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|Tippi N. Blevins | |Tobias S. Buckell | |Ron Collins | |Erin Cashier Denton | |Linda J. Dunn | |Lazette Gifford | |Jon Hansen | |James Hartley | |Caroline Austin Hazen | |Eric T. Jorgensen | |Terry Kanago | |Lorrie Kralka | |Mary Soon Lee | |Stephen Leigh | |Debbie Osorio | |Dawn Pasley | |Jenn Coleman-Reese | |Kurt Roth | |Dorothy Rothschild | |Diana Rowland | |Chiara Shah | |Lisa Silverthorne | |John Sullivan | |Tamela Viglione |
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This is a recording of me singing my mother's favorite carol...
Sorry that it may take a bit to download...


[Tarasik the beige Lhasa, Angel the black Cocker, and Vera the pale Human, Christmas '98]

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Goodbye to 1998!!!

Happy birthday to Jeffry Dwight, our most excellent owner of SFF Net (the 28th), and Greg, my friend Janbie's fiancee (30th)!!! Happy 3rd wedding anniversary to my friend Diana Perry-Elby and her hubby Andy!!!

It's been an excellent year, folks. I will probably make a more detailed summary of it in my newsgroup, later tonight...

In the meantime, I'm off to make the traditional family Russian Salad, and stay up to toast the New Year with my parents. For us former USSR expatriates, New Year is a MAJOR holiday equivalent of Christmas! My favorite holiday of the year!!!

See you all in 1999!!!

Oh yeah, and above is a picture of me on Christmas Eve, with 2 of my 4 dogs -- Tarasik (beige Lhasa Apso), and Angel (black Cocker Spaniel). I hope to have more animal pics soon!



Okay, Ron Collins had a brilliant idea that will solve our Not-A-Webring problem. He suggested that I (or whoever -- I'd be happy to do this link upkeep, but if you want to, I won't fight you for the privilege *grin*) will make a single page that just lists our links, and then we ALL just link up to that page! I think that is awesome!

Now, what we need is a logo! Anyone wanna design a nice "Not-A-Webring" logo for us? That way, all we need to do is just include the small graphic in place of our old list of links, and that'll take the surfers directly to the list! We probably also need a larger version of that same logo to grace the top of the links list page. What do you all think? Also, another option, if you want that page to load faster, is that you can store it on your own site, but it probably should be a mirror of the original page, for the sake of consistency. We can have this neat new thing go in effect starting with the new year!

I propose a Not-A-Webring Logo Contest! E-mail me with your results (URL of both your big and small logo jpeg, please do NOT e-mail me the actual graphic)! The winner gets fully credited and gets our eternal devotion and all that good stuff. *grin*

Boy, I feel much better about that webring thing. ;-)

Ok, now I have 4 stories I want to brush up for a bunch of markets that start reading on January 1st, 1999. Instead of working on my poor constantly-set-aside Ruricca novel, I plan to use my 4-day weekend (starting tonight!) to finish these stories, get them out of my system already, and then I can safely go back to the novel.



Not-A-Webring forever... :-)

Before Diana gave us this neato name, I was the first person to actually bring up webrings in my journal, and in doing that I mentioned how much I hate them. Well, guess what? That hasn't changed.

I still hate webrings. And I certainly don't want this unique group of writer journal links to become one. Have you really surfed a webring before? It's a pain in the ass. And in fact, it just adds extra steps -- since I refuse to use the useless "next" button, I always click on the "list" button, which gives you the list of all the members of the webring, so then I choose which one I want. That's basically what we have already, a list of everyone's links up on the top. Why compound the situation? With the list of links up front, the control is in your hands, and you read whichever journal the mood strikes you. The only difference between the webring structure of the list and ours, is that in our case, each person is responsible for adding individual new links. Now, is that so difficult?

On the other hand, I do agree with Diana and everyone who thinks that this group is getting too big to be comfortable, in some ways.

So, what should we do? Need we exclude people?

Here's is what I propose. Instead of simply adding everyone and anyone who remotely fits our format (ie -- writer keeping a journal with some mention of writing in addition to other things), why not just link to a couple of people we really *want* to link to? If you are like me, you may want to have all the links to everyone. Or if you're selective, like Kurt, you may just have a couple. Hey, if you don't want to link to me, I won't be offended! Just link to the people you read most frequently, and the rest we'll find by clicking from journal to journal. As long as we're all "loosely-linked" we can be one so-called entity. :-)

On the other hand, should we limit entry for newcomers to our journal group? Well, that's the toughest problem. First of all, it really isn't that nice to say "no" to perfectly nice people who may want to link to you. On the other hand, you just may not want to link any more people, dammit! Who says you have to? Your conscience? Well, tell your conscience to stuff it, and just learn to say "no."

Finally, I do think we should come up with some minimal criteria for our group. For example, people who don't update their journals at least once a month, can be dropped. As as result, I am dropping John Everson and Ruth Ellen Kostik, with no offense to either one of these nice folks. They just don't keep a regular enough journal to bother, and besides I don't even know these people! *grin*

Another criteria might be the nature of the journal. Some people like reading the rich juicy personal account journals with lots of life details, and really dislike the terse submission-and-rejection-only styles of other folks. So, why not just link to the kind you like? I personally tend to like the ones that take the middle road -- kinda like my own journal. Too much personal blathering bores me, and I admit to skimming the long-entry people. Again, no offense. However, I also get a bit unsatisfied with very short posts with nothing but mail results. What I absolutely love is good essay-type concise rants that make a single well-developed point, or a series of such, but don't blather about the other junk details of one's life. That's why I love Diana's journal best. She somehow is able to make a wise meaningful point out of every circumstance she writes about. No description or observation is wasted. Perfect! The same goes for Tippi's and Kurt's journals. The other journals have their wonderful moments too, but not every single time.

So my point is, if you wanna link to others, then do so. If you don't, then don't. If you like long or short entries, then read those you prefer. But please, everyone, don't change your style just to please me! For every type of journal keeper there's a reader who loves their style. I tend to like a whole range of them, but prefer the golden meaningful middle.

And above all, let's please not become a webring.

So, what does everyone else think?



Why do you feel blue?

I know you do. Don't try to lie to me. Don't bother to deny it.

Because I know you, like I know myself.

There is an inevitable sense of alienation that creeps upon you slowly in the hoary middle of winter. It is reinforced by the strange inward focus of being locked indoors, and stuck one on one with yourself. You are faced with slowing down, with introspection -- while the warmth of the hearth and the enclosed sense of being one, an island, while the world freezes outside, while others "seem" to have families, loved ones, warm gatherings – all of this serves to separate you farther from the rest.

