Saturday, April 28, 2007



I've been in a day-long critique session with twenty other authors. We got through seven stories and we've seven more tomorrow. It's kind of tiring. I'm trying to process the critique I recieved for a story I had today -- mostly today's feedback confirmed an earlier critique I had (which I was positive was wrong, but now I'm not so sure). As usual, I used too many words' tertiary meanings, and my characters' emotional calculus was off a bit for most people. I did locate my audience, though -- David Raines. I guess my audience is priests who are grounded in words like ethos and ancient Greek culture. The critique was good for helping me to get over the story -- I like it too much, but I guess it goes back to the "fix it" pile.

Tomorrow I've got another story on the critique pile. I'm hoping it receives a more positive critique, although it does have the made up word "Genesisiarch" in it.

Mark took Arthur to the coast today. The first beach they went to was "scary" -- I'm not sure why; I think Arthur fell into a small stream (less than ankle deep) and got wet. The second beach was better and involved Arthur finding driftwood to add to some ladies' fire. Mark says that Arthur's getting two new teeth, so he was kind of cranky.

Tomorrow, Mark and Arthur will watch our friends, the Wilds, running in a marathon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I've been really busy reading a bunch of stories for a critique-fest this weekend.

Arthur's having a normal day today -- which is nice, since Friday he's either been sleeping a lot or sleepless, or eating a lot or not hungry. I always blame teeth; but this seems a little long. I suppose he's growing.

Mark's been doing a lot of work in the yard; we have a lot of dandilions, and he's pulling them up by hand (and filling the divits with soil and grass seed) so we don't have to use nasty chemicals on the lawn.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ow-ow-ow! No Fair!

Last night I submitted a story for "Sword and Sorceress 22" and this morning I got a rejection. They had it for about thirteen hours. It's the quickest rejection I've ever gotten for a story. I'm not sure what I did wrong; I guess I'll have to get a copy of the anthology when it comes out to see what they did buy. Oh well, now I've got something I can send to "Realms of Fantasy" or to "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction."

In between all of the writing that I did S&S 22, I've been working on a PHP script to help me with marketing. I'd have to say that marketing my stories is one of my weak spots. OK -- between the stories I've written that I hope are salable and all the pro- semi-pro and amature-markets to choose from I am paralized with indecision. Once I'm done with the script I should have an easy way to generate a list of my stories, what markets they've been sent to, and what markets I should send them to next. Yes, there are three look-up tables, and I get to use IF and WHILE statements to build a report.

At least I got my prize money from Writer's of the Future today. So now I can buy paper and printer cartridges.

Arthur latest joke is to say "six" randomly when he counts and when he recites the alphabet. Arthur seems to understand the concept of counting, although I've noticed that three and five are the numbers he usually counts to reguardless of how many objects there actually are. I think Arthur's favorite song switches back and forth between "Truly Scrumptious" from "Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang" and "Kumbayah, Mother Goddess" (hey, we live in Eugene). His favorite phrase for a while was from the "Shimmer" slush-pile: "Ow! Ow! Ow-ow-ow! No fair! No fair!"... but I think it's become "Delicious" -- or more accurately, "'Licious."

Scene: (Arthur and Mark are rough housing)

Arthur (jumping up and down on Mark's stomache): "Bounce bounce bounce!"

Mark (in time with the jumping): "Oof oof oof! Hey, don't bounce on daddy; he's old."

Arthur (channelling his inner teen): "Tragic."

John: "And who taught him that word?" (Thinking, 'The same man who objects to the phrase 'evil drink.')

Mark: "Ooh, and he got the intonation right, too."

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Mark was great and read to Arthur, so I got to work on "Lapis Heron" from 9 PM to 1 AM. Most of the "Stupid John Tricks" are out. Tomorrow I'll print it out to catch the clerical errors that I always seem to miss when the manuscript is on a screen. Oh, yeah, and double-check my character's emotional calculus. The story's at about 4600 words.

Arthur has reached that point in his life where he's discovered that he has his own mind. And he doesn't know what to do with it. It's a little frustrating because it's like his brain is in a super-position and any yes-or-no question elicits both responses. There we go, the way to build a quantum computer is to ask a bank of two-year-olds to do the computing.

He does, however, like to help us out -- today he helped me pick up a high chair at a pizza place.

And his new favorite phrase is "Evil Drink" (to describe when I buy a Pepsi). Speaking of which...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Quick Update

I've been tired the last few days.

I've been busy editing (or trying to edit, anyway) my Sword and Sorceress story. The Wordos found a bunch of typical "John Mistakes" with the manuscript and I have about a week to fix them all.

The 19th Annual Easter Bunny Nuke went well... I finally broke down and purchased a set of Looney Tunes cartoons so that we could play "What's Opera Doc" ("Kill the Wabbit!") before melting chocolate bunnies in the microwave. The only hitch is that Arthur thinks "What's Opera, Doc" is a "scarey movie." It's gotten to the point that when something scares him he says, "Spear and magic helmet," or just "helmet." This afternoon it was the thick black clouds in the sky (just like the ones Elmer Fudd uses to strike Bugs Bunny down with lightning).

Yesterday Arthur made two new best friends at a candle and health spa in the mini-mall near our house. He was working the cuteness.

Today we met a child slightly younger and with more articulate words than Arthur.

Arthur continues to think that feeding me imaginary ladybugs and Mark imaginary banannas is hysterically funny. It's gotten to the point where he feeds us (well, me anyway) fake banannas that are really ladybugs and then says, "trick."

There are a bunch of teeth about to push up through his gums.

OK -- Mark and Arthur are asleep, off to write.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cute Train

I finished a draft of my Sword and Sorceress story -- just in time to bring it to Wordos for critique. The good news is that the story is finished, the bad news is that I'm really tired because I was up rather late puting on the final touches. I need to change my circadian rhythem so that my most productive time isn't 11 PM. Oh wait, that's when Mark and Arthur are asleep.... hmmm.

I've joined a writing goal group, and I was going to post more writing goals and things, but it seems that I can't find an e-mail client that won't put annoying little breaks into my text when it is posted to the blog. It's been really helpful to write down what I've accomplished on a daily basis and also my weekly goals; but having to edit my goals twice sort of cuts into actual writing.

Arthur's recovering from his lost fight with gravity. This morning when I dressed him up in overalls, I said, "You're cute!" and it went to his head. "Cute! Cute!" was about the only thing he would say today (that and "Trains! Trains!" when we got Eric Carle's "1, 2, 3 to the Zoo" at the Library). Oh yes. We thought the Train Bug was bad before, but you should hear Arthur now. The only books he wants to read are about trains.