GABPC: up at the buttcrack of dawn

Up way, way too early. *groan* I heard owls, owls hooting as I was brushing my teeth. Whoever coordinated the Georgia Big Picture Conference (GABPC) is obviously a morning person. And they scheduled fosteronfilm for a 9AM panel. Oof.

fosteronfilm assured me that I did not, as it were, resemble a refugee from an anime show, so I did without a hat and went with him to the meet-n-greet for the guests of the GABPC. We met. We gret. Then we came home and watched animated rabbit carnage (aka Watership Down).

Must shamble off and wake up the hubby now.

   


Writing Stuff

Got the contract for “Sins of the Mother” from Dark Cloud Press. I’ll sign and send it back on Monday.

LJ Katrina charity

Went to the little farmer’s tent that’s set up down the road to buy fresh veggies. It’s very charming, there’s a little old man who brings out the produce from the back of his van. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that I’m supporting a little family farm. Of course, fosteronfilm then had to quip up, suggesting that the little old man is just the front to a big corporate farm masquerading as a mom ‘n pop business, and they hire friendly old men to hawk their wares. I “tbthhhed” my hubby and relished the sweet, plump goodness of the ripe tomatoes.

Check out what archer904 is doing! For every comment made to his post, he’s donating a dollar to Red Cross Katrina relief aid. A wonderful and generous gesture! Go forth and comment.

   


Writing Stuff

Received yesterday:
- My contrib. copy of the Embark to Madness anthology. My story, “Perfidious Beauty,” is the lead one. Suhweet.
- The contract from Apex for “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me.” Signed and mailed back.
- Rejection from Roaring Brook Press (via my agent) on my middle-grade novel. Sigh. I would like someone to buy that now. Yes. Publishing voodoo, do! Pleeease?

New Words: 500

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1,500 / 6,500
(23.0%)

Club 100 For Writers
      3

500/day
      68

Georgia Big Picture, swag, and dude_the

Ooo! The Big Picture Film and Video Foundation has approved fosteronfilm as a guest speaker for their Georgia Big Picture Conference. As part of the deal, we get both of our admissions waived, and they’re feeding us both lunch and dinner, gratis. Sweet! Hobkin will probably be quite miffed at being left alone for so long for two days, but I think it’ll be grand fun. And fosteronfilm will get to indulge his public speaking bug again. There’s more than a little irony in the fact that he loves talking to an audience of strangers, and I have nightmares about it. I take solace in knowing that I can wrangle up a press release and resume better than he can . . .

The swag is continuing to pour in, including posters, dammit! We told them to send the posters to the D*C office. They’re heavy and take up a lot of space! Pfft. But we also got some sweet swag–t-shirts and mouse pads and flashlights (oh, my!). And our dining room looks like a warehouse. Hobkin is displeased.

dude_the is due here tomorrow and the library/spare bedroom is wading room-only. Gleep. There will be much tidying today.

   


Writing Stuff

Received the contract from Dark Cloud Press for “The Wiggly People.” It was a pretty writer-friendly contract. These folks are comporting themselves in a very professional manner. Very nice. Contract signed and stuck in the mail.

Blood, blood, and biters

The hospital vampires took their two vials. I’m quite fond of the main technician there. She’s both extremely pleasant and speedy proficient with the sticker. fosteronfilm and I had a discussion about needle technology. He thinks they’ve improved since he was a wee bairn, smaller needles with larger openings or something like that, because overall the blood letting procedure is much less painful and arduous than it used to be. I’m not so convinced that it’s the technology and not just a run of good techs. However, we are agreed that the little plastic collection thingy that allows them to switch vials without having to withdraw the needle is a lovely invention.

In other blood-related news, the vet called with Hobkin’s blood test results. He got a clean bill of health. Hurray! In fact, the vet said that Hobkin’s numbers were VERY good, not just “acceptable” but excellent. The only exception was his calcium levels which, while in the normal range, could stand to be higher. So, more cottage cheese and instant milk for our skunk. I’m just so delighted and relieved that his blood panel came out so well. More proof positive that omnivores thrive on a vegetarian diet.

