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January 31, 2000

Talebones Rejection

A 7 day personal rejection via email from Mr. Swenson. Liked the writing (I know, 'cuz he said so) but the story didn't grab him. This 'pears to be a common remark from the editors that bother to comment before stuffing the rejection slip back in the envelope, and one that, frankly, I'm getting damn tired of. Part of the problem is it's so non-specific. Does it mean that there's a problem with:


  • the technical part of the writing? Am I too heavy with passive verbs, too many parasitic adverbs hanging onto the verbs, dragging them down, or something of that ilk?

  • the writing itself? Do my descriptions lack flair or are they too long? Am I not choosing the correct words to clearly draw the picture in the reader's head?

  • some aspect of the story? The plot, the characters, the setting, the speculative idea, are one or more of these lacking somehow?

  • or is there nothing particularly wrong with my work, save that it isn't exceptional and that'd be just fine if my name was Harlan Ellison or Howard Waldrop or Paul Di Filippo (no judgements implied about these guys or their work, let me assure you, I love their stuff)?
In short, what's the deal? Anyone got an opinion they'd care to share? Anyone seen my bottle of Mountain Dew?

Oh, and incidentally, I've only had three takers for the postcard offer, so if anyone else is interested, speak up now. This page doesn't get the high foot traffic you see on so many other sites, so it's not like you're wasting your time asking.

January 26, 2000

I Make You An Offer You, Well, May Refuse

Not much going on, writing-wise. About the only thing I've heard lately is that a story of mine made the first cut at a (paying) ezine, so I'm waiting to hear about that.

In a few (read here, I'm not telling you exactly) weeks I'll be off to Europe. Four countries (Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland) in three weeks, with a couple others being passed through as we go (France, Belgium). The first five people who email me a mailing address before February 29th will receive a postcard, purchased, stamped, postmarked, and mailed out from one of those countries. You can request a particular country of origin, but I'm not making any promises on that, due to potential scheduling problems. No salesmen or mooching writers will call at your door. All information provided will remain confidential. Decisions of the judge (me) remain final unless I receive a strongly worded note from my mother. Note: this offer is (most likely) bound to appeal to my (most likely) American audience. For you Eurofolks, my alternate offer is a postcard from Cedar Falls, Iowa in the States. Hey, don't knock it. It's a different world here in the heartland. So. Any takers? I'll be waiting.

January 22, 2000

Fractal Waves White Flag

Today, a postcard in the mail from The Fractal, bascially saying they've ceased publication, they're not returning any manuscripts, and they're not accepting any phone calls about this. I had a story with them for, lessee...424 days. Wow. Somehow, news of their closing doesn't exactly surprise me.

January 20, 2000

Things Are Slow All Over

So far nothing's come in the mail except six inches of snow. Taking the counter down off my page, as they stopped sending me updates on the counts, and the numbers seemed to go up and down at strange intervals. So, there you are. Other than that, nothing to report.

January 14, 2000

Email No From Altair

An 11 day rejection from Altair down under. Thought it interesting, but had a question about the relativity effect displayed in the story. Hm. A point to clear up, methinks.

January 10, 2000

Godlike, I Stride Across The 'Net

Well, after four years of steady use and abuse, we've replaced our computer. Once it was cutting edge and the envy of our geek friends; now it is ancient and slightly confining, like a suit you bought eight years and twenty pounds ago. It's been giving us a number of problems (CD-ROM drive's broken, hard drive's too small, certain software programs crash on a regular basis), so we've decided to retire it. Saved up our money and splurged a little. We're now the proud owners of a graphite iMac DV Special Edition, and it kicks ass, both singularly and collectively. Processor of fabulous swiftness, a ton of ram, a hard drive large enough to hold thirteen of our old computers, and all taking up as much room as a monitor. Plus, I can see inside it to where the computer parts are. Aaahh. I'm so pleased. Yes, this does little to help my writing, but it does improve my morale. Bow down before me! Moohahahahahah!

In writing news, I also received an 8 day email rejection from Talebones. Drat. There goes my high...

Our New Baby

Our new machine, Gandalf.

January 05, 2000

Swift No From SFF Net

A 4 day email rejection for the new anthology from SFF Net, Age of Wonders. Drat, I say, without much behind it. Didn't think the story'd make it, yet at 8 cents a word, I couldn't help but try. Oh well.

January 03, 2000

Dozois Solves My Mystery

At 97 days, I hear back from Asimov's. This time, it's the poetry being rejected. Finally. The suspense was killing me (if you're not sure what I'm talking about, go take a look at last year's journal).

January 02, 2000

It's The Year 2000

Well, it's here. Finally. I'd have to say, for all parts of the world that use the Gregorian Calendar, this is a pretty big milestone, psychologically speaking. History, literature, and pop culture had created others along the way: (Americans primarily - 1976, the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; 1984, a year George Orwell made us rather nervous about; 1997, the year of the holocaust "predicted" in the Terminator movies). But this one takes the cake. What's left? Well, there's still 2001 and 2010, thanks to Arthur C. Clarke. But what else? Anniversaries, I guess. The 100th anniversary of WWI and WWII, the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. I think literature and pop culture need to get back to work on making us nervous again.

For everyone, whether you think the new millennium starts now or next year (I'll admit that 2001 is technically correct, but it pisses me off that the calendar goes from 1 BC to 1 AD. seems like cheating), but I hope you make the most of what life brings your way.