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January 30, 2003

Nope From LCRW, And New Damned Annoyance

Today the mail brings a 55 day form rejection from Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet for a couple of poems. And so it goes.

The day job decided to crank up the annoyance factor a teensy bit: I arrived there this afternoon to discover that one of the library staffers has been fired. Yes, fired. From a state job, no less. Anyone who doubts it ever happens, here's proof otherwise (not going into any details, as a) this a public site, b) I don't know both sides, and c) you won't know him anyway so why bother?). So how is this my problem? Well, since we're in a hiring freeze right now, the soonest they can fill this guy's slot is July. And since he worked weekends, they had to split up his shifts among the librarians. I now have to work two Sundays this semester in addition to my three Saturdays. And these aren't concurrent, so I've now got five disrupted weekends. Grr.

I know, I know: in the Grand Scheme of Things, these are extremely small potatoes. Harvested by fleas. Microscopic. Really really really tiny. Nevertheless, I am now vexed.

January 26, 2003

Vive le France

My Tales of the Plush Cthulhu have been translated (with my permission) into French. Check out Les Comtes de Cthulhuche and thrill to such dialogue as:

"Arrêtez, p'luches folles que vous êtes !" cria le Professeur BébéDinoBleu.
In other news, we've been trying pick a color to paint our bedroom. This is done by purchasing small quantities of paint in colors we like and slapping them up on the wall. Then we observe them in various lighting conditions. So far we've tried out Pinfeather, Old World Glow, Plaited Gold, Cranberry Mist, Garnet Rose, and Dignity. The names are the best part: "I'll have a quart of Dignity, please, in an Eggshell finish." However, I think we've finally settled on a color. Rich Purple. It's a big room, so I think we can get away with it. Very exciting.

Recently Saw: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Very, very strange. Strange, but entertaining. Despite Bill O'Reilly's dire predictions, I don't think George Clooney has any particular worries about his career.

Current Reading: Even more Terry Pratchett: Feet of Clay.

January 24, 2003

Another Double Header

Another twofer: a 43 day nope from Playboy (yes, Playboy. They pay well) and a 78 day pass from On Spec (called it clever, but not for them).

Ah, for those of you who expressed admiration for my pen, here's a place where you can get your own. A lot more variations than I thought.

January 20, 2003


A self-portrait, for your amusement. From the Mirror Project. Others may follow.

Recently Read: Letters from Hollywood, Michael Moorcock's letters from Los Angeles, where he lived in the early 1980s. A pleasant change of pace from Nebula entries, I must say. And the pictures are pretty.

January 18, 2003

Double Header

Today, two rejections: a 108 day form from Fantastic, and a 10 day "I'm afraid..." from F&SF.

January 17, 2003


Bought a new game for our PlayStation called War of the Monsters. Remember those old 50's Japanese monster movies, like King Kong vs. Godzilla, Gamera vs. Guillon, or Cthulhu vs. the Dread Smiley Face? (well, maybe not that last one) How about that late 80's arcade game, Rampage? You get the idea. That's this game, only more so. Hee hee.

Oh, no, there goes Tokyo...

Writing news? What writing news? I've got six editors I'm overdue to hear from (three of which are past the current max Black Hole response time). Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a throwdown coming against Congar the Giant Ape on Atomic Island.

January 14, 2003

I Have A New Pen

Yep, it's a new pen. Big day. Yep, yep, yep.

January 11, 2003

Third In Two Days

Today came a 8 day form rejection from the Third Alternative. There must not be much to do in Alaska (home of their U.S. office), as my sub got there and back again in such a short time. Either that, or they knew right away.

Just got back from seeing Chicago. Very well done, I must say. The first musical I've seen in a while where the song and dance numbers didn't disrupt the rhythm of the story.

January 10, 2003

Bounce Once, Twice

Today come not one but two rejections: 35 day form from SciFi.Com and a 64 day short personal letter from Alchemy. Ego shield still rating pretty high, however.

Yesterday the mail brought me my preliminary Nebula ballot, which, I count, contains 26 novels, 8 novellas, 9 novelettes, 13 short stories, and 3 scripts. I've got to mail it back by February 6th. Since I've only read a couple of the novels, I fear this year's voting (in the novel category) will be based chiefly on reviews and the author's reputation. How annoying. I guess fewer and fewer people are writing the short stuff. How sad. At this rate, we're going to have to do like the Mystery Guild of America and start subdividing the novel category, likely between hardbacks and paperbacks. Or maybe by ever narrowing genre categories. I can see it now: first science fiction and fantasy will get their own Nebula, and then it'll get into the various subcategories. Alternate History, Cyberpunk, Space Opera, Hard SF, Sociological SF. Saga (but everyone will call it Big Fat Fantasy), Sword & Sorcery, High Fantasy, Humorous Fantasy. That last one I expect people will start referring to as "The Pratchetts."

Now Reading: Ah, the pressure's really on now. This evening I'm starting another Nebula nominee, Lion's Blood, by Steven Barnes. It's an alternate history where America was colonized by Muslims. Should be interesting.

January 06, 2003

Web Site For Politically Minded Necromancers

Here's a website which I found fascinating: The Political Graveyard, self-described as

"The Internet's Most Comprehensive Source of U.S. Political Biography,
The Web Site That Tells Where the Dead Politicians are Buried."
Good heavens. You can find most everything out on the web.

January 05, 2003

Reason From The Palace

Well, here's the sort of thing every writer longs to hear: a 31 day rejection from the Palace of Reason, saying that they liked the story very much, and during another submission period they almost certainly would have bought it. However, they've already spent their budget for the next issue, and they don't keep stuff on backlog. So they turned it down. Uh huh. Who says timing doesn't count for anything?

Just finished: Divine Intervention, by Ken Wharton. It's on the preliminary Nebula ballot, so I'm working on becoming an informed electorate.
Just started: Robert A. Metzger's Picoverse, also on the ballot (and, at least in the opening sequence, is set in Atlanta, which makes it a little more interesting to me. Then again, Metzger's a local fellow.)

January 03, 2003

Lightspeed Dark Illuminati

Ah, a truly stellar turnaround time: a 1 day friendly e-jection by Dark Illuminati for a trio of poems (too light-hearted, he said. I'll keep that in mind). One thing's for sure, my rejection rate is going rise very quickly, at this rate. Poems add up when you can send in more than one at time.

In another writing note, I urge you, Good Reader, to consider the good fortune of John Scalzi. Not that it's dumb luck; he's very talented (not to mention funny as hell).

January 02, 2003

Space & Time Honors Me

Although not by publishing me. No, they've sent me my first rejections of the year, a 27 day slip for a small batch of poetry (although the editor did write at the bottom that one of them came close, which was sweet of her to say).

And by the way, Night Watch is going along swimmingly. I've not read a lot of Pratchett (only three or four titles), but this might change.

January 01, 2003

Happy New Year. Now Get Back to Work

Well, it had to end sometime. My delightfully extended vacation has come to an end, which means it's back to the Reference & Cataloging Mines for me. Fortunately, the semester doesn't start until the 8th; that should help me to ease back into things. Mind you, I like my day job, but that's in general. I don't like every single thing about it and it's those parts I'm not thrilled about returning to. Oh well. Could be much worse, so I'll shut up about it.

Recent Reads: Well, finally finished Perdido Street Station (which was good in a depressing kind of way), but also Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life (bought with Christmas gift certificates) and Science Fiction of the 20th Century: An Illustrated History (a long delayed birthday gift, but worth the wait, thanks to its pretty pictures). In what I will hope to be an antidote to Perdido, I'm starting on Terry Pratchett's Night Watch.