Monthly Archives: August 2022

Significant Dates and Anniversaries, Part 2

Ten years ago, I attended Viable Paradise 16, where I met many fine folks and learned a lot, especially how little I actually knew about writing. Up to that point, I’d been running on ideas, ego, and caffeine. (The official term is “pantsing” but you already knew that.) Sure, I’d attended a moderately competitive and stupidly expensive MFA program, but my primary advisor didn’t really grok “fantastic literature” and my utter lack of life experience didn’t help.

Since having my words dissected, inspected, and cheered on by 23 other students, 6 instructors, and 3 awesome house elves, I am happy to report (and a little surprised, honestly) that I’m still doing this thing. And I’ve made friends. Thank Buddha for the interwebs, for apart from a few cons and weekend writing get-togethers, most of my interaction has been online. Zoom, of course, is a game-changer (as was Google Hangouts before that). Most weeks I get to see at least a couple of friendly faces who understand what it means to grab a pick and shovel and head into the Word Mines.

(*Actual dates Oct 8-12)
Mostly VP 16 – Fire Wombats

Doing a very unscientific review of my fiction efforts (thanks, Submissions Grinder, you’re the best), here’s what I came up with:

  • Stories accepted since VP: 25
  • Total all submissions same period: 357 (approx)
  • Fewest submissions to sale: 1 – Tie: “The Long View” and “Jizo Rides the Bus”
  • Most submissions to sale: 23 – “The Astrologer of the 5th Floor”
  • Most submissions without a sale: 44 (and counting) – “Schadenfreuders”
  • Stories in submission as of today: 10
  • Stories abandoned to the trunk/did not finish: 6
  • Stories in progress: 8 (some of which will probably be trunked)
  • Public readings: 5 (including podcasts)
  • Total $$ to date: Don’t go there.

Next week is Worldcon in Chicago. It is my sincere hope that I sit down with some of my fellow Fire Wombats and raise a glass to 10 years of serious mining.

Significant Dates and Anniversaries, Part 1

So… I woke up this morning another year older, as such things are measured. Not thrilled to be reaching such a high number, but as wise people have noted, it sure beats the alternative.

This year, I permitted excessive decorations.
This is Fred, a dinosaur, which in no way is a comment on my taste in music or impending extinction.

To help me celebrate, my spouse and daughter bestowed upon me a number of gifts that shows they do, in fact, understand me:

  1. Single malt scotch from Skye
  2. A package of edibles (“the relaxing kind, not the take-a-trip kind”)
  3. A bit of pottery: a Felis domesticus fighting off a band of garden gnomes
  4. An open gift certificate to acquire something fun from the Dealer Room at Worldcon next month
Whisky and cannabis, breakfast of champions?
Apex predator battle

Tonight will feature Indian takeout and something with dangerous levels of chocolate.

For my part, I acknowledged the event by getting a deep-tissue massage, a chiropractic adjustment, and braces. Yup. Braces. I’ve never liked my smile and hide it in most photographs. (There were also some long-term issues with my front teeth that will be addressed at the same time.)

By the way, when you see this well-known brand:

(Wow, her teeth were white before the procedure!)

it’s important to note they don’t mention the appliances need anchor points, so that procedure makes you feel like this:

(You know the Night King is running his tongue over the plastic edge ALL THE DAMN TIME)

I also participated in DayJob today because I wasn’t brave enough to call in sick. Yeah, bad choice.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of paying a mortgage. That fun won’t end anytime soon, although we’re accelerating our payments to try to put a stake in it ahead of schedule.

And it’s been 10 years since I was accepted to Viable Paradise (which took place in Oct 2012!). More thoughts on that later.

Now I must return to planning meetings. A heartfelt thank you/tusen tack to You Who Read the Blog.

You’re the best.