12 December 2001
It was a good day, yesterday. The first bit of news is that I sold another story! "Cassie's Deal," to Paradox 12. Theyr'e a new webzine -- so new, in fact, that if you follow the link as I write this, the page will essentially say "Coming soon!" I just sent them "Cassie's Deal" on the fourth, so they're pretty darn speedy with an acceptance.
This story is my deal-with-the-devil story. It's not deep or fancy or anything like that. It's just a light, fun little story. I'm happy it sold, but surprised, oh, surprised. I've had this idea since I was a sophomore in Intro Creative Writing, but I didn't get around to writing it until Raechel had her "Genies and Other Wish Granters" issue of Spellbound, and it was the closest idea I had at the time. (Now "Goats' Gold" might qualify as well, but I wrote it too late.) I left some stuff out of it for length constraints, and it was exactly the stuff Raechel mentioned in her comments on it. So I lengthened it -- still not that long -- and off it went, and here it is. Whee!
I like sales. I really do.
So when I wrote to people to say, "Hey! Sale!", one of them who wrote back right away was our Curtis, who got engaged! His fiancée, Rebecca, is very cool -- so cool, in fact, that she can marry Curt. Which is pretty darn cool.
I worked on "MacArthur Station" and "Shylock's Pound" yesterday, got good stuff done. And I read and read and read. I finished MI6 and read Her Majesty's Secret Service (nonfiction, not a Bond novel) and MI5, and then for fun I finished off Divine Intervention and started Judy Budnitz's If I Told You Once, which is really good so far. (I believe it was Jessie who recommended it.) And I finished family Christmas cards and paid bills and...yeah. Got stuff done. Woo, stuff. Nothing like getting it done. Today, more work on those two stories, more random household tasks. More bright-and-dark Eastern European imagery from Budnitz.
I was amused, upon reading MI6, to come upon this: "Of the thirteen 'head agents' Best boasted of running, only four or five actually existed. One of his nine imagined spy-rings, which seemed to incur unavoidably high running costs, was code-named HOUSE and consisted of sub-agents code-named TABLE and CHAIR. After the war, when Best had to account for this deception, he protested that he had been starved of funds...." I'm surprised that PANTRY with sub agents BREAD and JAM didn't cost him a lot for their information as well. Not to mention the spy ring ISLAND VACATION with sub-agents BEACHBABE and LUXURYYACHT.
I woke up at 5:00 this morning. Ick. Maybe my subconscious just wanted to enjoy as much of Tim's birthday as possible. I'm sure that's it. Anyway, happy birthday, Tim. You share a birthday with Flaubert. Probably not your first choice, huh?
Timprov ran across somebody on the Rumor Mill who was worried because he'd seen one-day responses for WIHA and hadn't heard in over a week on his story. Well. I've only bought three stories, and they are the three that I am absolutely sure are not only good stories but are what I want to do with this anthology. I've saved a bunch of other good stories and am pondering them in the context of other good stories I have or may get. I don't want to fill the anthology in the first fortnight. I think that's pretty reasonable. If you've sent it to me, I've read it, though, unless you sent it last night.
Maybe I am too picky an editor. But if you're describing electroshock of someone's testicles -- okay, let's just stop right there and say that if you feel the need to describe electroshock of any part of someone's genital region, your story is going to be better off with someone who is not me. But should you feel the need to have this situation occur anyway, don't you think that the only way that one could possibly take it is manfully? I mean, this is not a situation that can occur in women. So perhaps describing your main character as taking it manfully is a bit silly. Just a thought.
I know, I keep making all of these impossible rules. No Jesus, no genital electroshock...I exist but to limit the creative process, yep.
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