Hey, guys. Well, it’s…

Hey, guys. Well, it's almost eleven and I'm just getting started working -- not quite what I had planned for today, but Sean Stewart's Galveston sucked me up and wouldn't let me go. Ah well. Finished now, and very satisfied. In some ways I like the previous book better -- I think it just spoke to my own concerns more than this one does. But this may be a better book overall. Really, Sean just keeps improving -- and he's young! Hopefully he'll be writing for several more decades.

I met Andrea yesterday, the Melcher person who lives in San Francisco. She was delightful (as was her son -- the same age as yours, Karen, but with bright red hair), and we had a productive meeting. Almost done going over the first batch of potential stories for BW. We have one more phone conference Friday at 8 a.m., and then I'll start sending out the second batch of rejections -- and some revision requests! I may get started on that today, actually. There are definitely some promising stories in the batch, but I'm a little worried that there aren't as many usable ones as I'd like. Some of the best ones have speculative elements, for example, and the Melcher people are very firm that they only want to take one or two of those, so as not to tip the balance of what is meant to be a mainstream book. If you are a writer friend of mine and can give me a good mainstream-ish watery erotica story with interesting characterization and an actual story -- well, talk to me, please. I'm still looking for another week or two at least. Oh, and Karen -- Andrea not only spoke well of the work you did for her on that other book, but wanted to know why you didn't submit a story this time? We came awfully close to using the one you sent last time -- she likes your writing a lot and would love it if you can somehow squeeze time from baby and novel to write us a fabulous short story. :-)

Hmm...maybe I shouldn't just assume that I can talk to Karen and M'ris and Susan G. and Heather and David and Jed in this directly, rather than sending them e-mail...but it's so convenient. And I'm pretty sure they all read it at least weekly or so. But maybe I should call Karen anyway, just in case.

Yummy lunch at Plearn Thai on University -- Kevin took me there once, and was disappointed that it wasn't as good as he remembered (from his college days at Berkeley), but yesterday's red curry chicken was as good as I've had anywhere, so maybe not everything goes to rack and ruin in the end -- or if it does, it may be quite good for a while before that.

I spent the afternoon goofing off at Au Coquelet in Berkeley with M'ris and the gang. Lovely meeting her lovely friend Michelle. Nice getting to know M'ris a little better, and Timprov talked more too. I know why he's called Timprov now, which somehow makes it easier to think of him that way, rather than as just Tim. Nice afternoon. Probably should have worked, but what the hell. Dinner with Jed at Janta in Palo Alto (I think?) -- not bad Indian, but not great either. Next time we'll go to Sue's (I think that's the name? Too many restaurants in the Bay Area to keep track of them properly...)

And now work. Work work work work. Work like a fiend so I can justify goofing off this weekend with a light heart.

Please follow and like us:

Had a pretty productive…

Had a pretty productive day yesterday. In between moping, I managed to finally finish this Sri Lankan saga I've been reading, When Memory Dies. Been working on it for weeks. If you're looking for a novelization of the past fifty years of Sri Lankan politics, this is the book for you. Otherwise, I'd give it a pass. Also read Sean Stewart's Mockingbird which was charming and sweet and hopeful, much like Sean himself. I'm going to treat myself with his most recent book, Galveston, today.

Then I read a bunch of short stories by some literary-type authors, trying to find some that I can use for BW. Stil hunting for that name author. I hate this part of the process. When I had done as much of that as I could stand, I left Kepler's (nice big independent bookstore in Menlo Park) and went to a little Mexican cafe across the street, which had outlets I cold use. My laptop has been doing this incredibly annoying thing where the batteries work just fine if you unplug it while it's awake, but crash if you wake it up from sleep unplugged and try to use it. Which, of course, is what you need to do if you've brought it from home to work in a cafe without outlets. (Or if you forgot your power cord). Ditto if I reboot it. It's just not happy booting up without being plugged in. I don't understand this at all, and it's driving me a bit crazy. But anyway, as I said, I found a place with outlets, where I got me a yummy little flan and some water and plugged in and put my headphones on and managed to write a teeny tiny 830-word story. I think I like it. I think I can send it to Marcy's Ripe Fruit anthology (erotica about women over 50). We'll see what y'all say.

Then went to see Gaiman read, meeting up with Jed, Susan G., Susan F., Kam, and someone named Eric. Reasonably fun, but I got home late and now I have to run because in fifteen minutes I need to be leaving for the train station so I can go meet up with Andrea, one of the BW editors, in S.F. Until we meet again...

