If you’re talking to someone on the Internet, skyping them and getting to know them, seeing if they’d be cool to date, and you live far across the continent from each other, let me suggest that rather than have one of you fly all the way to the other’s house, that you meet in Seattle instead.
Seattle is a great and easy city to explore–and is neutral territory for both of you. You have the freedom to explore, or not, the city around you. And there’s no pressure to meet friends or relatives on a first date. And everything is new to both of you (or relatively—one of you may have actually visited Seattle). We gave ourselves five days. And this was a good time-frame.
This might work for any couple! Yukoners are always looking for a nice short trip. Maybe you’re already a couple and you want to get out and see a new city. This plan for a Seattle trip will work for you.
1. In Seattle’s favour, they created the CityPass (many large cities offer this) consisting of six fun-filled things you can do at your leisure over nine days for one price ($74). They include the Seattle Aquarium, the Space Needle, the EMP museum (science fiction and rock/roll), the Pacific Science Center (with IMAX), a harbour cruise, and a choice between the zoo or the museum of Flight. No tickets up front–so no pressure on when you have to go. You can do them in any order, at any time in nine days. Don’t feel like walking through the zoo? Go to the IMAX. Too foggy for the Needle? Go to the sci-fi/pop culture museum. (Was a great exhibit on the black leather jacket in pop culture–as well as Captain Kirk’s command chair.)
2. Get a hotel next to the majority of these. Let me suggest the Best Western Executive Inn Plus, next door to the Seattle Center. The Seattle Center has three of those six places in the CityPass–plus a lot more. You’d be a block away from The Pacific Science Center, the Needle and the EMP.
3. Bonus: you’ll be next door to the Chihuly Glass Exhibit, and the IMAX, and the Monorail–your connection to some cool places not far away…
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Well, it’s been awhile since I pumped out some fiction. I’ve been working on a longer novella, hit and miss, for ages, based on my own experiences on Long Island in 2004, and on a longer novel full of fun things. But I just looked at my “written work” section and discovered that I had a good six fiction publications in 2010, but what have I done for you lately? Not a darn thing sold since 2010–and that means not a darn fiction thing written, really. I have sold some nice short pieces to GEEZ, and I’m glad. But for fiction, it’s been awhile.
So, I’m thrilled that I got a story done for the Tesseracts 17 deadline (tonight at midnight). Sent it off yesterday. Hope they like it. But I’m chomping at the bit to get more done. So, I’ll see if I can’t pull off another story or two in March. I have a lot of started stories that lost their way….or which got derailed by work or life or both.
I tell you it was GREAT to get back into writing fiction. I wanted to write stories with werewolves, time travelers, Kings, ghosts–things you just don’t get to see everyday. And I’ve been reading Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. If Graham Greene wrote about magical creatures…. anyway, glad I’m back into the swing of things, and hope I can keep this up.
Proud that other Yukoners, including my two minions, Santana and Zeb, also found the deadline for Tess 17 to be an adequate kick-your-butt deadline for writing. YAY. Now, let’s see if I can do it without a deadline.
I also purchased an e-book for .99. I have to say it was great reading. Good ideas, and helped push me along. It’s called 2k to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love, by Rachel Aaron. One idea of hers, to sketch out a scene before you write it saved me a lot of time. And made the scene crystallize more. I’ve always been a huge note-taker–but her ideas were about making those notes more efficient and more usable for the final writing. Working out scene problems ahead of time–before you sit down–saves time when you sit down.
Anyway, nothing but praise for that book, for Tesseracts 17, and for writing again. Good to be back in the saddle.
Buddhist, Pagan, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist—we all have a belief system–”faith” in something, a set of beliefs, a god, gods, guiding principles, morality. It’s hard to express sometimes WHY we believe these things, or HOW they guide us, or how we know they are TRUE. Sometimes we’ve been hurt by religion, disappointed by faith. We want to talk about that too. Maybe we want to pass our beliefs, our experiences down to our kids. We want to explain it to ourselves, sometimes. We’d like to keep a record. But pinning down the inexpressible nature of faith and belief is difficult.
WRITING FAITH SEMINAR AND WORKSHOP
Come join a writing workshop that explores how we talk about faith. Starting this Saturday, Feb 2, we’ll have a one day seminar/workshop from 10-4 that explores Writing Faith with writing tips, games, exercises, and a few readings that map out the basic writing techniques of writing about Faith. Then Feb 8-March 22, join us on Fridays from 5-8 (potluck snacks), at the Whitehorse United Church to explore more in depth how others write
about their faith and get some good feedback on writings you may write about your faith. The group is always ecumenical and eclectic and supportive of new writers. It has been a successful group four times now, three in the Yukon. We teach mostly memoir, but fiction as well.
We don’t teach theology here; we teach writing. We are including writings beyond Christian writings this time around—mostly from the Best Spiritual Writing 2013 that just came out. We aim to be inclusive. We have readings from Pulitzer prize winning author, Annie Dillard, as well as Anne Lamott, Andre Dubus, E.O. Wilson, Langston Hughes, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ron Hansen, Thich Nhat Hanh, and other writers covering a broad spectrum of spirituality—for techniques. We play writing games. We’re kind of like a summer camp for writers. Only in the winter.
In an unprecedented move today, Zondervan Publishing issued a recall for over 1 Billion bibles.
“We don’t know how it happened, but we’ve discovered our bibles have been infected with hate and discrimination,” says Zondervan Public Relations Senior Executive, Ed Newlight. “We’ve traced it back about sixty years to choices other publishers and editors made, but we’re doing our best to remedy the situation. We hope to have bibles free of hate as soon as we can print them. Same message–but safer and more accurate.”
