Sunday, May 29, 2005


Was out of town for part of the weekend, and still addicted to the online video game... ah yes, so much constructive behavior, I know. I finally got a new DVD player so I was able to finally watch the movie "Finding Neverland," which has been sitting here unwatched for so long.

Great movie, quite the tearjerker, but I have to say one of the themes, having an inappropriate muse, hit close to home. I'm betting it's rather common. Life is so complicated...

So here we are on the brink of summer doldrums and I'm wondering about all those submissions I still have out. What happens to them? It's kind of frustrating knowing as I do that the summer period for fiction is always slow and agonizing. I guess it's just about time to send out some gentle reminders... of course at least one of the magazines I submitted to already was sent a gentle reminder, and, of course, never responded.

Perhaps it's time to just knock that one off the list and submit elsewhere. But to where?

Does anybody know of some good leads for magazines that continue to read during the summer? I know Gargoyle magazine is one of the few that solely reads during the summer, and they will be on my hit list this year. Other than that I'm going to have to do some serious research into the markets that read during summer.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you're all having a great Memorial Day weekend...


Friday, May 27, 2005

Life in Hell!

Just kidding, it's not as bad as all that. I don't know if some of you who are more prolific bloggers than I manage to just have nothing to say sometimes for protracted periods of time. Even us writers need a break once in a while, and I do write every day for work... I suppose it's damn lucky that I even ever touch a keyboard when I get home.

I hope everybody has fun plans for Memorial Day. I'm actually staying pretty low key -- last couple weeks have been pretty busy although I am going to the mountains with my parental units.

Reading-wise, I haven't done much of it. I just recently finished Stiff and then I launched into Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I don't think I ever read the whole thing, even though I knew I loved his writing style. But I'm pretty sure I have only read articles or snippets... There's also the fact that I had Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail and one of my ex-boyfriends absconded with it. I think I need to learn to read a book first before lending it to any boyfriends who are flight risks. Hahaha.

So anyway, yeah, I've gotten into a bit of a non-fiction phase at the moment... (if you can exactly call gonzo journalism non-fiction, but anyway...)

Anyway, I hope everybody's doing well, and happy writing,


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Stival

HFStival, that is.

Hey guys -- I did survive it. Hebdomeros was right, Interpol is good live -- they were tight and didn't really diverge off of their studio sound. Except at the end of the set the guitarist slammed down his guitar and charged off. We wondered if there were technical difficulties because Echo and the Bunnymen only played for about 3 1/2 minutes.

The turnout was actually pretty good, considering the fact that the festival no longer has its own station on the FM dial to promote it. However, there were about 10,000 of the same girl there. Luckily, I did not see any of these girls showing their boobs to guys, as Miss L described from an HFStival past. Doesn't mean it wasn't happening.

So onto that idea that several of you have put forth... yep, I did feel kinda old looking around me. There were a lot of youngsters doing youngster things. However, I had a good time -- despite the fact that the sky opened up later and I got drenched. I haven't willingly gotten so drenched in years.

Meanwhile as an old-school (former) punk I had a hard time with the fact that there was moshing/pits/crowd surfing for EVERY band. Including They Might Be Giants, for example. I mean, what the hell? That's a travesty. Not to bust on that band, they're fun, but I file that under the category of "inappropriate moshing/crowd surfing" -- in fact I'm not sure any of the acts really deserved any slamming etc., you know?

Believe it or not, as much as I have been making fun of Billy Idol's presence on the roster (third to last act!), I have to admit -- he was very enjoyable. He looks good for a 50-year-old and it was rather endearing that while he is definitely trying to recreate his old persona, he seemed to genuinely get a kick out of the whole thing and put forth that persona with a sense of humor. What also weirded me out was I had no idea there was some sort of closeted Billy Idol following but apparently there is. The crowd ate him up. Surprises, surprises.

Good Charlotte bites. My friend and I observed that their singer was wearing a tee shirt for his own band, would entreat the crowd to cheer, and also entreated them to light up their lighters. (These really aren't things that any self-respecting band leader should do, IMHO.) Could have done without that act.

Anyhoo, despite the fact that I can be bitter and snarky about the things that have changed since I was a young punk, it was a good time. I am glad I went.

In other news, I finished Stiff by Mary Roach. It's a good read, interesting, informative, funny in parts -- though not for the squeamish. I felt it lost a little of its momentum or something towards the end, like all the really good topics were all at the beginning, but maybe that's just me. It was a good and quick read as long as you're not too bothered by the morbid or that taboo... some of it definitely makes some good fodder for horror writers, I would imagine.


Thursday, May 12, 2005


Okay, I'm having a "whoa, what happened" moment. I blogged on 5/8 and now here it is, 5/12 and I am not sure where the time went.

Well there are the usual excuses and plans of action. Work (tough this week), gaming, working out, and reading, and I just haven't been on blogger. Not that I've had all that much compelling to say.

At any rate, I lied last time about diving into Black Clock. Instead, I'm reading Stiff by Mary Roach. I decided I needed a temporary break from fiction for the moment, and Stiff fits that bill. And boy, is it ever different than just about anything, so far. It's about the curious "lives" of human cadavers. (I'm sure you guys have heard of it.) I'm impressed so far that somebody could take such a taboo subject and actually write about it (not to mention have a sense of humor about it as well). It's a nice blend of history and investigative reporting, I guess, on a topic that most of us don't spend too much time contemplating. Disturbing? Yes. But it's definitely interesting and thought provoking.

