Lethe now has an…

Lethe now has an ordering page up for the SH Best Of, so if you're telling all your friends about it (please do), that's the page to point them to. Thanks!

Tasks for today (a few leftover from other days):

  • write up Brown Girl / Salt Road notes
  • e-mail Nalo questions for article, start back and forth
  • revise Cheryl piece
  • write Christmas cards
  • send Zak and Rachel contracts
  • compile list of local colleges and send out general letters to any local academic jobs
  • clear out Sears card, close account (woohoo! slowly, slowly, the credit cards get paid off)
  • send t-shirts and mugs to SH fund drive donors
Oh, and of course that reminds me -- if you didn't receive a Christmas card from me last year and would like to this year, send me your address! Reciprocation definitely not required; I understand that in these degraded modern days, the art of Christmas-card-sending is sadly withered and decayed. :-) Mostly, I just like sending cards. Oh, and if you're already on the list but have moved in the last year, please let me know your new address!

I'm actually really waffling on these cards -- usually I just sign them and pop them off, occasionally with an extra line saying "Call me!" for those who have been particularly remiss. But a lot has happened in the last year or two, mostly book-related. I'm thinking about including a little Christmas letter, printed out. What do you think? Do you like that kind of thing when you receive one? Or is it just tacky? I'd like to let people know what's going on in my life, but given what I do, sometimes it's hard not to make it sound like a brag sheet or an ad for the new books. :-/

So, the cookbook delays….

So, the cookbook delays. We've been back and forth with LightningSource on the cover -- poor Zak found three different sets of instructions on how to do it, and has only just finally gotten the version correct (Zak, if you get a chance, post the details in the comments for the enlightenment of other unwary souls). We think. Fingers crossed. LightningSource charges an extra $40 every time you do something wrong and have to upload another version, which are costs that poor Steve has been swallowing -- I hope we finally got this one right. And then this morning, he calls to tell me that the interior PDF I sent has an error -- a paragraph on page 97 (the mango lassi recipe) was printing with exclamation points all over it. Argh!

So I took a look at my file, and when I turned on the formatting symbols, sure enough, that paragraph had a bunch of extra bizarre crap in it. So I retyped it, and recreated the entire document as a PDF, and uploaded it to LightningSource, and I'm just going to give Steve the $40 for it, because I was supposed to give him a clean document to begin with, and I'm just glad that it's done. I think. They'll generate a proof and send it to Steve today or tomorrow (they're working 24 hours right now, apparently, Xmas rush), and by Monday, hopefully he'll be able to tell me that it looks good and we're ready to order. On the plus side, once we got to that stage with the SH books, they started shipping pretty much immediately. So we're not quite ready for the sigh-of-relief yet, but soon, soon.

Did I mention that Steve's a student? So he's trying to deal with all these revisions and uploadings and such in the midst of classes, and his day job, and a snowstorm, and with multiple computers in different places which can't necessarily talk to each other -- and all over a dial-up to boot? Oh, and now his main e-mail account is eating all the mail I send it because its spam filter has decided I'm not a real person. Yeesh!

We're just damned lucky that I can basically sit at my computer until this project is done.

I woke up this morning…

I woke up this morning really not wanting to work. It was cold, and grey, and dark. I puttered around for a bit, making tea, cleaning off the dishes Kev made after I went to sleep last night. (It's always something of an adventure coming into the kitchen in the morning -- "What can these crumbs be? Aha, I deduce that he made an entire apple pie and ate it in the night!") The tv was calling me. But I lit candles -- three tapers, four pillars, and half a dozen tea lights -- all the candles in the room. (If this seems like an excessive number of candles for one room, please note that it's a large combined living/dining/kitchen area. If it still seems excessive, well, pfui to you.) I put on my headphones and cranked up iTunes. And then I wrote Cheryl's article, which has been hanging over my head for days -- wrote it in about fifteen minutes, in fact. And I feel better. The sky is lightening, but I think I'll just keep the candles going for a while. They're awfully pretty.

Do any of you use candle therapy? Is it just me?

Two nights ago, our…

Two nights ago, our pipes starting humming. It's a noticeable sound, coming from the pipe leading to the water heater, and especially loud in our bedroom. I woke up this morning to find that Kevin wasn't in bed -- I found him in the tv room, on the couch. He said that he'd moved because the humming was keeping him awake. But then he said that the pounding was worse. That's when I noticed the distinct sound of someone hammering. At 6:30 a.m. It had apparently been going on for a while. I, of course, can generally sleep through anything, but he'd been up most of the night. Poor munchkin.

