In Which the Oldest Finds a Home

23 July 2004

Good day yesterday.

Timprov and I went to the Twinks game, and something had changed since the last time I went to a Twins game at the Metrodome: I could watch the game. Last time I went with my family was at least a decade ago, and I fiddled with the program and the All-Star Game voting and anything else within fiddling reach. Last time I hadn't gone through a several-year baseball hiatus (we went occasionally to games throughout my childhood: Twins games and Royals games and minor league games at Rosenblatt, which, contrary to the College World Series announcers' claims, locals do not call "the Johnny" -- if it's got any nickname, it's the Blatt -- no Omahan in the history of time has ever gone to the Johnny for a baseball game, not unless they have a portable radio and a close enough relationship with their commode to nickname it). (Ahem. Sorry.)

One of the last times I went to live baseball was with the slightly-extended family in Oakland, and my dad and I had the revelation that a bad baseball game was very like a performance of Ravel's "Bolero": people in similar but slightly different costumes keep coming out and repeating actions with the repetitive music. But a good baseball game is a lot more like...well, like some better dance than the performance of "Bolero" we'd seen. And this was a good baseball game. It was tied for much of the game, including a grand slam for each team, and there was some pretty base-running for one of the Twins points, and the home team won. I did not buy a malt cup, but I knew I could have if I'd wanted to. Sometimes that's the important bit.

Then after the game, we walked to the Thrivent building -- and it's time for another digression, because, Thrivent. I mean to say. It used to be Lutheran Brotherhood. What is it? It's a Lutheran fraternal insurance organization. That used to be intuitively named: Lutheran Brotherhood. Who is it for? Lutherans. What is it? Well, some kind of fraternal organization (sororal ties not excluded). But what is Thrivent? Who knows? Is it a mutual fund, a cancer survivors' support organization, a heart surgery research concern, an upscale outdoor goods manufacturer? You don't know. You just know that you are supposed to associate this company, whatever it is, with thriving and with being moooooodern. Just like Northern States Power, which used to be very, very intuitive (they provide the north...) and is now Xcel Energy. Not only is it less intuitive, but it isn't even spelled in an xcellent way. Bleh. Anyway, we walked over to the Thrivent building to look at my aunt Mary's paintings, which are there until the end of the month.

When I got home, I found that Challenging Destiny wants to buy "Anna's Implants."

"Anna's Implants" was the oldest unsold story on my list. I started sending it out May 1, 2000. It sold to the seventeenth market I tried. One of the markets closed while it was still sitting on their slush pile. Another is officially still open, but I withdrew the story after they'd had it for a year and did not answer queries. I like this story a lot, though. I believe in this story. I didn't give up on this story. I was right not to give up on this story. The lovely nice Canadians believe in it, too.

It's such a nice thing, to have a story I like sell to a market I like, and after so long. It just gives me a boost for the rest of my work. It reminds me that yes, there is a point to persevering with all this. That it doesn't have to happen quickly and magically to happen at all. That my judgment about my own work was sound.

I have no sense of how stubborn I am compared to other fiction writers. I have the tendency to think of us as a pigheaded bunch, but I really don't know for sure. Maybe this is unusual. Maybe I'm a piker, that my oldest story now in circulation is from September of 2000. Maybe this story a veritable Methuselah among stories. I just don't know.

Anyway, C.J. is bringing his mom and nephew over any minute now, so I'm going to go see them. It is my solemn duty to tire Barnaby out so that he will nap on the drive to Eau Claire. One must take such duties very seriously.

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