Wednesday, April 30, 2008

And there they are...

My neighbors. Right outside my window, about eight feet from my house on the other side of the hedge, which is not thick enough to hide them. They've found some children and sent them running around with a toy that makes sound effects. It's cold out there, and dark too. What is wrong with these people?

I'm nervous about starting my new job tomorrow, so to stave off worry I got all the CDs out of the car that aren't already on my computer, and I've been ripping them. This weekend when I have time, I'll burn some new CDs, because my commute now is 45 minutes one way and I've been listening to Duran Duran's Greatest Hits album long enough. I have discovered that there is in fact a limit to how many times I want to hear "The Wild Boys."

Revisions are going really, really well--eerily so. In fact, I think I'll take Bunny the Laptop to bed and get some more work done before lights-out at ten.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My evil twin

I just went and looked at the Writers of the Future contest blog, and they've got a list of the first batch of honorable mentions up. I did reach honorable mention with my entry this quarter, but I didn't bother to call to say it was okay to put me on the blog list--because who cares, it's just honorable mention--but right there near the bottom is a K.C. Shaw from Utah.

Whoa, wait a minute! I live in Tennessee, but apparently there's this Other Person impersonating me in Utah. And they probably think I'm impersonating them.

There's only one way to settle this. BATTLE ROYALE! I now have to publish more stuff under the name K.C. Shaw than M/Mme Utah and thus lay claim to the title. Or maybe we can settle it more amicably, like Wrathchild America and Wrathchild UK did, so I could be K.C . Shaw TN and they could be K.C. Shaw UT.

No, actually, I'd rather have a battle. For one thing, I've already won the first round: if you Google K.C. Shaw, this blog and my website are among the top three, and sometimes first and second with that "Shaw Resources v. Pruitt" page knocked down to third where it belongs.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New job! And more revisions.

I was offered a permanent job today, one I was really hoping I'd get, and I accepted it. I start Thursday! I'll be partly an admin person, partly a test proctor at a local community college. It doesn't pay very well but the benefits are great, and I fully intend to stay there until I retire or die.

I've gotten back into the novel revisions I've been working on, and discovered the reason for my stalling. I didn't realize I was putting off writing a scene where the main character is attacked in an alley and nearly raped when he's already injured and in bad health. It's not that I had a problem with writing the scene, which was pretty short and simple to write, it's that the main character Kristof--and this is written first person, so I'm very attune to what he feels and thinks--didn't want to narrate it. It's weird how that happens sometimes. But I wrote the scene, and now everything else is going well. Of course, I'll have to go back in later and rewrite it, because I think it's too short, but at least the rough draft is on paper. Or on screen, whatever.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reading instead of sleeping

Yesterday evening I finally picked up Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik, the fourth book in the Temeraire series, which I bought last fall and never got around to reading.

At 3:15 this morning, I finished it. I read straight through without stopping and enjoyed it thoroughly--my bet is that Our Heroes end up in the Americas in the next book, incidentally. I even enjoyed the novelty of reading while the dog and cats slept heavily and a cool night breeze blew in through the open bedroom window.

I intended to sleep late, of course, but the dog got me up at about 8am wanting his breakfast, and while I was getting it, my mom called and asked if I wanted to go run around town with her. So by now I am feeling glaze-eyed and vague. It's an early bedtime for me tonight.

I got the usual form rejection from F&SF today, only one week after I mailed the story. You can't tell me that Mr./Ms. Slush Reader Intern did more than scan the first page. In fact, I'm willing to bet they didn't get further than the word count. I'm disappointed (if not really surprised) after my nice personal rejection from IGMS, but I'll send it to Asimov's next as I'd originally planned anyway. Let's hope they like it a little better, because there aren't many markets for 13,000 word stories, and also it costs a good three bucks all told to mail the damn thing.

Friday, April 25, 2008

April, redux

One more week of April left--this year is going fast. Everything in my yard is growing like gangbusters, the dogwoods are in full bloom, I'm going to have some roses soon (I can't wait to see what color they turn out to be!), and it's warm enough that I've taken the extra blanket off the bed and gone down one step in my nightclothes warmth scale (I'm wearing the cream-colored pajamas with the rose print). The trees are already taking on the deep green of summer. Summer in East Tennessee starts in May. Soon the cicadas will wake up and start their summer songs.

