This blog topic was suggested by Brian C. E. Buhl. Hi Brian!
I hesitate to dispense writing advice on this blog, since I’m not the most widely-known and widely-quoted of writers myself. Plenty of writers are out there, giving plenty of writing advice, and who am I to add my voice to the chaos?
And writing advice is so subjective as well. Chuck Wendig says that all writing advice is bullshit, after all. Though he’s written plenty of books on the craft of writing, it all, he says, boils down to two things: Writers write, and they finish what they write. So I guess that counts as the best writing advice I’ve received: Writers write, and they finish what they write. All the rest is bullshit and dross.
Nevertheless, there’s other advice out there that’s good and that’s bad, so let’s look at a couple of those pieces of advice.
Show, don’t tell. This piece of advice basically says that you should always show what’s going on in your story, showing the characters and their feelings, and so on, rather than simply saying it. So, for example, instead of saying, “Rob felt angry,” you should write, “Rob felt hot rage stir through his body” or something like that. But is this always the best approach? I argue that it is not. There are times when it’s best to simply state what’s going on in a scene, and move on. To show in detail every single aspect of a scene can become laborious and difficult for the reader.
Write what you know. This piece of advice is a cliche, and a dangerous one at that. It’s also a cliche to hate on this piece of advice, and to dismiss it entirely. When I was a kid, I was told I should pass on writing my epic fantasy trilogy and stick to writing “what I know”, but I wasn’t sure what that was supposed to be. I was in junior high at the time; should I have therefore written about junior high kids and the struggles they went through? I didn’t think so, because what I was going through at the time was pretty dull, in my opinion, and didn’t make for interesting reading.
In short: if we only write what we know, we won’t have stories about spaceships, elves, talking trees, and so on. Lord knows that snippet of advice stopped me from writing my story about a mad scientist who traveled in time in a time machine created in a VW bug, twenty years before Back to the Future.
Still, I think it’s worthwhile to unpack this bit of advice. Write what you know. Does it make sense to write about a serial killer when you’ve never been one? Well… We’ve all felt the sort of anger and rage that have led us to hate someone, even if that anger and rage haven’t extended to the desire to kill that person. Could we extrapolate, though, from our own experience and emotions to something entirely outside of our own experience? I think we can. I think it’s possible. And I think it’s important, as writers, that we do so.
So there you have it. The best advice I’ve gotten, and the worst.
I’ve only had twenty minutes to write this blog post. Let’s hope tomorrow’s is more coherent.
Today’s book recommendation is Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty. I loved this book, and Mur is an excellent writer and mentor. This novel, which is touted as Murder, She Wrote meets Babylon Five, is a genuine delight. Get your copy now!
This topic was suggested by Kat Templeton. Hi Kat!
Why do I write?
For the glamour, the fame, the money, the groupies!
And now that you’ve taken a moment to stop laughing, I can tell you that I don’t really know why I write. I don’t remember not wanting to be a writer. As a kid, I wrote a lot of stories, sometimes involving the detective Fizziwinker (was that his first or last name? No one knows!), or monsters, or weird aerial phenomena. I know that my mom has at least one of my first “books” in her cedar chest at home. And I don’t remember how old I was, but I’m pretty sure I was in junior high school that my mom gave me a typewriter of my own to write my stories with. Said typewriter looked something like the one above.
I know why I write what I write, which is “contemporary comedic fantasy with elements of cosmic horror”. I wrote a blog post all about it a few years ago, in which I basically said that I write these stories to help me come to grips with the trauma of having seen too many scary movies when I was a kid. That’s not the only genre I write in, though; I’ve written straight horror (as in “Who Remembers Molly”) and what I think of as mind-benders (as in “Trying to Stay Dead”) and a genre I like to call “Northern California Gothic” (as in “Burying Uncle Albert”).
I guess I write because it comes naturally to me. I like to read books and stories, and I like to write them. (I used to draw comic strips too, but we won’t talk about that any longer.) I’m never going to get rich as a writer (hardly anyone does), and Jennifer’s enough groupie for me. I am of the opinion that I am a pretty good writer, and I certainly want my efforts to be known and recognized, as most writers do, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Anyway. On to the next topic!
