madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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It Is Hot, and I Am Tired

Up not terribly early, when Madame Queen Mary Kitteh decided I'd slept quite enough and breakfast time NAO PLZ KTHZ arrived. Herself is off to another SCA weekend, something Arts and Sciences but not Art/Sci for those who are familiar with SCA. She's teaching classes. I've got Forrest NissanPickup and she is with Sydney SubaruOutback as he is much better for the highway running.

And I needed Forrest for the fead running. Cow feed laid in, and hog feed for the pork stored on hoof gang. The Bros were much disappointed as they did not get a ride. However, much too hot to leave a dog in the cab, and I do not particularly care to let the dogs ride in the load bed when venturing off teh Ranch. Since speeds on teh Ranch rarely exceed 16 KPH/10 MPH, I'm not too worried about them when running on, as mentioned.

After that errand, I also needed to run back into town for supplies (including dog food) from SC. Not a major supply run, but needed. Forrest's air conditioning does work, it's simply that at the venerable age of 198.9 K miles (hmm, let's see. Oooooo, that's ever so much more impressive in metric! 3,182,400 kilometres total under Forrest's tyres) Forrest's fan (and therefor air conditioner) has two speeds. Off, and OMGMOVESOMEAIR. So primarily I relied upon 3/55 air conditioning (open up the three windows, drive fast), as well as parking Forrest in the shade.

Which of course usually means a longer walk in to the store. You might be from Baja Jorja if:
A) you've ever parked an eight-mile from the store because that's where the shade is
B) you've a seat-belt-buckle shaped burn scar on your belly...

Right, well, no burn scar, yet I am more than happy to park out a ways in the shade.

I finished up a re-read of Turn Coat, the newest Dresden last night
Which, if you've gotten here, is true. No details will be revealed. I enjoyed the read immensely, which you might already of guessed from me telling you it was a re-read. Dresden's universe is getting darker, rather nicely, and since it started off a bit more on the dark side is saying something. I like how and where we've gotten to, even if I don't like some of the things which happened to various characters. It isn't my universe to be writing, it's Jim Butcher's. And frankly, not nice things happen to people in the real world. Plus, they need to happen in fictional 'verses as well, or they simply stop being believable. The 'willing suspension of disbelief' ceases.

And since I'd re-read more than a few of the earlier pieces to get to the re-read of the latest (skipped the immediate prior one, Small Favor as it is currently on loan to S&K)... I went looking for examples of a concept. 'Chekov's Gun' is a writing/dramatic concept named for the Russian playwright, based on his comment that if a gun is seen on-stage in Act 1, it must be used no later than Act 3 (usually the final act, eh?). In other words, nothing is extraneous.

When reading/writing a series, this still applies. However, some elements, some 'chekov guns' do span from one published piece to another. I've been thinking hard on this lately as I write notes and firm up some outlining for another story of my own.

I've also been thinking about this whole bit about 'series'. Not sure where I ran across it (because I'm tired, eh?) but one place on the old LJ reading list I ran across a discussion about series vs. stand-alone stories. Here's a simple wrap at least for myself: publishers want repeat customers, so publishers want series. Hence, more and more writers are turning out series.

They aren't new; Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a series of stories on Sherlock Holmes; Edgar Rice Burroughs on Tarzan. I well remember the Tom Swift Jr. series from my youth, and that prior to that (more, in fact, towards probably my brother's age group, near 10 years older than I) the Tom Swift series (yes, that would be Jr.'s dad...); both loosely lie in the science fiction category. Another series, quite famous, is C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower stories. Those inspired probably a half-dozen homage series of their own. Not to mention nods to specific Hornblower himself in several different pieces.

It simply seems to me that series are becoming more wide-spread than I recall from my earlier days of reading. I'm quite comfortable enjoying either an ongoing series, or a single stand-alone story where the entire bit reaches the dramatic climax and resolution in one novel. But I'm doing my part to reinforce that stipulated speculated position that publishers want repeat customers, so they encourage series. After all, what is an anthology but a series of short stories, perhaps by the same writer, perhaps by several. And, as a mini-mirror of the whole series thing, the anthology of short stories, written by different writers but set into the same future universe (yes, I'm referring to science fiction in this), usually one created by one writer then opened to friends and colleagues.

It's all good, and fuel to my monkey on the back of reading.
Tags: art, writing

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