YA Books 2

by Dr Davis on July 25, 2014

Young Adult Books (part 2)
FenCon10 Notes

Part of YA job is inspirational.
Show a world you would want to be in…
Heroine… Girl who gets to say it’s “not okay to pressure me”
Didn’t let folks say their value was conditional.

When folks choose to do something, they shouldn’t be shamed.

Have someone stand up for what’s right, so the readers understand you can say no.

All write fantastic fiction.
We get to deal with big decisions of good and bad…
Love the quote from Harry Potter about choosing between the good and the easy.

Evil will triumph if folks do nothing.

Power has consequences.
I want consequences in YA.

Part of middle grade and YA fiction–Do we need to have a moral?
Character has to have a moral compass.
Moralizing versus what-if world that might exist.
Sometimes the choices are bad or worse.

Tell an entertaining story.
Someone having to make choices.
You need to be aware of conflict.
Conflict is the point.

Males as want to be… are boys really boys?
SF for years created women as men because their characterization sucked.
Let’s not do this the other way.

YA v non-YA
Did you approach the writing differently?
No. Writing process is the same.

Compare middle grade to YA.
Sex none, but hormones working in middle grade.

Don’t talk down to the readers.
Editor made me take out some things. For example, the grounds keeper wasn’t allowed to smoke on the school grounds, because the kids would see that as permission for them to smoke.
Have to be more mindful.
I wanted to inspire with science not fight about a pipe. So I took it out.

YA = one big genre, except at Barnes and Noble.

Where’s the teen erotica? In New Adult.


YA Books

by Dr Davis on July 24, 2014

Young Adult Books
FenCon10 notes

Must haves? Different from general? Do, don’t, why not?

“Do not moderate me.”

YA and why we write.

Michelle Bardsley—one YA series
Rosemary Clement-Moore—YA supernatural mysteries (latest is a psychic girl detective)
Rachel Caine—vampire series for YA, being made into webx Prince of Shadows (Feb 2014)
Amber Benson—actor, writer, Death’s Daughter series “Normal girls went to Barney’s and looked at $60 socks. That’s not normal.”
Beth Hale—YA author, YA scifi novel, Cookbook of Indian food

How much sex is too much in YA?
Nobody knows. The line continually is redrawn.

New Adult (18-22) with all the sex you want.

Depends on the publisher.

Sex in YA was realistically awkward, a big plot point, about decision and consequences—now can be a thing that happens and can be over-romanticized.
Sex a part, but not talked about much, still like society. So now having sex at a younger age and this is evident in their reading. (Really? Younger? Younger than middle school? 35 years ago inner-city middle school/junior high had 75% or more sexually active students.)
Rule (2006) What can I not do? Everything except sex. I had to send the 6th book to 10 self-identified conservative parents for review, because I wanted to have sex in the 6th book.

What drives YA censorship is library and protests.

Do I want to fight that battle?
YA author wanted to have message in book and lots of language. Was asked, do you want to be challenged because of the message or the language? So changed the language because the message was more important.

Beth Hale doesn’t put sex in books because she can’t read it outloud.

What can you not do in YA?
bestiality and boring
… Except now we have werewolves/bestiality…

What needs to be done?
Don’t write as if you are writing a book for young people.

Now have a lot more tech.
Bullying has always existed.
Themes are universal: growing and becoming an adult.

Must remember embarrassment and show that in YA.
Really too mature = me as a teenager
How much are you pulling from life? Much, lots, most
Let yourself go back and remember how you dealt with others, with your younger sibling(s).

Violence? How much gore can you get away with?
Dea Reeves, Slice of Cherry, 2 sisters, daughter of serial killer, the sisters torture someone in the basement, got less flack from violence…

Kids are drawn to violence. Kid deals with violence as an object they haven’t dealt with.

Europe—hungry for places to publish. They don’t like violence, but sex is okay.
Europeans want to know why Americans are so repressed about sex.
European authors, violence is difficult/not done
“all the gun violence”
Violence accepted in US; sex is not.
“Why does Texas kill people?”

