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Says The Journeyer

Vol. 1 No. 1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  SAYS THE JOURNEYER!  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                 Talking To Writers and Readers  
                 ..............................
Vol. 1, No. 1                                     August 29, 2002
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shobhna Gujadhur, Editor                    hannibalcar@yahoo.com

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------------------------  In This Issue  ------------------------
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[] Says the Journeyer: Bouncing Around With Excitement
[] Quote: Stress and Reward
[] Book Opinion: "Cetaganda" by Lois McMaster Bujold
[] Word Focus: Presenteeism: Take It Easy Today!
[] Going Out Chortling: A Child's Outlook
[] Subscription Info
[] Advertising Info 



----------------------  Says the Journeyer  ---------------------
                 Bouncing Around With Excitement
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First issue's out, let's party!

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Have you heard of Mauritius? It's an island in the Indian Ocean
and that's where I am. It's also where the dodo used to camp out,
before men and monkeys ate them out of existence!

I love reading and writing and the internet, and that's what my 
personal website, Linx Journeyer, is about. 

I'll be using the space in this ezine to give opinions on books
I've read and software I use, and anything else to do with words,
ezines, and websites. I'll be writing all the articles, but I
hope to hear from you. 

This issue contains an opinion on a book by one of my favorite
authors, Lois McMaster Bujold. Check her out.

Until the next time, 

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Shobhna Gujadhur
Editor, Says the Journeyer
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-------------------------  Book Opinion  ------------------------
               "Cetaganda" by Lois McMaster Bujold
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Rating: 5/5 

Pros: Witty dialogue, well-scripted suspense, great pace. 
Cons: If you can find any, get back to me. 
The Bottom Line: A rollicking good read. 
Recommended: Yes 

BACKCOUNTRY HICK GOES TO THE BIG CITY...

... except that the Big City is actually the capital planet of an
eight-planets-and-sundry-dependencies empire called Cetaganda, 
and the backcountry is a measly three-planet upstart empire. Oh, 
and lest I forget, the hick in question is Lord Miles Vorkosigan, 
he of the diminutive stature, hunched back and friable bones, 
officer and nobleman of the Barrayaran Empire. 

When the Empress of Cetaganda, in Miles' colorful parlance, 
"dropped", the enterprising young lieutenant is despatched, with 
cousin Ivan in tow, to Eta Ceta IV to attend the State funeral. 
The stated object of the exercise was to allow the junior 
military officers to acquire some diplomatic polish. Unstated was 
the urgent need to keep Miles safely occupied and out of trouble. 
From a certain point of view, you could say that the first 
objective was accomplished. Keeping Miles and Trouble away from 
each other was, however, not feasible. 

The action takes a flying start from the moment their personnel 
pod lands on Eta Ceta. An armed intruder crashes into the 
shuttle. In the ensuing free-fall hurly-burly, Miles manages to 
wrest from his apparently elderly opponent a mysterious rod. This
turns out to be a "key to a key" which Miles somehow omits to 
mention to his Barrayaran Imperial Security, or ImpSec, boss on 
Ceta. Things snowball from there. Miles attempts to discover the 
lock the key is meant to fit. Sinister and original attempts to 
assassinate and/or incapacitate Miles and Ivan occur, separately 
and in tandem. The departed Empress' closest attendant commits 
suicide. Or does he? Miles thinks not. Miles falls in love with 
an unattainable Cetagandan haut-lady who flits around in an 
opaque soap-bubble. Everybody and their wife, literally, seem to
be after the key rod, but nobody is telling why. 

Ms. Bujold weaves a deliciously tangled web and sets Miles to 
work frantically figuring out which strand belongs where, with 
the fate of more than one empire in the balance. Does Miles 
manage to save the empire (or empires) and win his love as well? 

Cetaganda is, if you haven't already guessed, a novel of the 
science fiction genre. It is set in Lois McMaster Bujold's 
brilliantly conceived Vorkosiverse, and chronicles the continuing 
adventures of Miles Vorkosigan. But the nice thing about the 
Vorkosigan Saga is that you can read any of the books as stand-
alones and enjoy them thoroughly. Reading the whole series, 
however, adds depth and background to the already well-rounded 
characters. 

Bujold writes with simplicity, clarity, humor and wit. She also 
demonstrates a masterly sense of rhythm which will keep you 
turning the pages far into the night. Read this book. Even if you 
don't normally read science fiction, it's worth the time and 
money. 


