I want to be a weatherman. Who else gets paid big bucks for being
wrong 90% of the time? As far as I can tell, the only prerequisite
is that you have to be pessimistic. They forecast rain, even when
they admit there's only a 40% chance that it will. Besides, I've
been right about the forecast for the last eleven days straight.
How many weathermen can say the same? Granted, my forecast was mostly
wishful thinking, but apparently that's a hell of a lot more accurate than
I received two rejection letters today--both for the same story, and from
the same publisher. I guess they really didn't like it. Maybe
the little hand-written "keep going" on the bottom of the form letter means,
"keep going and don't come back." Undaunted, I stuffed it in another
envelope and mailed it out again. Someone has to line the birdcages
of the literati.
Pen and I went to see The Cell tonight. I thought it was an interesting
movie, and visually stunning. Pen thought it was utter garbage, and
still hasn't stopped smacking me for making her see it. (Even though
she picked it because, and I quote: "Hey, if it has Jennifer Lopez
in it, how bad can it be?")
I was watching TV the other night with Pen, and the usual disclaimer came
on. You know the one: "This program contains scenes of violence and
course language and may not be suitable for all viewers." To which
I, being the typical male, replied, "What? No nudity?" So Pen
turned to me, pulled up her shirt, and flashed me. Is she a sweetheart
At the moment, I have three short stories making the rounds, and two letters
out to Agents. It's strange, but as long as I know I have something
out there, I have hope that my dreams might actually come true. The
possibility actually exists. Each time I receive a rejection, that
possibility becomes just a little more improbable. Therefore, the
trick is to write a lot more stories, query more agents, and up the odds.
It really sounds simple when I put it that way, doesn't it?
I grieve for the loss of the Brazilian rainforest. I know it must
be gone, because I swear it was jammed into my mailbox when I got home
from the gym today. Sales, flyers, community papers--oh yeah, and
a twig. God forbid I might actually get some real mail. I'd
never find it in all that mess.
I cleared up my schedule today so that I'd have nothing to do but write.
Even Pen is in Toronto for the weekend. I'll let you know how it
goes. I still have to mow the lawn, of course. I fought with
the lawnmower for an hour last night, trying to get it started. The
lawnmower won. Round two.
P.S. H A P P Y
B I R T H D A Y J A M E S
James is my baby brother, and he's...um...old
Great news! My brother's pregnant. Well, actually his wife
Kathy is pregnant, but he's taking all the credit. This will be their
first child, if you don't count the new puppy--or James himself.
The lawnmower won round two as well. I can't seem to get the darn
thing started, which means I can't mow the lawn. Woe is me.
I never did get any writing done this weekend. I spent all day yesterday
playing with this web page, and today I had to go pick up my drums.
After that, I spent the rest of the afternoon sewing up my car.
Well, not the car itself, but the soft-top. Tomorrow, I think I crochet
myself some new all-weather tires.
I started another short story tonight. It's based on characters from
my first novel, Naejin. Charlie was mentioning that there
really aren't any heroic characters anymore, and I agree. I've always
loved the Conan stories, Fahferd and the Grey Mouser, John Carter of Mars,
The Lensman Series, The Stainless Steel Rat, and a slew of others.
Not to mention my all time favourite, Tarzan. So I decided,
what the heck. I envisioned McKay andVolkhs as heroes along those
lines anyway. And who knows, maybe if I sell this thing, I can drum
up interest for Naejin.
It's funny, but most people, myself included, consider Darkside
to be the novel that has the best chance of seeing publication. Still,
my friend Karen at work has read both books, and prefers Naejin,
and an avid Sci-Fi reader I know (by avid I mean he'll read anything he
can get his hands on) told me that Naejin was one of his top 10
favourite books of all time. He seemed sincere, and had no reason
to lie to me, or want to butter me up. I guess it's just a matter
of taste, which only reinforces the idea that all I really have to do is
find an editor who thinks my stuff tastes great. There's got to be
one out there somewhere. I'll even throw in the condiments for free.
P.S. H A
P P Y B I R T H D A Y K A T H Y
(Kathy is my sister-in-law, and she's just
a young'un. My brother is a cradle robber.)
I mailed off another query letter for Darkside today, and another
submission to Writers of the Future. They have to run out of amateur
writers who are better than I am sooner or later--don't they? Pen
was going to mail them for me, but got swamped at work, so I had to go
pick them up and mail them myself. Sometimes a man's just got to
do what a man's got to do. Well, at least until a woman comes along
and straightens him out.
Well, I found yesterday that I'm being posted as of Oct 3. Nothing
too drastic though, it's just across the street to 8AMS. That means
I'm back working on planes again, which should be fun seeing as I haven't
touched one since 1989. It also means I'm back on shift work--four
12 hour days from noon until midnight, followed by four days off, then
four 12 hour days from midnight until noon, then another four days of.
Repeat if necessary. (Unfortunately, it's always necessary.)
