September 30, 2009
Sent the page proofs for SPELLWRIGHT off last night, my last chance to catch mistakes. I found the whole process rather nerve wracking. One can change very little in proofs; mostly it’s punctuation and grammar and the like. I often found myself fretting over larger issues that I could not tackle. But, knowing me, I was probably fretting out of habit. I’ve been doing so to this book since I was 20. So, likely the limited ability to edit was a good thing. The whole process gave me the sensation that sending off the final pages is a like helping one’s child move out of home. That’s a little insane of me. I have no children. But I kept thinking of the giant “Everything I needed to Know about Life I learned in Kindergarten” type posters that were everywhere about a decade ago. Here’s why: Read the rest of this entry »
September 23, 2009
Been on the road for a while, then attending “The First Stanford Symposium on Bedside Medicine,” which was a real honor. Here’s a link to Dr. Verghese’s thoughts on the ritual of the physical exam. His presentation was truly inspiring. During the weekend, I finally got a Twitter account going. Follow @blakecharlton if you’re keen. Am back home now and trying to get a handle all-that-is-to-be-done-soon, like getting through the page proofs of SPELLWRIGHT. To that end, here’s a light post I wrote up while waiting in an airport.
There’s a function on the WordPress softwear that lets me see what search terms lead folk to my blog. Most are about my mentors or friends “Todd Lockwood,” “Abraham Verghese,” and so forth. A few have “Blake Charlton,” or “Spellwright,” punched in, which is nice. But some are just plain hilarious. Here’s a few of my favorites and my reactions. Read the rest of this entry »
September 18, 2009
For those who consistently read this blog, both of you might remember my post about how the exam brought me to my knees. Preparing for the test and confronting my fears about my disability created one of the most painful events of my life—only having my heart shattered by a reckless lover and watching my father deal with metastatic cancer were more agonizing. I was a mess and relied heavily on support from friends and family. When I got the email reporting that my scores were available online, I thought I was going to vomit. “Somehow I’ve fooled everyone into thinking they should let me become a doctor,” I thought. “But now that they took my accommodations away, the truth is going to come out. They’re going to know I was a fake.”
Finally, I checked it. Read the rest of this entry »
September 16, 2009
Admin: Hi, is this Blake, the teaching assistant for the new Internal Medicine lecture series?
Admin: I’m Dr. ____’s assistant and I’ve just realized that even though I confirmed Dr. ___ would make your lecture, I also confirmed him for a lecture twenty minutes later on A DIFFERENT CONTINENT. Read the rest of this entry »
September 14, 2009
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading for the past week. See the previous two posts for thoughts on the audiobooks I’ve recently enjoyed. There was a fair amount of writing as well, none of it for this blog. My Med Scholars Fellowship required I write one last short story. It unfortunately grew into a novelette. I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I’m very pleased with the tone I was able to hit and the story I was able to tell. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem terribly marketable. At 15,000 words, it’s an awkward length for most short fiction markets. Inspired by some end-of-life issues I encountered in the children’s hospital mixed together with a recent reread of The Death Of Ivan Ilyich, it’s a bit heavy. I worry that it’s too reflective for some markets, and lacking the hard science other markets require. Maybe I’m in some post-story blues. I turned it in and will let it stew for a few days before I decided if I should submit it somewhere. Read the rest of this entry »
The audiobook of The City & The City by China Mieville, produced by Random House Audio, and read by John Lee was delightful. For years now I’ve loved China’s writing, which is complex, rich, and very weird. The City & The City is all of these things, but much more accessible than his previous work. The familiarity of the overlying murder mystery plot helps to make China’s mind-twisting cities comprehensible. Much has already been writing about the central idea behind this novel, so I’ll confine myself to stating that this story blew my mind into infinitesimal tessellate pieces in the loveliest way possible. It’s a page-turner police procedural murder mystery and a speculative fantasy that will change the way I see the city as an archetype and any given city in particular. Read the rest of this entry »
I recently listened to the audiobook of Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora, produced by Tantor Media and read by Michael Page. If you follow fantasy even passingly, you know that Lies is one of the freshest début fantasies in recent memory. Lynch’s thrilling plot is filled with murderous, unscrupulous, but terribly witty and lovable characters. To a first approximation, it’s like “The Princess Bride” minus the romance, plus a high body count, and peppered with imaginative, if physiologically challenging, invitations centered on the verb “fuck.” Read the rest of this entry »
September 2, 2009
Spellwright has been chosen to be the “Sci-fi Essentials Book Series” selection for February 2010. This means it’s been it given the stamp of approval for co-branding by the cable network formally known as “The Sci-Fi Channel.”
I’m flattered to be chosen. But consider three things: One, Spellwright is a book about the power of misspelling. Two, the former Sci-Fi Channel changed its name to “the Syfy channel” to avoid the negative connotations associated with the spelling “sci fi.” Three, as of now the brand on Spellwright’s cover reads “A Sci Fi Essential Book,” not “A Syfy Essential Book.”* Read the rest of this entry »
September 1, 2009
After years and years of telling everyone that Spellwright is going to come out sometime next year/season/eon but of my publishers have set actually ‘days’ on which this will happen.
US: 16 February, 2010
UK: 31 August, 2010