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January 30, 2002

Free Copies

Speaking of Black Gate, my contributor's copies have arrived (however, my subscription copy has not). Contributor's copies are a good thing in general, because it means I now have a copy to give my parents.

Reading: Set aside Women of Mystery for now, in order to quickly devour my two new Lovecraftian books, Scream for Jeeves and Acolytes of Cthulhu from the new reading pile. I can't help it. And for those of you who think that sort of thing is imitation pulp, might I recommend you read the last story in Acolytes, Neil Gaiman's highly amusing tale "Shuggoth's Old Peculiar."

January 29, 2002

Rejection 'N' Stuff

Analog sent me a rejection today, only 25 days old. SFWA sent me a copy of the preliminary Nebula ballot (hmm, something to kick to the top of the What To Read pile). Our mortgage company sent us interest paid statements for our house (ah, Deduction Sweet Deduction). Finally, I've had word from various folks that Black Gate has finally published their winter issue, which includes my story "Three Nights in Big Rock City." It's been seen in both Barnes & Noble and Borders all across the land. Go forth now and pick up a copy. And don't let the price dissuade'ja: there's good readin' to be had in them pages, yeppers.

January 25, 2002

Mixed Mailbag

In the mail came a fortnight rejection from the interestingly named Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. However, UPS brought me a big ol' box of books, the fruits of an Amazon.com gift certificate I'd gotten from Lisa for my most recent birthday. Good UPS! Bad USPS! Incidentally, now you see why I resolved to read more this year.

Despite my now mostly-vanquished cold, I finished Doomsday Book. Very good, but I have to add it to my list of Books Never To Read When Sick. All the characters either catch the Black Plague or some flu pandemic, depending on when in time they are (The Stand is another example. Yeesh). After that came the Patricia Wrede collection Book of Enchantment, and I'm currently reading Women of Mystery: The Lives and Works of Notable Women Crime Novelists (Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, Patricia Cornwell, etc). It's very interesting, but since it's a nonfiction collection of biographies, I will likely throw it over for one of my new books, just to mix things up a little.

January 19, 2002

Pass From Future Orbits (Achoo!)

Today brought a nine day personalized rejection from Future Orbits (spelling out why they didn't buy the story), a lot of rain (which is actually good, as Georgia has been in drought conditions for about three years now), and day two of my annoying cold. Sore throat, stuffy nose, etc. Nothing you haven't heard of before.

Currently reading: Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis. When Lisa saw it, she said, "Haven't you read that before? I read it years ago." Sad to say, I hadn't. I don't really have a good reason why. I think Connie Willis is great. I loved that more recent time travel book of hers, To Say Nothing of the Dog. And I like that whole Middle Ages thing this one is set in, and I knew that when I bought it. And yet, I never picked it up. I have no excuse. Oh well.

January 16, 2002

Today, For Your Amusement...

Lisa appears to have mostly recovered from the extractions (thanks for your well wishes). She hasn't gone back to work yet, but she feels well enough to feel guilty for not going. We've agreed that she's not going anywhere until she finishes taking the painkillers. Atlanta traffic is exciting enough as it is.

Not much happening in the writing scene as far as returns go. I am writing, however: started working on a new story, and I think it's going pretty well. I've also got a couple ideas for other stories which are interesting. This makes me happy. Real Life(TM) had been very distracting for the last, oh, four months, and I'd gotten bogged down by the mechanics of publication (and my perceived failures). But my attitude has been adjusted, thanks to some good advice I've been reading. It's part of Barry Longyear's Write Stuff web page. Take a look.

At any rate, here's a couple things I've seen over the last week or so that might amuse:

Currently reading: Sabriel by Garth Nix. If you've not heard of him before, Nix is an Australian fantasy writer. This one won't help my overflow situation: it's a loaner from a friend.

January 10, 2002

Interzone, PIF, and Not So Wise Teeth

Today I formally withdrew a story from Interzone (after it languished there for 18 months) and received a e-jection from the assistant editor of Pif Magazine. That one had a similar fate: it disappeared somewhere in the depths of their server, and after ten months of it, I got the chance to resubmit, only to be shot down at 35 days. Oh well. The last of my news is that today Lisa had all four of her wisdom teeth taken out. They've plagued her for years, but no more. She's now resting comfortably on what are no doubt truly excellent painkillers.

January 08, 2002

First Of The Year

Ah, the first return of the year: a "bring out'cher dead" form from Cemetery Dance, clocking in at 427 days. I'd've pulled it a couple weeks ago, except that recent reports on sff.writing.response-times suggested they were finally wading through the slush. Only one left that's seriously overdue. Not too bad; at least I'm not in Ron's shoes.

In more positive news, it looks like the latest issue of Black Gate Magazine is getting ready to appear on newstands, bookstores, comic shops, and mail boxes here and there. Amongst its pages will be my story, "Three Nights in Big Rock City." There's an excerpt up on the mag's web site, so feel free to take a look. My thanks to Mike for pointing it out. I'm also pleased to say I like the accompanying illustrations, done by Brian Hughes. Illustrations are always hit or miss (and there've been times when I've been unhappy), but these I rather like. Phew.

Still keeping up the resolutions, BTW. After having read Riverworld and Other Stories by PJF and Terry's Universe, a tribute anthology to the late editor Terry Carr, I'm now working on Camp Concentration by Tom Disch. Quite good. Even better, I've got more Disch sitting on the shelf to read when I'm done. Mmm...Disch...

January 02, 2002

Buffalo Laughs At Us

Ah, a new year, fresh with portent and fraught with possibility. Or something. I've made some resolutions this year, a few I'll share with you.

  • I will renew my expired-ten-months-ago passport
  • I will travel someplace where I need my passport. Canada will count.
  • I will read more.

That last one may make my wife Lisa laugh (hi Lisa!), but I think it's a reasonable resolution. In the process of moving, I ended up merging my not-yet-read books with the regular collection. Yesterday, in an attempt to make sure I don't overlook them later on, I went through and stuck little pieces of paper in them. Now, looking over the shelves, I can see about a hundred or so flags. Ridiculous, simply ridiculous. Why buy them if I don't read them? So, time to put a few more titles under my belt. Already going well, by the way. Just finished Lucius Shepard's The Jaguar Hunter, and am now starting on Narcissus in Chains, the latest Anita Blake.

(An aside: Looking up, I notice my office has a cobweb in the corner, right above my desk. How long have we been here? Three weeks? Where's that damn broom?)

Finally, we have snow here in Georgia. A reasonable amount (two inches or so, four near the airport). Snow in Atlanta is a big deal, not unlike rain in San Diego. Local news gives it the lead story and many lesser stories, all filling minutes of air time. One of those stories was about how snowy Buffalo and its ten feet of snow is snickering up their sleeves at us for freaking out about this. It's true, Southerners are wimps when it comes to snow, immediately running for bread, milk and toliet paper as soon as the first flake is sighted. But in our defense, we don't have any trucks to scrape the roads and lay down salt/dirt/cat litter. What falls, stays there until it melts. Or in this case tonight, melts a little and then refreezes. Looks pretty, tho'. So, mock all you want Buffalo, but I don't think I'll bother breaking out the snow shovel. Things should be closed tomorrow. Heh heh heh...