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We're Gonna Drink Bacardi Like It's...
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So, hey, it's after midnight, and thus technically my 27th birthday. Welcome to my late twenties. Hope you all enjoy the ongoing saga.

It's been a nice couple of days. Work has been pleasant, mostly working on layout and photo spreads, and trying to track down books from 2003 that we missed when they came out, so we can complete the vast listing of all the SF/F/Horror that came out this year. Calling and writing to lots of publishers. Funny how uncomfortable that used to make me, when I first started at A Certain Magazine, but now I think nothing of picking up the phone to call editors and publicists. Familiarity breeds comfort, I guess. Home life has been pleasant and low-key, doing last-minute Xmas shopping online, working on the chapbook, plunking away at the Frog novel (though yesterday I only managed to write a single sentence, which I may well delete; I'm hoping to be a bit more productive before I go to bed tonight), hanging out with Heather, who is fending off a cold. I read "Maturity" by Ted Sturgeon yesterday. I'd read it before, years ago, and didn't remember it well. A thoroughly engrossing read, especially in the revised version (the collection includes both versions, which is nice). Not quite in the league of his best stuff, but you can see his reach approaching his grasp. I've read some good stuff online, lately, mostly at Fortean Bureau -- "Salting the Map" by Alan DeNiro is quite marvelous, one of the best I've read by him, and the other stories in the current issue are quite good, too. Today I took home a copy of the gorgeous Earthling edition of Michael Marshall Smith's More Tomorrow and Other Stories. Wish I got to keep it, but it's only mine for a few days, long enough to read and review it. Smith is one of my favorite short story writers, and this is probably the most excited I've been about a book for review since I got the galley of Kiernan's Low Red Moon. I spent a few hours tonight engrossed in it. There are a few original stories, too, which is a treat. One of them, "Being Right", really knocked me over, though when I read it aloud to Heather I noticed a few stylistic infelicities -- not a perfect story, but very good, quite affecting without being too sentimental. It's a substantial collection from a formidable talent. Pick up a copy, if you've got $40 to spare.

Tonight we did a last pass through the chapbook, and got everything neat and nice. We'll take it to be printed tomorrow. It's a nice little thing, and we're pleased with it.

Tomorrow night, Heather's taking me out for sushi, then to go hot-tubbing. There are presents wrapped for me in the living room. At work tomorrow, there will be cake. Birthdays are fine things.

I know I haven't posted the ToC for Flytrap 2 yet, but I keep forgetting to ask Heather for a list of poems. This weekend for sure.

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