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Excerpted from: They're Moving Father's Sewer to Build a Graveyard. For Link On Line, March 15, 2015. Dan Goodman, or 612-298-2354

Books read include: Elizabeth Benedict, The Joy of Writing Sex: A guide for fiction writers. Henry Holt, 2002. The good parts: there's advice which seems useful; and a quote from Smilla's Sense of Snow contains an act I had never heard of before.

However, the intended readership is writers of literary fiction. And reading this reminded me of why I don't care for most literary fiction. Too much technique, too little life.

Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer. Ballantine, 2014. Part of the Rivers of London series. (Each river has its god -- except the Thames, which has two who don't get along well.) Peter Grant is half the staff of Scotland Yard's division devoted to fighting magical crimes. In this book, he's sent to a small town to help investigate the disappearance of two young girls.

There are twists I didn't expect. And I've been reading mysteries and fantasies long enough that I often spot surprises long before authors reveal them.

Aaronovitch is up on police procedures, and gets assistance from working cops. (I don't think he consults working magicians.) I recommend this book, and the entire series.

Note: This is the second book with carnivorous unicorns I've read recently. (The other is Charles Stross's Equoid.) Anyone who looked forward to being first with the idea will need to find another one.

A few months ago, four men were arrested for cheating at poker at Canterbury Racetrack. (One played, one peeked at other players' cards, the other two blocked surveillance cameras.) Their earnings were given as "above $200."

Say they grossed $60 each. Three of them traveled to Minnesota from Florida; add in other expenses, and they can't have netted much. Even if they'd gotten away with it, doesn't seem worth it to me.

If I recall correctly, three were in their 70s and one close to it. They had previous records. If they were smart, they would've gone into another line of work.

[Names of workshop members commented to are replaced by pseudonyms]

Lord Bearer: SF editor John Campbell once speculated that nitroglycerin had been invented before gunpowder -- several times, by alchemists who didn't live to document their results. As I recall, Campbell took for granted that gunpowder was a European invention; but it seems possible to me that it was invented before Muslims brought gunpowder to Europe.

Latin Herder: Actually, some genre stories begin slowly. For example, a group of men are playing cards; and after a while one begins telling the story. This used to be much more common, as did men sitting around in a bar.

A good recent fantasy story which starts off slowly: Neil Gaiman, "To Weep Like Alexander."// I'm used to seeing song lyrics quoted like this:

There was an old woman in our town,
In our town did dwell.
She loved her husband dearly,
But another man twice as well.

She went to the doctor
To see what she could find,
To see what he could give her
To make her old man blind.


First time I seen Darling Corey,
She was standing in the door.
.45 pistol in her hand,
And a dead man on the floor.

Each line of the song on its own line.

//Much of my thinking is in multi-sensory diagrams; usually in three dimensions, sometimes four, occasionally five. Which is rather difficult to get down on paper. //An immortal woman might consider anyone with an age less than a few thousand years young. Even if she's relatively young herself. //I remember things much better if I write them down; and often I don't need to look at them again. My ticker tape synesthesia is less useful, but will do in a pinch. (Ticker tape: Seeing spoken words printed out; in my case, also words I think out. Thankfully, I don't notice it unless I "look." Such things can be distracting. )

People have different kinds of memory, with more differences than can easily be imagined.

Former Medic: I found out I had diabetes by mentioning to my doctor there was an itch between two toes which wasn't going away. (Which is better than the first indication being a coma, as happened to someone I know and to someone I knew when he was alive.) Thought about a relative who had diabetes and wasn't controlling it; I then lost enough weight to be merely prediabetic.
Saturday September 20, 2014

***Dan Goodman @dsgood Sep 18

What would you expect a synesthesia coach to do? #synesthesia #writing

Bill Detty @BDetty Sep 19

@dsgood Human being, or conveyance?

Dan Goodman @dsgood

@BDetty Human being.

Bill Detty @BDetty

@dsgood Darn. Okay, she trains you to optimize your nontypical sensory perceptions. Useful in some sports that may not exist yet. And sex.
20 Sep 2014

@dsgood, September 25: Actually, synesthesia can be useful in physical activities -- including for sports which already exist. I find mine useful this way.

I gather that women are much more likely to have synesthetic responses to sex than men.

Bill Detty @BDetty Sep 20

@dsgood Sudden thought: service animals for the synesthesia-impaired.

***Book sale at Southeast Library. I bought one book: "Quotationary."

***To the Wedge coop grocery. Signed up for the Annual Meeting.
Sunday December 8, 2013. A telepath is investigating the mind of someone with very strong synesthesia (synaesthesia.) From John Brunner, The Whole Man:

"...Howson found himself on the top of a dizzying slide, lost his grip, and went headlong, skidding and slipping into a vast uncharted jungle of interlocked sensory experiences.

"...Howson had experience of minds with limited audio-vision -- those of people to whom musical sounds called up associated colors or pictures -- but compared to what went on in Rudi's mind that was puerile.

"...Images presented themselves: a voice/velvet/a kitten's claws scratching/purple/ripe fruit -- a ship's siren/fog/steel/yellowish-gray/cold/insecurity/sense of loss and emptiness -- a common chord of C major struck on a piano/childhood/wood/black and white overlaid with bright gold/hate/something burning/tightness about the forehead/shame/stiffness in the wrists/liquidity/roundness..."

Rudi Allef has been unable to convey his artistic visions to an audience, frustrating him to the point of trying to kill himself. Later on, with the help of Gerry Howson, another telepath, and another artist, he becomes able to do so.

My synesthesia is nowhere near this strong. However, I do want to communicate aspects of it to an audience. And so far I haven't been able to.

