Wednesday, September 25, 2013

For Reid

A spot on the sun
Dark, where once danced golden light
Absence carves deep holes

Thursday, September 19, 2013

So Apparently There’s This Thing Called the Internet

By Kelley Lindberg

The internet sent me a horoscope this morning:
You're eager for information on a particular subject and will go to great lengths to get it. Before heading off to the library, why not try an online search? You might find everything you need without leaving your chair. But your search might necessitate going to the primary source, so travel will be involved.
Really? Apparently there’s information on the internet, and it’s available to me, and all I have to do is search for it, and I don’t need to drive to the library to get it.

Wow. Next thing you know, it will tell me that the trusty card catalogues in my library have been replaced by…oh, I don’t know… a database or something.

This confirms my suspicions that all the horoscopes on the internet were actually written sometime in the 1980s and are just recycled every year.

Which makes one distrust the internet. Which makes one distrust internet searches. Which makes one consider going to the library instead. Which makes one stub one’s toe on the irony. Just a little. Especially since nothing guarantees the accuracy of information just because it’s bound in a book instead of fizzing electrons out there on the web.

Every once in a while, I try to imagine what it must have been like to be a writer before the internet was readily accessible. After about five seconds, I begin to hyperventilate. After ten seconds, I’m in a full-blown panic attack.

So thanks, internet horoscope, for making me thankful that I am a writer in the internet age, and not in the “Where the heck is that phone book, and why isn’t there a listing for ‘Portuguese chefs’ in it? Guess I’m off to the library now” age.

Although I must say, if the last sentence of the horoscope turned out to be true, that would be fine by me. I’m definitely up for some travel right now. Perhaps I could hunt down one of those Portuguese chefs… in Portugal.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Postcards from the Comic Con Edge

By Kelley Lindberg

Me and my son -- I mean Link -- at Comic Con.
Last week was the first Comic Con ever held in Salt Lake City and the first I’ve ever attended. Comic Con is a giant convention for fans of science fiction and fantasy held at numerous cities across the country every year. Although I think they started originally as conventions for comic book fans, they now cover a lot more territory: comic books, books, movies, TV shows, video games, board games, animation, robotics…if you love it, it’s there. At this one, there were panel discussions on everything you can imagine SF/fantasy geeks might want to discuss, talks from icons like William Shatner and Stan Lee, and an exhibition hall where vendors offered everything under the sun to keep your fan-heart thumping.

40,000 of my closest friends
Estimates range from 50,000 to 80,000 tickets sold for Salt Lake's 3-day Con, with more than 40,000 showing up on Saturday alone. They ran out of wristbands, swag bags, and other items after the first 2 days, and on Saturday the fire marshals weren’t letting new hordes in until old hordes left, even if you had pre-purchased tickets. They apparently turned away thousands of hopefuls who hadn’t yet purchased their tickets. I was there Saturday, with my teenage son and some friends. Yes, I’m still recovering!

Things I learned at Comic Con SLC 2013:

1) 40,000 is a lot of geeks in one place at one time.

2) I can still be reduced to a giggly, blushing teenager with a single wink from Adrian Paul. (Uh-oh, there I go hyperventilating again. Back in a minute.)

3) If you're a 14-yr-old boy dressed up as Link from the Legend of Zelda games, random girls will come up and hug you and ask for photos with you. Not one random girl. Not two random girls. MANY random girls. All day long.

4) Some people shouldn’t be allowed to buy Lycra. Ever.

William Shatner, live and larger than life simultaneously
5) William Shatner is still funny. Really funny. Putting Nimoy’s bike in the rafters? Oh, yeah!

6) Just because you have 2 yards of white belt/webbing doesn’t mean the rest of us want to see you wear it. Leeloo didn’t wear that the WHOLE movie, now did she? (But thanks for wearing the lime green panties. At least there was something between your skin and my burning eyeballs.)

