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March 31, 2002

See It Again, Sam

Nothing to report, except that Lord of the Rings fans might want to go see Fellowship again. Aside from the fact that it's still a fabulous movie, they're now showing the trailer for The Two Towers (albeit at the end of the film).

March 27, 2002

Attempts To Build Better Habits

This morning I got a five month emailed form rejection from the anthology The Mammoth Book of Road Stories. I'm not complaining. Some anthologies you submit to, you never hear back from, ever (I shall resist the temptation to name names).

In other news, we've got our travel arrangements all squared away. Plane tickets bought and hotels/rental car/ferries slots all reserved (yes, we're taking the Washington-Victoria ferry as well as the Victoria-Vancouver, and we're bringing our rental car. hence the making of reservations). To prepare for all the shlepping about we'll be doing on this trip, I've started walking more. Gave up using the elevator at work, and Lisa & I are taking walks in the evening. Build up the leg bones.

Also, in an attempt to build better writing habits, I'm going to be participating in the April Hour-A-Day Writing Dare, along with others in the NAW. The name says it all: write for an hour a day every day in April. 'Bout time I built some decent work habits. Let's see how I actually do...

Reading: Actually, I'm now working my way through a year's worth of Realms of Fantasy. They've been piling up, so it's time to take stock of the market.

March 23, 2002

Strange Horizons Pass On Poems

A 25 day pass from Strange Horizons on a batch of haiku I'd sent them.

March 20, 2002

Not One But Two!

Whoo, the email brings to me rejections from Black Gate (@ 145 days) and The Edge (@ 7 days). Gosh, who says technology isn't wonderful?

Aah, I don't mind, really, 'cuz today Lisa and I made firm vacation plans: this summer we're goin' to Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, and all them other-type Pacific Northwesty places. A week's vacation to strange (to us) & distant (2673 miles away) lands. And we have to go, 'cuz we already bought the plane tickets. Ah, our first vacation trip together where no one else comes along...how nice. I believe the last such vacation was our honeymoon, all those years ago. At any rate, it's long overdue.

This also means that I'll fullfill my last New Year's Resolution: using my newly renewed passport. I understand the U.S.-Canada border is now much tighter than in Days of Yore, thanks to September 11th, so I'll have to use it. Ha! (Hmm, all resolutions completed by March. Perhaps my standards were too low).

What I'm reading now: Finished Black House. Since then I've completed a vintage anthology called Weird Shadows From Beyond, and have now started the latest Robert Parker novel Widow's Walk. Spenser novels are quick reads, but always enjoyable.

March 16, 2002

Strangely No

A 71 day rejection from Strange Horizons. Very close - thought it interesting, well done, good narrative voice, etc - but still passed on it. Not close enough, I guess. Hmm.

I'm currently painting our downstairs bathroom. OK, not this moment (taking a break between coats). It's very blue. This is a bit startling to me, who grew up in a white walled house for the most part. I like it, I think. It's called Sounion Bay. All we need now is a stencil of the Temple of Poseidon on one wall, and we'll be in business.

March 15, 2002

The Horror, The Horror

A 65 day rejection from Horror Garage. Assistant editor must be slowing down; she kept it a lot longer than the Black Hole average, but apparentally never sent it on to Guran. Ah well.

My days of tech supporting are now over. Pretty interesting over all - one of the presenters was Bob Stein of Night Kitchen software. Night Kitchen makes an authoring tool designed for writers (little shameless jargon blend, there). In other words, it's for folks interested in making eBooks but don't want to have to either a) rely on the programmers of a publishing company to bring their vision to life, or b) learn a more complicated authoring tool like Macromedia Director. Program looks intriguing (some useful functionality built in), and the company has an interesting purchasing technique: the program is relatively cheap ($60 or so), but it's subscription-based. That $60 gets you the right to use it for a year. That sounds like a rip, except when one considers how quickly things go out of date in the Computer Lands. Then again, there's also a free 30 day trial. Take a look, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

March 14, 2002

You Can Call Me Al

After returning home from a 14-hour day of tech supporting at the university's eBooks Conference (and I have to do it again tomorrow, oh joy of joys!), Lisa shows me that our house purchase has appeared in the local paper. Lisa's first on the mortgage ('cuz she makes the big bucks), so she's listed. After that, all it says is "et al."

