Parental visit on the horizon

My folks are coming to visit this week from China. They’re doing a coast-to-coast swing-by of the U.S., visiting my stepdad’s sons in California, spending several days in Pittsburg at the 2007 IEEE Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts–wherein my stepdad is being presented the “Ragnar Holm Scientific Achievement Award”–and then spending a few days in Atlanta before heading to the Midwest and the East Coast.

The “Ragnar Holm Scientific Achievement Award” is awarded to the “living scientist or engineer who has made significant contributions to the theory or practice of electrical contacts.” In addition to receiving the award, my stepdad’s presenting a paper on the effect of particle contamination on electrical contact failure. It’s a great honor and an impressive accomplishment, and I’m extremely proud of him.

I also find myself wondering, though, why is it I always get along better with or find it easier to establish a rapport with my male relatives? I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen my stepdad, and I feel like I’ve got more in common with him than I ever had with my mom, the woman I grew up with.

Meh. My familial relationships and my associated emotions thereof have always been, are, and will always be a messy, confounding mystery. I accept that.


Writing Stuff

– 124-day SALE to Interzone of my story “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast.” Woohoo!! Much happy dancing, ye verily. Not only have I been jonsing for a juicy sale, but I’ve also been longing to break into IZ for, like, ever.

This is a science-fantasy tale, my first foray into writing a dystopia piece, which I’d been wanting to do for a while.
– Contract from Shiny for “Close to Death.”
– Contract from Hub for “The Music Company.”

And catching up on R’s received during the chaotic period of Dragon*Con prep and recovery:
– 57-day form nope from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (a long shot, but it was for a cross-genre piece that I’m having a hard time figuring out where it fits: horror, dark fantasy, or crime).
– 39-day cordial pass from Ann VanderMeer of Weird Tales with invite to submit again.
– 133-day YFoP from Realms of Fantasy.

New Words/Editing:
– A slew of editing passes–lost count of how many–and a smattering of wordage on “Requiem Duet” over the weekend. Jabbed it tentatively with my fork and fired it off to mroctober.

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it. I hit the point of going over that story so much that I couldn’t evaluate it anymore–y’know how if you stare at a word for too long, it just doesn’t look right, even if it is. Like that, but with the whole manuscript. Normally, if I hit that point in a story’s development, I step away from it for a week or so to get some perspective back, but I’ve been rather pokey on this one, and I didn’t want to hold things up any longer.

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36 Responses to Parental visit on the horizon

  1. lingtm says:

    I’ve discovered that my female Asian friends who’s mom is from another country (so not born in the U.S.) generally just don’t get along with our moms. I get along better with my Dad.

    Not to make a grand sweeping generalization or anything.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Yeah, actually, I’ve noticed that tendency myself. I wonder if anyone’s done a sociological study on mother-daughter relationships in Asian immigrant families. I can think of quite a few root cause cultural expectation clashes surrounding the friction and relationship breakdown between my mother and myself. I suspect there are quite a few more that I’m unaware of . . .

  2. noelleleithe says:

    Funnily enough, my first magazine editing job (1997-2002) was with an electrical engineering publication. Small world. 🙂

    Congratulations to your stepdad–and to you for your sale–and hope your parents’ US visit goes well!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on the sale, and the pleasant rejections!

  4. ecmyers says:

    Congratulations on the sale, and the pleasant rejections!

  5. j_cheney says:

    Congrats on the sale!

  6. mroctober says:

    I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it.

    Silly writer… the editorial gods tell you how to think… you need only clickety-clack away to please us.

  7. spitgirl says:

    I’ve been thinking about the family thing as well, and I will admit I get along better with my father than I do my mother (and I’m a second generation immigrant, first gen born in the States). I chalk it up more to the fact that my dad is very straight up and means precisely what he says (math background), while my mom plays the whole text/subtext game with me, and I get frustrated with that.

    Then again, I’m closer to my sister than I am to my brother (I swear he’s some kind of an alien)… so maybe I can’t relate.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      That makes me curious as to what a sibling would’ve done to the relationship dynamics in my family. I’m an only child, and as a kid, I always wanted a brother–particularly an older one, although I understood the logistical impossibility of that way before I learned about the whats and hows of human procreation.

      • spitgirl says:

        My sister, while growing up, was the little princess of the family – into all the things little girls were, unlike me. My brother was the “bad boy,” and as the only male in the generation, got quite a bit of attention.

        Me: typical Chinese American nerd, didn’t cause my parents much trouble, so they didn’t trouble me much. Having a sibling diffuses the attention somewhat (which can be a good thing), but sometimes I felt like my parents only paid attention to the squeakiest wheel. They did the best they could, but there were some pretty lonely times there.

        I think this is part of the reason my fiance wants to stop at 2 kids. Well, actually, his reasons run along the “man-on-man vs. zone defense.”

  8. ogre_san says:

    Congrats on the sale!

    Family relations are just weird. Now that my sisters and I live hundreds of miles apart, we get along great. It was only when we lived in the same house that we couldn’t stand each other.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thank you! And yah, I often think that time and distance do more good towards mending family relationships than thousands of dollars worth of counseling and therapy could ever hope to.

  9. alankria says:

    Big congrats on the sale! And also to your stepdad for winning the Award.

  10. jimvanpelt says:

    Hi, Eugie. Congrats on the sale!

    Have you considered your horror/dark fantasy/crime story to the Hardboiled Horror antho? The deadline there is Sept. 30. You can see guidelines at

    I’ve been blogging about my stint as editor for it at

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks for the congrats, Jim!

      I knew ’bout your Hardboiled Horror antho, but for some reason I didn’t think the story was a good fit ’cause the mystery element is slight and isn’t “hardboiled” at that. Urg, undoubtedly a case of zealous self-rejection to hold up as an example of one of the writerly “things not to do.” Unfortunately, I’ve already sent the story out to a new market, and neither of you take simultaneous subs. Dagnagit!

      Well, if it comes back in time, I’ll definitely send it to you next.

      • jimvanpelt says:

        Ha! That’s the way it should be. The sun sets on no rejected manuscripts in my house. Out the door they go to the next possible home. Congrats on keeping your own stuff on the move.

  11. douglascohen says:

    Congrats on the IZ sale. Have you tried Andy Cox with your maybe horror maybe dark fantasy maybe crime story? If it has the right flavor, he might be able to use it for either BLACK STATIC or CRIME WAVE (and you’d only have to submit once, as every story is automatically considered for all the magazines). Just a thought.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic news about the sale!

    I have family coming in too; must be the season for it.


  13. matt_wallace says:

    Who needs a well-adjusted family life when you’re going to have a story published in INTERZONE FUCKING MAGAZINE?

    I take back all the good things I said about you in my Dragon*Con post. Not really, because you’re just too awesome. But a part of me wants to.

    It does.

  14. aliettedb says:

    Don’t worry about the relationships–I’m also way more comfortable with my male relatives than my female ones 😉

    And yay on the IZ sale (awesome title, BTW)!

  15. raecarson says:

    Eee, yay! Interzone is a GREAT market to break into. Congrats!

  16. mothers

    I think what you said about being closer to your dad than your mom is fairly common to those of us who are of Asian descent. I even know guys in the same position; they hardly ever speak to their moms. It’s usually a painful subject for them to admit to friends because it’s very confusing for them also. In college, I did find a book on Asian-American psychology that does offer insight into family dynamics. It’s a little depressing but eye-opening, too.

  17. Big congrats, especially on the IZ sale! Jetse rocks.

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