In less good news, fosteronfilm went out to mow the lawn yesterday, and while he was doing some preliminary weeding, he disturbed a nest of fire ants. They nailed him four times on his hands before he could shake them off. Man, those buggers are vicious. So my hubby spent the next hour icing his bites and the evening in a Benadryl haze. Poor Matthew! And, of course, the lawn went another day without mowing. That’s something we didn’t have in Illinois, fire ants. Scary enough to make burly contract workers scream like little girls and go running pell mell away. In our first year here, we were ye verily puzzled at the behavior of these hairy, macho, grunting men we’d hired when they were constructing our sun room and encountered a fire ant hill. We thought, “It’s just some ants, sheesh” and mocked the big, burly contractors (behind their backs, of course, because we are neither insane nor foolhardy). Since then, we have come to understand the peril and menace which are fire ants. Fortunately, I haven’t been bitten, but considering how much more sensitive I am to insect venom, and how brutal fire ant bites are, I’m hoping to continue that trend. I’ve never been stung by wasp or bee either, so I have no idea whether I’m allergic.


Writing Stuff

Ooo! I received my contrib. copies, the contract, and invoice form for “All in My Mind” that was reprinted in Polish in Nowa Fantastyka. Yay! It’s strange receiving a contract after a story has been published, but it’s not like I’m about to make a fuss. I’m just pleased that I’m going to get paid. Not to mention that I now have copies of this story in a language I can’t read. How cool is that?

And another “ooo!” The Sword Review just published my reprint “Second Daughter.” This must be my week for reprint stuff.

First Sale Meme

First Story Sale Meme, ganked from douglain:
Describe the first story you ever sold to any publication. What was the title of the story? The name of the publication? The plot? The public reception to your work?

My first story sale was “The Adventures of Manny the Mailmobile” to Cicada. It was also my first submission to the Cricket Magazine folks. The beginning of a beautiful relationship! It was also the first place that story had gone to, so in one fell swoop, I’d made my first fiction sale, my first professional sale, and my first one-hit sale. I think my neighbors might still be talking about the day that strange whooping noises issued from my roof. I was walking on clouds for weeks after I made that sale. Good thing too. It had to hold me over for a year before I made my next one.

It was published in the Jan/Feb 2002 issue, a light science fiction/mystery caper with the hero being a lovelorn mailmobile robot. Well, actually, to call it a mystery is probably doing a disservice to Hitchcock and Ellery Queen; the who-done-it part is pretty clearcut and there aren’t any red herrings. But my intention was to focus more on the lovelorn part than the mystery.

The story and mailmobile protag, Manny, were inspired from my days working as a teeny cog as a cubicle monkey for a really big corporation (before I moved to Atlanta). My ex-company had these automated mailmobiles, about the size of ponies, that were programmed to run set delivery routes. Secretaries and other clerical assistants would know when they were near by their, again programmed, beeps. They also had sensors so they (theoretically) knew not to run down pedestrians. I’ve never been hit by one, but I swear I’ve had them lunge at me a couple time while I was innocently walking the corridors, to and from meetings. During the early days of their introduction, there were some *ahem* learning curve issues. Like the time a mailmobile trapped someone behind a door. Its sensors told it not to move, but the person couldn’t get around it because they were blocked in on all sides, so the mailmobile just sat there, flashing and beeping. They had to call a tech person to come and rescue both of them. Then there was the time when a mailmobile accidentally entered a small conference room and then couldn’t figure out how to get out again–since it was too large to turn around. From first hand accounts, the process of moving it out was much like backing up a cow. Finally, there was also the brief hubbub when anonymous third shifters started putting stuffed animal heads on the mailmobiles and taping names like “Bessie” and “Matilda” to them. Personally, I think the mailmobiles should have been allowed to maintain their personas, but apparently upper management was without anything remotely like a sense of humor. Guess anthropomorphizing the mailmobiles was too whimsical for them to stomach. They removed the names and heads, and sent out a company-wide memo prohibiting people from “defacing” the mailmobiles. Spoil sports.

Kill joy management notwithstanding, I was so charmed by the antics of the slow-moving, quirky-yet-loyal mailmobiles, I had to write a tale featuring one. I’m still quite proud of that story. It’s been re-published in Greek (the Feb. 16, 2005 issue of 9), which also marks my first foreign language reprint sale. “Manny” was the first professional validation that I might actually have some ability at this whole writing thing, and it was the fulfillment of a childhood ambition: publication. And the fact that my first sale was to such an excellent and discriminating publication as Cicada still gives me a nice egoboo when I’m feeling discouraged.


Writing Stuff

Received the long-awaited contract for “The Wizard of Eternal Watch and the Keeper of Forever” (I think my longest title, evar) from Pitch-Black books for their Sages & Swords: Razor-edged Arcanum anthology. It prompted a bit off Googling, and I found the cover art that Storn Cook is doing for it. Sweet. I believe the anthology is scheduled for an April 2006 release.

