Columbus Day

I get tomorrow off! I haven’t had Columbus Day off since I was in school. My new job continues to rock my eyeballs. And how’s this for sweet, sweet icing? The Representatives and Senators left on Friday at 2:30, so us Legislative Counsel folks got to too. Half day, woot!

   


Writing Stuff

basletum interviewed me for SpecMusicMuse. Shiny!

Published:
- My October Writing for Young Readers column: “Hi/Lo Books: Writing for Reluctant Readers” is now up at Writing-World.

New Words:
- 500 on the Japanese fantasy, and I’ve come upon a plot snag. Pondering, pondering.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3,560 / 6,000
(59.3%)

Received:
- Contract from Faeries for French reprint of “Of Two Minds in Lanais.”
- Contract from Helix.
- Contrib. copy of Grendel Song. Yay!

Home again home again

Back from Illinois. Exhausted and drained, both psychologically and physically. I broke down multiple times at both the wake and funeral, but mostly held it together. I had the foresight to bring lotso Kleenex.

Seeing my DiL all preserved and made-up for the first time at the wake was the worst. It didn’t look like the man I remembered at all up close–too plastic and smooth–but from a little distance, he did, and a couple times, I caught myself thinking, “I hope DiL’s not feeling left out. He’s all off by himself and no one’s talking to him.” And then, of course, I’d have to deal with another bout of teary-eyes when I realized that I didn’t have to worry about him feeling excluded and that it didn’t matter that no one was chit-chatting with him because he couldn’t hear them, would never have another conversation with his friends and family ever again.

Been trying to take it easy, trying to ease back into things. But there’s tons of work to catch up with that has already waited a week.

And, after all, life goes on.

   


Writing Stuff

Received a lovely review at Novelspot for my Inspirations End/Still My Beating Heart chapbook:

“Eugie Foster’s vampire stories have everything a good vampire story needs to have . . . The author is a great story-teller, who pays attention to details, creates great characters, and uses a highly enjoyable style. Her choice of words and her use of language gives a very special flavour to these writings, which makes it hard to put this book down. For those who enjoy vampire fiction, this book is highly recommended. ”
–Ilona Hegedus

Published:
- My August Writing for Young Readers column, “Writing for Tweens.”

Received:
- 57-days to a reprint sale (+ contract) of “Second Daughter” to Her Circle Ezine. It’s slated for their fall issue. Their contract is odd, a bit too vague and Spartan for my preference, lacking even the bare-bones, standard legalese that I’m accustomed to. But it’s for a reprint and they’re not asking for anything weird. Eh, as long as they pay me . . .
- Email + contract from Stephen Eley confirming that the Pseudopod editors loved and want “Returning My Sister’s Face.” Their contract, of course, is completely in order.
- Status update from Mech Muse that their Summer issue (with the audio reprint of “The Storyteller’s Wife” in it) will be going up Aug. 21.
- 272-days to an “after careful consideration we have decided to decline” on a story held for the second round of reading at IGMS. Fooie.
- 3-days to a “not what we’re looking for at this time” with personal (and a bit contradictory) feedback. One editor liked my prose, the other found it too florid, but it was the ending that didn’t sell them. Alas.

This Week Better than Last

So we went to Washington Mutual and opened an account. The folks there were very personable and helpful. As it turns out, there is a fee for depositing a foreign check with them, but the manager waived it, and he said as long it wasn’t too frequent, he’d waive the wire transfer fee for future foreign payments. Very nice. Going to start transferring all our account stuff from SunTrust, rah.

Got the replacement warranty faucet part from Moen. It wasn’t what we expected. fosteronfilm and I were taken aback to discover it was neither the handle nor the whole faucet unit they sent, but a piece of metal and some attachment thingies. After some head scratching and much instruction poring, we realized they’d sent us the hardware piece that connects the handle to the unit, the actual bit that had broken. Huh.

Matthew applied screwdriver and much grunting to the faucet and succeeded in re-attaching the handle. Except, um, the hot and cold run backwards. It’s an oops that currently has us debating whether we should try to fix it or simply get used to right being hot and left being cold, but I’m very pleased to once again have a kitchen sink that delivers water.

   


Writing Stuff

The dry spell I was complaining about ended in a big, gushy flood of sales. Woot!

