traveling, news, contest stuff, good books, etc.

December 29, 2009 at 11:01 am (this and that) (, , , , , )

I am currently in the throes of the annual trans-Florida cross-state family-visit whirlwind holiday extravaganza, and thus kind of didn’t do a Bloggiversary post as I had intended. Then again I didn’t do anything for my 100th post either, so whatever. Regardless! The contest is long closed, and the 8 official entries and one completely, utterly disqualified entry (from Jesse, who else?) are archived for reading when I get back to my home base in Boulder on the 31st. I should be announcing soon after that, such is the beauty of flash fiction.

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oh my.

December 25, 2009 at 10:33 pm (this and that) (, , )

So, Christmas. I will do a writeup tomorrow, and discuss more thoroughly the awesome (corset, wii, books, omg) but I just needed to post something immediately. For my Christmas present my homeslice Jesse commissioned an artist who goes by Moody Ferret to do what she does, which is to say draw up lush pictures of an anthropomorphic stoat named Neil, and I have to say. . .  you know what? There is nothing I can say that will do justice to this gift.

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last reminder

December 23, 2009 at 1:30 pm (this and that, writing) (, , )

The bloggiversary giveaway extravaganza is shutting down the day after Christmas, so be sure to get your entries in to paperfruitcontest at gmail dot com before midnight Mountain Time on Dec. 26th! Remember, the prizes are a signed edition of The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart and a two-volume edition of the early work of Philip K Dick. Do you want to miss out? No. Also if you sent in an entry and did not get back an awesome “thank you for submitting” email, your entry has not been received.

I am busy and caffeinated and thus am signing off, likely until after Christmas.

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down to the wire, and newspile

December 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm (editing, this and that, writing) (, )

Counting today, there are only ten days left for the entire internet to submit to the Paper Fruit Bloggiversary Contest! So far I’ve got five very fine submissions and counting, so the competition is getting stiff. Remember to email your submission to paperfruitcontest at gmail dot com before December 26th! I am going to visit my family in Florida on the 27th so while flying cross-country and then driving cross-state I will be reading the submissions and will announce winners around the New Year after I return.

In other news, here is a list of search-terms WordPress is telling me that people have used to find my blog:

animals looking cute

“gpa for my master’s

penis toes (this is most certainly my personal favorite)

atop write

finnegans wake tallahassee

vinegar spray bottle

russian colonel hat

Also of note: I received my very first personal rejection letter today! While being rejected nearly always sucks, it was cool that the editor of the magazine chose to comment on my story. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the criticism– take it as something I should “fix,” or just chalk it up to personal preference– but still!

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fantasy magazine has interviewers!

December 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm (editing, reading, writing) (, )

Fantasy Magazine now has an three-person interviewing team that I am incredibly proud to have working for us!

The first is Mr. TJ McIntyre, who was doing Author Spotlights for FM before and is remaining on board, much to my pleasure. TJ’s profile of Nicole Kornher-Stace goes up tomorrow.

The second is Ms. Jennifer Konieczny, who was slushing for FM (and helping out proofreading stories before they went up) when she applied for this position. I am very pleased to have her working in an expanded capacity for us, and Jennifer’s first profile will go up next Thursday, Dec. 24th.

The third is Mr. William Sullivan, a new face at Fantasy Magazine. A longtime reader of speculative fiction, William’s questions caught my attention and I’m sure they will prove to be interesting reading for future Author Spotlights. William’s first interview will go up Dec. 31st.

Congratulations to all!

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apparently GQ wrote me a birthday present. . .

December 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm (thinking, this and that) (, , )

. . . and I didn’t even know. On October 27th, GQ’s Andrew Corsell published this article entitled “The Bitch is Back,” about Ayn Rand and a segment of her devoted followers (the author calls them ARAs, or Ayn Rand Assholes, a pretty fair assessment). While the author’s relentless usage of the male pronoun gave me an attack of the feminist vapors, the article as a whole is amazing and worth reading. A sample, since I just yesterday noticed the “quote” function in WordPress:

GODDAMN, the experience of being 19 years old and reading Ayn Rand! The crystal-shivering-at-the-breaking-pitch intensity of it! Not just for that 19-year-old, but for everybody unfortunate enough to be caught in his psychic blast radius. Is “experience” even the right word for The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged? Ayn Rand’s idolization of Mickey Spillane and cigarettes and capitalism—an experience? Her tentacular contempt for Shakespeare and Beethoven and Karl Marx and facial hair and government and “subnormal” children and the poor and the Baby Jesus and the U.N. and homosexuals and “simpering” social workers and French Impressionism and a thousand other things the flesh is heir to: experience?

Lord. It’s only funny because it’s true.

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things that make no sense

December 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm (thinking, vegan living) (, , , )

Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money. Can we just begin with that as a given?

Here’s a news-item simply fascinating in its utter stupidity: PeTA– you know, the organization whose acronym means People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals– well, it turns out that PeTA just spent about ten thousand dollars of its donators’ money to aid in the killing of 1800 lobsters.

When I heard about this, my reaction was “Excuse me?” My second reaction was “Jesus Christ, I’m glad I never donated to them.” My third reaction, fueled by having to go through the task of return-addressing my own Christmas cards this year (the humanity!) was “Man, I miss those address labels they used to send me for free.” I used to cut the PeTA logo off of them, though.

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bloggiversary: contest! fabulous prizes!

December 10, 2009 at 1:29 pm (editing, this and that, writing) (, , )

On the 26th of December, 2008, I began blogging here at WordPress, and it’s been a good time. The blog has mutated from being a reading-blog to a personal space to rant (here’s an example, where I predict Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters, no, really) to something (somewhat) more professional. It’s been my first exercise in consistent blogging and I’d like to celebrate by doing a contest/giveaway, so here it is: I am going to celebrate by doing a contest/giveaway.

Between now and December 26th, if you’d like to submit an original piece of flash fiction (under 500 words) which features the phrase “paper fruit” in some manner, write it up and send it to paperfruitcontest at gmail dot com. The winning entry as well as the runner-up will receive a fabulous prize. Both will also have their stories published on my blog.

More details below. . .

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the view from atop the slushpile

December 8, 2009 at 3:15 pm (editing, writing) (, )

The latest internet kerfuffle regarding editing and publishing in the genre community started over at John Scalzi’s blog where he called out a market for paying one fifth of a cent per word (500 words for a dollar, etc.). This has now mutated into an excellent blog post over at Jeff VanderMeer’s blog, by guest blogger Rachel Swirsky, editor of PodCastle. Ms. Swirsky’s point was riffing off of Scalzi’s, that getting published “anywhere” doesn’t necessarily help a young writer’s career– in fact, not only, as Scalzi says, does this potentially devalue an author, it can, as Swirsky says, make an editor less inclined towards your work. Both Swirsky’s and Scalzi’s point boils down to this: often young writers are told to publish, publish, publish: exposure is king, as well as judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to short fiction, if you don’t have credits behind your name you’re flung off of the slushpile and into the garbage, or as Swirsky put it, “it’s this benefit of the doubt that I think newer authors are trying to curry when they say the point of publishing with a market like Black Matrix is to get a credit, any credit. (Either that or they think submissions with creditless cover letters are thrown into an automatic ‘no’ box with a malevolent editorial cackle.)”

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koi kaze: against the grain (to say the least)

December 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm (this and that) (, , )

Here is a list of three true facts about relationships in modern Japan that I have learned from watching years of anime:

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