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Some nifty writing-related news of late. I found out my story "Gulls" is being reprinted in Sean Wallace's Best New Fantasy: 2005 (and in very good company). Based on the ToC Sean sent me, it looks like a great line-up of mostly newish fantasy writers, and some of my favorite stories from last year should be appearing in it. ("Gulls", my short and almost stream-of-consciousness horror tale of death and longing in a Carolina beach town, first appeared in Jay Lake's TEL: Stories anthology.)

It looks like I'll be attending the Blue Heaven novel writing workshop this year, thanks to a kind invitation from founder Charlie Finlay. The timing is good, since I expect to have a draft of the Bridge novel in a few weeks anyway. The workshop takes place in May, during the busiest part of the production schedule at my day job, but my wonderful co-workers have agreed to step in and take up my slack, for which I'm very grateful. I can't think of many things lovelier than spending a week on a lake island, talking about novels, and I look forward to it immensely.

A couple of reviews of Rangergirl appeared today. Rick Kleffel thinks the book begins slowly but eventually starts cooking, and overall he's very positive; he also makes a case for reading Rangergirl as a horror novel (which is a reading I've heard before). Contrariwise, the reviewer at Strange Horizons thinks the novel begins well and then turns into a clich├ęd muddle, and overall deems the book a failure. I encourage y'all to buy a few copies for yourselves and draw your own conclusions. (Both reviewers say things I agree with, and things I disagree with, but responding to reviews is a mug's game, and my mama didn't raise no mug.)

In other news, the publication date of my collection from Night Shade Books is being pushed back, probably to February 2007. Too bad, but the publisher thinks it's the best choice for the book, and he knows more about this business than I do. Plus, it's more time for me to set the wheels of self-promotion in motion, so some good will come of it.

Life is otherwise fairly fine. Still plinking away at the Bridge novel. Reading the long-delayed-and-finally-on-the-brink-of-publication Mondo Zombie anthology. Watching a little TV, playing with the cats, going to the gym, trying to have enough sense to come in out of the rain, snuggling with my wife.

I've had some anxiety lately, the sense that important tasks are going undone, that things are on the brink of ruin, etc. Just for the past couple of days. So tonight I sat down and made a to-do list, and there's very little on it that requires my immediate attention -- mostly just some line edits on a story that I've been meaning to do for over a month, and keep putting off. I'm going to get them done before this weekend. Crossing stuff off the to-do list is very soothing. I got a story ready to go to Polyphony, and it'll trundle off in tomorrow's mail. I sent off my Rhysling-winning poem to the guy who'll try to make sure it gets into the hands of the next Nebula Awards Anthology editor. I answered a bunch of e-mail (still have a bunch unanswered, but progress is progress). I put together a rough schedule for when I need to work on Flytrap, and Jenn Reese's chapbook, and my taxes, and basically none of it needs to be done now. So I'm trying to be Zen, enjoy the way the world looks after a rainstorm, and not let the short days of winter get me down. Exercise helps. Eating better helps. Good fiction helps.

This weekend is Heather's birthday (a palindrome birthday, no less!), and we'll be celebrating with good food and a hot tub. That should go a long way toward recharging both of us, I think.

Y'all stay warm.



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