Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Beware the Bots

Computers as novelists? Check out this post on the WritersWrite blog.

I like to joke sometimes that I'm a machine, but geez.


November's Over!

So, it's the last day of November and I didn't make the deadline for NaNoWriMo, capping out at about 32,000 words. Oh well! ;)

I want to thank everybody for their support though -- you guys were so helpful, reminding me of things like, even not making it to 50,000 words doesn't mean that it wasn't a worthwhile endeavor. Indeed, I do feel like I'll be able to use this somewhere, at some point... maybe even actually finish it. It ended up being an interesting exercise, for many reasons.

Not least of which is, I think I learned that I don't particularly like the novel form. It's funny, when I first started writing I had a hard time with economy of words, and my short stories tended to be very long. As I've mentioned before, I have a few novellas in my body of work, though I generally haven't marketed them and still am not sure what to do with them.

At any rate, these days, when I'm writing, my stories generally feel comfortable at about 3,000 words -- it seems to be my magic number, really.

Anyway, I wanted to thank everybody again. Here's to a less stressful December! (Hey wait a minute... the holidays are always stressful. Oh well!)


Monday, November 29, 2004

Fishing for Info

Has anyone read House of Leaves? My boss, who has been a great source of fiction suggestions, told me about the book tonight and got me all amped up about it. (Thank God I work with cool people!) It looked really interesting and really weird, and boy do I love weird.

That's the last thing I need, to be amped up about a book I don't own when I just recently bought a pile of books. So, I was hoping to hear if anybody here recommends it. Or wants to hear if it's any good. ;)

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, November 28, 2004

Getting Bookish

Yesterday I suffered a fit of compulsive shopping. I hit Borders and managed to find a few books I wanted.

I bought Vamped, by David Sosnowski (a recommendation from Brian over at Bibliotechno) and Dhalgren by Samuel Delany (a recommendation from Hebdomeros). I also bought McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories, despite my poor reaction to McSweeney's these days. (Oops, I just noticed I could have gotten Vamped far cheaper on Amazon. If anyone's considering getting it, Amazon might be the ticket.) Anyway, the McSweeney's anthology looks promising.

I started Vamped last night and couldn't put it down. So far, it's hilariously funny.

I had a bit of buyer's remorse over all the purchases although I do have to admit, I did put a few books back on the shelves, at least. Between those, some stocking stuffers, and some holiday cards so I can do the annual card routine, I spent a chunk of change. As I said before, come on, Christmas money! (Yes, I still have relatives who send Christmas money even at my advanced mid-30s age, bless their hearts. Not very much but it usually helps defray some of the expense of the holidays.)

I did work on NaNoWriMo last night, but I believe I have pretty much stagnated at 32,000 words. Looks like I'm going to be a LOSER, ha. Just kidding. As has been suggested to me, even if I don't make the 50,000 word deadline, I can probably use it for something, at some point.

Hope everybody's having a nice weekend (which is quickly winding down),


Saturday, November 27, 2004

All Liquored Up

Well, I haven't quite gotten through McSweeney's No. 12 yet, and I'm still smarting from my recent, er, naivete, when I took a joke literally and started the old gnashing of the teeth. So I delved into Poppy Z. Brite's novel Liquor, which has been on my bought-waiting-to-be-read pile for a long time.

What a fun read. It's very New Orleans-centric, centering around a) food and b) liquor. Protagonists Rickey and G-man are incredible likeable characters as they embark on their dream, to open a liquor-centric restaurant (i.e., all dishes feature liquor in the recipes). They encounter a quirky cast of characters as they go about achieving their dream -- they make a few friends, and make a few enemies, and there are even a few murders to thicken the saucy plot. (Saucy -- I couldn't resist!)

Although it was sort of presented as a satire, I am not sure I found it to be all that satirical but maybe I was missing some points. However, I thought it was a fun romp more than anything else, and enjoyed the act of reading it. (Though I will warn, don't read it hungry. Food is a prominent character, and I got a few cases of the munchies while turning the pages.)

And of course, it is a far cry from Lost Souls. I know Brite still fields questions about Lost Souls (check out her blog), and it seems like the popularity of her earlier work has both been a boon and a menace. I suppose there's nothing like success and fans to create that irony, where your fans aren't happy with your decision to evolve. Especially when it concerns vampy lit.