This time last year I'd just sold my third story ever and, as a result, realized that the first two sales weren't a fluke. Every time I make a sale, I still think, "Whew, I guess those others weren't a fluke." I suspect I'll be thinking that even after I have book contracts and a thousand true fans.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I am reduced to this.

A microwave burrito for my evening meal.

Today is Administrative Professional's Day, formerly Secretary's Day. Over the years my various bosses have given me various gifts on APDay, everything from potted plants to lunch at The Orangery. Today I got a...thing. I don't know what it is.

Someone from my temp company brought it and gave me one and also my boss's secretary. It's a miniature deck chair, I suppose, with "Randstad" printed cheaply on the cloth seat. It smells like the back of a closet. My boss's secretary plopped a toy bear in hers; I just set mine on the shelf next to my computer and looked at it for a while. The only toy I have that will fit in it, I fear, is The Count from Sesame Street. Perhaps I can fashion him a tiny drink too--a bloody mary, of course.

Still no news in the writing game, from any market, and of course that's good. Last night I dreamed a writer friend and I were going on a roadtrip in his car, which he was carefully packing with money from all over the world! Only it was stolen money, and the authorities showed up, and we had to run and hide for a while, and then he went back to packing while I wandered around and looked at stuff. After a while I thought, "If we don't leave soon, we'll never get out of here." That's the nub of it, really. I feel like I've revving my engine waiting for an editor to yell "GO!"--except no editors are yelling.

Well, I'm done with my (gag) yummy yummy pitiful excuse for a burrito! I haven't done any writing at all since this weekend, even my revisions (which I've started and which are going quite well, save that I've stopped working on them). At the moment, my entire focus is on figuring out how I could afford a souped-up blue convertible Mini Cooper with white racing stripes when I'm making $9 an hour and my Yaris is less than one year old. Perhaps I should change my focus just a leetle bit.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Creepy Neighbor

I have a creepy neighbor. He's actually quite nice, the son of the man who lives next door, and he also happens to be yet another former high school chum who I don't actually remember.

I can't decide if he lives next door with his dad or what. Because he's always in the yard.

I don't like this, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, he smokes, and I can't stand the smell. For another thing, he's my age, or maybe a year older, and he looks really old. No one my age should be gray where he isn't bald, and portly and tired-looking too. Maybe he's decrepit because he smokes. But mostly, I don't like that he's always in his/his dad's yard because I'm always at my computer and the window right above it looks out on the next door yard.

Oh, and the guy has designs on my forsythia bush, in that he has already indicated a desire to chop it down. It's my forsythia bush in my yard, pal, and it's not touching your precious yard, so mitts off. And put that cigarette out. And go inside or something so you don't distract me. I'm trying to write here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Six Random Things and Three Sentences

Catherine J. Gardner tagged me--twice, actually. So first, here's six random things about me:

1. I have a dog and two cats, named Jasper, Angel, and Vincent respectively, but their full names are Night Sea Crossing, The Archangel, and Saint Vincent.

2. One of my favorite books is Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief. It's embarrassing how often I reread it. I bought it at a library book sale five or six years ago--the scary thing is I almost didn't buy it, because the cover made me think it was probably an inspirational novel and maybe even self-published.

3. I love animation. Love it love it love it. The posters on my studio walls advertise: Akira, Gundam Wing, Gorillaz, Havey Birdman Attorney at Law, Cowboy Bebop, and Ratatouille.

4. I've worked as a temp on and off for many, many years, including five solid years in the mid-90s when I did nothing else. I can now walk into any office environment and take care of business immediately. A questionable skill.

5. My guilty pleasure is those cheesy police car chase documentaries on Tru TV. I especially like one I saw recently that gave driving tips like "always wear your seatbelt," because I could pretend I was watching for the important tips instead of being voyeuristic.

6. I have actually, truly, honestly lost track of how many novels I've written. I could probably figure it out, but I'd have to sit down and really think about it. All but the latest three were student works and largely unpublishable. The latest three are professional and I expect to snag publishers for them within the next two years.

The rules:
* Link the person who tagged you.
* Post the rules on your blog.
* Write six random things about yourself.
* Tag six people at the end of your blog by linking to their blog.
* Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
* Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

(I'll put the tag list at the end.)

Now, rules for the second tag:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment back to Catherine J. Gardner's blog (she's the one who tagged me - you will in turn nominate the person who tagged you - ie me) once you've posted your three sentences.

