Forward to August, 2003...
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Huge congratulations to Lisa Silverthorne on her sale to HAUNTINGS anthology! Way to go, Lisa!!! :-) Great way to break that sale drought!
Criminy, another week goes by. You'd think that a person without a fulltime "real" day job would have more time to post?
Well, let's see, there's that new Fantastic Book Club that I am doing the website for, in addition to all the other stuff. Attended a very useful PR seminar this past Saturday. Got ready for submission and sent in two new long novelettes to Fictionwise, and created some new funky covers.
Oh yeah, there is a new Fictionwise story of mine up this week, "Faces At The End Of Time," in addition to the one from last week. Since I didn't post the cover for the last week's one, here they are, both:
Kitten update -- the little guy is now king of the house! He has been on every flat (and not so flat) surface inside the house, shredded and decimated various objects of little value (since I don't particularly own any objects of significant value except books, and those are out of his grasp -- for now), chased dogs and cats, eaten a whole lot, and is now a full member of the family. I think he's also grown, since the last week! Amazing guy, this Semyosha. :-) If I weren't so broke, I'd buy real film so that I can take more and better pics of him....
Oh, and before I forget, after months of design neglect, I finally updated the LORDS OF RAINBOW website. Go take a look! :-)
I would really like to post more frequently, folks. It's just that everything seems to be always happening all at once and I am running like a hamster in a world-sized cage.
Ok, this is amazing, and it must be catching, but in the middle of last week, on Tuesday 15th, I think, a new kitten walked into our lives.
Mom and I were in the den which doubles as her room, and the sliding doors to the back yard were open. Half an hour past midnight, balmy night, we are watching TV -- actually mom is, and I am watching the jerking picture on the screen to make sure her new DVD is working correctly (it ended up being defective so we sent it back). I look down and there is this tiny kitten in our room, on the floor at my feet. And he is headed straight at me, walking forward with utter confidence. In the first instant I think it's one of our cats, Sophie, but oh my, she's grown so tiny and pale? Then it occurs to me and I say "Oh!" and lean forward and pick him up, and he begins to purr immediately and is all stinky and flea-ridden and tiny. My mom is saying, "Oh no!" because she knows exactly how it's gonna be, since we are stray animal magnets.
Minutes later I rush to the store in the middle of the night for more kitty litter, and we put the kitten in this large cage overnight which we drag from the garage in he dark, a cage we happen to have for just such occasions. But first, he eats a whole can and a half of cat food, and then gets up on the dry food plate, and he is so small he fits inside the plate and is walking on the Chef's Blend morsels like pebbles on a beach. He gorges himself then happily poops five minutes later in Sophie's cat box, all properly trained like a good little kitty guy that he is.
The next day, it's like he's been here always -- terrorizing all the dogs and scaring off the house cats. We think to call him Prince at first, since His Highness is so at home here, but decide on Simyon, a good old Russian name. I call him Semyosha. Mom calls him Syomka.
Here he is (dad is holding him), photographed with my Visor Eyemodule.
In other news -- what other news?, you might say -- I have a new story up on Fictionwise.com. This one is "I Want To Paint The Sky," a fable about the true meaning of Art and Fantasy. Check it out! :-) By the way, the ebook cover image has been created courtesy of NAW's own Zette Gifford's lovely nature photo.
It has been a hell week, and a hell-I-don't-remember-it week.
Got laid off on Monday the 7th from the old company. And the new company did not want to hire me. The good thing is, I don't have to get up at 3:45 AM every weekday anymore.
Refinance? HAHAHAHAH! This is exactly what happened to me the last time over a year ago when I tried to refinance -- I got laid off in the middle of it.
To add to the sublime sensory pleasure of the week, I picked up some kind of bronchitis crap thing up since last Thursday -- I think it was because I was more than usually vulnerable to the germs from the huge day of overwork last Thursday (don't even ask what I did that day, short of chopping logs). So I am hacking and sneezing and walking around in a daze. The day of the layoff was in fact the apex of my sick state. I came in to the office and felt like I was floating on something. The floor felt soft and resilient. And the walls moved. *grin* In addition, "that time of the month" started, so I am like about to pass out in general.
