Monthly Archives: May 2008

I’m a Real Writer Now.

I’m a real writer now because in today’s mail, I received my first rejection slip in 16 years. TTB was turned down by the first place I sent it. It was a very nice rejection: no specific comments, but it wasn’t a total form rejection, either.

I have to say that I’m impressed by the turnaround time. I mailed a 63-page manuscript on May 12, and the editor mailed the rejection on May 28. The guidelines said eight weeks, but it was more like two.

I’m neither surprised nor too unhappy about the rejection.  I don’t enjoy rejection, but it’s the first submission of my first complete work of fiction in 16 years — what do you think I expected to happen?

I’m going to do what I did when I got my first rejection slip on the first story I ever submitted:  turn it around and send it back out on Monday to another of the Big Three magazines, and while it’s out, I’ll review the research I’ve done on potential markets. The concern I have is that it may not be science fiction enough for the skiffy markets, but too genre for the non-genre markets.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who wrote to express your good wishes when I sent it out into the world. I’ll mail it out again on Monday, and let you all know what happens.

In other news, I know I haven’t posted much, and I owe Freshhell a response to her meme. I’ve been traveling for work and generally knocking myself out, so I haven’t had much time for discretionary writing. I hope to get more done this weekend and next week.

Skipping the Solider Field 10-Miler.

The Solider Field 10-Miler started half an hour ago, and I’m not there.  A couple of days ago, I made the decision to skip it.

First, last Saturday everyone was dragging, so we blew off Family Tae Kwon Do.  Unfocused GIrl is hoping to test for her yellow belt at the end of this session, and missing two classes in a row would almost guarantee that she wouldn’t be ready.

Second, I’m not ready for the race.  I could have run it anyway and treated it as a training run, but I wouldn’t have been racing, so what’s the point of blowing up our Saturday morning routine?  I’ll run 10 miles tomorrow, and find a Sunday race.  The North Shore Half Marathon is coming up in a few weeks, and I may run that.  I ran it last year; it’s a very nice course.

Rapture Ready.

An old friend of mine from high school, Daniel Radosh, has a new book out. Rapture Ready is described (on the website for the book) as:

Written with the perfect blend of amusement and respect, Rapture Ready! is an insightful, entertaining, and deeply weird journey through the often hidden world of Christian pop culture. This vast and influential subculture — a $7 billion industry and growing — can no longer be ignored by anyone who wants to understand the social, spiritual and political aspirations of evangelical Christians.

One section of the book appears to be based on an article in The New Yorker that Daniel wrote, profiling Tammy Bakker’s son, who is now a minister himself, albeit with a style that’s very different from what you’ll remember about his parents. It was a nicely balanced piece, not a hatchet job by a long shot, but Daniel didn’t suck up to his subject, either.

I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m about to order it on Amazon, and you can, too. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Thanks to Squidocto at Muss My Hair for cluing me in.

In Which I Set a Bad Example.

I have corrupted my children.

Unfocused Girl came home from school the other day and announced that she is writing a novel.

Junior immediately said that he had written a book, too, and showed it to us: small pieces of paper, covered in his crayon drawings, stapled together on the side.

Unfocused Girl has the higher word count (technically, Junior doesn’t have any “words” in his book at all, but I’m not going to nitpick), with several handwritten pages under her belt. UG’s WIP is about The Adventure Friends and the Sword of Destiny, called, appropriately enough, “The Adventure Friends and the Sword of Destiny.” I’ve read the first two chapters, and they’re quite good. It is “about a journey to find true peace for the school,” says UG. From what I’ve read so far, true peace comes through a large, jeweled sword.

“It doesn’t come through the large, jeweled sword,” UG says. “It just helped us find what really gives us true peace.”

I have no idea where this is going. Tune in again for further updates. I was kind of rooting for the sword, though, in a “Peace through Strength” sort of way. A “Pax Amici Audacis,” imposed by the Adventure Friends on the other students, but it looks like UG is planning to go in a different direction.

What Two Days Worth of Slush Looks Like.

I’m still nosing around at the editors’ blog at The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction’s website. This post is a little stale, but still interesting: it’s a picture of two days’ worth of slush submissions.

Somewhere, in a stack that looks just like that, sits TTB. And, if you’ve submitted anything as a hardcopy recently, there sits your story, too.

Dialogue Contest!

Because he is a masochist, blogging agent Nathan Bransford is holding a contest: post up to 250 words of dialogue and related description in the comments to the post before 5pm Pacific time on Wednesday, May 21, 2008. Nathan is the sole judge. Fame and fabulous prizes await the winner of (insert trumpet fanfare here):

The Preposterously Magnificent Dialogue Challenge

I’ve already posted my entry. I believe it’s comment no. 118. Nathan’s going to have a lot of reading to do.

Spring Sunday Stats, #2

The kids are in the tub, so I only have a few minutes to post before someone starts crying or splashing (or spitting water onto someone else’s butt — sorry for the interruption).

Weather: Sunny and cool (around 55 at 11am when I went out for a run). Gusts blowing west from the lake down Irving Park Road like a wind tunnel.

Miles run: 9.74, in 1:30:31. That’s slow for me, even these days, and I’m not sure why. I got a lot of sleep, had a decent breakfast, and felt pretty good, but I just didn’t have any speed in me today. The Solider Field 10-Miler is next Saturday, and I am not anticipating a PR. I’m hoping to do better than I did today, though.

What I played on my iPod during my run: I Should Be Writing #90, Geek Fu Action Grip Morning Show Lite After Dark #12, and Phedippidations #140 — yes, it was a Mostly Mur run.

Words written on Meet the Larssons: 2,220! That takes me over 75K, to 75,945 words. For the first weekend in quite a while, I took a significant chuck of time and sat my butt in front of the MacBook and just wrote. For about two hours, I turned off my internet connection, shut down Mail and Firefox and any application other than Scrivener and iTunes, played tunes from a large mixed playlist I have of songs I know well enough that they can serve as background music (mostly 70s and 80s supergroups like Styx and Rush, lots and lots of Zevon, some Johnny Cash and Jimmy Buffett for variety), and just wrote. I got up once to use the bathroom, and once to put on socks because my feet were cold, but otherwise stayed planted in the chair. It felt damn good. Mrs. Unfocused took the kids out for most of the day, so I had time to get in my run, do some work for my paying job, and still do solid time on the novel. She’s a saint.

All that, and two blog posts. I feel productive as hell. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have children to wash.