Manuscripts Away!

And the manuscript has been delivered to McFarland Pub. Well, uploaded to their ftp server.

Either way, it’s out of my hands for a month or two and that’s another stage of the publication process complete.

Just their editorial review, revision based on that, proofreading page proofs, and indexing to go.

TIL Academic History

TIL:
In the 1360s, annual tuition at Glouster College, Oxford was equivalent to the annual income of a master craftsman or lawyer.

In the 1360s, people were bemoaning the declining standards at Oxford.

In the 1360s, people were excoriating the behavior of Oxford students, particularly their treatment of books.

(Related & quoted in “The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science” by Seb Falk)

There is a Doctor in the House

Dr. Jill Biden

Doctor Jill Biden

Yes, she needs to use her earned title. Because representation matters. Because the archaic views of misogynistic fossils need to be slain & buried. As do their paternalistic, denigrating, condescending tones and language (particularly when directed at women who are better educated & more accomplished than they are).

Quiet

My apologies for seemingly abandoning this blog. It has not been intentional. It’s been a time and, in some ways, interest thing.

Between online teaching (which isn’t too bad, except for the number of students whom I really feel I could have helped pass the class if we’d been f-2-f) and tutoring (which is much more difficult online), my desire to be online and do serious, productive things has diminished. Add in book edits and that’s more screen time sucked away.

My creativity has been shifted to worldbuilding for fun, as a priority. Blogging hit the bottom of the heap, after work, family, book, kittens, and mindless writing.

On the fun side, we’ve been streaming Star Trek: Discovery and enjoying it as well as The Mandalorian. I’ve caught and enjoyed Umbrella Academy (Netflix) and The Order (Netflix). Wife’s been glued to The Crown (Netflix).

New Book In Progress

I know things have been quiet around here. Part of that’s Covid, family stuff, and work. Part of it is that things have been moving and shaking behind the curtain.

The result is that about mid-October, I sent a query letter to McFarland Books. Got a positive response in less than 24 hours. Sent out a full proposal a few days later.

Yesterday, I signed a contract to publish a book built out of the series of posts about magic from 2016 (tagged Magic Series). I need to add at least another 7,000 words, and have it all revised for delivery by mid-February. So, if things go well, it should be on shelves around May 2021.

WIP Snippet

Haven House.

The abandoned three story neoclassical colonial had a certain inviting appeal, Gil had to admit. Despite looking out of place, surrounded by corn and soy fields something like thirty miles from the nearest town. These signs screamed run away to anyone who had seen almost any horror movie.

Gilead Hayes smiled at the thought.

Not that Haven House’s appearance meant anything.

It had changed a few times in the several years that he had called it home. Not changed as in a new coat of paint and some landscaping. Changed as in last month it had been a two story Tudor manor.

Gil jogged across the deserted two lane county road, slowing to a stroll up the gravel driveway. He took the opportunity to absorb the changes, noting the wrap around porch. Someone, he saw, had gone all out with the shrubbery around the front. They looked southern, not native to the Midwestern farmland.

The door swung open silently mere seconds before he could knock.

Checking In From . . .

. . . well, not the best place in the world.

Numbers of infections & deaths continue to rise here as so much of the world gets things under control. The one ray of light is that the current regime seems to be getting hit hard by their absolute failure to respond adequately to the pandemic. 45* has falling approval numbers, increasing disapproval, dismal turn out at events, and is getting beaten in campaign fund raising. So, we have hopeful signs he’ll be out in November, in a fair election (assuming little to no voter suppression, etc.).

In the meantime, my college is continuing online only or 90% online for the foreseeable future. But, of course, aikido is shut down indefinitely beyond what little home practice can be done (weapons kata and basic movements).

Writing continues. Putting the finishing touches on the magic book. That’s currently sitting at over 56,000 words and 191 pages. Probably start looking at publishers soon.

Also working on a multiverse world build for fun. About 14-15k into that so far. Mostly working on iPhone Notes app then transferring to Word, converting notes to paragraphs, then editing & expanding a hard copy.

Watching ST: Discovery season 2. We’re down to the last couple episodes. I think the plan is to subscribe to Disney+ at that point. Continuing Mythbusters with the kid and introduced him to ST:ToS.

Also added some Discworld art from the Discworld Emporium in the UK.

My Martial Arts Truths

Since the aikido dojo I attend has been closed since my state’s lockdown began, I’ve been limited to weapons practice, movement, and thinking about practice. Thought I’d throw out my reflections on some of the “core truths” I’ve learned in the last 12 years of training.

1. If it looks easy, it’s not.

2. If it looks hard, it is.

3. What you think is happening in technique is not what’s happening in technique.

4. You will not master anything in a week. You may never feel like you’ve mastered anything, even after 30 years.

5. Everything deepens. Wrist technique is not about the wrist. It’s about the elbow. But, it’s not really about the elbow, it’s about the shoulder. But it’s not truly about the shoulder, it’s about the opposite hip.

6. Ignore the point of contact. The opponent expects to fight there.

7. Change the line. Even a few degrees, moreso 45 or 90 degrees, weakens the opponent’s power.

8. There’s always going to be someone bigger and stronger. Technique, changing the line, ignoring the point of contact will overcome strength.

9. The best technique is no technique. But, you must learn and try to master technique in order to grasp the principles that make “no technique” effective.

10. Adapt. Do not get locked into making a particular attack or technique “work”. Be willing and able to let it go and move to something else.

11. Find what else can move. Your grabbed wrist is immobile, but your elbow, shoulder, hips, and legs are not trapped. Move them.