7) Spending 2 hours standing outside in the sun to get into the building, even though you’ve already purchased a ticket, seems kind of insane. Especially for those of you dressed in full-body ninja gear, Wookie suits, full armor, or thick face-paint. But more power to you, because you did it. You wacky souls, you.

8) If you’re going to dress like Thor, you should probably be sporting 6-pack abs, not a keg. I’m just sayin’.

R2D2 gets a little maintenance. I kept waiting
for a hologram projection to appear. It didn't.
9) An awful lot of folks are amazingly creative. Some of the costumes were downright fantastic. Hats off to you (or helmets off, or Deadmau5 ears off, or masks off, or Loki horns off, or cyborg-glowing-eyed heads off, or…).

10) How scarring would it be to be at Comic Con with your family, and all of you are dressed up like sexy zombie nurses in miniskirts and fishnets -- even your dad?

11) Apparently not scarring at all, because the kids looked fine with it.

12) Some celebrities from the 1980s have aged really well. Some…well, they look a lot like the rest of us now, so that’s kind of cool, too.

13) Although I went into the convention thinking I’d go see some of the panel discussions that were focused on books and authors, I ended up just walking around for hours people-watching. You can’t make that stuff up.

14) The world is a funnier, happier place when people don’t take themselves seriously.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

15 Ways to Celebrate National Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month

By Kelley Lindberg

You knew that September is Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month, right? Yes, that’s right. It’s that special time of year when we writers and editors break out our tiaras and get treated to free stuff all month long. You shouldn’t go to such trouble, of course, but it certainly is nice to know that you love us. You really love us!

That, and it makes up for the other eleven months of the year when we wear rejection like Marley’s chains.

If you’re like me, it’s exhausting trying to come up with new ways to celebrate Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month. I mean, how do you top last year’s nightly fireworks, swimming pools filled with champagne, and half-naked celebrity singing telegrams? That’s why I’ve put together a modest list of fresh ideas for celebrating this joyous month with the editors and authors who make your life richer every day of the year, whether you lose yourself in books, movies, podcasts, television commercials, fake online reviews, direct mail ads for life insurance, or all-natural recipes for bug repellant.
  1. Send your favorite author or editor on an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris and/or a tropical island so that they can research their next book.
  2. Buy every book on an entire bookshelf at your local independent bookstore.
  3. Use stacks of books to create all the furniture in your living room. (Imagine – a coffee table made entirely of coffee table books!)
  4. Plan your costume for the world-famous, bigger-than-Macy’s Be Kind to Writers and Editors Parade and Masquerade. (I’ve got dibs on J. K. Rowling, so find your own bazillionaire author to emulate.)
  5. Buy your favorite author or editor a Porsche. (I’d like a burgundy Boxter, please. Thanks.)
  6. Create a fabulous new dessert, cocktail, or coffee drink, and name it after an author or editor. Then send me the recipe. Or better yet, make it and bring it on over. We’ll share it.
  7. Stop posting anything funny, thought-provoking or entertaining – really, anything at all – on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter or anywhere else online for the entire month, so we stop getting distracted from our writing. If we miss our deadlines because of a cute cat dressed in a shark costume riding a Roomba, it’s your fault. You know who you are.
  8. Don’t call, text, or email us either.
  9. Unless you want to take us to lunch or dinner. Then go ahead and call.
  10. At your local bookstore, turn your favorite author’s books so that the cover faces outwards, instead of just the spine.
  11. Loan a book to a friend. Or two. Or fifty.
  12. Dress up your kid as a literary figure and send them out trick-or-booking.
  13. Give only books for birthday and anniversary presents this month.
  14. Start every sentence with, “In this book I’m reading…”
  15. Stage write-in campaigns in local elections to get your favorite authors and editors elected to public office. So what if they don’t have any political experience? At least they’re used to producing work that has to make sense, without obvious plot-holes or egregious lapses in logic.
Remember, amid all the rampant commercialism and materialistic excess that often threatens to overwhelm Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month, we want you to know this: sometimes the best acknowledgement of our hard work is just a hug. Or a pat on the back. Or that Porsche.