Proofs and shedding skunk

Received the draft proofs of my story from Phobos yesterday. Caught one error and I noticed that the editor (I assume Keith, the Phobos editor, and not OSC) de-contracted a few of my contractions. It’s not a biggie and only occured a handful of times, so I didn’t raise a stink, but it doesn’t sit completely well with me. I think my original prose reads better, but obviously Keith didn’t agree. Oh well. He’s the editor. And I doubt it’ll affect the readability one way or the other. It’s just a couple incidences of “she’d” to “she had” and suchlike. I suspect only I’d notice the difference. Hrmph.

The whole Phobos anthology project is moving along at a good clip. In his note, Keith said that he’d like to get the approved proofs to the production people by Friday of this week, or maybe Monday.

In other news, Hobkin is shedding his winter undercoat. Except, unlike other animals that poof their fur all over the furniture and their human’s clothing, he’s getting all snarled and matted. I’m having to brush the dead fur out. I think I need to get a better brush. The bristles on the one I’m using aren’t long enough to reach the really deep mats, and every time he sees it, he gets all tail-up and defensive. I feel like I’m torturing him. Last night I had Matthew help me hold him so I could brush him, and Hobkin struggled and wiggled, and tried to bite the brush out of my hand. When we finally let him go, he zipped under his hutch and sulked there for most of the evening. I felt terrible.

Writing stats:

Culled 500 words from a story I wrote in 2001 and sent it off to make the rounds. It’s received a handful of rejections and I was never totally happy with it, so I trunked it for a few months until I could look it over. It’s better now.

7500 words into a novelette that looks suspiciously like it’s going to turn into a novella. Because, of course, a novelette is so easy to sell that I should add on another ten-thousand words to keep it challenging. Crap. I’m pretty resigned to the idea of this one being well-nigh unsaleable, but the story is screaming to come out. I’ve even got it totally outlined and everything. Except I’m still debating whether or not I want to introduce another POV character . . .

And to go with my recent sales:

281-day rejection from Black Gate after a query. But John O’Neill apologized for the delay, saying they were holding it for consideration and requested to see more from me. I wonder if I should take this opportunity to ask him about the other piece I have with him that’s been there since September? Urg.

161-day “Sorry” from Andromeda Spaceways on a story that made it past the second round of readings. Dammit.

5-day “I loved this, this is exactly what I’m looking for, however . . .” from a new ‘zine called Camp Horror. I actually banged my head on my keyboard when I got this one. The editor did ask to see more.

And various and sundry say-nothing form rejections from the regular suspects.

I counted and I’ve got over thirty manuscripts (counting both fiction and non-fiction) under consideration at various markets right now. A few of them are once-only dealies that are appropriate only for a certain market. So if that place rejects them, I’m not sending them out again. Those skew the numbers a little bit. But still, that’s a lot of my stuff circulating around out there.

Sing little manuscripts! Make me proud!

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10 Responses to Proofs and shedding skunk

  1. oracne says:

    Thirty manuscripts is a hell of a lot and you should be proud.

    A couple of people were complaining about Black Gate being slow at my last workshop meeting. Glacially slow even after they’d said they wanted something. So it’s not just you.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      When Black Gate started out, their response times were lighting fast. But now, they’re among the slowest respondents out there (not counting the near-death markets). It’s a shame, but they’re such a good market so I keep submitting to them.

  2. reudaly says:

    I’m Such A Slacker!

    I only have 7 out in circulation. I’ve got other things I’m working on, but damn, I need to get on the ball.

    I’m a slacker – and I’m KIDDING!

  3. kafkonia says:

    I’ve only got 8 mss. out at the moment, and two of those probably shouldn’t count (one 10 monther to, who just never reply to rejects I think, and one over a year to an anthology I’m pretty sure disappeared in a puff of smoke.)

    So 30 is really darn impressive! I don’t know if I even have 30 manuscripts I’d be comfortable seeing published.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      When I look at some of the older pieces going out, like the ones from 2001 or 2000, I often cringe and take them out of circulation for a bit so I can have a spit-and-polish at them. I’ve sold three stories from doing that, so I’m pretty enthusiastic about that particular practice . . .

  4. mouseferatu says:


    That’s more manuscripts out than I’ve ever even come close to having at any one time, and that includes contracted work.

    Don’t you just hate those “I loved it, but…” forms? Grrr…

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Snort. Mousie-fangs, you make a living off of your work. Hell, I would eat sneakers to get contracted work. Me, I buy coffee with the proceeds from mine. Err, and televisions.

      Don’t you just hate those “I loved it, but…” forms?

      YES! Yes, I do. ARGH. Let the keyboard thumping commence . . .

      • mouseferatu says:

        “Hell, I would eat sneakers to get contracted work.”

        Somehow, that sounds like the basis of an extremely out-there fetish site. I can just see the spam. “Want me to eat a shoe for you?” Or, “18 today, and deep-throating her first loafer!”

  5. My bunny is shedding soooooo bad. Thank God he loves being brushed and doesn’t get defensive like Hobkins does. Guess it’s time to lose the winter coat. 😀

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I’m hoping that Hobkin will learn to be more tolerant of the brush. I just feel terrible everytime I sit down to groom him, like I’m torturing him. I’d much rather it were a pleasant experience for everyone involved!

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