- Stop neglecting my Tumblr despite the Great Firewall.
- Write more consistently.
- Stop reading internet comments.
Greek of the week:
…Aaaaaaaaaand rejected by Nightmare. Noooo.
Sent off a short story to Nightmare Magazine. Wish me luck!
I’m going to send off a short story, “Damn Shame,” to another publisher. So right now, I’m revising it a bit.
Half of my time is spent cleaning up diction, unifying the narrator’s voice and fretting over a few descriptive details.
The other half of my time is spent researching varieties of pie.
Pie is a major theme in this story, along with social stigma and the terrible cost of maintaining one’s innocence.
I must have been really, really hungry when I wrote that story.
I’m back, posting from beyond the Great Firewall. Internet in Beijing is even more slow and restricted than usual, unfortunately, because of the 18th CPC National Congress going on right now. Bandwidth is cut down a lot, VPNs are harder to access, and formerly-accessible sites are now either totally blocked or severely slowed down. I can’t access Gmail or Google Maps most of the time, which is a huge pain in the ass. (Baidu, the Chinese version of Google, does have a Google Maps-like function, but of course everything is in Chinese characters, so I can’t really read it.) Dammit, government, just let me share my cuneiform dicks with the rest of the decadent West!
I may end up switching to a different blogging platform something Chairman Mao-approved, like China’s Tumblr clone, Diandian.
I don’t want to make it sound like it’s all bad, though. Aside from the annoyance with the internet, China has been pretty great so far, and most of the people I’ve met are wonderful. Beijing feels like a pretty safe city for foreigners. You might get overcharged for things and you might have your pocket picked, but you won’t get stabbed. Good enough for me.
Ur commonly appeared in names. There were a lot of people named “Ur-[deity],” meaning “servant (or possibly dog) of [deity].” Others might be named “Lu-[deity]” (man/person of [deity]), “Dumu-[deity]” (child of [deity]) or similar names.
The founder of the Ur-III dynasty was named Ur-Nammu, meaning he was the loyal servant of the mysterious mother goddess Nammu. The cross-gender name is a little unusual; usually boys were named for male gods, and girls were named for goddesses.
It might seem a little weird or insulting to give your kid a dog’s name, but dogs are loyal friends. Dawg was a term of endearment for a while.
Weekly Greekly, continuing our series of names:
It turns out that this old-fashioned name means something quite nice.
This is the feminine (or neuter plural, I think) form of agathos, “good.” The Greeks often used an adjective as a stand-in for a noun. So Agatha would mean something like “good woman.”
There will be a bit of a hiatus in posting for a while because I’m moving to China for a job. Once I’m settled in and have my wifi and have managed to break through the Great Firewall, I will resume posting cuneiform genitalia.
And if for whatever reason I can’t get back onto Tumblr in China, I will pick up where I left off on another blogging platform somewhere out there.
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