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November 30, 2001

Slow (Definitely Sublight)

Very little has occurred since you last heard from me, as far as writing goes. No returns have come back, and no new work has gone out. About the only thing I have done, really, is make a spreadsheet for a friend to assist her in the writing of pantoums. Who says technology can't benefit poets? Hah!

Not to say things haven't happened. Closing Day (Monday) is approaching, so Lisa and I have (finally) started packing. The apartment is sprouting box piles, which the cats seem to enjoy. They climb to the top of them and meow at the ceiling, at Things Unknowable And Unseen. Ah, to be so easily entertained.

Well, there was this. The Onion's weekly horoscope for my particular sign (Sagitarius) is extremely appropriate. It reads:

"Your remarkable talent for procrastination will result in your winning the Nobel Prize For Literature Thrown Together At The Very Last Possible Minute."
Can't argue with that.

Later: If I've learned anything from keeping this journal, publicly whining about how no editors have written me back is a sure-fire way to get a return. The trend continues: a 35 day form rejection from Absolute Magnitude.

November 18, 2001

Speculon Pub

In the continuing tradition of landspeed publication, my poem trio can be seen now on the latest issue of Speculon, under the title of "Three Double Dactyls."

November 13, 2001

Sale With Contract, And Stuff

Thanks to everyone who sent their sympathies about Miles. Always appreciated.

After a long drought, some writing news: a few days ago I sold a trio of poems to Speculon for their upcoming humor issue. They sold as a batch, which is fine by me. It isn't like they're sonnets, or sestinas, or something along those lines. Oh no. They're double dactyls, which remind me of the limerick, only more obscure and not particularly Irish. Tim is all over it, I must say. Got the contracts & payment in the mail today, which was very welcome.

In other news, today was a bit of a mixed bag. This morning Lisa and I had a very good meeting with our mortgage lender, in which she said very nice things about us and our credit. We got some details finalized which lower our monthly payments even more. This afternoon, however, I had a flat tire coming home from work. Managed to get off the Interstate with no problem, but the cost of the tow truck (didn't have a jack) and a new tire makes me wonder about what my karma score is.

November 08, 2001

Miles

Miles T. CatNo writing news, just personal. And rather sad. Cat lovers wishing to avoid being bummed out should stop reading and come back later.

We had to put our cat Miles to sleep Monday night (or Tuesday morning, if you want to be technical). He'd been sick for a while. Saturday afternoon he collapsed in the hallway, gasping for breath, and Lisa had to rush him to the vet. They put him in an oxygen cage (same principle as an oxygen tent, only it looks like a big aquarium with a cat in it) and tried to figure out what the problem was. Lots of theories: pneumonia, heart disease, cancer, polyp in the throat, etc., but a lack of real information. Miles was a big cat, and did not like vets AT ALL. Right after we adopted him he spent a week at the vet school in intensive care being poked and prodded. Needless to say, this colored his attitudes towards vets quite a bit. He never bit or clawed, but he wouldn't hold still either (unlike the others, who usually adopt a Gandhi-esque technique of passive resistance, but with pitiful meowing). We kept waiting and hoping he'd calm down, but no luck. The vet called Monday and said he was going downhill fast. So we went and said goodbye, and then that was it. The other cats seem to be keeping closer than ever, particularly Virginia, who was his regular snuggling buddy.

Damn but he was a good cat. I miss him.

November 03, 2001

No Interest From Interzone

A 184 day form rejection from Interzone. Goodness, they must be backed up. I expected to get that back four months ago, and to see it was bounced with a photocopied form, well, I was just shocked. Shocked, I tell you. Well, not really, but still.

November 01, 2001

My Big Fat Theory

There's been some discussion in the NAW regarding the rise of a new standard (some say 'the standard') in the fantasy genre: The Big Fat Fantasy, a la Jordan, Eddings, Martin, etc. Many theories and countertheories have been proposed by SLF (if you're checking down the timeline, go to the Oct 25th and Oct 27th entries) and Savage (Oct 26th and Oct 29th entries), along with Jenn, Vera and others who've I've overlooked/forgotten. Theories have included the influence of Joyce, long = more comfortable, the need to rationalize the entire history of the world, the influence of Tolkien's excessive worldbuilding, the publisher's eye towards profit margin, and others.

Pah. Classic overthinking the situation. All right, most of them have points worth thinking about, but still. Like Occam's Razor, I've got an easier explanation: the rise of the word processor and the quality printer. In the Olde Days, when dinosaurs roamed the land, Authors had to grind out their work on typewriters. Made a serious mistake, or needed to clip (or add) a line or three? Retype the page. Suddenly realized the hero's motivations are murky at best, or the previous descriptions makes no sense? Retype the page, and likely the pages that followed as well. And authors working their first drafts in longhand definitely had to submit typed copy (another handicap for Lovecraft).

Word processors changed all that. Now the Author could cut, paste, revise, rearrange, add subplots, explanatory infodumps or local color left and right. Affordable laserprinters sealed the deal. Now changes could be made right up to the morning they took it to the Post Office, and all that's required was a ream of old-growth forest paper, a full printer cartridge, and something for the Author to do while the latest manuscript is printed. As has been said, it's easier to put stuff in than to take stuff out of a story (since we all love our words so), and technology made it even easier.