Today’s book is The Repossessed Ghost by Brian C. E. Buhl. I’ve already talked about it in my BayCon report, but I wanted to re-recommend it. I had the opportunity to read an earlier draft, which was very well-written, and this final version is excellent. Go forth and read!
Please note, this post is based entirely on my own understanding of “AI” and the modern controversies surrounding these tools. It’s one of the topics I was given when I solicited topics for my daily blog posts.
AI in general
I am not a fan of what has been popularly called AI, as perpetrated on us by companies developing tools like ChatGPT or Midjourney or Dall-E or any of their equivalents. For one thing, the term “AI” — or “generative AI” — is a misnomer. There is nothing intelligent about these tools. They are not self-aware. They do not create anything. They do not feel anything. They are good at generating text or images based on large — I mean, HUGE — amounts of input. But intelligent? No. These tools are properly called “Large Language Models”, but that term is not precisely correct. It’s correct enough for my purposes, though.
One term that I have seen bandied about for such tools is “stochastic parrot”. 1, a term which basically means what I have just said above: they take large amounts of data and churn out predictive text. Another term I’ve seen online (usually in Facebook memes) is “plagiarism machines”. That’s certainly an appropriate term, because these tools are trained on, basically, the entirety of the internet, which includes a great number of copyrighted texts, and while OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, may have restrained their own tools from using these copyrighted texts, other corporations or open-source creators may not. Indeed, the issue of copyright for these tools has opened up a number of lawsuits and legal troubles. How will these issues be resolved? I don’t know. I can tell you, though, that the high court of Japan has ruled that copyrighted texts published there are fair game for LLMs.
Then there’s the issue of AI “hallucinations”, which is an entirely wrong term. AIs don’t hallucinate, any more than my cup of coffee does. They simply generate bad information. When I asked ChatGPT to tell me about myself, Richard S. Crawford the writer, it told me at first that I had written a number of stories and listed a couple of my publications; but then it also listed the number of awards I’d earned, and the fact that I lived in the Bay Area with my wife and children and a dog. All of this is, of course, false. I haven’t won any awards, I certainly do not live in the Bay Area, and while I do have a wife, we have no children, and there are definitely no dogs. This leads me to wonder what the point of ChatGPT even is, if I have to fact-check every statement it makes; and when people encounter “facts” that ChatGPT hallucinates into being, how many of them are going to bother fact-checking anyway. You thought the internet was bad at spreading dis/mis-information now, just wait until Google’s top results in its searches are AI-generated articles with no human intervention or fact-checking.
There are other problematic aspects of LLMs and the companies that create them, from the environmental resources required to keep them up and running (and you thought cryptocurrencies were bad), to the hordes of Kenyan workers paid at sub-subsistence levels to keep the tools from becoming Nazi parrots. But I’ll let other people address those issues. And I’ll only mention in passing the way AI grifters are using ChatGPT to scam Amazon’s KU program for money.
AI and Science Fiction
This is a topic I’m less familiar with, mostly because I don’t read a whole lot of science fiction. I know that there have been plenty of movies that feature AIs or self-aware computers — 2001: A Space Odyssey comes to mind — and most of the time, these tools are portrayed as dangerous and, well, not necessarily fans of the human race. HAL, in 2001, killed off all the crew in that movie, and attempted to do in Dave Bowman who figured out how to turn it off by removing its memory cores. And who can forget Skynet, the AI in the Terminator franchise, that started a nuclear war between Russia and the US? And finally, let’s not leave out the intelligent machines in that vastly silly Matrix series of films2.
On the other hand, the Pixar film Wall-E features an intelligent, presumably self-aware robot that basically saves the human race from itself. Or something. To be honest, it’s been at least a decade since I saw that movie.
I’m even less familiar with AIs in novels, but I do remember that in Becky Chambers’s truly outstanding Wayfarers series of novels, there are plenty of AI characters who run the gamut of ethical sensibilities, from benevolent to less so. The second book of the series, A Closed and Common Orbit, one of the best science fiction novels published in recent years, features an AI on a quest to find out what its own personhood means.
In short, AIs in media are more likely to be true artificial intelligences, sapient, self-aware, capable of emotion, all of that. LLMs are not that. They may seem it, but they are not. HAL is sapient, as is Skynet… LLMs, not so much.
