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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On hyperthermia amd dehydration in skunks

Discovered the limits of Hobkin’s heat tolerance yesterday. We’d set the A/C to 81, trying to save energy and money, but it seems that’s too warm for the lil guy. Yesterday morning, he had a bad tummy and then wasn’t interested in breakfast. Loss of appetite is extremely worrisome in a skunk, so much fretting commenced.

fosteronfilm suggested that Hobkin might be dehydrated from his bad tummy, so, feeling rather dubious, I scooped him up to see whether I could force some water into him.

Normally, Hobkin doesn’t drink water. And I mean at all. The closest he’s come to drinking out of his water bowl is dipping his paw in and then licking it, and even that’s pretty rare. We still leave fresh water out for him, just in case, but he’s knocked the bowl over more often than he’s drunk from it–and it takes quite a bit of effort to tip it as it’s secured to his pen. In the past, when I’ve tried to feed him water out of a syringe, he’s batted it out of my hands and spat or shook what little fluid I could get into his mouth back out. He just doesn’t like water, the goofball.

But yesterday, although he whined and glared at me, he readily swallowed something like 12ccs. It seems the heat had dehydrated him, and he wasn’t hungry because he was thirsty. But figuring out the problem didn’t get us much closer to a solution. How does one re-hydrate an animal that doesn’t drink and won’t eat? We could take him to the vet’s and have them inject fluid into him subcutaneously, but that would’ve stressed and freaked him out. Plus, I didn’t think he was that badly dehydrated. We could try buying some flavored Pedialyte or Gatorade, but that’s a last-ditch sort of effort as I don’t like the idea of him having all that sugar. Also, there’s no guarantee he’d like that any better. When we had to force electrolytes and fluids into the ferrets they were quite underwhelmed by the stuff (as I am–Gatorade, yuk). Also, last I checked, fresh watermelon wasn’t quite in season, and again, re-hydrating him with watermelon would’ve involved more sugar than I’m comfortable with him having.

After some brainstorming and much anxiety, I came up with the answer: A cottage cheese smoothie. I used a fork to mush up a teaspoon of cottage cheese in about 18ccs of water and added some diced bok choy, and Hobkin lapped it right up! Three servings of cottage cheese smoothie later, and he’s himself again–running amok, stomping at shadows, and begging for treats. Whew. I kept pushing liquids the rest of the day; his lunch was more smoothie along with bok choy and celery, vegetables high in liquid, and I added enough water to his dinner lentils and rice mixture to make it a pudding.

Definitely going to keep that in mind for future need. My next plan had been to make him a veggie shake–cottage cheese, a bit of milk, plenty of water, and various vegetables in a blender. But fortunately I didn’t have to break out the blender.

And yes, we’ve now cranked on the A/C.

   


Writing Stuff

Got an email from Lynne Jamneck–a writer who I’ll be sharing a ToC with in mroctober‘s So Fey antho–asking for an interview and inviting me to contribute to an anthology she’s editing, Lesbian Sleuths & the Supernatural, to be published by Regal Crest Enterprises. Of course, I said yes to both. The anthology also has an open call for submissions:


An Anthology of Lesbian Sleuths & the Supernatural
(Women Writers Only)

Word Length: 7,000 – 10,000 words
Payment: $100 Flat Fee Per Story
Submission Period: July 2006 – November 2006
Reading Period: December 2006 – April 2007

Ghosts, haunted castles, and things that go bump in the night. A trip to Egypt; the mummies and the pull of a primordial tomb. Ancient Aztec ruins and the burning fever of a jungle. Is a sinister cult operating in a small town near you? Do you feel the pull of something otherworldly just beyond the veil of everyday? The supernatural have existed in cultures for thousands of years, all around the world.

I am looking for stories that explore these and other weird happenings, and are centered around a ‘whodunit’ type conundrum. The sleuth of the story-whether amateur or professional-must be a lesbian character. No excessive violence. Humor is welcome. No fan fiction. Character driven stories with strong emphasis on storytelling essential.

If you’re looking for a reference/indication of the types of stories I’m looking for, you should familiarize yourself with the following authors:

H.P. Lovecraft
Agatha Christie
Ray Bradbury
Arthur Conan Doyle
Harlan Ellison
Kim Antieau
Kathe Koja

Submissions should be unpublished, original short stories. If you feel you have a story that does not fit that word count but would be perfect for the anthology, please query to (superantho@gmail.com) superantho (at) gmail (dot) com. Be sure your submission includes your surface mailing address and phone number in addition to a valid return email address.

Submissions (disposable copies) should be sent to:

Lynne Jamneck
129 Layard Street
Invercargill, 9501
New Zealand

Exceptions can be made for email subs, but query first to: (superantho@gmail.com) superantho (at) gmail (dot) com


New Words:
- 1100 on the article for Writing-World and it’s at zero draft. It needs a few editing passes, but I’m hoping to send it off today.

