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May 30, 2000

Twin Killing

Not one, but two rejections today. A 27 day rejection from Dragon Magazine (your basic say-nothing macro), and another 8 day rejection from Fantasy & Science Fiction. I think I'm making some progress with Van Gelder. In his note, he indicated the point where he lost interest in it, which was about the halfway point. Hm.

May 27, 2000

Electric Wine Contracts

Contracts from Electric Wine for my poetry "Ten Haiku," which should be appearing there in July. I'm actually a little surprised to see that they're treating them collectively as one. A haiku, while short, is one poem. I sent them ten. Is this ignorance on their part, or are they trying to get out having to make ten payments and signing ten contracts? I'm suspicious. Besides, haiku aren't easy to write. You have to craft each one under the light of the full moon, inscribing them onto a vellum scroll using octopus ink and a cherrywood stylus while murmuring buddhist hymns in three-part harmony. That's a real challenge if you don't have any backup singers. Hm. After some consideration, I'm just going to let it go.

May 25, 2000

Lucre And Letdown

Well, not really. A terse 15 day rejection from SCIFI.com, and payment from Ken Wisman of Dark Regions for my story, "What Price, My Brother". I'll take that combination any day!

May 24, 2000

Weirdness, Part II

Wow, two oddities in two days. This morning we gathered up cats for the yearly trip to the vet (the original three). We left a little before 10am, and got back at 10:35am. When we came back, we discovered a wrecker and four cop cars blocking off the street, and a wrecked SUV sitting half in our yard. The SUV was speeding and somebody pulled out, t-boned the SUV, and it rolled over. You can see the scars on the asphalt where it rolled, and if we hadn't been gone to the vet, it would've smeared our car (we park our car right where those scars are).

Whoo, freaky. Even freakier is that if I hadn't taken care of the Mysteriously Appearing Cannabis yesterday, the cops crawling over our yard probably would've noticed it today. My, that might've been awkward...

May 23, 2000

Weirdness And A Sale

Quite a day today. To whit:

Weirdness: Come home this afternoon from running an errand - I forget where, exactly - and I start contemplating our yard. Simply stated, it needs to be mowed. This leads to a mild contemplation of the weeds sprouting out of various places - the hosta bed, up against the porch, the edges of the front walk.

I'm looking at the weed beside the front walk when I realize the weed is actually that, weed. Marijuana. Cannabis. I live in Smalltown, Iowa and I've got fresh pot growing in my front yard. Surreal.

Sale: After many patient days of waiting (239, to be precise), my short story "When the Bear Came" has sold to Neverworlds. Huzzah!

May 20, 2000


Mail came this fine morning. No returns, of course, only examples of people not paying attention. They're actually variations on a theme. The first was my new bank card for our Atlanta bank account, misspelling my first name with the more traditional version of John. The second was in the new SFWA Bulletin on page 71, where they listed the new members, they misspelled my last name with the more common(?) Hanson, as in the MMM-Bop boys. Normally this sort of thing doesn't bug me. It's happened a lot over the years. But today, this morning...

It really pisses me off.

May 19, 2000

F&SF Rejection

A 10 day standard "fail to grab" rejection from Gordon Van Gelder. Par for the course, it seems. Hm.

In other news, my parents are taking a trip to Denmark this summer. My mom's family is your basic DAR polyglot, but my dad's side is Danish, my great-grandfather having come over from the Old Country at the turn of the century. He hailed from a small island called Ærø in the Baltic, near the southernmost end of the country. Looking at descriptions of the place (like Lonely Planet), it's pretty easy to see why the man left. It sounds...well, quiet. I'm not sure if the place is on the parental units' itinerary, but I hope so. I'm dreadfully curious.

May 16, 2000

Publications, Book and Ezine

Well, Lisa and I are back in town. We'd gone down to Hotlanta to take care of some preliminary moving business - securing an apartment, opening a bank account, some job searching, oh, and visiting the folks for Mother's Day. All well and good (and all went well), and what pleases me more is that the anthology Such a Pretty Face containing my short story "Eater" has been released by Meisha Merlin Publishing. Hoo! My first book publication. What are you people doing just sitting there? Just follow the link and order a copy already.

Later: An email from Ed Berglund reveals my story, "Casting Call," a cthulhoid parody is now up online at Nightscapes. Read and enjoy.

May 10, 2000

Aboriginal Writes Back

Hey, an actual return! Haven't had one of those in a while...a 91 day form rejection from Aboriginal Science Fiction. The mail also brings me the latest issues of Realms of Fantasy (since my SF Age subscription transferred) and College & Research Libraries News (a production of ACRL), junk from a credit card company, a flyer for the IESNA Lighting Handbook (9th edition), and my utility bill. What fun.

May 09, 2000

A Shameless Gripe

I'm growing a little concerned about the number of books out there marketed for people who describe themselves as idiots. Did you know there are hundreds of these books out there? Now, I've really got nothing against the idea behind them: they started out as a respectable line of computer application books, attempting to explain various software packages in simple English. Not a bad thing. However, when the line took off, some wise guy got the bright idea to expand it into non-computer topics. To their credit, most of them are things that are also a little complicated for the average biped, such as Eastern Philosophy or Shakespeare. But some of them, well...do we reallyneed a book on these topics?


May 07, 2000

More Proof I'm Old

Well, this week was my last week as an adjunct professor: I turned in the grades for my class Friday. Ah, sweet terrible unemployment. On the other hand, I'd have to say that teaching college has altered me in an odd way, perhaps not for the better. Lisa and I went to see Gladiator this afternoon (fine movie, by the way, for all its liberties with actual Roman history). As we're sitting there, a preview for Road Trip comes on. Not familiar with the movie? It's that thing with Tom Green they keep pushing like crack on the tube: college kids take a road trip to prevent a sex movie featuring one of the kids from falling into his girlfriend's hands. You know, good clean fun. Now, I know I'm not the target audience for that movie, and haven't been for years. But as I was sitting there, watching the promise of gross humor and scantily clad starlets, a phrase came to mind. Not "oh, that looks interesting," or "sheesh, how juvenile". No, it was simple advice for the college heroes: Get To Class.

I think I'm getting out of teaching just in time.

May 01, 2000

Pulp Eternity Breaks My Heart; Pieces Weep For MZBFM

Got a letter today from Steve Algieri, editor of Pulp Eternity. Basically he says that he's returning the rights to my story since they won't be publishing it. They're changing from a regular magazine to a combined print-chapbook along with an online magazine. Either way, however, they're going to be publishing shorter fiction. My story, "Three Nights in Big Rock City," was about 4600 words (which is medium-longish for a short story), so he's going to have to let it go. He was very apologetic and I'm glad he said something up front without letting me wonder. Very professional, I think, but still: crapcakes.

Later: And now, the other shoe drops. An announcement that Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine will be closing down with issue 50. I'm not surprised, somehow, but it's still a shock. They've still got a story of mine to publish - hope they make it.

Geez, I'm depressed now. I'm going to bed. Hopefully I won't wake up until the future looks brighter. And if that doesn't happen soon, at least I'll get my rest.