Other Stuff, Sundry and Otherwise

I posted a new piece over at my Other Place, The Proximal Eye.  A few folks have expressed a bit of amazement that I began another blog.  After all, I’m constantly complaining of lack of time.

But I’m a writer, first and foremost, and call me shallow (you did! how dare you take me at my word…?) but getting words out in front of people is what being a writer is mainly about.  Being paid for those words is, of course, part of the plan, to which the new blog is a necessary long term component.  That will become clear.

I’m getting ready (soon, soon) to start work on a new novel.  Part of the delay is getting settled into a new schedule, since I have a Day Job once again.  Didn’t I tell you?  Yes, I work for Left Bank Books.  This is a heady combination of smart and unwise on my part.  I work in a bookstore now!  I have a book habit.  This is like employing a junkie in a pharmacy.

But after a few hefty purchases, I’m beginning to exert discipline.  Don’t know how long it’ll last, but we’ll see.

That aside, so far I’m enjoying it.  For one, the people working there are, without exception, terrific.  Eclectic, sure, but then what am I?  I can only hope to aspire to the level of eclecticism on display in the intellectual variety of the Left Bank crew.  If you live in St. Louis and have not paid the place a visit, well, what’s taking you so long?  Get your ass in there and marvel.

Now for another act of self-discipline.  I’m cutting this short, right here, now, and turning to my other writing—fiction.

Eat. Sleep. Read.  (Come in to the store, you’ll understand.)

Also, make time enough for love.



Sundry Stuff

January is nearing its end.  How’d that happen?  I thought…

Anyway, I put a new review up over at My Other Blog, the Proximal Eye, about Joe Haldeman’s latest.  Right now, though, I’m reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, which has been recommended to me countless times by now and it seems half the people I work with at Left Bank Books are currently reading it.  So Friday I finally sat down with it and started and as of this morning I’m halfway through.  I’ll tell you what I think of it when I finish, but so far I’m suitably impressed, especially now that I’m into the Skiffy section with the clones.

I used to cringe when someone from the “mainstream” decided to go slumming and write a science fiction novel.  They’ve seldom done a good job in the past, but that seems to be changing.  It would be easy to say “How could it not?” given the world we live in today.  Barring space travel and androids, we live daily with much that was promised us, as exemplified in Star Trek.  (When I read about 3-D copiers my hair stood on end, a genuine “shit…” response.)  But we moved into it so smoothly, albeit so quickly, no one seemed to notice that we were living in the future!

Maybe more people noticed than I thought.  A lot of writers who in the past I would never have expected to do it well have done credible to excellent science fiction or at least SF-related fantasy that my flinch reflex when a new one comes out is relatively small now.  Mitchell is handling it very well.

Meantime, I’m just about through with the rearrangement of my office, so much so that I’ve been slacking off and trying to write.  I have a couple of short stories in the works that are eluding resolution (one of which is actually called that) and I have a pair of novels to write this coming year.

So it’s the last week of January and I’m having no luck slowing things down time-wise so that I can actually do the work.

Stay tuned.  All will be well.  Promise.

Pardon Me While I Reorder My Kingdom redux

During the recent kerfluffle with this blog—you know, when it disappeared for almost three weeks?—I fretted that I’d lost a huge amount of material.  But my ISP people saved the site and restored it.

Almost.  Below is a repost from January 7th (the day before it all crashed) which seems to have been the only casualty.  I recovered this from, of all places, Goodreads, which apparently reposts entirely the blogs to which it is linked.  So if you think you’ve read this before, well, maybe you have.


What I thought would be a simple matter of swapping one desk for another has turned into a major endeavor.  I wanted a new work desk for my new computer for the new year.  I’ve been toying with this for some time and I finally received the necessary nudge (in the form of a new flatscreen monitor of great size and wonderfulness) to act upon the intent.

Naturally, (because this is how my life operates) it has become a complete office make-over.

