Sunday, February 19, 2006

it finally feels real

Friday I recieved payment and a contract for the anthology story. Contract says it'll be published by DAW books in 2007. Yippeeeeeee! The check is just gravy. I almost want to frame it instead of cash it. Almost. I'll keep a photocopy, probably. I'm sure that's a crime of some sort but I don't care. In celebration of my first writing sale and my 31st birthday (which is today), Ken and I are buying a digital camera. Finally entering the 21st century. Ken is usually such a techie-geek with computers and gaming, you'd think we'd already have one. He's camera-shy, though, and so it's never been a priority for him. He's willing to make the concession, though, since I've made a sale.

I feel pretty good, having sold a story. But it also makes me think of how far I have to go to reach my writing goals. One story is basically nothing--lots of people sell a story and then you never hear from them again--but I want more than that. I want hundred, thousands, millions of people to read my books. I want to touch them, entertain them, open their eyes to other worlds with my words. This sale is the first step of about a thousand more I have to make. I feel a little intimidated by that.

This post turned out to be a little more philosophical than I intended. Maybe it's because I turn 31 today. For me, turning 26 was a lot harder than turning 25--I was suddenly in my late 20's, not mid-20's--and 31 is proving to be the same. I'm in my 30's now, not just on the cusp.

Last night I hosted a girl's night poker party. Two old friends and two new friends attended, and it was a blast. Three of the people had never played poker, so it was fun to teach them. I won, but the three newbies did really well considering it was their first time. One of the old friends is moving to California in a month, and I'm a little sad by it. I'm just going to miss her so fucking much. She's one of only a few people who knows I've sold a story. (For some reason I'm not shouting it from the rooftops. Don't ask me why. Maybe I'm reserving that for when I have an actual book in my hands.) Have to make the most of the time we have left. Sounds like she's dying, doesn't it? Maybe I'm being a little melodramatic. That seems to be the theme of the day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Ken surprised me for Valentine's day by skipping class and cooking dinner. Salmon, corn, rolls, and candy apples for dessert. I especially liked the salmon--I've recently read "Fast Food Nation" and I feel guilty if I eat meat. They didn't really talk about the horrible fish conditions in the book, though, so salmon's still golden. Looks like I'll be getting my protein from fish, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and nuts for awhile. This goes perfectly with my goal to lose fifteen pounds. Spring is just around the corner and I'm excited to start working out outdoors on a regular basis again.

I have to write a paragraph bio about myself. It'll go at the end of my story in the book. Here's what I'm thinking so far:

Kelly X is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist by day and a writer by night. She and her husband, Ken, support a home and four cats in Illinois. She never wears earrings. This is her first published story.

I'll work with it over the next few days or so. It's tricky to be witty and informative at once.

I've got the beginnings of my wizard book in my mind. I'm hoping to start chapter one tomorrow. It's tough to find the motivation, sometimes. I've written three books that are basically going to wither and die in the proverbial drawer, so it's hard to start a new one when it could go nowhere, too. I'm trying to think of it like this: those books were practice, and even if they never see print, they made me the writer I am now. I couldn't write the stories I've written lately if I hadn't written those books. Those books will make the next book I write better.

I'm doing a fabulous job pumping myself up. I'm stoked to start on my book tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

doin' the cabbage patch

So I e-mailed my story off yesterday. I got an e-mail back today, and the first words were, "Great story, smoothly written."


My editor changed a few words here and there, added a sentence or two to make things clearer, and told me to think of a better ending sentence. I thought of one, zipped it off to her, and now it's time to boogie. I'm in the best fucking mood ever. Now it's on to the next thing ...

... which automatically brings me down a peg or three. I need to start my wizard book. Starting is always the hardest part for me--all those possibilities, which one to use?--but dammit, it needs to be done. So maybe no celebrating tonight.

Now I have writer insecurity. Shit.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Poker night

Ken and I hosted a poker night last night. I lost most of my money in one hand--I had a K-6, the board had two sixes, I thought I was golden, but I ended up losing to a friend that had A-6, the bastard--and I was out within the first hour. I won the last time we played, so I suppose I was due.

Tomorrow I'm going to send off my story to the anthology editor. I have no idea what to expect. In one fantasy she showers me with compliments and tells me how much she loves it and she's not changing a word, and in the other she tells me that clearly her invitation was a terrible mistake and to go back to english class. The reality will probably be somewhere in the middle--"It's good, but let's change x, y, and z"--but that doesn't stop my insides from churning.