A sick day for me

My headache is still in evidence, and it’s turned into a harbinger of flu. Blah. Staying home today. Going to curl up on the couch with chamomile tea and court Mr. Sandman.

Writing Stuff:

In between naps, and riding the jitters from Sudafed, I managed 500 words on the “Island Love Story.” It’s done! It’s raw, in dire need of a rewrite, but the story’s down from start to finish. It logs in at a whooping 10K manuscript count (around 8.9K word processor count). This one’s going to be a hard sell. But I’m at zero draft! Rah.

Also sold another reprint of “Second Daughter” to the new market Story Station. This is my second reprint sale of this story, my third sale of it total. Sweet.

I asked the editor when to expect a contract, and he said that they don’t have contracts (!) and if that affected whether I wanted my story published by them to let him know immediately. I responded by emailing him a standard contract–almost identical to the one I wrangled up for the previous reprint sale actually–and asked him if he had any problems with it. I haven’t heard back from him yet. I’m a little anxious, but I really do feel strongly about contracts, even if they’re just simple, down-and-dirty ones. I would like this to work out, though, as there are so few children’s lit markets.

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:

Back from the Caribbean, Cricket sale, and various rejections

Got back yesterday from a week long Caribbean cruise with the family. Wonderful time, although now I’m back on land, I keep getting inner ear tweaks that make me think the ground is moving beneath me. Details and pictures from the cruise coming soon! I’m compiling my notes and logs, and downloading pictures from our new camera.

Writing Stuff:

Going through the various Critters critiques I’ve received last week. Email was crap on the ship so I didn’t read them while onboard.

After coming home to a week’s worth of new mail. Received:
SALE to Cricket for my folk tale “The King of Rabbits and Moon Lake”! Good news indeed to return to!
– Rejection from Cicada. Pook. While they really liked the story, they thought it too emotionally wrenching for their teen audience, and hence not right for them.
– Rejection from Talebones – personalized. “Almost, please send more soon.”
– Rejection from Sci-Fiction – from Ellen Datlow, “not subtle enough” for her.
– Rejection from Asimov’s – form from Sheila Williams (sigh).

Oof. But I’m happy-dancing ’bout another sale to Cricket!

Also, my excerpt “Visiting Day” is up at the ELP Library with very cool cover art:

Weird Night

Had a strange night. I think the weirdness was mostly due to the Clonazepam, which is doing precious little for my wing stub pains, so I’m contemplating going off them. I’m paying too high a price in loopiness in the AM, and disturbing dreams in the PM.

Had some very vivid and unpleasant dreams of which I can only remember flashes. I seem to recall carting a baby piglet around in my arms and being very concerned that people would think he was a wild pig and wanting to take him away. And then getting caught in a dimensional rift and ending up in a universe where all these tiny Japanese schoolgirls didn’t want to share their high-tech Sony gadgets with me. Peculiar.

Woke up at 3:30 in the morning feeling like I’d just been shaken awake. Of course, I hadn’t, so I checked my email. Fired off a couple correspondences. I’m actually a little concerned that I might not have been coherent in those emails.

After my brief bout of wakefulness, I was overwhelmed by sleepies again, so picked up Hobkin and fell back asleep until my alarm went off (interesting that my alarm doesn’t seem to wake the little fuzzwit).

This morning was spent guzzling coffee in the hopes of shooing some of the cobwebs out of the noggin. Limited success on that front.

And ow. My wing stubs really hurt.

Writing Stuff:

Heard from the Writers of the Future contest people. “Gifts Not Asked For” was a semi-finalist, a.k.a. Honorable Mention. That’s my second semi-finalist story with them, so now I’ve got a matched set to go with my quarter-finalist kudos. I just can’t seem to get any further with these people, and as soon as Cricket publishes the stories they’ve got of mine, I’m knocked out of eligibility. I think I should just resign myself to the fact that I’m never going to make it to the money rounds.

Received an email from the Blasphemy anthology editors/publishers. Progress is once more being made on getting the thing in print and out to distributors. Finally. They said it’s going to the printers in the next few weeks, so it should definitely be out in time for Dragon*Con.

Did a couple critiques on Critters. That’s sort of like being productive . . .