Got the electronic proofs of “Second Daughter” from The Sword Review to approve. The editor said he’s aiming for it to go up next Monday.

Also published a review of the June 2005 issue of Realms of Fantasy to Tangent. Michael Bailey had this to say about “The Storyteller’s Wife”:

“Author Eugie Foster has consistently used words to craft vibrant mental images in past stories, and this tale is no exception. The story is replete with intense visuals . . . The author expertly builds tension early in the story . . . At its core, “The Storyteller’s Wife” is a love story, but the early elements that hint at suicide, and the sinister nature of the denizens of Faerie add a dark element that enriches the story.”

Overall a positive review, although he wasn’t as fond of the ending as the beginning.

New Words: 200
On a re-telling of a classic Korean folktale. This one has the potential to be a little darker than my usual. Not sure if I want to let it go that route, or tone it down. Haven’t decided on a target audience yet. Although, to tell the truth, I’m a bit hit-and-miss when it comes to targeting readers.

Club 100 For Writers
42

Live8 Footage

Watched some of the MTV Live8 coverage. Is it me, or has concert coverage gotten spectacularly stupid? You’d think if a person’s tuning in to a concert broadcast, they’d want to see the concert, right? Pretty performers making appealing sounds with musical instruments and all. Yet, time and time again, the camera would pull away from the show on stage to spotlight the commentators who would then go on to inform the audience that they were at this monumental concert, isn’t it great, isn’t it fabulous? And all the time the performance is happening behind them as they jabber at the camera. WTF?


Writing Stuff

Received the French contract for “The Storyteller’s Wife” from Faeries. They included a pretty bookmark that had “welcome” handwritten on it. Little, personal gestures like that from editors/publishers make me happy. Signed the contract, but have to wait until Tuesday to mail it back. I thought they were paying me in U.S. dollars, but the contract stipulates euros, which I’m actually happier about since the the exchange rate is currently in my favor. Although it does mean I’ll have to deal with the inevitable confusion and blank looks from my bank when I go to deposit the check.

Also, it seems that the Polish translation of “All in My Mind” has been published in the July issue of Nowa Fantastyka.

Here’s the cover:

I’m listed in the table of contents. Except, erm, I never received a contract from these folks. And I’ve queried the editor a couple times and haven’t heard anything back. So, woohoo, I’ve been published in Polish! But also, guh? I really wish I knew someone who could read and write Polish. I feel the need for a translator to help me out with my correspondences. I shall remain optimistic and assume I’ll get paid. Eventually. And hey, according to the website, they have a print run of 45K.

Progress on The List:
1. Do rewrite of “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me.” Added 400 words in more passes than I can remember. Going to give it another read-through (or three) and then send it back to the editor for approval.
2. Finish critique in-progress.
3. Finish researching and write WIP folktale.
4. Compile stats & finish rewrite of current story up at Critters.
5. Compose and send thank you notes for crits of Critters story.
6. Review material for Tangent.
7. Get back to work on the novel.

Oof. Still feeling overwhelmed.

Club 100 For Writers
25

500/day
59

Laying out weekend plans

Had a funtastic evening last night with glenn5. He swung by bearing key lime pie; we made pizza and watched Golden Eye, mostly because I was hankering for something actiony with many exploding bits.

Had an interesting dream experience this morning. Hobkin woke me up, clamoring for breakfast, and he got me out of an icky dream. Not scary, but really frustrating–the kind where no one listens to you and are intent upon doing the exact wrong thing in a perilous circumstance, and no matter how you plead and reason with them, they ignore you. Cassandra complex, anyone? Left me feeling frustrated and annoyed as I fixed veggies for the fuzzwit, and also still veeeery sleepy. After I fed Hobkin, I went back to bed. Woke up on my own two hours later from a dream that was the resolution to the earlier one, where I’d managed to come up with a cunning plan to get people to pay attention, and I was just putting the plan into action. Woke up feeling optimistic and refreshed.

I’ve had multi-part dreams before, where I’ve woken up briefly and then gone back into the same dreamscape upon falling back asleep. But not after such a long gap that included getting out of bed, and not like this one. It was so focused, more like a movie with story arc, climax, and resolution.

Weird. But I’m glad I woke up after part II. I feel much better than I did two hours ago.


Writing Stuff

Sold “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” to Apex, pending final okay on a rewrite. The editor wants more intensity. I can do intensity. This is the story that got orphaned when Transfinite blipped out of existence with no warning and a total communication blackout, so I’m glad this tale has found such an excellent new home.

