In Which No One Smashes Champagne On Our Heroine's Prow

1 March 2004

I sold "Endgene" to Quantum Muse last night, just in time to still be a February sale. Yay! Sales good.

I'm gradually working through selling my backlog of stories, many of them from 2000 or 2001. I'm reminding myself that there is no reason for me to keep the same number of stories in circulation at all times. I can work on short stories, but I should not abandon my happy happy novel project and throw away momentum on it and so on just because something I wrote ages ago has finally found a home. Even though I have lots of short stories that just need to be finished. The novel needs me more, and I need it, and if the two of us can squeeze in short stories around the edges, all for the good. But there is no magic number of stories in circulation.

It is nice that some people are liking my older stories, though, because there are some of them I would never write again, and some that would come out entirely differently these days. Which is how it should be -- we should never stand still, should never be able to write the same story twice. But still, it's nice when some earlier stuff has some worth.

Last night I discovered that I am the spaceship Swan Lake Barbie. I'll bet this is a surprise to you. Let me tell you, you are nowhere near as surprised as I was. The revelations one receives when playing with a six-year-old, let me tell you. Siri was kneeling in triumph on my chest and decided to start steering with my hands; my feet (in the air) were the "fires" (from the engines, I imagine). "We're just like a spaceship!" she shouted. "Yes, Siri," I managed, though I was laughing until I cried, "we are just like a spaceship in every regard." She decided that the name of the spaceship was Swan Lake Barbie. All righty then. I also got smacked in the butt with a plastic light saber while she shouted, "Use -- the -- Force!" She then asked, "Can you make me hot cocoa?" "I don't know," I said, removing the light saber from her, "Let's see." I waved it around in an arcane pattern and said, "Abracadabra, poof! You're hot cocoa!" Then I peered at her. "No, apparently I can't," I said. She looked at me patiently. "In a mug," she said.

Her siblings are also more fun each time I see them -- Gavin is getting more verbal, although he has decided that all hoofed mammals are cows, including his big sister's unicorn doll. ("Cowwwww!") That did not go over very well with the Siri. And Bridget is a very smiley baby. Big grins for everybody. She was so new when I last saw her that there was no question of any of that. And Heathah and Dave and Mark and I played 500 after the kids went to bed, and I miss 500 sometimes. Hmm. I suppose we often have four people here, and I could just initiate a game of 500. If I asked really really nicely, it might work. I just often forget to ask.

Also, we discover that I am an idiot, because there is more than one Delia writing in this field. Stella had lent me Nameless Magery, and I picked it up this morning with joy and anticipation. And the opening sounded not like her usual sort of thing at all. And then I realized, oh, oops. This is written by Delia Turner, who is not the same person as Delia Sherman in any regard. Oops. I'm trying to still be excited about this book, because it's certainly not the book's fault that it wasn't written by someone else, and I have nothing against Delia Turner.

In entirely unrelated news, so far as I know, I got my MiniCon membership yesterday. I'm still not thrilled with them for having it over Easter weekend, but there's not really anything I can do about that. I'll just have to have observances when there isn't con and con when I have no religious observances. ("Observant" always amuses me when used to describe religions; I always expect it to be, "I'm an observant Jew, and isn't that a new haircut you've got there?" But practicing is not much better: "I'm a practicing Christian." "Oh, only way to get to Carnegie Hall?")

I don't suppose any of you-all are going? We'll get by all right pretending to be extroverts for a few days if we have to, but it'd be nice to know someone other than one of the GoHs, if possible. Or if you know someone who's going, point me at them. I'm friendly. I'm nice. I'll say hi. I have a little Post-It on my desk of people who have said they're going to WorldCon, but I'm thinking about that much further in advance.

(I should probably stop waffling and just buy a membership. But we've got awhile before the prices change, so the pressure isn't on.)

I think it's awfully nice that "Return of the King" won so many Oscars, but I've gotten so used to not caring that it's hard to care now. Does that make any sense? That I've spent so long shrugging and going, "Oscar-winning, whatever, doesn't mean I'll want to see it" that it seems kind of pointless to get all excited now. I don't think it represents a major shift in the tastes of the Academy. I think it's nice that some people who worked very hard got some recognition from their supposed peers, but...meh. I seems odd to make a leap from, "It doesn't matter" to "Hooray hooray!" I think a lot of the people hooraying watch Oscars other years, too, though, so their level of Oscar apathy is nowhere near mine.

This is why I don't tell myself that "it" doesn't matter unless I really want to believe that it doesn't, whatever it is. I'm convincing, is the thing. At least to myself I am. I convinced myself in high school that most of my classmates' good opinions were really worthless, and now I find I can't wallow and luxuriate in the thought of how impressed they will be when I am a big famous author-lady. It just...really doesn't matter. (Also, I am realistic: most of the people I didn't care about in high school will not find speculative fiction writing in the least bit impressive. Especially not if it's for -- horrors! -- children or young adults. But that's not the main point.) If people's opinions don't matter when they make fun of you for being the smart kid, it really doesn't make much sense to turn cartwheels when they think you did something cool, either. My mom has pointed out that many of my classmates will have grown up to be pleasant people, but the world is filled with pleasant people. Sometimes I have a reason to spend time on/with them specifically. Often not.

I'm not saying that no one I went to high school with matters. I hope that's clear. I have some friends I've kept, some I've regained, and some I'd like to hear from again. But being stuck in the same general area as other people for three to twelve years is not sufficient cause for me to care. The people who award the Oscars don't even have that edge.

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