Hey, everyone. Managing…

Hey, everyone. Managing to squish this in at the end of a busy (but productive day). Had a great weekend hanging with Kirsten and relaxing and doing girl stuff...didn't get quite enough sleep but I'm going to try to make that up tonight.

Today I managed to finish revisions on a couple of stories, organize the manuscript (I had a really hard time deciding what order things should go in, and I'm afraid the final result is somewhat random, but it's done), sent the remaining unrevised stories to my writers group for final critique, and booked my plane tickets for the CA apartment-hunting trip. I'll be staying with friends, May 30 - June 9, but if any of you want to get together for lunch sometime, and will be in either SF, Oakland or Berkeley, drop me a line.

Got to get back to work -- have a great day, people!

Saw a funny quote in…

Saw a funny quote in John's .sig today:
"I believe that nothing completely satisfies an imaginative writer but copious and continuous draughts of unmitigated praise, always provided it is accompanied by a large and increasing sale of his works."
- Frederick Locker-Lampson, _My_Confidences_

Cute, huh? I hope y'all are having a good day. I'm very happy, 'cause Kirsten got in last night. Going to bike home at lunch today and have lunch with her, I think. Then back to work, dinner with her and David tonight, and then shopping tomorow! We may even drag Kev along for part of it. :-)

Life is generally good. It looks like they may have found a replacement for me at my day job (they started looking when I got into Mills), so in a couple of weeks I may be done here. I'll start temping then, I think. It looks like I'll be out of town in SF apartment-hunting the first week in June, so no diaries for about 10 days around then. Brace yourselves now, my little addicts. :-)

Still eating that leftover curry and stew with fresh batches of injera -- the recipe makes a lot! It'll be lasting me a while, I think. Anyone, got stacks of mail to get through (I've been so busy lately that I've only been answering the quick or urgent stuff, and flagging the rest), so I'd best get going. If I don't write again, have a lovely weekend!

Morning, everyone….

Morning, everyone. Quiet, productive day yesterday -- went over to David's after work and relaxed. Generally feel better and less fretful, though still busy busy busy. :-) Spent a while on the phone yesterday with someone interested in publishing the book! Guess the self-publishing idea is going on hold while I shop the manuscript around to see if anyone else is interested. Now I have to figure out how to write a query letter.

Kirsten's coming tomorrow! She has a conference in Washington, and so is coming early so she can come up and visit with us. I'm looking forward to her company, and the chance to go shopping with someone who really understands... :-)

Ate terrible leftovers yesterday. Ick. Should have taken David up on his offer of dinner. Got to go to the store today and stock up on some better food Hmmm...wish I had something more exciting to say, but it's just a quiet day. Neat quote someone sent me:

Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos.

- I Ching

I find that extremely comforting. :-)

2:00 pm - Found a fabulous recipe section online - The African Cookbook. I'm going to attempt the fake injera and the doro wat and the vegetable stew for dinner tonight -- I'll let you know how they come out (mmmmm...injera....). (If you haven't had Ethiopian food, you must go out and try it -- no sick jokes, please. It's delicious).

Heya. Feeling better,…

Heya. Feeling better, though still a bit overwhelmed. I've been asking my writer groups for advice and they've been giving me publishers, so I guess the next step is to put the names in a list and draft a proposal. It just feels so arrogant -- saying, "I think you should publish my stories and poems 'cause I think they're good and I think they'd sell." I guess it's no more than what I've done sending stories to magazines, but it just feels so much bigger...

I was feeling so down yesterday that I not only skipped dance class but had dinner at MacDonald's. Paying for it now, as I don't feel nearly as healthy as I should. I should know better. Oh well -- everyone slides sometimes.

Found some inspirational reading at Border's yesterday, from a book by Bonnie Friedman called Writing Past Dark. (Also sat there and read the new Tanya Huff book, No Quarter -- much fun. :-) Here's a sample:


"'Why do we seek fame?' a student asks the spiritual teacher Krishnamurti, according to a book entitled Think on These Things.

'Have you ever thought about it?' he responds. "We want to be famous as a writer, as a poet, as a painter, as a politician, as a singer, or what you will. Why? Because we really don't love what we are doing. If you loved to sing, or to paint, or to write poems -- if you really loved it -- you would not be concerned with whether you are famous or not...Our present education is rotten because it teaches us to love success and not what we are doing. The result has become more important than the action.

'You know,' he continues, 'It is good to hide your brilliance under a bushel, to be anonymous, to love what you are doing and not to show off. It is good to be kind without a name. That does not make you famous, it does not cause your photograph to appear in the newspapers. Politicians do not come to your door. You are just a creative human being living anonymously, and in that there is richness and great beauty.'

"Just one thing saves me from envy: returning to my work. My desk is a quiet place. My hours there are like panes of clear glass. I sit down and try to hear my characters....Theirs is a separate world that waits while I rush about, fixing meals, making beds, getting jealous and unjealous and maybe jealous again....

"Envy is a con man, a tugger at your sleeve, a knocker at your door. Let me in for just a moment, it says, for just one moment of your time. It claims to tell the truth; it craves attention. The more you listen to it, the more you believe, the more you think you must listen. You must get the info on who is out there, how young the competition is, where they've been reviewed, what they've won, and what that means about you. The antidote to envy is one's own work. Always one's own work. Not the thinking about it. Not the assessing of it. But the doing of it. The answers you want can come only from the work itself. It drives the spooks away."


Long, I know, but worth reading. Reminding me of uncomfortable truths. I am too fond of the spotlight, I think, and excuse myself by saying it's my nature. The lights are fine, as long as they don't get in the way of your work.