The nearest book is Diana Wynne Jones's The Tough Guide to Fantasyland.

"MERCHANT FEUDALISTS are organized in clusters of little COUNTRIES, mostly along the coast, each ruled by a COUNCIL. These trade with one another and are among the few PEOPLES who seem to trade overseas as well. Spices, silks, and olives are mentioned by the Management here."

Okay, now here's my tag list:

Camille Alexa
Jackie Jernigan
J.M. McDermott

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I survived the Rossini Festival

It was touch and go there for a while, though.

I was only scheduled to demonstrate spinning at the Tennessee Valley Handspinners Guild booth from 12-2, but I ended up sticking around for another two hours to talk to my friend Lori (who was demonstrating 2-4pm). I also kept hoping someone would buy something of mine so I could then afford to go buy something else. Probably food. The Rossini Festival was absolutely packed and I'd guess that 9/10 of the booths were selling food.

I walked around at one point to look at everything, and it took me half an hour to make my way just a few blocks, it was so crowded. Oddly enough, despite it being the Rossini Festival, I saw and heard nothing about Rossini. It was the same last time I went, the first year it was open--and it was pretty small then, and much more opera-oriented than it is now. This isn't a complaint, mind you, since I can live out my whole life without missing anything by Rossini (Verdi, now, is a different case). The festival reminded me of the midway of a fair, without the prospect of vomit-inducing rides or fancy chickens on display. It wasn't much fun without money, although I did like the performers I passed.

I had my picture taken a lot while I was spinning. One guy gave me his card with the URL written on the back so I'd be able to find my picture, and dammit if I don't look like an utter tard. Here's Jon Gustin's page--scroll down to find me at the spinning wheel.

East Tennessee in April is ravishingly beautiful, incidentally. I parked at the World's Fair Park and walked downtown so I wouldn't have to deal with traffic or pay to park, and I enjoyed the walk almost as much as the festival. The Rossini Festival was moved up this year so it would fall during the Dogwood Arts Festival, and I think that was a good idea--even if they did put our booth in the windy mouth of Union Ave, where no sunlight penetrated the gloom, so that we could look out on sunny Gay Street at people wiping sweat from their foreheads and eating Italian ices, but we were wrapped up in shawls and shivering.

I did truly intend to do my planned revisions when I got home, but I was so worn out that I thought I'd lie down and rest for a while first. I showered and got into bed at 6:30, and three hours later I staggered out of bed wondering how it got so dark so fast. I tried to start the revisions then, but I was too groggy to concentrate and ended up going back to bed, where I slept like a rock until 7:30 this morning. I guess I needed the sleep, and now I'm rarin' to go.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Too busy to revise!

Today I worked out more of the revisions I'm planning, and I had intended to really get down to work tonight. I'm going to have to do a lot of slash and burn first--I suspect I'll end up cutting a good 20k words and rewriting them (again)--and that's time intensive.

But I forgot I had way too much to do tonight. Tomorrow I'll be demonstrating handspinning at the Rossini Festival in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee from noon to 2pm, so if you're in town come by and say hello to me. To get ready, I had to wind a bunch of yarn into skeins for sale as sample handspun yarn (those are donations for the Tenn. Valley Handspinners Guild), and I had to get my stuff ready to sell (still haven't labeled the damn HAT or found a basket for the sheep), and I had to get all my other stuff ready to take with me (mostly wool and M&Ms). I also had to print out the 60-page story I've decided to send to F&SF tomorrow, after doing one last round of revisions on it (only managed to cut 150 words, though). Oh, and tomorrow's my mom's birthday too. I've promised to refinish her wooden lawn chairs and mow her lawn tomorrow, and tomorrow morning we're going to brunch, and Sunday we're going to a movie.

I may never get to do these revisions. I suppose...sleep is optional?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rejections make me happy

I got two rejections today and I'm thrilled! Activity at last on the huge pile of pendings (my Duotrope listing has so much red on it, it looks like it escaped from Shaun of the Dead).

The first reject was from Writers of the Future, which as you recall I sent back in January. That means I'm among the first to hear back--just an honorary mention (formerly called quarter finalist), but it frees up that story to be sent elsewhere. I shot it out to Heliotrope. Why not?

The second reject was my extra-long former-semi-finalist story back from IGMS. I got a personal response, which I will now reproduce in its entirety so you understand why I'm so freaking happy at this reject: "I am going to pass because I've got very few spots available for stories this long and I'm already bought into next year. But I like your writing style very much and hope you'll submit something shorter (under 8,000 words) soon." That story goes out again Saturday (I need to buy manila envelopes first), probably to Asimov's.

