ritaxis: (hat)
I have four stories out right now.

I looked back through my submissions tags and I see that I was about this active seven and eight years ago. I don't want to speculate on what this means because it makes me kind of sad.
ritaxis: (hat)
At noon on Sunday the village church bells go off for a long, long time here. Also they still have the noon civil defence whistles on I think Wednesday? I haven't heard the whistles but I heard the bells today while I was writing writing. That's all I did today. I wrote wrote wrote except taking time off to watch "Belle" on Frank's computer (personhead[livejournal.com profile] al_zorra is completely correct about this movie, by the way. So sad that they didn't make the movie they should have, but the staging is glorious). It rained all day anyhow.

I made the deadline for the anthology. And tomorrow I'm going to go run around town again. No more deadlines for a while, I think! I made three of them this month. I wrote about thirty-five thousand words this month. That is not prodigious but it is pretty good, I think.
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I'm finally fixing up A Suitable Lover for professional submission. The online version is seriously messed up: much worse than my saved manuscript (among other things, the uploading process elided words here and there, and an occasional phrase, sentence, and in at least one case, a really important scene. I don't know how much is due to user error and how much is due to the uploading machinery). I'm mostly cleaning up typoes and formatting, and making sure the missing bits are reintroduced, but I'd appreciate an eye besides mine to go over the newly-proofed versions and catch what I've missed and any crud I've missed because I read what I think I wrote.

It's going suspiciously quickly. I reread the whole book last night and I've cleaned up the first four chapters this morning. So I'm ready to start feeding chapters to someone if they're ready to read it for me.

I would really appreciate this.

A wedding

Sep. 24th, 2006 08:57 pm
ritaxis: (Default)
My friend Liz married her daughter off yesterday. Both the bride and groom have the surnamde Gutierrez, which is a convenience since they don't have to decide whether anybody's going to change their name. Both have Mexican fathers and other types of angloish mothers. So the ceremony was rigorously bilingual. They got an aunt of Donaji's and an uncle of Francisco's to officiate -- apparently nowadays you can get anybody made a deputy commissioner of the county for the purpose. I wish that had been the case when we were getting married! The uncle did his part in English and the aunt did her part in Spanish and there was a program which translated each into the other language.
They did sweet little speeches about how cool it was that they were getting married this way, and talked about how wonderful their names were, and they had one teenaged girl reading that piece from Corinthians about how "there's faith, and there's hope, and there's charity, but the greatest of these is love," and that's when I cried because the last time I heard that read ot loud in a public ceremony it was my mother-in-law's funeral. And then another teenaged girl read this entirely sexy bit from an Irish poet. The couple got bound together with a lasso of ti leaves and gardenias draped in a figure eight on them by their respective mothers, and they exchanged rings, and they had to be told to kiss.



There were cute little kids of various hues carrying ring pillows and baskets of rose petals, and there were cute little kids playing very nice Irish music, and a nice supper cooked by the culinary students at the community college (the venue is a nice house-like edifice owned by the college and rented out for stuff like this), and all in all, it was a proper wedding, not too long, not too complicated, with lots of fun details. Donaji is not a prima donna: she told her bridesmaids "get a nice green dress you'll want to wear later -- any color of green." Somehow they all ended up inthe exact same shade of sage green, each in a different and flattering dress.

And then, at the end, there was dancing to oldies, of course, and Donaji's mother and father -- divorced almost her whole life -- danced together and had fun. And that's worth recording!

on another front, I sent a piece about terraforming and too many lemons to Gastronomicon II. Flash fiction is actually kind of fun sometimes and I might write more of it, who knows?

on still another front but somewhat related, I don't quite understand these guidelines, but I have till February to figure them out.
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In the hostel breakfast in Amsterdam there was this breakfast meat -- like US lunchmeat, sort of like sausage -- which was identified only as "chicken." It was as fine-grained and smooth as bologna and had little sprinkles of vegetables and maybe herbs throughout it. It tasted like chicken soup, and I loved it. What is its name? I want to find it but without a name, I don't know how.