They say people get depressed during the holidays.

It's because holidays make you pause your life for a moment, and re-evaluate things. They make you grow still between the rapid breaths of your existence. They make you compare what you have to what you think other people have, and to what you think you *should* have.

Illusions are tested during the holidays.

You think others are out there, attending festive gatherings, experiencing joy and communion with their families and loved ones – and you don't have loved ones. Or at least, yours are the ones with all the problems, all fucked up. What a great horrendous joke your so-called family is, your "loved ones," your mate....

Or, maybe you don't have a mate.

Maybe you don't have a lover.

Maybe you don't have a friend to share your life with.

Maybe you are sitting all alone with a bottle (if you drink your emptiness), or with a bag of chips or other junk (if you eat your lack of love), watching TV reruns, seeing other people having a life, or the illusion of one. There's a little tree in the corner that you may have decorated, and it is a bitter reminder of what is apparently denied you.

It is cold outside. The lights twinkle. Other people's houses are microcosms of comfort, of unity, of completion, which you can never share.

And so you delude yourself for a moment. You go out there, and go to a party, and then you come back and it's all the same. Nothing has changed. Or else, you go and attend a family gathering (if you have a family), and all the crap is there, all of that which you've forgotten.

And so you come back, and you sit again alone. You may come to the window and watch the darkness outside, and the twinkling neighbor lights. You go and eat, or drink. You lie down in bed.

You think, and your mind is in a morass of slow gathering darkness.

If you are creative, you try to engage in what you do best. You write, do art, make music.

All to while away the time.

The time of aloneness. But then, when all is said and done, it all comes back, creeping.

It sucks, doesn't it?

Well, let me tell you something, friend.

Problem is, you allow yourself to think of what things SHOULD be.


There's no point in dwelling in illusions. There's no reason to wallow in empty comparisons. Because none of it is real.

Life is now.

It is this MOMENT.

Yes, you are living it, and you are filled with the vibrant breath of existence. Stop for a moment and hear your own breath.

Stop now, and listen…

Can you hear the PEACE of the moment?


That is the only TRUTH!

And now, let the emptiness inside you be filled with a need to reach out. The desire and will come forward suddenly and let you stream outwards and all around you. And suddenly, you swell. You expand from the inside, and begin to grow with a bright warm light, and you expand to merge with and join the universe around you….

You are bright and TRUE, and you have so much to GIVE!

For in the GIVING of your brightness, you join the others – others who are small shrunken islands, all alone, just like you – and you suddenly are there with them, across the VOID, across the emptiness.

The winter darkness outside has suddenly lost its chill. Because you are now like the SUN! You burn and radiate warmth and you are its source, and you give it forth, and you blaze like a great star, like a million twinkling lights of the winter holidays.

So, go out there, and GIVE OF YOURSELF, and cease being alone!

Help the rest of us, give your hand to us, and pull us out, one by one, out of our own self-induced aloneness! Because that is the one secret -- we are ALL depressed and alone and wallowing in sorrow during the holidays, since it is the one time we stop to think.

But none of us HAS to be.

Give me your hand.

I'll pull you out of the darkness.

And you, pull me in from the cold.

Merry Christmas.



Happy birthday to my dad (yesterday) who is now 81 years old! :-)

Another day, another Not-A-Webring Gang Doohicky member! Welcome to Dawn Pasley, who has just completed her first novel! Good for you, Dawn! :-) Now, can we slow down this rate of fungus... ahem, member growth? ;-)

Congratulations to Mary Soon Lee for another sale to Altair! And talking about, congratulations to Robert N. Stephenson, editor of Altair on the birth of his son Joshua! Wonderful news! :-)

And what of my life? My writing? My dreams? My feelings about the Clinton impeachment? My unsuccessful pursuit of daily sleep?

Once again my Ruricca novel is on hold, due to a sudden need to rework a very old story based on my LORDS OF RAINBOW world without color.... I had written it like a decade ago, and suddenly a possible market beckons. All I need to do is whip this old baby into shape....

Ok, rant slowly rising to the surface, gagging me here in the throat... Yes!! It's gonna happen, folks!


I do wanna see this movie... eventually. I've heard great reviews from everyone. And I really honestly sincerely think I would like this movie. Maybe even enjoy it very much. But DAMMIT!!! They used a major premise from my novel LORDS OF RAINBOW!!! The world without color (TM) is MY IDEA!!! I came up with it in 1984, more than a decade ago!!! I have ways to prove it!!! And now my novel is finally written and being marketed, and I don't want publishers to think I am copying PLEASANTVILLE, because I am NOT!!! My novel is a high fantasy anyway, and it really is totally different, except for that one darn premise!!!


Has this ever happened to you? You come up with a great idea, you nurse it to fruition, maybe longer than you should, and then you find out that someone else has beat you to it! How do you handle that? I *know* my novel is different, unique, it is not PLEASANTVILLE. And yet, I am anxious beyond belief.

Okay, end of rant. Or, more like a slow sizzling out....

The anxiety is still there, underneath the surface.



Addendum: Came home to find page proofs from Talebones, for my story "Mount Dragon" due in this upcoming issue #14 at the end of January. They look pretty good actually! Artwork will be by Wolf Read! :-) I'll deal with them tomorrow... :-)

* * *

Awwww, Criminy! I buckled under the pressure of more names, and got rid of the definitive description of each person's journal above. Awwwww! I really liked those descriptions too, but there's just no room, if you know what I mean.... The Gang just keeps growing like a foot fungus! (Ok, maybe not like a foot fungus, but I am in a grouchy mood because now I don't have those nice journal names up...)

And talking about more, welcome to Stephen Leigh to the Not-A-Webring monstrosity! Pull up an electron and join us, man! ;-)

I also buckled and caved in further, and added a weather forecast "thingie" up to the top here. It's blinking like crazy, and it's making *me* crazy, even. I hate animated graphics and banners, so this is barely tolerable.... But again, internal dissonance here -- it is so cute! Tell me what you think, folks, if it gets too blinky-dinky and too annoying, I'll take it down. *grouch*

Ok, now the usual grapevine... And let me run this through quickly -- congrats to Zette for finishing VITA'S VENGEANCE! Congrats to Ron who's got a new neat project idea (does it indicate pope-white smoke?)! Hugs to Chiara who *wants* to write real bad, to the point of tears, but cannot find the time -- wow, can I relate to this, oh lord! Hugs to Lisa's cat Tele who is doing much better! Congrats to... awww, who else did something cool lately? (Boy, you can really tell when I am in a mood, can you? *paring nails*)

Anyway. I've sent off most of my holiday presents, but not all yet.... The Christmas-New Year Tree is not up yet, but I did put up a string of lights around the window on the inside, so that we can at least be in the running with the neighbors who have a major light show going... *grin*

Writing. What's that? Going to bed at 3:00 AM every night and getting up at 6:45 AM is not doing good things to my creativity (not to mention making me into a pissy bitch).

