’s stream. So, it becomes harder to see what other people are going on about when the page is dominated by three people arguing about whether or not Han Shot First or whether the Laws of Thermodynamics apply to e-book publishing and housecat husbandry. I know I’ve had this happen, and I damn sure know I’ve done it to others. Signal becomes noise pretty fast on the Twitters.
c) Such discussions can also be hard to track. They’re not happening exactly in real-time; when you get more than two participants, you start suffering these out-of-sync conversational axes which often mutate and multiply the lines of conversation. It’s like a goddamn Hydra. Especially since sometimes Tweet replies are missed or delayed, and suddenly it feels like you’re having a conversation with a handful of time travelers who keep popping in and out of the discussion. And coming in on the middle of such a discussion can be frustrating, because if you want to follow it back, it’s like following the trail of breadcrumbs through a dark and hinky forest.
Your mileage may of course vary. You do what you like. I find it more frustrating than enlightening and have had one too many discussions go south. That may be my fault, but that’s all the more reason for me to stay out of such chatter, so I don’t whizz in the face of good conversation.
To me, having a complex conversation on Twitter feels like trying to write or read a novel made out of pamphlets. Or composing a doctoral thesis out of haiku. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean it’s wise.
Seems to be there are better arenas: blogs, forums, emails, comment threads.
As I’ve said in the past: having long conversations on Twitter is like playing baseball in an elevator.
A Momentary Mention
I put down The Passage this week in the middle (sorry, Passage lovers, the book just wasn’t for me — we can talk about why, but I suspect it largely comes down to my glaring impatience and my gurgling disgruntlement with certain stylistic choices made by the author), and instead fumbled around for the book nearest to my hand, and I found Victor Gischler’s The Deputy, kindly sent to me by Tyrus Books.
(Oh, and Tyrus just picked up Busted Flush Press. Great news for writers of the dark arts.)
I read half of it in a single sitting.
Like I said on Twitter: it’s terse, tense, potent prose. Noir to the nines. But it’s still loose enough where it leaves room for that country poetry, that Joe Lansdale playfulness and metaphor, though still uniquely Gischler’s own. Can’t wait to finish it. Hope to do so today.
A Writerly Update
Finishing up an edit on a short film script this week. Excited about this one.
Finishing up the 8th draft of the feature script, too.
Turned in a novel pitch last week, and I’ve got my fingers crossed. If it works out, it’ll be a good story, and proof of just how useful throwing a pebble can be. Here’s hoping, right?
Also, if you missed it: this week I had another article up at The Escapist. This one, about the Greatest Sidekick in video game history: A Paean To Floyd.
Linkity Link Linky Links
Did you miss the Inquisition of Johannes Cabal? It’s not too late.
John “The Hornor, The Hornor!” Jacobs on “The Structural Integrity Of Cookies.”
Check out this interview with Matthew McBride, y’all.
Charles Ardai defines noir in a way I’d never considered, and you ask me, it’s spot-fucking-on: “The Dark Heart Of Noir.”
Also over at Mulholland Books, Tom Piccirilli talks about “Dead Mower Dreams And The Weeds Of Boo Radley.” Bad-ass post about the resurgence of dark fiction.
And that’s all she wrote, nerdlingers and word-slingers.