I think I like the habit of proteinaceous sandwiches for breakfast (can't eat creal and milk anyway and shouldn't eat sweet rolls and so forth).



I sent "Clearing" to Oceans of the Mind for their Spring 2007 AI-themed issue.
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This seems to say something I didn't start out to say, and I don't really agree with it, except perhaps as pertains to my very own self and not the world at large )

On yet another front, I have an idea for a new chapter for Afterwar involving more medical technology and distance from the front.

And since nobody told me the query letter's stupid, I'm going to look at it one more time and then use it.
ritaxis: (Default)
I still haven't mailed the envelopes. I forget what happened on Monday -- first I was cleaning, then I was trying to figure out the math of how to get to the demonstration either before or after the washing machine repairman, then I was cleaning some more while the washing machine repairman was here, then I was trying to figure out if the demonstration would still be there if I left right now, then I was talking to the nice fellow and Frank about the demonstration, and then -- I didn't get to the post office. Or the demonstration, which was huge, but Frank got there. The nice fellow tried. Tuesday I had oral surgery. Wednesday I was with Gloria. Today is Thursday.

I have made a character grid for the paranormal romance. All my notes for it are on my jump drive, and so is the entirety of Afterwar. I love my jump drive. There are hours at a time at Gloria's where I can write if I have my work with me, and I do write -- yesterday I wrote most of a review for The Silver Bough by Lisa Tuttle, whose pub date was April 25 (short version: read it). It only needs de-gushing and a little intellect enhancement and then it's ready to go. And I didn't even have my jump drive because Frank needed to borrow it. Which makes me feel stupid: of course that's what I should have given him for his birthday.

Anyway, now that everything's on the jump drive I can finish Afterwar at Gloria's, and then start the romance.

I'll try to get the envelopes mailed from Watsonville today.

The sleep study was ambiguous -- I have an extremely mild apnea, not apparently enough to account for the blood pressure problem (which appears to have been solved anyway) but they want to treat me anyway because of my "daytime sleepiness" which I do not have (but I did have thirty years ago which they seem to have mistaken for a current problem). So I don't think I'll make that appointment -- insurance doesn't cover CPAP, and the nice fellow actually does have a problem, which will be expensive enough to pay for. And I think once I get him on the machine I'll sleep much better.

I think I sleep better if I go to bed first, anyway -- so I'm pretty well in sleep zone before he starts snoring and choking and stuff.
ritaxis: (Default)
I finished the John Brown terrorism story and I submitted it. What;s really exciting is that the nice fellow, who frankly doesn't like much of what I write, did like it.

Now, I wait.

No, I don't. I finish Afterwar and the little romance short thing, and I consider whether I want to write a romance involving Forager Girl, a ghost, and some guy (Chain's taken: Forager Girl needs a lover just like him, but the last time I saw who she was with, in the middle of The Conduit, she was hanging with some nasty yuppie sort of guy and really intimidated by him. It must be bad for her art, right? Because she's a pretty unconventional girl, and the guy is pretty conventional).


The ghost I'm not sure of. I'm drawn to something that comes from the labor history of California, but it's pretty nebulous right now.

Forager Girl's given name is Jill Ann, I remember that.

edited to add

I do know that Some Guy is a psychic, and that they meet in the cafe of the San Jose Modern Art Museum. And I know how they meet: he's at one end, she's at the other, and she hears him talking to her, very low: he's warning her about the yuppie sort of guy and also maybe the ghost, having had a premonition which is a little ambiguous. He's too far away for her to have heard him speaking so softly -- but that's because he didn't speak, he projected his worries, not bothering not to try because normally people can't pick this kind of thing up. So she's a little more sensitive than usually people are, and that's why, later, she begins to channel this ghost as she paints.

