Session ’07, Day 33

I haven’t seen fosteronfilm and dude_the at all this week. They went to an advance screening of a movie last night, leaving me to come home to, once again, a humanless house. *humph* Fine. Me and the skunk don’t need that pair of slackers anyway.

I’ve got a photo shoot tomorrow for the Girls of Dragon*Con Charity Calendar project at one of Atlanta’s cemeteries. I think I’m going to have to drag both of them along.

   


Writing Stuff

Received:
- Payment from Helix for “Addy in My Mind.” Not pro rates, but the amount exceeded my expectations. Very nice.
- 1-day sale of “The Center of the Universe” to Helix. Publication date/issue TBD. This is the story that was orphaned when the Lesbian Sleuth anthology folded, so I’m well pleased that it was able to find a new home.

Session ’07, Final Day of the 2-week Recess

Things are beginning to ramp up again at work as the legislature gets ready to re-convene on Monday. For a while there, I was actually making it home at a normal time and having evenings with the hubby. Although this two-week recess has pushed session through mid-April, I’ve kind of enjoyed having a mini-break. I was getting frazzled and stressed, and my pile of back-burnered things-to-do was on the verge of achieving sentience and eating my brain. My stress-o-meter is still nudging the red, but I’m pretty confident that a meltdown isn’t imminent.

fosteronfilm got passes from a movie publicity person for a screening of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie on Sunday that will debut the trailer for the upcoming third movie. They’re encouraging folks to come dressed in pirate gear. He passed the word around to Dragon*Con folks, and it looks likely that there will be a strong D*C pirate contingency. Hope I’ll be able to attend, but I think there’s a decent chance I’ll have to work.

   


Writing Stuff

Managed to plow through a healthy swath of both Tangent and The Town Drunk items. Huzzah.

Received:
- Note from the editors of Aberrant Dreams that they’d like to do a signing for their forthcoming shiny new anthology at Dragon*Con, and would I be able to participate? (It also was an oblique reminder to submit my D*C guest application, which I have now done.) Of course I said yes, and hopefully I sent them in the right direction to get the ball rolling on the coordination thereof.
- Payment from paul_m_jessup for “The Goddess Queen’s Battlefield” forthcoming in issue #2 of GrendelSong.
- Payment from my Writing-world.com editor for my April Writing for Young Readers column, “An Interview with Judy Burke of Highlights for Children.”

New Words:
- 1300 new words on the story, which I’ve subsequently re-titled “Better a Heart of Fire.” I didn’t finish it last weekend. Actually, I barely worked on it last weekend. It felt too much like a holiday having the weekend off, and it felt too much like work adhering rump to chair and cranking out words. We’ll just call that a lapse in writerly discipline and consider me properly chagrined. Been swiping snippets of time–between editing bills, on the train, after dinner–to lay down words. It would behoove me to bring this to zero draft before the session re-convenes next week. Meep.

It’s looking like this is going to exceed my initial word count estimate of 3K, but not by much. I hope. Revising my estimate to 3.5K.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2,253 / 3,500
(64.4%)

Session ’07, Day 26

Busy. Very.

Weekend: photo shoot at Grant Park to get some promo shots for the Girls of Dragon*Con Breast Cancer Charity Calendar. Fun, but cold. Very, very cold. Will post pix as I can.

Not enough sleep. Haven’t seen husband or skunk for more than a few minutes all week. Coffee habit resumed. And it appears that the General Assembly is indeed going to adjourn for two weeks in March to hammer out the PeachCare for Kids financial mess, meaning that the session will be extended through the middle of April.

Urg. I die now, please.

   


Writing Stuff

I saw the other day on Ralan that Cicada was glutted and closed to submissions. Urk. I sent them something about ten days ago. Hope it manages to slip under the wire.

Received Hurray:
- An email from the editor of Best New Romantic Fantasy (previously titled Best New Paranormal Romance) that she wants to reprint “The Wizard of Eternal Watch” for it. *Squee!*
- An email from Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine to inform me that “Body and Soul Art” has been shortlisted for reprinting in their ASIM Best of Horror anthology, and was it available? I think that means they want it . . . or at least they’re seriously thinking about wanting it. *Squee?* Um, I emailed the editor a “yes.”
- Note from jackzodiac letting me know that he’s found a publisher, Dragon Moon Press, for Writers for Relief 2, the sequel charity anthology to the first edition.
- Note from slushmaster letting me know that my current RoF submission was received safe and sound and will be en route to Shawna when the next batch gets exchanged.
- Email from jimhines to tell me that Heroes In Training is now available for preorder at Amazon. My very first appearance in a mass market paperback!
- Galley proofs from mroctober for “Year of the Fox” in So Fey and my check from Haworth Press.
- Contract and check from Strange Horizons for the interview I did with mroctober.
- Note from a listener in Australia who heard the Pseudopod podcast of “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me,” loved it, and wanted to know whether she could get a print copy of it. I pointed her to the Best of Apex Digest anthology. I love getting fan mail. It makes me feel all warm and glowy.

