Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I sympathize with Inigo

I hate waiting. Whether it's waiting for something to come in the mail, or waiting for a response on a submission, or waiting for... anything, really. I'm just not a naturally patient person. Then again, that lack of patience could just be a learned response. For most of my life, lack of response has meant 'no'.

I believe, quite firmly, in the principles of personal responsibility and free will. However, I wonder how much of each of our personalities, proclivities, and decisions are based or influenced by our subconscious memory of past experience rather than our conscious decisions. The problem with the subconscious, of course, is that it has no discretion, and conflates things terribly. In the example above, some people repeatedly used lack of communication to communicate 'no', and now my subconscious feels that any lack of communication means 'no'. That leads me to feel I should act as if I've received a 'no' response when I haven't actually had a response.

As a student of human nature, I'm curious about this because it affects how humans act. As a writer, I'm curious about this because to provide versimilitude (yes, I use that word in casual conversation, Matt) characters must act realistically. If the type of conditioning implied above is real, that includes responding to situations not as the situation requires, but as previous situations have conditioned them to respond.

No conclusions today, just food for thought.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


A thought on communication;

Assume that silence will be taken as negative. It almost always is taken so, even if it's rarely intended so.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


This weekend I set a new high for endorphin rushes due to compliments on my writing.

For those of you who are keeping score, the first compliment that really set my feet on the path to becoming a writer was back in 07. One of the Barflies on the Baen forums posted that he put down the latest Weber release to read my most recent snippet.

The second shot of squee was roughly two years after that, when the chief slush reader at Baen took the time to send me a critique and tell me they'd like to see it again. The third shot was last fall, when an agent sent me an email saying she'd agonized for nearly a year over my first book.

The second and third shots were based on the fact that professionals in the industry thought I had something good. Maybe not good enough, but very, very close. I still remember that first time though, when a complete random told me 'hey, this is good!'. I got another shot close to that this weekend. The person wasn't a complete random, but the circumstance scoured away any thoughts of 'he's just saying it because I'm a friend'.

I have a friend who, despite being well read, doesn't read science fiction. When he heard I wrote a book, he asked for a copy. He told me science fiction wasn't his thing, but he'd give it a shot.

Didn't. The operative word for whether he reads Sci Fi or not is 'didn't'. He does now, because of my novel.

Some things just make you wanna go 'whoa' like a stunned Keanu Reeves.