Will the science fiction view of AI ever come into being? This question has been hotly debated by philosophers and technologists for decades. I remember reading John Searle’s essay in which he argued that a thermostat may be intelligent, simply because it “knows” what to do when climate conditions change3, and that was in 1991. A consensus has never been reached.
Personally, I don’t think so; at least, I don’t think we’ll ever see a human-equivalent AI. This is based on arguments I recall from college philosophy and psychology classes that human intelligence is not just a brain phenomenon, but a whole-body one; in other words, our sense of self-awareness is based not just in the brain, but takes input from all over our body, all our senses, all our organs, even the microbiome that makes up the population of our guts4. Unless we can build a human body from scratch and imbue THAT with an artificial intelligence, maybe we’ll see something human-like.
I feel like I’ve drifted from the topic. What was it? Oh yes, AI and Science Fiction.
Artificial intelligences were a part of the worldbuilding in Dune, as I recall (though it’s been decades since I’ve read that book). However, there was a “Butlerian jihad” which destroyed the AIs and made them illegal because they tried to take over and kill the humans.
In summary, I believe a Butlerian jihad may be just what we need right now.
I’ve decided that I’m going to recommend books I’ve read as part of this series of blog posts, and for this one I’m going to recommend the Hugo-award winning Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers. Start with The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and go from there. You won’t regret it, I promise. And as I mentioned, while all these books are excellent, in my opinion, the second one, A Closed and Common Orbit, is the best.
I announced publicly on Facebook that I was going to post here on this blog daily in August, just as my friend Brian did in July, and I solicited topics. I don’t think I got 31 of them, so I’ll be soliciting more later on, but here are a few of them, mostly for my reference and not in any particular order. They are:
Compelling fiction with non-violent plots
My zucchini is conspiring with my tomato army to take over the neighborhood
So, last weekend I went to BayCon in Santa Clara. It was the first time I’ve been to a con by myself since TimeCon ’87; since then I’ve been with friends or with Jennifer. I was expecting to feel kind of lonely and sad without Jennifer at the con with me, but I didn’t. I made new friends, I met old friends, and I met other writers (including old friends who are writers), and in general I had a blast.
My good friend Brian C. E. Buhl launched his debut novel, The Repossessed Ghost, and I snagged a limited edition signed copy. I also met some other writers, but I already had copies of their books, and since I hadn’t brought their books with me, I didn’t get any signed. Ah well.
There was also gaming at the con, but I didn’t avail myself of any games since I had simply too many panels to attend or people to meet and have meals with. One of the people I met with on Saturday morning was a new agent. Mind you, I don’t have any projects ready to pitch to an agent (the novel And the Devil Will Drag You Under isn’t close enough to ready), but it was a good conversation nonetheless. They invited me to lunch, which I’m told is a good sign, but I needed to get coffee and head to Brian’s reading.
I went to panels on AI in writing and the arts, on panels about general topics in writing, and a panel that had five writers doing a dramatic reading of (of all things!) Modelland by Tyra Banks. I am not 100% convinced that this book really was written by model Tyra Banks; it might have been ghost-written, I suppose, or someone wrote this and slapped her name on it. Either way, it was really, really bad, and perfectly deserving of five writers doing a dramatic reading in exaggerated tones and voices.
Each night I headed back to my hotel room after dinner and flumpfed onto my bed. I fully intended each evening to get back up after an hour or so, but it just didn’t happen, so I missed most of the evening events and parties, which makes me kind of sad. Maybe next year I will budget my energy better.
Dragon*Con is in a couple of months. I have friends who are going, but I am not, even though some of my favorite writers will be there. I haven’t been there since 2006, when attendance was something like 30,000; I understand it’s much larger now, and I’m likely to get overwhelmed. Also, I entertain this fantasy that the next time I go to Dragon*Con, it will be as a guest. It’ll happen.
As I mentioned, the last con I went to on my own was TimeCon ’87. I went to TimeCon ’86 (on my own) prior to that. I also attended TimeCon ’88 with a lot of friends. I’ve been to several cons with friends or with Jennifer since then. I’ve only been to one con that I didn’t have a lot of fun at and that con shall remain nameless for now.
For a bonus bit of blog, here are the program covers for two of the TimeCon events that I attended in 1986 and 1987. Anyone remember these?
