This is the last weekend of the Atlanta Film Festival, so I should have my hubby back soon. Good thing. I’ve got a real craving for the taste of a gin and tonic, and I can’t bring myself to drink alone. I brewed up some iced peach rooibos tea, but it’s not the same.

Plan to spend the day doing some writing, getting caught up on my correspondences, and sipping tea.

Writing Stuff

Received my contrib. copies of Paradox #7 with “The Tiger Fortune Princess” in it, as well as my check! Happy happy.

Got an invite from Esotericon to be a guest. They didn’t mention a comp badge for fosteronfilm, and that’s a necessity, so I’m going to drop them an email query about that. But assuming that gets squared away nice, I fully intend to accept their invite. It sounds like much fun.

Nine crits so far on the story up at Critters. It’s being well received. Plan to do some critting this afternoon as well (yes, for your story, britzkrieg).

Wrote a review of Aeon #2 for Tangent. It’s the first full-issue review I’ve done in a while. I’ve sort of been doing ad hoc reviews as needed, a story here, a story there–more as a duty than for fun. I’d forgotten how enjoyable it can be to read and review a ‘zine at my leisure. Reviewing is different then just pleasure reading. It’s like flexing a different reading muscle to identify and dissect the parts I liked (and that I didn’t) and to think about what the author intended, rather than just what I get out of it. ‘Course it helped that I thought Aeon #2 was a very good publication. It’s much less fun to review something that’s a chore to read.

Leeches ain’t so bad

I think it says something about the flaws in my physical construction that the people at the lab work department know me on sight. The main person there recognizes me, and we have a bit of a friendly chat every time I go in. She knows I’ve got a standing order to do blood work every six weeks, and when I come in for something that isn’t one of my regular maintenance tests, she knows to verify that it’s for something else.

Sheesh, I’m a mess.

But, on an up note, she’s really, really good at what she does. It barely hurts, and she never bruises me. I’ve had ham fists who’ve pierced the damn vein, moved the needle around in my arm in an attempt to get it properly situated, and then had to re-poke me, only to miss it completely. Ow. People like that really ought to reconsider their choice of profession. But this lady always hits the vein perfectly (and I have been informed before that I have small veins), and never has to do any adjusting once the needle’s in. Tourniquet, poke, some gauze and tape, and I’m outta there. Fast, virtually painless, and she’s a sweetheart. If I gotta be jabbed frequently, can’t ask for a better experience.

Now for the waiting to see how my white blood count is doing. And my neck’s still stiff.

Okay, poll answers:

arkhamrefugee Q: “What’s a badger gotta do to get some girlies?”
A: Never having gotten any girlies, or researched much of the obtaining thereof, I’m afraid this one is beyond my ken. Alas.
cloudscudding Q: “Best writing advice you’ve never heard?”
A: It was twofold and all about being tenacious: 1. Write often, write copiously, and keep writing. 2. Submit what you’ve written until it sells.
chrishaas Q: “Who is Chris Haas?”
A: Don’t you know?
amokk Q: “Are there any nude Ms. Fantasm photos? ;)”
A: Yes, many! Oodles of them to be found by searching the Interweb! But none of me .
raecarson Q: “Which story makes you the most proud and why?”
A: Urg. That’s a hard question. I’ve got several favorites. “Running on Two Legs” because it marked a decided “next level” jump in my writing skills. I’d been working on evoking an emotional response with my writing and not being able to manage it until “Running.” It also has a lot of personal meaning and significance to me. And it was the first story that Hobkin played a major role as fuzzy muse in. “The Storyteller’s Wife” for many of the same reasons, plus it was an outlet for a lot of stress I was experiencing at the time. Amusingly, again Hobkin gets a part, being the inspiration for one of the characters. And also “Shao Huan: The Soul of a Badger” because I think it’s simply one of the very best things I’ve written to date.
angeldove Q: “When are you gonna start a family?”
A: I have a family, fosteronfilm and Hobkin, why would I need to start another one?
keesa_renee Q: “Who is/are your favorite writer(s)?”
A: Off the top of my head: Tanith Lee, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Orson Scott Card, Roger Zelazny, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, and, um, Shakespeare. That’s not a comprehensive list, but it’s what I could come up with on the fly.
marksiegal Q: “How do you get a pet skunk to not spray?”
A: That sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. The serious answer is to have him de-scented. A fully loaded skunk is not a viable pet . . . unless you don’t have a sense of smell. But a disarmed one is all cuddly, high maintenance, fuzzy joy.
horrordiva Q: “What is your favorite genre to write in?”
A: That’s a tricky one. It varies depending upon my mood and what I’m writing at the time. I’m inclined to say “Fantasy” because I’ve been doing so much of that of late. But that could change tomorrow.