Thanks for reading,


The Aftermath

I'm home! I missed everybody, but I have to admit, it was kind of nice to basically be offline for a few days.

Thanksgiving was pretty much uneventful, though before bedtime my mom told me a story that really weirded me out, and made me thankful to be on this earth, really. I've got so many family stories that just HAVE to go into some fiction at some point. Gotta love that gene pool for inspiration, I tell ya...

On Black Friday, my mom and stepdad thought it would be a good idea to take a road trip to Lancaster, PA, to hit outlets there and then drive around and eat dinner. No, I didn't think outlets on Black Friday were a great idea. (Nor was getting up at 7am. I wasn't very gracious.) However, it wasn't as bad as I thought, though really, we didn't shop for long. Most of the stores were too crowded to really shop comfortably. I don't particularly like shopping till dropping even when they're not crowded, and I dislike crowds. I did manage to buy one Christmas gift. So, now I have all of two Christmas gifts ready and the rest to still buy!

Then we drove around, hit a farmers market, and went to a "family-style" restaurant. Some of you may know that Lancaster has a heavy Amish population. So much so, that the tourist schtick there is pretty much "Amish Country." Certain stretches, everything is Amish this, and Amish that, as people have capitalized off the Amish. (Then again, though, I guess it works out well for the Amish, as they can sell their wares, like furniture, quilts, produce, etc.) There were horses and buggies everywhere. I saw a few black-clad Amish children booking around fast on tiny scooters. And an Amish couple at a WaWa pump, patiently filling a container with kerosene together. I felt bad to stare, but was rather fascinated.

Most fascinating, I think, was seeing some putting the fields to sleep. Men standing on a plow with 6-8 horse power -- literally, horse power. And that was the part that made me think... wow, that's a snapshot of how our ancestors used to live, before machinery and agribusiness changed the face of farming. Houses with no electricity. Long, long clotheslines, up to the highest peak of the barn buildings, with a pulley system to reel 'em back in, full of black and monochrome clothes blowing in the wind. And, again, the dozens of horse and buggies sharing the roads with autos. (I saw one guy with the most magnificent black horse, trotting at breakneck speed down a side road -- I figured he was the Amish equivalent to the guy with the Porsche.)

As much as I hated staring and being such a tourist, and felt tremendously guilty, it just seemed utterly amazing that they have managed to survive without being assimilated into modern culture. And although I can't imagine that lifestyle, I have to say good for them, and I hope they can continue their quiet rebellion from what the world deems "progress," as people should be free to choose their own course, as odd as the rest of us might find it. In the end, though, of course I'm grateful all that I have, as a citizen of the modern world.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, to those of you who are Americans. And to those of you who aren't, take some days off work and enjoy life, ha! Or be happy that Friday is approaching.

Anyway I probably won't be too involved with computers until Saturday (if I get desperately bored, I will likely log onto my parents' computer, but probably not) but other than that, I might just take a much-needed 2-day break from keyboards.

I'm thankful for a lot of things, including the people who are in my life (including you people who make this blog so much fun, even though I've never actually met you!) So, there's really no big rant today.

So I leave you with one question: What was your favorite personalized rejection? (Personalized rejections being one thing to be thankful for in some weird way. Somebody saw enough merit in your work to comment.) Mine is: "This is written very well, but it shows unlikeable people doing unlikeable things." Ouch. Someone else who commented on it said it was a perfect reminder of the 80s bar scene (even though it was supposed to be modern day), and "gritty," so again, to each his or her own. By the way the rejection that the first person mentioned reacted, I'd say the story hit a nerve.

But again, that somebody took time to think that, and say that, was heartening for me. If anybody else has rejections that cracked them up or made them think, I welcome them. I, for one, am now going to go and fill up on that turkey.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

(Crazy) Thought of the Day

Having only written a mere 1,000 words for NaNoWriMo over the last 3 or so days, I had the kind of nutty paranoid thought of it being a vast conspiracy to discourage beginning writers who don't have "the write stuff" (a la, The Fiction Bitch.)

I know, I know, that's not it at all, but it's hard! Hard to the extent where I'm taking jokes seriously (see last post and related comments) but at the very least, that post did get some discourse going.

