July 31st, 2014


I Hate Phones

Actually, I love phones -- it's phone calls I hate.

First, if I ever call you on the phone, it must be important. Because I have something of a phobia about getting on the phone and dialing. My brain is capable of processing an absurd number of paths the conversation could take and calling a business, especially one I don't know -- egad arrrgh! Terrible.

Thank god I could never be a telemarketer.

These days, though, I resent having to call and wade through menus or trying to describe something well enough to get passed to the right person. And I'm bad with names. Which is really bad when one is calling a doctor's office -- you really aren't going to talk to Dr. Whatshisname anyway, but a nurse, PA or clerk.

And all this when a short email could accomplish the same thing.

Then there's holding.

On a cellphone, hold music sounds dreadful. There not enough bandwidth to transmit a clear audio and it tends to drop out and give you a horrible garble in your ear.

Why do we put up with this? You'd think that millions of people smart-, extra-smart and less-smartphones, so would rise...

Oh. Right. People don't buy smartphones to talk on the phone.

Never mind. Move along. Nothing to see hear here.

Dr. Phil


I didn't join LJ and start blogging until 2005. So I have no entries directly about the 2004 Clarion workshop. Some day I might remedy that -- had thought the 10th anniversary might be the time, but alas I can't get down to the basement and dig out my notebooks. But it is ten years, so I went and re-read John Schoffstall's excellent daily blog at the 2004 Clarion.

If you start here, you not only start at the beginning, but you get to see the comments and get LJ's links to next/previous entry.

(BTW, John, your last entry has been comment spam bombed -- 25 of 27 entries.)

If you're worried by John's angst, relax. You can't see straight while you're in the middle of Clarion. Six weeks is a long time to foment doubt in yourself and stew in it. To some extent it never goes away. Some never write again. But...

John won the Grand Prize at the 2004 Writers of the Future, with "In The Flue", which had been one of his Clarion admission stories, published in WOTF Volume XXI.

Do Clarion stories, as in 'written at Clarion' as opposed to 'in the Clarion mold', get published? Yes...
"Fourteen Experiments in Postal Delivery, Strange Horizons, June 5, 2006.

I love John's blogging style. It's tough that he didn't identify some things, but then I was there and most of you were not, so it's for the best.

I miss my friends and having that exhausting energy for six weeks. But I don't miss 99°F and 99% humidity indoors -- at midnight -- in the sorority house. Of course back then I could walk... And sleep on a mattress on the floor.

Good times.

Dr. Phil