No, the yuppie sort of guy is not a serial criminal, and the ghost is not his vitim. But I don't know more than that yet.
ritaxis: (Default)
Quattro Pro sorts the colums separately by default. That means I got my submissions tracker messed up and had to spend a half hour combing my LJ tags for what really happened this year (19 submissions, mostly in December). I was coy on a lot of those pages. I won't be anymore: I need two ways to keep track.

Today: Seven Little Men to Quantum Muse.
ritaxis: (Default)
seven little men: fantasy magazine
convoy: son and foe: this is a mistake, apparently, as I had already resubmitted it to intergalactic playground, having misread my notes, damnit. I'll deal with it if it comes up. I guess.
able and available: aberrant dreams. tasmanian flower basket: um, I have to look it up.

more tonight.

edited: I already got the rejection for seven little men. I can't believe how fast. Three hours?

forays

Dec. 6th, 2005 11:19 pm
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We went to the woods along Empire Grade just across from upper campus but while we found some pretty things, and lots of fresh, shiny black bambi poop and dead bambi by the road, we found nothing to bring home.

I have been way too sedentary lately, for several reasons. I've been discouraged: I've been under the weather: I've been trying to be productive writing. The under the weather thing is the reflux/asthma/other stuff revolving door, which makes it hard to breathe for coughing and weird throat, and makes me just want to sit very very still.

So I've been trying to break through the cycle of that and I may have done so. Anyway, the result of all this sedentariness is that crashing through the underbrush was very tiring on those muscles that lift the legs when you step over branches and things. So I exercised them a little when I got back.

Also I submitted five stories today, including two I never got the rejections for, but dog, I am tired of waiting and feeling stymied. So I sent the GPS highway robbery story to "Amazing Journeys," and the bitter Gulf War piece to "From the Trenches," an anthology being put together by Carnifex Press, and the last people in the world/quilt block story to "Dark Energy." I sent the social worker story to "Futurismic," and I sent the self-aware minefield story to "The Intergalactic Medicine Show." And I added some words to the rain story, which still has no resolution.

Aynathie, I've started reading, but I'm really behind. I'll send you comments Wednesday (my time) and Thursday.

On other fronts: I am such a busy little bee: I have also nearly finished making myself a linen shirt for the holidays. A long time ago I bought these three pieces of linen, a warm rosy-golden brown one, a sagey-minty one, and a white one with a complicated woven-in pattern, to make an outfit of. I figured that with me making so little money this year, if I wanted holiday clothes I better make them out of what I have.

The pissy part is that the pattern I have is marked with the same size I buy clothes in at the store, but I had to add four inches to the shirt to get it to fit anything like the ready-made clothes with the same size number. I don't care whose fault it is, but I want them to stop doing this. Is it so hard to have an industry-wide standard which applies to all secotrs of the industry? Isn't it in the pattern companies' interests to present patterns which work for the regular customer without having to be redrawn?

I don't know if the cloth is pure linen or linen/cotton/rayon. Whatever it is, it wrinkles like crazy and feels delightful on my skin.
ritaxis: (Default)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
53,826 / 75,000
(71.0%)


or

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
53,826 / 80,000
(67.0%)


and I have spent about two hours trying to get a decent phone plan. It looks like we will have to make two phone calls for every one call we make, in order to escape paying for many many more minutes than we'll ever use.

and I'm sending my "it's been six months, do you know anything about my book?" letter to Tor. No, I didn't do it back when I first said I would. And I asked Marty Halpern of Golden Gryphon if they do take novel submissions. He tried to scare me by saying he wouldn't be able to look at it for three months and it wouldn't come out till 2006 or 2007. Hah! I laugh at three months! I say "feh!" to 2007. That's nothing.
ritaxis: (golden city)
to North of Infinity III. I said my connection to Canada was I danced at a powwow there 30 years ago, Niagara Falls made me cry, and I have a couple of friends in Canada.

I love email subs.

Also, went to the picket line at the University for a while. It's a big deal. It's huge. All the clerical, technical, food service, and maintenance workers are on strike today.