I have nothing new to report. However, the Thanksgiving holiday hangs over my head (and the absolute non-literary attributes of being doped up on tryptophan, or whatever that sleep-inducing agent is in turkey), so I know I'm feeling pretty thankful that I won't have work-related writing deadlines for 4 blissful days. I've got to crunch out stuff tomorrow though... wish me luck, as I'm leaving early too and a little bit curious how that's all going to pan out. Hmm.

Thanks for readng,


Monday, November 22, 2004

Full-On Rant

Okay, I haven't engaged in a full-on rant in quite some time. Well, it's time. NOW.

About a month ago, I picked up McSweeney's No. 12. (I think it's No. 12. The cover is butt ugly, and hard to read.) It's from 2003, so I really should not have picked it up when I saw it in Olssen's, but it seemed interesting, so I did.

I haven't gotten all the way through it yet, but I have to rant about the "Letters" section. There's a series of letters, correspondence between McSweeney's and somebody who claimed to have wrote a piece called "Gorilla Girl." The deal: somebody submitted a story with no contact information, and I guess they liked it, because they posted on their Web site, that they were looking for the author. A few people wrote back, but they targeted one guy who seemed a likely candidate.

Apparently, this guy's computer was broken, and the copy McSweeney's received was the only hard copy, that his friend had sent to them. They wanted him to prove that he wrote it, however, and the guy answered that he had NO RECOLLECTION of it, because he (a supposed college student) was drunker than he'd ever been in his life when he wrote it, and they just freakin' go back and forth and back and forth trying to squeeze information out of him, and he just keeps on saying he doesn't remember it. They even get his friend who sent it in to write to "prove" authorship, and his friend didn't read it, so HE didn't even know what it was about.

Okay, it IS funny, I do have to admit. It was funny while I was reading and oh-so-weird and all that crap. HOWEVER. This is the magazine that NEVER FAVORED ME WITH A RESPONSE TO MY SUBMISSION, and they're chasing down an "author" (drunk, stupid college student?) who not only didn't follow the mechanics of manuscript submission in the tiniest amount? The jackass's NAME wasn't even on it??? When I was in college, I wrote plenty of manuscripts drunk or otherwise impaired but I also knew what they were about and put my freakin' name on them.

Maybe it's all a joke, or poking fun at what jackasses people can be, and I'm always into that. But, all I could think of was this editor wasting weeks on this bullshit when he should have just thrown the damn thing out. No name, no service. I'm sure it was a great way to get some hoots out of the doldrums of the daily slushpile for an "Important" lit mag. It's kind of cool they wanted readers to decide, and included an email address for voting (I'm sure that was great fun back in 2003.) But, I don't think I ever want to submit to McSweeney's again. The whole thing struck me as making a mockery of people who work really hard at the business of writing -- AND, to not piss off editors. Apparently some editors will blow some people off while wasting time on one of life's dumbasses? That's what I get out of that.

Maybe I'm being petty. But hey, this is my petty blog where I can rant!


Sunday, November 21, 2004


Yes, that "BLAMMO!" is the sound of the writing-related brick wall, and slamming into it. I kind of felt like this weekend should have been more inspiring, on the literary level, but instead it was kind of frustrating. Right now I'm thinking it's appealing to sit on the couch, watch TV and stuff my face with Toblerone. Maybe it's the pre-holiday blues (which only means I have the holiday blues, and the post-holiday blues to look forward to -- oh, and seeing the Pixies in a little more than 2 weeks!! YEAH!).

I went to a local upscale (ew) mall, to have lunch with a friend and do some research. It's so nice to see everybody's got the holiday spirit (meaning, aggressive driving in the parking lots and people flipping each other off, honking horns and dropping the F-Bomb in loud voices -- hey, this is a family-type blog).

I dunno, it all feels a little less-than-inspiring, for other reasons I won't disclose at this time, but I have gotten some stuff done -- I'm at just shy of 30,000 words for NaNoWriMo, and I did get a few more short stories submitted, I just have one more to discover a market for.

Speaking of inspiration, though, Maikopunk has a great link to a Writer's Digest piece that was nice, about writers who have suddenly been catapulted into fame and fortune. It's a good read so I'd suggest checking it out.


