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April 30, 2004

Naturally

Had today off, since tomorrow I'll be working what'll undoubtedly prove to be one of the quietest Saturdays of the semester. So what did I do with my free time? Why, I finished painting the bedroom. Folks who have set foot in our home and observant readers may remember when we started painting it. Yes, that's right. We're very very slow.

Here: a picture of Robosaurus eating a car.

April 28, 2004

Snuck Up On Me

Here I was, not paying attention, and it turns out today's the last day of classes. This explains the people really anxious to get their papers to print.

For those Angel fans who hadn't heard (I hadn't, until Jason pointed it out), Charisma Carpenter has posed nude for Playboy (link goes to Fleshbot, which looks semi-safe for work). I have to say, I'm a little surprised. Does she need the money? Or the, ahem, exposure? I wouldn't have thought so, but I wouldn't have thought the WB would cancel Angel, either.

And via Mr. Gaiman, a cartoon for you novel-writing types out there.

Currently Reading: Jim Munroe's Angry Young Spaceman.

April 26, 2004

Solo

All alone tonight, as Lisa was forced by her cruel masters to fly to Tampa for work. She'll be back tomorrow night, so it could've been worse, I suppose. As for me, I'm left to contemplate the morning rain and find some source of amusement. Something'll come to me, I'm sure of it.

Reading Matter, Current: Gun, With Occasional Music, the first novel by Jonathan Lethem. It's good, but there's one fairly serious problem with it. Basic premise, if you're unfamilar with it: it's a noir mystery added to a Phil Dick world, then blended at frappé. Here's the deal. Lethem's adopted the POV and language of a Raymond Chandler-esque PI, which includes interesting metaphors to describe the character's mental state, physical surroundings, and events as they unfold. Problem is, the character is also in a world populated with evolved animals, where people can't ask direct questions, everyone has a literal karma balance, and other deviations from now. As a result, when he uses some freaky metaphor to describe something, it's sometimes hard to tell if this is happening literally or figuratively. As a result, I keep getting tossed out of the book. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Reading Matter, Recent: Over the weekend, Everything's Eventual, the most recent King short fiction collection. I've got another problem with this one, but it's not literary. I bought it used from our library (fringe benefit in action) and it's quite banged up. Broken spine and so forth. Which is fine, since I don't require used books to be pristine. However, I do have a problem with the fact that it looks like someone wiped his nose on one of the pages. Lisa suggested maybe it's just spilled food. I think not. For one thing, it'd have to be split pea soup. And for another, they did it right on the opening page of "The Road Virus Heads North." Gaah.

April 24, 2004

Insert Catchy Entry Title Here

An eight day rejection from JJA at Fantasy & Science Fiction, Magazine of.

It's a lazy weekend so far. Most memorable activities have included going to the movies (Hellboy! The Boy from Hell!) and having cold pizza and a beer while watching the Braves battle it out with the Marlins. Quite the plebian, I am.

Currently Reading: The Sundering, Walter Jon Williams's second volume in his space opera saga Dread Empire's Fall.

April 22, 2004

"Write Prose, Live Longer"

Might be time to cut back on the poetry. According to a recent study, poets die younger than any other type of writer. Poets die, on average, four years before novelists, and nonfiction writers live the longest. Frankly, I can't say I'm surprised, with this guy considered the classic role model.

Warning: Librarian Moment: I hate to say it, but the article's got the name of the journal wrong. It's not "Journal of Death Studies," it's just plain old "Death Studies." They might be thinking of "Journal of Near-Death Studies," but ironically enough, they stopped publishing last year.

Recently Read: the concluding issue of Gaiman's 1602. I also thought the President For Life was supposed to be George Bush. Guess not.

April 20, 2004

Yep And Yep

You are Slackware Linux. You are the brightest among your peers, but are often mistaken as insane. Your elegant solutions to problems often take a little longer, but require much less effort to complete.
Which OS are You?

Also: Nick Mamatas provides helpful advice to college freshmen that makes my heart swell with pride. From your lips to the state budgetary committee's ears, baby. Er, or fingertips to eyes.

April 19, 2004

Doesn't He Ever Shut Up About That Damn Garden?

Well, no. Sixteen weeks in and no sales yet. What else am I going to talk about?

Now, we really do need a lot more plants. A lot more, demonstrated by exhibit a: the panorama view. It's less obvious in the slightly arty long view, which also features the cats' chief entertainment: the birdfeeder. That's one of those Yankee Flipper models, designed to fling squirrels great distances for having the temerity to want food, the greedy bastards. Sadly, we've never seen ours in action, as we don't have any trees to speak of. Well, we've got a couple. They're pretty wee. Far too small to support squirrels. The one in the front yard has always looked particularly lonely, so we've given him some buddies, a small army of snapdragons, to inspire with his height.

April 18, 2004

Two Weeks Later

Remember when I crowed with pride about our completed flowerbed? Well, at the time I glossed over the detail that we'd actually laid out edging for two, count 'em, two flowerbeds. However, we'd only had enough dirt for the first. Which meant, yes, you guessed it. More garden work this weekend: bags and bags and bags of dirt, followed by peat moss, flowers, bushes, mulch, watering, and then a long, long, long shower. It looks nice, but still needs some more plants. For those who care, there'll be pictures tomorrow, as by the time we finished we'd lost the light, as the film geeks say. Plus there's no way I would touch the camera with these mud-caked claws.