Received:
- 89-day SALE of “The Devil and Mrs. Comstock’s Snickerdoodles” to Realms of Fantasy. Woohoo!! I was beginning to wonder if my sales to RoF last year were a fluke. *happy dancing!*
- 23-day SALE of “The Dragon’s Breath Seed” to Reflection’s Edge. Thanks to squirrel_monkey for getting me to submit to these fine folks!
- 7-day SALE of my 2 part article “Multicultural Writing” to Writing-World.com. Also, the editor has invited me to do a regular monthly article on children’s fiction. Of course I said yes. It’s slated to begin in August. I’m casting around for what to title it . . .

New Words:
- 500 on the collab. piece I’m doing with mtrimm1. I hang my head in shame for how long I’ve sat on it, but at least I’ve finally got myself back in the game.

Lobbing dem hamsters . . .

Club 100 For Writers
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500/day
      55

On shaving a skunk and Tramadol

And it’s back to the daily grind.

After hearing how much happier yukinooruoni‘s cats are in summer after being sheared, I wondered if Hobkin wouldn’t prefer to carry less fur weight around during the hot months. And then I remembered how much he hates being brushed and having his nails clipped (although, oddly, he doesn’t have a problem with me cleaning his ears), and I’m thinking we’d lose digits if we tried it. Ergo, skunk shall remain fluffy.

Wingstubs giving me some major grief, so I took a Tramadol last night. And not only didn’t it knock me out, but it seems to have given me a bit of a zing. I was up until 4AM, working. Huh.

   


Writing Stuff

In an effort to continue spring-boarding more paying work off my psych. degree, I went on a guidelines spree. And, of course, I found an ideal market right under my nose. The Cricket folks put out a Parent’s Companion publication as accompaniment to their ‘zine for 2-6 year-olds, Ladybug. They’re looking for articles written with “a thorough, up-to-date understanding of child development.” Bing!

Went through my old grad. papers for inspiration–which were stored in Lotus’s Word Pro, of all applications, and I had to scour the Internet looking for a freeware program that would let me open them before I could read them. So I spent most of last night compiling notes, references, and checking out new research, and I hope to get an article written this weekend. This one’s on spec rather than of the query–>greeen light variety, but I’m thinking the topic matter is such that it should be sellable to other venues if they turn it down. Assuming I don’t totally botch the job and write gibberish, of course.

Also put together a query/pitch for a nonfiction article for the China-themed issue of the kid ‘zine, Faces, and sent it off. They’ve got a pretty formal process for queries that includes a word count, an outline, and a reference list, with the end result being that I’ve all but written the thing by the time I finished putting together my query. It should definitely make writing it a no-brainer, should I get the green light.

Initially I hesitated about querying them because their guidelines specify that they buy all rights, and I’ve been assiduously avoiding selling all rights to my work, but I realized I’m far less possessive about my nonfic stuff. After all, I’ve been ghostwriting routinely since I started picking up more freelance work, and haven’t had any qualms about the “all rights” nature of that. Of course, they’ll probably send me a “thanks but no thanks,” which would make all this waffling moot.

Received:
- Contrib. copies of the June issue of Spider with “The Tax Collector’s Cow” in it. I was delighted to see five illustrations (by Jennifer Hewitson) for my story. Very shiny.
- Contract and payment from Best New Fantasy: 2005 for “Returning My Sister’s Face.”
- Payment for my last freelance gig.
- 1-day rejection from Escape Velocity on a reprint; they don’t take reprints. Oops.
- Comment at MySpace from the MechMuse folks that their audio production of “The Storyteller’s Wife” is proceeding apace. Quite looking forward to that, I is. I’ll be sharing a ToC with Kevin J. Anderson!

Club 100 For Writers
      23

500/day
      35

Dragon*Con 2nd all-staff meeting and Celexa

The 2nd Dragon*Con all-staff meeting was yesterday whereupon I picked up a new reporter for the Daily Dragon, gabbed with a returning one, and socialized at length with fabu folks such as dire_epiphany, astralfire, sara1221, bevlovesbooks (and her eensy-bebe, Eleanor, who has teeny-tiny toes), and Dean-of-the-camera-but-no-LJ.

A huge hurray goes out to fingerman! Chairman Pat bequeathed upon him the coveted and shiny 15-year anniversary volunteer plaque. *flings confetti* A well earned and well deserved commendation.

Yesterday was a good day. I keep saying this, but I also keep forgetting, so apparently it merits repetition. I need to get out of the house more often. Working from home and flinging hamsters willy-nilly, I forget how much time I spend sequestered in the library, staring at my laptop. Getting out lets me unwind–flagrant introversion notwithstanding–and it also stokes my muse with fresh faces, real settings, and new experiences. I’m more productive after a few hours out and about than if I spent those hours nose-to-the-keyboard. And most importantly, I’m happier.