Saturday, November 20, 2004

A Morning Well Spent

I spent the large portion of my morning sending the body of my work (all short stories as well as short stories that are in final draft form, meaning, basically finished, but might need a few cosmetic changes as opposed to vast overhauls) to my Gmail account. I've been meaning to do that for a while. Although I have most of my short stories saved on a Zip disk, it is nice to know that I've got a safe, Web-based archive of my short stories saved there, and with the gigabyte of storage promised with a Gmail account, I figure I can't go wrong. I can also easily label each one so it will be easy to find them.

Just in case my computer decides to go kablooey, after all. Or (God forbid) there's some fire or something. If there were a fire my Zip disks would be no help, and I can't imagine losing all the short stories I've written over the years.

I also sent out a quick submission -- I've been seriously slacking off on that aspect of things, I have I think 3 or 4 that aren't at markets right now.

The next step of course, is to try to work on my NaNo piece, but I have been feeling a little rundown this weekend. I'm going to try to do that now...

Hope everybody's having a really fun and/or productive weekend. Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 19, 2004

More Interesting Drama

I got another rejection today, from a publication that was a bit overdue for a response. However, it was very heartening. The editor said he did like the story, though it wasn't quite right, solicited me to send something else, and also gave me the hint that he liked one of my stories that's still live on another literary magazine site. (Which strikes me as super interesting, since I kind of don't even like the story on the other site very much. Odd. It is one of those rambling first-person narratives that Hebdomeros mentioned recently on his blog -- after having seen a magazine that was a little too heavy on that type of story. I'm guessing they really are sort of the rage right now. Ha.)

I'm thinking I should send something back ASAP -- that whole "strike while the iron's hot" idea. That's going to take some thought though, as there is that whole concept of knowing your market and nailing it. I'm thinking I do have something I started working on recently that might be perfect, however, it's not done yet. It'll take some thought.

Also, check out Brian, over at Bibliotechno, if you get the chance. He's put up a nice, thought-provoking group of questions that might appeal to our kind.

Thanks for reading. The weekend is young, the air is damp -- good luck writing!


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Never Do It Halfway

Okay, so I am at about 25,000 words for NaNoWriMo, so just about the halfway mark, and I have to say... man, this is hard.

On the one hand, I can sort of write in my sleep. At certain points the descriptions, the scenes, and the dialogue have just flowed (always a weird feeling, when you almost feel like you're in a trancelike state or something). On the other hand, how much of this is really good material is a whole other question. I have definitely shut off the inner editor (and the inner critic). Therefore, it will be a long way from publishable if I do make it to 50,000 words. (And I know that publishable isn't really the point.)

As far as any question as to its horror-ness, I'm still not sure it's actually that scary. I mean, the bar is raised really high in a book, and while you can write something down that sounds scary enough if it really DID happen in real life (hell, a chair moves across the room in real life, and I'd be outta here) that doesn't translate into a scary book. What I have found is it's sort of about grief, and the things we don't let go of (or people) even when they're not good for you and never were.

Anyway, all my musings aside... man. I know it's all downhill from here, since I'm halfway through, but I think I'm behind plan. I'm going to have to get my ass in gear over the next (less than) 2 weeks!

Happy writing, everybody,


Wednesday, November 17, 2004


A former colleague of mine saw one of my articles that I wrote for my day job and emailed me today to compliment me on it. He quit working at the organization where I work now to work on his career as a novelist, among other things.

Anyway, I told him that in my spare time, I'm still pursuing fiction, and opined on the difficulties, especially in publishing short stories. He wrote back that while it's hard, the fact that I'm currently writing for a living should make it easier.

It's funny though -- I actually don't always mention in submission cover letters that I have a regular byline for a fairly well-known organization. (And as I've already mentioned, this blog is the only place I use a pseudonym.) I don't know why. I guess for whatever reason, because the content is very different, I feel like it doesn't relate, like it might hurt my chances for writing fiction rather than help. I also worry about whether it's a conflict of interest, although really, the organization I work for is a pretty creative place and many if not most people there have artistic interests on the side, like creative writing, music, and theater.

