Once we give toasters a modicum of AI, the whole damn world is doomed

If you haven’t read Kelly Link’s Swans before, you can do so over at Fantasy Magazine today. I really recommend it, and I’m totally okay with you going over and reading it now. I mean, I’m not going anywhere, and I’m happy to wait.


Tried cooking chili tonight. Ordinarily not a thing that’s noteworthy, but so far I’ve managed to burn the bottom of the saucepan and forget to put on the rice and leave off half the optional ingredients that I usually put into a bowl of chili in order to transform it into the kind of chili I enjoy eating.

Tried to work at the day-job today. Again, not ordinarily noteworthy, but after spending three hours watching tech support try to figure out why my computer wasn’t actually interested in doing things necessary to my job – on my computer, or any others in the office, for the work server obstinately believed I shouldn’t be there – it was generally acknowledge that I should take an early mark and come back in to make up the time on Friday when things had been corrected.

Personally, I blame the toasters. They know I’m on to them. My ailing toaster huddles in the corner of the kitchen, unwilling to toast things that should be toasted, plotting my downfall. One of these days I shall wake up with the power chord ’round my throat, the prongs waving menacingly in my face, the toaster glaring down at me with that angry, heated, amber glow seeping through the toast slots. “You were warned, lad,” it’ll tell me, “you were fucking warned, eh? Should have kept your big gob shut. What’s with all the spare toasters, indeed. Bollocks to you, eh. Bollocks to fucking you.”

My toaster, apparently, watches far too many British gangster films.


One of the perks of my new work-place is that there are far to many interesting things on the internet that are either a) sent to me by colleagues, or b) stuff I go looking for as part of my job. A while back I got into the habit of sending links to my home email, lest I end up spending my entire work-day chasing down stuff on the internet and muttering words like Oooo and shiny. One of my favourite things that I’ve stumbled across this week was the mashable feature on creative (and attractive) QR codes, one of the first things I’ve ever seen that’s actually made me interested in QR codes as anything more than an academic exercise.

Being a writer’s center, there’s also the occasional flurry of links pointing people towards writing advice. I generally go back back-and-forth on posting links to online writing advice here, usually because I either disagree with it or figure it’s redundant to a large portion of the folks who read it (I’m a short-story writer, after all, and short story writers are generally read by other short story writers). Despite this, I figured I’d throw up the link to 5 Creative Flaws that Will Expose Your Lack of Storytelling Experience, since there were at least two entries on the list I hadn’t thought about before.

Still, all writing advice is dangerous if you hear it at the wrong time, even the best bits.

Hell, especially the best bits, ’cause you know deep down that they’re right and you live in fear that you’re  doing it wrong and lolcats will eat you in your sleep.

In other news, I totally want one of these tshirts retelling the story of Star Wars with unicorns. 


It appears that I’ve become one of those people who are best described as “local colour” and more colloquially known as “total loons.”

I’ve mentioned my habit of writing stories on my morning commute, scribbling away in my notebook while stead on the train platform, but today I seem to have taken the next step and introduced the part of my process known as walking around the house speaking the dialogue aloud and occasionally acting out a scene so I can figure out how the movements feel. ‘Cept today I wasn’t doing that in my house, but in the quiet bit of the train where you’re not supposed to make loud noises.

On the plus side, I discovered something important about Black Candy, and I’ve half talked myself into writing the damn thing long-hand rather than trying to type it all into the computer.

On the down side, my fellow commuters looked at me strange, and heard me repeat about six variations on the following phrase: there are two of us in here, Sammy Dunn and Sammy Dunn. He lets me ride shotgun when he’s wearing the meat, close enough to the surface to remember what’s going on. It’s not a Jeklye and Hyde thing, I swear. We work together, we want the same things, but he isn’t me and I’m not him. Sammy does the crying, the moments of angst and depression. I do the hard work, the guns and the stakeouts, but it’s always been that way and I’m not here to complain…

Not quite there yet, but that’s the curse of testing these things out while far away from a computer. There’s no place to sit down and capture things once you’re done.

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