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April 29, 2003

5:00.06 AM

That's what time Lisa and I woke up this morning to feel the house rumbling. Lisa says, "What the hell's that?"

I respond, "It's either a train," because the GSX railroad line runs relatively close to our neighborhood, "or an earthquake."

Well, turns out it wasn't a train. I know, you West Coast, Pacific Rim, Ring of Fire people are all going, "A 4.9? Oh, please," but still. My first earthquake, and I didn't even have to go to California.

April 26, 2003

No, No, Yes, And No

Let's see: a 50 day form rejection from SciFi.com, an 8 day 'alas' from F&SF, and a sale to Star*Line. My poem "Joint Custody" has been accepted! Whoo! (Mind you, I did send two. They passed on the other. C'est la vie.)

Spent the day painting half the bedroom, then rearranging the furniture. Gonna have to rent some scaffolding to do the other half. We've got some serious ceilings in there. Next weekend.

Currently Reading: Ruled Britannia, by Harry Turtledove. Alternate SF where the Spanish Armada conquered England. Features Shakespeare as the main character. Fun, especially if you're a former English major and a fan of the Bard. Hey, wait, that's me...

April 25, 2003

Picky Vampires

I'm off work today, because I'm working Sunday (ack). So this morning I did something vaguely altruistic and donated platelets at the Red Cross. If you don't know how that works, it basically means they take some blood out of one arm, filter out the platelets, then stick what's left over back in the other arm. In practical terms, this means I now have bandages on both arms rather than just one. But they paid me off with cookies and juice, so that's good enough for me.

In writing news, the Eggplant Literary Productions' Library is online, with a couple contributions from me. I'm very pleased. I especially like the fake book cover for "The Magikal Art." Maybe Tim could fix that for Rio Hondo (well, maybe not).

Recently Read: Backstory, by Robert Parker, another Spenser novel. Pearl the wonder dog has died, but everyone else remains the same.

April 20, 2003

Easy Come, Easy Go

Two emails this morning: the first, telling me that a story I'd submitted to an anthology has made the first cut & could I send them an RTF copy of it? The second, an answer to a query on a considerably overdue poetry sub, told me that they were sorry but they had no record of ever receiving them. So.

I also ate a fair amount of Easter ham today. And there's now more in the fridge, thanks to my mom and some plastic wrap. So, it's all good.

April 19, 2003

Philosopher's Stone Eludes Me Still

An eight day form rejection from Alchemy. This is about what I've come to expect from this market, but I can't stop myself from submitting. His response times are too good.

Had dinner with my in-laws today. Lisa & I also got to see Lisa's sister Lisa J., who's going to grad school at Western Illinois starting in the fall. Iif you're wondering where that is, it's in Macomb, Illinois, about an hour and a half away from any form of civilization. In this case, Peoria). Going to my folks for Easter tomorrow. Also waiting to hear if Tim snagged the Nebula. Even if he doesn't, I'm positive he'll get more chances.

Recently Read: Land of Laughs, by Jonathan Carroll, and now working on the Neal Barrett Jr. collection A Different Vintage.

Later: No joy. The Nebula results. Ah well. I'm disappointed for him, but confident Tim will return.

April 17, 2003

Why, There's No Need For Voodoo Here

Rejections just seem to naturally trickle in on their own. This morning a 38 day pass from Hartman & Co. at Strange Horizons (liked parts of it, but not so keen on the ending concept).

April 16, 2003

It's Summer Fun Cthulhu!

Yep. Summer Fun Cthulhu (seen here with my original Cthulhu for size comparison). It's pretty logical, when you think about it. I mean, Cthulhu does live on an island (albeit sunken). Once the stars are right, he'd probably spend some time on the beach. Straw hat, R'lyehian shirt, bathing shorts, sandals. All he needs is a margarita.

Thanks, Abbie!

Later: Ah, a writing response: a 104 day form rejection from Polyphony 3. Time to start watching the boxes, kids.

April 15, 2003

Nnggghh

Not allergies. It's a cold, a mondogross one straight outta The Stand kinda cold. Doing better today, after having spent the weekend unable to breathe. I missed breathing. It was nice.

