Sorry for the hiatus,…

Sorry for the hiatus, guys. The machine was down yesterday and I couldn't get in. Wouldn't have been able to write much in any case, because I've been typing my fingers into the ground finishing the rough draft of the interview. All done now -- just polishing and trimming to do. I'm really pretty happy with it -- I'm trying to figure out where else might like to buy reprint rights on an article interviewing some of the top erotica writers on-line. I know Penthouse has a HotTek column, but I'm not sure what other sex magazines or net-focused magazines would be interested. Any suggestions?

Other than that, life is pretty good. Sunday I had a potluck brunch which extended into dinner and a game of Cosmic Encounter (a very fun game that I used to play years ago and which Kevin gave me a copy of for Christmas) with some friends. Monday had dinner at Sarah's (other Penn mathematician) - vegetable dumplings and miso soup -- easier to make than I had expected. Just chop up your favorite vegetables very small and put a little bit in the center of little dumpling sheets that you can buy at the store and use some warm water to fold over and seal them. Then boil, steam or fry them, as desired. For miso soup you apparently just make a clear soup and add a chunk of miso (dissolved in a little hot soup first, as if you were adding flour). I guess you buy miso in the Asian part of town? And yesterday I went over to David's after work and after finishing the rough interview. Chicken stir-fry for dinner, and Cherry Garcia ice cream! (One of my three favorite flavors). One might go off into interesting speculation on what kind of guy would give ice cream rather than flowers, but since David reads this occasionally, I think I'll spare him that. :-)

Hmmm...looking back over these entries (and the diary in general) I find more than a few references to food. Oh well -- I'm fond of it. Food is one of the great joys of life, as far as I'm concerned.

Re: books (one of the other major forces in my life) I've been a little slow lately - too much socializing. Reread The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Douglas Adams), sequel to Hitchhiker's. Great, of course. Currently almost finished with latest issue of Tomorrow SF, a somewhat disappointing read in comparison with Century, but with one story I really liked, "A Piece-a Chain," told in the voice of a scared black kid who finds (and is changed by) some magic to help him cope with the violence of his everyday life. Also in the middle of Anne of Avonlea, which I had started quite a while ago and am just now picking up again.

Finally almost over my cold -- I slept about 10 hours last night and am feeling much better. I've been trying to put up the .jpg of the graphic that the Australian Cool Site of the Day people sent me, but with no luck. I Just get a broken picture, and I don't know enough about graphics to know why. Sigh. I did okay ftp'ing the Magellan .gif, but the Aussies mailed me theirs, and I suspect I messed up in stripping the headers or somesuch.

Good evening, everyone….

Good evening, everyone. Not a whole lot to report, since I'm still sick and mostly have been schlepping around the house trying to get well (and not really succeeding, although my cold does seem to be moving around a fair bit -- last night was hacking cough -- today it's incessant sneezing. sigh). I did drag myself out to a party last night despite illness, and glad I did, because I ran into a friend whom I haven't seen in a few months (he's been very busy with exams) and who I think is pretty cute and who I think was perhaps flirting back with me? Not sure, but perhaps we will see where this goes? Oh, sometimes I think I am a fool, but then again, youth is short and sweet and now is the time to be foolish, no? What's a little fling between good friends? It's fun to think about, anyway.

Today re-reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a ridiculously funny book by Douglas Adams. On something like the 4th or 5th re-reading he still has me laughing out loud -- very impressive.

Not much else to say, actually. Behind on collating interviews for the magazine article -- must do tomorrow morning! Feeling too spacy to attempt it tonight. Should also get to bed moderately early since I'm having some friends over for potluck brunch tomorrow. Somehow even though I know I'm sick I have a hard time convincing myself to slow down.

Hey, everyone. I should…

Hey, everyone. I should put a counter on this page too -- I wonder how many people actually read this each day.

Still somewhat sick -- stayed home from work today and slept in to help recuperate. Still horrendous bags under my eyes and my throat is pretty bad, but my body doesn't feel quite as achy as it did yesterday. Hmm... hold on a sec -- I'm going to go put on some water for hot chocolate.

Okay, am back. Ugh, my kitchen is a mess. As soon as I finish this, I'm afraid it'll be dishes time. I've been neglecting the place a bit since I've either been sick or over at Dave's a lot lately, and neither Karina nor Kevin are too into housework (more accurately, they're pretty much slobs -- good thing they have other appealing qualities :-).

Hmmm...thinking about a bunch of stuff lately. Was really happy last night at David's -- so happy that I was sort of hyperaware of it, if that makes any sense. Happy enough that I wanted to capture that experience, that moment, (the whole thing, not just a snapshot of it (why is it that we so often take photos of things and not recordings? Is sight so much more important than sound? Why haven't we developed touch-recorders of some kind, so that sf-type feelies could really be done?)) to pull out and hold onto in those moments when I'm feeling like the world is too bleak to be borne. Not that I've ever actually felt suicidal -- I'm just much too pragmatic/optimistic (depends on your point of view) a person, and I know that my misery is unlikely to last...but sometimes it would be very good to be able to feel happy on cue. And I'd rather not rely on alchohol or drugs to do it for me (actually, call me an innocent, but I've never tried any drug other than liquor -- not even a cigarette -- maybe someday, but I just haven't felt a need for it, and I'm scared of possible consequences. Weird, especially since in some ways I feel like a writer should try to experience as much as possible in order to write effectively. Well, those can wait, at any rate. I'm generally on a Mary Anne-high in any case, and I'm moody enough without 'em).