Maybe I'll feel better after I sleep in this Saturday....

What else? Why nuttin'! What do you want, poetry? Now, go look at someone else's journal, already!



Another Monday, and December's really flying by....

First, a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Toby Buckell for making that second story sale! You're doing marvelous, Toby -- pretty soon you'll be a jaded old dude where sales are concerned! ;-)

Now, I deserve to be bopped on the head, but I forgot to welcome Tamela Viglione to our Not-A-Webring, No Sirree Gang! I actually put in her link on a day I wasn't gonna make an entry, and then promptly forgot, like the scatterminded floozy that I am.

Funny that Ron Collins mentioned it, I also have just read David Marusek's amazing story "Yurek Rutz, Yurek Rutz, Yurek Rutz" and I can't recommend it highly enough! It is an incredible oddity! You'll love it, folks! David, if you're reading this, you're a genius!

Oh, and have you all seen that gorgeous picture of Lisa Silverthorne with one of her kitties, in her journal?

I haven't been writing all last week, so I do feel that icky sense of guilt that always manages to snag me after a while -- kinda like a rubber band always gets you on the rebound after you pull it -- but it has really been impossible this week. I've been running around doing Christmas shopping, and other hectic fun stuff, and making music tapes for some friends. Maybe this week will be more writing-productive? Hmmmm.... Hoooo-hummmmmm....




Warm winter lights...

In the darkness of the cold evening, the night thickens like a snow-demon, even in a climate where there are no seasons, only a dull dry winter. You drive through streets lit by electricity, with street lamps casting a remote greenish-fluorescent glow upon blackened greenery of this sub-tropical perverse chill-season that is winter in Southern California.

And then you see them.

They are jewels in the darkness. They wink in primary colors, garish like candy, like a forgetful child's toy. They ripple and cascade and run in rivers of electrical impulse. They wink on and off to outline with magic the angled roofs and vague shapes of trees.... You fly by darkened streets, and suddenly like a bit of dislocated wonder, you see a glimpse of fairyland. Here, and yet again here, a pocket of glittering joy in the darkness, as yet another house is revealed in the aura of the holiday lights.

If you put out lights for Christmas, or New Year's, or any other Winter Holiday you may celebrate, I would like to remind you that you are adding a sudden jolt of unexpected joy to some stranger's living moment.

You've had no idea, did you? Or maybe you did. Maybe that's what prompted you to put up the wonderful lights to dispel the world's winter....

And if you don't follow this custom of holiday winter lights, may I ask you to reconsider? Try it, and you will be surprised by the way your pulse-beat suddenly races as you look at the outlines of your own brightly burning radiant creation in the cold darkness. So, decorate with lights, and let's bewitch the night for the whole earth, this winter!

I thank you, all of you who have. :-) You've warmed my heart!

* * *

And talking about joy, CONGRATULATIONS to Harold Chester for making his first sale today! What a feeling!!

Not to forget, the amazing Zette has written HALF a MILLION words this year, as of today!!! Wow!! Congratulations!!!



Welcome to Jon Hansen who is the latest addition to the "Not-A-Webring Dammit, Durnit and Gosh Dang It" Gang of Journal Writers. :-)

Sincere congratulations to Kurt Roth for taking control of his personal and creative life! I think I'll keep a link to his journal, because although now it is not career-oriented, it promises to be equally fascinating. I look forward to your great rants on all subjects, Kurt!

Kudos to Diana Rowland for making an emotionally difficult post about Rosacea, a skin disorder that affects her. I think your cheeks are lovely no matter what, Diana!

And a lighthearted congrats to Eric T. Jorgensen on his brand new computer! You're really flying now, Eric! :-)

Yesterday was a nutso day for me. I woke up in the late afternoon as I always do on the weekend, and opened my snail mail, and there were page proofs from MZB for SWORD AND SORCERESS #16, and of course they had to be turned in like overnight yesterday, so I went into this mad overdrive mode. I copyedited the proofs, found a character's name being misspelled in a hundred places, found another typo or two, called Terry McGarry on the phone at her office (she wasn't in, it was the weekend, duh!) because I wasn't sure how to mark up these darned proofs.... Yes, believe it or not, after all these years of selling to MZB, these are the first proofs I get from her!! Anyway, I marked up the corrections the best I could, lamely, stuffed them into an envelope, rushed to a post office that stayed open late on Saturday (thank god for that), and sent it off priority, to the editorial assistant at DAW. *phew!* What madness! Now I know why Elizabeth Moon and other people are saying that proofs always come in at the last most inopportune minute -- they do! What is it with these publishers? *grin*

And yet, despite all that, I managed to get about 600 words of writing done on the Ruricca novel. For me, who writes infernally slow, that's not bad at all. :-)



Happy December! :-)

Congrats to anyone who has sold something recently -- I forget now... *grin*

Congrats to Ruth Ellen Kostic for finally updating her journal, after all these months!

And fun-fun-fun to Caroline Austin Hazen who is reading Homer's ILIAD right now -- this was the very first "real" book I've read (in Russian) as a kid back in the Soviet Union, and I was obsessed with it and with Ancient Greece for a very long time.... Wow, what sweet remote memories! :-) It certainly stands at the heart of my love of fantasy....

Over this holiday weekend I resumed writing my novel THE HANGED WOMAN, and am now researching Tarot, and learning a whole lot of fascinating stuff about it....

Now I bet you never thought that bird poop can help you with your writing? Well, let me enlighten you otherwise.

Thanks to Tippi N. Blevins's valuable input, here's my BirdShit (TM) Theory of Writing or in this case of starting a new novel:

(excerpted from a post to my SFF Net newsgroup)


Ahem... *sounds of throat dramatically clearing*

*rubs hands together in symantic glee*

All right!! Nooooow! Allow me to explain, folks....

The original question was: "Where does one START a new novel?"

And my answer is the following scientific step-by-step procedure:

1) Imagine you are a bird. Not just any bird, but a fast flying bird, the kind that cruises at the speed of a missle....