We were worried that the new job would result in my leave being cancelled,
thus calling off our trip to Mexico, but I've been assured that it won't.
Of course, these same people also told my new boss that he was getting
a fully qualified aircraft technician.
I'm not too sure how this is going to affect all of my other activities--weekends
with the kids, the writing, the music, my exercise routine, ect.--but I
know that Pen's none too happy about it. She doesn't like the idea
of being left alone nights. Just when you think you're life is chugging
I received another rejection from an agent for Darkside today.
This one was from Ethan Ellenberg. The only good thing about being
rejected by agents is that once you've gone through a whole mess of them,
you can still send you're stuff off to the publishers. That way you
double your odds of rejection, humiliation and...what? Think positive?
Oh, all right....success. (I bet it's no coincidence that the word
success begins with suck.) Damn, slipped up again.
Another day, another rejection. This one for a short story.
If I'd had this kind of success rate dating, I'd be a monk right now.
And not one of those monks that gets laid either, but the celibate kind.
(Although monks must be right up there on a woman's "Oooh, I'd really
love to do him" list with accountants and morticians. It must really
bite if they've taken a vow of silence, because if they do manage to score
they can't even tell their friends about it.) Where was I?
Oh yeah. Rejection. Funny, but after all that talk about celibate
monks, suddenly I don't feel so bad.
It's been a pretty hectic, and fun, couple of days. Saturday, Pen
and I went to the Brighton Apple Fest. For those of you who don't
know (and who would?) Trenton is smack-dab in the middle of a fruit belt--primarily
apples. Harvest time is a big event here, and Apple Fest is weekend
long street party. We shopped all the little stalls, bought some
apple cider, apple pie, candy apples, apple crisp, and chocolate-peanutbutter
fudge. I know the fudge has nothing to do with apples, and I don't
Saturday night we went on a dinner cruise along the St. Lawrence River.
For those of you who don't know where the St. Lawrence is--get a map and
learn some geography. Sheesh! The cruise was great, and the
entertainer was an old favourite of mine who does a great mix of music
Sunday, a friend invited me to play football with some guys in his neighbourhood.
I haven't played in years (when you get to be my age, it's hard finding
anyone else psychotic enough to play) and had a blast. I scored two
out of the four touchdowns, including the final one which led our team
to victory, and only managed to pull one hamstring. I considered
pulling the other one, just to even out my stride.
Sunday night--well actually early Monday morning (2:00 AM) I was called
out to do the security thing again. (I can't go into any detail,
cause then I'd have to kill you, and I've sort of grown attached to all
you people. Besides, the airfare would break me.) We didn't
stand down until 9:00 AM, so I pretty much slept most of today. (Pen
phoned and woke me up at 4:30 to make sure I'd have dinner ready when she
got home at 5:00. What a dear.) The good news is, I get tomorrow
off, so hopefully I can get some more writing in.
I mailed off "The Long Way to Heaven" to Analog today. The
storie's not really Sci Fi, and not really fantasy. I don't really
know where it fits, so I'm hoping they won't either and just decide they
like it and want to publish it. Besides, if I don't give everyone
a chance to reject it they get all sulky and pouty. You know how
editors can be.
I haven't really had much of a chance to write this week, which is okay
because I haven't had much in the way of inspiration. I have a short
story on the burner right now, but as usual, I have no idea where it's
going. To make matters worse, I insist on being the typical male,
and refuse to stop and ask for directions. Now I'm hopelessly lost
and won't admit it. (Damn, did I type that?)
I went for my run tonight after work, but I think I overdid it. I
never map out my route; I just randomly pick one that I figure will take
my about an hour. I think I'm going to have to come up with a plan
B, because after an hour and twenty minutes I realised I was still twenty
minutes from home. When I finally got back to the house and looked
in the mirror, I found I had salt stains running down my face. I
knew I was pretty cooked, but when I start providing my own seasonings,
it's time to slow down.
On the writing front, I added another couple hundred words to my short
story. That may not seem like much, but I at least have an idea of
where I want to go in this part of it. Not only that, but I'm kind
of killing two birds with one stone. I could actually use this story
as part of Jinae.
It looks like the band, Chasing Trees, is a go again. Dave--the guitar
player--and I have found a new bass player who fits in perfectly, and we've
been auditioning new singers. We haven't really found one who fits
the bill yet, mainly because our old singer, Jenn, is a tough act to follow.
The good news is that, pregnant or not, Jenn may be joining us again.
She came out to watch the auditions last night, and we got her up singing.
We could all tell she was just itching to get back at it, and I'm sure
with a little coaxing, we can talk her into it.
One of the singers we were trying out asked for an update on who was who
(whom? what? Damn, I've got my grammar book in front of me and I
still can't figure that one out!) Anyway, the bass player was being
a real smart aleck and told her I was a mormon, and that Jenn was my girlfriend,
her friend was my wife, and I had another wife at home. That would
be just my luck. I have two wives, and I knock up my girlfriend.