***  Note  **
This article has also appeared at the Epinions website.
http://www.epinions.com/content_70049566340
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=== Resource Box ================================================

= The Bujold Nexus
This is Lois McMaster Bujold's official website.
http://www.dendarii.com
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= Lois McMaster Bujold FAQs
Bujold readers will find the Plot FAQ of particular interest.
http://www.herald.co.uk/local_info/bujold_faq.html
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= Baen's Bar
Lois Bujold sometimes drops in at the Bar. You're most likely to 
find her in the "Miles to Go" section.
http://bar.baen.com
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=== End Resource Box ============================================

+ More Book Opinions available at: 
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I've got opinions on "Omerta" by Mario Puzo and "Barrayar" by
Lois McMaster Bujold up here.



--------------------------  Word Focus  -------------------------
                Presenteeism: Take It Easy Today!
-----------------------------------------------------------------

I was checking out a word in my dictionary -- The New Oxford 
Dictionary of English -- when I happened across this one. I
found it funny, as in funny-amusing; obviously, it was a play on
the word "absenteeism" and meant the opposite.

So far, I was right on the money. Here's what the Oxford says:

  "noun [mass noun] the practice of being present at one's place
   of work for more hours than is required by one's terms of 
   employment."

A quick search on the web showed there was more to the word than
that, though. 

It seems that the management folk started using the term in an 
effort at political correctness. They figured it sounded better 
to talk about the presenteeism of "good" workers than the 
absenteeism of, uh, the other kind of employees. ;)

Somewhere down the road, though, the connotatations of the word
turned pejorative. Google returned around 1000 results on the 
search, while Yahoo returned around 850 results. Most of those --
or, anyway, the first ten or 15 I checked out :o) -- used it in a
negative sense. These days, presenteeism means 
  
  "being at work when you shouldn't be, because although you are 
   too tired or ill to be effective, you are too insecure about 
   your job to stay away"

  -- Lisa O'Kelly, "Lonely life on the British treadmill," 
     The Observer, July 31, 1994  

(quoted from The Word Spy)

The man who coined the term in its present sense is Cary Cooper,
Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Manchester 
University's UMIST (UK). 

  "When even the leading edge industries like telecoms and IT are 
   downsizing, you want to show commitment by getting in earlier, 
   staying later and sending emails at night", says Professor 
   Cooper. "Fewer people means more work, which means more 
   stress; and that has a knock-on effect on your private life. 
   It's a downward spiral."

(quoted from an article by Sally Kines in stressbusting.co.uk)
 
The jargon for the perceived solution to presenteeism is to 
strike a "healthy work-life balance". Basically, the thinking is
that managers should recognize the importance of life outside the
workplace.

Sounds like a good thing to me. What about you? 
  

=== Resource Box ================================================

= A question of balance
http://www.home-workers.com/Septembercontent/telew.shtml 
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= Presenteeism: For Goodness Sake, Go...
http://www.stressbusting.co.uk/news_present.htm
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friendly link

= Best Practice: Presenteeism Program
http://www.bmpcoe.org/bestpractices/internal/mdasl/mdasl_66.html
 AOL friendly link

=== End Resource Box ============================================

+ More Word Focus articles available at:
http://pages.intnet.mu/linx/wfocus/index.html?says

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---------------------  Going Out Chortling  ---------------------
                        A Child's Outlook
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Here, for example, is the response of a child of ten to an 
invitation to write an essay on a bird and a beast: 

  The bird that I am going to write about is the owl. The owl 
  cannot see at all by day and at night is as blind as a bat. 

  I do not know much about the owl, so I will go on to the beast 
  which I am going to choose. It is the cow. The cow is a mammal. 
  It has six sides--right, left, an upper and below. At the back 
  it has a tail on which hangs a brush. With this it sends the 
  flies away so that they do not fall into the milk. The head is 
  for the purpose of growing horns and so that the mouth can be 
  somewhere. The horns are to butt with, and the mouth is to moo 
  with. Under the cow hangs the milk. It is arranged for milking. 
  When people milk, the milk comes and there is never an end to 
  the supply. How the cow does it I have not yet realised, but it 
  makes more and more. The cow has a fine sense of smell; one can 
  smell it far away. This is the reason for the fresh air in the 
  country.

  The man cow is called an ox. It is not a mammal. The cow does 
  not eat much, but what it eats it eats twice, so that it gets 
  enough. When it is hungry it moos, and when it says nothing it 
  is because its inside is all full up with grass.

-- Sir Ernest Gowers in "The Complete Plain Words", revised by 
   Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut




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Shobhna Gujadhur, Editor
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=====  SAYS THE JOURNEYER!: TALKING TO WRITERS AND READERS  =====
     Copyright  2002 Shobhna Gujadhur. All Rights Reserved.
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