Oof, rambling like crazy. Which probably means I should go write a story if the words are flowing this easily, but I don't really have any ideas on what I want to work on. There are a couple unfinished pieces lying around -- "The Prometheus Design" and "A Tale of Two Tellers" and of course the novel, but none of them sound particularly interesting right now. I'm actually collaborating on "A Tale" with Riffy, a net.friend of mine, and it's definitely my turn, but goddess-knows when I'll get to it.

Whine whine, complain complain, moan groan kvetch. I'm going to go drink my hot chocolate and try to do some dishes. I can at least be somewhat constructive even if I can't write.

Got a neat piece of mail…

Got a neat piece of mail this morning:
"It is great to see the realms of intrinsic human cultural awareness being tenuously prodded by pioneers such as yourself." Is that what I'm doing?

Well, whether it is or not, events are proceeding apace. Yesterday I withdrew several submissions which had been out for several months, (to Crank!, Century, Dragon Magazine, Worlds of Fantasy and Horror (they're having real problems, from what I hear), and Zero Gravity Freefall) which will hopefully let me sell those stories to other markets. I had some snail-mail problems for a while, so it's possible that their rejections (or acceptances, I suppose) simply didn't reach me, so I won't give up on the markets quite yet. Got "The Devouring Night" ready and sent it off to Science Fiction Age (okay, will send it as soon as I get more stamps). So all's well there.

Rheal has also kindly agreed to help me start up the erotica/porn discussion list for writers (Rheal runs the Writer's Workshop, a fabulous place for getting critique and market information, divided into various subgenres - send mail to listserv@psuvm.psu.edu with the message 'subscribe writing' in the body of your text to join), so we're getting started on that, which is exciting.

Watched my show last night (Party of Five :-) so yesterday evening was pleasant. I'm coming down with a nasty cold, though (was up coughing much of the night), so I may leave work early today. Finished that issue of Century as well last night -- not all the stories were quite as good as the first three, but the writing level was still surprisingly high.

Payday! (which will mostly dissolve into bills soon, but oh well...)

Morning, everyone. I…

Morning, everyone. I just walked in to work, reading issue #2 of Century Magazine as I go. I haven't read this magazine before, but so far I'm very impressed. Every story I've read so far (3) has blown me away -- it's difficult deciding which one I like best, though I think "La Charmante" by Felicity Savage (her real name) wins by an edge. Definitely a magazine worth taking a look at, though the consistently high quality (and supposedly very slow response time) makes me despair of selling them one of my own stories. Oh well -- wish me luck!

Not much else exciting to report on this end. Waiting to see how the job situation goes. Got some stories to submit. Mailed out the Forum submission. Spent yesterday evening relaxing at David's. All is generally well, and I'm starting to itch to write...

Such an up and down…

Such an up and down week. The toilet's fixed and the bedroom's clean and I bought tulips yesterday and scattered them around the place (in bottles and vases, not on the floor :-), so home is looking very nice and I just submitted two stories to Penthouse Forum (Paint and Just Reading News) (or I will as soon as I buy stamps) so things are good there. On the other hand, I think I may have to quit my job, for complicated reasons having little to do with either me or my boss and much to do with other people's incompetence (and expecting me to clean up their mess). It's nothing immediate - I'll give a month's notice in any case. But the whole thing is stressful and frustrating and I don't want to deal with it. Argh.

I did go back and insert that story I promised you for last Sunday. Hope you enjoy it (not sure one is supposed to do that sort of thing, but oh well).

Ugh, what a morning. The…

Ugh, what a morning. The toilet's stopped up; I missed my bus by 20 seconds and had to walk in (pleasant some days, but I was/am cold today); and I'm feeling sick. On the plus side, yesterday I managed to make two batches of baking powder biscuits (yum!) and ate the soup I made Saturday morning with salad that our friend Sarah brought over and chocolate pudding pie (very very easy -- just add milk to Jello chocolate pudding mix and pour into graham cracker crust -- chill 2 hours). Also made and hung curtains (well, I still have to hang one of them, but I'll do it tonight), dark green, for the bedroom. I've been in a domestic mood lately, can you tell? :-)

So the workshop Saturday. Well, I did get a bunch of useful crits of my story "Worse than Dragons" (wish I could share it with you, but I'm trying to sell this one, so I need to keep it quiet) which is a fun little fairytale. Basically they liked it, but thought I spent too much lead time on it and was weak on plot. Loved the voice/characters. Pretty typical of my writing, I'm afraid -- I can do style and character and voice -- plot is tough. If I'm not careful, I'll spend all my time doing little character vignettes which are fun but don't sell!

On the negative side, the group (largish - 20 people?) seems to socialize a lot and work little. We spent about 9 hours doing work that could easily have been done in 4-5. I'm not sure what to do about that in the future except bring a book.

Last night I hosted the local Poly Support Group meeting -- usually a fun thing and useful, but this one was frustrating because I wasn't in the mood to be social and hostess-y (usually I enjoy it) and because a couple of rather loud people dominated the discussion and sort of overpowered the quieter ones. Which I guess happens a lot in meetings, but I'm not an experienced enough moderator to know how to fix it. Yick.