Month: December 2005

Meme sheep, Redux

Meme customized slightly.
All figures approximate.
Cross posted to Heretic Spire.

Novel words written:

Wings to the Kingdom: 112,000
3 parts (of 5) on A Quiet Price for Ghost Orb: 33,000

Short story words written: Maybe 20,000?
Notes, outline, and synopsis words written: Bloody hell, I don’t know.
Blog words written: A lot.

New stories written: 4

Hell’s Bells
This Time, Things Will Be Different
Bad Sushi (which apparently needs a new title)
Following Piper (almost finished)

Existing stories revised: 3

The October Devotion
Horror at Snodgrass Hill
10 Archetypes in 2000 words (flash series)

Short story submissions sent: 5

Responses received: 4
Acceptances: 2
Rejections: 1
Other responses: n/a
Awaiting response: 1

Short stories published: None yet.
2 are pending, one was accepted for an anthology that’s still being compiled,
and I was invited to contribute (an as yet undecided story) to another anthology
which is still underway.

Awards: I don’t think anyone’s ever nominated me for anything.
Maybe I’ll get lucky in 2006 and this will change.

Major award nominations: 0
Minor award nominations: 0
Awards won: 0

Novel work: Mostly ongoing Wings to the Kingdom, some on the project
for Ghost Orb which seems to have fallen through.

Novel editing hours: Approximately one kazillion.
Novels submitted: 1
Novels awaiting response: 0
Proposals awaiting response: 0

Upcoming for 2006:

Eden trilogy book #3 — Not Flesh Nor Feathers
Werewolf steamboat disaster novella — working title The Wreck of the Mary Byrd
Short story — “The Migrant”
Revise delightfully trashy vampire novel — Awake Into Darkness
Construct series proposal to follow up delightfully trashy vampire novel
Begin sequel to delightfully trashy vampire novel (as yet untitled)

More as it presents itself

Queen of the internets

As the lovely and talented Mr. Scalzi has pointed out, BlogPulse has posted a Top Blog Posts of 2005 list upon which we both appear — though my nominated entries were made on my LiveJournal, and not this page. I started to write a few words on this subject over at LJ, but it felt a little too “meta” for my tastes … and so I’ll do it here.

Neither of these posts struck me as being inherently news-worthy when I wrote them, and both were written in anger.

Stop Fucking Him.

My friends list did this one to me. There were two women who I’d been reading regularly for some time, and I had to drop them both because I was sick to death of feeling sorry for them. Their situations were similar – both women had several children with men they didn’t particularly care for. Both were primary (or even sole) caregiver for these children, and both were newly pregnant again. Neither of them had insisted upon birth control because their partner objected to it, hypothetically on moral principles. Both women were miserable with their status, and complained incessantly about how they didn’t want any more children, but gosh darn, whatdoyoudo?

I thought that the post was pretty self-explanatory, but it somehow prompted more misunderstanding and wildly incorrect interpretation than anything I’ve ever written. People emailed for days, calling me a baby-hater, arrogant leftist cunt, and hussy-slut (from one irate reader, hailing from the department of redundancy department). In fact I rather like babies; I think they’re swell. I might be a leftist cunt, but I prefer to think of myself as “direct” rather than “arrogant.” And obviously my desire for effective family planning means I intend to have sex with every pulse-producing penis-bearer, right?

Give me a break.

And forgive the hell out of me if I didn’t qualify the post with every possible footnote, disclaiming my message to anyone in a violently abusive relationship, incest situations, certain medical conditions, women who deliberately get pregnant to trap a man, void where prohibited, not valid in Alaska or Hawaii, some taxes or restrictions may apply, etcetera. I wasn’t shooting for an all-inclusive feminist manifesto; I was trying to compose a wake-up call to willing participants in the cult of poor-me-how-did-this-happen? victimhood.

Disjointed Thoughts on the Socio-Economics of Disaster

So. Katrina.

I was deeply furious about the state and federal response, and further insulted and aggravated by the (initial) media response — as you might be able to tell if you’ve read that particular essay. It quite literally left me speechless to watch the way everything unfolded. I simply could not find the words to talk about it. I wanted to shout, or scream, or swear and kick things; but no one listens to the hysterical woman raving on the street corner, so I did my best to pull something lucid together for the internet. I wanted to say what I meant, but I couldn’t bring it together, though. I still feel like the post is inadequate and sloppy, but I’m glad so many people responded to it. I’m glad it found an audience.

I am not from New Orleans, but I’ve been there quite a lot and I love the place. And even so, I am from the Gulf coast, and I’ve lived through half a dozen hurricanes in southeast Texas or Florida, and I know what it’s like to be there. I watched at a helpless-feeling distance as the government faltered, and I watched as ordinary, unofficial folks came swooping in to the rescue.

When the levees first failed, my first thought (as a native Florida girl) was – “They need to get some airboats down there, stat.” Airboats are light and powerful; they’re narrow enough to fit in tight spaces, and they don’t need as much consistent water depth as a boat with an outboard motor. They’ve got more space than canoes and (some) pontoons, and they were the obvious and perfect answer to the rescue clusterfuck that ensued. So when the first volunteers started showing up towing airboats behind beater pick-ups and backing up to the water line, I was thrilled silly. Here were the people who knew what to do – and look, there wasn’t a lettered-jacket official with a walkie-talkie among them.

[As an aside: I was particularly pleased and flattered to get a comment the other day from Robert Dummett, chairman of the safety committee for the Florida Airboat Association. You can go read his statement here, for his first-hand perspective.]

I did a follow-up post here, if you’re curious – specifically about the demographics of the people who came to help. And anyway, I think that’s all I’ve got left to say about that post. It still feels like it isn’t enough, but it was the best I could do at the time. I’m deeply grateful for the people who found it moving enough that they spontaneously donated money to the Red Cross, and I’m positively humbled by the distance that post eventually traveled. It was picked up or referenced by several newspapers, not to mention some of the best blogs on the web.

Still, it wows me.

Merry Christmas

Here’s everyone at my dad’s place this year. From left to right: my dad (who set the timer on the camera, and is therefore on the outside end), Dave (my stepmother’s twin brother), Heidi (his wife), me, my brother Alex, and Donna (my stepmother) [edit: and Pete, Donna’s father, is on the end. He’s so quiet, sometimes you forget he’s there …]

Down front and center is Daphne the Great Dane, who is 11 years old and sweet as can be.
If you look closely, you can see that she is standing on my foot.
Click the thumbnail for a larger image.


[More pictures here.]