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January 31, 2005

To Which I Say, Huzzah!

It's good news for Toby, who sold his second book to TOR! Huzzah! Whoo! And so on!

Also, stumbled across this link today, while looking at something else:

A stillframe photo sequence of how a tentacled Lovecraftian horror seizes its prey. Ouch.

January 30, 2005

Assessment

It appears that (according to our crack diagnosis) Lisa's got strep throat. Symptoms match up nicely. So it's another day of bed rest and cold juices for her, at least until we can get her some delicious antibiotics.

Been digging through a couple notebooks I carry, looking for stories I've started, usually while sitting at the reference desk waiting for a question. Found quite a few, as well as a couple short-shorts. And here I thought I hadn't written that much lately.

The notebooks are just about full, which means it's time for a new one. A friend of mine gave me one for my birthday that I rather like. Five hundred pages of legal sized paper in hardback form. It's chief flaw is that the thing is gigantic. Weighs five pounds minimum, so it's not terribly portable. Altho' it would be excellent for self-defense. Hmm. Wonder if there's such a thing as accountant kung fu?

Things are thawing nicely out there. Which is good, because we need more juice. And straws.

January 29, 2005

Save The Weekend For Later

I awoke this morning to find that all of outside - the mailbox, the sidewalk, the streets, the morning paper, the neighbor's dog - has been coated in Clear Protective Ice™, doubtless to keep it fresh for later. How thoughtful of Mother Nature.

At any rate, I'm not going anywhere today. I plan to spend it eating Oreos™. Well, not all of it. There's also short stories to rewrite, markets to find, manuscripts to send out (by email, naturally), and that nap isn't going to take itself.

January 27, 2005

Good Times

A 9 day rejection from F&SF, signed by His GVGness (second time in a row). Made personal comments and still managed to squeeze in an alas. I'm so happy.

Lisa came home early today, poor lass, complaining of a sore throat and exhaustion extreme. She mentioned the plague's been going around her office. To which I say, o joy.

And look! Hieronymus Bosch action figures! Recreate his surrealistic visions in the privacy of your own home.

Reading: A friend of mine from work (Hi Cheryl!) loaned me her copy of Christopher Priest's The Prestige. I'm not overly familar with his work, although I have read some stuff - the extremely trippy The Inverted World. And while I do have a pile of other books to read, it seems only polite to me to put books I've borrowed on top of it.

January 26, 2005

The Literalness Of Machine Thought

Inspired by my earlier error message of doom, the file of my latest story I'd been working on got corrupted, devouring the first page in line after line of nonsensical characters. My backup, as well. Forced me to go with my original file of about ten months prior. Mind you, the opening hadn't changed that much, but it's damned aggravating.

Soundly but soundlessly I curse my computer; can't let it know I'm on to it.

January 25, 2005

Lucky Thirteen

I finally remembered it today, because I'm an easily distracted doofus: the new ish of Abyss & Apex is out, er up, with my story "Erin and the Dinosaurs." See if you can spot my shameless Tuckerisms.

Also, a story for aspiring novelists: young wanna-be working in Random House's mailroom impresses senior editor at office christmas party, gets two novel deal & five figure advance based on first three chapters of first book, but still keeps his job in the mailroom. Now the mailrooms of publishers everywhere will be flooded with hungry young wordsmiths, hoping to buttonhole some unsuspecting editor when they drop off their mail.

January 24, 2005

Definition Of Terms

A swift personal no from the Magazine of Speculative Fiction Poetry. In this case, swift means 11 days, personal means it included best winter wishes since it probably isn't below zero where I am, as opposed to Wisconsin. Quite correct: it isn't. Although it was 14 degrees when I woke up this morning, which is a bit colder than I like it when there's no snow on the ground.

Here: a link to a preview of a new flick: Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride. Done in the same style as A Nightmare Before Christmas.

January 23, 2005

An Error Message I Hope To Never See



Shudder. Build your own message of terror.

Annoyingly cold outside today. So I'll be inside. Refute that logic, if you will.

Reading: Was: Four for Tomorrow, by Roger Zelazny. Soon to be: Novelties & Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction, by John Crowley.

January 21, 2005

Taken As Implied

A ten day short personal rejection from Ideomancer, stating they're not looking for humor, not even wonderfully brilliant humor by yours truly.

No, they didn't actually say that last part. But I could tell. Yep.

Reading: 334, by Thomas Disch.

January 19, 2005

Stories Of Cities Of Ivory And Gold

Exchanged emails today with one of the associate editors of Abyss & Apex. If all goes well, the January/February ish should go live with my story "Erin and the Dinosaurs" sometime in the next couple of days. Whoo!

We bought a blender this past weekend, and since then have been enjoying the manufacture and drinking of smoothies. A cheap & delicious thrill. Tonight: chocolate banana! Sweet!

And I worked late at the library tonight. Not my usual night, but one of my coworkers wanted to switch. And as result, I was on hand when the art gallery on the bottom floor had the opening of their new exhibit. It was catered, providing all sorts of deliciousness to anyone who came by, including reference librarians whose dinners were back in the past by that point. Mmm, cater.

Reading: Back on the Pratchett, which is like wonderfully soothing crack to me in these cold wintery months. The Colour of Magic and the immediate sequel The Light Fantastic. God help me if I run out anytime soon.