That’s it for now. Keep ’em coming!

Writing Stuff

Hurray! Received my contrib. copy of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #18. Pulpy goodness.

Also saw on the editor’s blog (newly syndicated to LJ by moi as bradanpress) that issue #7 of Here & Now (with my firmly-tongue-in-cheek story “My Friend is a Lesbian Zombie” slated for it) appears to be on track. Glad to see the publication schedule of that magazine appears to be sorting itself into a semblance of regularity.

New Words: 250. 100 culled.
The numbers aren’t impressive, but the story’s much tighter, and has a better focus. I still haven’t managed to get myself to the climax, but I’m on the way there.

Club 100 For Writers

Interview interview interview. Eee!

I’m cautiously optimistic at how the job interview went. The initial design analysis test was actually somewhat fun, although I had expected to have a computer to type my answers out on, and instead I had to write them out longhand. I felt sorry for the panel of system analysts that had to review my work. Ever since elementary school, my handwriting has been the bane of my English teachers and penmanship instructors. The panel part was light and chatty, with some laughter–laughter is always a good thing–and one of the analysts in the panel had been to Dragon*Con a couple times, which made me happy. I like the idea of working with fellow fan-types.

The senior analyst I was supposed to meet with was out sick, so I may need to go back in to interview with her, but it could be a phone interview (ugh) instead. I’d much rather go in again. I like face-to-face so much better than voice-to-voice.

Overall, I found it to be a solid, stable company, very pleasant environment, with an excellent future. It’s a good size, not so small that it could fold at the whimsy of the markets, but not so big (unlike my previous company) that it’s mired in red tape and flaming hoops. And they’re quite close. The travel time is about the same as the one I had previously, dependent, of course, on traffic.

The recruiter person said I’d probably hear back one way or another in a couple weeks.

It’d be nice to have the security of being a cubicle-monkey again.

Writing Stuff

Received my contrib. copy of Here & Now #5/6 with “When the Lights Go Out” in it. It’s a monster double-issue, full sized with a glossy cover. And mine is the very last story. It’s been a long time coming. And I’ve still got accepted stories awaiting publication in issues #7 and #8. Haven’t been paid yet, though.

Also got an email from my agent. HarperCollins passed on my novel, but the editor had some incredibly nice things to say:

“I surprised myself by liking very much Eugie Foster’s Shao Huan: The Soul of a Badger. She writes well, which of course drew me in, but more than that, the development of the relationship between Yeye and Shao Huan was handled with real skill and never became unbelievable . . . Alas, this isn’t quite what I’m looking for here at HarperCollins. It’s excellent, but a tad too quiet for my tastes . . . But I did like this very much, and I am grateful you let me have a look at it.”

As rejections go, it’s an extremely encouraging one. My agent is sending my manuscript off to Viking next. Onward.

Hobkin on the mend

Hobkin had plenty of appetite yesterday, which I found very reassuring. He ate most of his lunch, begged for a snack before dinner (which I gave him because I am a total softie), and scarfed down his whole dinner. He also went tearing around the house, stomping at shadows, so all appears to be well. I wish he didn’t have these bouts of upset tummy so often. It worries me.

Writing Stuff

Received my contrib. copies of June’s Realms of Fantasy. Yay!

Also received a very curt 31-day “we’ve decided not to accept it for publication” from Strange Horizons without even an invite to submit again. Ouch. That story really seems not to have gone over well with them. Well, foo.

3 more crits from Critters, bringing my total thus far to, um *counts on fingers* twenty. I’m so behind in thank you notes.

Call from Ann, Revenant, Fan Mail

Writing Stuff

Got a lovely phone call last night from Ann Crispin. We chatted for almost an hour. She’s going to send me an electronic copy of her new novel, and she suggested I write a sound byte blurb for my current WIP so I can have something to rattle off to publishers on the fly, as a quick pitch. Gleep. Novel pitch. Going to spend some time today working on that. It’s so much harder to scrunch a project into a sentence or two than it is to write a multi-page synopsis.