Zondervan is not the only publisher of the Bible to have recognized the infection. Other publishing companies have also been affected. Tyndale House, B&H Publishers, Thomas Nelson Bibles, and many others are just as dangerously infected. However, to date, Zondervan is the only publisher to offer a recall and a buyback program. “Bring them in–we’ll exchange them for a more accurate version.” Anyone who brings in a Bible printed from 1954-2013 will receive a Bible “written closer to God’s actual words and intentions.”
Among the translations that are infected, the King James Version, the New International Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version, the Good News. “Actually, nearly all of them. We’ve just been so careless in our translations. Certainly this is not God’s fault–and we don’t want His record to be tarnished. Jesus, certainly, had a much more loving attitude than what seems to come out of the mouths of those who use our bibles. We apologize and are ready to start taking some of the responsibility for the hatred and discrimination the LGBT community has been exposed to.”
Newlight says, “We realize that translators of the Bible mistranslated several passages in relation to the LGBT community–and for years these things just festered, infecting pastors, churches and the entire Christian community. We didn’t know the source at first, and when we discovered it included our own translations, we were, of course, devastated.”
They are also concerned with many of the bigger televangelists who might have a terminal case of hatred. “Franklin Graham, Joel Osteen, several of our biggest authors and evangelists, are foaming hatred at the mouth and I only hope that they seek medical treatment, if not spiritual treatment, right away. We are attempting to wrest their infected Bibles from their cold hands. They have not returned our phone calls.”
Zondervan also decided to start publishing other books as an antidote to the infected Bibles. New titles under their publishing moniker include John J. McNeill’s Taking a Chance on God, C.S. Pearce’s book on the Christian Case for Gay Civil Rights, This We Believe; as well as Jack Rogers’ Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality: Revised and Expanded Edition and Daniel Helminiak’s What the Bible Says about Homosexuality.
“We can only hope we reach the billions who have been infected in time,” Newlight said.
You are reading a science fiction and fantasy writer’s site who writes sometimes in the tradition of the Onion.
“What else can we do? We have an obligation to our Canadian fans, our charities and our players. Playing them is the only option,” says Mike Gillis GM of the Vancouver Canucks
There’s more than one cliff North America approaches and, even as US President Barack Obama hopes to steer clear of the “fiscal cliff,” the NHL is trying to avoid a cliff of their own. After 107 days of the NHL Lockout, fans are steaming at a lack of hockey in their lives. Just in time, perhaps, to save everyone, Canada has a plan.
Canadians announced today that their teams are withdrawing from the NHL and immediately forming the Hockey League of Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has budgeted that every major city in Canada will have its own Hockey team if they don’t already have one. For example, this includes Goose Bay, Iqaluit and Whitehorse. They are inviting all Canadian hockey players to ditch their American teams and come play on a new league immediately.
“It’s Canada, so players can be assured that they will receive great pensions and healthcare, without having to barter their lives and careers away for that,” Dermott Mulchahy said in a statement to the press this afternoon outside of Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks. After Muchahy spoke, GM Mike Gillis of the Canucks said, “What choice do we have? We have an obligation to our Canadian fans, our charities, and our players. Playing them is better than not playing them. Playing them is the only option.” He looked around the room. “Canadians and hockey fans in general are fed up.”
Players will be chosen in a lottery so that every city has the chance of winning star players. This completely shakes up any of the teams–but many already believe this will be a good thing. The new games begin on February 1st. Mulchahy, as President of the newly formed Hockey League of Canada, believes that fans will be so excited to see hockey happening that they won’t care if it’s called NHL or HLC. And American cities, still mired in the negotiations for their hockey teams, minus Canadian players who defect and come back home, will probably find themselves watching HLC games and not caring if the NHL ever forms again.
Farm teams in the south, like the Odessa Jackalopes, are being offered the chance to come play major league hockey right away, adding a lot of surprise, and fresh blood, to the game. “Me and my buddies, we’re already heading north!” said Jamie Gonzalez, one of the best scorers in the Jackalopes.
Whitehorse, Yukon, already knows the name of their team, the Dawson City Nuggets, even though the team will play in Whitehorse. “It’ll bond our two cities together,” said Whitehorse mayor, Dan Curtis. “We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
If the NHL does not reach an agreement by midnight January 1st, the HLC goes into effect in Canada. Canadians are now hoping that the NHL never gets their act together.
“Come home,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement today to Canadian hockey players worldwide. “Come back home to Canada and play your hearts out. We’ll tend your goals.”
You’re reading a blog about science fiction, fantasy and the Yukon.
Derek Newman-Stille, over at Speculating Canada, a hot new-ish site for reviewing Canadian science fiction/fantasy and horror, gave me a really fun set of questions for this interview, asking me to think pretty deeply about the motivations I had when writing three of my stories, as well as asking me farther-reaching questions about the power of science fiction to change society! Pretty heavy stuff, but I did my best to come up with answers. We all hope to sound intelligent during interviews, at least interesting. It helps to have good questions.
We cover subjects as diverse as the American educational system, healthcare and the difference to science it would make if animals really did talk. (What would that grizzly be saying to you?)
Thanks to Derek for doing what he does to help get more science fiction reviewed, and read, by those looking for it!
(photo is from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, a display of grizzlies in the North American Mammals section. I do believe Theodore Roosevelt brought these in.)