Please follow and like us:

So, I’m down in…

So, I'm down in Mountainview, working at Jed's. I'll be here until we go to Portland, sometime next week. Being here is good. Strange Horizons has a new issue up and looks fabulous -- it did last week too. Work is satisfying and lovely.

Not so lovely is some news of mine, which I've been a bit hesitant to talk about. Kevin and I broke up last week. I'm honestly not quite sure what that means -- we've broken up before, several times, and clearly those didn't 'stick'. Dunno if this one will. It feels a bit different than the others, though, so maybe. We still love each other like crazy -- I'm still astonished that it's possible to love someone this much -- but we've had a very hard time trying to figure out how to make our future needs mesh (living together, kids, home city, etc.) We've been working on it for several years now, off and on, and even though we're both pretty bright, we haven't been able to figure out a solution yet. There have been lots of conversations lately which mostly consisted of us alternating saying -- "There has *got* to be a way we can make this work...this is nuts!" But however many times we say that, it doesn't seem to bring us closer to a solution.

Anyway. I'm not really feeling up to talking about all this at length. I'm fairly sad these days, when I'm not working or busy distracting myself with social stuff. I'm very glad to be in California instead of Salt Lake right now. Lots of good people and good support. Kevin left yesterday for a month of math in France; maybe the enforced quiet will give us both clear heads in which we can figure out a better solution. If not, I guess this one will stand. It's hard to say, though -- I have to keep resisting the urge to write him e-mail saying, "Wait -- I've changed my mind." It's all such a big muddle.

No letters of support, please. I'm emotionally exhausted, and if you write telling me how sorry you are, it'll just make me cry. Take it as understood, please. Thanks.

Please follow and like us:

Hey, guys. Hmm…I…

Hey, guys. Hmm...I think I'm supposed to catch you up on yesterday. I worked at home in the morning, but was up in Berkeley by 11-ish. I stopped by Pier 1, and found to my satisfaction that there were several frames that would be suitable for my collaging desires. I'm trying to put together a set for the WesterCon art show -- I only have three with me: "Beyond the Lemon Tree", "Stone and Wave", and "Her Body Awakened", and I'd like to have a few more for the show. I'm working on "Fraying Edges" now, a very old poem of mine -- one of the first, actually. I revised it heavily for this. :-) And I have several more possibilities in mind; we'll see how it goes. I'm trying to pick ones with sf/f elements for these shows when possible; I haven't written so much speculative poetry, though, so I may run out soon (and have to write more, which I will then submit to Tim P., so it's not all a bad thing).

Then hung out at Cafe Elodie, on Shattuck -- a new cafe for me, but one I like -- decent chai, lots of outlets, music not too loud. What more could a girl ask? Susan showed up in the afternoon, and we worked reasonably productively together for a few hours, plus some chatting. :-) Then we went back to her place, got her car, swung by Office Max and got a printer cartridge, swung by Joann Fabrics where I got some ribbons to use in "Fraying Edges", and went back to her place where she printed out "Monsoon Day" for me, thereby saving my ass. I needed something to read at the reading -- it would have been an embarrassing nuisance pulling out my laptop! :-)

It was lovely seeing Ginu, my teacher again (I'm trying to coax a story out of her for BW; we'll see). The reading went well, I think -- it was a little odd reading to an audience that was almost entirely South Asian (Jed and David did come to support me, for which I am very grateful; I was feeling pretty emotionally drained by the end of the reading. Readings are tiring). "Monsoon Day" was actually probably the least erotic/explicit of the stories read, which is kind of an odd position for me to find myself in. I'm not used to thinking that I should have picked a sexier story. Still, people liked it well enough, and I sold two copies of my book, so some people must have liked it more than a little. :-)

Came home, talked to Kev a bit, crashed.

This morning, I'm working on collages. I'm planning on stopping by Lacis, a fabulous little shop that sells all kinds of vintage fabrics and bits and bobs. I may want some for collaging. It's nice having an excuse to buy that kind of thing. :-) Then up to Berkeley, to work at Cafe Elodie for a while, and meet up with Wendy (of an old writing group) and Daniel for tea and chatting. Back home for dinner; David's making his trademarked spaghetti. Mmm... It reminds me of good times in Philly; back when I met him, that was pretty close to the only thing he cooked. (Heh. I just know he's going to take issue with that statement when he reads this... :-)

Please follow and like us:

it is essential not to…

it is essential not to expose
that which is hidden behind
two closed doors; you must not
set up bright cadmium lights,
must not touch the black velvet
curtains. if you dare, the secrets
are revealed, the mystery
disappears, in a puff of smoke,
in a flash of mirrors. it is only I
and you, alone on an empty stage,
battered floorboards, patched
velvet. we bow, and turn away.
it is in the moment of saying
goodbye that love blooms sudden
and sharp, a fistful of bright knives,
an explosion of colored silk.

