Forward to April, 2003...
Comments: SFF Net newsgroup | Rumor Mill Topic | Night Shade Books Topic |
Caroline Austin Hazen says: "Moving away from modern politics, which just make me sick to my stomach, I should say that it is extremely weird to look at all of the maps on the news and see not contemporary military problems but ancient empires. I've studied the Middle East of antiquity in such detail that I can't help but think about Hattian mythology and cylinder seals from Ur when I see the Tigris and Euphrates. Iraq? Kuwait? Jordan? Syria? No, no, Hittites and Assyrians and Babylonians and Canaanites! The Husband just smiles at me when I can point out the ancient city of Petra on a map but have trouble remembering that it's in modern Jordan (I think...). I live with a very weird view of the world, I guess."
You are not alone, Caroline! My mother and I sit there and constantly boggle that we are seeing these things happen in those ancient places that are also more real to us than any modern politics. A very strange layer of history is added like a peculiarly colored filter over the mind's eye-lens that views the events unrolling.
It is also bizarre to see a CNN weatherwoman hover over maps of weather patterns over Baghdad as though it were such a normal thing to see or care what kind of precipitation (or lack of) they are getting, as though it were a map of the East Coast or something.
On the Fictionwise front, the free excerpt of DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE has reached 1801 downloads.
Still working on my novella here and a bit of book promo....
Meanwhile, here are some new great NAWticisms.
Today is A-Day of the War. I have no comment, only a general awe and a complete ability to see both sides, anti- and pro-war.
Poised completely on the pinnacle between two precipices of bias.
Such infinite complexity has come to our world that there is just no way to make any fair judgment or assessment yet (if ever), only a time to sit with one's mouth and ears and eyes open and take it all in -- all the facts and developments. Watching the WarCam 2003 as it rolls along into future history. The only thing I can say for sure is, the excitement is there, odd, possibly sick, possibly that of a carrion bird, or maybe just the excitement that only elemental change itself can bring, change in the status quo of some thing or another. There are also memories of being a refugee in Lebanon, being smack in the middle of the civil war, seeing the missiles fly overhead. A kind of weird war-peace dissonance fetish?
I think that Toby is another person online, as far as I know, who seems to look at the situation through the lens of similar ambiguity.
But no, there is in fact one thing that really touches me, and that is the destruction. Whether it is the accidental destruction of a small museum in Baghdad, the malicious burning of the precious natural resource that is the oil wells, or the intentional destruction by means of burning of the American flag -- that makes me furious, insane. Deaths are simply tragic, but this is unthinkable. The symbolic destruction of a symbol that stands in a circular manner for the very freedom to do thus, and the actual destruction of a bit of history and a bit of the earth.
But enough of that, for the moment. I think I will let a poet speak this once in my stead:
how should i protest?
and see -- it's growing dark. the west
has lost its shining sun; the stars
are thickly clouded, dim at best.
the cities burn, the dispossessed
give up their will, and all their hope
rests in the hands of those obsessed.
we are so small, and each attest
what cannot be denied: our loves
surpass the others' loves, when pressed.
and all i ask are quiet nights of rest,
my arms around your solid body,
my head against your breathing chest.
Mary Anne Mohanraj
In more selfish news, here is another lighthearted silly Camelot VSD entry for Elaine of Astolat, part 3.
Also, as of right now, the free excerpt of DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE on Fictionwise has reached 1771 downloads.
I spent this week doing my taxes with TurboTax, having postponed this excruciating task for far longer than I normally do every year. But even though I earned all those novel royalties from Wildside -- which more than doubled my normal yearly writing income -- the fact that I was unemployed for half a year did reduce the amount of my total tax due, so it all balanced out in the end. In any case, I e-filed, and the IRS accepted my return yesterday, and so did the state of California, so now I am waiting for the two refunds (yes, smaller than usual but still refunds, not tax due). Major relief! :-)
Welcome back to Lisa Silverthorne who had a great and productive time at the Oregon workshop! :-) And a huge congratulations to Christy Hardin Smith on the birth of her little girl!
I leave you with something that I think is rather appropriate for our times -- an essay about a state of mind by Kurtis Roth.
Finished a new sorta whimsical fantasy short story of about 1,300 words called "Old Farts" that I wrote in the span of a couple of days earlier this week. Sent it to Heather and Tim's Flytrap.
Also spent pre-falling-asleep moments for the last two nights making up stoooopid Camelot: VSD related poetry! AAAARGH! My Grail character has become a poet. And I totally throw up my hands and admit that my writing muse has gone on an extended silliness vacation in VSD land. *grin* Now may I please go back to my serious novella, Ms. Muse?
Note to self: (ARGH! Stop it!) will be recording these details of all my newly completed stories in this journal from now on, mostly to keep a record of them, for myself, since I need to start keeping better submission records. Seems to be working this way since I can always go to my journal to see what I've done recently and when exactly it's been done.
Had to skip the Spinners writing group meeting last week on Thursday, due to excess of stuff to do. And spent all of yesterday working on a Wildside Press website redesign. That should be done some time this coming week.
Okay, now am v. obsessed. Am speaking like this all the time. Note to self: being v. tedious, so cut it out.
So, in the meantime, two new entries since last time, Lady Elaine of Astolat, Part 2, and The Holy Grail, Part 1.