I don't know, maybe my experiment going forward will be to mention it in all cover letters for fiction submissions and see what happens. Right now I'm wondering if I've been very thick headed about this whole thing (and completely overthought it, or underthought it -- one or the other!).

I hope everybody's having a great week!

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Perfect Cursive

Okay, so I'm very dull tonight. It was a rather tiresome Monday, and although I've broken 20,000 words for NaNoWriMo, I think the target for the timeframe is to be at 25,000. So I'm a bit behind. And of course, reading is falling by the wayside at this point, which is a shame.

I was wondering how many of you sometimes write longhand. I hardly ever do it anymore, though I try to carry a notebook with me just in case I have some thought, or some perfect line, or some similar type of inspiration that dawns on me at an inopportune moment.

I know that some of you write on the go and at times value a change of scenery. So do you use a laptop or a writing pad? Just curious.

It's so funny, because as a teenager, I loved to write everything out longhand and couldn't imagine anything more tiresome than the keyboard. However, as fate would have it, I took a typing class and my very first job was as a typist, so I'm damn fast with the keystrokes. (The other variable was the advent of word processors and computers.) It all sort of fell into place, and I was able to effectively cut out the middle man, which handwritten prose became. But I do remember that at one time, the only way I could "feel" the words and the story flow was with a pen and paper. (In fact, I fancied I thought much better that way.) Now, I can't imagine how to troubleshoot without conveniences like cut and paste.

Any thoughts? I hope everybody's gotten their week rolling on a positive note!


Sunday, November 14, 2004

Weekend's End

Here it is, Sunday night, and I've hardly done any writing-related activities. My roommate was looking through my CDs and there's nothing like rearranging stuff to unearth things you haven't thought about for a while. So I got out an old Dead Can Dance album, which I thought would be good mood music for this NaNoWriMo piece. At this moment though, I just feel like I'm just listening to the album. Ha.

I did manage to squeeze 2,000 more words into it, earlier this evening. I think I have generated some new ideas, though, for where this is going, with the help of comments from you kind people who helped with some suggestions to get things jumpstarted again.

Now I just need to creep myself out a little bit more before the evening's out, and hope to get this a little further along. Happy writing, everybody.


Saturday, November 13, 2004


So, I got my hands on an old issue of Zoetrope All-Story -- it's from 2003, it's the "Love" issue. And while I have suggested that the Zoetrope Web site was a winner for beginning writers, I have to say, I wasn't all that impressed with the issue of All-Story, though I know it's a good market.

Does anybody have more experience, and want to shoot me down? I just thought it was kind of boring. Maybe not so hokey as most of the Glimmer Train issues that I've seen, of course. But it just seemed sort of boring and pedestrian, while it was a perfectly acceptable package, if that makes sense. But nothing really made me sit up and take notice.

Anybody feel the same way? Or disagree? I do feel like I could give it another chance, like pick up a more recent issue. It might be more fair than just thinking it's pretty dull.

Thanks for reading, and I hope everybody's having a great weekend!


Thursday, November 11, 2004


Thank God it's (almost) Friday. I've taken some time off from reading high-brow literature to reading low-brow -- namely, He's Just Not That Into You. Of course now that us women are onto the ways of men, it seems my "relationship horror" genre stories won't have the full impact if the upshot of mysterious dating scenarios is, "Oh, he's just not that into (her)."

Oh, well, I look on the bright side from the literary angle -- there are always those lovely caveats that convince people that their own love affairs are somehow different.

At any rate, it's an easy and quick read and I should be done with it soon. Armed with this knowledge, I will never tell another guy I date it's ok for him to act like a jackass ever again. Hahaha.

Meanwhile, I've hacked my way to about 11,000 words now in NaNoWriMo, but still fail to see too much particularly horrifying in my project. Maktaaq cracked me up by commenting that perhaps this would make a good slasher movie screenplay, given the fact that my characters had a point where they all just wanted to get drunk and stoned rather than deal with the imminent supernatural danger at hand. However, I think they're getting back on track, and there haven't been any gratuitous boob shots or couples slipping off to knock boots despite the obvious fact that something's amiss and screwing always equals death when evil's knocking at the door. And they all know perfectly well that splitting up is very stupid. So, tomorrow I'll have to wonder, where to next.