Please follow and like us:

So the first thing, that…

So the first thing, that I should have mentiod a while ago, is that I'm performing tomorrow night as part of a South Asian literary event, Junglee Juice. All the details are on the site; the relevant bit is that I'll be part of the Thursday night erotica reading, $5-10 sliding scale, at 1246 Folsom Street. I hope all you local types can attend! :-) It should be fun -- my prof from Mills, Ginu Kamani, is putting this together, and she's great. I'm still trying to figure out what to read -- "Monsoon Day" is actually the right length, but she asked for something funny, if possible. That story is not funny. Not even a little bit. I don't do funny so much, and none of the funny I've done so far is South Asian. I suppose I could try to write something new today or tomorrow -- eep. We'll see.

And speaking of South Asian erotica, for those of you (shameless people) who haven't yet picked up a copy of Aqua Erotica, I've added Seven Cups of Water to my stories page. Now you can read it there -- but you should still feel a little guilty for not buying my book. :-)

Speaking of buying books (I'm feeling very free associative today), here's that list of books I want and can't afford to buy right now. If any locals have 'em and want to lend 'em, I'd appreciate it. Tim? Heather? M'ris? Karen?

  • Iain M. Banks - Look to Windward
  • Ellen Datlow, ed. - Vanishing Acts
  • Andy Duncan - Beluthahatchie and Other Stories
  • Mary Gentle - Ash: A Secret History
  • Molly Gloss - Wild Life
  • Kathleen Ann Goonan - Queen City Jazz
  • Nalo Hopkinson, ed. - whispers from the cotton tree root
  • Tanith Lee - White as Snow
  • Ursula K. LeGuin - The Telling
  • Tim Powers - Declare
  • Sean Stewart - Mockingbird, Galveston
  • Laurel Winter - Growing Wings
I suppose with my birthday coming, I should add these to my Amazon wish list too, but many of these are still in hardcover, and I don't actually want the hardcover versions. They take up too much room on my shelves to no good purpose. So I'd like to borrow the hardcovers (so I don't have to wait), and get copies of the paperbacks. Okie...off to Amazon for a bit, I guess. Then more work work work. I mostly rested yesterday, finishing the Martin, but now the work is starting to nag at me again -- my piles are too tall, and must be shortened.

Addendum: Rough day.

Please follow and like us:

Hey, munchkins. So, I’m…

Hey, munchkins. So, I'm waffling a little. I wrote this story a while back, "Monsoon Day", yes? It's a story of Medha about forty years after the events chronicled in "Seven Cups of Water" (which appeared in the first Aqua Erotica collection (which, now that I think of it, has been out long enough that I can and probably should add it to my stories page...another project)). I really like this new story. I read it at WisCon to very positive comments. My writing teacher really liked it. I'm thinking its my best current shot for publication in The New Yorker, or The Atlantic Monthly or one of the big literary magazines. I'm itching a little to send it out. And yet -- it would be so appropriate to carry it in Bodies of Water. It's only somewhat sexy, so the Melcher people want me to hold on to it and make sure the rest of the collection is sexy enough to balance it, but they too love the story and would really like me to run it in the collection. And I'm just not sure what to do. It would be very satisfying to run it in the collection -- it would, I think, be even more satisfying to see it in the New Yorker. But their last response time on a sub of mine was six months -- I wouldn't likely hear back from them before it was time to decide http://www.mindanews.com/buy-topamax/ about BW. Argh.

In other news, had a lovely day yesterday, work interspersed with Susan and Karen and Heather and Jed. :-) And David, of course. Today, I think I'm going to take it relatively easy, because I spent some time coughing last night, and I really don't want to come down with anything!! M'ris is sick, and she sounds miserable, and I would like to stay out of that boat (although I did try to convince David that we could bring her down some chicken soup -- or chicken curry, at least. M'ris, you want curry? flowers? visitors bearing tea?) So instead of trying to write today (the original plan), I'm going to finish the Martin instead, and possibly write the review for NYRSF (New York Review of Science Fiction, but that's the last time I'm spelling it out for you, okay?). I might have been further along, but I took two hours yesterday to read the latest Mrs. Pollifax novel. Other Change of Hobbit is an evil bookstore. Evil! I also picked up Emshwiller's Ledoyt, although I think it'll have to wait until after Perdido Street Station. They also talked me into buying the February issue of Locus, the year in review, and now I have a whole new list of books I want -- the book budget is growing slim, though. I think I may shift to borrowing for a bit. Heather, when M'ris finishes the sequel to Sabriel, can I borrow it?

