Must buy plane tickets…

Must buy plane tickets for Roshani's wedding today. Must buy plane tickets. Must buy. Must...

Arthur kindly informed me that the magazine I was looking for is Zyzzyva; he was correct, so now I'm going to take a look at what they have on-line, and see if I can figure out if they'd be a good home for "Esthely Blue". I'm also sending another story out today, "Deep with Sea" to Liz Holliday at Odyssey. I meant to send it in January, but you wouldn't believe how long it took me to get IRC's. (Odyssey is in the U.K., so rather than enclosing a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope), one encloses a SAE and some IRC's (international reply coupons). Don't you like acronyms?)

Ploughshares is also a good shot, but they don't accept subs until August, so maybe I can sneak "Esthely" in somewhere else before then. I'd also like to use "Minal in Winter" for the July sub at Glimmer Train, but it's currently out to the Asian Pacific American Journal, who have had it since January, so I think it's time to drop them a little note checking on the status.

Arthur and Roshani both recommended another Calvino to me, _The Baron in the Trees_, so I pass the recommendation on to you, as it may be a little while before I get to it, as I am currently thoroughly engrossed by R.K. Narayan. (I did end up feeling disappointed with the Mukherjee; I usually really like her work, but I think in choosing to base this one on a myth, she lost a lot of depth to the story...and it didn't even end up feeling all that mythic to me...just random. It's a tough juxtaposition to pull off -- modern setting and mythic overtones, and I think she just didn't quite manage it. Ah well. I'll go reread _Holder of the World_ or _Jasmine_ sometime if I need to have my faith in her renewed).

Now, I've read something of Narayan's before -- I think it was _The Guide_? It didn't quite click for me somehow. But yesterday morning I read his first book, _Swami and Friends_, and just adored it. It reminded me a lot of stories my father told about going to early school in Sri Lanka. And yesterday evening I devoured Narayan's second book, _Bachelor of Arts_, and I fully intend to purchase his third book, _The English Professor_, today or tomorrow. I may pause with his books then, or at least switch over to buying them used. But I'm definitely hooked. Great stuff for getting a feel for small city life in India.

You'll probably see me reading more Indian and Sri Lankan fiction for a while (Romesh Gunesekera's _Reef_ is sitting next to me, waiting patiently); it's my compromise between feeling like I need to know more about India/Sri Lanka before I write the chronologically earlier stories in this unnamed family saga I'm writing (and I need a name, but I think not yet), and having no idea where to start the historical research (and knowing that unless I find interesting books, I'll just get bored/lazy and drop the whole idea). The fiction is both helping to keep me enthused about this project, and reminding me of details. What I really ought to do is go visit for a while and travel around, but unless the NEA grant materializes (highly (!) unlikely), that just ain't affordable this year.

Hmm...I looked at the Zyzzyva guidelines; pay rate is pretty low. Maybe I should try it some other places first. Hmm...

Anyway, should get back to work. Just one more thing -- for the record, Karen, I hereby grant you ongoing non-exclusive electronic rights to use the phrase "munchkins" in your journal, with the sole proviso that original use of the term (in a journalling context, of course) is duly attributed in each occurence (I recommend footnotes), for an equitable consideration to be determined at a later date, but not exceeding one dinner or two clothes-shopping excursions or one critique (of a story not exceeding 8000 words) or an item of similar value.

12:30 update: I am compulsive. You knew that. I am not just a little compulsive, or even a lot compulsive; I am insanely compulsive. I start compiling a little info for myself, and before I know it, it turns into a web page aka ongoing project which will suck up more of my time. Meep. ("But it's so much more efficient this way," says the little voice in my head. Hush. Stupid little voice. That voice gets me into more trouble...). Anyway, for those who are interested, here's my new annotated list of literary markets.

Maybe now that I have the bones of it down, I can go get some real work done (that is, if Kevin ever wakes up so I can use the printer...)

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