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.

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


Whiling away time

It has been a spectacularly uneventful and unproductive couple of days. The most exciting thing from yesterday: (<--therein be babes in bikinis, but I'd consider it cool-granny safe.) I showed to fosteronfilm and we giggled at the video shorts.

Writing Stuff

Saw that the Summer 2005 issue of Paradox with my story, “The Tiger Fortune Princess,” in it is now available. Yay! I’ve always liked the artwork I’ve seen for this magazine. The cover image they’ve got up is fairly small so I can’t make out details:

But it looks pretty lush. And the editor chose a classic painting by Wu Guxiang to illustrate my story:

Looking forward to seeing the full-size artwork when I get my contrib copies. Larger images to be posted when I get them.

Brewing up some green tea, pouring myself some Cocoa Puffs (my new indulgence), and getting ready for a day chock full of writing. That’s the plan, at least.

Exercise resolution

I’ve noticed that lately my coordination is totally gone, as in careen-off-walls and walk-into-the-coffee-table gone, and there is a distinct lack of muscle tone anywhere on my body. I mean crap, I used to be a dancer, for godsakes. I did ballet, karate, and yoga, and now I can’t walk up a couple flights of stairs without getting tired. Not to mention I’m afraid to step on the scale.

So I broke out the yoga mat last night. Began some easy asanas, a couple sun salutations, then segued that into some ridiculously low-key ballet exercises. After getting my heart rate up, and feeling my muscles freak out on some grand plies (sheesh), I switched back to yoga to cool down. I’m totally disgusted at how badly out of shape I am. But I feel good that I actually moved. I think being at home so much has degraded an already sedentary life style. It’s pathetic, not to mention unhealthy.

So I’m going to, once again, try to stick some exercise into my daily schedule. I can’t complain that I don’t have the time for it anymore, that’s for sure. I’m really bad at sustaining work out resolutions, but I’m thinking that if I log the days that I work out in my LJ, sort of like my club 100 efforts with my writing, I might be able to keep a better handle on my goals. Thus, I’m going to try to work out for a measly ten minutes a day, every day (except weekends, because I believe in weekends), for one hundred days straight:

10 Min/Day

Writing Stuff

Got an email from the editor of Here & Now asking for my PayPal information so she’ll know where to send my payment. Double issue #5/6 with my short story “When the Lights Go Out” is due back from the printers any day now. Finally and woohoo!

Also, launched early. It’s up, it’s up! Stories in there by me, wicked_wish, naamah_darling, the editrix herself, jinzi, and more. Go read. Juicy erotica. You know you want it!

I decided not to tear open my submission packet on the folktale. If I start second guessing myself now, it won’t be long before they come to put me in a nice, padded room. Down that path lies madness. Madness! So it’s winging it’s way to my Cricket editor’s desk now. Fly little story!

Words: 1178.
Back to work on A Harmony of Foxes. Although now that I’ve once again emptied my waiting queue to the Cricket folks, I’m wondering if I should crank out another to put in reserve as I could hear back from them on a submission as soon as the next couple weeks. Ponder ponder.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14,434 / 45,000

Club 100 For Writers


Taxes, sinuses

Gah. fosteronfilm and I made the first foray into doing our taxes yesterday. For the last clump ‘o years, we’ve had them professionally done, but we figured we’d save the couple hundred bucks and do them ourselves this year. I did my Schedule C all by myself (C-EZ baby!), and we’re making inroads into our Schedule A and Schedule B, but Schedule D: Capital Gains is kicking our asses. My head was threatening to spin itself off toward the end of the afternoon. Will try to dive back into it later today. The IRS could really use a good writer/editor to punch up their instruction forms. There’s got to be a friendlier way of conveying the necessary information; there’s just gotta.

This pressure front that’s been going through the area is playing havoc on everyone’s sinuses in the house, including Hobkin’s. I’ve been suffering from massive sinus headaches that refuse to dissipate, no matter how much Sudafed and Excedrin I pop–but I do have a profound case of the jitters. Matthew’s been sinus clogged and congested. And Hobkin keeps licking his paws and them rubbing his nose with them. I think that’s his way of trying to clear his sinuses, the poor little guy. He also makes snuffy sounds in his sleep.

Writing Stuff

19-day “There is some beautiful writing here but . . .” from Ideomancer on a flash piece. I’m always somewhat ambiguous about my flash. It’s an awkward medium to write in, smack dab between poetry and prose. I’d give up on it, except so far all of my (few and irregular) flash pieces have sold. I guess occasionally I just get feeling particularly lyrical but without enough substance for a story. I know I’m no poet, so that just leaves flash.

