Forward to November, 2003...
Comments: SFF Net newsgroup | Rumor Mill Topic | Night Shade Books Topic |
Smoke is in the air and ashes are falling everywhere, here in Los Angeles. From the window of my home and the back yard during the day I could see a huge streak of brown and dull rust smoke filling up one third of the sky. The sun was bright orange all day, as though it were permanent sunset. It is dusk now, and smoke is still making the air thick and hard to breathe. Today, President Bush declared Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties major disaster areas, which means we get federal aid. Doesn't help all the hundreds of homes that already burned up and the lives lost. I worry about Claremont, and my alma mater, Pomona College.
Meanwhile the supermarket strikes continue and so do the bus strikes. What a bad time for so many people.
Just as I thought my mortgage refinance is almost done, more complications came up that I don't want to even talk about right now. Suffice it to say that if tomorrow the last of the paperwork is not corrected, I have no idea if this will go through or I will have to start over. Haven't written a word because of this stress. The escrow is supposed to close on Wednesday! Yeah, I believe that!!
In somewhat better news, today Strange Horizons reviewed my novel LORDS OF RAINBOW -- take a look.
Finally, an amazing milestone -- Wildside Press has released the most expensive book ever produced!
On Monday received my contract and check for the first half of payment for the PS Publishing novella. Talk about prompt! So far Peter Crowther and my editor Nick Gevers have both been a pleasure to work with. :-)
Also, today, got my switch.blade royalties check, thanks, Amy!
Last night, thanks to Mary Catelli, I came upon the website for the Art Renewal Center, an organization that promotes the realist arts. There was an article there that absolutely blew me away and made me gloriously happy, because I have always been a proponent of realism in fine art as opposed to Modernism, and this makes the most fantastic argument in support of the classical masters of the representational form. The article is called "Good Art / Bad Art - Pulling Back the Curtain," by Fred Ross who is the Chairman of the Art Renewal Center, and was originally presented on June 7, 2001 as a speech at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, at the American Society of Portrait Artists (ASOPA) Conference.
"Our children, going supposedly to the finest universities in the world, being taught by professors with Bachelors or Arts, Masters of Arts, Masters of Fine Arts, Masters of Art Education ... even Doctoral degrees, our children instead have been subjected to methodical brain-washing and taught to deny the evidence of their own senses. Taught that Mattisse, Cézanne, and Picasso, along with their followers, were the most brilliant artists in all of history. Why? Because they weren't telling us lies like the traditional painters, of course. They weren't trying to make us believe that we were looking at scenes in reality, or at scenes from the imagination, from fantasy or from dreams. They were telling us the truth. They were telling it like it is. They spent their lives and careers on something that was not banal, and not silly, insipid or inane. They in fact provided the world with the most ingenious of all breakthroughs in the history of artistic thought. Even the great scientific achievements of the industrial revolution paled before their brilliant discovery. And what was that discovery for which they have been raised above Bouguereau, exalted over Gérôme, and celebrated beyond Ingres, David, Constable, Fragonard, Van Dyck, and Gainsborough or Poussin? Why in fact were they heralded to the absolute zenith ... the tiptop of human achievement ... being worthy even of placement shoulder to shoulder on pedestals right beside Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Caravaggio, Vermeer and Raphael? What did they do? Why were they glorified practically above all others that ever went before them? Ladies and gentleman, they proved ... amazing, incredible, and fantastic as it may seem, they proved that the canvas was flat ... flat and very thin ... skinny ... indeed, not even shallow, lacking any depth or meaning whatsoever.
And the flatter that they proved it to be the greater they were exalted. Cézanne collapsed the landscape, Matisse flattened our homes and our families, and Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning placed it all in a blender and splattered it against the wall...."
Read the complete long article here and prepare to have your opinions on art tested.
Major exciting news I can now speak about -- Charles de Lint has agreed to write the introduction for my novella "The Clock King And The Queen Of The Hourglass" for PS Publishing. This is an incredible honor, and I am speechless yet again. :-)))))
In other news, on Friday our new kitten Semiyon (or Simon, as we filled out the vet form) -- who is now over 6 months old -- has been neutered, and is now recuperating well. He is a total sweetie pie!
My great sympathies go out to Denise Lee whose mother died this last week. Hugs, Denise!
Also, it is with great regret that I remove the link for Dorothy Rothschild from the Not-A-Webring. Dorothy has decided to shut down her journal after all these years and it is time to move on. Since she is not going on hiatus but stopping the journalling altogether, she asked to be removed completely -- but if she ever changes her mind she is always welcome back! Best of luck, Dorothy, you're a winner! We'll miss you! :-)
Wasn't trying to be coy or anything yesterday, just kind of dumbstruck with happiness. :-)
I am very proud to announce that my novella "The Clock King And The Queen Of The Hourglass" has been accepted by editor Nick Gevers for the PS Publishing novella line, to appear in a signed limited edition of 700-800 copies.
I was also told that the introduction might be written by an author who happens to be one of my world's favorites ever -- but since that is still not finalized, I will not name the person just yet. Needless to say I am speechless with happiness.
British Fantasy Award-winning and World Fantasy Award-nominated PS Publishing is one of the hottest presses out there, and I am absolutely honored to be in a group which includes such writers as China Miéville, Graham Joyce, Michael Moorcock, Elizabeth Hand, Stephen Baxter, Lucius Shepard, Ian McDonald, Paul Di Filippo, Paul J. McAuley, Michael Swanwick, Terry Bisson, and Paul Park, to name just a few.