– 8-day rejection from F&SF from JJA. “Nice writing here but . . . ” Dammit, I just can’t get past him, anymore! I miss those “alases” from GVG”
– My contrib. copy of the Revenant: A Horror Anthology chapbook with “Caesar’s Ghost” in it. My story’s in the esteemed “last” spot. Neato.
– Fan mail! Got an email from a reader about “The Storyteller’s Wife” in the current Realms. He called it a “marvelous gem of a story.” I love fan mail.

In less good, RoF news, I found out that Carina is resigning from her position as slush reader. That totally sucks. I understand why she’s doing it (and how). Her position was unpaid, and she recently got engaged, plus her singing career is taking off, so she really doesn’t have the time anymore for the huge time glut that slush reading is. But I’m so going to miss her. She was the best slush reader Realms has ever had, and I’m not just saying that because she passed so many of my stories on to Shawna.

Job Interview. Those racy Greeks

Got a job interview tomorrow. It’s for a company that specializes in staffing tech positions. It seems to be a cross between a temp agency and a head hunter from what I can tell, but solely for IT work. The job they want me for has full benefits. It starts out as a three month contract with potential to become permanent. The thing is, the hours reek–10AM to 7PM Monday thru Friday. Seven? I wouldn’t get home until 7:30 at the earliest and probably closer to 8! And the pay is a lot less than what I was pulling in at my previous job. On an up note, it’s for a web content editor position, which is cool since I’m definitely interested in moving my career in that direction. But I’m not happy with the hours and pay cut. Plus it would involve a daily commute downtown. Yuck yuck yuck. We’ll see how the interview goes tomorrow. But I’m not exactly gagging for this position. At least I’m getting calls, though.

Writing Stuff

Received my contrib. copies of my reprint in the Greek publication, 9. And yep, can’t read a word of it. Although I was able to identify my story by my byline. It’s a very nice publication–glossy full color cover, high production values, gorgeous interior artwork. I’m extremely pleased with it. I’ve scanned in my story and created a PDF out of it, and emailed it to someone in one of my writers groups who lives in Greece (and obviously, can read Greek). I’m curious to see how close the translation is to the original English version.

9 is pretty racy as publications go. It’s the weekly “Comics and SF supplement” that goes with the newspaper, and the comics are of the variety you’d expect in Heavy Metal. Of course, I can’t read the storylines, but there are naked breasts and asses depicted in full, comic booky color. And check out the cover: Continue reading

Sunday yay.

Had a lovely day yesterday, despite the early AM wakeup. I did actually get to take a nap, with Hobkin as squeezy toy to make up for the morning. Matthew and I had a nice soak in the hot tub, and then watched The Bride with White Hair I and II, and Underworld. It’s October, high time to immerse in properly Halloweeny movies! Hurray for NetFlix.

Writing Stuff:

No new words, and didn’t even finish my review for Tangent. But I did receive my contrib. copies of Leading Edge #48! Apparently my check was mailed separately. The editor assures me I’ll be getting it soon. There were three illustrations for “Of Two Minds in Lanais”! Very cool. And this issue is HUGE. It’s more like a book than a magazine. And I love ursalav‘s cover art. It’s even more delightful and fabulous in real life than rendered in pixels on the screen. Happy happy.

Language barriers and writing

One of Matthew’s college buddies is staying with us overnight. He’s driving in from Kansas. His in-laws are flying in from China to the Atlanta airport tomorrow, and he needed a place to crash. The in-laws don’t speak any English, and he doesn’t speak Chinese–although I assume he’s picked up some in the years since he married his wife. His wife couldn’t come because they just had a baby.

I suspect there will be language acquisition happening during the drive back to Kansas. Or a lot of awkward silence.

Hobkin appeared to be repentant about last night’s behavior. He cuddled with me all night only waking up for his midnight snack, and then coming right back. Or maybe it’s the colder nights we’ve been having and he just wanted to get under the covers.

Writing Stuff:

Up to forty critiques. Gleep. And the butchery job continues. I’ve now hacked it down to a bit less than 2.8K words. I think it’s beginning to get threadbare. Going to wait for the last critiques to come in tomorrow, put the last tweaks on it, and then set it aside until there’s an opening in the submissions-to-Cricket queue.

Received my contrib copy of issue #14 of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine with my novelette “Body and Soul Art” in it. The USPS was unkind. It’s whole, but decidedly battered around the corners. Sigh.

My review of Sci-Fiction novella, “Left of the Dial” by Paul Witcover, is up at Tangent. Hurray. But I’m back down to #5 on the Fantasy Bestseller list at Fictionwise. Fooie. Going the wrong way.