VPFL Week One

56 Mounds View Meerkats (1-0)
36 Greenfield Grizzlies (0-1)

89 Judean Front (1-0)
60 Masonville Marauders (0-1)

67 Valders Valkyries (1-0)
64 Burns Redbeards (0-1)

83 Bane Silvers (1-0)
44 Alamo City Spartans (0-1)

67 Black Mouth Curs (1-0)
63 Winston Reverends (0-1)

It’s great to see the Meerkats start off the season with a win, but it’s a bit annoying to face Nate while having to choose between having one of my starting RBs face the Baltimore or the Pittsburgh defense. I’m going to go with Sproles over Forte operating on the assumptions that a) Cutler will turn the ball over more than Rivers, and, b) Sproles wants to keep Tomlinson off the field. Just one receiving TD, that’s all I ask from the little guy this week.

What he said

John Scalzi attempts to explain, again, why established writers are seldom interested in reading the work of those hoping to break through the publishing barrier:

Dear currently unpublished/newbie writers who spend their time bitching about how published/established writers are mean because they won’t read your work/introduce you to their agent/give your manuscript to their editor/get you a job on their television show/whatever other thing it is you want them to do for you:

A few things you should know….

It’s ironic that Scalzi has to point this out so often, considering that he does more for beginning writers with his Big Idea posts than any writer not named The Original Cyberpunk. My reasons for not reading unpublished fiction are a little different, however. First, I simply don’t have the time. I don’t even read much good published fiction these days; I prefer to spend my reading time on history and economics. For example, yesterday afternoon I was reading Bernanke’s The Great Depression, about which more will be said anon, and finished with Demosthenes’s Orations as the nightcap. I’m not saying I don’t plow through my share of mind candy, having just read Conn Iggledon’s four Emperor books last week, but unless a novel is particularly good or original, I find that I’m less interested than I used to be.

Second, after two spells on the Nebula novel jury, a year participating in the Critters Workshop, and six months working as the de facto gatekeeper for a fantasy publisher, I never, ever, want to read any new writer’s unpublished fiction ever again. Still less do I feel like arguing with a writer over why my opinion of his writing, which he sought out in the first place, is wrong. If you think much of the fiction that is published today is pretty awful, you’re correct. It is nevertheless markedly superior to the stuff that is being rejected. I don’t care if you think your first scribblings are brilliant or not, the probabilities dictate otherwise and I’m quite willing to swap the chance to be the first to recognize an unpublished masterpiece for the privilege of not having to read three dozen attempted crimes against the reading public.

There are some talented writers out there who are just beginning their literary careers. I occasionally read them over at the Friday Challenge and wouldn’t mind publishing two or three of them someday if I ever find myself in a position to do so. If you want advice and constructive criticism, I strongly recommend participating in the activities there. However, since I don’t use an agent and at least half the publishers in the States and UK would rather chew off their fingers than sign a publishing contract with my name on it, you’d probably be much better off not doing things my way anyhow.

Now, I have certainly had the benefit of help from established writers such as Bruce Bethke, Joel Rosenberg, Lois Bujold, and Pat Wrede. But keep this in mind. At the time the OC was kind enough to look over my work and tell me to throw away my second novel attempt – which a few of you may be interested to know was set in the world of Summa Elvetica, albeit a version sans religion – I was already a nationally syndicated columnist. The lesson is: if you have the talent or the ambition, or preferably, both, and you are willing to be persistent, you’ll eventually find a way.

1st Letter to Vox Day

Luke is the atheist blogger at Common Sense Atheism and is interested in a friendly discourse on the topic of Christianity and atheism. At his suggestion, we will attempt to avoid regurgitating all the usual arguments for and against the existence of God. Here is the opening letter of our discussion. I will respond to it within a week.

I’d like to start with a question about why you believe what you believe about God. But I’d like to skip all the usual arguments. In fact, for the sake of argument let’s say all the theistic arguments succeed, and all the atheistic arguments fail. Let’s say the modal ontological argument establishes the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, and all-good being. Cosmological arguments establish this God as the creator of the universe. Design arguments establish that he purposely designed the universe to host intelligent life. Historical analysis shows that Jesus rose from the dead.

Read the rest of it at Common Sense Atheism.