NPR live streaming & LiveJournal Breastfeeding Icon Boycott Day

This morning, I discovered the public radio station’s (WABE 90.1) live streaming broadcast after a very unfruitful search for our portable radio. I’ve been too out of touch, holed up in my library-office as I am, day-in-and-day-out. I’ve missed listening to Morning Edition, and I think insulating myself from basic world news and events is also impacting my writing scope. NPR rawketh.

And for everyone either participating in or sympathetic to the cause: Happy LiveJournal Breastfeeding Icon Boycott Day. Power to the people.

I’m choosing not to delete my journal today, not because I don’t support and believe in the cause, but because I’m not convinced that that action would be an effective protest method. Personally, I like zhai‘s suggestion: “I think what everyone ought to do is organize an effort to simultaneously post naked primary user icons on the same day.”

I did, however, sign the petition and urge everyone else to.

   


Writing Stuff

Published:
- “The Archer of the Sun and the Lady of the Moon” is now out in the new issue (#9) of Paradox.

Received:
- Another painful glowing rejection from an editor via my agent for my middle-grade novel: “I love the concept and the literary, dream-like quality of Eugie Foster’s prose. I also appreciate that friendship is a main theme of the novel. However . . . ” And she goes on to say: “Clearly Eugie Foster is a tremendous talent . . .”

Waaah!! Today might be a good day for ice cream therapy. Or gin.

And we’re still waiting on a verdict from the editor who requested a picture book manuscript. *twitch* Waiting hard.

Weekend update

Patrick and Christy are heading back to New Orleans as I type. Their apartment hunt was fruitful, job prospects looking good, and they’ve all but settled on a place close by, around eight miles from us in the Sandy Springs area. Yay! Very, very excited about them moving here!

And now I have much work to play catch-up with.

   


Writing Stuff

New Words/Editing:
- 600 on a new freelance gig. Edited, sent off, and paid.
- 1200 on another freelance gig.

Published:
- “A Patch of Jewels in the Sky” is now up at Dragonfly Spirit.

Received:
- Note from the editor of Writing-World. She liked the article, and wants to make it a two-parter, so asked me to write part two. Of course I said “yes.” Coolness.
- 30-day “not right for us” from oldcharliebrown on a submission to Fantasy Magazine, but to offset the pook, also some preliminary back-and-forth on contributing to a Prime books anthology with a Japanese mythology theme.
- Contrib. copies of #193 of Galaktika from Hungary.
- Payment from Ennea via wire transfer after I asked them not to wire the money. Not only did my bank shaft me with another $15 fee, but my payment got sent in two stages, so the Greek bank doubly-shafted me to the tune of another $9. To say that I am unhappy is much like calling Godzilla a tall lizard. ARGH! Sporksporkspork!

Club 100 For Writers
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500/day
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Pride & Prejudice: Keira Knightly

Less hard of a crash yesterday than I expected. After a day of working in the library, I came down at the reasonable hour of 5PM, baked chocolate chip cookies and had dinner with fosteronfilm. Then we watched the Keira Knightly Pride & Prejudice, which I think pretty much wraps up my Jane Austen kick, and I flopped over with a skunk at the respectable bedtime of 10ish. And now I’m back to regular working hours. Well, almost regular working hours. I woke up this morning at 6ish, but that’s only a little early for me.

Pride & Prejudice was enjoyable, mostly because of Keira Knightly. The other actors, while adequate, didn’t particularly stand out, except for perhaps Judi Dench, who did a nice coldly intimidating and controlling Lady Catherine de Bourg. I was underwhelmed by Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy; Colin Firth he ain’t. While Firth’s Mr. Darcy pulled off sexy with aplomb, building his appeal from the character’s arrogance and pride, I couldn’t bring myself to go ga-ga over Macfadyen’s portrayal. His Mr. Darcy just came off as unlikable and awkward, which pretty much kills the romance aspect.

Still, Keira Knightly is adorable.

   


Writing Stuff

Published:
- The May Apex Online is now live with my featured writer interview and “Only Springtime When She’s Gone” for reading perusal/pleasure.