On another negative note, it's beginning to remind me of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, only not so creepy. (That's a good book, but I don't particularly like anything I write to remind me of someone else's story.)

I hope everybody's having a good night, and thanks for reading.


House Party

Well, I haven't gotten much NaNoWriMo done today. I did manage to catch The Grudge tonight -- good flick, but nothing that's going to keep me up tonight.

I'm kind of cracking myself up with my novel, which has rapidly gone downhill a bit. NaNoWriMo HQ sent out a missive about how the second week is the hardest. I think they're right, because I've lost some momentum. I've now trapped my characters inside the haunted house (and this was not the original plan, the haunted house was originally going to be the tip of the iceberg but I've since decided it's going to be one bad night in a place that's a portal). My heroine has deteriorated into a basket case, and this is not really going well. (Usually my heroines are strong, I think, maybe a little crazy, but strong enough, and not prone to becoming completely unhinged, like this one has.) She has since been medicated because you know, everyone carries prescription painkillers with them at all times, and many of the characters are cavorting around saying, LET'S PAR-TY! now that everything's gone all wacked out and freakshow.

Yeah, sounds about right and how normal people would behave. Hahaha. I guess my only point is, wow, this whole thing is going exactly where it wants to go. And in the process, I suppose it's entertaining me more than it might entertain anyone else.

Hope everybody's having productive evenings. Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Thrill of Rejection

So, for those of you who are writers, where do you keep your rejections you receive? (Or do you save them at all?)

I used to keep a giant manila folder that was bulging with form rejections, and I mean bulging. I saved the personalized rejections -- with handwritten notes of encouragement, criticism, etc. -- in one of those old sticky photo albums, where I also kept things like an ex-boyfriend's tattoo designs from when we were young (none of which I believe ended up on his now 80%-tattooed body, come to think of it) and another ex-boyfriend's blurb and picture from when he mysteriously showed up in Wired magazine while we were dating, commenting on... something. (To this day, I don't know how he pulled that off. I'll have to ask him again sometime.) It's an odd little scrapbook indeed.

These days, it's a little more complicated, since I don't know where that scrapbook went off to, I threw out the bulging manila envelope (I suppose I could have pasted my walls with 'em, but I'm enough of a pack rat as it is), and with the dawning age of literature and the Internet, most rejections are now emailed to me, and printing them out seems... weird. (That's what I'm trying to use my non-LitBlitz Gmail account for, to track the rejections so I can search for the good ones.) And as a matter of fact, I have a few recent personalized rejections sitting in a pile of paper here on my desk, handwritten notes from someone I will never know.

Anyway, I thought I'd throw the idea out there. And see if anybody's done anything with their paper rejection slips or if they just go out with yesterday's trash.

(Oh, and my postscript... NaNoWriMo word count of 9,900 words or thereabouts. They say the second week is the hardest, and they're right!)

Write on,


Monday, November 08, 2004


Okay, it's just another Monday and unfortunately it was difficult enough to write for work today. Hopefully I can complete some NaNoWriMo tonight.

I wanted to point you guys to Hebdomeros, as he posed an interesting question in his post, "Doing the Unstuck" -- how do you get past writer's block? He had some great suggestions.

I didn't have any particularly useful comments for that issue, seeing how I sort of bulldozed my way to the end of one of those two short stories I was struggling with over the weekend. I cut out some language that just felt too incredibly cheesy, and then tacked on an ending I liked -- I don't know, it might be an ending that readers will find to be a cop out, but hey, I think real life is full of cop outs.

Also, check out Maktaaq, as she has begun blogging her novel for NaNoWriMo, and it's a lot of fun.

Write on,


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Market Update

I had checked on StoryQuarterly a few months ago and they were not accepting submissions. I checked out the site and they are now, so I thought I'd let everybody know.

It's an all-fiction publication that produces print magazines that are carried in select bookstores around the country. It reports in 4 months and doesn't pay money, though it pays 10 contributors' copies and a lifetime subscription to the magazine.

It also has an online submission system -- it doesn't accept submissions via email or snail mail anymore.

Just thought I'd give the heads' up. It says it's open to new and unpublished writers.

Write on!