Received:
- 60-day “although it’s a really fun concept and a wonderfully creative POV choice, this one doesn’t quite work for Escape Pod” with invitation to submit again from sfeley on a reprint. Snartleblast. But I’ll show him! I just launched two new submissions his way, mwa ha ha haaaa!

Erm, yeah. My wingstubs have been really hurting these last few days. I popped two Tramadol, and they’re not helping the pain, but I think they’ve made me a loopy.

Club 100 For Writers
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500/day
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Birthday bash

Had hella fun last night at j_hotlanta‘s beautiful sylvan abode, where he and britzkrieg co-hosted a dual birthday party. There was food (grilled portabello mushrooms, mmm), booze, and cake, and I had a smidge too much gin. A bit hung over this morning, because I am unable to hold my liquor–one Tom Collins in a tall glass. Yep, I am the lightweightiest lightweight there is.

   


Writing Stuff

New Words:
- 400 on the article for Writing-World.com.
- 300 on the child development article.

Received:
- Payment from Galaktika.
- Barbed-and-pointy shaft from my bank by way of a $15.00 “wire transfer fee”! [RANT] Isn’t it enough that I work like a dog to make peanuts; peanuts, furthermore, that the government double taxes me on because it’s “self-employed” income, although said government doesn’t see fit to provide me any reasonable, comprehensive health care option? Is it really necessary to smack further indignities upon my pathetic financial status with bank fees that swipe nearly 20% of what I earn? ARGH! [/RANT]

So yeah, I’m awaiting payment from Faeries and Ennea still. Previously I’d given them the go-ahead to wire my payment from France and Greece, respectively, but in light of the egregiously painful shafting I just got, I’ve emailed them to see whether there’s any way they can cut me a check instead.

Club 100 For Writers
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500/day
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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
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500/day
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Emotional roller coaster . . . wheeee!

So we dropped Hobkin off with his godmom, tossed the last minute sundries into the suitcase, and I was burning Escape Pod podcasts to a CD for the long drive, when we got a call from fosteronfilm‘s brother. In what can only be described as a miraculous recovery, my dad-in-law got better!*

It seems his system isn’t able to expel carbon dioxide properly anymore, and it had built up to a toxic level, resulting in this recent scariness. But with him on the respirator and them doing whatever it is they do to purge the CO2 out of him, he started perking up. They took him off the respirator, and as of yesterday, not only was he breathing on his own, but he was sitting up, lucid, and talking, and they’re expecting him to be able to go home soon! He still can’t get rid of CO2 on his own, but apparently they’ve got ways to deal with that.

Matthew called his mom, and she’s so confident in his recovery that she’s planning on going back to school next week**. After much discussion, fosteronfilm and I decided to postpone our exodus to Illinois until July–when we were planning on visiting originally–unless Dad-in-law worsens again.

Off we went to retrieve Hobkin, who was pretty excited to see us, although I’m sure also a bit puzzled at what all the to-and-fro-ing was about, and today I’m installed back in my office, happily working away.

This has been quite a week. I’m dazed and drained, but also delighted and very, very relieved. Thank you to everyone who sent your thoughts, concerns, and support. Y’all are wonderful.


*My opinion of their GP has plummeted to an all time low. It strikes me as egregiously irresponsible, callous, and incompetent to tell someone not to expect their loved one to recover, that there’s nothing left they can do, when there’s obviously still a reason to hope and procedures to try. I just want to slap that man into orbit.
**Although technically retired, my mom-in-law enjoys working and she teaches 2nd grade at a private academy–which is a way nicer job than her pre-retirement one, which was for a public school.

   


Writing Stuff

Started compiling references and material for the article I’m writing next for Writing-world.com.

Received:
- Galley proofs from Paradox for “The Archer of the Sun and the Lady of the Moon.”
- 91-day pass from OSC’s IGMS with a “we would like to encourage you you to send more of your work to us for consideration”

Dad-in-law update

Thank you to everyone who offered your support and sympathy about my dad-in-law yesterday. Matthew and I greatly appreciate your kind words and thoughts.

We’re still in Georgia, scrambling to get as much cleared off our respective plates as we can before heading north.

Matthew’s mom called last night. It’s hard to get a clear picture of what the situation is from here, but they have my dad-in-law heavily sedated, and it seems his kidneys have now shut down. At one point he started waking up and began fighting the respirator, and they had to up his dosage to knock him out again. I don’t know what any of that means, prognosis-wise. Is it standard procedure to keep someone sedated full time who’s on a respirator? I can’t imagine it’s comfortable having a breathing tube down your throat, but is it something you can’t be conscious during?

The specialists have him on various meds, and Mom-in-law said that they’re watching to see whether they have any effect. But she doesn’t know what effect they’re hoping for. And no one seems to know or is willing to say whether there might be a chance he’ll be able to breathe on his own when they take him off the respirator.