January 15, 2005

All The Live Long Day

My first rejection came yesterday, or rather, didn't. In answer to a query on a trio of poems to a market I shall not name, I was told that the editor had rejected them by email sometime in the non-specific past by email. The rejection never darkened my inbox, unfortunately. Which is fine. It happens. Email ain't foolproof in this spamware world...

...except I'd just spent six months time on this same publisher, waiting to hear from two previous attempts at submitting these same two poems, submissions that had never arrived. My queries arrive after the fact, yes, but not the poems. Huh. Methinks someone's spam filters are on a bit too tight. Grumble.

Oh, and my iPod appears to have had a stroke. All attempts at resetting it manually have failed. I must now wait to until the battery runs out to see if that will take care of it. Grumble, grumble.

Glad it's a three-day weekend, as now I can sit about and mutter to myself. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Reading: Trampoline, edited by Kelly Link. It's good, all right, but: I'm starting to think, if this anthology is considered a baseline for plotless style monkey stories, then a requirement is "overall message of the story must bum out the reader." I'm only halfway through, of course. And it may just be my mood.

Update: The pod has righted itself. Thankfully.

January 13, 2005

Get Back Out There

Spent the morning packaging various manuscripts that'd built up at the end of the year. Nothing worse than a short story sitting around the place, not earning its keep. Next thing you know, it's freebasing adverbs and prank calling Robert Hartwell Fiske. Shudder. But they're all gone now, sent away to knock on doors of various editors. The lucky dogs.

Reading: John Scalzi's Old Man's War. Enjoying it quite a bit. Space opera both amusing and gruesome in turns. Just like real life. Well, except there aren't that many alien species trying to kill us. Two, tops.

January 10, 2005

Time To Call It

Has there been any consensus on what to call this decade? You'd think a team of marketing geeks would've already managed to engrave it into our frontal lobes, but no, seems not. Capitalism is asleep at the switch here, so it's our best chance to do it ourselves. Last century it was the Noughts, as in "Nought-five." Lisa suggested the Zips, and I agree. The Zips. As in, "zero, zilch, zip." Perfect. Now that this term is out on the Interweb, I expect it to be circulated wide and far by next week. Hop to it, little moondoggies.

The new question of the semester, to be added to the classics of "Where's printer A?", "Can I type on these computers?", and "Fine, then can I borrow a pencil?", seems to be "How can I get my laptop to connect to the wireless network?" Time, she do march on.

Reading: A plethora o'books. Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season, by Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King. Recommended if you're a fan of King, O'Nan, the Red Sox, baseball (except Yankee fans), or hopeless causes. Also, Graphic Classics: H. P. Lovecraft. Like Classics Illustrated, only instead of Moby Dick or Huckleberry Finn, it's got eldritch nightmare gods. And now C. L. Moore's Judgement Night: Stories.

January 07, 2005

Sinner

I have not read Frank Miller's Sin City. But after seeing the trailer to the forthcoming movie version I was interested to learn that Mr. Miller was involved in its making (IMDB gives him writer, producer and director creds).

The thing just looks like a live action comic, much more so than any other movie. I think only Dick Tracy approached it previously. This should be interesting to watch. Besides, it's got little Rory Gilmore in it, all grown up and trying to toss off her good girl image.

Reading: G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday. Anarchists. Wasn't expecting those.

January 06, 2005

Podfeed

The kiddies come back tomorrow. But it's a Friday, so I can still wear jeans. All good.

So I find myself looking for interesting new music to play on the 'pod. Not that I particularly want to become an indie rock fan (or even fake being an indie rock fan), but I do want more variety. More, I tells ya! Now, I've stumbled into some interesting bands from other people's websites, like the Black Keys, the Speeds, Jonathon Coulton, Yo La Tengo, and (thanks to Tim) Rilo Kiley, and it's amazing what you'll come across if you just keep poking around on the interwebthing. But still. It shouldn't be this hard to find something new.

Damn you, commercial radio! Damn you! (shakes fist at sky where radio waves dwell, when not relaxing in their palace on the moon)

January 04, 2005

What My iPod Has Taught Me

Nothing else makes people want to start talking to you than listening to the pod. Out in the library or sitting in your office, someone will tap on your shoulder or knock on your door. If I'm ever stranded in the middle of the desert, all I'll need to do is put on my headphones and five minutes later someone will be trying to talk to me.

Reading: As predicted, first The Last Hero, by Terry Pratchett, and now Everyone in Silico, by Jim Munroe.

January 01, 2005

And Welcome To Day One

Hmm. So far, this year looks a lot like last year. But it's still early. I'll wait.

Burned off most of our gift cards today, as we enjoyed a frenzy of shopportunities. Mostly DVDs, I must confess, but I did get a couple books: Everyone in Silico, by Jim Munroe and The Last Hero, by Terry Pratchett. There's something mildly satisfying about walking out of a store with a bag of stuff that didn't cost you a dime without having to worry about store security coming after you.

Oh, if you're in need of a new calendar and haven't gotten around to getting one yet, let me suggest the Website at the End of the Universe's Free Science Fiction Calendar for 2005. PDF file, and you'll need a color printer to get the most out of it, but still.

Reading: the amusing Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, by Lynne Truss. Very British, very amusing (er, if you like that sort of thing).