Here's my Pajaro Valley gallery from yesterday.
ritaxis: (catseye)
Thanks to Nicky Matthews, Julian Flood, and most of all papersky, I have conquered the query, and it is in the mail.
ritaxis: (Default)
I sent Convoy to the Washington Future address that Brenda Clough sent me. I sent Dog to Quantum Muse.
ritaxis: (meadowlands)
Not a bad day, considering. I took Emma to the DMV, took the dog for two walks, washed the dishes, painted a cabinet, and wrote some stuff and mailed some stuff and helped Emma with scholarship applications.

She's doing a yeoman job on it, I think. She just wrote this essay on why Congress should pass the Employee Free Choice Act (not open shop, as I thought before, but quicker, more honest elections for certifying unions and more penalties for employer abuses in the election and contract negotiation process).

I read soime more in the immense farmworker book, too. There's something here about slavery. A while back, a participant in rasfc, Wildepad, was trying to argue that slavery wasn't all that bad. I was thinking about him as I was reading about the Indians in the missions -- it was both like and not like the system of slavery in the antebellum South. Not like, in that the padres' primary purpose for being there was to save souls, and all the brutal things they did to the Indians were in service of that. Which makes the whole brutality and cruelty thing bizarre. But like, in that the Indians' work was bought and sold by others than themselves and they had no right of free passage. And like in that they rarely rebelled but frequently ran away.

Some of it is grim reading. But there are parts which are merely fascinating -- the primitive agricultural technology, for example. Generally, the missions' grain was ground by hand, on metates, rather than by mill, and when it was a mill, it was a primitive burro-driven mill and not a water mill. Other things were done by hand which in other parts of the world were done by machine or animal, or by hand with more sophisticated tools. The Spanish even yoked their oxen wroing -- they lashed a pole to the poor things' heads! Soime of all this was due to the backwardness of Spanish agronomy and social organization at the time, and some of it was due to the expressed desire of the padres to fill the "neophytes'" lives with labor so that they didn't have time to get drunk and horny or wander off back to their pagan homes. And that was what the brutality was too. Partly it was the routine way to treat farmworkers in Spain and partly it was a purposeful strategy to drive the Indians to religion and away from behavior the padres thought would send them to Hell.

I've gotten to the break up of the missions, and how that transition was handled in the worst possible way, managing to land the Indians in even worse straits than they were in before.

The rest of the week, among the other things I'm doing, I will finish and mail this Washington story and the new query for Esperanza Highway. I also intend to get a third of what's left of this chapter in Afterwardone.

Another thing I have realized in the last week or so is that I can and ought to cut out the last vignette. This means that the book ends with the scene of the man without a country accepting the teenaged mother and her baby as his family. But it also means I don't have to spread the vignette material so thin.

For every discipline in writing, there is a counter discipline. Some time back I came to the conclusion that all other things being equal a longer book was better than a shorter book because it had more room for richness, complexity, and precise pacing. But now I'm working on more streamlined stuff. I think, for example, a story I have tried to write four or five times -- one about the men who turn into wolves at Advent and fight the forces of evil to preserve the fertility of the earth -- originally I was trying to write it night by night as one person uncovers the mystery of another person's participation in this. Now I think the pacing will work best if I write it as two nights: the second to the last night and the last night. Everything that could be accomplished with the series of nights could be accomplished in the one (second to the last) night, and the climactic scene won't have so much weight behind it, allowing it to be climactic instead of it being kind of a watershed after which the reader expects the real climax.

Which means, I think, that I may have figured out how to write shorter, sort of in general, or at least more than before.
ritaxis: (blue land)
I'm pretty messed up still from the teeth and other adventures, I guess. But I took another pass through the landmines story which got rejected this weekend, found some weird typoes that shouldn't have been there, tightened it a little, and printed it and got its envelopes ready for mailing to Absolute Magnitude. I don't know. I'm not a very adventurey writer, but the protagonist is risking life and limb here, and takes action, and what could be harder science fiction than a self-aware minefield?

