Yucky Fish

Writer's Block is Like the Tooth Fairy

It's not real but if you think about it too much you'll get freaked out

Rejection: a new genre
Got a rejection for my Jewish old man story today from The New Yorker:

We're sorry to say that this manuscript is not right for us, in spite of its evident merit.  Unfortunately, we are receiving so many submissions that it is impossible for us to reply more specifically.  We thank you for the chance to consider your work.
The Editors

It seems too needlessly encouraging to be a form letter, but who knows. I don't know anyone who has gotten either an acceptance or rejection from them. I was hoping to take a shot at a wider audience with this one. It's the closest I've ever come to writing anything that might cross into literary circles. Maybe I should try Zoetrope next.

Wordcounts! Apocalypse!
flying spaghetti monster

April 22: 902

April 23: 1056

April 24: 0 (Excuse du jour: worked 8 hrs at day job)

April 25: 1363

April 26: 548

April 27: 421 (?)

April 28: 692

You can see my wordcount slowed abruptly. That's because on Saturday I brainstormed some ideas with Sara K. and decided to change a bunch of things. I think these things will make it better, but it means being more thoughtful (once again) about how the beginning is laid out. That's why the ? after my count on 4/27--I was going through and tacking on bits and pieces, here and there so I'm not sure what the real count of "new" words was. For me, slower usually equals better. A lot of stuff I wrote on those last couple of thousand word days is pretty fluffy and will probably be cut anyways.
Today I have managed to procrastinate writing for a solid hour while making my flu kit and updated emergency kit list. I believe that when the apolcalypse happens, there is an 80% chance that it will be the superflu, and that it could happen in my lifetime. Thus, I'd like to always stay prepared. Plus, I live in Earthquake Land, so I don't have to be panicked to justify this as being important. A while ago, I finally managed to make us a go-bag and a small stock of emergency food/candles/meds. At the time I was really proud of that, since normally we are the kind of people who would have one box of cereal and a jar of pickles in our pantry. Now, six months later, it looks paltry. It wouldn't feed the two of us for a week. So I must add more long-term foodstuffs to the list too!
Of course, I could have done all that this afternoon.

The Birth of a Novel
My wordcounts of late:

April 16, 2009: 867

April 17, 2009: 1022

April 20, 2009: 1003

April 21, 2009: 926

You can see I took myself a nice long weekend in there. What can I say, my brother was here. Today I'm only up to 300 or so, but I don't have to go to work, so I have time. But my point is that these wordcounts are fairly high (for me) and remarkably steady.
Also, I have a new job. Not entirely sure how I feel about it quite yet, but, well, it'll be different. And it sort of fell into my lap with no struggling or anxiety on my part, which is a bonus. I despise looking for a job.

Admiral & the Prez
If you get HBO, go watch The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. It's very much a show where the good guys win, the bad guys go to jail, and the slightly misguided guys donate money to charities to make up for what they've done. Does it get any better?
Plus, Jill Scott.
PLUS, awesome music that is enough on its own to bring joy into your heart.

On appearances
Adventureland, if I were to go by the previews, seemed like it should have been funny and quirky. I like movies about the 80s, I like the movies made by other people involved in it. However, snoooooooooore. Seriously, so boring. The whole thing is about being angsty about sex, OMG about weed, and casual about drinking. Which might have been slightly more interesting if all the characters weren't, oh, 21 and 22 years old. Seriously?

What Happens in Vegas, on the other hand, looked like a crappy farce comedy, full of badly done physical humor. But last night The Boy and I felt like watching a brainless romantic comedy. Instead, what we got was a rather clever romantic comedy. I'm not saying it's great cinema. You have to kind of suspend your disbelief, like you're watching an 80s movie, actually, where judges can order people to do anything. But I laughed out loud a lot--I think the director did a great job in making even very simple moments more funny than just the dialogue allowed for.

For example, when the two main characters have a falling out, the guy's buddy comes up to ask for the girl's phone number. Instead of just saying, "Dude, can I get her number?", the guy asks, then gets out his cell phone, pushes a few buttons (we all know he's going into "New Contact") and then says, "Okay, I'm ready."