Received Wah:
- 35-day “really intriguing and refreshing” but . . . from Strange Horizons. Sigh. Despairing that my fiction will ever break in there.
- 73-day form “no” from InterGalactic Medicine Show, something of an especial ouch after selling “Beauty’s Folly” to them.
- 4-day thanks-but-no from Heliotrope.
- Note from lynnejamneck letting me know that they’ve decided to cancel the Supernatural Sleuth anthology due to an insufficient number of strong enough submissions. That’s another story orphaned, my second this year.

Session ’07 Day 18

Spent most of yesterday trying to get caught up on Tangent work. There is no such thing as “caught up.”

There’s an irony that the midpoint of session, Day 20, is slated to fall on Valentine’s Day this year.

   


Writing Stuff

New Words/Editing:
- Did a final edit and read-through of my March Writing for Young Readers column, “The ABCs of Writing for Kids: Active, Brief, and Cut Cut Cut,” and sent it to ye olde editor.
- Compiled my interview with Andrea Kail for Fantasy Magazine and sent it off. Under the deadline, even. Rah!

Received:
- Payment for both February and March’s Writing for Young Readers column. Huzzah.

Overtime meep.

The Georgia General Assembly reconvened yesterday. And yes indeedy, the workload ramped up. My hours so far this week:

Sunday – 11:45AM to 6PM
Monday – 8:30AM to 10PM
Tuesday – Came in early to finish up the bill I was editing until 10 last night so: 7:00AM to ?

Matthew came and drove me home from work last night. While I’m sure I would’ve been fine on MARTA, I just wanted to get home as soon as possible so I could get to sleep, and the fastest way (without the rush hour traffic and all) was sans train. But we had a bit of confusion with the meet-up. He got to the capitol okay, but then while I was wandering around the first floor at the security entrance, my co-workers had let him in and they were wandering with him in our office on the third floor/mezzanine, looking for me. Whoops! But with the aid of a helpful, late-night security guy, we managed to hook up. Finally.

Think today’ll be a 30mg Adderall day. This is muchly reminiscent of Dragon*Con and editing the Daily Dragon while suffering from insufficient sleep and weird food. I can do this . . . for two and a half more months.

If you’re waiting on something for me, expect to wait a little longer.

   


Writing Stuff

Published:
- “The Snow Woman’s Daughter” in the Feb. ’07 issue of Cricket. And it’s the opening story! Woot! I had just enough time before falling comatose last night to beam delightedly at the illustrations. Shiny.

Received:
- After a mail snafu, payment, at last, from Her Circle eZine for “Second Daughter.” For some reason, the first time the editor tried mailing me payment, the USPS couldn’t find my house and sent the letter (w/check) back undeliverable. WTF? So I asked her to mail it to me at my work address this time, and it arrived yesterday.
- 88-day personal pass with invite to submit again to The Edge of Propinquity.

Legislative Session. Eek. And free advance screening tix to Pan’s Labyrinth

For all you Atlanta locals: fosteronfilm is giving away advance screening tickets to Pan’s Labyrinth for next Wednesday (the 17th). Check out his website for details.

And the session begineth. So far . . . on day three . . . it’s not that bad. It’s very hopping; I worked from noon ’til 6ish on Sunday and have stayed late every night this week (and expect to stay late every night until the session ends), but I haven’t felt overwhelmed or unduly stressed. Although I did make a blunder yesterday that required six bills to be re-done. The Georgia legislature has some spelling peculiarities, and I didn’t realize that we spell “statewide” with a hyphen: “state-wide.” And those six bills were all drafted using the same template I’d edited. Doh!

Won’t be forgetting that one anytime soon.

I got home last night just in time to get ready for bed, but it wasn’t that troubling. fosteronfilm was at an IMAGE salon, so he wasn’t home anyway. Although, poor Hobkin. He was a little anxious at the change in routine. I startled him when I came home–he’s not a brave beastie–and he bolted for the hutch. Unfortunately, he was in such a hurry, his aim was off. He bonked right into the hutch leg, missing the opening completely. Didn’t phase him, though. He bounced off and then scampered under it. Silly fuzzwit. I’m worried that one day he’ll concuss himself doing that.