Please follow and like us:

I am so close to being…

I am so close to being done with the first batch of rejection letters. Really I am. There's only about fifteen letters left. And still I procrastinate. Tomorrow morning, first thing, I swear.

There are other things in my life, truly. Quiet chats with David; cooking curries. Mexican lunch with M'ris, her boys, Susan, David. Beating David at Scrabble -- woohoo! Being beaten at Scrabble by Susan -- actually still pretty fun. Feeding Susan lunch, then going for a long walk and talk and scrounge of art supplies at Ocean Beach, then bringing her back to feed her dinner. Drowning in the latest R.R. Martin epic, turning pages compulsively.

Actually, it's not surprising that I'm not quite done on the rejections yet...

I'm feeling better. I was missing Kev something fierce for a couple of days -- enough so that I was being pretty cranky with David. All that sun and wind and waves today has helped to bring it down to a manageable ache. He's leaving for a month of France (and math) in a week. It'll be weird to have him so far away, for so long. I have pretty good distractions here, though.

Tomorrow, finish the rejections, phone conference, then up to Berkeley to work in a cafe (maybe even write a little?), lunch with Susan and maybe Karen, squeeze in a bit more work, hang out some with Karen and Tot, then home to David's, dinner with Heather, then work some more. That's the plan, at any rate. I have tons of work to do, but by god, I'm going to squeeze in a hell of a lot of socializing or I'll know the reason why.

Did that make any sense? Maybe it's time to go back to my book...

Please follow and like us:

It’s 6 a.m. This would…

It's 6 a.m. This would be good if I had chosen (in a disciplined fashion) to wake up this early in order to work. This is not good, since I actually was woken up by an unpleasant dream (in which I was giving my father what for, for a lot of things that aren't actually his fault, but it was apparently fun blaming him anyway) and couldn't make it back to sleep. Sigh.

It's okay, though, because I was supposed to finish this batch of rejections by 6/15, and it's now 6/16, and I have 87 to go. Sigh.

I can't be all bummed, though, because I did have a nice dinner last night. I took BART into the city and met up with Alex H. (American Alex, as opposed to British Alex or Russian Alex), his sweetie Amber, his brother Michael, and Michael's friend Beth. 'Friend' is a slightly misleading term there, but we'll let it stand 'cause I'm tired. Anyway, it was lovely seeing Alex again, and I was delighted to meet Amber. They've apparently been going out a year now, and I was just really pleased to find out that she was nice and smart and sweet and funny. Excellent. Alex needed to find a nice girl; I'm so glad he did. Fingers crossed for them.

Back to work. Sigh. It's not that rejection letters are actually time-consuming -- it's that they're emotionally draining to write. I keep thinking of the poor writers I'm sending them to; I can't seem to just crank them out in good factory-line fashion.

Please follow and like us:

Hey, munchkins. So, I’m…

Hey, munchkins. So, I'm in the Bay Area, staying at David's, mostly happy. Missing Kev some. To be expected. For the curious, here's my tentative schedule for the next couple of months:

  • Now - June 23 - stay at David's in Oakland
  • -- June 21 - erotica reading at the Langston Arts Space in S.F.
  • June 24 - July 5 - stay at Jed's in Mountainview
  • July 5 - 8 - fly up to Westercon in Portland
  • July 8 - July 15 - take the train up and visit Kirsten in Seattle
  • -- July 13 - speak to Clarion students
  • July 16 - August 6 - hang out in Bay Area, not sure where yet
  • -- July 26 - birthday!
  • -- July 28 - read at Perverts Put Out
  • -- August 3-6 stop by MythCon in Berkeley
  • -- August 5 - CS party at Cafe du Nord in S.F.
  • August 7 - 14 - visit Lisette et. al. in L.A.
So that's the tentative schedule. Lots of it is subject to change; for example, I may squeeze the L.A. trip into the end of July, rather than mid-August. We'll see. But that'll give y'all an idea. If you want to get together for lunch, I'm free lots! :-)

Please follow and like us: