1 Jun
          So when does a story count as being published? When the publisher accepts the story, when you sign the contract, when it's actually in print, or when you receive payment. Certainly not the last one, as it's entirely possible to be published and unpaid. (I said possible, not preferable.)
          Regardless, my novelette, HARBINGER, has been accepted for the SHADOWSWORD anthology by Coyote Moon Publications, and I just signed the contract today. Heck, it feels like being published. I've even added a webring link at the bottom of this page, for those of you who are interested, or just like pressing random buttons. 
           I still haven't heard anything from BAEN on DARKSIDE, and I have a couple of other short stories out, so with any luck I could soon be published published. (It's magic if you say it twice, honest.)

4 Jun
          I was mowing the lawn today (Well, I like to call it a lawn, but it's mostly sand and weeds) and I'm choking on dust and getting bit by bugs, and all the while there's this teenage kid next door skateboarding up and down the driveway. Anyway, the mower decides to throw a rock at my head, and I dive out of the way, tuck into a roll, and come to my feet, when I notice the kid looking at me like I was on crack or something. So I look over at him and say, "You know, this isn't near as much fun as it looks," and he just cracks up, and falls off his skateboard. And, in all modesty, I have to say his recovery was nowhere near as excellent as mine. 
          Anyway, I saw one of those big farm combines later on in the day--the kind with mega watt stereo installed to pass the time while you're harrowing field after field, and it gave me an idea to spice up the lawn-mowing experience. See, what you need is a good riding mower equipped with an I-pod and a DVD player or portable TV for watching the game while you work. Sure, you might mow over the occasional rose bush or the odd cat or two, but trust me, mowing the lawn won't seem quite the chore it used to.

9 Jun
          The Canadian military certainly has changed. We were playing soccer for PT this morning, and I was running down the field and yelling, "Pass it to the old, fat guy...no, the other old, fat guy." And I was talking about the students. Oh well, at least they didn't pass it to me.
As for The Writing, I've got maybe a chapter or two left until Darkside 2 is finished--and I'm stuck. Something's bothering me and I'm not sure what it is, but until I figure it out, I'm screwed. On a positive note, once I actually finish it, I have no idea what to do with it. I mean, it's the sequel to a novel I can't sell. What do you mean that's not positive? Damn glass-half-empty people.

16 Jun
          So the Master Warrant Officer comes up to me after the meeting yesterday, and says, "You're due for your CD1, right?" (The CD is the medal we get for 12 years of service, and the CD1 is a clasp to that medal after a further 10, which means I've served 22 years in the Canadian forces.)
          "Actually," I say, "I was due for it on May 20th."
          He nods, and puts a checkmark on the piece of paper he's holding in his hand, and then tells me, "Be at the Aere Squadron Theatre at 11:00 on June 23--that's next Thursady--in full dress uniform, and they'll present it to you."
          I frown. "Can't they just mail it to me like they did my CD?"
The MWO actually looks shocked. "They mailed you your CD?"
          I nod, vigorously.
          "Um, no," he says. He doesn't even think about it, but makes one of those snap decisions, which is probably why he's an MWO.
          "I know," I offer. "How 'bout they give it to me at the Squadron barbeque on Friday instead. They can hand it to me while I'm waiting for my potato salad or something."
          Oddly enough, he doesn't go for that one either. Stupid military.

Jun 20
          We saw Batman Begins on the weekend and really liked it. We also saw Crash, and liked it too. That's all you get out of me as far as a review goes. I figure if Ebert and Ropert can get away with "two thumbs up" and rake in the cash and celebrity status, then "we really liked it" just says it all (and is almost as descriptive as "It sucks!--20 bonus points if you can tell me who's catch phrase that is).
          We also went to Paramount Canada's Wonderland on Sunday. You can't leave out the "Paramount", because, trust me, the theme park is just one big cheesy commercial for the studio. (BTW--the Italian Job is a roller coaster, not an attraction--something you should tell your wife before you con--er--vince her into waiting in line for an hour. It'll save you a lot of bruising.) The Tomb Raider roller coaster is pretty nifty too. You lay down in it, and it's almost like you're flying, which is nice for those of us who can't afford recreational pharmaceuticals, cheap or otherwise.
          And once again, Pen proved that's she's the Queen of...um...getting a table at the last minute. She conned The Keg into a table at six o'clock on Father's day--no waiting, and no reservations. There were still people waiting to get in who had arrived way before we had, when we'd already finished and were on our way out. I felt like such a celebrity. Sure, an obnoxious, self-important with delusions of privilege celebrity, but that's the best kind. I'd tell you how she did it, but then I'd have to...um...wait in line behind you. 

Jun 23
          So I got my medal today, and all I can say is I could really learn to like 16 Wing's idea of a parade. It took place in an air-conditioned conference room, and we all sat in cushy chairs. When my my name was called I walked to the front, saluted, got a picture taken with the CO, saluted again, and went back to my chair. The whole thing was over in a half an hour, and there were sandwiches and stuff afterwards. 
          The funniest bit was when the Sgt that was organizing the whole thing asked:
          "MCpl Perry. You're receiving your CD1 today?" 
          "Yes, I am," I said.
          "Do you prefer to be called Steven, or Steve?"
          "Steve is fine."
          "And you work at AVS Design and Development. What's your job there?"
          "I design, and develop." 
          She looked confused for a moment, then said, "Um...right," and walked away.
          And let's not mention how I forgot the medal in the theatre after the ceremony, and the Chief had to call me after lunch to get me to go pick it up in his office. Hey, I'm not used to keeping the medals I earn!

Jun 24
          Pen bought me the box set of Batman movies, because they were on sale at Future Shop for $30. (All the other stores wanted between $60-$70.) We watched the first one last night, and I had to wonder: "What the hell kind of acid did they use on Harvey Dent to make him go from looking like Billy Dee Williams to Tommy Lee Jones? It must be the same stuff they used on Michael Jackson, although with less disfiguring effects. No, wait a minute--scratch that.
          The other thing I realized is that I could never be Batman, because he always wears that black makeup around his eyes whenever he wears the cowl, and anytime I wear black camouflage paint, no matter how hard I scrub, I look like I've been wearing heavy eyeliner for days. Sooner or later someone would figure it out. Either that or they'd think I was gay, in which case I'd be compelled to say, "No, no, I'm not gay. I'm Batman." So much for a secret identity.

30 Jun
          According to my webcounter, someone arrived at my website by doing a search for: Steve Perry gay. I certainly hope they weren't looking for me. Everyone knows I go by S.K.S. Perry. Oh yeah, and then there's that whole I'm-not-gay-thing. (Re: my Batman post.) And no, I'm not in denial, nor even curious--regardless of all the Charlie-S'perry slash fiction you may have read. (Note I've adopted the Vulcan spelling of my nickname, thanks to E.)
          And in keeping with fair and honest reporting (okay, so I'll start now) here's another reason why the CF doesn't suck. July 1 is Canada day, so we all get Friday off. We're getting a new C.O., so as a parting gift our old one stood us down for Monday. (In a show of support for our American neighbors--yeah, that's the ticket.) And, seeing as I had already put in a leave pass for Monday, instead of canceling it they gave me Tuesday off. And off course we shut down at noon today to get a head start on the traffic rush, so in effect I'm off from Thursday at noon until next Wednesday, and it only cost me one day leave. 
          It still doesn't make up for all those months I worked 14-16 hours a day, six days a week, with paperwork on Sundays, (or getting shot at on a regular basis) but it's a start.