Had some qualms about what the MARTA would be like late at night, both on the long waits front as well as the scariness one, but as it turns out, I haven’t had to wait longer than ten minutes for a nighttime train, and the stations are well lit and still pretty populated at the times I’ve been riding.

   


Writing Stuff

No writing accomplished. No surprise there.

Published:
- My January Writing for Young Readers column, “A Writer’s Resolution: I Will Submit.” (With thanks to n_decisive for the inspiration on the subject matter.)

Received:
- Personal pass plus invite to try again from Escape Pod on a reprint. Snartleblast.
- Contract from Aberrant Dreams for “Living With a Shoulder Monster.” Signed and sent back.
- Payment from Hub for “Wanting to Want.” And I’m delighted the American dollar is so weak against the pound right now. I got a very favorable exchange rate.

It’s my birthday today! Happy birthday to me. As I was telling terracinque, I still love having birthdays, but I’ve reached the point where I find the numerical increment in age indicator something of a downer. Yeah, I’m conflicted by my birthday. But at least there’s cake.

fosteronfilm and I got back to Atlanta yesterday after a grueling 14+ hour drive, retrieved Hobkin, who has been a fuzzy lump attached to my hip (or haunting my ankles–which has made walking something of a chancy affair), from his godmother, and have made a dent in unpacking. We discovered several packages on our doorstep, and the mail person brought another one when she made her rounds. After resting and having our traditional Christmas feast (we always have our own, private Christmas after we get back from Illinois)–faux roast beast, mashed potatoes and onion gravy, and cranberry sauce–we opened the prezzies from our friends and the remainder of the ones to each other, and took a long soak in the hot tub. The perfect way to cap off the holiday.

This morning, I’m sipping some delicious Adagio apricot green tea which I brewed from the IngenuiTea infuser/pot, all part of the gift set that n_decisive gave me, while I peruse L’amber by Tanith Lee from teflaime as Loreena McKennitt’s new CD, An Ancient Muse, courtesy dean13, plays in the background. I’ve got on the new Victoria’s Secret sleep shirt the hubby gave me and am using the cordless, optical mouse that my mom-in-law got me to post this LJ entry, while Hobkin snoozes beside me.

It was a good Christmas, with periodic flashes of sadness as something remembered or said triggered memories of my dad-in-law. But I managed to keep from having a total meltdown and only got teary eyed a couple times. He is sorely missed, and his absence was a compelling but quiet presence–much like he was.

   


Writing Stuff

New Words/Editing:
- Cranked out another 600 words for my January Writing for Young Readers column, did several editing passes, and sent it off to my editor. And I got a confirm from her that it made it to her without problem this time. Whew.

Received:
- 92-day personal and complimentary pass from Paradox with invite to submit again. Also, by way of apology for the delay in response (I didn’t think it was that long, actually), an explanation that a bunch of submissions seem to have gotten delayed en route by the USPS. My manuscript, although mailed (First Class) in late September, didn’t arrive until mid-December. It seems other manuscripts were likewise delayed. Eep.
- Payment for my January column. Huzzah!

Published:
- The audio podcast of “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” is now up at Pseudopod, read by Paul S. Jenkins who, ye verily, has a sexy voice. Go listen, yo!
- “Addy in My Mind” is now up at Helix. This story is a stand-alone sequel to my Phobos-award-winning “All in My Mind.” Enjoy!

A good beginning to the week

I keep gushing about it, but I can’t help it. I absolutely lubs my job. The people here continue to rock my socks. Yesterday, one of the attorneys gave me a pile of Christmas prezzies. I came in to find a stack of wrapped packages and a card on my desk. I’m absolutely over-the-moon touched by the gesture.

My old day job had a select-a-gift setup where employees got a catalog wherein we could choose something for our holiday gift. While nice and appreciated, it was also sterile and sucked the charm and joy out of the gift tradition, replacing it with corporate efficiency.

   


Writing Stuff

The critiques are coming in for “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest etc.” And they’re mixed. While most critters enjoyed it, some folks found it confusing and would like more world explanation, one critter thought I was a tad too ham-fisted with my explaining parts, and then there were also the critters who totally got it: story, theme, and message. Urk. Rewrite pondering.

