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Nothin' to See Here; Move On....

I really ought to have something to say, but I don't.  I watched Obama's presser and thought he did great, but I don't feel like blogging about it because, frankly, I don't have the energy for a political fight with my friends on the right. 

I've spent the last few days taking and processing pictures, and that's been great.  I have some gems from the small hollow I hike in.  Wildflowers are blooming here and the place looks gorgeous.  But there's not much I can add to that. 

I'm waiting for word on the new book.  Not much more to say about that, either.

I feel boring as hell, and I apologize.  I'll try to offer more tomorrow.

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
catsparx
Mar. 25th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)
Dude, you are *so boring*... I want the ten seconds of my life it took to read your blog post back!!! or, you know, a picture of a wildflower or something...
davidbcoe
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'll post a pic or two in the morning. Tonight I'm fried. And sorry about the 10 seconds. I owe you....
catsparx
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
:-)
(Deleted comment)
davidbcoe
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
I have embraced it. I have become one with the Boring.

And yeah, the ugliness out there about Obama just makes me sick, not to mention the ball-less Democrats who are saying they can't support health care reform and the energy proposals. I really don't want to get started about this. That vein in my neck starts to throb....
jimnduncan
Mar. 25th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
something to talk about
Have caught my six year old's cold, it's late, I'm tired and about to go to bed, looking forward to a lot of school work over the next two days to finish my term. I had an interesting topic, or so I believe anyway, to blog about, so I'll lay it down here before I forget. Perhaps something good for the Magical Words blog.

Do you actively/purposefully try to work personal philosophy/moral beliefs into your stories? Do you purposefully give characters traits/conflicts that relate to strongly held personal beliefs so that they can be presented within your writing? Or is it just a subtle, unconscious effort that you know happens (because I believe it does) and you don't give it a great deal of consideration?
davidbcoe
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
Re: something to talk about
First, I hope you're feeling better. That is an interesting topic, and one I'll be happy to post about at length on MW. But the short answer is both. ;) On the one hand, when I began the Forelands/Southlands series I knew I'd be writing about race issues. That was part of the plan. But I don't intentionally give characters traits in order to make them mouthpieces for my social views, and I don't try to make my books polemical. Let me consider this more and post about it sometime in the next few weeks. Thanks for the suggestion.
sizztheseed
Mar. 25th, 2009 11:15 am (UTC)
Well, I read The Sorcerer's Plague last weekend. Wanna talk about that?
davidbcoe
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
Depends... You like it? ;)
sizztheseed
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
What if I said no? ;)

Yes, I did enjoy it. I found it very readable and interesting. I think it was a good intro to your writing and it makes me want to read the next one when my "book queue" has another opening.

I did have a couple of questions about it; not questions about where the story's going, but I was interested in "What was David thinking here?" sort of thing. Mind if I ask?
davidbcoe
Mar. 25th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
Of course not! Ask away. Glad you liked it, by the way. If you hadn't I would have been interested to know why. It was a different kind of book for me. Quieter, in a way. More introspective, more thoughtful, in many ways more mature. Some might have thought it boring. That's okay with me. The second and third books in the sequence more than make up for that...
sizztheseed
Mar. 25th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
*spoiler alert*

Three things, really.

a) The question of ethnic conflict is important and plays a major role in the politics of the Southlands. And yet you seem to spend a good amount of time showing just how similar the different groups are "at home" to each other. Did you intentionally mean to convey this shared sameness between the bloodlines, or is this more a portrayal of human beings being similar to each other in any case?

b) I was kind of curious about Lici as a character. She seems to occupy that space where "terrorist" would occupy in another world, but it's hard to tell whether it's the event in her youth that drives her to it or simply insanity. Do you see her as calculatingly vengeful or vengeful by dint of madness, or does one build on the other, or did you mean for that to be ambiguous.

c) OK, what music were you listening to?
davidbcoe
Mar. 26th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
a) Not sure I entirely understand your point here, but you seem to be saying that the three (four if you count the Y'Qatt) ethnic groups are actually quite similar to each other. That was entirely intentional, and I think it gets at one of the great truths of ethnic/racial/religious strife in our own world. What unites us is far greater and more important than those things that divide us.

b) Lici was a fun character to write, as you might imagine. I do think that she's borderline insane, and yet at times quite lucid and calculating. Her scars are deep and they never really healed. She lived off of that pain all her life, wallowing in her guilt and her grief until it twisted her into something that was part psychopath, part assassin. In some ways I'd say she's a bit like Gollum. She is twisted beyond healing, but there is a core of humanity still within her that wrestles constantly with her demons. The ambiguities in her character are intended -- all of us, I believe, have such contradictions within us. Hers are just a bit more dramatic than most.

c) Different music everyday. But the usual stuff for me: jazz (Nick Payton, Miles Davis, Roy Hargrove, Mark Whitfield, Pat Metheny, Johnny A, Mike Mainieri, Sphere, Steps and Steps Ahead, Kenny Burrell) and bluegrass (Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Tony Rice, Chris Thile, Alison Krauss, Mark O'Connor, David Grisman, Strength in Numbers, Russ Barenberg).