This while at the same time I decided to start a new blog (on the sidebar, under My Pages, The Proximal Eye) dedicated to book reviews and related ephemera and when I have begun to feel the itch to start a new novel and I must get back to the gym on a regular basis and and and…

Never simple.  Be that as it may, I have photographed the mayhem and will document the results for a later post.  I’m relating this now to let people know that I have not fallen off the planet, only that I will be somewhat preoccupied for the near future and may not be posting very much here.  (Though I’m planning a new Proximal Eye post as I write this.)
I trust the results will be both productive and entertaining.  (For you, not for me.  I hate moving furniture, and last night Donna decided I needed a new carpet.  Well, I do, but that means moving even more stuff!  Grrr!)

Wish me luck.

We’re Back

Please excuse the “brief” hiatus.  Once in a while, I have Issues with all this internet falderol and this time it resulted in a protracted absence of the Distal Muse, for which I apologize.  I take full responsibility for the crash, although it did seem to take an inordinate amount of time for my ISP to resolve it.

No matter.  The Distal Muse is back up now.

In the intervening weeks since everything went blank, things have happened.  Primarily regarding this site, I have begun a new blog.  (Yeah, right, like you need another excuse to spend time away from your fiction, but go ahead, Tiedemann, it’s your time, spend it any way you please.)  (Thank you, I will.  Now go back to your corner.)

I have set up a sister blog called The Proximal Eye, dedicated to literature, film, art, questions of culture.  Reviews, basically.  I already have a few posts up.  I wanted a venue a bit less mixed than this one, which may have begun with the intention to discuss a finite number of things, but which has become my online soap box, megaphone, pulpit, podium, and editorial page.  Anyone wishing to link to my posts on books, film, and music would have to do so to the individual posts, because the Muse may not be entirely suitable for all situations.  Anything I might post here, therefore, that fits within the parameters of cultural objet d’arte I will cross post to the Eye.

Now that I have that cleared up, welcome back to the Muse.  In the next few days I’ll put something up to get myself current with whatever other interests, irritations, and insights I might have been unable to vent spleen upon in the past few weeks.

Thank you for your patience.


The spam changed right after New Year’s Eve.  For now, no one is offering to give me a longer tool or more staying power.  Instead, it’s all weight loss.  Everyone has a program, from Rachel Ray to Madonna, with Angelina Jolie somewhere in the mix.

Weight loss.  Hm!  Let me tell you about weight loss.  Surgery will do it every time.

But I’ve been over that.  Thing is, I’ve kept it off.  And somehow I managed to get through the entire holiday season without eating myself into a stupor, which I normally do, because everywhere you seem to go someone is shoving food at you.  All those cookies, and never mind the brownies, the pies, the cake…

Avoided it all.

And I’ve been back to the gym.  I still have a way to go to get back to where I was before August, but I’m getting there, I’m getting there, I am.

I dreamt last night that I was reshelving books—my own—and filling in gaps.  I don’t actually have many gaps.  I put up another section of shelving along the fiction wall and it’s damn near full already.  I have more books in boxes that may never see a shelf again.  What am I going to do with all these things when I get closer to the end?

Look at me, trying to write more of them.  Well, there’s ego for you, assuming you have anything to say anyone else wants to hear.  (I have noticed a corollary between the ability to speak well and write well—an inverse relation, in which improvement in the latter seems to diminish the former.  Not sure I like that—no, I definitely don’t like that, but the alternative explanation has to do with age, and I don’t want to go there, either.)

I’d like to take a paragraph here and thank friends, especially those of long acquaintance, who have made life marvelous, and one of whom gifted us with an after-Christmas Christmas that has stretched our smiles almost to their limit.  We have good friends, and have made some new ones in the last couple of years.  The list is longer than I was raised to expect and makes me feel rich.  Peace to you all and thank you.

It’s one of those numerically clever days.  1-3-13.  1313.  (1313 Mockingbird Lane…anyone remember that? Who lived there…)

Seemed like a good excuse to write something—first post of the new year.

No matter what, things are going to be different, or somebody owes me an explanation.

Travel far, travel well.  Be safe.

Oh.  And a picture…

Autumn Lyric
Autumn Lyric