Creative writing update, 9/30/2016

Today’s creative writing: 105 new words, 13,091 words total, on “The Reluctant Magician.”

I’ve been stuck the last few days, having trouble getting started with the next scene, which introduces a new major character. I was having difficulty visualizing the character in ways that didn’t seem sickly sweet. This afternoon I realized I need to combine that character with an existing character and rewrite two of the scenes I’ve already written.

Tonight I deleted a few hundred words of material that went down a wrong road. I wrote notes on the scenes I need to revise. I did a few paragraphs of new material. And then I deleted those few paragraphs and started again.

So I’m making forward progress, but lots of backtracking going with it.

Trump never backs down from a fight. That’s the key to beating him

Axelrod on former Miss Universe dustup: Trump took the bait – Louis Nelson, Politico

When you’re going up against someone who never backs down from a fight, you get to pick the time and place of the conflict. That’s a big advantage for Clinton.

Trump is going after Alicia Machado now. That’s helps Clinton for all kinds of reasons, one of them being that Machado isn’t Trump’s opponent — Clinton is.

Trump is sending a message to women, and it’s the wrong one. Trump is sending the message that Machado is a bad girl, and bad girls deserve to be called fat pigs. And Trump gets to decide who’s a good girl and a bad girl.

Trump’s campaign has decided the most important thing it can be doing a month before the Presidential election is go after a model because she said mean things about him. That’s the kind of priority-setting he will use as President.

Fat-shaming is a really bad idea for anybody looking to win friends in America. Consider the number of Americans who are overweight, worry they’re overweight even if they’re not, were once overweight, or love someone who’s overweight. That’s pretty much the entire country.

Cory Doctorow on why science fiction is crap at predicting the future

Predicting the future isn’t what science fiction is for, says Cory. Science fiction reflects the aspirations and anxieties that people have about technology at the moment it was written.

It’s not just technology. It’s also politics and social change. And it applies to fantasy. H.P. Lovecraft in real life was a full-throated bigot who feared invading hordes of filthy mongrel immigrants; he turned that into some of the most powerful horror and fantasy written (enjoyed by legions, including the descendants of those same filthy mongrel immigrants). Star Trek has always been a reflection of whatever was going on in the news at the time the shows and movies aired.

Cory covers a lot of ground in this lively interview with Utah Public Radio’s Access Utah:

In a recent column, Doctorow says that “all the data collected in giant databases today will breach someday, and when it does, it will ruin peoples’ lives. They will have their houses stolen from under them by identity thieves who forge their deeds (this is already happening); they will end up with criminal records because identity thieves will use their personal information to commit crimes (this is already happening); … they will have their devices compromised using passwords and personal data that leaked from old accounts, and the hackers will spy on them through their baby monitors, cars, set-top boxes, and medical implants (this is already hap­pening)…” We’ll talk with Cory Doctorow about technology, privacy, and intellectual property.

Cory Doctorow is the co-editor of popular weblog Boing Boing and a contributor to The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. Doctorow is also an award-winning author of numerous novels, including “Little Brother,” “Homeland,” and “In Real Life.”

Segway’s got its own hoverboard

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The $798 Segway MiniPRO is a scaled-down version of the full mallcop.

I keep an eye on these personal scooters and hoverboards, because I’m looking for an alternative to the car that’s not too expensive, and also fun, and practical. The alternatives I’ve seen — including this one — fit two of those criteria at best.

A bicycle would be perfect if we lived in another neighborhood, but we have too many hills. An electric bicycle might be a good option, but they’re too expensive.