Now Appearing: my short story "He Angles, She Refracts" in Heliotrope issue #3
"The Fate of Captain Ransom" in Strange New Worlds 10
My short story "After The Sky Fell" in Polyphony 5, Wheatland Press
"Messages" appeared in Realms Of Fantasy, April 2001
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2002-04-01 7:38 PM
Tuesday, April 9
Here's an interesting challenge going on. Fellow Wordo Ximena and I are doing what I call a "Deal With It And Move On" challenge. I named it, but this was all Ximena's idea.
We exchanged stories we wanted to revise, but haven't gotten around to yet. I gave her three of my stories, each in an envelope addressed to Realms Of Fantasy, including a SASE. Miss X gave me two of hers. So what happens next is if I don't come up with a revised version of story #1 by deadline, she mails the version I have already given her. And if she doesn't give me a revised version of one of hers, I mail the version she has already given me.
Whether a new version or old version is mailed, it's still been dealt with and I can move on to the next thing. This is all part of my plan to stop myself from being mired in the mud of Rewrite Land.
Anyway, today was our first deadline. I delivered a revised version of After The Sky Fell and Ximena delivered her revised story. So far so good!
I have another story to revise for Thursday, and then another for Saturday. This pressure feels good, actually, and it's funny, it's almost like the feeling I got at the two-week workshop with Dean and Kris. I need this pressure and I'm learing to deal with it and use it and, well, crave it if you can believe that.
But this dare has just gotten started. As I said, so far so good. And thanks to Miss X (hi Ximena!) for coming up with this challenge.
Monday, April 15
IN MEMORY OF DAMON KNIGHT (1922-2002)
He died last night.
I remember the little things like the smiley faces Damon put on my manuscripts. I never got many, but the few I did get made me feel good. When I brought "After The Sky Fell" to Damon and Kate's for critique in February, Damon was pleased with the story. There was a smiley face on the first page, near the title. That was the last story of mine Damon critiqued and I'm glad he got to see it.
I remember critiquing some of Damon's stories in the last year and thinking this is SO wrong. I'm not worthy.
When I had told him about my first sale, he said he remembered the story. He couldn't wait to see it in print. He did get to see it.
He could be brutal with critiques and I remember one time, Kate and Damon, yet again, hammered away at my sentences and words. In response to my lack of developement in the line by line, Damon suggested I might have a brain tumor.
When I went to Clarion in '93, Damon had some health problems. The class that year had heard stories of Damon wrestling squirt guns from the hands of students the previous year. He wasn't playful our year. But I was lucky to see a more sprightful Damon when I moved to Eugene, Oregon after Clarion. In the last several years, I've seen the wit and genius of Damon.
It's an amazing revelation that Damon had more of an impact on me as a writer than I had ever realized.
Thank you, Damon, and goodbye.
Saturday, April 20
The Deal With It And Move On Challenge resulted in three new stories in the mail. And it is worthy to note that I have 10 stories in the mail right now. I have broken the double digits for submissions and this modest number is a new record for me.
What's next? Devon Monk is revising a novel and we got to talking about the novel I'm planning on writing. Before I knew what happened, Devon and I are e-mailing each other to see how we are doing on our novels. I have started writing "Time Will Tell" and much of it is discovery right now even though I have a proposal for it.
My number for stories in the mail may not increase until I'm done with the novel. I would love to write it quickly but I haven't finished writing a novel before, so who knows how long this will take me. I'd like to have it done by World Fantasy at any rate.
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