There have been other events. Got a two day rejection from Abyss & Apex. Received a gift from a friend, which I'll be happy to share with you tomorrow for no other reason than to make a feeble attempt at building suspense. A hint: he's big, green, unspeakably evil, and ready for the beach.

Kids, I urge you: don't take your lungs for granted. Nng. Going for juice now.

Recently read: Persistence of Vision, a John Varley short story collection.

April 11, 2003

Achoo!

I have a cold. It's also possible it's allergies. Our pollen count is roughly 1,100, or therebouts. Now, a count of 120 is considered Extremely High. I'm not sure what catchy name they give to a count of over 1,000. Pray For Mercy While Your Lungs Fill With Yellow Dust?

Kinda wordy.

Current Reading: The Exploits of Engelbrecht: From the Chronicles of the Surrealist Sportsman's Club, by Maurice Richardson. Freaky, to say the least. Here, check out the first chapter: The Night of the Big Witch Shoot, offered as a PDF from the publisher.

April 08, 2003

Things I Learned In Vegas

  • You'll get neckstrain gawking at the sheer elaborateness of the hotels. Bring aspirin.
  • The hotels are so far apart, you'll also get sore feet. Drive and check the car with the valet.
  • If you rent a bright blue PT Cruiser, after a couple days the hotel valets will start to recognize it, so be sure to tip.
  • The most delicious buffet in town is the Bellagio's.
  • The most expensive buffet in town is also the Bellagio's. It is, however, worth it.
  • The best show in town is the Blue Man Group at the Luxor (according to both me and the local paper).
  • The worst show in town is Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance (according to the review in the local paper. I took their word for it).
  • The Star Trek Experience at the Hilton is only recommended if you're a diehard Trekker.
  • If the hotel you stay at has a crappy check-in system, not only will it take 45 minutes to check in, they're very likely to send someone 'round to pound on your door after midnight to see if your room is occupied.
  • If they do this, when you get up the next morning make sure they comp you for the night.
  • When you gamble in the casinos, the cocktail waitresses will bring you free drinks.
  • The longer you gamble, the more likely you will lose. Especially if you drink.
  • While all cocktail waitresses wear incredibly short skirts, not all of them should.
  • Do not, under any circumstances whatsoever, use the ATM machines in the casinos. Go off the Strip to a real bank.
  • Most every place in Vegas seems to have a few slot machines. Like the convenience stores. And the grocery stores.
  • Dimes are worthless. And the only machines that will take pennies are the stamp machines.
  • If it's too windy out, the Buccaneer Bay pirate show at Treasure Island will be cancelled, for fear of setting the wrong thing on fire. Like the actors.
  • Remember that old episode of Friends where they go to Vegas and run into Joey working at Caesar's Palace? They didn't film that there. Also, no one will wish you a togarrific time.
  • Don't miss the free light show off Fremont Street, in Old Las Vegas. Better yet, it's been converted into a pedestrian walkway, so you don't have to worry about getting run over while you stand there gawking at it.
  • There's a really cool used bookstore in town called the Book Magician. Go there. After all, you'll need something to read on the plane home. It does not have any slot machines, but it does have a cat named Hamlet.
  • If you have the time and a rental car, drive around. We drove up to Zion National Park in Utah (passing through Arizona on the way) one day, and over to California to pass near both the Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley.
  • If you do travel outside of town, bring water. And gas up the car first.
  • You can have an excellent time in Las Vegas without ever gambling. But why?
In other news, upon our return the mail held a 10 day form rejection from Alchemy (with personal comments added below), as well as payment & my signed copy of the contract for my contributions to Eggplant Literary Productions' Library. Email also had an email telling me I'd sold a poem to the Unspeakable Scifaiku poetry storybook coming from Sam's Dot Publishing in July. Also 42 junk emails.

Recently read (on the plane): Ithanalin's Restoration, by Lawrence Watt-Evans; The Paths of the Dead, by Steven Brust (who is now living in Vegas, by the way, and is listed in the phone book); and Golden Cities, Far, an anthology of classic myth & legend.

April 07, 2003

Leaving Las Vegas

We're back. More details later. Very sleepy.

April 01, 2003

Hero

Capt. Chris Carter, making the news in a good way.