And 538 words on the Washington future story which is giving me doubts though it's writing okay. The doubts -- does it address the theme, or is it just set in Washington?

And I did a little more market research.

I'm going to take a nap now, and later, clean the kitchen which is nasty because we keep dropping in long enough to mess it up but not long enough to clean it up.

In other news, it's cool and rainy again. (it will be rainy pretty much through April, based on past experience, and then in May it will dry up a lot and stay that way, with very minor exceptions, until December)
ritaxis: (golden city)
So I made two deadlines in less than a week. I might be getting better at this.

By the way, nothing will bring tears to the eyes faster than standing beneath a blossoming plum tree,
while one's daughter plays piobaireachd inside.
ritaxis: (golden city)
I put a gallery of pictures of Arana Gulch in under "seasons" which is under "fecundity." Distinguishing characteristic: rolling slopes down to a riparian, views of Loma Prieta (a mountain) and the yacht harbor. The park was saved from paving by the existence of a dinky little wildflower which is unique (we got a bunch of those around here).

Arm hurts. Stopping everything.
ritaxis: (hazy mars)
first -- this is a memo to me: I sent The Conduit to Tor today, standard submission packet --first 3 chapters and synopsis.

It's raining hard and cold out there, which I would gloat in, but I keep seeing people who live out there and then I worry about them, and somehow this gets mixed up in the news of the tsunami. The thing I was going to say -- about gloating in the rain: the way the slap of the wind drives the breath out of my lungs, the way the rain comes right into my eyes because the wind is blowing it nearly horizontal and I can't see -- it's thrilling, because I only have to be out in it for a little while.

And finally, another thing for Anna: the gorilla.

We went to the zoo on the day after Christmas. Emma wasn't really supposed to walk all that much because she has a sore ligament in her knee, but she said she was doing well, and so we went all around it. I'm not really the happiest camper in a zoo. I keep apologizing to the animals. It's not the zoo itself, so much, nowadays -- they really do work hard at making nice places for the animals, and they are actually kind of working on making themselves obsolete by saving habitat and stuff: but there's only so much you can do with the situation, and without the siamangs' manic displays the zoo was kind of subdued in general. So many of the animals are from warm places, and while San Francisco isn't really cold by global standards, it was pretty well not warm.

The zoo has an exhibit called Gorilla World. It's a grassy island with a traditional zoo moat on part of it and a glassed-ion place for people and gorillas to commune closely and other places where they can get pretty close. The island has a complicated set of structures for playing and nesting, and objects that look pretty random, and four female gorillas (they had a silverback male, but he died, I think of age: there's another coming to join them, but he's in preventive quarantine right now). They are large and glossy and distinctive and beautiful in that healthy gorilla way. The zoo says the gorilla females are "lost" without their silverback, and I can believe that they miss him mightily -- they were all kind of slow-moving, thoughtful, sad looking.

One gorilla particularly caught my eye. Literally. She sat down in one of the places where she could get pretty close and she stared at me, not in a challenging way, but with a level, calculating gaze. After a while she looked at someone else the same way. Then she walked to another place and did it again.

By this time we'd moved over to the place where the moat was and she came up around to that side and sat down under an artificial rock overhang with her chin on her fist and studied us again, one at a time, unblinking, contemplative -- if I were anthropomorphizing, even if I hadn't known she'd lost a dear friend recently, I would have thought she had that look that the bereaved have, that the-world-has-ended clarity. After she was done with us, we moved away to another place where I took the two pictures that are in the gallery "Zura at the zoo," within "every picture tells," in my scrapbook gallery that you can get to from my userinfo. After she had sat there for a while she moved over to the picture window and gazed at the people in there, who included a lot of children. She pulled up a big rubber ball and sat on it, and patted the glass.

That's all. That's the gorilla.

I looked at the portraits they have there with their names, and figured out that she was Zura, and I wrote the name on my hand.

Here's where the San Francisco zoo talks about their gorillas:
news about the gorillas
basic facts about gorillas
the story about Gorilla World

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