And if all this talk of manual labor puts you off, I'll have you know I've put in some more time on the keyboard. But writing about my writing bores me, so that's all I'll say.

Currently Reading: The Whispers From The Cotton Tree Root anthology. It's FAB-ulist. Plus, it's got a story in it by this guy.

April 16, 2004

Put A Smile On Your Face

All right, so I didn't make it to the post office yesterday. Couldn't bear to face the wall o' humanity, trying to meet the deadline. This is why I file electronically and do it two months in advance (ok, that's because I usually get a refund). But my subs got mailed this afternoon and now I feel quite cheerful. After all, the sun is shining, birds are singing, there's a cool breeze coming from the west, and if you hadn't heard, Greg built himself an ICBM (that's InterContinental Beer Missile) and launched it inside his apartment. His Lisa provides an alternate view of the event.

Also, via to Mr. Scalzi's AOL incarnation, someone's remarks regarding someone else's curious view on how well-written SF probably doesn't count as SF. To which I say: excusez-moi? If you've spent any time in SF, you've heard this all before. But if nothing else, some writers are mentioned worth looking out for.

Oh, and this is also pretty damned funny (yes, literally).

April 14, 2004

Better

All right, I'm better. Decisions made, so manuscripts will be printed & addressed & SASEd & sent into battle tomorrow morning. Not that April 15th is the best day to visit the post office, of course. Which reminds me: done your taxes yet?

About To Start Reading: Kim Newman's The Bloody Red Baron. Very excited about this. When I was young I wanted to grow up to be a World War I flying ace. Hey, it's not any more unlikely than wanting to be a intergalactic star pilot or a hedge knight or a dragonrider.

April 13, 2004

Stupid Unperfect World

I've got a number of stories hanging about the place that need to be submitted somewhere or shoved in the electronic drawer. And they've either been to lots of different venues, or been to very few (one or none). Grumble. It's not the mechanics of submission that annoy me, it's the decision making process.

Bah. I'm going to go fold some laundry instead. I'm obviously not in a mood to think about it objectively.

April 11, 2004

Hippity Hoppity

Off to have Easter ham baked chicken with the family unit. Be good.

Currently Reading: David Brin's Kiln People.

April 09, 2004

Shot Down

Rejection letter from the All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories antho, clocked at an even 50 days. I am sad. It was a lovely rejection letter. But still. I am sad.

However, I don't think I'll remain sad all day. By a happy coincidence, Lisa and I are going tonight to see the traveling production of The Producers. If a musical comedy about the production of a musical comedy about Adolf Hitler can't cheer me up, then I am screwed, well and truly.

Update: I was right. That was fabulous.

April 08, 2004

A Little Less

You may remember back at the beginning of the year I posted that I had given up sweet tea. Amazingly enuf, it stuck. I now drink it unsweetened. Yes, without any sugar or artificial sweeteners, period (if you're curious, that took about three weeks to get used to. Gaah.)

I also gave up regular coke, which means all coke, since diet coke is the devil's mouthwash. We also stopped eating fast food regularly, or even semi-regularly. That's been hard just because shopping and cooking is a pain. As if you didn't already know that. Now, I'd be lying if I said "never had it," since we had Krystal's last night (the southern White Castle), but that was only the second time in the last three months. I made no changes in terms of exercise, except I now take the stairs at work (my office is on the third floor).

At any rate, it's been a few months and I thought I should report. I've lost about twelve pounds.

April 05, 2004

Random Goodness

It's not every day one of my coworkers knocks on my door and offers me a lightly used HP color printer. Especially since when I hadn't asked for one. Now, I know she didn't want to bother with hauling it downstairs and my office was right there, but still. Now my office is rich with color printerly goodness.

Here's a shirt I'm going to have to buy soon, if only for the stares it will bring. For they will be reminded to go to the dentist.

Oh, some actual writing news. Where'd I put that? Oh, yes. In a response to a query, I learn:

"[H. P. Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror is] not accepting any new submissions for the foreseeable future."
Fine, that last is neither random nor good. Details, details, sayz I.

April 04, 2004

Completion (For Now)

Well, somewhere along the line the small castle turned into a flowerbed. I know, I know. I'm disappointed too. Still, it turned out pretty nice, even if we didn't have nearly enough dirt for around the back of the place (more trips to Home Depot in my future, naturally). We need a few more bricks, too, so maybe I could get some extra and put in a guard tower at the end. Hmm.

I also hurt in a number of places that I had no idea I could hurt. Advil, for the love of God!

Reading: Still working on Devil in White City (good and creepy), but did pause long enough to read Joss Whedon's graphic novel Fray. Yes, you're right, Jenn. Truly it did rule.

April 02, 2004

Anticipation

Currently I'm sitting at the house, idly extending my lunch hour (easy to do on a Friday). Why? To await the delivery of approximately 1 and half tons of edging stones and three quarters of a ton of dirt. Yes, that's right: tons. Guess what we're doing this weekend?

That's right, we're building a fort in the backyard. Dirt for the rampartworks, stone for the walls. It'll be great! After that I can finally get started on the catapult and not have to worry about the neighbors torching it. Block my view, will they? We'll see about that!

April 01, 2004

Fire Up The Electrified Fooling Machine

True, it's not as subtle as it could've been. But the overall effect is pretty nice, don't you think?

Update: Right. That's enough of that.

Currently Reading: The Devil in the White City, the book Laura gave George last year! Wonder if he's read it yet?