Received:
- The editor of OSC’s IGMS liked my rewrite and wants to publish “Beauty’s Folly.” Woot! It’s not slated for the January issue but the one after that, #5, due out in April/May of next year. But that’s all good ’cause he said he (probably) wants to use it as the cover story!
- Payment for my December Writing for Young Readers column, and also an unexpected surprise, a holiday bonus from the editor in the form of an Amazon gift certificate. *squee!*
- Also, an 89-day pass from the Holy Horrors anthology and a 123-day “we were holding this but . . . ” from Heliotrope.

Editing:
- Couple editing passes on “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest etc.”

Winter bad, writing good

Winter bad. Southbound MARTA train taken out of service, stranding me at Lindburgh station, bad. Eastbound MARTA train running late and stranding me at Five Points station, bad.

Unhappy, frozen commuter Eugie.

   


Writing Stuff

“Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest etc.” is now up at Critters.org. I was pleased to see four crits in my inbox this morning. At its longer length, I didn’t expect this baby to get much lovin’.

Published:
- My December Writing for Young Readers column, “Writing Talking Animal Tales,” is now up! There was much badness with email. My first two attempts to send the editor my column vanished into the Internet ether with nary a peep–no bounce message, no nothing. My email server appears to be butting heads with cox.net. Most distressing, and VERY frustrating. But at least I was finally able to get the file to her.

Received:
- Contrib. copy and payment for Aegri Somnia. It’s puuuurty.

New Words:
- 800 on “By Oak, Bramble, and Metro.” Adderall was indeed the prod my muse needed yesterday. Although this story is going in a different direction than I’d anticipated. I somehow managed to bring the Iraq war into a story about a fairy metro train. My subconscious appears to be O.D.ing on news broadcasts.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3,676 / 4,500
(81.7%)

Day of the Dead

Happy Day of the Dead! Hope everyone had a fabu Halloween and All Saint’s Day. This is totally the time of year for goth holidays, isn’t it?

This Halloween, fosteronfilm and I didn’t stay home watching scary movies and handing out sweets. Instead, we celebrated the joyous matrimony of sruna and pleroma! Although Mapquest did us wrong, we did eventually find the venue–which is only something like fifteen minutes from our house, although it took over half an hour to get there. @#$! Mapquest. Fortunately, we arrived in time so as not to commit the faux pas of walking in after the ceremony had already started.

I had a bit of a quandary about how to manage my attire. I typically get home between 6:05 and 6:20, which didn’t allow for time to change before the 7 o’clock wedding. But Halloween is a marvelous excuse to dress weird, so I went to work at the Capitol in a black Renaissance dress, sans corset but with bunny ears (I was a pooka), and just swapped one accessory for the other when I got home.

Voila, a costume for all occasions:


The wedding was outdoors, beneath an illuminated arch, next to a river/stream/watercourse thingy. In keeping with the Halloween theme, the beautiful bride wore red, the wedding party wore black, and there was Renaissance, goth, and period garb a-plenty among the guests. The reception was a masked affair, and the bride and groom were toasted with mead and honey wine (yum!). It was a lovely and elegant occasion, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it. And yes, I got a little sniffly as they were exchanging their vows.

I brought my camera, but it gets petulant in dim light. All of my pictures turned out either dark, blurry, or simply bad. However, a few of the blurry ones reminded me a bit of sruna and pleroma‘s engagement pictures.

Here’s the best of them:

   


Writing Stuff

New Words:
- 1000 on a new dark fantasy: “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast.” After all the sweating and agonizing on the last story’s title, this one essentially titled itself.

I was spinning my gears on “By Oak, Bramble, and Metro” and this story hit me between the eyes. My muse, she is a fickle whore.

Received:
- Galley proofs for “Nothing of Me” in Aegri Somnia.
- Payment from Writing-World for my November column, “An Interview with Gisele LeBlanc.”
- Email from oldcharliebrown. Best New Fantasy is back from the printer, and I can expect to have my contrib. copy in my hot little hands soon.
- 14-day “I hate to turn this down but . . .” from All Possible Worlds with invite to submit again.
- 49-day “this is one of those ones I really have trouble saying no to” no from Escape Pod on a reprint, with invite to try again.
(While tons better than a kick in the teeth, I’m not gaga about this “really didn’t want to pass on your submission, but I’m going to. Got anything else?” trend.)
- 95-day #2 form nope from Asimov’s. Urg. I’m losing ground here. The last couple rejections were personal ones from Sheila. Snartleblast.