*chortle* Writing about 3,000 useless words of that material over last week. Now Camelot: VSD has its own domain.
In other news, am pretty much done with March con promo, and now need to focus on some other things.
ARGH!!! I am still talking VSD style! NO, NO, NO!!! I MUST use full sentences! :-)
Call me insane, but I blame it on Mike Jasper and Jed Hartman whose links I followed to the Camelot: The Very Secret Diaries hosted by Mary Anne Mohanraj. And... I got sucked in, like I don't have things to do already as it is! LOL!
Anyway, this is modeled on the Cassie Claire original "LOTR: The Very Secret Diaries" (see my sidebar for link), but this one is based on King Arthur's Camelot milieu, and each "character" from the Arthurian milieu is developed by a different writer (and some writers doing more than one, like me).
So far the taken ones are King Arthur, the Lady of the Lake/Nimue, the Questing Beast, Sir Kay, Excalibur, Excalibur's Scabbard. And a whole bunch of other characters are still up for grabs... so if you are interested, contact Mary Anne.
I decided to join in... *evil grin* I am doing Lady Elaine of Astolat, aka the Lady of Shalott (merged with another Elaine, Sir Galahad's mother,
which I introduce as her Evil Twin).
And here is my very first Very Secret Diary of Lady Elaine of Astolat entry.
My second character, whose entry I haven't posted yet but am working on it, is... get ready for this... The Holy Grail.
Am I wicked or what? ;-)
In less fun news, my non-fiction article got rejected, which means I am sending it out to the next market.
Fantastic news -- Kurtis Roth is back, and he's got an online journal! Welcome back, Koitus, you've been missed! :-) And thanks to Steve Leigh for pointing it out.
In the NAW, congrats to Greg and Tim and Jon once again for making sales, you guys are just unstoppable, you know! And huge congrats to Mary who is soon becoming a US Citizen!
Major congratulations to Paul Barnett for the sale of his awesome collection TAKE NO PRISONERS (title based on Janis Ian's song of the same name) to Willowgate Press!
Meanwhile, I am thick in the middle of sending out the March convention promo materials to announce the release of LORDS OF RAINBOW. *Pant, pant!* And no, I don't mean your undies! ;-)
And as of this moment, up on Fictionwise, there has been over 1,670 downloads of the free extended excerpt of DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE! Yeah!
Ok, like that means anything to me -- maybe Girls Gone Wild video infomercials -- but what I always think of when I hear "Mardi Gras," is my friend Allison Lonsdale's wonderful song "Fat Tuesday Blues." :-)
Got another nice personal rejection yesterday, this one from Black Gate. I queried editor John O'Neill earlier about this one that's been out there many months, and he finally checked the status of my story, and it was not gonna work for him. Second rejection for 2003! Woohoo!! And that officially means I have nothing out there for editorial consideration except a non-fiction article, and a bit of a silly poem I hammered together and e-mailed to The New Yorker ages ago. At least I think this is all that's out there. Wish I could trust my memory, but it is horrendous (and I had stopped recording submissions in any methodical way some time about 3 years ago and have not properly recovered since -- trying to get more organized this year at least).
Still working on that novella for the yet-undisclosed project I talked about earlier, titled "The Clock King And The Queen Of The Hourglass."
Heard from Prime Books editor Sean Wallace that the fantasy anthology STRANGE PLEASURES #2 edited by Paul Barnett and Dave Hutchinson and containing my novelette "The Young Woman In A House Of Old" is now available for pre-order at $16.95 at Shocklines.
Monday was also voting day. I returned three completely unrelated ballots in one blow -- the Nebula Final Ballot, the Hugo Nominating Ballot (Hey, you! Pssst! Please don't forget to nominate my DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE if you plan to nominate for the Hugos!) and the SFWA Officer Elections Ballot. That was... uhm... fun. ;-)
Oh, and if that was not enough voting for one 24-hour period, I voted in the Strange Horizons Reader's Choice Awards today. :-)
Yesterday (or maybe Sunday?) got an invite to be a program participant at Baycon, and today got one for Leprecon 29. Pretty sure I cannot make Leprecon (sad!) for financial reasons, but will try very hard to be at Baycon this year. Meanwhile I am definitely scheduled for Wal-Mart sponsored Literacy Day here in Los Angeles.
If you follow this, there's a new Cassie Claire The Very Secret Diaries Entry! This one is for Legolas, Part 2! :-) And looks like our favorite elf is no longer "Still the Prettiest!"
In the NAW, my heartfelt sympathies to Diana and her unexpected loss. *sorrow*
And in happier news, lots of congratulations due to Greg van Eekhout on his sale to Say..., to Tim Pratt on his sale to S1ngularity, to Mary Soon Lee whose story is in the March issue of Analog, and to Jenn Reese whose work went up in Strange Horizons today. :-) I am sure there are more congratulations, but I just don't remember right now! LOL! YOU GO, GUYS AND GOILS!
And last but far from least, a fantastic time to Lisa Silverthorne, who will be at this year's "Kris and Dean Show" Oregon Workshop! Wish I could be there, babe!
Oh, and AHEM! My novel LORDS OF RAINBOW is now officially out! Hey, it's March! So, go and get it, everyone! Go, do it now! This is one helluva original epic fantasy!