Mostly writing and a bad movie

Got Miss Congeniality 2 from Netflix on a whim and watched it last night. My advice to anyone considering it: don’t. I like Sandra Bullock, but ugh, that was a poorly made piece of fluff. I didn’t expect it to be deep or brilliantly insightful or anything, but I hoped it would be funny. It was both not funny and in dire need of a rigorous editorial hand. It would have benefited from a severe chopping.


Writing Stuff

183-day SALE of “Mistress Fortune Favors the Unlucky” to the Bash Down the Door and Slice Open the Badguy anthology. This tongue-in-cheek high fantasy anthology, published by Fantasist Enterprises, looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

This was the story that I submitted to a market that requested a rewrite but ultimately rejected it, and then emailed me a month or so later changing their mind and wanting it. Since I’d already sent it to BDtD&SOtB by then, I told the editor it wasn’t currently available, but if the market that was considering it passed, they could have it. Nice to know that this story had a home regardless, but I’m very pleased to have sold it to the anthology. This was a light-hearted tale to write, and I think it’ll fit well with an anthology of similarly whimsical fantasy stories. Plus I get to share another ToC with dsnight, hurray!

Received the edits of “Sins of the Mother” from Dark Cloud Press and approved them.

And I got fan mail! A listener of the podcast of “The Life and Times of Penguin” from Escape Pod dropped me an email. He really liked it and found it touching. His note totally made my day. If you haven’t discovered the fabulosity which is Escape Pod go now and download. It really is something wonderful–being able to hear stories read out loud in the classic storyteller mode. Yes, I’m aware of the irony of the “classic storyteller” format being presented in a state-of-the-art, high-tech medium, but hey, I like irony. Go listen.

I’m going to burn the MP3 of “Penguin” to a CD and send it to my in-laws. I think they’ll enjoy it. And, while their computer is capable of downloading and playing MP3s, I don’t think they’d be able to manage the feat. Plus, they’re still on dial-up. Fortunately, they ought to be able to cope with a CD . . . although I might need to convert it to a .wav file so they can play it on their stereo. Totally love and adore my in-laws, but they’re such Luddites.

Writing Stuff

Ann Crispin called last night asking me to reprise my “The Secret to Having your Short Fiction Published” guest lecture for her Beginner Writers workshop at Dragon*Con. So now my tentative D*C guest schedule looks like this:

  • Thursday noon – Ann Crispin’s Beginner Writers workshop, "The Secret to Having your Short Fiction Published."
  • Friday 9/2, 8:30PM – "Censorship: Who should decide what’s appropriate for kids or teens to read?"  With Kathleen David, Jo Sherman, and Todd McCaffrey.
  • Saturday 9/3, 1:00PM – "So, You Want to Write a Kid's Book."  With Kathleen David, Jo Sherman, Donita K. Paul, and Paul Alan Gratz.
  • Saturday 9/3, 8:30PM – "Fairy Tales: Not Made for Children."  With Dennis Keppel, Heidi Heiner, and Jo Sherman.
  • Sunday 9/4, 10:00AM – "Urban Fantasy and Faeries. " With Phil Brucato, Scott Haven, and Jo Sherman

Oof. Busy schedule. I may need to beg out of one of these so I can attend my DC2K writers group annual reunion dinner. ‘Cept I don’t know what day that’s been scheduled for yet.

I was looking over my notes from the talk I did last year for Ann, and I’d like to update the content, but I’m not sure what I should add. So here’s a shiny poll for all you writers out there:

Trying to hold off the obligatory panic attack at the notion of speaking in public, but I feel the sharp anxiety claws beginning to dig in. Gleep.

In other, non-panic-attack-inciting news, I had a very good sales day yesterday.
56-day SALE to the Thou Shalt Not anthology–my second to this project. Very pleased ’bout this as I wrote both flash stories expressly for it.
63-day SALE to the premiere issue of Fantasy Magazine, slated to debut at the World Fantasy Convention in November. It promises to be a beautiful production. Here’s a mock-up of the cover:


Went out last night to play trivia with britzkrieg and rigel_kent. I’m not sure if britzkrieg will ever let us live down that we outvoted her on the “how many years must an animal not be sighted in order to be declared extinct?” question Of course, she was right. (The answer is “50.”) Yet, despite foolishly second-guessing her, our team, dubbed “Jerry’s Kids,” came in second. Much fun was had. Smoky fun (*cough*), but still fun. And I totally glomped on rigel_kent‘s bleu cheese potato chips.