I'm not done with it yet though, so this isn't exactly a full review.

This weekend I am going to HFStival. Mostly to see Interpol really, although an aging Billy Idol and New York Dolls might be interesting just for the weird factor. I'm thinking I'm far too old for the all-day festival sort of mayhem, but we'll see how it goes. I'm not sure what will happen if it rains. (Which also ties into the whole "being old" thing, I don't recall rain deterring me from much back as a young punk.)

Also interesting, how does a festival happen for an HFS that is actually not really itself any longer? Just a shadow of its former self, on Internet radio and sharing time with others on a different radio station. It should be interesting... I might be tempted to get souvenirs just because.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Gargoyles About

Okay, I finally finished Gargoyle No. 48. Not that there was any reason why it took so long, but just that I've had so much else going on that I've been a slow reader. I suppose summer might be a continuation of that problem, given the usual uptick of social life in the summertime.

Anyway, as always, I totally enjoyed the issue of Gargoyle. It even had a couple relationship stories in it. (Sorry, couldn't resist that jab about a certain comment that I blogged about recently.) Just goes to show those pesky "relationship stories" can really knock one's socks off.

I guess my favorite story was Butterfly Barbecue Sauce by James Thompson. How can one not like a story where a lifeguard dummy is the protagonist, I ask? Seriously, it's one wacked-out story with a lot of truths about human nature as well as the nature of relationships.

Another story that blew me away was The Crime Museum by Suzanne Feldman, which brings a real sci-fi, speculative strain to the volume, as well as This Other Eden by Michael Hemmingson, which goes to realms of social dread and just nails it home. Other stories that stuck with me were Intimacy by Avital Gad-Cykman, Oppositions by Carolyn Osborn, In Memoriam to Identity by Doug Rice, Corrections by Lynda Schor, Transactions by Jon Swan, and A Simple Affair by Katherine Vaz. Okay, so that's just about all of the fiction in the volume, ha.

Also, maybe the piece that I won't forget was Verges by Reamy Jansen. I am not sure what the heck it is, to be honest (it's in the nonfiction section) but it's definitely one of the most striking pieces in the entire issue.

If anything struck me, it was that this issue struck me as just a tad less edgy than issues I have read in the past. Not that that's a bad thing, in the case of Gargoyle, which is always a totally satisfying read where the fiction really jumps out at you. So, I highly recommend it, and I hope that others will check it out. I'm looking forward to getting the next issue that's coming out in the summer, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong...). I'm also looking forward to the end of May so I can submit some work to them.

Next on the agenda is Black Clock -- well, truth is, I've got a huge stack of reading waiting to be done but can only get through it one at a time. There are a few detours coming up, seeing how I also have some work-related reading to do coming up as well as the fact that I ordered a Hunter S. Thompson book in memoriam of the man. I have read some of Thompson's stuff but lost one book to an ex-boyfriend (before I could even finish reading it) and borrowed the rest. Oh well...

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, May 05, 2005

After the Muse Visits...

Maktaaq asked a very good question about my last post, pertaining to the visit of the muse, where the story just comes out. What do I do next?

I know what the right answer is. I suppose if one takes advice like that offered up in Stephen King's On Writing -- he suggests that writers take a brand-new story and stick it in a desk drawer for a few months.

However, I'm usually a lot less disciplined than all that. Generally speaking, when I finish up a story, I submit it much too soon. Granted, I will look it over many, many times, to make sure there are no overt typos or bad sentences -- I always do a few editing sweeps before I send anything out. (And I think some of us suspect that some beginning writers actually skip that step -- which isn't cool, literary magazines aren't editing services.)

However, I am very guilty of sometimes sending something out when I should probably let it sit and simmer for a while and do more work on it later.

It's very hard to be disciplined... and I find that I'm a little less exciteable about the stories that are more difficult to write. Those are the ones that get a much more discerning eye when I am doing my editing process.

Does anybody here put stories away for a few months before revisiting and marketing them? I'm curious what everybody else's habits are in this regard.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Muse Visits

So I had a thought for a short story and wonder of wonders, it just popped out tonight. Yep, just popped right out. It's nice and short too, so it might make a good submission for some of those Web markets.

I have to say, I love it when something comes out this easily. Nice and compact, and just lays right out on the page. It all falls into place, without any agonizing over what the right ending is. Yay, muse! Thanks for the wholly constructive and convenient visit... Well, hopefully the story doesn't suck, seeing how it's in its first blush and I always think those are great. ;)

Hope everybody's doing well and writing happily,


Monday, May 02, 2005

So Much...

So much for the two things this weekend that I felt were justifying my writerliness -- I made a submission but neglected to notice their limits on word counts and so... it's already back to the drawing board!

However, I heartily recommend submitting to Pindeldyboz for their automated response, if nothing else. It's hilarious. (Just don't forget to check that limit on words for Web submissions!)

Over the weekend I saw my first IMAX movie, "Into the Deep." It's playing at the Smithsonian (if you're a DC type) and I have to say, I had NO IDEA these movies were so damn cool. It was in 3D and while they give you some goofy glasses that you can't take home, the 3D is awesome. I mean really. I wanted to put my hand out in parts, it was so realistic.

Anyhoo... hope everybody had great weekends! Watch out for the weather's crazed mood swings.