Hamsters, hamsters everywhere!

Hamsters, hamsters everywhere!

Argh! Too. Many. Hamsters! Seems like no matter how hard or how far I fling the lil squeakers, I’m still eyeball deep.

Dragon*Con’s looming, and the number of items on my D*C things-to-do list gives me fits just to look at. Got a director’s meeting this weekend, need to see about setting up interviews for those of my reporters who’ve requested them, and I haven’t even started going over my guest talk for Ann’s beginner workshop yet.

I’m using Adobe’s InDesign this year instead of MS Publisher to lay the hard copy of the Daily Dragon out, which is great. Except that I’ve never used InDesign before and am having to learn it from scratch. dire-epiphany gave me a rundown of it a couple months back, but that was a couple months back, and I’ve totally blanked on what we went over since. But between the tutorials and help menu, I got over some major steepness in ye olde learning curve last night, and am now at the point where I can operate it–undoubtedly without all the bells and bling that InDesign is capable of–but I can cobble together the layout. Hoping that the new layout person will work out so that I won’t need to worry about it for at least a couple of the issues. But steep leaning curve aside, I’m really pleased not to be using Publisher anymore. Even my limited and halting grasp of InDesign shows me how much more powerful and versatile it is.

Public service announcement: the Volunteer Vixens are planning to do a couple calendar signings at the convention. We’ll be in front of the exhibit hall. Stay tuned for when.


Writing Stuff

Doug Cohen (slushmaster), the assistant editor of Realms of Fantasy, makes an impassioned call for a general subscription drive for the speculative fiction short story market. If y’all haven’t seen it, go read. Then subscribe to something.

– “Cyberevenge Inc.” is now out in the premiere issue of Murky Depths. Got my contrib. copies, and this magazine is really luscious. It’s got fantastic production values, feels more like a graphic novel than a literary ‘zine.

Check out matt-wallace‘s post for more pictures of the innards.

New Words:
– 3300 words on short story “Hollow” with new working title, “Change of Heart.”

After consulting with mroctober, my word count max. on this project increased, and so did the story’s scope. I wanted to write two, maybe three stories this month, before Dragon*Con, for various projects I’ve been invited to submit to, but it looks like I’ll only be able to finish one of them, and it’s been a tooth pull of a tale. Aside from the beaucoup research I needed to do for it (including a crash course on Creole–thankfully, I took French in college), midway in, I realized the story would have more resonance in first person rather than third, so I re-wrote it. Also it seems the publisher prefers lighter YA, so I also rewrote what I had to make it less gritty and dark. But I’m in the final stretch now. Had an epiphany on the drive home yesterday and plan to incorporate that today.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5,301 / 6,500

Post Launch Pad

Recovering from Astronomy Camp withdrawal. ktempest designed a spiffy t-shirt to commemorate the event at zazzle.com. The front is the Pelican Nebula image created at WIRO (RGBed by Jeremy Tolbert–who I also got to meet in Wyoming–and made beautiful by Jerry Oltion), and the back lists instructors and participants under the fitting banner of Space Dementia:

Can’t wait for mine to arrive!

Stephen Granade (sargent) wrote an amusing article, “Speculative Fiction Authors Considered As High School Students,” of which I’m verily tickled to have made an appearance among the poor, starving short fiction writers at their table (along with Ted Chiang, Yoon Ha Lee, Nisi Shawl, and ktempest–hmmm, pointed social commentary ?).

Also saw that joe_the_king has posted the Eugie-as-spacegirl pix he took during my Volunteer Vixens shoot to his Flickr account. I really like the one labeled “Space Eugie (2)” (note the new LJ icon). Preeetty. Also, folks can now pre-order the calendar from the VV website.


Writing Stuff

Mostly caught up on the amassed pile of schtuff from last week. Now to get back to pounding out words on the page screen! Completed the outline for the story I’m writing for mroctober and did some final (I hope) research. Hoping to get some major wordage on the page for it this week. Then back to the story for the Datlow/Windling anthology.

– Note from the editor of IGMS that they’ve raised their pay rates and are retroactively bumping the pay of any authors who would have made more under the new scale. “Beauty’s Folly” is one of those, and Edmund said I should expect a check shortly. Is that the coolest thing evah, or what?
– Payment from Absolute Write for my “When the guidelines say ‘7 to 12′” article.
– Payment from Cricket for “The Snow Woman’s Daughter.”
– 57-day personal “well written but . . . ” from Ann VanderMeer of Weird Tales with invite to submit again.
– 291-day personal not-right-for-us from Debby Vetter of Cicada and also confirmation that they got my latest Cricket submission (after query).
– 96-day release back into the wild from ASIM after holding it for their final round.

Urg. Jonsing for a sale . . .

Friday spacegirl

This weekend was for catching up on my sleep. I’ve been struggling with insomnia this whole week, and I don’t want to get sick before (or during) my trip to Wyoming.

Friday we did my Volunteer Vixens spacegirl photo shoot. The setting was the Fernbank Science Center, which I’d never been to before. It was a fantastic backdrop! Some sneak peeks:

clickie for more