Blog Archives

Thinking Up the Future

Wow. Posting every week? Look at me! Wonder how long I can keep this up. Anyway. The topic today, kids, is predicting the future.

crystal ball

No, not like that. I mean actually, scientifically, with reason and logic.

Last night, Big Bopper and I went to see 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen. Now, the last time I saw this movie I was ten years old. Yes, I saw it in its original release in 1968. And what I remembered was SCARY KILLER MONKEYS! FUTURISTIC SPACE TRAVEL! PSYCHOPATH COMPUTER! And also, my mother and aunt sitting with their mouths open in disbelief as the house lights came up after the show. (“Was that a fetus? Floating in space?”)

Some of the assumptions the director made about the future were spot-on—using credit cards instead of cash-money, flexible space suits, video phone calls—but most of the predictions of how Things Will Be in 2001 are laughable.

For instance, in 2001 all the superpowers will have moon bases where we can continue to carry on the Cold War. Also, furniture design remains frozen in time with Eames chairs. And to transfer information between computers, you need a punch card.

IBM_Punch_Card

The point I’m making is this: The roots of the future are in the present, but if you’re a writer, you have to look beyond the obvious.

The USSR economy was unsustainable. It took decades to fall apart, but its ultimate demise was predictable, if you knew how to look at it. The integrated circuit, which would become the microchip of today, was invented in 1959. At the time, almost no one understood the implications. But now, microchips power everything from toilets to cars.

So if you’re writing science fiction or science fantasy, read science news. World politics. Business.

And let your mind wander.

Homer-Simpson-Zoned-Out

seven amusing tumblrs i miss terribly

Hello. Miss me?

I’ve been working like a demon for months and months on my current WIP. And am now halfway through my final pass, mere weeks away from being done.

eyepatch martin

STICK A FORK IN IT.

So I thought I’d get back in ye ol’ blogging habit. Today, let us consider:

 

SEVEN TUMBLRS I WISH THEY WOULD UPDATE

  • Sad Etsy Boyfriends–Their mission statement: “Dedicated to the wretched creatures abused for economic gains by their Etsy girlfriends.” Oh, lawsy. How I wish they’d post a few more specimens. Guys in undersized knit hats, guys in pink hoodies with green applique whales, and half-nekkid guys wearing nothing but feathers. ALL SAD.
  • Paula Deen Riding Things— “We adore Ms. Deen, and the last thing we want is to upset her.” Naw, this blog doesn’t upset Ms. Deen. Just because these two guys photoshopped Paula riding the Easter bunny, Anthony Davis’ eyebrows, and most famously, sticks of butters.
  • Tom Hanks is a Bunch of Animals–Animal photos and gifs, with various Tom Hanks heads attached. You haven’t lived until you’ve watched a parakeet with Tom Hanks’ head, rolling around on a tennis ball. Please, please, please, post some more!
  •  Halloween or Williamsburg–I want this tumblr to be my best friend. Pictures of people dressed, um, eccentrically. And you’re supposed to guess if they’re wearing Halloween costumes or their usual attire. HINT: It’s never a Halloween costume.
  • Kim Jong-il Looking At Things–What a classic. The Dear Leader liked to…how should I put it? Oh yes. Look at things. Fairly intently. There aren’t going to be any more posts, I’m pretty sure you know why. What a shame.
  • Texts From Bennet–This tumblr has been picked up for publication, and hasn’t been updated for nearly five months. Woe. Is. Me. Because “These are text messages I exchange with my 17 year old cousin Bennett. He is a white boy that thinks he’s a Crip, is currently unemployed, has a girlfriend named Mercedes…by the way, this blog is 100% real.” Real HILARIOUS.

Enjoy!

dawggg

KOWS: Keep On Writing, Silly

You may have noticed my absence from social media for the past several months.

invisible smoker

 

Or maybe you haven’t.

Anyhoo.

I’ve been madly revising my current manuscript to the detriment of all other aspects of my life.  Especially housework. Of course, it doesn’t take much to get me to give up on housework.

But Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, this blog, the other blog, Sub It Club…etc., etc.  Regretfully, they have been mostly on hiatus while I finish my WIP.

So I would like to offer this situation as a shining example of the role of Social Media in a writer’s career. It is incredibly important, but all things stem from THE WRITING.

When necessary, we should be willing to let all other things go to hell in a handbasket.

 

cat in a handbasket

 

Oh, were you looking for cows?

 

 

 

 

whither shall we goest from here, mes amis?

No, I have not abandoned my lovely blog. But I’m starting to feel the need to revamp.

I’ve blogged here with varying degrees of enthusiasm since 2008. That’s over 5 years, my dear, sweet readers.

So it’s time to redesign, refocus and reverberate. I’m going to mess around with design and style for the next few months, and think about the direction to take with this platform.

BUZZ WORD ALERT

animated-gifs-bee-collision

being online safely

I can’t go through the rest of the day without having my brief say. Just to get it off my chest.

Adorable agent, @BookaliciousPam was assaulted last night by a rejected…writer.

You heard me right.

Pam was saved by her dog, a Jack Russel terrier. (Let’s not malign the accompanying bulldog. From what I can gather, it is still a puppy.)

And now comes the hand-wringing about being too available on Social Media. Like we should all hide behind fake names and put masks on our profile pictures a la Michael Jackson.

Let’s reel it in a bit.

Writers, agents, publishers…we are in a public business. And in this day of personal advertising, almost every profession is a public business. We have to accept a certain amount of “being out there”.

Heck. I started out as a lurker. But soon enough, I wanted to connect with people. I wanted them to know who I really am. Fine, I usually have a stupid non-photo Twitter Avatar up that I change pretty often. It amuses me. But if you go to one of my THREE BLOGS you will find a photo or two of my actual person. And my Tumblrs should have Gravatars of actual me, but at this point, I can’t swear to it.

You know where I generally live if you follow my blog and Twitter. But what you DON’T know is my exact address and phone number, because…

  • I don’t call my husband by his real name in my writings. Anywhere. Or my children. I don’t publish pictures of them unless their faces are blobbed out.
  • I have paid the extra bit of filthy lucre for my domain name on my website for teens, lishacauthen.com, to be registered by proxy, which means my personal info such as my street address is not public information. Yes. I didn’t know about this stuff when I first bought my domain. Imagine my shock when I found out that people can look up any domain name and see who owns it. Yeah, fine. But they also see where the domain owner  lives. ACK.  **Check your public domain name info here.** Just have your company register it by proxy–GoDaddy does it on the cheap. Other companies can do it for you as well.
  • FourSquare. Oh, FourSquare. You give handy discounts, but you also tell people where the eff I am. Guess what. YOU CAN TURN OFF THE PART WHERE IT TWEETS WHERE YOU ARE. I still don’t use it, but Freckles does, and I TOLD HER TO TURN OFF THE PART WHERE IT TWEETS WHERE YOU ARE.
  • Facebook I only use for people I actually know. And I have locked it down like Alcatraz. Keep checking it, my friend, to make sure you have your Book of Face tuned correctly on the privacy settings. They keep a’changing. I am always stunned by how people lock a select few things, but miss others. A good snooper, such as myself, can go in the back door and find out a lot of stuff if you don’t check. Every. Setting.
  • And by all that is holy, if you leave an empty house, don’t Tweet vacation pictures. I Tweeted the hell out of my trip to Albuquerque when I took Freckles McYoungest to college. But Big Bopper was home, in our house, with Hairy Beast. Also, Catler, who is probably even more ferocious.

Do not take any of this as a finger-wagging at Pam van Hylckama Vlieg. If someone is crazed, they will hunt you down and it will make no difference what you do to stop them. There are police blotters full of violent stalkers who focused on people NOT on the internet, even people who never had any social interaction with their stalkers at all.

Pam did not bring this on herself. Pam is not responsible for the violence done to her.

This blog is in response to the worry I see on Twitter today about exposing ourselves in our social media interactions. I thought I would share a few things I do to not make it easy for your average nut to harass me and mine.

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