Happy Valentine’s Day,…

Happy Valentine's Day, munchkins. I waffled a bit about whether to just try to ignore the holiday entirely, since I do find all the marketing kind of disgusting, and 'cause working on the hotline in college made me aware that this day has an appallingly high suicide rate. But since I haven't managed to block it out of my consciousness entirely, and since I do love quite a lot of people, and since I'm fond of those of you that I know, and since I'm fond of the idea of those of you that I don't know, I thought it might be nice to let you know that. Jen wrote a song for her readers, but I'm just not as cool as her.

A quick correction to an earlier entry -- Crown wants Bodies of Water for summer 2002. That makes much more sense than 2001. The tentative schedule is:

  • finalize my contract this week, sign it, get check for half
  • put together a call for subs, get it approved, send it out next week
  • spend Spring Break on the phone trying to get some big names into the book
  • largely ignore the project until the end of April, aside from dealing with afore-mentioned big names
  • end of April - semester ends
  • May - read manuscripts, send rejections, make revision requests, send tentative acceptances (contingent on Crown's approval)
  • June - make my final manuscript selections, line edit manuscript
  • July - submit final manuscript to Crown, who will hopefully think it's fabulous and not require any last minute juggling of authors from me
  • get check for other half
  • be done for a while
  • in early 2002, start worrying about promotion and publicity
  • Spring 2002 - promote like crazy
I imagine there'll be at least some chatter about the book in here, so those of you who missed the last one can follow along this time. I should warn you, though -- if you're an author submitting material to the anthology, I have it on excellent authority from friends who submitted last year, that it can be excruciating listening to me babbling about the book when I have not yet told you what I think of your story. So consider yourself warned.

I'm sort of dreading the friends issue a bit, actually. Last time, about five of my friends submitted stories that made it to the next-to-last-cut. Talk about miserable. And now I have probably at least double the number of friends who are writers than I did last year (not to mention some erotica-writing students!), who are all going to be extremely hard to turn down, should I need to. And while you'd think that I'd have a shot at taking stories from all of them, the truth is that even if we do eighteen or so like we did last time, something like 5-8 of those slots will be reserved for big name writers, and we're probably hoping to fill 5-8 of those slots from authors from the previous collection, for continuity reasons, assuming they give us stories at least as good as the ones they gave us last time. Which means that there's only going to be room for about 2-6 new writers. The competition's going to be steep. I know that's probably discouraging for some of you reading this, and I'm sorry, and it should not in any way keep you from submitting, please! But I do want you to be aware of the odds. Last time I think we only took two complete unknowns -- Kris Hawes and Daniel James Cabrillo. And even they had published at least a little online.

Anyway -- this is all a bit premature. It's still possible that we won't be able to negotiate a contract we're all happy with. So I'm going to try to hold off on chattering more about this stuff for a week or so.

There's probably lots of other stuff I could tell you about, but my brain is spinning a bit trying to keep it all organized and talking about it before it's all done probably won't help. And it's all dull anyway -- fellowship applications, grading, etc. At least the grunt work as a grad student is more interesting than the grunt work in an office...though it's more stressful too. Ah well.

Tonight people are coming by to hang out, eat pizza, etc. It's not quite the same as a Valentine's Day Massacre Party, but it's better than a poke in the arm with a sharp stick. And it does mean that I need to go to the grocery store and then make cookies this afternoon, which means I need to get at least some work done now. So off I go!

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