This weekend is stacking up to be rather busy. Tonight, glenn5 is swinging by to hang and partake of food. Tomorrow is the last 2005 Dragon*Con director’s meeting. And Sunday, Matthew is going to be a speaker at the “Navigating the Film Festival Circuit” seminar run by the Georgia Big Picture Conference folks on Sunday.

And I’m still feeling rather blah. I’m thinking these are definitely side effects. If it was a flu, I’d have spiked a fever by now. So the nausea and tension headache should go away in a week or so. But that’s not terribly helpful for the right now.


Writing Stuff

Sold a Hungarian-language reprint of “All in My Mind” to Galaktika magazine. That brings my total of foreign languages I’ve been or will be translated into up to four: Greek, Polish, French, and now Hungarian. Coolness! Alas, Hungarian is another language not handled by Babelfish.

Gearing up for Dragon*Con

When I close my eyes, I see Dragon*Con bios. Woo. That’s a lot of guests/performers/artists. Zounds. Happily, the bulk of it has been edited now. I can’t believe how close D*C is. Gleep.

Wingstubs are still displeased. Stupid arms.


Writing Stuff

Alas, “Running on Two Legs” didn’t make the short list for the British Fantasy Award. Ah well, it was a long shot anyway. It was a honor being nominated, blah blah etc.

Received a 38-day “It’s a great story but not for us . . . please do think of us in the future” from Son and Foe after a query.

And also a 49-day Sale of “The Wiggly People” to the Thou Shalt Not anthology from Dark Cloud Press. Hurray! They’ve got another of my stories still under consideration too.

A Day at the Races

Having a lovely time with fosteronfilm‘s family. There’s quite a drought going on up here. The grass is brown and dying, and apparently the corn crops are a loss this year. Weird. On Friday we had flash flood conditions in Atlanta.

The in-folks treated us to a day at Arlington Park yesterday. I’ve never been to a horseracing track before. It was huge. And very white. We were inside–thank God, it’s hotter in Illinois than it is in Georgia, which is just wrong–sat in shaded air conditioned splendor overlooking the track for the whole afternoon, nibbling on brie and chocolate cake. Very decadent. Nine races in all. fosteronfilm and I bet on six of them, and promptly lost our twelve dollars. We’re so not gamblers. But our philosophy on it was that the money was paying for the enjoyment of having a horsie to root for, so it was all good.

The horses were beautiful. There was some excitement in the final race. In the jostling to the finish line, a horse went down, throwing his jockey and knocking another one off his mount. The second rider got to his feet, very shaken, but walked off the track without needing assistance. But the first jockey went down in a throng of horses, and while I know that they’ll do their best not to trample a person, there was really no way for them to not step on him. He went rolling under their hooves and when the horses were past, he wasn’t moving. I wonder if he got kicked in the head. The ambulance guys came running and immediately went to work on him. The track didn’t give any details about his status. I still have no idea if he’s okay, or even alive. I plan to do some Googling to see if I can find a news article about it. A sobering finish to the day.

[Edit: Just found this article on the accident. Jockey and horse are still being evaluated and their injuries treated, but at least I know the jockey isn’t dead.]

I also wonder about how the horses are treated. They looked incredibly well cared for–they were sleek and spirited. But there’s also a listing on the program to indicate whether the horse is on Lasix, which is apparently some sort of drug. And, of course, it was very hot. I do tend to think the horses probably have a decent time of it. At the very least because they’re worth so much money. If people are going to make the financial investment into racing, they really can’t afford to abuse, neglect, or starve their horses. I hope.

