Wait, wait, wait… So let me get this straight. Some people actually PREFER Matt Smith to David Tennant? Madness!
True, pumpkin-flavored everything jumped the shark a few years ago, but Pumking still reigns as king of the delicious fall beers.
|—||Anthony Bourdain on the best advice he ever received.|
Some light American labor history reading for your Labor Day pleasure, courtesy of historian Howard Zinn (from his A People’s History of the United States).
Buy the entire book while you’re at it.
Sure, I think it can. Anything that makes you examine writing critically and being around like-minded individuals can be beneficial. Plus, a program can be a good influence on one’s work ethic.
On the other hand, I don’t think it’s necessary and I think there are many other avenues to becoming a better writer. These include simply writing (which is free), reading (which can be free), and experiencing (which may or may not be free).
A writer should simply do what works best for them.
|—||Ernest Hemingway, The Art of Fiction No. 21, 1958|
No, I wasn’t.
As a teacher now, I would not have enjoyed having my teenage self as a student. I earned “good” grades, which kept people off my back, but I was unnessacarily a slacker, sometimes a real asshole, my head was either in the clouds or focused on girls, and, frankly, I was far more interested in the social side of being a teenager than the academic.
If I could go back in time to smack some sense into my teenage self, I would.
Well, Neil wrote to me that he’s had a similar experience in data loss:
Due to a faulty format-changing program I lost a complete draft of the Neverwhere novel. One moment I had a finished book. The next I had 21 chapters, each with 0 bytes in it. Had there been a gun next to me when the book dissolved to electrons, I might have used it. Instead I found someone with a Norton Utilities disk and spent the next three days searching my email for bits I’d sent to people to read, and scouring the hard disk finding lost chunks of book (remembering nothing’s gone — it just can’t find it any more) and reassembling it.
I’ve lost a notebook with Chapter Three of ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS in it. I wrote it again, and worried it wasn’t as good.
I’ve lost things and rewritten them and then found them, and discovered that what I’d made to replace them was better.
If Neil could rewrite Neverwhere and believes his rewrite was better, I’ll probably be all right.
Well, it looks like my USB drive is officially unfixable.
I have a backup of my novel’s manuscript as it was at the beginning of the summer, so it’s not a total loss - but the past two months of some intense writing (as well as an in-depth edit of the entire manuscript and dozens of pages of typed notes) is unrecoverable, mostly due to my own preventable, careless stupidity, which included:
- Keeping important files on a cheap USB drive.
- Not being diligent in backing up THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I’VE EVER WRITTEN.
Of course, I know how ridiculous it sounds and it’s not true, but I feel like I’ll never be able to write again.
Once I finally get the nerve to click open my backup document from June, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to recreate the magic of the past two months. I’m always obsessively critical and self-conscious of my writing, but I never felt more “on” or more confident in my writing than I had this summer.
If I could get beyond the nausea (interspersed with the moments of rage and sorrow and self-pity), I’d give it a whirl. Instead, I think I need a few more days of moping, staring blankly at the wall, neglecting my personal hygiene, and drinking milk directly out of the carton.
As for the details of what happened with the flash drive: being that it was a monolithic flash drive that snapped, the only chance, according to the data recovery expert, would involve microscopes and cost over $1,000… not the $250-$350 of a usual fix (which I was eagerly going to pay). And even then, he said, the data may not be recoverable.
We spent about forty minutes talking over the phone. I learned more about USB drives than I ever imagined possible, but he also coached me through some other possibilities of finding hidden traces of the document that still might be on my computer and able to be recovered. No luck. Not a trace.
All right. I’m done pitying myself.
First of all, you can watch the above video for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s re-election campaign right here. Now, I should probably be offended that this came up in my newsfeed to begin with, but let me breakdown my many problems with this video:
- The woman in the video is not a teacher, she is a school board member. That’s like calling a GE shareholder a manufacturer.
- Corbett was indeed a 9th grade teacher… for one year in the early 1970s.
- If schools in Pennsylvania have any money, it’s because of local funding, not state. Examining PA’s public school funding at a percentage under Corbett, Pennsylvania ranks 45th (source).
- According to FactCheck.org: "Within weeks of taking office, Corbett reduced the state appropriation for school districts for basic subsidies by $335 million … State funding going to pre-K-12 programs remains below the amount the state contributed six years ago in 2008-2009, and well below that achieved during the two years of stimulus contributions."
- Corbett doesn’t know a damn thing about what schools need. He’s a public school crushing, pension destroying, corporate guinea pig.
- Corbett’s social media expert needs a lesson in basic grammar.
In other words, Tom Wolfe winning the election can’t come soon enough.