2) You, the bird, are swooping by a rapidly flying landscape of a planet, where the landmarks all blur into a single indeterminate whole. This planet is the so-far-unbreached surface of your newly conceived novel. Details whirl by too fast, churning in a morass of ephemeral images of your imagination -- scenes and words and faces and jumbled thoughts and sparks of sudden wonder.... You have no idea where to stop, because you, the Bird of your Living Self are hurtling forward on a momentum of your original creative catalyst, the energy that propelled you to home in over this uncharted world in the first place....

3) Now, make an effort -- not to slow down, or to change the pattern of your flight, but simply start swooping down just a little bit CLOSER to the surface, allowing it to rapidly whirl by you... Don't worry about anything yet....

4) Closer and closer you come to the turbulence before you. At this rate the scenery is moving even faster in relative motion to yourself, since the details are magnified by the proximity. Scenes and dialogue, and actual characters are seen rapidly flying by, just near enough -- and yet you are moving too fast to grasp anything, too intent on your own hurtling motion to disrupt your own creative balance....

5) Where to start? Oh, where to start? It is all a rapidly churning river of patterns, of images, of YOU.... Well, here is the trick. Be on the lookout for a single solid bright scene which has the most ENERGY and which acts like a catalyst for further events to unravel.

6) Have you spotted it yet? Can you see it flying by? Missed it? Don't worry, it'll come back again in an instant, since you are orbiting the planet of your imagination with the FTL speed of thought....

7) And there it is!! Are you ready, bird? Take a big breath! Aim for the target!!

8) Now, CRAP!!!

There yah go. See, now you *marked* it, and the scene takes on the life of its own, solidifies, because you made the brave and oh-so scientifially calculated decision to start your novel landscape right here and now....

See, that wasn't so bad! And they say that bird poop brings good luck!


May this luck be yours indeed, on this new novel venture! :-)

Note: This Proven BirdShit (TM) Method is recommended for use by anyone over the age of 3 and under the age of 3000.. ;-)



[Vera and Lauren, Pomona College class of '88!]

Since I am going to be done with paying my college loan next month, I just thought it might be fun to post this decade-old graduation pic! One of my best friends, Lauren Oliver, is on the right. Go, Sagehens! Pomona College class of '88! Chirp!

So okay, a prairie chicken is our mascot, don't laugh! *grin* However, as a school, we're still way qool because of the weird connection we have to Star Trek....

Congratulations to Diana for getting her navel pierced! Wow, you've got guts, babe, and you look great! :-)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!! I know what I'm thankful for -- all of YOU, dear friends!



Addendum on good stuff in the mail today:

Got my payment from Talebones for my upcoming story "Mount Dragon" in Issue #14, and the contract from Visionair SF for my Dutch reprint story "Beauty And His Beast," both extremely prompt!

A wonderfully hearty congratulations to Jenn Coleman-Reese for selling her story "Curtain Call" to Pulp Eternity Issue #4, the Price of Magic! Hooray!! We are in this one together, Jenn! :-)

A most Happy Birthday to Patricia Duffy Novak!!! :-)

Ron Collins has a lovely new version of his journal up, and so does Debbie Osorio....

And Toby Buckell, have a great vacation!! And congrats on the ergonomic split keyboard -- I can't live without my own MS Natural split keyboard.... It rules!

* * *

Congratulations to Linda J. Dunn for selling her story "The Selkie" to XOddity!

Congratulations to John Everson for finally updating his journal entry after half a year! LOL!!

MAJOR Congratulations to Tippi for deciding to take the plunge and finally work on her "fun" novel, instead of letting life just go by while being concerned with its so-called marketability. Bravo, I say! If there is no market yet for YOUR type of beloved novel, then you need to make your own new market niche!

And Diana, I love your excellent rant about the need for external validation after all. I agree -- and YET, I also agree with the flip side of it. I think the true nature of the beast lies in personal timing -- there are times in your life you must have the external validation such as being published, and other times you find it is no longer relevant to your sense of self and achievement. I have personally gone through both stages of this, more than once, back and forth, and have currently settled on the "screw validation to hell" side of the see-saw. Of course who knows how I'll feel tomorrow? Writing is indeed a lonely psychotic attitude.... ;-)

Oh, and did I mention that I plan to return to my own Ruricca NoOnesDaughter novel THE HANGED WOMAN this Thanksgiving holiday? Yes, I will!! :-)



[MAELSTROM SF, Issue #2]

Here's the thumbnail of the cover for Issue #2 of Maelstrom SF, in case you wanna see what it looks like! :-) (Click to see a fullsize image.)

After a sleepless week of major revision, I handed a new and improved draft of my novel LORDS OF RAINBOW to my agent, and it's off to a major publisher. I am not supposed to say any more just yet.... I was up all night printing the damn thing again, and I've had no more than 3 hours of sleep per night all week. That tells you I am one of those creatures who can just run on nerves and no sleep whatsoever. It is taking its toll however.... :-)

Some very excellent non-writing news in the snail mail today -- I've been told by my lender that I have only one more installment left before I pay off my college loan!!! :-) I graduated in '88, so I've been paying for a decade now! It's about time!! I feel like I've got a raise! :-)

Oh, and another congrats to Mary Soon Lee for her story acceptance at XOddity! This woman never slows down!!! ;-)



Good news addendum! Just heard by e-mail from editor Klaas Wassenaar of Visionair SF, the new Dutch SF magazine, that he will be buying another one of my stories! :-)

This one is "Beauty And His Beast," a reprint of the story that had originally appeared in SWORD AND SORCERESS #8. It will be translated into Dutch, and will appear in Issue #3!!!

Mr. Wassenaar also mentioned that "many readers were very pleased with your Fantasy story." :-) That one had appeared in the Premiere Issue #1, also a Dutch reprint of "The Stone Face, The Giant, And The Paradox."

Note to anyone submitting -- the magazine has a NEW e-mail address visionair@hetnet.nl (and that explains part of the delay in his response -- it's been over 2 months).

This makes my day!!! :-) I loved the presentation of my story in the first issue, since it had gotten several great illustrations, so I am really looking forward to this one!

*big grin*

Incidentally, this makes my 6th short story sale of the year! I break my own record -- AGAIN!!!

* * *

A big hug to Linda J. Dunn who has recently posted a terrifying personal account of spousal abuse.... Hang in there, friend, and it is a good thing to finally get these things out in the open!

Another hug to Lisa Silverthorne, to help her also deal with the vagaries of our daily jobs (we both do tech support).