Writing Stuff

34-day reprint SALE of audio rights to “The Life and Time of Penguin” to Escape Pod. “Penguin” is going to be made into a podcast! I’m so jazzed. I’m a total Escape Pod junkie. Ever since I discovered these folks, I’ve been jonsing to have one of my stories turned into an mp3 reading. And even better, Stephen Eley, the editor, is going to try to get a little girl to read the part of the, err, little girl. *happy dancing*

Safe at the in-laws

After some frustrating travel fits and starts, fosteronfilm and I are safely at the in-laws. Details of the ordeal to be posted later. In brief, aside from our flight being cancelled, my hubby is apparently considered a security risk by the airline. Maybe I shouldn’t have let him wear his Resident Evil: Apocalypse t-shirt to the airport. The words “evil” and “apocalypse” might be too much for the transportation security officials . . .

The folks are on dial-up, so LJ updates by necessity will be brief.

Writing Stuff

35-day reprint SALE of “Second Daughter” to The Sword Review. Thanks keesa_renee for encouraging me to submit to this new market. Woohoo!

Things I wish I’d told myself . . .

Ganked from various folks:

10 things I would tell to my 12-year-old self:

1. DON’T take Russian in high school. Take Latin! Take LATIN!! Or, French. But by God and all that is holy, don’t take Russian! You’ll never use it and forever lament that you don’t have a solid background in Latin. You can take French, but you’ll do it in college as an easy A, so it can wait.

2. You’re intelligent and beautiful. Don’t listen to the asshats who call themselves your friends who are trying to convince you otherwise. If you do, it’ll take you years to get over their dysfunctional, passive-aggressive mind games.

3. Take the damn PSAT, you fool. You rawk at standardized tests. Is there a reason you want to throw away the opportunity for college scholarship money? And also, while we’re talking standardized tests, do a little prep for the ACT and SAT. When we prepped for the GRE, we totally blew it away. Think about how much better you’ll score if you’d just cracked a book or two.

4. When you decide in a year or so that it’d be fun to color your hair blue, don’t. Or, if you’re really intent upon blue hair, don’t let your friend who’s going through beauty school do it. Down that path lies tragedy and tears. Well, maybe not tragedy . . . or tears. But a lot of blue on everything.

5. There’s nothing you can do about your mother. Sorry. Deal with her as best as you can. But on the positive side, she becomes a non-issue as soon as you leave for college in four years. On a related note, when your mother finds out your dad is helping out with your college tuition, don’t let her go after him with her lawyers to fulfill his child support debt, because as soon as she starts legal proceedings, he’ll disappear again, and his monthly checks will too. And even though she caused your academic financial dire straits, she won’t do anything to get you out of them.

6. Quit worrying so much about what other people are thinking about you. They’re not. They’re too preoccupied worrying about what other people are thinking about them. And the ones that are spending their time judging you? They’re shallow losers who will end up as college drop-outs working pizza delivery jobs or secretaries clinging to the past in a smoky haze.

7. Revel in your health. It’s not going to last. Your body’s going to fall apart pretty quickly, so enjoy it while you can.

8. Don’t let the next four years derail your dream of being a writer. If you do, it’ll be over a decade before you pick it up again. You’ll lose years when you could have been polishing your craft, taking creative writing classes, and getting published.

9. The guy you’re going to fall in love with in the next few months? He’s a jerk. In fact, most of the guys you hook up with in the next couple years are going to be total losers. Have fun with them, but don’t take them too seriously. And y’know the guy you’ve had a crush on since first grade? He’s not for you. He’s going to grow up to be just like his parents, and you know what they’re like. Your true love is someone you don’t know yet. You’ll meet him in college. Trust me.

10. You’re a wonderful person. You’ll come to see that in time, but it would really cause a lot less heartache if you’d just accept that now.

Writing Stuff

Heard back from the editor of Apex Digest. He approved of my rewrite and wants to publish “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” in their Winter 2005 issue, #4. Hurray!

Also saw a review from Bluejack in the July IROSF of “The Life and Times of Penguin” (in the current issue of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine) that made me grin. It’s a wry grin, but a grin nonetheless:

“Of all of the stories, only Eugie Foster’s The Life and Times of Penguin really managed to stick in my craw. But I managed to get it out, and my craw is doing fine now, thanks. (Foster trots out the usual objections to any sort of loving God, and shoots down the usual straw men. You’re either going to agree wholeheartedly, or, if you’re to my way of thinking, you’ll pound the table grumbling “That’s not the point.” But if you’ve ever talked religion with anyone, this will be nothing new. And the story’s fine.)”

