Friday, September 29, 2006


Yet another weekend that I won't get much writing done. My mother and her husband are coming in town, which means I'll have to clean, cook, and entertain them. Yech. Ken's going to do homework all day on Sunday, so hopefully I can get a massive amount of work done then. I'm starting to panic a bit. I have a month to finish my book and write a short story to submit to an open-call anthology. Aaaarrggghh.

Just finished reading So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld. He's a big YA author; his work leans towards the fantastical. After reading So Yesterday, I felt better about my writing. When I finished, I thought, "Huh, my stuff is almost as good as that. Maybe even just as good as that."

Monday, September 25, 2006

Method acting

A very secret dream of mine (okay, not so secret, now) is to be an actor or a director. It's something I'll never pursue unless I audition for a part in a local play or something. Every time I think about it though, like when I watch a kick-ass movie or a cool scene in a T.V. show, I think of how similar writing is to acting and directing. We're all storytellers working with different mediums. Writers work with words, actors with their bodies and props, directors with actors, locations, and sets. It's a point I've brought up in past posts, I know, but the more I think about it the more similar I think the professions are. Perhaps this explains why my two favorite hobbies are reading and watching T.V./movies, and my favorite magazine is Entertainment Weekly, which combines the two. The argument could be made that everyone watches movies/T.V. ... but not everyone reads.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

post 101

I've officially posted over 100 times! Isn't that exciting?

In less exciting news, Strange Horizons just rejected "Last Man Standing." Bah. I also found out that a local weekly I had submitted a few shorts to is folding, so I guess those stories are up for grabs again. It's all good, though. Tomorrow I'll search for another market for "Last Man Standing" and send it out on Monday. Somebody'll pick this thing up. Also on Monday, I'm sending out a short story I wrote this past July entitled "Mark of a Woman." Fingers crossed.

Then I'll have two stories and my first book under consideration, and I'll be working on my fourth book ... it all sounds way more impressive than it feels. It feels like I'm a poser looking to catch an editor unaware. I look like a writer trying to break into the profession. Fake it 'till you make it, you know.

Friday, September 22, 2006

favorite childhood toy

A few days ago Wil Wheaton posted a question on his blog: if you had to pick one toy that defined your childhood, what would it be? As I thought about it I rejected most of the toys that popped into my head--Rainbow Bright, Strawberry Shortcake and her crew, Barbie, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Rubik's cube, Atari--and settled on something that couldn't be bought in a store. The house I spent my early childhood years in had a patch of dirt just beneath the living room windows. We called it "the dirt pile", and I spent countless hours there making mud pies, "cleaning" the area with a broom, playing house, and chasing bugs. Once I painted the front porch with mud made from the dirt pile; mom wasn't pleased with my decorating. Six or seven of my formative years were spent playing in the dirt.

Thinking of my dirt pile made me think of leaf houses. Remember those? Me and my friends made them this time of year. Once the leaves start falling from the trees, you rake them into an outline of a house. Basically it's a floor plan out in the yard. Then you play house in it. Usually a mom would donate a blanket to use as a bed, and another mom would bring us brownies or chips to eat in the kitchen. How old were we then ... between fifth and eighth grades, probably. I remember making them for a few years then stopping ... and I don't think I made one at the house with the dirt pile ... so that's probably about right.

Funny, isn't it? When we're kids we pretend we're adults; as adults we pretend we're kids.


I've been making good progress with the book. After spending the last few evenings smoothing some rough edges in the manuscript, I'm ready to move on with the action. I'd like to get it into some hands of a few readers before WFC, so I have to get crackin'. I'm hoping to write 20 pages over the weekend, which should be a pretty slick trick since I work. It's going to be a miserable, rainy weekend, so I'll have no excuses.

Reading my own writing is like riding a roller coaster. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it, some lines I love one day but hate the next, some days I think I should scrap it all and forget it but most days I think I'll die if I quit writing.

A while ago--it's been about six months or so--I wondered how I'd feel if I made the decision to stop writing. Even just thinking that thoughts made me feel a bit panicky and empty inside. I figured that was enough of an answer for me.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

News flash

Just found out today that "Pandora's Closet" is slated for an August 2007 release. Mark your calanders now.

I've been getting e-mail lately telling me about open anthologies, markets for my book, etc. I tell ya, sometimes the belief that others have in me carries me to the next page, the next chapter, the next project. Validation is a wonderful thing in this business. I still wonder, though: have I done enough to earn their faith in me? Am I doing enough? Am I talented enough to even warrant it?

Great. Writer angst. Pass the cake.

This one goes out to Tasha

Yo, saw your comment. Waaaasssup? Throw me an e-mail or somethin', let me know how things are goin'.

This is your cat on drugs.