New Words/Editing:
- Did a final editing pass on the freelance project and sent it off.
- 1000 on a nonfiction article I pitched to an editor. I’m querying and pitching. Big, grown-up freelance writer me.

Received:
- Payment for my last freelance gig. Huzzah! That was nicely speedy.

Club 100 For Writers
      12

500/day
      26

Remington Steele and Apex Digest Best of 2005 anthology

Completed five and a half out of seven sections of my research/writing freelance gig, and the 1.5 sections left are all applied, so I can lay off the theory, note taking, and brain scrunching.

Therefore, with a whole week left until my deadline, I took a little time to breathe this weekend . . . which still translated to 10-hour days working on the project. But having a few hours free in the evening felt pretty decadent to me.

Because Pierce Brosnan is teh hotness, I watched the first four episodes of season one of Remington Steele with fosteronfilm, courtesy Netflix. I didn’t see it when it first aired, but I’ve been curious about it, because, well, Pierce Brosnan and all. It was fun, not terribly well written, but not atrociously so either, but definitely somewhat time-branded. However, it did exactly what I wanted it to do, which is show lotso yummy Pierce–looking very young–albeit in three-piece suits.

So yeah, the second season one disk is going into our Netflix queue.

   


Writing Stuff

This whole writing for pay thing, I like it. It’s nice having the certainty of a paycheck as I’m working on something. It’s almost like having a job. Almost.

Published:
- “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” in the Apex Digest Best of 2005: Volume II anthology.

Table of Contents:
“Layers” by Mike Simon
“Big Sister/Little Sister” by Jennifer Pelland (jenwrites)
“An Odd Day in I-Forgot” by Athena Workman
“Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” by Eugie Foster

This sweet little chapbook is only $2.50, and if you buy it with Volume I, both of are only $4.00.

You know you want it. Buuuuy it . . .

Received:
- In a conjunction of timely serendipity, an email from Matthew Tait, editor/reviewer for HorrorScope, letting me know he’d reviewed “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” in Apex #4.

Blurbage:
“It’s a well-rounded tale with appealing characters, and brushes on incestuous erotica as Sabin – the war vet – tries to veil his feelings for his twin sister who greets him upon returning. An important plot twist involves their servant, with a finale that will not be easy to deduce and is shocking in its shrewdness.”
–Matthew Tait, HorrorScope

And issue 4 of Apex is sold out, so if you want to read the story, you have to buy the anthology.

My subwoofer is haunted

I’ve mentioned before that my house seems to be mildly haunted, especially the electrical system. Actually, it’s a tossup between ghostly activity or fey mischief, but whatever the fantastical root cause, another weirdness happened yesterday. While I was working upstairs in the library, jamming to the Opera Babes, my subwoofer suddenly blared out male voices speaking incomprehensible gibberish. Definitely not Opera Babes. Since I was doing something with IE at the time, I thought I’d accidentally stumbled upon a website with annoying sound effects* and slapped the mute button on my laptop. No more Opera Babes, but the gabblespeak kept coming out. It faded away in a couple seconds as I stared with unnerved incomprehension at my speaker.

Huh.

Today I’m playing some Loreena McKennitt and Vienna Teng, a pianist/vocalist yukinooruoni recently introduced to me, to see if that mollifies or incites the fey/phantoms to repeat their auditory outburst. So far, only lilting female voices.

In other unworldly amusement news, I discovered a little bit of whimsy that has restored a smidgen of my faith in society. There’s got to be greatness in a culture that comes up with The Necronomicon as a plush book for pre-schoolers. Yep, you too can give a lucky toddler of your acquaintance a plushy book that summons Elder Gods. I totally want one.


*[rant] I hate websites that play unbidden music or have sound effects, especially ones that don’t provide me the option of turning them off. If I’ve got my speakers on, it’s because I want to hear what I’m playing, not have some noise pollution foisted on me. [/rant]

   


Writing Stuff

Inspired by wicked_wish‘s LJ post of her new work area in their Seattle digs, I decided to likewise post images of my writing environment. My cluttered desk:


The shelf behind my laptop is where I store all my writing paperwork–a folder for each story to hold contracts, rejections, notes, and other editorial/agent correspondences, receipts, etc. Above it are the two shelves where I keep my contrib. copies (along with various family publications–the couple mystery novels my dad-in-law wrote, the library cataloging reference books my mom wrote, etc.) and, of course, the boring-but-obligatory office supplies.