How much to put in books?
Characters are American.
Before you decide on violence and sex, what story are you wanting to tell?
“You know how picky I am about my shoes—and those are just going on my feet.” Cher in Clueless about sex.

Children want the truth.
I read all the time. The books gave me a way to figure out how to act.

Discrimination against sex is from adults.
Jr high girls know to give blow jobs to avoid sexual pressure.
What? Giving blow jobs is how to AVOID sexual pressure? What kind of people are these? Don’t they see that the blow jobs are sexual pressure?

More to come.


Poetry Section

by Dr Davis on July 23, 2014

Fen Con 10 Notes
Beyond Gilgamesh section

talked about happy words, like snickerdoodle
concentrated hoards
–said poetry and information want to be free (? economic belief?)

They read poetry and played corpse (poem with one line per person).

Good lines today:
power to choose to remain silent
power to not sing in pubs
Is that person Welsh?

glamour of the ordinary

pixies play
riches are but fairy gold
ethereal tunes to tease your ear

poetry = tombstone of words

angels must be solemn to stay friends with God


Intersection of Genres

by Dr Davis on July 22, 2014

Intersections of Genres: Genre-lizing
FenCon10 notes

bisect codes (paranormal werewolf)

gothic romance
science fiction
noir mystery
dark fantasy
urban fantasy
detective mystery
science fantasy
historical romance

iconic covers?
mainstream and genre
Star Wars poster re-dos
George R. Martin cover
single object in a landscape

Goblin Fruit is an online fantastical magazine with mythological elements.
–muse immigrating to Australia
daughter of the muse of poetry attempting to produce art


Harmful Habits for Computers

by Dr Davis on July 21, 2014

Cory Doctorow Harmful
FenCon10 notes

story or poem:
trapped in your computers (cars)
living in your computer (house, hotel)

Every problem in modern life involves computers.

Running and experiment on mandates for regulating computers.
1980s software duplicated, so tried to make a bad sector on the floppy disk.

typingDRM digital rights management (copy prevention)
“wishful thinking” This is sending the keys and asking person to forget the keys.

infinitely fecund/fertile

1996 WICO Internet treaties
zone in international law to protect copyright
would require hosts to censor
$250K fine
spread around the world.
Canada only passed in 2012. Canada knew better. That was felony stupidity.
Eu-Canadian Free Trade, US-Australia Trade

US treaties are not overseen by Congress.
Not that having that happen would make them better.

Created unforeseen limits on reverse engineering.

The heart and soul of modern industry is inter-operability.

inter-operability is essential

1996 DVDs came out
Tower Records
$1000s on CDs and $1000s on DVDs
CDs—no drm on CDs. CDs have grown in value.
You can share, read, rip, etc.
Not one new feature had been added to DVDs, because DVDs have drm.
Companies “pick pockets” on drm—not any growth or change.

Amazing in a RenFair way that our DVDs are made like those of our forefathers.

Allows for unskippable ads.
Allows for checking for countries of origin.

DVD is hostile to users.

male studying computerMost robust software that exists is open source.
“that shoulders of giants be stood upon”

–companies miss the boat on features
–features without the economic factor; disabled interoperability

w/ open source disabled, folks create interoperability

greatest consequence of drm = transparency is an anti-feature
stops user from doing something they want to do
So okay if user wants to shoot someone with gun? This argument should apply to other fields.

Turing complete computer, can run every program.
Turing Complete seems to be universal.
No basis in the universe for Turing Complete -1. (You don’t want it.)

Programs/things are interdicting you on your computer.

Computer has to obfuscate or hide the program.
2005 Sony BGM sent 51x to change anything on your computer that began with $ESE$–kill your processor.
Installed a root kit.
2005 300K military and government computers infected.
Virus writers began beginning their viruses with the invisibility cloak.

rocket ships are really built with self-destructs? Why?

Computer should not be designed to tell you lies.

NAS and Britain weakened security systems by required “hidden” back doors. Weakened air transportation, nuclear power systems, power grids, etc.
Secrecy about secrecy is bad.
Legal requirement against transparency and for weakened systems.