Through exhaustive research and millions of man-hours listening, I have uncovered the dark secret behind one of the internet’s most beloved singing sensations, Jonathan Coulton. Sure, he may look innocent and mild-mannered, but in reality what he secretly is looking for is WORLD DOMINATION. In this blog entry, I will demonstrate how his early music clearly states this goal, and how it has driven him throughout not only his career, but his entire life. All we have to do is consider some of his early songs. Now, granted, I haven’t really kept up with Mr. Coulton’s career, but is that truly necessary? Here we go.
First, we have the song “The Future Soon”, from is album Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow. This song is clearly from the point of view of a man who has a crush on a woman (called “Laura” in the song, but that may be a pseudonym). Coulton leaves her an anonymous note and is spurned; but instead of moving on, he dreams of becoming a notorious scientist and conquering the world with his army warrior robots. Listen to the song for yourself:
Next, we have Mr. Coulton taking on a soul-crushing job as a computer programmer (he makes no secret about the fact that he really did work as a “code monkey” at one point in his life. In his song “Code Monkey” from the album Thing a Week III, he sings about this boring life and how it destroys his creativity and soul. We find that he has given up his dream of taking over the planet with his warrior robot race (even though the warrior robot race doesn’t actually show up in any song other than “The Future Soon”). Have a listen:
Office life continues for Mr. Coulton, as he tells us in this next song, “Big Bad World One” (Thing a Week IV). He sings in this song about loneliness, sadness, and the isolation that everyone faces in the modern world. But all is not lost for Mr. Coulton!
No, things are about to turn around for our nemesis. In the same dark, smoky place where he ended the last song, he encounters the ghost of George Plimpton, the dilettante and hero who has inspired so many of us, in “A Talk with George” (Thing a Week II):
Inspired, Jonathan Coulton goes out and conquers the world, finds a henchman, takes a captive (the Laura from “The Future Soon”, perhaps?), and sings about his plans for the planet in “Skullcrusher Mountain” (Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow):
So. We can see that Mr. Coulton’s plan is in full motion at this point, and he’s planning on igniting our planet’s atmosphere if his nefarious demands are not met. We are very fortunate that Paul and Storm, another internet music sensation, have talked him into postponing his dark plans and taken him on several cruises, or we may not be here today.
If you have uncovered other clues about Jonathan Coulton and his dark deeds, let me know in the comments here. Or on Facebook. Or on, as Matt Wallace calls it, the Goddamn Twitters (though I probably won’t see it there).
(I should mention, before I am taken hostage, that all these songs and plenty more can be found for download and ultimate enjoyment on the Jonathan Coulton store. Please share and enjoy!)
…but here is my May writing update. I ought to write about something other than… uh… writing, but I’m hard-pressed to find a topic. Suggest something to me? I’m not very interested in discussing politics here anymore. It’s not that I’m avoiding the news and political discussions, which is a very privileged position; it’s just that I know I’m not going to change the minds of anyone who has already made their minds up on issues and who have strong opinions that are just WRONG.
In April I submitted eight manuscripts, and most of them were rejected. Others are still waiting for a response. I worked pretty extensively on my revisions for And the Devil Will Drag You Under, which I’m pleased with, and made significant progress on a new short story. I’m pleased with that too.
I’ve also sort of planned out what I’m going to work on next. First is the full-novel-length version of Witness to the Scourge, which was originally a short story that morphed into a novella. People generally liked it, but had questions about the main character’s narrative arc, and several said it has too much worldbuilding for one wee story. So I’m going to expand on it. It will require research into monster folklore from around the world, and that’s always fun.
The project after that will, thanks to comment a friend of mine made to me over brunch yesterday, probably be an actual middle-grade novel featuring cosmic horror and it will be specifically for kids with depression and anxiety. I was such a kid myself, and I was fond of scary stuff, so I this is right up my alley. It will require plenty of research, though, into subjects such as child psychology, depression and anxiety in children, and so on, and, of course, how to write middle grade fiction. One of my writing friends asked me whether the depression in the kids in the novel would be rooted in some sort of trauma, and I don’t think it will. Some kids suffer free-floating depression and anxiety, and I want to acknowledge that.
So there’s that.