So Morgan's been doing this thing for the past couple of months. Actually, let me back up; the story starts back when I was still on evenings. During Ken's morning shower, Morgan would stand outside the shower and meeeoooowww loud enough to keep me awake. This drove me to drastic measures. One day I tossed the covers aside, said, "Okay, you fuckin' cat, I'll give you something to meow about" and tossed him into the shower with Ken. He hopped out and licked the water off. More importantly, he didn't meow.
I created a monster.
Now, when Ken and I shower, he gets in with us. With me, Morgan will prance in and out of water, but with Ken, he'll stay under the spray long enough to get really wet.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Tripping over the idea that Bridget just doesn't live here anymore is like waking up and finding cat puke. You sigh, grab a towel or a handful of Kleenex, pick it up, and go on with your day feeling a little bummed. Example: the other day I thought, "You know, this pile of magazines is really getting unmanagable. I should box 'em up and take them to the recycling bin at Bridget's apartment." sigh. "Old apartment." Or this: "God, these crab rangoon from The Wok rock. We'll order them next time Bridget and Jimmy come over." sigh. "Or not."

This sucks.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Finally received word from Bridget today. She took my advice--yay!--and made a blog so they can record their adventures. Check it out--the link's on your left.
She cracks me up. I can just picture how pissed off she got during the whole truck fiasco. Heeheehehe.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Feeling kind of blah today. I did yoga, and so that was good, but I really feel like a need a nap or three. I wonder if I have mono. Nah, too old for mono. More likely I haven't been exercising enough and/or eating well enough. Though, one of the unspoken-fringe-benefits to being a medical technologist lab work on the sly. Maybe a CBC wouldn't be out of order.

Our wedding anniversary is September 19th. The traditional gift for the eighth year is bronze, and I'm completely clueless as to what to get him. Most likely something for the house. We've been together long enough that a household gadget is a legitimate gift but not so long we've given up giving gifts altogether. Ken is a great-gift giver, but I sort of suck. It's my inherent stinginess that dooms me. To my credit, though, Ken is pretty good at agreeing to a price cap--say, $75--then shattering it to pieces, so whatever gift I buy looks cheap in comparison.

Writing is going well. Who knew that writing under pressure could be so productive? Maybe after WFC I'll try to do another book, start to finish, by New Year's. Maybe throw a short story in there to kick up the stress a notch. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

back on the horse, part duex

So, Kelly Y sent me a cool website that's basically a search engine for writing markets. Kelly Y rocks. Anyhoo, I sent my "Killer Survivor" story to Strange Horizons. Fingers crossed. I'm not going to send it out anywhere else yet, and that's basically my ego talking. In reality, the assumption is no one is going to want your brilliant story so you send it out to ten places at once hoping for a hit. I, however, really like this story, dammit, so I'm convinced someone's gonna want it, and I don't want to have to tell nine other editors, "sorry for sending you my stuff, don't even read it, because even if you like it you can't have it, phooey on you."

I didn't go to the gym today. Bah. I'm just exhausted for some reason. However, I'm not too exhausted to go spend some time in Max and Zoey's world (Max and Zoey are two of the main characters in the book I'm working on). Zoey is about to ask Max out to a party. She is nervous for obvious reasons--she's only 15, after all--but this is also good because unbeknownst to them, they're both Powerful but have to hide that fact from each other. Who knows what could happen when they get liquored up in someone's field.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Batting a thousand ...

I've gotten two rejections this week. One was from a submission I sent last November to a children's magazine. The second was from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for my "Last Man Standing" story. The first was a form rejection; the second definitely wasn't. While that in and of itself says good things (editors don't usually take the time to write a personal rejection note) the note itself was pretty brutal. At first I didn't think it was so bad, but the more I let myself brew on it the worse it gets. Decide for yourself:

Thank you for submitting "Last Man Standing," but I'm going to pass on it. There are some amusing moments here, but overall this tale didn't hold my interest, I'm afraid; I did like the idea of using a Survivor-type show for satirical purposes, but in this case, I felt the show was too-thinly veiled. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way.

Good and bad. Back to the market listings. On another note, the book is going okay, I guess. My next one will definitely be outlined. This whole "I have a vague idea where I'm going" business is for the birds. It was a good experiment--I mean, now I know how I work best--but I'm also too stubborn to let the story die. It's a good story, I think, it's just going to need a lot of polishing and fleshing-out when it's "done."

Tonight Ken and I went to a new friend's house for a barbecue. I think we'll really like hanging out with this couple, and I hope they feel the same way about us. Couple-dating is tough, because you've got four people that have to mesh. But this couple's sensibilities are pretty much on par with ours. They're as big of geeks as we are, I think, and that's pretty tough to find.