I must remember to check my birth certificate again. Obviously my mom

forgot to tell me something. Seriously, why they can't bother to list my name as well is beyond me. Ah well. That just means all the mortgage related junk mail we'll be soon getting will just have her name on it. What fun (hi sweetie!).

In other news, I see that TangentOnline has reviewed Black Gate #3. If you're not familiar with Tangent, it's a subscription site, but they do let you see older reviews for free; this one being fresh, access is restricted. I can quote without fear, however, that they call my story "lighthearted and charming," as well as "Lots of fun."

March 13, 2002

Early Morning Miss

And a quick check of the email this morning reveals a 68 day personal rejection from Speculon. He liked some aspects and disliked others (and that's as specific as I'm getting this fine morning).

March 12, 2002

High But Not Hooked Up

Today, an eleven day e-jection from Full Unit Hookup, for a story I'm very fond of, but have yet to sell. Dangnabit. Other than that, all that's going on is that we had to have the downstairs bathroom hardwood floor replaced, as it wasn't level and was making the toilet rock. Nothing worse than a rocking toliet. Next thing you know, they're mixing with the wrong crowd and dropping out of college. Fortunately, it's all covered under the new home warranty. Unfortunately, the glue fumes are making me lightheaded, and not in a good way.

Now reading: actually, trying to decide between the King-Straub book Black House and Robinson's Years of Rice and Salt (or is that the other way round?). Actually, I see Lisa's grabbed the Robinson book, so Black House it is!

March 09, 2002

No Third Alternative

Today a swift 8 day form rejection from The Third Alternative (actually, they were my tenth alternative for this story. Don't tell, OK?).

Today my reading is finishing up the Darrell Schweitzer Nightscapes collection. Pretty good, I think, and pretty creepy, although the last few stories in it have all been Arthurian tales. Gives it a slightly repetitive feel. Gotta go, as it sounds like it's about to rain.

March 04, 2002

Pre-Rejected Rejection And Resolutions

Today the mail brought a painful reminder of why it is very important to keep good records. About a month (or two) ago I packaged up a bunch of stories to submit, including one to Absolute Magnitude. After I'd already taken them to the Post Office did I discover that Absolute Magnitude had already rejected it three months prior. I sent an email to Warren apologizing and asking him to chuck it. They say he gets a lot of email (on all sorts of things, not just idjits like me), so he must've missed it; got a form rejection from him today. Sigh.

In other news, I got my new passport in the mail! Yay! Now I can go on exotic vacations with Lisa, or flee the country if necessary (always be prepared). I'm glad to have a new passport. My old photo got some strange looks from customs agents (lots of look at me, look at the photo, back to me then photo, etc.). Just have a look. This is also roughly how I looked when I met my future in-laws for the first time. I'm surprised they even made eye contact.

Later: Hah! Good news by email! Tim Pratt has accepted two of my poems ("Cut Down the Night," and "Speciation for the New Millenium") for publication in Star*Line, the SFPA's poetry magazine. Oh, very excellent (He also passed on the other three. I choose not to focus on that).

March 01, 2002

No Glimmering

Glimmer Train reports back at 56 days, almost exactly their average score at the Black Hole. Huzzah for clockwork.

It's now March 1st. This is a good thing, because it is now spring break at dear old GrowingGrowingU and it should therefore be very quiet at the library next week. I hope. In final news, Lisa ultimately decided against changing her job at Orangeland. The reasons are many, but I won't bother sharing them (unless anyone asks). I will, however, post a haiku she wrote many months ago:

The shrimp are smelly

I think they might be spoiled

I will not eat them.
>We were at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse at the time, and she was referring to my shrimp cocktail. Even so, it feels oddly appropriate here.