My goals for May are:
Finish up revisions of And the Devil Will Drag You Under (my self-imposed deadline for this is June 21)
Finish up my short story “Little Old People”
Start writing my next short story, “Feast of the Forgotten”
Submit another nine manuscripts (I submit every Monday and Thursday, so this is very doable)
Even though I did not get into the prestigious Odyssey Writers’ Workshop this year, I’m excited for what the year ahead holds writing-wise. Excelsior!
I know you’re all about my writing, oh ye who come regularly to my blog, so here’s an update:
First, since January, I’ve submitted twenty-six manuscripts to various markets; my goal for 2023, as it has been since 2021, is 100 submissions per year. I’ve gotten plenty of rejections, some personal with actionable feedback, some personal without actionable feedback, and some form rejections. Mostly form rejections. Editors are a busy lot, so they don’t tend to send personal rejections unless they are really impressed by the story, so I’m pleased with the ones I got.
Right now, I have eight outstanding submissions. I haven’t sold any stories to any pro markets, but I have high hopes for the rest of the year.
BUT! My sale to LOLCraft last year was enough to qualify me for membership in both Codex, an online writers’ group, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA). Getting into both of these organizations has been on my bucket list for quite some time, and I honestly had gotten to the point where I didn’t think I’d ever get into them. But lo and behold, I did! Yay me!
Work continues apace on revisions to my novel And the Devil Will Drag You Under, which I hope to have done by the end of June. After that I am planning to revise The Solitude of the Tentacled Space Monster, that bane of my existence since 2005. After that, I have an idea for a novel called Witness to the Scourge, an urban fantasy novel that has grown out of my short story of the same title (earlier titled “The BIM” for reasons which I can no longer recall). That’ll be fun. I’m enjoying all these projects, but the vastness of revising a novel is… well, it’s intimidating, even if I’ve taken a class from Cat Rambo on novel revision and read a couple of articles and a book about the process.
Ah, well. The words continue to spew forth.
In other news, I went to a dermatologist on Wednesday to have a suspicious growth on my leg looked at. Did you know that there are over 3,000 diagnoses that can be associated with dermal conditions? I didn’t. But that’s the kind of small talk you get into when you chat with a dermatologist while he’s injecting anesthetic into your skin, slicing off a growth, and cauterizing the wound. I also hadn’t realized that the skin on the shin is so thin that wounds there can’t be stitched closed, so cauterization is necessary. Interesting.
I’ve also been attacked by kobolds the past week… and if you haven’t been around here long, kobolds are my chosen representative of depression. Winston Churchill had his Black Dog. I have my kobolds. Nothing major happened. I’ve been sick with a cold, though that’s lessened, and that always exacerbates things.
But I’m feeling fine now. A little bit wheezy and short of breath, but the kobolds have moved on and I’m feeling better.
I hope you’re all doing well. Until we meet again.
I was listening to the latest episode of “Strange Customs“, the podcast hosted by Sasha Sagan (yes, daughter of Carl), and the topic of death came up. I try not to be particularly morbid or maudlin, but it’s something to think about. So I started thinking about life and death and wisdom.
I am, as you well know by now, a Christian — specifically, I am an Episcopalian, though I haven’t stepped into an Episcopal church since the Before Times. Thus, I do believe in an afterlife. I differ from many Christians in that I make no belief statements about what that afterlife might be like. Is it spending an eternity in the presence of God, just soaking up their infinite glory (yes, I use they/them pronouns for God, since I believe God transcends gender)? Is it just like life on Earth, except you get to hang out with the likes of Socrates and Einstein? I don’t know. Frankly, I think it’s beyond the comprehension of us living human beings. It’s trite, but I like to think of the process of dying as similar to the process of being born: when we are developing in the womb, we have no idea what life will be like on Earth. Similarly, as we are developing on Earth, we have no idea what the next stage of our existence will be.
If there is a Heaven, then I think everyone will be surprised by who else makes it there. Except I’m not sure there IS a Heaven or a Hell. Again: I don’t know what the afterlife is like. Jesus hinted that there might be a physical resurrection, but I don’t know how to interpret that.
We’re not granted much time here in Earth. We are born, we live for a few decades, possibly a century at best, and then we pass on. Personally, I don’t think that we can gain a whole lot of wisdom in that period of time. We can talk all we like about how older people are wise for their years, but if we all meet a maximum of wisdom over our lifetime, we’d all be more alike. Instead, everyone is wise in their own ways. What kind of wisdom would we gain if we lived to be two hundred years old? Or five hundred? Or a thousand?