I've got some good story ideas stewing at the moment, one of them the humorous urban fantasy romance novella for Samhain's anthology, but they all need some time to gel before I start the actual writing. Fortunately, I seem to be in a revising phase at the moment anyway.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sometimes it's all about ink on paper

The last two days I've been taking a spiral notebook to work instead of Bunny the laptop. Since I got Bunny, my supply of notebooks has vanished, so I had to take the one I've been using as a mouse pad. Over lunch, instead of hammering words out on White Rose or whatever other project I open first, I've been making some pre-revision notes for a book that I think I've revised 6,000 times and I'm still not happy with the second half.

Yes, I could type my notes. Sometimes I do. But for some reason, the simple act of writing longhand makes me think differently--slowly, for one thing, since I can't get too far ahead of my writing hand, and that gives me the chance to think more deeply about each aspect of plot and character.

Yesterday I tried to work through plot. Today I realized the problem isn't plot at all. The revelation from my notes: "The difficulty I'm having with this rewrite comes, I think, from being bored with what's going on. It's a retread. I need to figure out what still interests me with this world and focus on that." After all, when even the author's bored, you can be damn sure the reader will put the book down and wander off for a bowl of ice cream, and probably won't come back.

I got so excited about my note-taking and thinking that I forgot to finish my lunch. The really exciting part for me is this section: "K & S think differently. In this situation, K will do what he's done before.... But S isn't like that. He's a true social animal, much more so than K or G are--K because he relies on his family rather than outside friends, who aren't as important, and G because he's used to relying on and trusting only himself. But Steven [S, of course] can call in favors."

I didn't consciously realize that about any of those characters until I actually wrote it down. Now I know exactly what to do with the rewrite, and damn this is going to turn out to be a good book. Of course, it's a sequel--but I have firm hopes that some publisher somewhere will like the first book as much as I do, and then I'll be ready with a kick-ass sequel too. Besides, it's fun.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

110 Best Books Evar

Galley Cat posted about the Telegraph's list of 110 Best Books from last year. I've read about 30 of them, mostly from the classics and children's lists (comes from being an English major and a voracious reader at an early age, I guess).

I know if I was stranded on a desert island with lots of food and water and a safe place to sleep and some shade so I wouldn't get too sunburned, and also a deck chair and a pina colada tree, I would not want to while away the hours reading the Telegraph's choice of books. I want my own favorite 110 books.

So, in no particular order, here's my list--of just 25 books, since 110 makes a damn long list and how am I going to rescue all 110 books when the ship sinks, anyway? What books would you want on a desert island with you?

Diana Wynne Jones, Deep Secret, Dark Lord of Derkholm, Dogsbody
Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!, Maskerade, Small Gods
Megan Whalen Turner, The Thief
RLStevenson, Kidnapped
Dorothy Sayers, Murder Must Advertise, Gaudy Night
JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit
Louis Sachar, Holes
Richard Adams, Watership Down
Enid Bagnold, National Velvet
Gideon DeFoe, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
Edward Eager, Half Magic
Flannery O'Connor, The Complete Stories (hey, it's one book! It counts!)
P.G. Wodehouse, The World of Jeeves (ditto on the one-book-it-counts)
The Complete Books of Charles Fort (ditto, but I think I'm pushing it)
Leon Garfield, Footsteps
Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals, and Birds, Beasts, and Relatives
Austin Grossman, Soon I Will Be Invincible
K.M. Peyton, "Who, Sir? Me, Sir?"
Jackie Jernigan, Miserable on Purpose

Keep in mind that these are books that I know I can read and reread without getting tired of them--not at all the same thing as "my favorite books." I also didn't list nonfiction books like The Draft Horse Primer, In Sheep's Clothing, or Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, because they would just make me wish I had a draft horse, a spinning wheel, and a pair of knitting needles, respectively, and none of those things would be terribly useful on a desert island. Unless it was overrun with sheep.

I should grab Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell before swimming to the island, because then I might finish reading it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ensemble Theft

I just watched the last disc in my box set of Gundam Wing. I've been watching the whole series on and off for a month or two--or rewatching it, actually, since I first got hooked around 2001 or so when the show was still new.

