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The Eve of the Fall
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Blue morning, blue morning. Got my seven hours and then couldn't sleep for some reason, so as soon as light touched the sky, I was up, which means (rare thing) time for an entry before I leave for work today.

I got two rejections yesterday from semi-prozines. Also had a small press editor request a story, and got galleys from another semi-prozine for a story upcoming in Novemeber. So call it a draw!

Last night I was a bit frantic, contemplating my to-do list, which is broken down by what I have to do each day for the rest of the week. You'd think such a list would serve to make me less frantic, but until I made the list, I hadn't realized how much I had to do!

But now, in the rosy light of dawn, things don't seem as bad as all that. Most of what I have to do is layout for Flytrap 3 (and associated business), which I actually quite enjoy, and will do on my day off and this weekend. I have some fiction to write (my agoraphobic quest story proceeds well), a poetry book to arrange, a story to revise, some administrivia to tend to, and I have to read Flytrap 4 submissions -- all of which will take time, but most of which isn't time-sensitive, so why am I so worried? Right now I think I'd like to exist in a wonderfully free state where I have no obligations or responsibilities apart from writing fiction and poetry, but obviously, life intervenes. All is well. All will be well. (In case you hadn't realized, sometimes these journal entries are nothing more nor less than an incantation.)


Santa Cruz was glorious (one of the reasons I'm behind on various things is that I spent the weekend doing nothing but fun stuff, and I'm glad I did). There's a new, horribly ugly mural downtown (with the almost-incomprehensible phrase "triumph induced through sacrifice" scrawled at the bottom), but otherwise, it's the same charming place as ever. Wish I could afford to live there, but Heather and I are finally beginning to chip away at our mountain of debt and get our financial feet underneath us, and that would all be ruined if we moved to a place with a higher cost of living and not much in the way of jobs. Gotta think long-term... at least we're lucky enough to have good friends who live there, and like us to visit often!


Read the second volume of Clive Barker's Abarat last night, and it's better than the first one -- more mythic, more inventive (which I would've thought impossible), with richer characters, and plot complications that arise from the emotional states of said characters as much as from external dangers. It seems more subtle and nuanced than the first volume, in many ways, less a gawk-and-run story. ("Gawk-and-run" being my catchall term for stories with simple plots, wherein said plot is mostly a device to show off all the weird stuff in a cool setting; The Wizard of Oz being the prototypical "gawk-and-run" tale.) Though there's still plenty of cool stuff and eyeball kicks, and, as usual, I love most of Barker's artwork.

I got a copy of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which (hype aside) looks like the kind of nice deep book one can inhabit for many days of immersive reading. I've liked Clarke's odd, discursive, literary short stories, and the book seems to be the same sort of thing writ large, so I'm looking forward to it. My boss is interviewing Susannah Clarke later this week, so I should get to meet her, which'll be neat.


Heather and I went grocery shopping last night, and since autumn seems to be creeping up on us with its scarves and gloves, I got stuff to make chili (inspired by Barth's entry on chili). I like to make a big pot of chili (with some good dark beer), eat it for a couple of days, then save the rest for later, eventually eating it over eggs, on burritos, etc. I'll try Barth's citrus secret this time, too. Making chili is one of the most pleasant, profoundly relaxing things I can think of. You just toss stuff into the pot, trying whatever you think will be good, and when you're done, you have something that's at least warm and filling, and at best, divine flavor. I think I'll make it tonight.


I suspect I got stressed while making my to-do list yesterday because things at work are a bit stressful, and it just bled-over into my perception of my personal life. The October issue goes to press on Wednesday, and there's a whole lot of work left to be done between now and then. If I don't write again for a couple of days, that's why. But Thursday is my once-fortnightly day off, so I suspect you'll hear from me again then. I'll be home all day, then, working on Flytrap layout, and I'm sure I'll need a break from that, and will shout my electronic barbaric yawp into the wilderness of my journal.

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