Okay, maybe that doesn’t make any sense. Eh, I’ll leave it in.
Of course, you don’t have to be old to be wise. Young children have their own wisdom to share. Adolescents do as well. It simply behooves us to pay attention and listen to what they have to say. Wisdom is wisdom, no matter where you find it.
The third Jumanji film, Welcome to the Jungle, is a fun film to watch. Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillian, and the rest are a delight, and so is Danny DeVito. In the beginning of the film, Danny DeVito, whose character journey is, I think, the heart of it, states, “Being old is a curse”. At the end, after all his life-and-death adventures and building up his relationships with his friends and family members, he changes his tune: “Being old is a blessing.”
Me, I’m currently five-five years old. I don’t consider myself “old”, though I suppose by some measures I am. I don’t think of my age as a curse, even as my body self-sabotages itself occasionally and close friends and family members pass on. I like to think that as I do get older and become a wizened old man, I will gain some wisdom, and be more like Danny DeVito at the end of the film. Life is a blessing, Old age is a blessing. Death itself, for whatever reason, might be a blessing.
We’re not given a whole lot of time on this tiny Earth. The time we have we should spend listening to others, being kind to them, caring for them and this precious Earth that we find ourselves on.
Today I decided that I’m going to fire — or, at least, shelve indefinitely — my pirate novel. I had a vision for it, and I wanted it to take place in the real world as a novel of historical fantasy; however, the more I learned about the history and culture of pirates and the world they inhabited, the more I realized my vision just wasn’t going to work out. I may return to it someday, I suppose. I still have all the books I bought on the topic of pirates, and the books that people have given me, so I’ll continue the reading. Pirates are fascinating, and the history of piracy is a really interesting topic, but it just wasn’t gelling.
The other difficult decision I actually made several months ago, when it was time to enroll in spring courses for the MLIS program: I decided to drop out. This decision was made for a number of reasons:
Stress. Last spring, I was very stressed out about the classes I was taking. While it didn’t really have any deleterious physical effects on me, I was getting depressed and anxious. And definitely not looking forward to the following Fall semester of courses.
Academic ability. This is probably the wrong term for it, because it implies that I’m not very smart. I know I’m an intelligent guy, and that I can accomplish a lot when I put my mind to it. I’ve done it before. However, writing academic papers on obscure topics just isn’t my thing. I did write one, on the information-seeking behaviors of cryptozoologists, but it received a poor grade, and even though the professor gave extensive feedback, I still have no idea how to improve it. I have books on how to write academic research papers, but I haven’t read them.
Career prospects. I did quite a bit of research into career prospects for entry-level librarians. They don’t look good. I would need to be a high-level librarian to make the kind of money I would need and earn a salary equivalent to what I earn now. This was extremely unlikely. In the field, you rarely are able to find a job that (a) pays what you need, and (b) is located near you.
Future satisfaction. There’s also the fact that a lot of librarians simply didn’t like their jobs, and the more I learned about what their job entails, the less I liked the idea of being a librarian. Public librarians must act as liaisons to the community in addition to serving regular patrons, and these community members are often insane (think of the growing number of book bans happening throughout the country). Academic librarians — specifically, science librarians, which is where I wanted my own career to go — must deal with academia (very often a toxic environment), and, to progress in the field, often must possess an advanced academic degree IN ADDITION TO the MLIS degree. No thanks.
“But Richard,” I hear you say, “isn’t this the second time you’ve dropped out of library school?” Aye, it is. This time, though, I feel good about my decision, whereas the first time I was ambivalent and never really felt good about it.
The only guilt I feel about these decisions is financial. I spent a lot of money on pirate books and one-shot lectures about pirate history. I spent even more money on tuition and class supplies and various professional memberships. But without the semi-annual tuition cost, our finances might be better off.
The sunk-cost fallacy is hard at work here. I mean, you put a lot of resources into a thing, you may as well see that thing through to the end, right? Well, not if the end result is no good. In the long run, my creativity will be freed up to work on other projects, and my brain will enjoy not having to study all the time.
On the other hand, my brain has decided to punish me with an idea for a new trilogy of novels, which frustrates me since I haven’t finished And the Devil Will Drag You Under yet. But that’s a topic for a different blog entry.