Apparently Twitter doesn’t sync if I’ve posted to another page. So I’m posting here with a link to the Cohort Reader page. If you are a voracious reader of fiction, or if you just think you’d like to read my works in progress (it would be awesome to convert a non-reader to a voracious reader) let me know.
I’ve been given the privilege to review December 2009′s edition of Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine. Now this isn’t really a magazine, in the way you might think of any other magazine. This is more a book. It is bound in book format on non-glossy 5 x 7 sized paper, contains 4 novelets and 7 short stories. The editorial and columns are what defines it as a magazine, rather than simply a collection of fiction stories, though. This magazine has been in publication for 61 years! It was founded in 1949 and was the original publisher for great names like Stephen King’s Darktower, Daniel Keyes Flowers for Algernon, and others.
Every night so far I’ve read a story or two, but I’m still not finished with the magazine. I’d better get something written though, or the advantage to having advance copies will be gone. All in all, it’s an enjoyable read.
First up is a novelet; Dragon’s Teeth by Alex Irvine. If the book is read from cover to cover, the next item in line is a column called “Books to Look For” by Charles De Lint. These are advance reviews of books not yet on the shelves. Next is the column “Books” , reviews of existing books. A short story falls in line (and this was my favorite read from the book). It is called Bad Matter, by Alexandra Duncan, and the syncopated speech of the otherworlders intrigued me most of all, kept me reading just to see how they would turn the next line of dialogue. Farewell to Atlantis, by Terry Bisson was a surprising tongue-in-cheek presentation of an old myth. Other author names for this issue include Brendan DuBois, Kit Reed, Sarah Thomas, Nancy Springer and Harvey Jacobs. Columns are written by Gordon Van Gelder (editor), Charles Dde Lint, James Sallis, Kathi Maio and F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre.
The magazine is filled with enjoyable reading. It is well worth the cover price of $7, or $39 for an annual subscription, published bi-monthly by Spilogale, Inc. Here’s the website: http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/
How much do your dreams influence your writing or the reading material you are drawn toward?
My dreams tend to be very vivid, touching on most of my senses. Colors are always present, as usually are smells, emotions and sounds. There is a particular dreamscape that is cast in a sepia-tone light, and this one in particular influences a lot of my fiction. I don’t recognize any of the characters in my dreams, including myself, so this also contributes to great writing material. The sepia-tone dreams are always of a surreal nature, always occur in a time/space setting nothing like reality, and are always suspenseful and interesting.
What an oxymoron. But apparently it is true, ticks have been found to be useful for something fairly important. The saliva of the Brazilian tick holds promise to scientists researching cancer. Read more about the discovery here. But don’t expect to come away with a newfound love for ticks. What I did come away with, however, is a greater respect for all things large and small, seen and unseen, that exist on this planet. There is surely something that can be exploited for human advancement in every thing. At least that’s the impression I was left with after reading another spin on the discovery of this tick spit. The writer was emphasizing how we should work harder to conserve the animals and plants that are going extinct because we never know which ones will be useful. To us. And it seems that is the slant for many conservation efforts. I’m human, and of course I benefit from discoveries just like everyone else. But it’s an awful anthropocentric viewpoint. Can’t we just save a species because it’s the honorable thing to do, when it’s within our realm of influence to do so?
Soon I will begin re-arranging this blog to make it more what I envision it should be. Bear with me while I figure out how to do it. What I’d like is for each character to have their own page, because they have things to say sometimes that isn’t getting said in the books I’m writing. They pester me a lot with demands to be heard, so I’m giving in. No, I’m not schizophrenic, I promise! Even if I were, it makes interesting reading and that’s all that counts to me
When quitting bad habits, I think it’s important to install new ones in their place. This morning I got up earlier than normal, a whole hour earlier. The intention was to start my yoga practice and get in some writing, but I spent too much time cooking breakfast for the kids and checking emails. Tomorrow morning, I will try getting up another 1/2 hour earlier than this morning so I will still have the time to make coffee, pour waffles and check email before getting down to the real business of writing. This morning, I did get some editing done on the short story that came back with a rejection, at least, so it wasn’t a complete wash. And besides, I didn’t have to rush out of the house to get to work on time. Tomorrow, I’ll be setting the alarm for 4:30 a.m.
I’ve been working on writing on a more regular schedule. Something that was getting in the way was the fact that I was smoking again. I’d quit for a couple years, quit before that for several years, but started again because it does help with the stress I’d been facing in my personal life. Problem is, I think clearly and calmly while having a smoke, but then the thoughts don’t stay with me long enough for me to get them written down at the first opportunity. Whereas, when I am not smoking, thoughts will plague me until I get them written down. Not necessarily thoughts about my writing projects, and therein lies the issue. It was all the unwelcome thoughts that I sought refuge from. But in getting them lulled into submission, I also lost track of all the thoughts I ~wanted~ to hang onto. So I’d been trying to quit. Yesterday morning I smoked the last one in a pack and I knew it was going to be the last one, period. While I was torturing myself, I decided to also quit drinking soft drinks. Honestly, the coca cola addiction is much harder to break than the nicotine.
But I’ve been writing! At the moment, I have just gotten back one rejection, have two pending response, and one that needs to be finished up and submitted somewhere. Those are all short stories. I’m also still working on my novel. I’m trying to get some short stories published because I’ll need those credits when I begin trying to get my novel picked up, either by an agent or a publisher. I’m being proactive for a change, lol. Also, one of the short stories is of a different genre; feels a little like selling my soul, but it’s a better paying writing job until I can afford to quit my day job and write full-time. That is my dream. To be able to make a living writing and working on my farm.
I did get the tank hooked back up. But in the process of cutting away the briars with a ditch blade, I also cut the line again. I was glad I bought extra connectors and pipe clamps – and glad I had brought them up the mountain with me!
So the tank is filling now, but no water yet showing up at the bottom. Hopefully, it didn’t get clogged with sludge from the bottom of the tank. That would be bad news and I’m not sure how to fix that problem. After a few hours I’ll try the faucet outside and pray water comes blowing out and that any slug of sludge blows out with it.
This morning I woke up and turned on the faucet to wash my face. The moment I heard the hiss, I knew there was trouble. No water. It’s a long hike up the mountain to the tank, but hopefully, the tank is just empty. And if it’s empty, then I have to know whether it all leaked out, or someone left a line open, or if we just used it all. If we used it all, that’s easy enough to remedy; we will just begin our later summer water rationing. It takes about 24 hours to fill the tank and from there we will will know to only use what we really need, wash only one or two loads a day, and no tub filling for hot soaks. If it’s broken somewhere, well, this will be my first time figuring out how to fix it on my own since my husband jumped ship.
At least I had a gallon of water so I could make some coffee this morning while thinking about my game plan to fix this issue.
I have FINALLY moved my computer equipment and printer into the new house. Now I can get back to regular writing again. First, I had everything set up where my computer faced the wall and my back was to the room. I found that I could not write with it configured like that; not even emails. So now it’s all set up where my back is to to the wall and I’m facing out toward the window and this feels instantly more conducive when I sit down to write. Get ready to see a lot more posts on this site now, and know that the store of Jesse and Kali is now back on the front burner.
There a a few short stories in the works right now, too. Hopefully I will be able to get some of these published so that by the time my novel is finished, a publisher will look more seriously at my work.