Hope these answers are helpful. If not, feel free to try me again.
sizztheseed
Mar. 26th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your considered replies. Sorry for being somewhat incomprehensible.

I did suspect a) was the case. I used to work with a humanitarian organization back in the mid-nineties, and cut my teeth on the Bosnia and Rwanda crises. If there was ever a place where the conflict seemed so disproportionate in comparison to the cultural similarities between the warring parties, those two conflicts were the same. As the better half puts it, you were making a Swiftian-egg comparison, meaning the terrible conflict between two cultures that arose largely because of differences in how to open a soft-boiled egg.

And b) is an interesting confirmation. I do love reading (and writing) about complex characters like Lici who throw the ambiguities of our souls into sharp contrast. My only regret in the book is that we did not hear more about the conflict maturing through the eyes of the Journal/Diary.

And c) is interesting. I also like to have music playing when I work, and it always has to be music that is entirely instrumental or otherwise doesn't have words. However, your choices are totally different from my own, although I also don't listen to much classical; I think it requires listening to, not playing in the background, so my choices are usually ethnic-mix groups like Waterbone, Mouth Music, Deep Forest, etc. or music in another language like Azam Ali, Rachid Taha, the Axiom of Choice, or so on.

Thanks. Good to talk.
davidbcoe
Mar. 26th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. a) The examples in our own world are numerous, and every one of them is heart-rending. And yes, the Swiftian thing is the perfect way to put it. Smart woman your better half....

b) I would have loved to use the day book to bring more of Lici's character to light, but to be honest I felt that it would have been contrived to do so. Besh was rushed and after a time he had to stop reading; and I'm not convinced that as Lici and Sylpa settled into their life together, the day book would have become less revealing rather than more. Lici's quirks would have become more familiar to Sylpa until they ceased to register at all. I felt that I'd done as much with the journal as I could without stretching it beyond credulity. Maybe there was another way to do it, but I couldn't think of one. [Shrugs]

c) I'll have to give ethnic-mix a try. The voices, even in another language, would distract me.

Great questions. Thank you.
sizztheseed
Mar. 26th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
c) You'll probably not be able to find something devoid of vocalizations with those. But there are a number of interesting samplings on Peter Gabriel's "Real World" label.
fatbaldguy60
Mar. 25th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
"...but I don't feel like blogging about it because, frankly, I don't have the energy for a political fight with my friends on the right."

It's strange how if you were in a bar or coffee shop talking about this, you could probably have a pleasant discussion, but in a blog or forum it always seems to devolve into a fight.
davidbcoe
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
Very true. I think that blogs and forums are great for certain things. They bring together people who might never "meet" under any other circumstance, and they do facilitate discussion. But a face-to-face social interaction does demand a certain level of civility. When we're just posting, we become bolder, and sometimes that's not a good thing. I see it with my kids and their friends with their online interactions, which occasionally devolve into name-calling and even more abusive behavior. And I see it in my political posts and the discussions that follow.
arhyalon
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
I think it is partially due to no tone of voice. It's very easy to read ideas one disagrees with as if they were said quite stridently...even if they weren't.

Makes it harder.
davidbcoe
Mar. 26th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Definitely. There are also no facial expressions to work with (emoticons don't count). Even phone conversations can be harder than face-to-face, because that gentle jibe that's intended to elicit a laugh can't be softened with a smile.
arhyalon
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
This made me laugh. I haven't had anything to say recently either.
davidbcoe
Mar. 25th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
It's humbling to realize just how boring I am most of the time. But I get a blog or two, and a Twitter account, and I find myself realizing that I just don't have that much to offer on a day-to-day basis...
arhyalon
Mar. 26th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
It is possible that you are right, and you are secretly a closing boring person...despite having entertained all of us so often.

Or, it is possible that sometimes you have ideas to share and sometimes you don't. That doesn't make you boring...just busy with life. ;-)
davidbcoe
Mar. 26th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
Well, yeah, all right. That probably makes more sense.... ;)

Thanks, Jagi.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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