*hack sneeze cough*

Didn’t even going to try to go in to work today. What’s worse, Hobkin has been making snuffling/wheezing noises, and has been rubbing his nose with his paws. I’ve given him my cold! Now I’m wracked by guilt as well as sick as a dog.

Crappity crappity crud.

Writing Stuff

Received the contract for “Perfidious Beauty” in the Embark to Madness anthology.

Finished and published my Tangent review of this week’s Sci-Fiction story. Not sure what the deal is with the rest of the e-Market reviews. The editor for that side of Tangent has been largely MIA. . .

Friday – musing on the skunk show

Well, it’s finalized. Matthew’s going to be a film festival judge and guest at the Midwest Entertainment Industry Conference in Kentucky in November. They’re getting him a room and everything. It’s very cool for him, but 1. he’ll be gone for the whole weekend and 2. it’s the same weekend as the ADSA skunk show. So, not only will I have to deal with being alone, but I also need to decide if I can manage taking Hobkin to the show all by my lonesome.

I really want him to go because I’ve been looking forward to having a chance to catch up with folks like puskunk and alijt as well as letting Hobkin hang out in a new place that’s skunk friendly. Plus I’m very proud of him and want to show him off. He needs to defend his “Prettiest Tail” title! But I’m seriously doubtful that I can do the show on my own.

For starters, I’m terrible with directions. I’m worried that I’ll get lost driving there, although Matthew assures me he’ll get me directions, plus I’ve been there before (last year for the 2003 skunk show).

Next, Hobkin hates car rides. We’ve always both of us driven him places–Matthew driving and me holding him to keep him calm. If it’s just me, he’ll have to be crated, which will incense and stress him.

Then, I have to figure out a way to bundle skunk, pen, blankets, litter pan, extra towels, skunk food, and any miscellaneous items necessary to keep a skunk taken care of for a day into a configuration I can manage all by my puny self. Last year, Matthew dropped me off at the door with Hobkin and a blanket while he went to park, and then lugged the pen and miscellaneous stuff from the lot to the site. He then set everything up while I held Hobkin because I am such a wuss. Without him to assist I’m at a loss. I can’t leave Hobkin in the car while I cart his pen and blankets and stuff to the site, and I can’t leave him alone at the site either. Best case scenario, I could leave him with a friendly skunk person while I wrestle with his stuff, but then I’d have to crate him for a while. I might be able to get everything bundled onto a wheeled luggage cart or something to make a single trip of it, but I don’t have a cart and I can’t imagine how I’d go about doing that. The rover gate pen itself is several large, unwieldy, bulky pieces, and the litter pan is the enclosed variety, also large, unwieldy, and bulky.

And last, but not least, I get hit by social anxiety in new surroundings. It’s relatively mild as far as anxiety issues goes, and it never manifests when Matthew’s with me, but it tends to overwhelm me when I’m on my own.

Dammit. I’d hate to miss the skunk show, but I see myself becoming totally stressed and having a meltdown. I don’t know what to do.

Writing Stuff:

Received the contract from the Cricket folks for “The Tax Collector’s Cow.” Still don’t know if it’ll end up being in Cricket of Spider, but I’m glad to have another contract in!

Friday Yay

Hurray for Friday! It’s been a long week.

Hobkin’s winter coat is coming in, I think. He’s feeling softer and sleeker, although he’s still blowing his coat all over the place. At least he’s loosing far fewer of his long, coarse tail hairs; it’s mostly the short undercoat fuzz that’s littering our house now. I think he’s also beginning to put on his cold weather pudge. That would certainly explain the ravenous “feed me now” behavior that seems to have gripped him of late.

Slept a LOT last night trying to catch up on lost slumber. It sorta worked. Didn’t feel like my eyes were weighted with coins this morning.

Writing Stuff:

Got a call from Nathan of Scrybe Press! Editors are calling me. On the phone and everything. Oooo. ‘Course Matthew’s been hogging the phone and hasn’t been setting it in its cradle to recharge, so mid-way through the conversation, Nathan’s voice begins cutting out. Sigh. How embarrassing.

But we got the last details on the contracts for “Still My Beating Heart” and “Inspirations End” hammered out before the phone gods intervened. He’s going to write it up and send me the finalized copy. And we discussed Nathan’s vision on how to lay the chapbook out as a flipbook. He’s going to pad the shorter of the two stories with ads and my author’s bio etc. at the end, to fill up the extra pages to the middle. Coolness!

This week’s Sci-Fiction story was late being posted. I saw yesterday that it had gone up (a new story is supposed to go up every week on Wednesday). And it’s a novella, woof. Due to that sleep-catching-up thing I haven’t finished my review for Tangent yet. I plan to do that tonight or tomorrow at the latest. On that note, I finally got an email from my editor. He’s swamped with work (80-hour weeks!), and is therefore a bit slow with the Tangent updates, but at least I know he’s alive and kicking out there.

