Stephanie Burgis
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"hold" music and better things
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Well, grr. I just spent 10 minutes on the phone (mostly on hold), using up my international phone card by listening to the tinny "hold" music on my American credit union's phone service, only to be deposited at the end of it all on an answering machine. So un-fun. After all that, it seemed ridiculous to hang up without leaving a message, but I can't imagine them phoning me internationally to answer my question ("When will your debit cards start working in England again?"). Oh, I hate dealing with stuff like that. I expect I'll be back on the phone to them soon...

(The good news is, I have at least found out that their debit cards still work in Sweden despite their current ban on English use, so we'll be living the high life in Stockholm with all the money from story sales, etc., that we haven't been able to touch for months now. There are some complications about having roots and financial dealings in two countries at once...)

In better news, I finally, finally figured out this weekend how to revise a story I wrote nearly 1-1/2 years ago. It's been driving me crazy for all that time in between, because I really like it - I think it's actually one of my best - but the ending just would not work, so I never sent it out, and it never felt finished. Finally, finally, I realized what would make it right, and wow, is that a good feeling. It's going out this week (as soon as my paycheck arrives). Fingers crossed...

(That's one of the most important publishing lessons I've learned in the past 5 years, btw - never send out a story when it feels uncomfortably, naggingly wrong. I've done that in the past out of sheer impatience - "Well, if I don't know how to fix it, I'll just ignore the problem, damn it" - and used up all of my favorite magazines in the process, getting nice rejections like "We like lots of things about it but it doesn't quite work as a whole", before I finally figured out what was wrong and how to fix it...only to find myself having run out of all possible markets. Maddening. That was why I hung onto this one, despite tooth-gritting impatience, for so long. I'm glad I did, now, although if you'd asked me six months ago, when I was feeling very depressive about the likelihood of ever finding a solution, I might have given you a different answer...)

Last week I re-read Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky, and giggled over them even more than I had the first time. They really do keep getting funnier with re-reading. And in total serendipity, I walked into Borders today to find that the third book in the series has just come out: Wintersmith. After work, I spent an hour reading that in the coffee shop while drinking a lovely big hot chocolate. Total happiness. (Sadly it's in hardcover - beautiful hardcover, but still... I'll read it in the coffeeshop for now and buy it once it's in paperback.) Hurray for more Tiffany Aching books!

And last night I found a wonderful essay by Kelley Eskridge and Nicola Griffith about writing and being part of a writers' marriage: As We Mean to Go On. Mmm, loved it!

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