I'm not remotely frustrated enough to consider suicide; a good thing, since I don't know any helpful telepaths.

My preferred medium is printed words (or the electronic equivalent.)
Monday October 21, 2013

Via Facebook:
What color is an orgasm?

People with a condition known as synesthesia are prone to swapping their senses. They can feel colors, see music, and smell words. This raises an important question for science: What's it like to have sex when you've got synesthesia? Thanks to some inquisitive researchers, we have the answer.

***From Twitter:
MarkMillerITPro ‏@MarkMillerITPro Flying cars? "Just imagine the DMV issuing licenses. I'd be building the thickest roof I could come up w and never go outside." Andreesse...

Future Aware ‏@futureaware Transition to Renmembi as the world?s reserve currency on track for sometime in the 2020s #future

Peg ‏@ethnobot Yikes! Creepy: App enables users to accept offers such as plastic surgery or a tank of gas in exchange for a date
Retweeted by rivenhomewood

Alex Wild ‏@Myrmecos @bug_girl @edyong209 @slugnads @pwthornton I understand that the strategic spider reserve helped us win the war in Arach.
Retweeted by Bug G. Membracid

Marketplace ‏@MarketplaceAPM Credit Suisse launches an index with only LGBT-friendly companies, will you invest?
Thursday October 3, 2013 Downloaded the final volume of the Child Ballads from Project Gutenberg.

"O haud awa' frae me," she says,
"I pray ye lat me be;
I winna gang into your bed,
Till ye dress me dishes three:
Dishes three ye maun dress to me,
Gin I should eat them a',
Afore that I lie in your bed,
Either at stock or wa'.

"Its ye maun get to my supper
A cherry without a stane;
And ye maun get to my supper
A chicken without a bane;
And ye maun get to my supper
A bird without a ga';
Or I winna lie in your bed,
Either at stock or wa'."

"Its whan the cherry is in the flirry,
I'm sure it has nae stane;
And whan the chicken's in the egg,
I'm sure it has nae bane;
And sin the flood o' Noah,
The dow she had nae ga';
Sae we'll baith lie in ae bed,
And ye'se lie neist the wa'."
Captain Wedderburn's Courtship

***Adult Children Anonymous meeting.

***Synaesthesia and Sexuality: The influence of synaesthetic perceptions on sexual experience
Tuesday September 17, 2013 "Minnesota is the only place where you can have four seasons a week."
Fall weather today. Summer weather predicted for tomorrow.

Met with my Adult Children Anonymous sponsor/fellow traveler.

***Via Sean A. Day on Facebook:

Continuing our Four Questions With Maria Ivanova talk on synesthesia with Sean A. Day, PhD, President of the American Synesthesia Association, let’s take a special look at the differences between congenital and drug-induced synesthesia.

My personal experience: I have synesthesia only when I'm not high. (Or did.)

***From Twitter:

Night Vale podcast ‏@NightValeRadio
Ah, the first snow of summer. The first lava flow of fall. The first plague of winter. The first gentle bite in the darkness of spring.
Monday June 3, 2013 Some people with synesthesia are overstimulated by it. On the synesthesia mailing list, there's been discussion of ways to damp down synesthetic input.

I don't have this problem with synesthetic sensory input. But today, I realized I do have such a problem with non-synesthetic sensory input. Much less these days than I used to, but it's still there.

***From Ansible 311, June 2013:

THE DEAD PAST. _90 Years Ago_, the _New York World_ asked pundits about the world 100 years hence. Film director D.W. Griffith predicted no TV: 'I do not foresee the possibility of instantaneous transmission of living action to the screen within 100 years. There must be a medium upon which the dramatic coherence can be worked out, and the perfected result set firmly, before the screen will be permitted to occupy the public's attention. In the instantaneous transmission, there would be entirely too much waste of the public's time, and that is the most important thing ---time.' (_Columbia Journalism Review_, May) [MMW]

***From netcrimes on LiveJournal:

The New York Office of Mental Health is selling on eBay a used morgue refrigerator from a Manhattan psychiatric ward, an official said.

About a day after the item was first posted on the auction website, the price was at $1,050.

The eBay listing describes the refrigerator as "used" with "signs of cosmetic wear" but "fully operational," the New York Post reported Saturday.
Saturday April 20, 2013 From Google News: MSNBC "After Boston, we should put Muslims under surveillance, says [U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY)]"

King used to support the Irish Republican Army. To the best of my knowledge, he has never apologized for his support of a quasi-Marxist terrorist organization.

***The Minneapolis Central Library had Walter Jon Williamson's The Boolean Gate. I very much like some of Williamson's fiction. However, I decided I didn't want to read a book about Mark Twain saving the world from Tesla.

At Steeple People Thrift Store, found a good pair of sandals. Not sure how long till it's warm enough here to wear them.

Across Lyndale Avenue to the Wedge Coop.

Then back across, and down Franklin Avenue to a storefront church's sale. Got Dracula, Samuel Butler's translation of the Odyssey, and a baby name book. Plus a few kitchen things, for a total of $1.

The Odyssey translation had two quirks I hadn't expected.

First: Butler was certain the Iliad and Odyssey had been written by a young woman. And no one had pointed out any flaws in his earlier book which asserted this. (Or maybe he meant no one had made any criticisms worth replying to.)

Second: Butler had used the Roman names for the characters. However, in this edition they were replaced by the Greek names.

***From the Synesthesia mailing list: "The student could not imagine anyone having synaesthetic imagery. After some discussions, the topic turned to how one imagines numbers. It was amazing how the student started telling us about her number line, and then she was completely surprised that not everyone 'saw' their numbers in the same way."