Revenant: A Horror Anthology published by Carnifex press, with my short story “Caesar’s Ghost” in it, is out: $4.95. Herein a very small cover image. Will get a bigger, higher res one scanned in when I get my contrib. copy:

Outlined my novel WIP, rah! After some brainstorming and seeing where my muse seems to want to go with it, it’s obvious that it’s going to be a YA novel (assuming I can finish the thing). Teenish protag, morality and philosophical issues, plus I’m aiming for 40-50K, not nearly long enough for an adult novel, but a comfy length for YA.

Words: 700 (all in outline, but hey, that counts, right?)

Club 100 For Writers


Writing Stuff

Writing Stuff

Received my first response from the batch of agent queries I sent out, and it’s a request for the whole manuscript! It’s a long way from an offer of representation, but at least it’s validation that my query didn’t totally suck goats. Mailed off the full manuscript; now it’s all about the waiting. Again. *crosses fingers*

Also saw that the completed cover of “Inspirations End/Still My Beating Heart” is up on the Scrybe Press site in the available listing:

If you’re not going to Fantasm, you can order your very own copy. $3.49 with FREE S&H!

A Christmas Carol, Christmas shopping, *cough cough sneeze*

Went to see A Christmas Carol at the Shakespeare Tavern on Saturday. It was, by far, the best production–play, movie, whatever–of that Charles Dickens classic that I have ever experienced. I’ve been feeling pretty saturated on the CC front for several years now, and I was actually not all that enthusiastic about Saturday’s theater outing as I was beginning to come down with some phlegmy cold symptoms, but we had the tickets so out I went. They started with several, lovely madrigalish carols and I was laughing out loud within the first five minutes of the first scene, a state of mirth I generally maintained for the whole play. Not that there weren’t poignant bits; but, like with all productions at the Shakespeare Tavern, the director knows that humor is the best stage device there is. I’m still blown away by their amazing sense of pacing. Never a dull moment. It got us properly into the festive, holiday spirit. I highly recommend the Tavern’s Christmas Carol to any and all in the Atlanta area. Go see it before the run ends!

Did a lot of prezzie shopping over the weekend. Cut just in case my in-laws read my LJ. Don’t read this if you are Marilyn and/or Robert Foster!

Leading Edge #48

Writing Stuff:

Leading Edge #48 (the Oct. 2004 issue) with my novelette “Of Two Minds in Lanais” is out! I love the cover art for this issue!

Sir Bunny Vs. The Wockwurm, by Ursula Vernon

Can’t wait to receive my contrib. copies . . . and check.

To Matthew’s dismay, I totally disappeared into Incubus Dreams last night. So far, it’s been Anita relationship issues with secondary characters that haven’t really interested me all that much in the past. There was an initial foray into her crime-fighting life, but that has gotten fairly short shrift thus far. Waiting to see if it picks up. I mean, I like the hot and heavy stuff, but I’m missing the horror/murder mystery plots that always framed it. It’s reading like dark erotica right now, which is fun, but if I wanted to read erotica, I’d pick up some erotica.

Early start to the weekend

Took off early from work today to see a matinee of Sky Captain. Whee! Hope it’s good.

Writing Stuff:

My excerpt “My Courtship by Lord Magus: A Diary” is up at the Eggplant Literary Productions Library. Click on the book to read:

Up to sixteen crits on “The Tanuki-Kettle” and it’s not even the weekend. At this rate, I’m going to have a massively unwieldy number to deal with by the time the week is over. Hmm.

I do see a shortcoming of my “don’t comment on the intended audience in the notes” ploy. I’m getting suggestions from folks who think I should lengthen the story to elaborate on the characters and background. I need to cut, not add! Blerg.

Mostly writing

Had a follow-up with my Rheumatologist today. Same ole same ole. Amazingly enough, traffic was actually not terrible.

Writing Stuff:

- Mailed my A-OK note off to my Cricket editor as well as a requested author’s note to suffix the story. 186 more words at a quarter a word is another $46.50. I love these folks!
- Sent a query off to Carina and heard back from her that, while she had plucked my second story from the last batch of slush out for further consideration, she decided it really wasn’t a RoF story. BFoD is on the way. Oh well, it still means I’ve got two pieces on Shawna’s desk.
- Did a major overhaul on the story that languished at The Strand for a year and a half, and in the process lopped off 1.8K words! Woof. I hadn’t looked at it since I sent it to them and I found a lot of good cuts. Out it goes again, hopefully sleeker, smoother, and more attractive to editors.
- And ooo! I heard on the Rumor Mill that Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine issue #14 with my story “Body and Soul Art” is out! Can’t wait to see my contrib. copy (and get paid)!