« October 1999 | Main | December 1999 »

November 26, 1999

Annoying Asimovian No

Why annoying? Because I'd had a story and a batch of poems out to them, and I don't know which they passed on. It's a stupid "Dear Contributor" form rejection with no other id info. But they did include a subscription card. I already subscribe, dammit, and I'm not happy about that either, since my last two issues have been messed up, grumble grumble... Caffeine, where's the caffeine...

November 25, 1999

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone has a good holiday (or if you live outside the States and aren't an American, just have a good day). Oh, and go see Toy Story 2 as soon as you can. Hysterical. Better animation, great story, and new characters, notably Evil Emperor Zurg! Hee hee...

November 22, 1999

Big Money, And A Comment

Today in the mail came the check for my story, "Eater," which'll appear June 2000 in Meisha Merlin's Such a Pretty Face. More exciting is the included TOC, where I learned I'll be sharing space with such luminaries as Gene Wolfe, Jane Yolen, Jody Lynn Nye, KD Wentworth, and the NAW's own Paula Fleming (hi Paula!), to name a few. Total coolness.

As for the snarling and name-calling now rampant in our ranks, it depresses me but does not surprise: you get any group of people together for any length of time and somebody's going to piss somebody else off eventually. Shit. I shall not take sides, but simply wait for the dust to settle.

November 20, 1999

Life Returns To Normal

Our Polish visitors have departed; I saw their plane vanish into the Wild Blue Yonder, off to Chicago for their connecting flight. I am both sad (they turned out to be a lot of fun) and happy to see them leave (now we can get some laundry done). If you're at all curious, one of our grad students put up a web album of digital pictures. I'm in a few:

  • me, driving the lot of them to Cedar Rapids for sightseeing and shopping. Yes, I look oddly processed, but note the typical Iowa countryside visible in the background.
  • me listening to Adda (one of the students) explain her major: educating reform school kids. As part of her studies, she visits prisons to interview the inmates. Because of this, she's also studying kickboxing. Ouch.
  • me, wondering why in God's name a picture of this is being taken.
If you're aggressively curious, the complete site is at http://edtech2.coe.uni.edu/polish (Warning: contains many many thumbnails, so you with the slower connection speeds, go get a cup of coffee while the site loads). Now, as a reward, this afternoon I'm planning on seeing The World is Not Enough, and maybe tomorrow Sleepy Hollow. I'm psyched; both of 'em got really good reviews from a number of places.

November 19, 1999

Goodies In The Mail

The Mail Deities offer up rewards for my faithfulness: new issues of Science Fiction Age and Asimov's, and an extra special bonus package.

I've been answering the online trivia questions at Event Horizon. The site doesn't seem to be otherwise updated in terms of content, but every week or therebouts they post a new question. I love finding the answers to that sort of thing (born reference librarian that I am), so I've been answering and submitting anyway, just for the fun of it. Today I was informed by mail that my name had been drawn for answering the September 27 question correctly (What was Michaela Roesnner's first novel?). My prize? A hardback edition of Michaela Roessner's new novel, The Stars Compel (the sequel to The Stars Dispose), courtesy of Tor Books and Event Horizon. How sweet is that? I can already feel my teeth rotting away....

November 16, 1999

My Two Pfennigs' Worth

I don't look for awards, but I'm not gonna reject them either. In general, I'm happy enough knowing people read this, and I know they read it when I get an email or two, or see my name mentioned somewhere. As far as awards and public recognition for writing go, I think Papa's words say it all:

You must be prepared to work always without applause.

--Ernest Hemingway

And as far as writing rules go, the only rule I follow is spell everything correctly.

November 12, 1999

Scorn From Analog

Well, not really. But I did get a 35 day form rejection from them. I don't think I've ever gotten one of those from Analog before. They've always been say-nothing personals with my name typed in at the top. But the story is a little experimental in format, and I knew it was a long shot with the traditionalists that they are, but thought what the heck...

Incidentally, those of you who have expressed sympathies for my computing crisis, thanks much, especially Myke (incidentally, I'm not ignoring you, but the email I keep trying to send bounces back. Think it's a problem with my ISP.) I do appreciate the offer of your expertise, but I've managed a cheap work around: I managed to get the computer on and now I simply haven't turned it off. Power saver mode works nicely.).

For a bit of excitement in my otherwise dull life, a bunch (technical term for eleven) of Polish students and faculty are here in the country, visiting our department. They're here for two weeks, and I've been drafted to help cart them about. Not a job I mind: they're all very nice, and most speak some English. But it is disconcerting when across a room you notice two or three of them looking at you and speaking to each other in Polish. My paranoia creeps a little closer...

November 05, 1999

The Machine Is Dead

Updates here, spotty as they've been in the past, may become even spottier. Our computer at home has died. Simply stated, you press the power button and nothing happens. Kind of hard to get past that. :) I've still got a laptop from work which I'm using for my writing and such, and by a happy coincidence I backed everything up the day before it quit. But still, things posted here (mostly manuscript responses) may be a day or three late until we can either have the machine resurrected or replaced. The second is more likely: it's a Mac clone, a PowerCurve 601/120, dating from the brief but heady time when Apple thought allowing clones to come on the market would be a good thing. We bought it for 3 grand, a near top of the line (at the time) for substantially less money than the equivalent Apple version would've cost us. For six months we were the envy of all our geek friends... Now we can get a much better machine for much less money, and we make a lot more money now, being out of school and all. So that might be the way we'll go. I'll keep you posted.

November 04, 1999

Pass From Altair

A 13 day pass from Mr. Stephenson of Altair. Liked the story, but thought the beginning was too weak, lessening the impact. Hmm. I like personalized feedback. I like it very much!

November 02, 1999

Space & Time No

At 74 days from Space & Time, one of the most flattering rejections I've ever received: written by the assistant editor, "Very cool piece of writing, but it doesn't fit the kind of plot-intensive story we crave."

I'd also like to send out birthday wishes to my big brother Paul. Today, he's a little bit older in the eyes of the State. Heh heh.

Finally, in case you think postal responses from editors are slow, imagine what it's like for Italian writers, according to this CNN article. Could be worse, eh?