Miss USA called in by the FBI for a post on Facebook.
A Minor child in Ireland—Ratters Called slavers.

Champion for digital inclusion in UK
block of folks with free internet access for 2 years versus other block
These folks were better off, ate better, were more civically and politically engaged.

Rent-to-own 7 companies computer
FCA did not fine them. Just told them to stop or put it in fine print.

computer and glasses4-5 years governments began buying security issues and not patching them.
Keeping vulnerabilities secret to create weapons.

Barnaby Jack, 1 year ago, Australian implanted defibrillator
Doctors wanted to be able to re-program defibrillators
Wireless interfaces were created.
Found a way to send to and reprogram defibrillators.
6 months ago died under suspicious circumstances.

Build software and root kits?
Turns petty dictators into world-wide monsters.

Free and fair society…
There is no way to fight for justice with untrustworthy computers.

Folks are cyber-optimists.

self-evident? non-controversial?

Little Brother opeioned twice, but may not become a movie.

Systemic changes—shitty network safety is bi-partisan



by Dr Davis on July 20, 2014

FenCon10 notes

Editors—some good, some bad
Usually the edits the editors ask for are necessary to make your book more marketable.
Recommendations almost always beneficial.

Rosen line edits on every line.
Sometimes questioning sentence structure.

Muenzler—does this sound right?

Keep rewriting, but let it go.
Cheney—rewrite and then let it go.

Critique groups and writing groups will/may
take you out of your book,
encourage you to write more on things they like (but not nec good to write on).
The pace is often a problem when folks say, “I would like to know more about x.”

Writers have enough editors in their heads. Don’t give it to someone else before it is finished.

First writers sometimes won’t finish a book because they revise too much.
Rosen doesn’t revise until whole book is written.
One author wrote draft; then rewrote the whole book from the beginning. That works for her.

Don’t get bogged down in the mechanics.

Before revision, let it sit (longer than 2 months).
Work on something else.
Have a really smart 14-year-old read it.
Maybe read through and write notes on your own reactions.

Put pages on the wall. Step a distance away. See if there is a mix of dialogue and exposition.
Can do that even when you can’t read it yet.

Maybe move on to another idea (keep notes about things) but work on another topic.

Getting published:
Don’t write what is popular. Current trends change.
Write about what you want.

5 years from sending to publishing a book.
2 years from sending to publishing a short story.

Only thing that you have that is different is your voice.
The way you tell a story, that’s your voice.

Nielsen-Hayden works for Tor.
She has a greater variety of authors.

New writers, publishable v. rejection.
Don’t keep count. There’s no odds on being published.

Logic—story that is interesting, engaging, and people want to read then it will get published.
If you have written a book that “doesn’t do it,” then we will say no.

Big difference between Tor (Nielsen-Hayden) and small press (Rosen).
Small press doesn’t have to deal with authors who won’t revise.

Do you read during the writing process?
Early on, no.
Kathleen Cheney can’t read genre lit while writing because the editor stays on.
Muenzler—mostly read short stories when I’m writing novels. I am an avid reader. Read an hour or so each night.

Style/voice bleed over?
Some obvious. Some not.
ArmadilloCon–artists borrow images from other artists, but in every other art from you attempt to copy the style of the masters.

For example, Scalzi has great paragraph transitions.

Writing practice = creating stories in the style of X.

But don’t just follow/copy.
Don’t soak up indiscriminately.

Muenzler—stylistic issues. Will look at several authors who do that well and then work on it.

Some good authors have rejected the style or books of another author.

“Language is a virus from outer space.”

When reading, stay in genre or not?
Muenzler—stay in
Rosen—read esoteric stuff, usually out
Cheney—don’t read genre fiction while writing, will go out of genre and re-read books.
for study, look at any or all genres

spiral of revision
quality matters
All of us believe our children are the best… What do you do when your best work is rejected?

Got to be good. Got to be entertaining. Also, dumb luck.

You finish novel. Send it out. (disassociate self)
Be working on the next novel.
Kick child out of the house and concentrate on the baby.