All’s well on the bronchial front, Witch’s Oven up

The bronchoscopy happened. According to my doctor, everything looked fine–nothing worrisome or abnormal. So it seems even more likely that stress is the culprit of my breathing difficulties. Why does that not make me feel better?

On the whole, the procedure experience was unmemorable. Literally. They gave me anesthesia and sedatives both locally and intravenously. There’s a bruise forming on the top of my hand from the IV. I wish they wouldn’t put the things there. I much prefer the inside elbow location for an IV. Hurts less. Anyway, one of the effects of the anesthesia is short-term memory loss. I remember breathing the lidocaine gas and my tongue and throat going numb. And I remember the anesthesiologist injecting something into my IV. Then nothing until I opened my eyes in recovery to see Matthew grinning down at me.

Apparently, though, I was awake and responsive throughout the whole thing. Matthew assures me that my eyes were wide open when they wheeled me into recovery. And I was speaking and responding to questions. But the interesting thing is, I kept asking the same questions over and over again, as though I’d forgotten that I’d asked the question and what the answer was. Which I had. Things like “what time is it?” and “when will the anesthesia wear off so I can eat?” I remember the last time I asked those questions . . . at which point I stopped asking. But couldn’t figure out why Matthew kept chuckling at me. Appears he’d been answering me in something of a loop for a while there.

Weird drug that. It basically zapped my extremely short-term memory so I couldn’t retain anything. Before I went in, the nurse told me that amnesia was one of the effects, and I determined to try to hang in there as long as I could, try to see what I could remember. Nope. Out like a light. Or rather, not out, but insensibly awake like a light.

Also interesting that my brain works in such a predictable fashion that I ask the exact same questions over and over again, coming out of a medical procedure.

Aside from an odd sensation in one of my sinuses, that was a wholly unpainful procedure. Don’t even have a sore throat.

But I do wonder if I was in any pain or discomfort during the bronchoscopy–considering they stuck a tube up my nose–but I simply can’t remember it. ‘Course I also had a lot of numbing agent, so the odds of me feeling anything even if I could remember it are slim to none.


First thing I did as soon as I could swallow and therefore eat/drink again, was have a big cup of coffee. Tube-in-nose notwithstanding, I was hurting for my caffeine fix.

Writing Stuff:

Obviously, not much writing got done yesterday. I was loopy for hours after I got home, quite incapable of putting written words in any semblance of decent order.

But I did check the Abyss & Apex site and while it seems that part ii of issue #9 is still in the process of being published, “Inside the Witch’s Oven” is up, as is a poem by Tim Myers. The link to the short by Bruce Boston, however, is still not functional. I’ll be sharing a TOC with Bruce Boston! Eventually.

I’m also amused that “Witch’s Oven” is the opening story of part ii. Very cool.

Fun with Excel

Had a follow-up with my Rheumatologist today. He agreed to finally wean me completely off the Prednisone. At last.

Had some major problems with my right contact lens at work today. Not sure what was wrong, but I couldn’t tolerate the thing in my eye, so I took it out. Unfortunately, I didn’t have either lens case or glasses with me, so I spent the last couple hours at work with 1.5 eyes. The drive home was . . . interesting. I was seriously considering sticking a post-it over my eye as an impromptu eye patch to at least give me some semblance of decent vision, but figured it wouldn’t stay even if I did. And my eye still hurts. Ow.

Writing stuff:

Progress is not being made. Instead, I’ve been playing with Excel. I migrated all my MS Word logs to Excel spreadsheets, and then merrily ran stats on everything I could think of.

Submissions out: 33
Average # days waiting: 67

Genre/length Breakdown:
Fantasy short stories: 15
Horror short stories: 4
Science Fiction short stories: 6
Children’s stories: 6
Book length works: 1
flash stories: 1

Sales: 30
Average # subs per story: 6
# sold on first trip out: 11
Rejections/sales ratio: 10/1
(For 2004: 5/1)

Fantasy: 3
Horror: 9
Science Fiction: 4
Children’s: 6
Flash/Excerpts: 6
Reprints: 2

Total works (both out and sold): 61

Fantasy: 18
Horror: 13
Science Fiction: 10
Children’s: 12
Flash/Excerpts: 7
Book length: 1

I need to quit putzing around with numbers and get some words written. Sheesh.