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Snakes, Lions, Jazz Music
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Filled with wellness

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I you haven't already done so, go read Nick's advice to new SF writers. It's pretty much indispensable. Plus, Nick wrote it, so it's funny and articulate. Some of the comments are worth reading, too. If he'd sent me that essay as his next installment in "Life Among the Obliterati" (his column in Flytrap -- subscribe now), I would've been quite pleased, so, yeah, it's good.

Roughly 6 weeks to a rejection from Strange Horizons, but at least I divided the editorial staff! Ha! Which is to say, two out of three editors disliked one element of the story, and the third editor disliked a completely different element! But I like the story, and it hasn't been submitted many places yet, so I have no fear.

I got my contributor copies of the December issue of Realms of Fantasy, which includes my novelette "Romanticore." Go, get it, read it. It might not be my best story -- how should I know? -- but it's certainly one of my most ambitious, and it's the longest, most substantial individual piece I've ever published. The story took me a couple of years to write, and long-time readers of this journal may recall the black-bile-dripping journal entries that cropped up around the time(s) I was writing it.

Need further enticement? Here's the introductory section:

I've been fucked half a hundred times by love, and still I look for more. I don't know why, but since I was 15 I'm not happy -- or don't even call it happy, I'm not functional, I'm not awake -- if I'm not pursuing, or being pursued, or in the midst of an affair.

So this thing I'm going to tell you about, remember it's a love story, despite the lions and the murder and the jazz music; all that's important, but it doesn't detract from the essence of the thing. A love story. It's very important to me that I have one good love story, one where love conquers something, or saves someone, and I think this is it. Everything else, all the other times, might have been bullshit and wilting flowers, but this was real.

And while it's probably not the bloodiest love story you've ever heard, what with Shakespeare and all, I bet it ranks up there.

It got a good illustration by Scott Grimando, too.

Let's see. Other news. On Thursday night, after a day of mostly sleeping, having a fever in the morning, and lacking intestinal fortitude, I went into the city to have dinner with Heather and sparkly Jen at Luna Park, which was delicious, though I didn't trust my stomach enough to drink, alas, and had to lust impotently after Jen's wine and Heather's mojito (which is not the same as a macchiato! as Heather learned). We talked, showed Jen a Flytrap mock-up (she's only ever had her work published by Heather and I! Heather published her in Clean Sheets back in the day, and now we've published her in Flytrap. The reason why? She doesn't usually submit her work anywhere! But one hopes she will begin to do so more often). We talked and had a fine old time. Then Heather and I went home. I took a hot bath. I didn't feel much better. I went to bed.

Friday was. Still had intestinal issues. Work wasn't bad. The evening was nice enough, quiet, I watched some television, read a bit.

Today, Saturday, I woke -- and I feel good! I do! No fever, no headache, no stomachache, nothing! My usual energetic fervor for life fills me with fervent fervency! I'm so happy. I feel like me again. Maybe I can actually do some work, and finish this story in time to send it to Polyphony!

I'm now listening to Lasso the Moon by The Octobers, the new CD from the new band that includes Rob Gaddy and Evan Rowe of Agent Ink (among others), It's very quiet, lyrical stuff, quite nice. Sort of Southern-gothic in places, songs full of Johnny Cash, preachers with shotguns, dead people in rivers, shovels in car trunks, snakes in creeks. Buy from Back In Slacks Records.

Heather and I are looking forward to a nice, long, coffee-drinking weekend filled with baths, house-cleaning, writing, reading, and lazing about. Mmm. Our hermit-like tendencies are being most amply satisfied.

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