Rejection is just rejection.
We don’t remember rejections.

After accepting a book:
long editorial letter
Brust came to the house and edited the book in 14 hours.
Then editorial passes it to production.
There are books out there on this.


Basic Care and Feeding of Hats

by Dr Davis on July 19, 2014

Basic Care and Feeding of Hats
J. Barrett on Facebook and SteamCat.net

constructed felt hats on wooden block or metal block

Resistol is made at the same place as Stetson.

Crown constructed on crown block.
Brim constructed on brim block.

Look at YouTube. Felicia Day makes a top hat.

Piece of felt called a hood. Steamed, then put on crown and brim blocks and sewn together.

Cloche, hat from 20s, is one piece.

Straw hats made of braided straw. Steamed.

Wooden sweaters can be used to make hats. First “felt” them.

To clean hats:
remove trimming, bands
Hair dryer will cool off the hot glue.
Hat brushes (2—light and dark) or can use shoe brushes (but do not also use on shoes).

Brush crown first.
Natural felt has a nap. Brush counter-clockwise on the crown.
Brim brush from crown to outside, also counter-clockwise.
On the underside go clockwise.

Used cornstarch and flour to stay on hat.
Put cornstarch in bag with hat, shake and leave on for several hours.
Then brush out.

To repair fine moth holes, use emery board on the inside of the hat and glue the pieces to the moth hole.

Clean a straw hat with a stiff brush, and mild soap and water.
Straw and felt hats can be steamed and reshaped.

Clean velvet with a velvet pad or scrap velvet.
Steaming will loosen dirt.
If filthy= brush, steam, cornstarch, brush

curled feathers—put in a different box to keep in good shape
revive trimmings with steam
steam ?half way full tea kettle boil and turn down to medium, takes about 20 minutes

feathers can be washed, laid on paper towel
use curling iron to curl

Hancock and bridal stores have veiling.
Judith M online.

Stetson designed hats to be re-used.
Hats were used to get water out of the creak.

Cowboy hat
bring the sweatband out and dry it.

Do NOT hang your hat on a rack
Get a wig stand. $3.00 at Sally Beauty Supply.
Use cedar blocks IN CHEESECLOTH to prevent moths and larvae.

Bowler hat: brim down, NOT crown, on something that holds it up off the table/ dresser or lay it on its side at dinner.

Cowboy and fedora, store it laying on crown, the brims are shaped, so upside down.
Take hat off using the brim, not the crown.

Felt stiffener can be found in Western wear stores (for rain or really bad shape)

Leather hats: care for like leather couch
leather lotion and soft, damp cloth

Pinch front crown and then push top down to look like Dr. Who’s Stetson.

Hat boxes:
Can buy half moon suitcases.
Samsonite used to make hard-sided hatbox.

Can use big cake boxes with handles.

Cedar will stain a hat so wrap the cedar with muslin or cheesecloth.

Stuff crown with tissue paper OR roll poster board into shape for the hat.

hat block is $90+
hat spinner = paper towel holder with cork part to top)

Use a hat block to create hats. Always cover with plastic or foil.

Reshape the hat:
steam really well
Wear it for an hour.

Too big a hat:
fix with weather stripping or craft felt

too small a hat:
steam and wear
Hats will shrink up if they get wet.

Buying a hat (add finger or 2).
Your head changes sizes. (Same for fingers and bowling ball)



by Dr Davis on July 18, 2014

Cheryl Wiltse
SCMLA 2013 notes

Southwest or Hispanic stories–curanderos

Curanderos are indigenous folk healers who do miraculous feats with hands and herbs.

Conquistadors brought
hot/cold, dark/light
power to heal from God
herbal remedies
body and spirit are one

All say “called to the service of the people.”
an 8 year old in 1898 healed the presidents daughter
a mute was brought, set him in front of swings and bumped into him continually, he found a voice

girl–daughter of an Indian woman and nobleman did massage, herbalism, and simple surgery

most will not accept payment

People leave buckets of cherries, lamps, etc.

Put person in the chair and brush with cloth.
Feet are important.
Massage, with oil, in a triangle.