Usually our condo is exceedingly quiet -- not really sure what's going on, though I think the pizza place downstairs is being renovated (at 6:30 a.m.??) and the management company did do some work on the plumbing a few days ago. Still, weird. A mystery. Must investigate.

I can’t quite believe…

I can't quite believe the SH book's actually done. It's the last big project I had left for Strange Horizons, the last of the things I wanted to be sure to get done before I handed the magazine over to Susan. There's undoubtedly going to be some more paperwork-type things to do, on the book and other random little projects, but basically, I'm done. I keep referring decisions to her now. It's a little surreal. Sad, in a way, but a relief too. An awful lot of my brain has been wrapped up with SH for the last four years...

This evening, finish up an interview, finish an article for Cheryl, write up my notes on Brown Girl, maybe start reading Salt Roads. Mostly finishing things. It feels good, finishing things. And there's always new things waiting to be started...

Oh, and by the way -- huge thanks to everyone who donated money to the SH fund drive. We raised $2000+ this time, our biggest fund drive yet. If we can do it again in May, we'll be making a good third of our budget in these small donations -- excellent progress towards our long-term goals. I'm so proud of SH's success, of the way in which we've striven to give something worthwhile to the community, and the community has responded with its support, in so many ways, financial and otherwise.

This magazine has become exactly what I hoped it would be when I started it. How often do you get to say that?

I’m delighted to…

I'm delighted to announce that:

The Best of Strange Horizons: Year One

is now available for ordering! Steve Berman, publisher at Lethe Press, has copies in hand, and you too can have a copy -- all you have to do is tell him you want one.

(table of contents)

Now, ordering in time for Christmas is slightly complicated. If you wait patiently, Amazon and B&N will be ready to take orders in a few weeks -- but that probably won't arrive in time. Instead, we offer you a super-duper way to order your copy right now -- just follow my special instructions:

Please note: If you are on the SH staff, if you are a contributor to this volume, or if you signed up to be a member of SH, special instructions with your relevant discounts will be e-mailed to your shortly. You can ignore the rest of this message. :-)

To order The Best of Strange Horizons: Year One for Christmas delivery, you must place your order by Wednesday, December 10th. That's next week. Steve is offering free priority mail shipping on any orders placed by the 10th, assuming that your payment arrives in some form by the 12th.

Note: I'm not sure the free shipping applies outside the U.S. -- you'd need to check that with Steve.

Please choose one of the following payment methods:

-- to pay by check or money order:

a) send an e-mail to Steve Berman at Lethe Press (lethepress@aol.com), letting him know of your desire, along with the number of copies you want, and the address you want them sent to; you may want to request a confirmation from Steve -- Lethe has a spam filter which occasionally deletes my mail to him.

b) then send a check or money order to Lethe Press for $15/copy ordered -- when he receives the money, he'll ship out your books.

-- to pay by credit card or PayPal, through Strange Horizons (we'll sort it out with Lethe later), do this:

a) have or get a PayPal account -- it's quick to set up and free, and I've found it quite reliable, personally

b) send an e-mail to Steve Berman at Lethe Press (lethepress@aol.com), letting him know of your desire, along with the number of copies you want, and the address you want them sent to; you may want to request a confirmation from Steve -- Lethe has a spam filter which occasionally deletes my mail to him.

c) copy me (editor@strangehorizons) on that e-mail, so I can keep a record

d) use the SH donor page and click on the PayPal link -- fill in the appropriate amount, at $15/copy desired.

Whew! I think that's it. Please let me know if you have any questions -- this should all be much simpler in a few weeks when the Amazon, B&N, and Lethe ordering pages are up, but this is the process for now. Thanks! Buy a copy! Buy lots! Buy them for your friends! Your relatives! The nice lady at the library!

Strange Horizons receives 40% of every sale, which we then split with the contributors to the volume.

Steve asked me to…

Steve asked me to sign and send along some bookplates, so that he could include them with any copies of the cookbook (making autographed copies, which I hear people like). I looked at Borders and PaperSource, but I couldn't buy bookplates in any reasonable bulk for any reasonable price -- and the designs didn't thrill me. But I am Ms. Handy these days.

So I bought some unlined label paper and made my own bookplates, with my little craft knife and my cutting mat. :-) Took about an hour to design, print, and cut, was fun, and now I have fifty custom bookplates (3 in x 2 in) to send Steve, for about a fifth the cost of buying ready-made ones. And I can crank out more whenever he needs them. Please to imagine my adorable signature in the white space.

We're having major design issues with the book cover and the printer, but I'm still hoping we can have the cookbooks ready in time for Christmas ordering and delivery. Watch this journal for more details in the next day or two. Soon, soon, I promise.

I also promise that the delay is driving me much more crazy than it is any of you. :-)