And as for Terry Kanago saying "I want a name when I lose," and asking "what" she is (with the definition of published being equal to writer), I must say I really disagree -- Terry, you are a writer for as long as you have the need to write, pure and simple! All else is just external validation -- nice but not required! :-)

There's significantly more lightness in the air for me, as I am on an upswing, and things are taking on some concrete shapes at last. Even the will to create is coming back, and I just need to put a little more focus on it.... I am also doing some inquiries into other art assignments (interior illustrations), but until things are certain, I will not get specific.

As I was saying in IRC chat last night, here's a dream of mine: I win the lottery, pay off my debts, and buy a huge roomy garden condominium complex in a beautiful natural spot, for all my friends to live in, and we will just have a creative people colony, where we can write, do art, music, whatever! No day jobs!!!

Yeah, dream on, Maniac!



Sorry folks, I really posted a downer yesterday. But it actually made me feel better to get that out of my system. Or at least, partially.... Thanks to everyone, especially Lisa Collins, Zette Gifford and Linda Dunn for worrying about me (and Tippster for cheering me up with an awesome offer I can't refuse), and your comments are all sincerely appreciated, dear friends! But I am okay, really I am.... You can't keep the Manic Weasel down for long. *grin* Even the con crud is finally getting under control. Throat still hurts bad when I swallow, but at least it's reasonable. I survived it all on my feet, without missing a single day of work, and I think that's what really took its toll on me.... And yes, Linda, I need to clean that room! :-)

Heh, lucky Friday the 13th....

In better news, a big welcome to Lorrie Kralka who joins the "NOT a Webring, Durnit!" Writers Gang of ours. :-)

Oh, and I posted the 2nd installment of my WFC'98 Con Report on my newsgroup. :-) It's really long, I warn yah!



Another round of applause to our amazing Mary Soon Lee, who has made a sale to the legendary Amazing Stories today! And a second round of hurrays to Tippi N. Blevins who has sold a story to a new erotica e-zine CleanSheets!

I am juggling the Compass Rose universe in my head, and things are coming together at last, so that I can actually visualize the whole short story collection as a table of contents lineup. All I have to do is write about 4 more stories for it. I suppose the next in line is re-writing "The Miracles of Ris" and then completing "Caelqua's Spring," both of which are hinging one upon another.

On the other hand, I would also like to get back to my novel THE HANGED WOMAN.... However, my problem is that unlike all my writer friends who've come back from WFC all excited and ready to be highly productive, I am going through a period of odd indifference. It's not so much that don't want to write (I do! It's one of my strongest wants!), but it's simply that I am very very tired, in general. Even "wanting" things is taking on a remote hazy feeling, a distance. Maybe it's the horrible lingering con crud that has me down. But I am really just too tired emotionally to make an effort at anything -- be it writing, home, people, work, whatever -- and I hardly even care. I mean, it's so odd, but if someone told me now that they are buying my novel, I wouldn't care.

Yesterday I stood in the living room and looked at the full-length portrait of my Armenian grandmother, young and beautiful in her Victorian dress, the one that I've painted about a year ago. I stood there, and this moment of longing came over me, to just go into a large roomy studio and start painting.... To paint and paint and just stay there forever, and never worry about the time, and just create beauty and peace.

And then it hit me that I don't have a large airy studio. I paint nearly on my lap in a tiny cramped room, near my computer. And the room is so crowded and such a mess, I can't even find a place to put up an easel any more. And I don't even want to bother. And... even if I did, I don't have the luxury of such time....

Then, the moment was gone, and with it the urge to create beauty. Hollow reality came washing over me like indifferent twilight.

I need a vacation from life.



First of all, HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Mary Soon Lee who is expecting her first child! Take good care of yourself, Mary! :-)

I have posted the first installment of the WFC Con report in my SFF Net newsgroup.

Check out Diana's today's journal entry for some compromising pictures of me... Criminy! *grin*

I am slowly getting over the Con Crud, but it's still there....



Yes, I am back from WFC'98, the absolutely BEST con ever! However, I am dizzy and I got parchment throat -- not a flu exactly but some kind of odd con crud...

A detailed report will show up in my newsgroup, probably this weekend, so stay tuned. Sorry I cannot say more, but I am really not feeling well, and here I am, at work (and just my luck, the customers are particularly nasty today), not really able to miss any more work days, after taking all these vacations days to attend 4 cons this year. Hope I last till the weekend.... *groan*

It's really an oddly dissonant state to be in, dizzy and weak, and yet quite happy from interacting with friends for a wonderful weekend in Monterey. At last, I've met in person many of the folks who have been good online friends, and they are even better in real life than I imagined -- Tippi N. Blevins, Jim (Jimbo) Bailey, Melisa Michaels, Erin Cashier, Dennis (Rev) Allen, Neile Graham, Jay Random -- not to mention seeing again all the friends I already know, such as Patricia Duffy Novak, Lisa Silverthorne Purvis, Kurt Roth, Diana Rowland, Zette Gifford, KyttE Burke, and a million others (forgive me if I did not list your name!)...

And yes, I terribly miss everyone already, and want to be with you all, dear friends -- you are the best reason for it all! :-)

I suppose it's time to return to the routine.... Incidentally, upon getting home, my contributor copies of Maelstrom SF were waiting for me, and the magazine looks really nice! :-)



Here is my World Fantasy Con '98 Program Schedule:

FRIDAY, October 30

(44) Reading by Vera Nazarian
Room: Bonsai I -- Doubletree

FRIDAY - October 31
7:00 PM

Mass Autographing Session at the Meet the Guests Reception.

FRIDAY - October 31
9:30 PM
The Monterey Marriott
Room: TBA
(watch for many fliers all over the place!)

SFF Net Party!!! BE THERE!!!

SATURDAY - October 31
12:00 noon

(61) Silver Ages -- Neglected and Little-Known Golden Ages
Room: DeAnza I -- Doubletree

Golden ages tend to be somewhat ethnocentric. Even in these pro-diversity time, they seem to run in fads and trends. Some times and places you may not have thought of that could be looked back on as a golden age, at least for some.

Cecilia Holland, Aleta Jackson, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Vera Nazarian, Lucius T. Shepard, Josepha Sherman


See you all soon at the con!! :-) Come by and say hi, will yah?

I'm probably not going to be posting here until after I come back on Sunday night after the con....



