Hey, munchkins. Are you…

Hey, munchkins. Are you having a good day so far? I woke up feeling horrible, but some Advil and tea later, appear to be okay now. Y'know, I used to have mornings when I'd wake up feeling just fine. I remember them, I do. I want them back!

So far today, have mostly done SH stuff. Sent out a reminder to the laggard POD authors; only about 4-5 left to respond. Once those are in, I'll send out contracts to them (which means I have to draft contracts, oof!) and put the anthology together. I'm hoping I get everything back by this weekend; I have a nice long quiet time over Thanksgiving break, which would be the perfect time to put the book together. Fingers crossed. I also set up a Cafe Press store for SH -- they've really streamlined the process; very nice. :-) Frank Wu (who illustrated "Slugball") is going to do up a test image for me so I can see what his image looks like on a mug. It's taken me a while to figure out how this stuff works; it looks like if I want multiple images on the same items, I need to create a little store for each one, and then link them -- so it'd be Frank Wu @ Strange Horizons, etc. Probably more technical than you wanted to know...anyway. Stretched my brain a little at first, but I think I've got it now.

I also drafted a dedication and acknowledgements for Wet; I'll try to revise the intro next, I think. It's one of those days for a thousand little tasks. Nothing too overwhelming, especially now that the dang Derrida paper is handed in. :-) May check in later -- if not, have a good Wednesday, okay?

11:40. Haven't revised intro yet; soon. Did send out SH newsletter, forgetting to note one thing -- that we're raising article rates to $40/piece. Write us an article! Pretty please? Send queries to David, at articles@strangehorizons.com. Hopefully this rate increase will get us a) more submissions and b) better submissions. :-) I'll note it in the next newsletter, at any rate. We'll see if money really does talk...

I looked over our galleys for next week; there was an interesting article on Star Wars fan films, which I didn't really know anything about. I went over to theforce.net and watched a couple; the original one, Troopers, was really good. (Although even with a cable modem, it was a little slow and spotty in transmission -- can't imagine what it would be like on a slower connection). Lots of fun.

I've started doing some reading for lit. crit. -- Foucault's History of Sexuality. I've read this before, but a long time ago -- at least I hope it was a long time ago, 'cause my memory of it is really fuzzy. It *could* have been for Kathryn's class two years ago. But hopefully it was actually for the introductory sociology sequence in college, which would have been more than a decade ago. That would be a more comforting span of time. In any case, good stuff -- Foucault is very convincing when I'm reading him. Of course, most of these people are. I'm just a wet sponge -- I absorb whomever I read and believe what they believe until the next person comes along. It's a good thing I'm a creative writer and not a critic.

Although speaking of criticism, some exciting news -- you remember that Kay article that Chris Cobb and I did for SH? Well, he's turning it into a much more scholarly piece and has had it accepted to present at ICFA. Sadly, I don't think I can make it out there this year -- not if I want my department to pay my way to AWP (Associated Writers and Poets, I think). Although, since I have this paper already accepted...oh, it's tempting. Anyone want to buy me a $300 plane ticket to Florida? :-) Still, I'll assume not, since it's really more important that I go to AWP this year and schmooze with the lit. fic. people. But it's nice that I get this little academic credit almost for free (since Chris is doing most of the work, though I do plan to help out some on the paper). :-) Even better would be having it accepted for publication somewhere...I wonder if Science Fiction Studies might be at all interested. It's something to hope for, at any rate. And maybe even work towards, even if this isn't really technically supposed to be my field. (Not that I really know what my field is -- post-colonial identity politics? Sexuality? Magical realism/slipstream fiction? Who knows, really...)

1:45. About halfway through the Foucault; I should finish it this afternoon, I think. The question is, will I find time to do the ancillary reading as well? Check in later and hear the answer to this gripping question...

I spent a while paying bills -- ah, that mix of pain and satisfaction. It was lovely that I had enough money to pay the bills this month; if only there were more left over. I finally got around to doing something I should have done a while ago -- switched my cell phone plan from a painful $50/month for 500 minutes (many of which often went unused) to $30/month for 200 daytime minutes and 2800 evening/weekend minutes. In theory, that should be enough to cover most of my long-distance costs; I will endeavor to use my cell phone whenver possible (and keep a reasonably close account of the minutes, since going over is an agonizing 40 cents/minute). This should cut down significantly on my phone bill, which was a very sad $240 last month. (About $150 of that was 2200 evening minutes; I spend a lot of time on the phone, apparently. :-) It's necessary to my sanity, but not necessary to spend that much! It may take me a little while to get used to using my cell so much more, so I'm asking for help -- if I call you in the evenings or on the weekend, please ask me if I've remembered to use my cell phone for the call. Thanks!

Soonly my contracts should come back from my authors and I can send them to Melcher and collect the second half of my payment; that should pay off some outstanding debts and make my life happier. I really hate owing people money. I think this summer, I may try to make a chunk of money somehow. I don't plan to sell my body on the street, but anything short of that is sounding sort of appealing... :-)

I don't want to give you the impression that I'm in dire financial straits, btw. Just a typical American, with typical debt. I'd like to be a typical Brit instead -- fiscally responsible, and the sort of person who waits to buy a house until they have the cash to do it. :-) That level of fiscal stability is probably far beyond my abilities, though.

8:20. Okay, I wasn't going to post again, but just a very quick note that Todd clearly just doesn't get Kirk. I will agree that Picard is the best captain qua captain -- if I were in charge of Starfleet, I'd want Picard on my flagship. Sisko's not a bad captain to handle a war, and Janeway...eh. Ick. It's too soon to tell with Archer, so we'll leave him aside. But if I had to pick a captain to *follow* -- it'd be James Tiberius Kirk all the way. Because the one thing that original Trek had that none of the others have matched is that Kirk is a gold-plated hero, in the best and worst senses of the word, and the crew follows him not because he's smart, or scary, or patient, or impassioned (although he can be and has been all of those things), but because they love him. They flat out adore their captain, and I do too. And no, this is not the wisest way to captain a ship -- it means that sometimes your crew is going to want to make the wrong decisions because they just can't stand to let you die. They're going to be tempted to even sacrifice an entire universe, just to save you, their captain (and you can probably tell from that transition from Kirk to you just which kind of captain I'd like to be). And it's gonna be only because they know you'd be disappointed in them that will save them from making that terrible decision -- that, and the fact that you've managed to put together the best damn crew in the fleet, and they're *all* heroes in the end, and understand what heroism's about. That was what original Trek was about, through and through, and while I may think Picard's universe is a little more realistic, and in the end, more nuanced and even more interesting -- Kirk and his universe -- well, they were glorious.

Great "Enterprise" episode today, btw -- in fact, the last three have been very solid. I have hope for this show. :-) Though pretty soon, Archer needs to be really wrong about something -- to make a mistake, and understand that his mistake has consequences. Essential to his character development (and Starfleet's), I think.

Final note to Todd: Trek canon is clearly that Vulcans *master* emotion, not that they are emotionless. Only the small percentage that study Kolinahr (the complete divorcement from emotion) are striving to be actually emotionless -- and most of those who attempt it fail (including Spock after V'ger). This was Surak's teaching -- that Vulcan emotion was in fact so great that if they didn't master it, it would destroy them. Vulcans almost went extinct several times in the era before Surak, in nuclear and other holocausts. See mating ritual for remnants of that time; vestiges of emotion that they cannot master. See also episode with Sarek and Picard, when disease and mental degradation destroy Sarek's ability to control his emotions.

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