That's FUNNY.


calvin & hobbes
Thwarted! It seems like I blink and suddenly a month has gone by without my submitting, revising, or even trying to figure out where the next place is to send a short story. Today I'm looking for a home for "Tornado Juice," but the two places I want to send it to most are Weird Tales, which is closed to submissions until Memorial Day, and Realms of Fantasy, which is closed until further notice.

It would probably take me until Memorial Day to get around to sending it out anyways, so I should probably just hold my horses until then. I think it would be a pretty good fit for WT, as it's one of the oddest little stories I've ever written.

Iowa becomes third state to legalize gay marriage


And also...Iowa? California, hang your head low. Very, very low.

flying spaghetti monster
Hi Boys and Girls!
If any of you are thinking of doing a summer writing workshop this year, the deadline for Odyssey is rapidly approaching. I LOVED my time there, and learned crazy amounts of stuff: 



Odyssey class time is split between workshopping sessions and lectures.  An advanced, comprehensive curriculum covers the elements of fiction writing in depth. Students learn the tools and techniques necessary to strengthen their writing.  
The workshop runs from June 8th to July 17th, 2009.  Class meets for four hours in the morning, five days a week.  Students spend about eight hours more per day writing and critiquing each

 other's work.  Prospective students, aged eighteen and up, apply from all over the world.  The early admission application deadline is JANUARY 31st, and the regular admission deadline is APRIL 8th.  

Meet Our 2009 Writer-in-Residence

Odyssey's 2009 writer-in-residence is Carrie Vaughn, New York Times bestselling author and Odyssey 1998 graduate.  Carrie is the author of the phenomenally popular "Kitty" novels, about a werewolf who hosts a talk radio show.  The first novel, Kitty and the Midnight Hour has over a hundred thousand copies in print.  Books five and six of the series, Dead Man's Hand and Kitty Raises Hell, will appear in 2009.  Carrie's short stories have appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, George R. R. Martin's Wild Cards series, and other anthologies.  She has a Master's degree in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and has been a lifelong science fiction fan and reader.

Other Guest Lecturers

Odyssey is pleased to welcome its 2009 guest lecturers:  bestselling author Jeffrey A. Carver; award-winning authors Melissa Scott, Patricia Bray, and Jack Ketchum, and Editor-in-Chief of the Ace and Roc science fiction/fantasy imprints, Ginjer Buchanan. 

Other Odyssey Resources and Services

The Odyssey website www.odysseyworkshop.org offers free podcasts, writing and publishing tips, a class syllabus, and more information about how to apply.  An overview of the Odyssey Critique Service is also available on the website at http://www.sff.net/odyssey/crit.html.  This service provides authors with professional-level feedback on their writing, done with the thoroughness and depth for which Odyssey is known. 

Those interested in applying to the workshop should visit the website, phone/fax (603) 673-6234, or e-mail jcavelos@sff.net. 

They also have a livejournal now: odysseyworkshop  . Even if you aren't interested in attending the workshop, they publish great interviews and writing tips over there.

Beautiful old picture time
I am sorting through one of our mountains of CDs today, hoping to find the one that contains Photoshop. My computer crashed a few months ago, and although I managed to save all my docs, we wiped everything else.
But that means it's fun random picture time! Yay kids! Our first batch is from 2005--these are photos my uncle took of the farm in Northern Wisconsin where I grew up and where my parents still live.

Click for Camp 20 farm picsCollapse ).

Fantasy anthologies
calvin & hobbes
Bah, Tornado Juice came back with a form rejection. Like I said, at least it's fast.
I'm a little baffled as to where to send this next. It's somewhat light-hearted, quirky fantasy. Despite that, the people who have like it most were Clarkesworld. It's the closest I've ever come to selling anything to them. Now I sort of wish I had held off until I had this new and improved version, but you just never know.
I could try F&SF, but I'd really like to send Fratham there next, and I think it has a better chance.
So I guess I'm trolling for anthologies at this point. Any suggestions?


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