Congratulations to Dorothy Rothschild, whose recent short work "After Tonight" has been published online in After Dinner e-zine! Incidentally, Dorothy has dubbed me the Mistress of the Links, a rather scary title to live up to, so in due measure I have added two more writer folks after finding them through Diana's page. Welcome to Eric T. Jorgensen and Debbie Osorio to the Gang (TM). And no, we're NOT a Webring, durnit! :-)

Finally found out from the WFC Programming that I am indeed a panelist, and also have a reading and autographing scheduled. More details ASAP, before I leave for Monterey.

And did I mention that SFF Net is having a party at WFC? Well, yes we are, and guess who is hosting it once again.... :-) The party is scheduled on Friday night, around 9:30 PM, in the Monterey Marriott, directly after the En Masse Autographing Event. Room details will be posted on flyers during the con. Everyone, please come by for some delicious goodies, and meet a bunch of SFF Netters, and learn more about this wonderful unique genre writers online community! :-)

It occurs to me that this year has been a major turning point for many of my writer friends -- just read Lisa Silverthorne's excellent essay on "Monsters and Inner Sense of Wonder" -- in the sense that we're all a pack of brother wolves, joining together, traveling the same bitter lonely road, passing the same mountain apex, and then racing toward the same valley, driven inevitably there by our own momentum....

Why do I say this? Because we are all going through a writing attitude crisis of sorts. Kurt Roth planted the idea of the "original freedom" in my head earlier this year, and it took off and grew within me, and I suddenly threw off the horrible drudgery where I also hated what I was doing, saw no meaning to my pursuit of empty publication. At the same time as I was in the slow painfly growing-pains process of throwing off the false burden, there was Lisa Silverthorne going through a desparing dry spell. Then Diana Rowland had the post Clarion blues. Ron Collins quietly persevered in his daily output, but even he admitted to an unusual kind of "block" or lack of wonder, despite spouting the words. Caroline Austin-Hazen was having a moment of confusion about the reason for her education, the purpose for it all, and her writing -- where does it all fit? Then came Linda J. Dunn's recent admission of resigned despair, of hatred for her novel. Okay, who is next? :-)

I smile now. At all of you, at all of us, friends....

We have reached the apex of the writing experience mountain together, and even now we are seeing the other side.... And that other side, in its wide alien vistas and marvelous expanses, looks mysteriously similar to that side from which we all originated, the farthest reaches of childish wonder which propelled us on this journey in the first place -- ages ago, when we were but children, and when we dreamed easily, unencumbered by anything but what we really loved.

Yes, that mountain really has two sides, and the foothills of both lead to the same thing.

Begin and end with original innocence.... The birth of wonder.

Because the next mountain ahead is even taller.... :-)



Ron Collins has done it again! The man has sold his story "A Gathering of Bones" to Mercedes Lackey for her FLIGHTS OF FANTASY anthology! Ron, you're amazing!! :-)

In her journal entry of last night, Diana Rowland had a wonderful rant about the secret of what really keeps us buying books, and why Robert Jordan keeps on bringing people back, even after being looked down by other writers.... And as for your working an extra-long shift today, Di, due to the end of Daylight Savings Time -- sorry, babe!

Just read Linda J. Dunn's journal entry, and have this to say, Linda -- please don't give up, my friend! I swear, what you describe sounds exactly like... burnout! I went through it earlier this year, and I think Lisa Silverthorne did too. The reason you "hate" your current novel is because you need a break from writing it, and maybe from writing in general. Take a month off! Oh, and another thing -- consider changing your writing attitude, kinda like I did. I now no longer feel so driven, and I think that has really helped. Concentrate on what you really *want* to write, or nothing at all. In fact, if at this moment you feel no inspiration, it might be that you've been squeezed dry of all your creative juices, of the vital "emotional writing blood." It needs to be replenished.

And thank goodness Lazette Gifford's journal is back up, together with the freenet on which it resides, and there's a new functional furnace in her house to keep all the kitties warm! :-)

In my own news, I got a MZB Fall Darkover Royalty check, and a check payment for my story "Sailing The Eye Of Sun" in Maelstrom SF. On Friday at work, my company moved to a different huge warehouse building, and I got to drag tons of equipment and boxes (since our tech support department has to be on the phones first thing on Monday, we got to move our own stuff).

I'm getting ready for World Fantasy Con. There's a million things to do still, and I leave on Thursday morning (I'll be driving).



Happy birthday to Kurt Roth!!! You're older, Dude! ;-)

Welcome to the so-called Writers Journal Gang (TM) to Toby Buckell who is a new and determined writer. Bravo for the "not giving up" attitude, Toby! You're definitely one of us.... :-)

And in the other news, Issue #2 of Maelstrom SF is out, with my stuff in it, and other people's great stuff! Everyone, go and get it!!! (A single issue is $3.00, or a one year subscription is $12.00)


And in case you didn't hear me, let me just repeat that one more time....



Happy birthday to Diana Rowland!!! And no getting sick on your birthday, you hear?? Get well NOW, woman!! That's an order!

Happy birthday to KyttE Burke!!!

Happy belated birthdays to Christy Hardin-Smith and Helen Heath Thompson!

*phew!* Did I miss anyone else?

Ok, yeah, I did. Since we're at it, happy birthday to Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers! You rock! :-)



Well, the nurse came to our workplace today, and just like Jenn and Caroline, I got a flu shot. However, unlike them, I didn't feel anything, and it didn't even itch or sting, much less was sore. In fact, I can't even find the place on my upper arm where they jabbed me... *grin* I have never had a flu shot before and hope this one really works. Or, if I am to be sick, let it be over fast....

My art for Maelstrom SF is all done as of last night, and scanned in. :-) I am looking forward to the actual magazine issue, which is due at the end of this very month! I have never had 3 separate works (2 illustrations and 1 story) published in one issue of anything before, so this one feels particularly special. I urge everyone to subscribe!



Huge congratulations to Ron Collins whose story "Out of the Blue" has just won Third Prize in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers Of The Future Contest! Ron, you are awesome, dude!!! :-) And it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!!

Meanwhile I am busy doing the artwork for my own story for Maelstrom SF... Running under a deadline, here! Wish me luck, folks....



Good news again!! Just heard from Dave L. Felts, editor of Maelstrom SF -- which is a sharp new speculative fiction small-press publication -- that he is buying my story "Sailing The Eye Of Sun" for the upcoming issue of the magazine! This is yet another one of my Compass Rose Universe stories which are particularly dear to my heart, and is the 4th one of them to see publication.... This is also my 5th sale of the year!

But wait, there's more! Dave also asked me to illustrate my own story! I am dancing on air!!! This is my first opportunity to illustrate my own writing in print! Happiness!!! :-)

Which also means that I will have not one but two illustrations in the same issue, one for my own work, and one for Ken Rand's story!