So yeah, on the heels of that not-so-brilliant insight, and after feeling nauseous, light-headed, groggy-unto-death (I ended up having to take a nap yesterday as well as crashing after dinner), and tremor-ridden–after only a single day on the stuff–I’ve decided on the out-the-window option for the Celexa. Odds are the side effects would pass in a couple weeks, but I need these couple weeks. It will stress me out far more to be laid out by the sleepies or the queasies right now than any possible 6-8 weeks-down-the-road benefit. Scary-nurse-lady teetered my confidence, but I know I’ve got enough of a handle on my moods and emotions to determine when and if I need to be on psychotropics. And I don’t; I may again at some point down the road, but I can deal a-ok right now.

   


Writing Stuff

*Squee!* I’m on the short list for the Southeastern Science Fiction Award (SESFA) in the Best Short Story of 2005 category! Mega thanks to Jason Sizemore for having the brilliant acumen and stunning good taste to publish “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” in Apex Digest!

But err, I still don’t know what to blog about for my Writer’s Vanity guest blogger spot on Wednesday. Gleep.

Received:
- Contract from Paradox for “The Archer of the Sun and the Lady of the Moon.” Of course, as soon as I start fretting, it shows up. At least that’s one hamster nicely in orbit.

Fairy portals sprouting in Michigan

dean13 sent along this link from NPR on wee fairy doors popping up in Ann Arbor, MI. I want one! Although I’m inclined to think there’s already one under Hobkin’s hutch . . .

[Edit: dean13 found the artist’s website: urban-fairies.com (*squee!*)]

   


Writing Stuff

New Words/Editing:
- 1000 on the middle-grade novel –> Picture book effort. Only halfway into the story and my word count limit’s just about up. Urp. Must cut and tighten. Daunted has become intimidated.

Received:
- Payment for my “When the Guidelines Say for Children 7 to 12″ article. The editor said it’ll probably be published in June.
- Acceptance and contract for my “10 Myths About Writing for Kids” article from Writing-World.com.

And now I’m thinking I need to start seriously considering doing lots more nonfiction. Dwelling on trying my hand at writing nonfiction for kids. I think I’d be decent at it. And this whole query/pitch->green light->pay thing, where I know I’ll get paid before I write something, there’s definite appeal there.

Club 100 For Writers
      15

500/day
      29

Busy busy busy

I was going to pen this rambling, meditative post on “reinventing oneself” but as it turns out, I’m too busy to give the topic the attention it needs. In a nutshell, I’ve been lurching and flailing through some fairly meaningless self-indulgent introspection and dwelling on what to do about it. Maybe I can go more in-depth into the subject tomorrow.

Anyone who knows me personally, it’s nothing to fret or freak about. No major life changes or anything, and mostly to do with my writing. And undoubtedly nothing major there either. Just your everyday angst and agitation.

   


Writing Stuff

Received:
- 8-hours to a SALE of my nonfiction article “When the guidelines say ‘for children 7 to 12′: An overview of children’s developmental reading stages from a writerly perspective” to Writing-World.com.

This was the article I queried, pitched, and subsequently wrote over the weekend. Plus the editor wants to see the other article I pitched to her, and she pays on acceptance! So yeah-for-sure the contract’s going out in the mail tomorrow. After all the research I did for that mongo freelance gig a few weeks back, I was pretty primed to write this. Using my Psych. degree makes for a happy Eugie. A huge thanks go out to basletum for bringing this publication to my attention!

- Email from the editor of GrendelSong that “The Goddess Queen’s Battlefield” is going to be in issue #2 not #3. Sooner publication, rah.

- 175-days YFOP from RoF, alas.

- At long last, the notes from the editor asking me to turn my middle-grade novel into a picture book. *gulp* Much sleeve rolling up to commence.

New Words/Editing:
- 500 on “When the guidelines say ‘for children 7 to 12′” and several editing passes and reference checks. Obviously, the fork’s stuck quivering up to the hilt in this one.

Club 100 For Writers
      13

500/day
      27

Researching, yo

Researching. Researching. Researching. fosteronfilm had to drag me out of the library last night for dinner. There’s just so many papers and articles I need to read, and those spin me off into online ad hoc research. Don’t have time to eat, dammit.