Illnesses spring from physical and spiritual causes.

Lemons and eggs get rid of evil. Destroy the lemons and eggs and destroy evil.

Healing isn’t really free.

Curanderos have altars in their homes.
In 1988 an anthropology student took picture of one of the altars. A small vial broke during the photo shoot. Shortened her life by 1/3 when broke. …How do they know that?

Eva–Home was full of power in the back room.
That room burned.

Evil eye comes from excessive admiration.

A bruja (witch) is a curandera who is evil.

El Nino left a recipe against hexes.

Plant world has lots of uses.
Herbalism taught in families.
“You dig some of the roots.”
Learn location of herbs.
How to clean and dry, whether inside or outside

Curandera sobradora (one who heals with her hands)
This is what my cousin is/does.

Pancreas is “loose” if there are stomach issues.

Jesse, from Vegas, baby deliverer (20,000+ kids)
used hands for heartbeats ???

uncomfortable space between science and faith = curanderas

medicinal magic
natural prescriptions in the cities
Curanderos don’t isolate symptoms/parts like modern medicines.

The speaker said that people often go to the curanderas after modern medicine has failed them.
A person, at the end, said that many of those people would have been healed if they had just gone and gotten modern medicine and that it was all hooey.
I said that modern medicine fails many people, even those who seek it assiduously, and that if there is something else that works, then we ought to be able to see the efficacy of that and use it as well.


TheMetaPictures for Classes

by Dr Davis on July 18, 2014

Grad class:
Disney Conspiracy, on the meaning of gloves in movies

“Reading This Is So Satisfying”, on varying sentence length

FYC and linguistics:
Weird Al Yankovich’s Word Crimes.


Celtic Legends

by Dr Davis on July 17, 2014

Lari Ranta
SCMLA 2013 notes

Celtic legends of the Shae people.
1880s Andrew Lang and others wrote, using historical and archaeological evidences.

fairy revival:
They are shy but benevolent.
diminutive size
elven ears
This is a remarkable shift.

Scottish fairies were mischievous and malevolent.
Farthest from peaceful.
Fairies steal: things, women, children.
Fairies trap humans.

The deviations of Scot-Celt stories is from 1900.

land formation: hills, glens, knolls, etc
fairies were typed to the terrain

Scot fairies were tied to rugged mountains and dark moors.
Traveling within Scotland.
Lots of place names with Shae/Shee.

Ring forts:
folks put rocks around dangerous places

Fairies lured young men away with music and dancing.
Elves used bagpipes.
John Campbell wrote that “men ….unaware of the passage of time…”

wastrel trapped in fairyland,
working is important

fairy as omen:
washer woman fairy
washing clothes of person going to die

before/after death

Rev. Robert Kirk, 1691
found no discrepancies in belief in fairies
“If one gets involved with fairies, death will follow.”

fairies enter human worlds commonly
good neighbors, good folk –>to keep problems of fairies away

fairy bull comes from the lochs in the highlands

Scots faeries become more dangerous the farther out or the nearer the water’s edge they are. Think kelpies.
7 girls drowned by the kelpie of the loch.

Selkies are forlorn and lonely.
Take heed of the mystery of water.

Human women were the most vulnerable.
Mothers and babies were kidnapped.
Faeries don’t want women to remember.
Fairy trades baby with newborn human.
fairy baby = brown and gray, hollow look in eyes, extreme facial features, little ability to communicate, often have SIDS

changelings were tested by
laying on hot coals
put the babes below the high water mark, cover them with stones and leave them there

So babies who didn’t look/act right would be killed by “testing” to see if they were changelings.

Fairies and ___ Disabilities (book or article?)
failure to thrive and mental/physical illnesses, congenital illness
These would be denied. It’s a fairy baby, so the blame doesn’t fall to the parents.

failure to thrive and delayed development were common changeling lore

infant mortality rate
did the climate and terrain explain why Scottish children were often changelings?
One there’s a blueberry patch and the son is lost. (Reminds me of the children’s book.)

Fairy stories explain the dangers of the land.