Morning, everyone. Tired…

Morning, everyone. Tired today. Generally the weekend is restful, but somehow it didn't work out that way. Kind of a blah weekend -- I was in a funny mood. Oh well, mostly feeling okay now -- back to work. So I was all set to try to self-publish the collection, right? But now a couple of people have expressed interest in maybe publishing it, maybe distributing it, and I'm not quite sure how one goes about handling this. Talked to Kirsten last night, and she thinks I should really put the manuscript together and shop it around some first. Which I guess makes me nervous for a bunch of reasons -- partly that I'd be venturing into this new world, and have no idea how much I should be expecting to charge, etc....and partly because I'm nervous about trusting my work to some stranger -- the last guy who seemed interested in working with me on this totally flaked...and partly, I guess, because I feel that the work has to be really good if I'm going to get it published by a real publisher. Which is silly, I know, since if it's good enough for me to publish, it should be good enough for them, but...

..argh. I'm just in a bit of a bleak mood, I guess. I'm going to go and try to drown myself in work for a bit, and hope that cheers me up. Hope you all had better weekends than I did.

Okay, I messed up! Good…

Okay, I messed up! Good thing you guys are keeping an eye on me. :-) But now the last two entries are firmly in May where they belong, so if you missed them hiding in April, just take a look below. Sorry about that, but as you know, things have been crazy.

Spent a couple hours working on the manuscript. Tentative contents: Poetry: Confession, Hymn, Mango, Renewal, Sleeping with His Best Friend, Turning Bodies, Memory's a Traitor, Dreams of a Lover, Letter, Summer, and Orange After Midnight. Stories: Attraction, Blind, Chantal, Diana, Feather, Gorgeous Gracie, Hope of the Lord, Lady, Fleeing Gods, Letter Found Near a Suicide, Meditation on Human Relations, A More Congenial Spot, Morningsong, Paint, The Queen of Fairies, Radhika and Matthew, Reunion, Season of Marriage, Would You Live For Me. If anyone's got any favorites that I missed and that they simply MUST have in there, drop me a line, and I'll think about it. It's hardly fixed in stone, and I hope to write one or two new stories and poems as well, in addition to the ones in there.

Looks definite the John is stepping down for a while from the erotica list. Luckily Brian and another are stepping in to pick up the slack. Three cheers for helpful souls! :-)

All sore from dance class last night, but was a good class. Easier than usual, 'cause the best people weren't there, and we had some new people, so we went slow, and nothing was new to me. Nice to relax for a change. Usually I feel as if I'm just barely keeping up in that class -- and I still get hopelessly dizzy on turns. But I can touch my head to my knee in stretches now. :-)

Good morning, my dears!…

Good morning, my dears! It's beautiful today, and Martha brought in a bunch of lilacs to the office, so it smells a little like spring even inside. Life is good with me -- two people have expressed interest in possibly publishing and/or distributing the collection of my work, so I have to get the manuscript together in a hurry. Could be very good. :-)

Lilac Dawn (remember them? They gave me a literary excellence award?) finally has their second issue up, with a poem by me -- you may want to go take a look, though it's not a new poem...(10/24/96 note: Lilac Dawn appears to have disappeared.)

The only distressing news is that my chief co-conspirator in the erotica workshop may have to give up his duties for a while, which would be very very sad. I'd have to draft a new co-conspirator. We'll see what happens.

Dance class tonight! :-) I hope all's well with you guys...

Happy May Day,…

Happy May Day, everyone!

Dogwood Drift

White truck rattles down
dawn streets. Slips beneath a tree,
trailing pink blossoms.

Saw that this morning, as I was biking to work (in a clear, crisp beauty of a morning). And was hit with joy, sudden and unexpected. It wasn't a clean truck, but something about the flowers surrounding it and slowly falling away -- aw, it was just beautiful. Great way to start the month.

It's going to be a busy month too. Tonight I have off, but tomorrow is dance class, Friday is folksing night, Saturday is my friend Cappy's revert-to- childhood party (she has the Schoolhouse Rock videos! and finger paints! :-), and Sunday I get to see Aiko, a friend I somehow missed all winter. Social life kicking in with a vengeance. :-) Just better not start slacking on my work...

Huh. I hadn’t realized…

Huh. I hadn't realized it had been quite so long since I'd written until I got little concerned notes from a few of you. Sorry for the delay, but been very swamped (and got horrendously sick with some bug Sunday night, but am all better now) with work. I am currently:

1. Holding down the day job
2. Trying to figure out housing for grad school
3. Writing little porn letters for a web site on commission
4. Working on the novella for Puritan
5. Trying to assemble the manuscript for the anthology (which I finally have the money for)
6. And most time-consuming, moderating the erotica workshop (30- 50 mail messages/day alone!)

Do I sound like I'm whining? A bit, perhaps. It's been an exhausting couple of days. On the good side, I'm healthy (again), fairly happy, and very satisfied with all the work I'm getting done. Had to come up with a working title for the manuscript. Was waffling between Dreams of a Lover, Turning Bodies, and Torn Shapes of Desire (all titles of old poems of mine). Went with the last, but may change my mind. David suggested just Shapes of Desire, but somehow I feel like that lacks oomph! I don't know...:-)

Otherwise, the list is humming along nicely, with some lovely stories, and useful crits. We could use some more market info, but that will hopefully come in time.

Tonight two editor friends of mine, Gary Bowen and Cecelia Tan, will be reading from their erotica at Borders. I encourage any of you around Philly to come -- I'll be there, and would be happy to meet you. :-)