Major congratulations to Lazette Gifford for finishing her novel THE LOST CAUSE on October 9th, despite being down with a nasty cold! Way to go, Zette!!! Teddy bears and cats everywhere are proud! :-)

Also congratulations to Lisa Silverthorne, Tippi N. Blevins, and a whole slew of other writers who have a story (or several stories) appearing in the long awaited anthology HORRORS! 365 SCARY STORIES published by Barnes and Noble!

As for me, well, I've had a long week, and on Wednesday survived a nightmarish tragi-comic US Citizenship Interview and Fingerprinting cattle-call, the details of which are in my newsgroup. Suffice it to say that I just might be a US Citizen before the year 2000. *grin*

Writing? What's that? I don't even have time to keep up wth e-mail and newsgroups!

Because of this sudden awareness of the scarcity and preciousness of time (as if I had no idea before, heh -- nope, it's just that it finally came home to me hard), I've decided that if I ever want to finish writing all the things that I want to finish in my lifetime -- which as of now, is my Ruricca NoOnesDaughter Trilogy, the sequel to LORDS OF RAINBOW, another trilogy, this one SF, called PANTHEON, and a short story collection DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE (a total of 7 novels and 1 collection) -- I need to stop wasting time with secondary writing goals.

I need to only write the things I really WANT to write, things to which I am truly driven. Forget all the other "Career Move" (term courtesy of Kurt Roth) type of mediocre crap (stories that I might write to aim for a particular career-advancing market that just suddenly pops out of the woodwork). Instead, I will only concentrate on quality -- passion, poignancy, inspiration, wonder, and my own strength of creative drive (which right now unfortunately is taking a bit of a nap).

After all, life is only so long, and we all have things to do. Let's not waste time with self-delusion, and realize our true dreams NOW!!!



Welcome to Lazette (Zette) Gifford who has joined our writers web journal family! Or is it a gang? Are we a gang or a family here, eh? Waiddaminut, nope, a durned webring, that's what we are! This place is beginning to look like a webring!! *grin* Though, I think I like this unusual way we're linking up to each other better -- webrings in their linear fixed structure actually bore me....

So then, we're an online writers gang!

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I missed the Pulp Eternity deadline (which is today) for submitting to the Alternatives Issue #3? My story is just not ready, and I am not in the mood to torture it into reluctant existence before its time.... So much for goals! But then, I haven't been in a writing mood lately, with all the music happening, not to mention that I'm doing a black and white interior illustration for Maelstrom SF magazine....



A huge congratulations to Lisa Silverthorne for selling her short story "When Sparrows Fall" to the anthology CEMETERY SONATA! Way to go, Lisa-babe! :-)

And a hearty hooray to Diana Rowland in her victory over Hurricane Georges -- it came, it saw, and she kicked its ass!!



Great News!!! Just heard from Patrick J. Swenson, editor of Talebones that he is buying my speculative fiction story "Mount Dragon" for Issue #14, due in January 1999! This is so exciting for me, since it's my first sale to this wonderful market (and 4th short fiction sale of the year), and I have ALWAYS wanted to sell to Talebones!

Congratulations to Tippi N. Blevins whose poem will also appear in this issue!!!

And a belated Happy Birthday to Judy Swanson whose birthday was on 9-24-98!



Got a 2-day bounce from Quantum SF with extremely helpful comments from Kurt Roth. Incidentally, Kurt's been a real liberating inspiration around here lately for all us obsessed writer types. Go read his most recent couple of journal entries. As for me, I don't quite know if I am going to drop my immediate short fiction writing goals yet in favor of my novel. I'm still thinking about it.... However, I just might be inspired enough to just quit worrying about it and do the expressive thing of the moment that I want to do now -- make some music with my fabulous new guitars, and sing. So, off I go, throwing writing all to hell (at least for the day) to do "The House Of The Rising Sun...."



Happy birthday to Tippi N. Blevins!!! I urge everyone to do a Wombat Dance of Joy (TM) in Tippster's honor! :-)



Something is happening... I've officially gone insane. I'm a Mad Hatter! This weekend I bought two guitars -- a Fender Strat (electric, deep wine colored with a white inset), and a Martin Backpacker (acoustic with a narrow unique body and a pickup), a portable Pignose amp, and am now in guitar heaven. (But not credit card heaven, no siree... *sound of credit cards screaming*...) Suddenly I am returning to my music, and am thinking of actually going solo with an odd combination of Russian folk and Celtic fusion music, and some weird rock thrown in, and performing somewhere.... I am a singer, but it's about time I've caught up on better guitar skills than just accompanying my voice. (I'm thinking of picking up an instruction video.) Oh, and did I already say I am crazier than a March hare? There.... :-)

I wrote about three opening paragraphs on a story tentatively called "Estrous Season" that I'm aiming for Pulp Eternity's Alternatives issue.... Normal story progress for me. (This is just how I write -- near final drafts. I always start out slow, writing each sentence with great care, and go back over the draft only once for cosmetic purposes.)

At the same time, I also am "considering" a story for Quantum SF. Yes, this is what I call writing. Most of my writing is done in my head, by considering and pressure-cooking ideas and images and themes like rich dollops of emotion around characters. Then I write it down in dissonant spurts of precision....



This is a rant.

A rant aimed at myself.

It occurs to me that up till now I have been thinking, and as a result, saying some wrong things, half in sarcastic jest, and half with all seriousness, about people. Things about what people should and shouldn’t do, what they should or shouldn’t wear, whether their body type, or degree of fat, or skin tan, or sagging breasts, or body odor, or other natural characteristics should dictate what they may *dare* to do to themselves physically – such as go semi-naked in chain mail at a con, or go without a bra, or don’t shower for days and stink like a barrel of pickled Kim Chi. Et cetera.

And the more I was doing it -- especially in IRC Chat, where it is easy to gather momentum and be funny in a cruel way, and say brilliant bits of malicious wit -- the stranger I’ve been feeling. Strange as in uncomfortable. Bad. Unfair.

What right do I have to impose my own aesthetic standards upon other human beings? What rights do any of us really have?

None whatsoever.

So, all of you fen out there, looking dumpy and messy and like total slobs, please carry on.

Be yourselves.

I’m one of you.

And if I ever joke about this again (which I probably will because I can’t help saying silly things), I promise to do that tongue in cheek, and always with a measure of respect.