I remember why I chose this area in college; I’m finding the subject matter utterly fascinating. Although I noticed that I’m not even bothering to go over the statistics sections of research papers; I just jump to the conclusion paragraphs. I have a feeling all those advanced stats classes are well and goodly flushed out of my system. Sigh.

   


Writing Stuff

basletum is interviewing me for his “Giving it Meaning” column at The Sword Review. Been pondering my answers between reading Dev. Psych. articles. I’m trying to convey my philosophy that having an insightful, relevant theme is what lifts a story from the realm of entertainment into that of art without sounding all highfalutin’ and ostentatious. The thing is, I do believe there’s nothing wrong with a story just being entertainment; a lot of mine are, and I make no apologies about it. But I think I’m coming across as pretentious. Maybe I just need to embrace my inner beatnik.

Received:
- Contract from GrendelSong for “Shim Chung the Lotus Queen.”
- Reprint sale of “Only Springtime When She’s Gone” to Apex Online. This’ll go up in May to accompany my “Featured Writer” interview. Yay!

dude_the is here. Yay!

Beastie updates:

Hobkin: Sicked up on Thursday, but he didn’t yesterday. We’re trying to feed him smaller, more frequent meal to see if that helps. ‘Course that means he’s getting fed something like five or six times a day. Don’t want him to get used to that. Plus we can’t keep that up over the weekend ’cause of Frolicon. Not sure if we’re going into town tonight for the convention or waiting until tomorrow to get our registration et al. taken care of.

Kitty: No cat sightings, but she’s been chowing down on the food I’ve been setting out. I’ve refilled the bowl three times in the last two days.

   


Writing Stuff

Received:
- Contract from Aberrant Dreams for “Nobodies and Somebodies.” My editor liked my rewrite. Huzzah!

New Words:
- 1K on the story for mroctober. Chug chug chugging along . . .

Club 100 For Writers
      3

500/day
      21

Virtual relocation: packing, moving truck, and unpacking–cardboard boxes everywhere

Decided to move eugiefoster.com to a new host on Sunday for a bunch of reasons, including so I could have greater server-side control and so I wouldn’t have to use a domain mask anymore; each page now has its own URL.

For folks using my Children’s Markets Listing, you might want to update your bookmarks to: www.eugiefoster.com/kidmarkets.htm. I’ve got a redirect from the previous address, but y’know, there it is.

There’s a lot of coordination involved with shunting a virtual thing from one cyberlocation to another. It reminded me a lot of a physical move–a process I absolutely abhor–with virtual parallels to packing, carting everything over to the new place, and then unpacking and deciding where everything should go. I didn’t have to fret over the burly guys in the moving trucks breaking or losing my stuff, but I did have a couple virtual “Agh! Where did I pack the can opener?” moments.

Packing–that is, informing my domain registrar of the new server locale, and sorting through/neatening up my files–went smoothly, but there was a slight holdup with the carting stuff over part. Actually, that went about as smoothly as a crocodile with a rash, resulting in mad scrambling and hair pulling. If anyone sent an email to me at my eugiefoster.com address on Sunday evening and I haven’t responded, you might want to resend it. There was a half hour to forty-five minute in there during which I fear some incoming emails may have been flung into a deep, dark cyber-oubliette.

After everything got properly relocated, as I was “unpacking,” I decided to do some structural tweaks. These “tweaks” sucked up all my attention yesterday and this morning, and they still aren’t done. However, I’ve got a backlog of writing/editing work that’s clamoring for my attention, and I’m having to back-burner it.

If you swing by my website, I hope you’ll excuse the mess. (Also, if folks not using IE as their web browser could let me know if there’s anything which looks really bizarre, that would be greatly appreciated.)

   


Writing Stuff

Received:
- Edits from Jason Sizemore on my Aegri Somnia story, “Nothing of Me.”
- Contract from Gisele LeBlanc for “A Patch of Jewels in the Sky.” It’s slated for publication in Dragonfly Spirit in June.
- 6-day rejection from new UK ‘zine, Forgotten Worlds, with invite to submit again. Strange wording/spelling snafu on the rejection made me do a double-take: “Thank you for your resent submission to Forgotten Worlds. We regret that it has been unsuccessful.” The misspelling of “recent” caused me to pause for a moment, wondering if they’d asked me to “resend” my story–and I had totally forgotten any such happenings–and through some electronic boo-boo, they hadn’t received it. But then I figured my memory’s not that fractured yet, and besides, how would they know it hadn’t been successful if they hadn’t received it? So yeah, it’s a rejection. Check.