Now, that makes me wonder, has Bluejack not read Candide by Voltaire? “Penguin” is as high an homage I can make to that amusing work, not to mention my salute to a balloon animal a sweet old man made me. Ah well. I am sort of disappointed, overall, with the caliber of Bluejack’s reviews in IROSF. A lot of it is how sketchy his coverage is. He only touches upon one or two of the stories in each issue of any ‘zine he reviews. I suppose it’s because of the bulk of material he has to cover, but I’ve been published in several issues that he’s “reviewed” and received nothing but a dismissive synopsis. And the one tale of mine that he does deign to give more than passing attention to, he objects to on religious principle. I end up with a dismissive “the story’s fine.” Well fooie.

New Words: 600
On a new folktale.

Club 100 For Writers


Laying out weekend plans

Had a funtastic evening last night with glenn5. He swung by bearing key lime pie; we made pizza and watched Golden Eye, mostly because I was hankering for something actiony with many exploding bits.

Had an interesting dream experience this morning. Hobkin woke me up, clamoring for breakfast, and he got me out of an icky dream. Not scary, but really frustrating–the kind where no one listens to you and are intent upon doing the exact wrong thing in a perilous circumstance, and no matter how you plead and reason with them, they ignore you. Cassandra complex, anyone? Left me feeling frustrated and annoyed as I fixed veggies for the fuzzwit, and also still veeeery sleepy. After I fed Hobkin, I went back to bed. Woke up on my own two hours later from a dream that was the resolution to the earlier one, where I’d managed to come up with a cunning plan to get people to pay attention, and I was just putting the plan into action. Woke up feeling optimistic and refreshed.

I’ve had multi-part dreams before, where I’ve woken up briefly and then gone back into the same dreamscape upon falling back asleep. But not after such a long gap that included getting out of bed, and not like this one. It was so focused, more like a movie with story arc, climax, and resolution.

Weird. But I’m glad I woke up after part II. I feel much better than I did two hours ago.

Writing Stuff

Sold “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” to Apex, pending final okay on a rewrite. The editor wants more intensity. I can do intensity. This is the story that got orphaned when Transfinite blipped out of existence with no warning and a total communication blackout, so I’m glad this tale has found such an excellent new home.

Received the contract from jinzi for “In Suffering Lies Salvation.” Signed and mailed it back.

I suddenly have so many things on my writing plate that I’m a bit overwhelmed. Whenever that happens, I make a list, which helps me sort out and prioritize what needs doing. So:

1. Do rewrite of “Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me” for Apex.
2. Finish critique in-progress.
3. Finish researching and write WIP folktale.
4. Compile stats & finish rewrite of current story up at Critters.
5. Compose and send thank you notes for crits of Critters story.
6. Review material for Tangent.
7. Get back to work on the novel.

I’m still feeling overwhelmed.

Club 100 For Writers

French convergence

Still wrestling with my brain. It is unrepentant and surly. Did not go the caffeine route since it was so ineffective yesterday, which resulted in a midday nap. When I woke up, we watched Immortel (ad vitam), a collaboration between Japanese and French filmmakers that was totally shot green screen. I’ve heard that it was the very first completely green screen movie, but I understand there’s some argument about that. Regardless, it was very strange and very beautiful. The storyline was baffling, and there seemed to be no attempt to explain any of the questions the movie poised–which, if you think about it is pretty much what you’d expect if you fused a French movie with a Japanese one–but it was gorgeous, full of lush imagery and fanciful characters. I liked it.

Writing Stuff

Woohoo! I sold French reprint rights of “The Storyteller’s Wife” to Faeries, a French fantasy magazine. It’s slated for either the September or November issue. My first French language publication!

fosteronfilm first readered my two flash stories, although he was at something of a loss with both of them. I don’t think he knows what to do with something so short. He liked them both, he said, which works for me. Spent much of yesterday’s writing time polishing them up: editing, rewriting, and tightening. Then debated whether I wanted to upload them to Critters. Decided not to. I don’t usually run my flash through the critique gauntlet and these, coming in at about 1K, were on the edge, but still too short. Printed them out, prepared submission packages, and will mail them tomorrow, which brings the number of new works I have in circulation back above thirty again.

Club 100 For Writers