Oh, and in totally other good news, the cat in the tree is no longer there, and mom thinks someone took it down this morning, since our food dishes are now sitting on the ground near the fence, untouched. We are hoping it's the cat's owners who finally came to look for it. :-)
Addendum: Just heard from the editor 5 minutes ago, the novella has been accepted! I am reeling with joy, and will post more details tomorrow! :-)
* * *
What a crazy week. Late on Sunday night returned from Conjecture exhausted but happy, an excellent con. On Monday the home appraiser for the mortgage refinance came -- this is the second time this year, and I am hoping to get a higher appraised value on the house since the last time in May (I am getting a crappy deal with a higher interest rate than I have now and a 3-year fixed instead of my current 30-year fixed -- all of this just to finally get my equity money out!)
Then on Wednesday Jenn and Kenny gave me their almost new refrigerator -- thank you my dear friends, in this impossible tragic time for you and your family, you are constantly in my thoughts.
Otherwise, still plugging away at the two novels for the October Dare and waiting anxiously to hear back from the editor regarding the novella.
Oh yeah -- Arnold is now Governor and it feels very, very strange, surreal almost. I kinda like Arnold (not really knowing any of the inside scoop on him, just superficially, as any movie viewer), but I did not vote for him, and I voted against the recall. At least Prop 54 got axed, thank goodness.
Right now there is a poor stray cat stuck on a neighbor's tall tree in the alley behind my house, for the second day now. It's crying pitifully, and nobody in the neighborhood seems to give a damn except my mom and I. Seems like people in general are such heartless keep-to-my-own-business assholes where it comes to stray animals in trouble. I called the local Fire Department and they told me they don't come out for such things -- not for a cat -- and that the cat will eventually come down, and I need to put a food dish nearby to lure it. So we did, but the cat is still up there in the tree. Not sure what we'll do tomorrow if it is still there, but it will have to be something. *sigh*
More as soon as I remember what it is...oh yes, took a couple of personality tests from Gabe's blog and here are my results:
|The Big Five Personality Test |
Take Free Big 5 Personality Test
|Extroverted|||||||||||||||||||| ||74% |
|Introverted |||||||| ||26% |
|Friendly |||||||||||||||||| ||66% |
|Aggressive |||||||||||| ||34% |
|Orderly |||||||||||||| ||46% |
|Disorderly |||||||||||||||| ||54% |
|Relaxed |||||||| ||30% |
|Intellectual |||||||||||||||||||||| ||82% |
|Practical |||||| ||18% |
Extroversion results were high which suggests you are very talkative, optimistic, sociable and affectionate but possibly not very reflective.
Friendliness results were high which suggests you are very good natured, trusting, and helpful but possibly too much of a follower
Orderliness results were medium which suggests you are moderately organized, reliable, neat, and ambitious.
Emotional Stability results were low which suggests you are very worrying, insecure, emotional, and nervous.
Intellectualness results were high which suggests you are very creative, original, curious, imaginative but possibly not very practical.
Overall, you scored highest on Intellectualness and lowest on Emotional Stability.
Okay, I am off tomorrow morning to Conjecture in San Diego. If any of you plan to be there, come by and say hi, and yes, I will have gorgeous autographed and gold-sealed hardcover copies of LORDS OF RAINBOW (and a couple of copies of DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE) for the nicely discounted price of $25 each. Come and see me at the con anytime if you want one! Looking forward to seeing many of you and partying! :-)
No novel dare wordage to report today for the obvious reasons. None until Monday night, in fact.
Now, signing off, and see some of you at the con! :-) The rest, have a fabulous weekend and see you Monday!
Today is the first official day of the October Novel Dare, and I will be posting my progress in four places, (and maybe five if I post it on the website!) -- in my SFF Net Newsgroup, in my Rumor Mill Topic, in my Night Shade Books topic, and in Mike Jasper's official Novel Dare topic! Yikes!
And if you think that's nuts, wait till you hear that I'll be working on not just one but two novels for this dare! Simultaneously! Watch the Amazing Crazy Vera juggle fifty thousand task plates all at once!
Okay, the State of the Stats:
At this point, MARGOT PHOENIX RISING, a kickass superhero romance destined for Silhouette Bombshell, the first of the *TWO* novels I will be working on *simultaneously* this month, stands at 2800 words even (part of chapter one).
And the second novel is COBWEB BRIDE, a dark fantasy about death who comes to an alternate renaissance world and proclaims that all dying will cease until he gets a bride of his own (which means that there are people and creatures dying -- from beggars to kings -- who cannot die, people in agony who are stuck that way without the release of death, and all the repercussions that accompany this hellish state). Anyway, this novel stands at a total of 11,783 words (chapter one has 6371 words, and chapter two, incomplete, has 5412 words).
My October Dare Goals are:
1) MARGOT PHOENIX RISING - Complete three chapters and an outline and submit this portion to Silhouette Bombshell.
2) COBWEB BRIDE - Write as much as possible on this one, with the ideal goal of completion.
Now with this out of the way, I am off to start working on the wordage for tonight!
However, I will leave you with four more brand new covers for my Fictionwise stories, once again using the lovely photography by Zette, as background.
Click to view the e-book and then click image to enlarge.
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