Off to the left, in the sibling bookcase, you can see in a frame my very first acceptance letter, the one from Cicada for “The Adventures of Manny the Mailmobile.” And dangling from the frame, my Phobos Award.

The pyramid painting above the printer is nice, but it’s more to fosteronfilm‘s taste. I’d like to replace it with something more Eugie-ish eventually, maybe an enlargement of one of my story illustrations.

A couple more pictures of my library-office:

The Punisher and sale to DAW anthology

Weird night. I fell asleep early on the couch and woke up around midnight. Hobkin was curled at my hip so I booted my laptop to do some work downstairs. fosteronfilm turned on The Punisher, a movie I was somewhat curious about when it hit the theaters but didn’t end up going to.

I’m a wimp when it comes to scary movies, but I consider myself pretty tough-skinned and jaded with regard to action/adventure flicks, so I didn’t expect to have any difficulty with The Punisher. Apparently, IMDB classifies it as Crime/Drama/Thriller, but I don’t always understand or agree with IMDB’s classifications. Plus, the movie’s based on a comic book. Action/adventure/crime/drama/thriller or whatever, one scene squicked me out so totally and absolutely that I shrilled at fosteronfilm “turn it off! turn it off!” astonishing both him and me.

So yeah, I found it so disturbing I couldn’t watch it all the way through. That doesn’t happen very often. Normally I know if I won’t be able to handle a movie, but this one tossed me a big ole curve. Didn’t get back to sleep until around 5AM, and I had bad dreams to boot.

However, despite the questionable night, I’m having a great day, thanks to dsnight!

   


Writing Stuff

Received:
dsnight liked “Honor is a Game Mortals Play” and wants it for Heroes in Training! Squee! I’ve got a bookshelf full of DAW titles, many of which I read and fell in love with when I was just a wee fangirl. I’m thrilled giddy to have one of my stories in a DAW anthology! Squee SQUEE SQUEE!

Published:
“Kaawwa, Naagan, and the Queen’s Diamond Necklace” is now up at Dragonfly Spirit. In addition to the cover art featuring my tale, Lauren Francis did another absolutely charming illustration for it.

Laptop status, Lesbian Zombie, shameless pimpage

Sent my poor, malfunctioning laptop back to HP yesterday. At least they realized when we called their customer service number that they needed to immediately send us up the line rather than trying to get us to jump through their futile checklist hoops again. We talked to a case manager–someone in the states and not India–who seemed to understand that the problem wasn’t a question of swapping out parts, a la the battery or fan, but rather something that needed in-depth diagnosis and testing. Well, duh. They would’ve known that already if they’d listened to me the first time, but it’s a start.

Right now, I really wish they’d just replace the stupid thing and have done with it, but apparently we’re not at that stage yet. Third time’s a charm? *snort*

Fortunately, we’ve now got WiFi connectivity on our old Vaio desktop, thanks to dean13. We lugged the tower, monitor, and peripherals upstairs, and I am once again holed up in the library, flogging ye olde writing muse. Giddyap!

   


Writing Stuff

Shameless plug time!

My signing with Aberrant Dreams is in two days!
Date: Saturday, February 4th, 2006
Time: 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Place: Oxford Comics & Games; 2855 Piedmont Rd NE; Atlanta, GA 30305-2767; (404) 233-8682

If you’re in the area, I’d love for you to come out and say “hi”!

Published:
- The podcast of “My Friend is a Lesbian Zombie” read by Word Whore (of Air Out My Shorts) is now up at Escape Pod! Stephen did an absolutely fabulous job with it. Download. Listen. Giggle. Warning: There’s both naughty language and lesbian zombies in it.
- Also, the Sci Phi Show podcast on “The Problem of Evil” (examining the philosophical issue via the Escape Pod podcast of my story, “The Life and Times of Penguin”) went up while I was in Utah. I’m tickled to have the issue examined via Penguin and Ducky’s viewpoints. A very nice introduction to the basic arguments of the classic debate (although I don’t agree with Jason Rennie’s final conclusion–but don’t ask me to engage in relevant back-and-forth online; my experience with Internet debates typically makes me want to act out with random acts of sporking). And check out the lively discussion that stemmed from the podcast! There’s actually thoughtful discourse happening around something I wrote. I think I died and went to writer heaven (yes, that’s a spine-tingling irony, considering the subject matter at hand).

