Consumer Dollar

8 June 2002

Good morning. The moral of the story this week is: query. Really. I queried on my Skirt! essay that was supposed to appear last month, and the editor had lost many files in a hard-drive crash, including my essay. So it'll be in July instead, and payment will come for it quite soon. And I queried on my longest-standing submission (out since September, but I'd seen other people with huge response times earlier), and the editor was most apologetic and suggested that I resubmit immediately, so that was nice, too, and I hope to get an answer, regardless of what it is, and move on with my life in some direction or another. So. Queries are good.

Timprov and I talked about publishing plans this morning, most of which are his to tell people and not mine. Mine involve the two anthologies I've probably talked about doing? I don't remember how much I've talked about them, Travelogues and Winter Tales. Anyway, the guidelines for Travelogues should be going up soonish, although submissions won't open immediately, and if you'd like a copy of the guidelines your very own, please do let me know.

I worked a lot on "Fair Use" yesterday, and it's going pretty well. I have several major characters who did not show up in the rough draft, including one who is the source of -- eek! -- a romantic subplot. I've talked before about how I hardly ever do romantic subplots, and the comment I made in that entry is still valid: I still think that, generally, complications are more interesting in committed relationships than in uncommitted relationships. But in this specific case, the main character was quite psychologically single to begin the story. There was absolutely no way that he had a long-term SO, spouse, children, or a geographically close relationship with his parents or other relatives. Just no way. And I guess that's the best reason of all to have a subplot like that going: because it works for the characters.

Even if it does freak me out a bit to have boy meeting girl and running into obstacles. I do like the obstacles, though.

Following up a few things from yesterday -- my mom says that I've been the princess all my life, so naturally I look like a princess, because, being a princess, I get to define what princesses look like. This is true: my grandfather has called me "Princess" or "Little Princess" for as long as I can remember. I don't think that that automatically makes me look like one, though. My dad calls me "Sunshine" and "Moonshine," and that doesn't mean that I blind people. (I am Not. That. Pale!) And while we're listing off the family nicknames, Grandma calls me "Rissy" and Mom calls me "Punk" (for Pumpkin) and my great-aunt Shirley has been known to call me RisKris (because, yes, the K stands for Kristine, as I've said, and Aunt Shirley is just Like That). It's kind of hard to embarrass me with things that loved ones have called me. It was one of those aspects of adolescence that never made any sense to me.

I have the Maying song from "Camelot" in my head. I don't know why my brain is going, "It's May! It's May!" Probably because I don't know any songs that say, "It's June! It's June!"

But back to yesterday -- I was thinking about science fiction movies and exuberance, and we had been talking around here about such movies in general. We could come up with many scifi movies, some of them quite good, but "Gattaca" is pretty much our list of good science fiction movies. It gets frustrating. I like to vote with my consumer dollar -- I like to say, no, no thank you, I prefer not to support that bit of treacle, filth, sexism, etc., but feel free to make more of them if other people like them. Or else, yes, that one's good, I'll buy it for myself and one for each of my friends when their birthdays come around, just so that you know that you did a good thing.

But I'm having a hard time seeing how on earth I could apply that to the current movie situation and get more science fiction films in any way. If they make a scifi film and I don't go see it, and lots of people think like me and don't go see it, because they want genuine science fiction and not bad scifi plots, then the movie people say, "Oh, nobody's interested in that scifi stuff these days, it's just not popular right now." And then they don't make science fiction movies either, because it seems to all be the same to them. On the other hand, if I do go and see it, they say, "Hurrah, people like that scifi stuff, we'll do another one just like it except have the alien be inspired by a different Geiger painting, and be in mating season!"

I'm going to "Men In Black II" this summer, but that's because it looks like the sort of scifi film I like in itself. It doesn't have to be related to serious science fiction in any way, any more than "The Importance of Being Earnest" does. It's a movie I want to see, so I'll see it. But I do wish there seemed to be a way to send the, "Hey, make good science fiction movies!" message.

Well, I have much to do today, for errands and for work and perhaps for fun as well. I'm trying to decide whether I really want to finish Golem100. I've enjoyed other Bester novels more, and I'm not sure whether that's an argument for or against finishing it. I just opened it at random to find a stream of consciousness passage with almost no punctuation, and that pretty much settled it for me. If I'm going to have to slog through several pages of that (which it looks like I am) in order to deal with a story that holds no enticements for me before it begins, forget it. I like my own freewrites, but I don't subject other people to them any more than I would bottle my sweat and send it to them as birthday presents.

Oh, hey. It's Curt's birthday. Good deal.

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