Then some other shit happened that I no longer remember. There may have been some good shit there too, but...
Oh yes! Ok, I have an e-book collection I was not aware of, up on Amazon. LOL!
Looks like Fictionwise did some author collected e-books, basically just volumes titled "Authorname: Short Stories, Vol 1 (or whatever)." So mine is Vera Nazarian: Short Stories, Volume 1. Now, I have no clue what's in it, so if you want to buy a copy and let me know, I'd appreciate it.
The other good thing that happened is that I have been invited into a really neat anthology project. I am really excited about it and have a story idea already that I am germinating and brewing and nurturing and... *grin*.
There is some other good stuff possibly in the works, but I completely cannot talk about it right now. Besides, I have a novella to finish, don't I? Then there is that kickass romance novel. And all the other stuff!
So off to work I go. The one great thing about being unemployed is the sudden availability of time and the ability to sleep on your own terms. As an insomniac night person, I need that.
July started with sad news. My uncle on my father's side, Uri Gagikovich Nazarov died in Moscow, Russia, on July 1st, just a month before his 81st birthday. I am looking for a good picture or two of him to scan in and post, in remembrance. Uncle Ura was a truly good man who worked hard all his difficult life and he will be missed.
There is still turbulence at work. Monday the 7th is when we get to find out what the new company decides to do with all of us, after the merger.
Meanwhile, I am hanging in there. Damn silly optimist. :-)
In the good news, I got a Wildside spring royalties check. Not a huge amount but nice and very helpful at this point.
I also started a new novel -- yes, insane me, like I don't have enough works-in-progress to work on right now. This one is a... "kickass romance!" *grin* I think when stress levels are extra high, I am capable of extraordinary silliness. Not saying that romance as a genre is silly -- because it is not and I am the first person to say otherwise. However this particular novel is going to be a lighthearted romp, and it will be silly and funny as all hell. I mean, not that hell is silly or funny, but -- oh, whatever, just slap me now.... And the craziest thing is, I've already come up with a romance pen name for myself -- Angelica Cognac.
Elsewhere, I found a very interesting, succinct, and apt analysis of the current fantasy and SF genre in an interview with Jacqueline Carey, who says:
"Fantasy is the literature of archetypes. It traces the classic hero's journey and reaffirms the idea that one person can affect change in the world. It's hard to say why that's particularly appealing at this moment in time. Maybe because we live in an era of burgeoning corporate conglomerates, where it's easy for the individual to feel disenfranchised? Fantasy offers an alternative; a doorway onto a world where courage, passion and hope matter in a profound sense. For many readers, that's a place worth visiting.
"Unlike Fantasy, Science Fiction isn't a timeless genre. It's always racing evolution; the evolution of technology, of society, of ideas. Our accelerated culture has nearly caught up with Cyberpunk, which was the last major wave of Science Fiction. So I think the genre's on a bit of a plateau at the moment, waiting for someone to find the Next Big Thing that will fire readers' imagination. What it will be, I can't guess, but I'm sure it will happen. And Fantasy will still be there when it does, because we will always need stories that breathe our dreams into life."
And on a completely different subject, here is another great rant (two rants actually) from Selina Rosen's Today's Bitch where she says:
"I was told that the future of horror was all about artsy-fartsy, atmospheric crap, with no really likeable characters, just tortured souls doing twisted things till the end of the book where basically you are left feeling unclean and with no closure. One writer - not one of ours - proudly described their work as being 'Like an open wound that won't close and just keeps oozing. I want to leave the reader feeling vulnerable and lost without hope.'
"I should have run at that point because I just thought, 'What a stupid, freaking asshole!'"
This rant and the one before it about Oprah made me laugh and cry. :-)
Finally, I leave you with a brand new issue (July 2003) of the Veraworld Newsletter -- after a several-months-long hiatus, it's back!
LORDS OF RAINBOW
DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE
STRANGE PLEASURES #2
BEYOND THE LAST STAR
OUTSIDE THE BOX
SWORD AND SORCERESS #17
SWORD AND SORCERESS #16
THE AGE OF REASON