Hot Tub Weather!!

I absolutely adore Autumn in Georgia. The air is soft and cool, with a hint of the frost and winter sleep to come. Color has begun to tinge the trees with crimson, gold, and orange, and the evenings are perfect for snuggling. And best of all, it’s hot tub weather! Matthew cleaned and filled the hot tub yesterday, and we took our first soak of the season in it. Ahhhh.

Writing Stuff:

Saw on the Here & Now website that issue 4 is back from the printers and being sent to subscribers. The editor is thinking about merging issues 5 & 6 into a huge double issue for Christmas to get back on schedule. I hope she does. I’ve got a story scheduled for issues 5, 7, and 8. I’d see print with them (and get paid) sooner if she clumps 6 in with 5.

Received the contracts for “Inspirations End” and “Still My Beating Heart” from Nathan at Scrybe Press.

I’m at 20 crits on Critters for the current offering. It continues to be a mixed bag. Some people really like it. Some people aren’t so enthralled. Some people like the whimsical elements. Others think it detracts from the theme. Sigh.

Forsaken by the caffeine god

Slept nearly twelve hours straight last night. Good lord, I’m sleeping my life away. Been trying to cut down on the caffeine, but not at that price. Probably on a related note, I’m in a less-than-ecstatic state of mind, today. No reason, just brain blues. I thought a caffeine OD would be just what I needed to shake off the blahs, but I couldn’t seem to get enough in my system to have any sort of effect. I had a whole pot of green tea and two cups of coffee, and nothing. The caffeine god hath forsaken me! Wah!

Writing Stuff:

Finished my review of this week’s Sci-Fiction story and emailed it off to my editor.

Slogging through all the critiques of “The Tanuki-Kettle” and trying to write thank-you notes to everyone. I ended up with over fifty critiques. Zounds. Also did a couple critiques for various writers groups (including one for your offering at Critters this week, britzkrieg. It should be on its way if you haven’t gotten it yet.)

The fantasy story continues to develop. Did an overhaul on the opening and then managed about six-hundred more words. Not exactly an awe-inspiring accomplishment, but it’s progress.

And I’m reading my contrib copy of issue #14 of ASIM. My God, them Aussies can jam in a lot of fiction between those covers! So far, that’s been the highlight of my day.

(edit: I got my contracts from Realms of Fantasy in the mail. I’ve got a new highlight, especially as it appears that they’re paying me more than I had initially thought. I’m not quite sure what calculation they’re using, but I’m getting closer to $.06/word than $.05/word. Wooo!)

Vet visit, weekend fun

Took Hobkin to the vet for his shots. He growled at everyone (except me, whom he clung to with every fuzzy fiber of his being), and huffed whenever anyone touched him. Poor little guy really doesn’t like vet visits. Fortunately, Debbie, Hobkin’s godmother, was there to assist (she works at our vet’s). He likes her and will tolerate great indignities if she’s holding him.

He’s lost a little weight–hurray! But the vet said he could stand to loose more–boo! But aside from that, he got a clean bill of health. Hurray!

Going to head over to dire_epiphany and astralfire‘s place to hang after lunch. Good company and relaxed atmosphere sounds like heaven.

Writing Stuff:

Received the contract from Leading Edge and learned that “Of Two Minds in Lanais” is slated for issue #48, October 2004. That’s the very next one. Yay!

Also swung by the library and picked up some cannon cyberpunk books to read. Going to Netflix some of the few cannon cyberpunk movies I haven’t seen yet. Had an interesting experience at the library. Their online system said they had a book I wanted–an anthology–but when we went to the stacks, we couldn’t find it. Engaged a helpful librarian in the hunt, with limited success. She wondered, since it was a collection of short stories, if it had been filed in the 800s in non-fiction (non-fiction??), since apparently that’s where short stories go. But then Matthew had the epiphany to look in the wrong place for it. And yup, there it was, filed not under editor, but under title. Yikes. If Matthew hadn’t been the clever thing he is, that book would have been lost in the stacks forever.

Voracious reading to commence.

I’ve stopped swaying

Those little inner ear “I’m still at sea” twinges appear to have stopped. Probably just as well. I’m still all sore and groggy, though. I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.

Writing Stuff:

Received the contract and proofs of “Body and Soul Art” from Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. They put little snaky pen and ink drawings at my section breaks. I love them! I’m right pleased with how these people conduct business. Not sure how the Aussie dollars to U.S. dollars transition is going to work, though, but that’s no fault of theirs.

Also checked their website and saw they’ve got the cover art for issue #14 already lined up. It’s very SFey: