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All Over the World (and All Over the Place)

Just got back from spending WAY too much money to send a novella version of my SF novel off to this contest way over in Spain. The odds are long, but the prize money is good, plus there's NO entry fee (other than the $15.70 it cost to send 2 copies of my 110-page manuscript air mail to 'em, that is). Entry fees are evil, annoying, and stupid.

Last weekend I had an editor return my query about my submission for the Wannoshay novel, and as I was getting ready my three-chapters-and-proposal for the editor, I started to like my novel again! Crazy thought, eh? You see, I was redoing the synopsis (the other version was pretty blah), and as I was re-familiarizing myself with the story and characters, I kept thinking "Damn, this is a book I'd like to read -- lots of good twists and interesting scenes!"

Always a good situation to find yourself in when it comes to your own fiction, eh?

I had the same sensation as I was tidying up the last 1/3 of the novel to send to the UPC contest -- the last act of that novel pretty much rocks, and I have fond memories of writing the scene in the alien detainment camp in the former Iowa City mall while I was on the train ride to DC last fall.

Speaking of traveling, Elizabeth and I are racking our brains, trying to think of a cheap, scenic trip we can take on a long weekend before the baby arrives (because we KNOW we won't be doing a whole AFTER Drew is in town). Right now I'm leaning toward the mountains, if there are any hotel rooms left -- people go there in droves to see the leaves changing. The beach would be more relaxing, but sitting at the beach all day sounds a bit... dull. I'm always open to ideas from the peanut gallery. :)

And now, I've got to see if I can squeeze out this story I've had in my brain before I leave for the workshop next Thursday. That, and review the dozen other novel excerpts from my fellow workshoppers. Should be fun.

Oh, and one last thing -- in the new Years Best Fantasy and Horror, I highly recommend Kij Johnson's "At the Mouth of the River of Bees," especially if you're a dog-lover like me. Almost had me in tears this morning before work with the ending to that story. I had to give Whit the Wonder Pup some extra attention before I left -- great story. I still think someone should put together a reprint antho of stories featuring dogs (of course I'd want to add my own "Natural Order"). Later!

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