It's an excellent show. It doesn't make any damn sense and the characters all pontificate about pacifism and the meaningfulness of battles, usually while they're actually fighting, but it's addictive anyway. I like the five Gundam pilots--they're interesting characters and play off each other in interesting ways.

In fact, every time I watch the show, I catch myself considering how I can steal those character types and work them into a fantasy novel. I hesitate to do this not because of the morality of it but because I'm so lousy at writing scenes with more than three characters in them. That's something I need to work on before I turn to a life of intellectual crime.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

No news is good news

I ran errands today and went shopping with my mother, and walked with her down by the river where it's green and bluebirds are nesting, and I found the year's first tick crawling on my arm. It was a great day despite a caffeine-headache this afternoon, somewhat alleviated by a mug of very strong tea that will probably keep me up tonight. I have got to get off caffeine again.

Natter, natter--anyway, I've received no emails at all from any editors. That means no one rejected any of my stories today. See? I can be positive about getting no feedback.

I intended to write this morning, but it was such a glorious spring day that I didn't feel like doing anything that smacked of work. Now I'm feeling guilty about that, but my head still aches and I feel like I'm getting an upset stomach too--there's something to look forward to--so I think it might be better to go to bed and watch the rest of Murder by the Book, which is sort of related to writing. Very tangentially.

I never realized how exciting my life was before I started blogging about it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I didn't mean to bait and switch, really

I got an email this morning from the market that has that story that made the semi-finals of the WotF contest. At least, I thought they had it, but apparently I forgot to attach it. Doh! But the editor very kindly said if I send it, she'll look at it as soon as possible. So I sent it and hopefully it won't take another three months to hear back.

Except...remember how a few weeks ago I revised a story and added a big chase scene? Yeah, it's that story. I was waiting for the reject to send it out elsewhere but now, well, the original market has the revised version after all. Maybe they'll like it. Maybe they won't notice that my cover letter says 10,700 words and my manuscript says 13,100 words. Oops.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

You have a sleep debt to repay, Sparrow.

I've got to get a decent night's sleep tonight. And here it is after eight already, although I am actually ready for bed. It's a warm evening, dusky-dark right now with wind stirring the newly-leafed trees. We might get a little rain before morning, I think. I plan to keep the windows open tonight, which means I have to adjust my night attire carefully because it's going be chilly by morning.

I have an embarrassing number of nightgowns and pajama sets, and I wear different ones according to how cold I think I'll get at night. I don't like being cold at all. My lightest is a pretty leaf-green sleeveless short nightgown--I wore it last night, but it'll be too cool tonight so I have on my next-lightest, a full-length, sleeveless white cotton nightgown. My warmest is a set of dark blue cotton-blend longjohns with tiny silver stars all over them. If I need anything warmer than that, I layer.

Ah, my talk of nightclothes has had the soporific effect I was hoping for (probably for my readers too), and I'm going to bed. And this post's title? I plan to watch part of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 while I work a logic puzzle before turning out the light, that's what.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Anthologies, my gawd

I spent the evening revising and polishing my Harvest Hill anthology story, "The Hand in the Sky." I was planning to wait till tomorrow to send it, but what the heck. It's gone, and if they don't want it I am tapped out.

Besides, I have that novella to finish for the Samhain Tickle My Fancy anthology. Time to change gears from Halloween horror to humorous paranormal romance.

If it weren't for my obsession with getting into as many anthologies as possible, I might be able to finish White Rose. I had planned to finish it by the end of March. I guess that didn't happen, huh, except maybe it did in a parallel universe! I wish that K.C. Shaw would send me a copy of her finished manuscript. It's probably better than mine will be.

Read me at EDF, again!

My story "Sick Day" is up at Every Day Fiction this morning. Go on over and read it, and then stick around to read all the other stories!

So tiiiiiiired. Arrrrrrrr. Two glasses of tea with supper last night were not actually a smart thing to do. Couldn't sleeeeeeep last night.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Job interviews and creativity don't mix

My job interview went well this morning--well enough that I am cautiously optimistic that they'll A) want to hire me and B) offer me a salary I can live on so I can accept the job. I won't hear until probably May, though.

My yard looks great. The weather is wonderful. I was frighteningly efficient at my temp job today and worked late to make up for taking off this morning. And yet, I absolutely cannot motivate myself to write one single word on any topic for any reason. Even this blog.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I die.

