Forward to July, 2005...
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As usual I got so royally behind in all the day-to-day life stuff that I haven't updated here for too long. Will try to sum everything up the best my rotten memory lets me. And -- apologies ahead for being boring. It takes some focus and energy to be scintillating, you know, and I have got none left for the moment....
The home remodel started last Thursday. Only a week has gone by, but good lord, it feels like a century. The contractors are more than halfway done with the 3/4 bathroom. And I am swimming in head-splitting and mind-numbing decisions about stone slabs, tiles, showerheads, cabinets, sinks, and toilets, etc. This is one of three (or 4 ) rooms they will be working on, the others being the master bathroom, the kitchen and laundry room.
Today got my Wildside Press bi-annual June 2005 author royalties -- this time a small check, under a hundred bucks, but it still helps.
Earlier last week, Sean Wallace okayed the first draft of my somewhat surreal fantasy story, and this is the first time I have made a sale based on an unpolished piece of writing. The story will be edited next week, but meanwhile I can say that "Sun, In Its Copper Season" will appear in the new Fantasy Magazine. So this time around the Acceptometer goes +1 ka-ching! :-)
On Saturday, I did a fun phone interview with Michael and Evo of The Dragon Page radio talk show. It will be podcast and broadcast on XM satellite radio on August 1, so mark your calendars, I tell yah.
Meawhile, to whet your interest, here is a 5-minute excerpt (mp3 recording) that was already broadcast earlier, of me reading the opening scene of "Gods and Fleas," Dream Ten (Chapter 10) of Dreams of the Compass Rose.
Yesterday, I got the final galley proofs for my PS Publishing novella, and the release date on the galleys says "August 2005" -- sorry about the latest delay of this book, folks. But this one is probably the last, and I must admit the galleys do look great! In any case now I need to hop to it and get them proofed and returned. Really looking forward to this one! :-)
I still have to complete the edit for Salt of the Air, and to finish writing one more new story for it.... There is also a large text scanning and OCR project I am not going to talk about yet, but soon....
In other news, Dad had to go back to the ER yesterday for more cellulitis problems with his other leg this time. *sigh* Your good thoughts are appreciated.
Spent most of the weekend in the Emergency Room. On Friday afternoon, had to take Dad in for a mysterious red swelling on his foot, and fever, which turned out to be a cellulitis infection. After over five hours of waiting, he was admitted and given intravenous antibiotics, then we went home after 1:00 AM with a prescription for him. Took him in to the ER again on Saturday for a followup, and only had to wait three hours this time. He is back home, doing better but slowly. He is otherwise in very good health for an 87-year-old.
In other news, on Friday, June 10th (I think -- getting blurry on the details, and the whole week has been one big blur) got a rejection from Sheila at Asimov's for a story that got lost once and was re-submitted.
Also, the sprinklers construction work got postponed from Monday (tomorrow) to Wendesday and then I told them it's a bad day, so it might happen this coming Thursday, June 16th. And the other contractor for the home remodel called to touch base, and I will probably be talking to him soon too.
On Tuesday, several, stinky dogs will go in to the groomers to get their summer shave (and bath, ahem!). And goodness, I still haven't had time to do any cat photos.
I am busy also due to a sudden flurry of work related to the Wildside website moving to a new server, so that affected the planned writing time. The Wildside website should experience minor linkage weirdness, but please don't be alarmed, we are working on it. :-)
As I lay in bed last night, or rather during the deep hours of the morning, being the insomniac that I am, I had a great epiphany for the yet-unnamed story-in-progress for the Fantasy Magazine. The story is already over 4,700 words, and it might grow at least a couple of K more. But I really do think it is going to be one of my strongest pieces yet, and it is rather different and "experimental" for me.
Tangent Online did a great review of my story "The Slaying of Winter" in the anthology Lords of Swords. The review is overall somewhat spoiler-heavy for all the stories, but what can I say when they really liked my story? ;-) They'll get no argument from me.
Here's a snippet:
Vera Nazarian's "The Slaying of Winter," with the exclusion of the final story, was the best in this collection. Iliss, an unstable woman from the world's southern lands, travels to the Northlands on a quest to kill Trei, the God of Winter, in retaliation for the rape of her sister and the murder of the rest of her family. On her journey, she unwittingly interrupts the coming of age ritual of the Northman Waevan's son. Waevan captures her and takes her to his tribe. She reveals her plan to kill Trei, and Waevan and his brother join her. Iliss' quest ends in an altercation with the god that doesn't turn out as she had planned. She gains wisdom, and a certain measure of peace.
At times, the characters' interactions veered toward those found more commonly in romance novels, but Nazarian's deft control made it work for the story. The ending, though satisfying, revealed a little too much of the story's lesson, but that tiny misstep doesn't mar the overall quality of the piece.
The reviewer also gave high praise to the story by Tanith Lee (their favorite, and I have no argument with this either; Lee can trump me any time), and to "Dragon's Eye" by Beth Shope, calling it "quite an impressive début." I agree wholeheartedly and think it is a fantastic story.
It looks like the premiere issue of Jabberwocky -- which I just added to the Wildside store, by the way, so go and pre-order! -- according to Sean Wallace, will be "ready for Readercon... July 1st or thereabouts."
Finally, I leave you with the cover image thumbnail to take you to the Amazon listing for the BenBella Books Smart Pop Series anthology TOTALLY CHARMED: Demons, Whitelighters and the Power of Three based on the TV show Charmed, edited by Jennifer Crusie, November 2005.
My essay "Home Improvement in Magic Land" appears within. When on Amazon, be sure to click on the hilarious cover image to enlarge... and I do have a sinking suspicion that the bottom headline in red about the plumber has something to do with my essay. ;-)
Benbella Books sent me their catalog for this fall and there is a lot of goodies coming up.
Yes, yes, I've said this in a million other online places already, and you are getting sick of seeing it, but I am just so happy that at last Lords of Rainbow is finally out and available in e-book format from Fictionwise!
I've been trying to get my publisher to offer this novel in an electronic edition for years! And finally, here it is. And yeah, it's cheap.
Only $4.21 or $3.58 with Fictionwise Club savings! What's stopping you now? Eh? Eh? :-)
In other news, I've been listening to a CD of a wonderful artist that Lisa got me for my birthday. It's Auracle, Lesiem. Very Enigma-like, ethereal vocals, and wonderful mood music.
Currently I'm on a personal deadline to finish my story for Sean's new Fantasy Magazine by this Friday. I hope I make it, with a whole lot of remodeling and other stuff going on here....