It’s been an eventful week, personally and globally speaking, and I’m ending it with a bit more insight into several topics that are of interest to me. I won’t bore you with all of them, I’ll just touch on the more fascinating ones.
Ask me any day how I feel about the technology sector and I’ll probably tell you I hate tech without even stopping to think. Which is why it is important to always stop and think before you spit out an opinion. It reduces the risk of making a fool of yourself.
I had an eye exam this week and it confirmed the doctor’s suspicions: I had, and I quote, high-risk degenerative zones along the periphery of my retina. On both eyes, because that’s only fair. But no worries, she said, laser will fix them. When I asked where I can get this sort of laser treatment she said “Oh, they do it everywhere.”
These last words told me two things: first, ophthalmic surgery has advanced so much they now do laser corrections of the retina on every corner and second, I’ve spent the last two years in fear for my eyesight for no good reason at all. A third thing came from a techie friend of mine who also happens to be one of the wisest people I know.
In response to my deeply stupid statement that “I hate technology but I love eye technology,” she said, with her usual coolness, “It’s really disappointing how people have come to hate all technology just because of Big Tech. High-tech is not just IT, it’s high because there is little material input but a lot of thought, and it’s been doing wonders in so many areas, including medicine.” I love this woman.
So does stupidity
Sadly, I’m not the only stupid human on this planet. It’s yet another pandemic but there’s no vaccine for this one. People are being increasingly stupid and they are being increasingly loud about it. When did everything got to be about politics, I ask. And no, it wasn’t always about politics. Now it is and we have fashion trends in political stupidity. Poverty, war, and famine are out, for some reason, while largely made-up problems are in. I blame Big Tech, of course.
Not so much my buns
Recently, I complained in this whiny blog post about reading about food and cooking, and writers being cruel about sharing their recipes. Last week, the publisher I translate for approached me with a YA novel that features baking. Heavily. Of course, I said I’ll take it because it makes perfect sense. Does the book have the recipes for all the things the characters cook? Of course not. So I’m making a list of them and hunting down the recipes after I’m done.
Meanwhile, as I’m writing about baking I want to bake more than ever. And when I was forced to spend a whole day unable to look at a screen (pupils take time to revert to their normal after diagnostic dilation) I baked buns. With a coconut and condensed milk filling I made up because I had coconut and condensed milk in the fridge. They looked beautiful when I made them. And then I overbaked them, not unlike the cooking book’s protagonist. However, she had the excuse of mistaking Celsius for Fahrenheit and I didn’t. A lesson from the book: take more risks in the kitchen.
Short stories, though, do rule
I’ve been writing novels for the last two years with almost no breaks. This week, a newsletter with calls for submissions reminded me about the joys of short stories. I used to be all about short stories. They seemed easy and they were invariably a pleasure to write because I never needed to plot them the way I need to plot novels.
Now, short stories are harder to write — once it gets a taste of the long form, the brain wants to turn every single story into a novel and it takes effort to prevent it from doing that. Last week, when I got the newsletter, I took out a couple of stories I wrote about three years ago and then submitted to a couple of places before I gave up. If time has taught me anything it’s that you don’t get published if you give up after the second try.
So I’ve decided to make time to edit the stories I like the best and start submitting them again. Then I might also make time to write the two I’ve been thinking about for a while now. There seems to be a huge market for horror and dark speculative fiction out there. I wonder why.
If you’ve made it this far, here are a couple of book suggestions because it has come to my attention that it feels good when people read the books you write. Reviews are always appreciated.
For vampires, witches, and dragons click here.
For a supernatural mystery that begins mid-flight click here. (This one’s free on Kobo)