Friday, January 30, 2009

Rising stars and wannabes

I've been trying to catch up on new voices in SF and fantasy of late. One I encountered over Christmas was Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind. I really liked this book, even though I felt it took way too long to cut to the actual story. His style is fluid as well as beautiful, and I love a character that can laugh at himself. Oh, my. The scene where the hero trustingly steps off the roof is priceless.

What I did not like was the fact that at least one editor at Daw seems unable to master the proper usage of "led, lead, lie, lay" or the mysteries of apostrophes. Repeated references to "my parent's wagon," when the hero has two living parents and the wagon belongs to both of them, set my teeth on edge. Like most writers, I have my pet peeves, and the rapid demise of English grammar is one of them. One has hopes that editors and journalists live in the last bastion of proper use of the English language, but the more I read "professionally edited" material the more I have to wonder if anyone in the industry knows what this anymore.

Don't get me wrong. In general I like the books Daw puts out. Just... can we please not ruin this old-fashioned reader's enjoyment by perpetuating mistakes? Aaack.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Of snow and Pollyanna

Okay, I had every intention of checking in over the holidays, but then it started to snow. And snow. And snow. Over 5 feet in less than two weeks. That's just rude. After last winter everybody was hoping for a mild(er) winter, but nooooo. We got 2' in one day and then storm after storm after storm. The good news is that after clearing the roof of my 2600 sq ft house by myself, all those Christmas cookies are history. Two jillion calories burned, wahoo! The bad news is that I have to fix my barn roof come spring. Two of the support timbers broke but it did not cave in, thank God sincerely, because my horse was in the stall directly underneath. My wonderful brother-in-law came up and helped me shore it back up. Or rather, I handed him tools while he shored it back up. I wuv my family!

The year started on a depressing note: a rejection from some soul at Intergalactic Medicine Show working on New Year's Day. Thanks, fella. Way to set the tone. However, my ego was salved when Science Fiction Trails snapped up "Message in the Dust" in less than a day. I got the contract two days later by snail mail. That's gotta be a record, which makes me wonder if I should have shopped that story around a little. That was the first place I sent it. But if the market's right, it's right, and I appreciate the sale. Let's hope the trend continues.

My New Year's resolution is to quit obsessing on all the rotten things that could go wrong and focus on accentuating the positive. At the end of the day, I want to be able to say "It was a good day." Even on Tuesday, when an expected check failed to show up and the market took a nose dive, it didn't snow! The sun was actually out for a while, and it's one day closer to spring. So let's hear it for the Pollyanna syndrome. It's working so far...

I have 18 subs out so far this month, 1 acceptance, 1 rejection. I'm looking at a lot of different markets I haven't tried before, so we'll see.

Cheers from Pollyanna!