New Words: 1K on the Japanese Demon Hunter story. Making good progress, although I’m having trouble coming up with a proper title. Eh, one will come to me in good time. I hope.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3,911 / 6,000
(65.2%)

Club 100 For Writers
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500/day
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A Sunday of Writing

   


Writing Stuff

Did much writing work stuff yesterday with very little actual words happening. Caught up on some Tangent work, sundry bookkeeping, completed and sent off the answers for my Aberrant Dreams interview, and wrote several crits and thank you notes for Critters.

Received:
- Confirmation of payment (in euros) from my bank from Faeries for “The Storyteller’s Wife.” And I got my contrib. copies! It’s a lovely digest-sized, glossy publication. Very nice production values. But my French skills are balking at my efforts to read it.

- A copy of the Writers for Relief anthology. Another glossy, gorgeous product with beoootiful cover art.

- An email (214-day rt) informing me of a Greek reprint SALE and publication of “When the Lights Go Out” to Ennea (9). It was published in issue #279 (week of 11/23/2005). This story first appeared in issue #5/6 of the UK ‘zine Here & Now. It’s my second sale to Ennea, and their operating procedure is to notify authors after they publish your story, and then they email you a contract/invoice to collect your pay. It’s different, but hey, whatever. The first sale involved some oddity with their check when I tried to cash it due to a Greek bank strike. This time, I think I’ll go with the direct bank-to-bank deposit route.

I’m having a very good week. Three sales in six days! That might be a record for me.

New Words: 100ish on “Rue and Ruin” in a couple editing passes. Beginning my rewrite from Critters feedback. Overall, folks seem to like it, but want me to make my antagonist more three-dimensional–an exceedingly valid suggestion. But also something that requires serious pondering. Plus, I’m somewhat mortified at the number of typos critters have discovered in my manuscript. Doh!

Club 100 For Writers
      67

Dragon*Con Penguin

Too. Many. Dragon*Con. Schedule changes. Awake at 2:30AM prepping the Thursday pre-con edition of the Daily Dragon. Bleary-eyed and dazed and the convention hasn’t even started yet. It did not help that Comcast knocked out our Internet connection this morning.

People are deep into gas fuel panic. Huge queues at the pumps. Wish people would stay calm and not go running about trying to hoard gas.

   


Writing Stuff

Yay! The podcast of The Life and Times of Penguin is now up at Escape Pod. Go download and listen!

Must sleep now.

Mini reunion

Went out to eat with my high school buddy for dinner. He’s staying at a hotel right across the street from the Fox theater, so that was the area of food selection. Went to Mick’s hoping for their grilled portabello mushroom sandwich. Alas, that option has been removed from their menu, to be replaced by the not-nearly-as-yummy roasted veggie sandwich. Tipped off by the waiter that the replacement was rather rubbery and vile, we opted for the fried green tomatoes sammich, which while tasty, was no grilled portabello mushroom. Well fooie. That was one of my favorite food-item-between-two-slices-of-bread in town.

There was much chatting on various topics. And reminiscing, especially on the topic of people I have not thought upon for many, many years. It was fun, and quite surreal. I’m still dwelling on the experience and my reactions thereof.

   


Writing Stuff

Received the edits and approved them for “The Wiggly People” (in the Thou Shalt Not anthology). The editor informs me that he plans to send the contract out this weekend. If I recall correctly, this one is also a “pay on acceptance” so perhaps money may be forthcoming shortly. That would be nice.

Also found out that the Embark to Madness anthology with my story “Perfidious Beauty” in it is out. Hurray! Now to begin the when-is-my-contrib-copy-going-to-come? dance. For anyone interested in purchasing this lovely tome, it’s available from Amazon.com for the low, low price of $12.95.