Saturday, November 06, 2004

Good Bad News

Today I got a rejection from a magazine I have REALLY wanted to get into. Yes, that's bad news. The good news is, the editor had asked for something else, so I scrambled to send it a few months ago, and the rejection today said that he was sorry, my piece had been a "maybe" but in the end they hadn't been able to agree on it, so no. But to try again next year, when their reading period starts again.

Sooo... yeah, it's a little depressing but I feel heartened that it ALMOST made it in. (But damn, that would have been SO cool! Sigh.)

And now I know sometimes when it takes a while to hear back it does mean that there's a "maybe" pile, that's delayed because it's still getting batted back and forth. Again, though, what a funny habit, to be a writer, forcing yourself to see some rejection as good this way.

Anyway, onward.

On a different note, I watched "Donnie Darko" tonight and it fried my noodle. Wow. And, NaNoWriMo update: 0 words today. I'm hitting the hay.

Write on,


Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Good Read

Okay so I finally finished Vernon God Little, by DBC Pierre. Even though it took me a few months to finish, it's not because it wasn't good -- it actually was really good. If only for the fact that Pierre managed to create one of the most amazing voices ever. The teenage angst voice he created was amazing, and it contained some of the funniest lines -- and observations -- that I think I have ever encountered. It's a little gritty, but man, he nails it.

Not to mention, it did a great job of lampooning media frenzies and plain old dumb human nature.

A coworker lent it to me, but I'm thinking I want my own copy now, because I already see myself wanting to reread it.

Next, another book that a coworker lent to me. But it looks like more of a fun read rather than a literary read, so we'll have to see what I come up with for this space.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Well, I may have bragged on Day 1 of NaNoWriMo about my 8 pages, but now I have gotten about two words in in 2 days. (My last paragraph really petered off into complete LAMENESS.) Ah well. I am going to try to tack at least something in there before turning in for the night.

Anyway, a colleague of mine (actually, a colleague who I have never met face to face, since he is a freelancer who lives, God knows where, but we've emailed about our sidelined fiction endeavors) told me about The Harrow, a horror fiction site. I thought some of you might either get a kick out of it, or be interested in sending work to them. I haven't checked it out through and through, but I love that they have linked to Strange Horizons' guidelines to let people know what they DON'T want.

Just a heads up, there. Like I said, I haven't had time to look it all the way over. Right now I'm feeling a bit up to my ears in projects. And should try to peck out a few paragraphs.

Write on everybody! I guess lots of us may be burning some midnight oil in November.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Day 1

Well, Day 1 of NaNoWriMo was yesterday, and I managed to squeeze out 8 pages (double-spaced). I'm feeling pretty proud of myself right now but then again, it's weird getting used to NOT being economical with words.

I packaged up a paper submission to send out, and I'm readying myself to send another one off. As some of you may recall, about 3 or 4 stories have been rejected over recent weeks so I have been slacking off in my usual method, which is to immediately send them out again.

Other than that, I'm glad I did 8 pages last night, because I'm pretty sure that tonight I'm going to spend most of my time watching news coverage of the election. It really does feel like history; I don't recall another election where people were lining up like this to vote. Fascinating.

On the other hand, I can already tell I will feel somewhat liberated tomorrow, when it's over, and behind us. It's been a high-stress time. As much as the outcome may not be what many of us want, it'll just be nice to have some closure.

Write on!


Monday, November 01, 2004

Welcome to November

So, today's the first day of NaNoWriMo. I do intend to start on something tonight. This is looking a little bit harder all the time. Someone I know who is also doing it said it comes out to 188 pages, double-spaced. Hmm. I joked, that's a lot of flowery descriptions inserted in there. (Hello, Faulkner.) Seriously, I'm so accustomed to a more economic use of words these days, it's going to be a challenge.

I've decided I'm going to use the Halloween party I attended this weekend as a jumping-off point for a frightful read. Just as a sense of inspiration. Any similarities to people living or dead is purely coincidental. ;)

In other news, man, do I have a backlog of stories that need to go out now. I just got rejected by Zoetrope: All Story. It was their standard card, but had handwritten at the bottom: "This was a fun read. Good luck with future publication."

Thank God it was supposed to be a fun read, ha. Anyway, little snippets like that make me wonder whether that should be heartening, or if they always try to think of something nice to say about a story, albeit small. I know, I should look on the bright side!

Write on,