And if not, I will give myself a wedgie. :-)



I got back from MZB's Fantasy Worlds Festival '98 really late last night, driving all the way from Berkeley to Los Angeles under a full orange pumpkin moon, and slept all day today.... The con was wonderful, and indeed a "relaxacon" in the truest sense of the word. I got to spend a lot of quality time with good people. A con report will follow soon, in my newsgroup... Now, time to start catching up on all the things I need to do, stories to write, people to congratulate...

And so, without further ado, HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Jim Bailey who has completed his first novel BELSIRA this weekend, on September 3rd! Way to go, Jimbo, you Dah Man!!!

Another batch of CONGRATULATIONS going out to Erin Cashier Denton, Lisa Silverthorne's Novel Dare partner, who just finished her novel THE LOPSIDED GOD!

Now, what's all this with you, people? This mad novel productivity has got to stop already! *grin* NOT!



Here is my Program Schedule for the MZB's Fantasy Worlds Festival '98 happening this Labor Day in Berkeley, CA.

  • Fri 6pm - Magic & Psi powers in fantasy and SF. (Effinger, Hambly, Nazarian, Paxson)
  • Sat 9am - Non-Western cultures as source material. (bes shahar, DeCles, Effinger, Kramer-Rolls, Nazarian)
  • Sun 10am - Sex and alternate sexuality in fantasy & SF. (DeCles, Kleine, MacEwen, Nazarian, Wheeler, Woeltjen)
  • Sun 1 pm - Writing about everyday life in fantasy. (bes shahar, Effinger, Kleine, Nazarian, Reginald, Smeds)

I'm driving up to Berkeley, and will arrive some time on Friday afternoon, and will leave Sunday evening. That's about it.



I've decided to do something a bit wild and atypical for myself, and wrote down my short-term writing goals for the rest of 1998, in an attempt to bring them to life quicker, and to control my own dilute flaky tendencies. Here they are, in no particular order except for the last item which is the one that I'm really looking forward to, and am now waving like a carrot before myself....

  • Complete an almost finished story, also one of my Compass Rose Universe ones, called "Caelqua's Spring." Possible home: MZBFM.
  • Write a new alternative sexuality story for Pulp Eternity's Alternatives issue. The idea for it just popped into my head this weekend...
  • Write a story with sarcastic wit for Kurt Roth's QUANTUM SF. Kurt says about his new magazine: "QUANTUM Speculative Fiction will be published quarterly by Obscura Press beginning in January 1999. For our first year, we will be closed to unsolicited submissions. We apologize if this seems in any way elitist, but we feel it is a necessary step toward becoming a stable market for all writers, established or otherwise."
  • Write another story for another undisclosed market.
  • Resume writing my novel THE HANGED WOMAN, which now stands at about 40K+ and needs at least that much more to be a viable first book of the "Ruricca NoOnesDaughter" trilogy! I cannot wait!!! This is what I would rather be doing above all else! I expect to finish it by January 1, 1999.

Part of what has really inspired me to get back to the novel is seeing that Amy Sterling Casil completed her novel THE GOLDEN AGE, Caroline Austin Hazen completed her novel THE REFLECTING POOL, and Patricia Duffy Novak completed her novel A WIZARD OF THE WAYS -- all of this last week! Wow, what an awesome week for novel-birthing! Huge CONGRATULATIONS to Patricia and Amy and Caroline!!! Oh, and I mustn't forget that now Jim Bailey is back to work on finishing up his novel BELSIRA also, and that just absolutely puts the clincher on it!



Well... I'm back from BucConeer Worldcon. Baltimore drained me, wrung me out, stimulated me, gave me joy, wonder, laughter, and friendship. A great con despite all the housing mishaps. See my huge detailed con report (now in progress) on my newsgroup.... I am exhausted!



I finally added a fledgling bookstore of some of my favorites, in association with Amazon.com. With time I plan to add all of the works that had really made an impact on me. For now, check out what little's there....

Worldcon is in two days, so I am getting ready. Finished my 3 critiques for the Writers Workshop, started packing. I leave on Wednesday. Don't have much more details regarding the SFF Net Party except that it will be at 9:00 PM on Thursday Night in the Hilton, somewhere....



I had a great time at Westercon 51 / Concept, doing a whirlwind 11 panels, plus a reading and a signing! See my newsgroup for a full report... Next week, BucConeer Worldcon '98!!! And yes, there will be another SFF Net Party hosted by yours truly on Thursday night at the Baltimore Hilton... Stay tuned!

Today I received my contributor copy of Visionair SF, the Premiere Issue. This is a new Dutch-language SF and fantasy magazine edited by Klaas Wassenaar, published in the Netherlands, on high quality glossy paper. My story "The Stone Face, The Giant, And The Paradox" got not one but four lovely internal illustrations by Feike Kloostra, and I am extremely happy with the overall presentation. I am also very happy to share the Table of Contents with my friends Lisa Silverthorne Purvis and Mary Soon Lee, not to mention Mike Resnick, Terry Bisson, Steven Burgauer, Jerry J. Davis, Kate Burgauer, and Molly Brown!



Another burst of great news! Just found out that my story "Amarantea" has been accepted by editor Steve Algieri for publication in the magazine Pulp Eternity, Issue #4, The Price of Magic, due to appear in the summer of 1999. This is a real triumph for me because "Amarantea" is one of my favorite stories, and is the first of my Compass Rose stories! The word Amarantea came to me in a dream, and it gave birth to the Compass Rose universe.... Incidentally, this is my third sale of 1998! Want to read an excerpt?



Today my completed first novel LORDS OF RAINBOW, OR THE BOOK OF FULFILLMENT is on its way to the publisher. This marks 14 years since I've been working on it, from the birth of an idea to final completion. Talk about a gestation period! A feeling of awesome happiness and terror. All I can say is, I am trembling.... Wish me luck, dear friend!



Great News!!! MZB bought my story "City of No-Sleep" for SWORD AND SORCERESS #16, forthcoming in 1999 from DAW Books! Want to read an excerpt?



It's official, I will be attending the following conventions in 1998:



A bit of foreign good news, my first little sale of the year. A new Dutch SF magazine Visionair SF has just bought reprint rights for a Dutch translation of my story "The Stone Face, The Giant, And The Paradox." So far, Visionair SF editor Klaas Wassenaar has been extremely courteous, prompt, and professional, responding in a mere two weeks, sending me a contract all the way from the Netherlands in just a week. I look forward to working again with Visionair SF, and cannot wait to see my work translated into Dutch! (So far, my other work has been translated into German, French, and Italian.)

Old 1997, 1998 News...

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