Received the contract from jinzi for “In Suffering Lies Salvation.” Signed and mailed it back.

I suddenly have so many things on my writing plate that I’m a bit overwhelmed. Whenever that happens, I make a list, which helps me sort out and prioritize what needs doing. So:

1. Do rewrite of “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” for Apex.
2. Finish critique in-progress.
3. Finish researching and write WIP folktale.
4. Compile stats & finish rewrite of current story up at Critters.
5. Compose and send thank you notes for crits of Critters story.
6. Review material for Tangent.
7. Get back to work on the novel.

I’m still feeling overwhelmed.

Club 100 For Writers
24

Skunk go poof

Hobkin’s blowing his coat. I’d forgotten what a shedding skunk was like. I pet him and there’s a cloud of fuzz in the air. After a nap, there’s long, white strands of tail on the couch and blanket. Skunk fur. Everywhere I look there’s skunk fur!

I see that LiveJournal is having a 24-hour permanent account sale. Ooo! But I really can’t rationalize spending $150 on my blog. Damn.


Writing Stuff

I found out that “Running on Two Legs,” which appeared in #40 of The Third Alternative, was nominated for the 2005 British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story! It’s terribly unlikely it’ll win, or hell, even make the short list, considering the competition (I’m up against Neil Gaiman for starters), but I’m tickled neon fuchsia to be nominated. Squee!

Any BFS members who haven’t read “Running on Two Legs” are welcome to drop me (an email) eugie (at) eugiefoster (dot) com. I’ll forward on a .PDF for your reading pleasure.

Also received the contracts from Cricket for “Li T’ien and the Demon Nian” and “Cuhiya’s Husband.” Signed and mailed them back. “Li T’ien” is slated for the Jan. 2006 issue. Yay! Eagerly looking forward to seeing it, as well as getting word of when the others stories Cricket‘s bought will be scheduled for publication.

And got a 242-day reject from the Damned Nation anthology. A near miss: “We are especially sorry to have to send this after sitting on [your story] for so long, but we had a number of excellent stories we remained undecided about until the last minute, and yours was one of them . . . Please know that this was a very close call.”

Fooie. I would like a sale now.

Interview, meh

So the interview . . . went. I really, really hate phone interviews. I just can’t gauge anything with just a voice to work with. And I don’t make the best impression over the phone. I work best with body language and eye contact. Generally, I think it went okay. Probably closer to the “meh” side of okay than the “!!” side. We’ll see.


Writing Stuff

Finished the rewrite on the folktale after several more passes, packaged it up to go to Cricket, and then received six more Critters critiques, including a couple that make me want to go back in and do another several passes. Urg. Tear into the submission envelope, or just let it go as is? I hate second guessing myself.

Also received the contract from benpayne for “The Life and Times of Penguin” that’s scheduled for issue #18 of Andromeda Spaceways. Signed and sending it out to Aussie-land today. And I saw on their website that they’ve posted the cover art for #18. Pretty:

Club 100 For Writers
23

Thanks to everyone who wished fosteronfilm and me a Happy Anniversary!

Had a “Resume Building” workshop at the unemployment office this morning. Why is it everytime I go there, it’s raining? My class consisted of folks like me who’ve been out of work going on two months now. I noticed a large drop in business suits (none), and a huge increase in jeans and sweat suits. Also, an increased level of desperation in people’s eyes.

The class taught me that my resume needed punching up, so as soon as I got home, I spent the next several hours updating the damn thing. It’s all shiny and trendy now.

Interview tomorrow. Stress happening.


Writing Stuff

Received my contract from the Cricket Magazine Group for “The King of Rabbits and Moon Lake.” Signed and mailed it back. It puzzled me greatly when I got the envelope because it was one of my SASEs, and I always indicate on them what story is being responded to (very helpful when I send more than one story to a market, which I routinely do to the Cricket folks). But I knew I’d already had “Moon Lake” accepted, so couldn’t figure out what could be in it. Were they retracting their offer of publication? Eee! Of course, after an anxious rip or two, I realized they must have sent me the acceptance using their own stationary. Silly Eugie.

Also received word from my agent that Candlewick and Penguin-Putnam have passed on my novel and that he’s sent it to HarperCollins and Roaring Brook Press next. Got the feedback from the editors. My story made the Putnam editor cry, but she still didn’t buy it. Fooie.

Words: Beginning my rewrite of the folktale going through Critters. Running stats on the crits and making notes about tweaks and tunings. Got some excellent nit-picky feedback. Two passes so far. I hope to have it out the door by Thursday.

Club 100 For Writers
21