I am dead. Today I mowed my yard, helped Mom put in a big new flowerbed in my front yard, planted said flowerbed, hacked the damned Boston ivy away from two trees in my back yard so the trees won't die, and helped Mom clean out her garage and attic. And I took out two huge bags of garbage, washed practically every dish I own, did four loads of laundry, and did a full scan of my (desktop, XP) computer system (and snagged a malware program that I hope did not screw anything up before I caught it--thus proving that McAfee is completely useless and AVG knows what it's doing). And that was only today.

I did not do any writing, however. Of course I didn't have time. Funnily enough, though, I did manage to find time to play a big chunk of Exile II this weekend.

Tomorrow I have a job interview. Yuck. Double yuck ugh. I hate job interviews. I feel like just walking in and explaining that I am actually the best worker they will ever hire and it would save a lot of time if they just made me an offer so I could evaluate it and say yes or no.

Friday, April 4, 2008

"Horror" story

I finished writing that horror story last night, although I ought to put horror into quotes because it's not actually scary. I'm not even sure it's finished. The ending sucks so much I know I'll have to rewrite it, and I reread the whole thing at lunch today and some character stuff I introduced at the beginning isn't addressed during the story so that needs to change too. I'm hoping to pummel the story into some sort of shape this weekend, and I'll give myself the rest of the week to polish it before even thinking of sending it out.

This is the story I'm working on for the Harvest Hill anthology, and it kind of actually doesn't really fit the guidelines. They say, "Do not reference other years unless it is directly relevant to your story. Confine stories to their particular year/Halloween." Well, dammit, the meat of my story is a timeslip that takes the main character back in time an unspecified number of years. I don't know if they'd consider that relevant or not. I suspect that my inexperience in reading and writing within the horror genre means that I've hit on every cliche and obvious plot point out there, all while thinking I invented them myself.

Still, at least the story's finished. Sort of.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

No bad guys for you.

I got a rejection this morning for "Rumpelstiltskin," which was not a happy way to start the day. I felt low* all morning until lunch, when I reread the story to see if it needed any tweaking before I sent it out again. Then I discovered that yes, I was right, it is a very well-written story. It may not be what CatsCurious was looking for, but I wrote a story I'm proud of and that's just as important. Of course, there are no other markets that want light-hearted fairy tale retellings, so I think I've learned another important lesson here: don't write to a narrow market that's only accepting one story for a pro-paying project.

I also discovered that a big part of my disappointment is that now I'll never find out what another author would have done with my character of Rumpelstiltskin. He ended up a sympathetic character; that's probably a big reason why the story was rejected, actually, but who wants an evil bad guy with no redeeming qualities? Boring.

*I'm stuck on this term because of Diana Wynne Jones's entry on Dungeons in the Tough Guide to Fantasyland: "It is all designed to make you feel low. ... Do not, however, let this get you down." I need to print that out and stick it over my monitor.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Writing on my lunch break

I only get half an hour for lunch at my current job (although I do get to leave at 4:30, which is nice). That's still enough time to unpack Bunny the Adorable Miniature Laptop and do a little bit of writing. I've started bringing microwave soup for lunch, the kind you drink through the lid, because I can type in between swigs.

Sometimes it feels odd, though, switching from work-thinking to writing-thinking without actually leaving my cubical. One minute I'm data entering with the best of them, the next minute I'm writing a tricky scene in which someone gets killed with an axe.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hello, April!

It's April at last, and my lawn already needs mowing. The dogwood buds are swelling, trees are greening, and everywhere I look I see daffodils, forsythia, hyacinth, and other spring flowers. I love East Tennessee. I'm so glad I'm home.

I have a story coming up next week in Every Day Fiction, "Sick Day," which will appear on April 8. That's also my nephew Isaac's birthday, which reminds me I need to get his present in the mail!

Once again I have three stories on hold for further consideration. I'm particularly excited about "Rumpelstiltskin," which the editor at CatsCurious wants to hold on to a little longer. Yes, please, hold on to that one as long as you find necessary. :)

I have decided that instead of griping because I don't get immediate (or even timely) responses to many submissions, I'll rejoice every day that goes by that I don't hear back. After all, that may mean someone's set it aside for another reading, right? This is my new stress-free method of handling submissions. Of course, I will still spend ridiculous amounts of time scrutinizing Duotrope for clues to when I might hear back or if not hearing back is a good thing or a bad thing, but hey, everyone needs a hobby.