Blackberries, skunk dessert, crickets, and sadness

Head still hurts. Ow. Took the afternoon off from work to nap, to try to get rid of this ornery headache. Now I’m slept out, but still in pain.

Went berry picking again last night, right as the storm front started rumbling through. Managed to avoid getting wet, although I once again bear fresh scratch welts from the brambles. Bloodthirsty blackberry gods.

Hobkin turns into a ravenous fiend when he gets a whiff of blackberries and vanilla ice cream. It makes eating dessert something of a tricky enterprise. Yesterday, I let my guard down for two seconds in order to scoop some ice cream into my mouth, and a second later found myself in a tug-o-war with a very determined skunk. He hooked his front paws on the edge of my bowl, used that leverage to stick his nose in, and was busily trying to inhale everything within reach. He hung on so tenaciously that I needed Matthew’s help to rescue my bowl. And this was even after we’d given him a handful of berries for his dessert already. Greedy fuzzwit. At least we managed to keep him from upending the bowl on the floor, which I suspect was his primary goal. After cleaning the ice cream off my hands and the outside of my bowl, I retreated to the computer chair to finish my dessert.

Writing Stuff:

Received a request to see the rest of my middle-grade novel from Cricket Books! I sent my Cricket/Cicada editor a query + three chapters a couple weeks ago. I was a bit uncertain about it as Cricket Books is closed to unsolicited submissions, but they said that they’re still receptive to writers already working with their magazine group editors. Very pleased and excited that she wants to see the rest of it! Crossing of digits and fretting to commence.

Planned to do some writing last night, but spent the evening instead assembling my submission packet, a task made unnecessarily difficult by an obstreperous printer, and hunting for the flat-rate priority mail envelope that I knew I had . . . somewhere.

On the MIA editors front, my Tangent editor still hasn’t posted the review I wrote of Sci-Fiction‘s “Shadow Twin.” I emailed my review to him on June 27th. A week and a half lag for publishing a review for a weekly publication is irritating. And now there’s a new story up already. Dammit. I sent him an email ping to see if there were any signs of life in his vicinity, but so far, “no” is the answer. Also, NFG has been sitting on a story of mine that’s passed their initial round, and has been garnering some rather nice commentary. But they’ve had it for over seventy days, which is way long for them, and only four editors have looked at it. Humph.

In sobering news, one of the members of one of my writers groups has a brain tumor. She’s had it for years now, and has beaten the initial estimates the doctors gave her on her life expectancy, but recently she’s been declining alarmingly. She’s a wonderful writer, won 2nd place in the Writers of the Future Contest a couple quarters back. But it seems unlikely that she’ll be strong enough to attend the workshop and award ceremony. She just went into respit care and her primary caregiver/best friend is going to try to talk her out of continuing her chemo, since she’s pretty sure it’s just killing her faster. It’s all terribly depressing.

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6 Responses to Blackberries, skunk dessert, crickets, and sadness

  1. cussedness says:

    I’m sorry

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. I’ll include her in my prayers.

  2. “Received a request to see the rest of my middle-grade novel from Cricket Books!”

    Omigosh, Eugie, that’s wonderful!! Congratulations! Publishing books is relatively new for Cricket, but they’re very well-respected.


    P.S. So sorry about your friend. *cyber hug*

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I totally adore the Cricket folks. It’s why I went to them first instead of going to the likes of Houghlin-Mifflin, Random House, and Harcourt. I feel quite a bit of loyalty to the Carus Publishing house, and I figure I’ve got a much better chance getting serious consideration from them. Now comes the nail biting, compulsive trips the mailbox, and the sleepless nights.

      So sorry about your friend

      Thank you. I’ve known for a while that she’s been chugging on borrowed time, but I’d sort of begun to believe that she might just beat this thing. She’s an incredibly brave woman. A real fighter. This last decline was really sudden.

  3. britzkrieg says:

    Received a request to see the rest of my middle-grade novel from Cricket Books!

    Congratulations! Your writing career is chugging right along!

    …one of the members of one of my writers groups has a brain tumor.

    How awful! I’m so sorry to hear this. BTW, could this be someone I “know” from Critters?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      BTW, could this be someone I “know” from Critters?

      I think probably not. I believe she’d pretty much stopped sending things through Critters before you joined up. I’ve interacted with her mostly through my “Critter Litter” writing group. Her name’s Roxanne Hutton. Um, she’s had a story in Artemis in addition to her WotF win . . .

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