12 September 2003
First thing this morning: a sale! Zahir wants "Rock, Paper, Scissors." I originally started this story for a chapbook project, but then it got to be waaaay too long for the one-page chapbook allotment, so I just gave up and made it into a short, murky fantasy story instead. And now it's going into a semipro print mag. Which is nice.
I've been selling to more semipros this year, which makes sense: I've been submitting to more semipros this year. If I have a story I still like, and it's been in submission long enough that there aren't any pro markets jumping out at me, I have no problem sending it to a semipro. Better a small publication than none. Sometimes -- as with "Rock, Paper, Scissors" -- I'll decide that sending a story to a semipro market is better than waiting for one of the super-long-response pro markets to clear another of my stories, especially if it feels like a really big long-shot anyway. I do try to do pros first, semipros second, but not every good story will hit a pro editor exactly right. And readers is readers.
Second thing this morning: I got the phone quiz from the homebuyers' education people, asking me things like how much I would budget for gas and electric and what my current bills were and what it meant for an offer to have contingencies. Some of it was a bit odd ("can you name some documents you'll be signing at closing?"), and there were a couple times where I provided information the tester hadn't heard of. ("Well, we won't be physically present for closing, but in advance we'll be signing --" "Wait, you don't have to be present for closing?" "Not at all." "I never heard of that before! How cool!") But all in all, it worked out fine.
The postal service is still thwarting me. One document! One measly document! I'm calling the people who are vouching for us this morning for a backup, but I figure the measly document will arrive today or tomorrow no matter what I do. I'm just calling to try to make sure I'm not wrong. You know? If it's irrevocably lost in the maze of the Oakland post office, I don't want to be sitting around next Friday going, gosh, I don't know, maybe we'd better have them send a second one.
I finished Zandru's Forge and am now reading F&SF. My library books all looked unappealing, so I grabbed a periodical as a stalling tactic. I have a feeling this is a bad time for duty reads, and Mika Waltari's The Egyptian is totally a duty read. I read another Waltari book awhile ago and didn't like it at all. But I feel like The Egyptian is one of those books a serious Finnophile should have read. But I didn't like the other Waltari, and I'm not all that interested in 1950s Finnish depictions of ancient Egypt right now. Some other time, it could be an interesting sociological study, but A Stranger Came to the Farm annoyed me enough that I don't really care what else Waltari has to say. I may just put that one on the return pile and try to catch it some other time when I'm feeling more generous, or more dutiful, or something. It's sitting on the top of the stack, and I think it's polluting my attitude towards other, perfectly nice library books. I may move it just to make sure it can't taint the others.
Right then. Okay. We pause to talk to the kindly letter-writing people, who have now sent a total of three letters and will get upper management approval for a fax if this goes on any longer. (And it's not their fault their system is set up to only do letters.) Then we pause some more to write a few important e-mails and have David over. We're done pausing now, but there's the whole rest of the day to get on with.
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