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Dear Mr. Vonnegut, welcome to Earth
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Mood:
Very pleased

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Music: Chieftain's "Water From the Well" & B.B. King's "Live at San Quentin"
Link o' the Day: Dear Mr. Vonnegut,

A very good day! I wrote over 5,000 words today on a story that's just about complete. that is, the first draft _is_ complete and now I'm just tightening up the structure and language. In my raccoon way, this isn't one of the stories I've been talking about in past journals, but a whole new story aimed at the Leviathan 4 anthology. I figure when it's done it'll be around the 7,000 word mark. I'm pretty pleased with the story. The idea hit me, like most ideas do, with a flash of narrative voice and some dialogue in my head, and the name "Tecumseh". That's the name of the city, and all the cities have American Indian names. Why? Because the story touches upon the differences between city living and country living and it seemed to me delightfully ironic to name the megacities after people who didn't have a tradition for city life. I suppose the story qualifies as fantasy given the alternate Earth setting, although it's a little SF as well. It's one of those stories that Harry Harrison would have dubbed a round peg for a square hole. In any case, it works for me.

The only problem that may crop up is that I give my narrator, a young man from the country, a sort of countrified dialect. It's not a strictly southern or western American dialect, but a mix of what I perceive to be southern and western with some good old Yankee thrown in. I'm going to have to have Pretty Maggie read this for me as she hates it whenever I try to imitate a southern drawl.

In other news, the link of the day refers to a site I came across on one of the fannish e-lists and points to a Q&A column run by Kurt Vonnegut for a magazine called In These Times. Now the magazine itself looked a little interesting, but not quite the thing that would justify becoming a regular reader, but I hope they continue to provide Vonnegut's column on the web. I have a soft spot for cranky liberals, being one myself. Plus I've been reading him since I was a kid. He's one of those fellows I wouldn't mind having lunch with someday. A short lunch. He seems to me an intense sort of individual.

Anyway, here's a brief sample from his column:

"Dear Joe,
Welcome to Earth, young man. Itís hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Itís round and wet and crowded. At the outside, Joe, youíve got about a hundred years here. Thereís only one rule that I know of: Goddamn it, Joe, youíve got to be kind!
Kurt"

Sound familiar to anyone?

* * *
All in all it feels like it's been a productive evening. I can go to bed with a clear conscious, and sleep the sleep of the innocent. Tomorrow night will not be so productive writing-wise, it being a Wednesday, but I have chores to do around the house that will take care of my daily need for a balanced meal of industry and loafing.

The day--ah, the day was beautiful. Simply so. Sunny, comfortable for shirtsleeves alone. I found myself taking too many breaks amid the workday, but I wasn't the only one. Even the boss was out there an awful lot today. Tomorrow shuld be nice as well until the gray comes in early evening. Then rain rain rain... but the sun will shine through again come Friday.

Just you wait.

Cheers!

--John Teehan


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