   


Writing Stuff

Editing:
- Many editing passes and a rewrite on a story I’ve been sitting on after its last bounce. Working does help to keep me distracted.

Received:
- Contrib. copies of Faeries #21 with French reprint “Returning My Sister’s Face.” Still awaiting payment.
- Contrib. copy of Modern Magic at long last.

Club 100 For Writers
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Wingstubs and Sister of the Hedge

Wingstubs were a searing ache all of yesterday. Realized that at some point I’ve got to let them rest. Figured it was better for me to choose my downtime rather than have my wingstubs decide for me. So I took a Tramadol and curled up with June’s Realms of Fantasy, Journey to the West, and a skunk.

dsnight‘s story in RoF, “Sister of the Hedge,” blew me away. It’s a dark re-examination of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, told via the POV of adjacent characters. Aurora, Prince Charming, and the fairies et al. are only seen through the lens of legend and superstition. This story illustrates both the best and worst aspects of religion, and combines it with some really chilling imagery. It’s exactly the sort of nouveau-classic fairy tale story that I absolutely adore. Fresh, thoughtful, and lushly told. Go. Read.

I should have some more enforced wingstub rest periods this weekend, which I hope will help. fosteronfilm and I are going to an advance screening of The Da Vinci Code tonight, yukinooruoni and I are having brunch tomorrow, and dire_epiphany is taking us to the opera to see Tosca on Sunday.

See? I’m getting out more.

   


Writing Stuff

My guest blogger post at A Writer’s Vanity, “Stuffing My Eyes with Wonder or Why I Write,” is up.

New Words:
- 200 on the YA novel. Then it just hurt too much. Decided to do the non-chronological writing thing and am hopping scenes. Hoping I won’t have to dump too many of them.

Received:
- Payment from Writing-World.com for my “10 Myths About Writing for Kids” article. Also, the editor sez she’ll probably publish this one in July.
- Payment from my researching freelance gig. Yay, money!
- Email from Surreal informing me that my manuscript is being returned unread because they’re closed to submission right now. Thank you, please come again. Doh!

Club 100 For Writers
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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.

Juggling too many hamsters

Hamsters hamsters everywhere!

Between canadiansuzanne‘s son’s hamster, snarkydork_jodi‘s hamster, wicked_wish‘s posting of this adorable hamster-cupcake video, and my offhand comment likening writing fiction to washing dishes while juggling hamsters, I think the cosmos is trying to convey a hamster-illustrated message upon me. (I guess birds was too subtle.) And this metaphysical hamster-dispatch, I believe, is that I’ve got too many hamsters in the air.

Guess now would be a good time to revisit the whole “reinvention” thing. I’ve had friends who’ve “reinvented” themselves. Some have done it multiple times and afterwards they seem pretty much the same to me–maybe with a new wardrobe or new job or some-such, but fundamentally still them.

I’ve never properly understood the underlying motivation that prompts these episodes of self-overhaul. Even after major life changes–like our relocation to Georgia and the loss of my old day job–I didn’t feel like I was reinventing anything. It was the same old me, but in a new place doing different things.

I still don’t get it with regard to the nature of people and personalities, but I think I do understand the mindset and mood that drives it. Sort of. It’s a profound sense of discontent with the grounded and fundamental beliefs or assumptions about yourself, a dissatisfaction with deep underpinnings that require more than a few tweaks or a change in venue.

I’ve been feeling that way about my writing of late. With my frustration about obtaining the “next level,” and my desperation at ever breaking into the Big 3, I’m left with an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction–and dropped hamsters. Add onto that the glaring inability to make anything remotely like a decent living on short stories (who can survive on $.05/word??), and my failure at maintaining progress on my novels, and I’m left floundering in a big ole morass of reproachful hamsters at my feet.

After wrestling with that for a bit, I think I’ve come up with a solution: I need to put down some hamsters.

What does this mean on a non-abstract, “am I putting down this Siberian hamster or that Roborovskii hamster” level? I dunno, I’m still working on that. But I do know I’m feeling pretty fragmented and way over-stressed these days.

I want to make a living doing what I love, which is writing. That hasn’t changed, nor will it. But what I write, what I focus on, and where I concentrate my efforts, I think that needs a realign. I need to reorganize my priorities or I’m going to burn out. And if I burn out on writing, well, I may as well burn out on life.
   


Writing Stuff

New Words/Editing:
- 1600 on a freelance project. Several editing passes, polished, and sent off to the client. Payment received in less than 24 hours.
- 100 on the Swan Lake story. I shouldn’t have put it down the other day. I was on the verge of hitting flow, and now I seem to have lost my place. And there’s another hamster on the rug, dammit.

Published:
- basletum‘s interview of me for his “Give it Meaning” column.

Received:
- 9-day no grabbie from JJA at F&SF.

I think that might’ve been a dwarf hamster. Tossed him too high and now he’s quivering on top of a bookshelf.

Club 100 For Writers
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500/day
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