May 2nd, 2007


A Day in the Life of a Struggling Writer

I've had a rash of short story acceptances lately--so hooray! I'm still waiting to hear on three others, which are, of course, the ones I really, really want to be accepted. But in the meantime, there are these, and since announcements are boring, here's some first lines, too.

A Delicate Architecture, to the as-yet-unnamed Datlow/Windling fairy tale villains anthology for 8-12 year olds. Yes! I wrote a story for kids! I am absolutely certain that, should a child actually read it, it will warp them for life. Viral literature, molding the minds of the young. Mwa ha ha. Can you name that villain in three lines or less?

My father was a confectioner. I slept on pillows of spun sugar. When I woke, the sweat and tears of my dreams had melted it all to nothing, and my cheek rested on the crisp sheets of red linen. Many things in the house of my father were made of candy, for he was a prodigy, having at the age of five invented a chocolate trifle so dark and rich that the new Emperor’s chocolatier sat down upon the steps of his great golden kitchen and wept into his truffle-dusted mustache.

The Proslogium of the Great Lakes,
to GrendelSong 3, possibly to become a serialized long story or chapbook or gods-save-me novel--but any way you cut it, this first piece is only the beginning. I blame justbeast and khiron1416 who are determined to make me love this place.

There were so many bridges where she was born. When she was a girl chewing the sour black paint from her father’s rosaries, Anselm used to stare at those old iron arms stretching tired and cranky over the rust-river and think that they grew like plants, unfurling girders and suspension cables like leaves, like flowers, setting down pylons into the water like growling stone roots, and stood waiting in the green and winding current, drinking sun and spitting out the occasional seed which would nestle in further downriver.

And finally, Ghosts of Gunkanjima to Best New Fantasy 2006, which is awesome, because despite the little Papaveria Press book being the most gorgeous thing ever, it was an extremely limited run, and so not too terribly many people (read: 20) ever got to read this story. So I'm very happy to have it in a widely-circulated form.

Gunkanjima, or Battleship Island, is a tiny island in Nagasaki Prefecture on which coal was discovered in 1810. A boom followed, and the island was heavily populated and owned from seabed to rooftop by the Mitsubishi Corporation...Eventually overpopulation and dwindling output began the island’s decline—in 1974 it was permanently closed by Mitsubishi Corp.  All remaining workers were sent elsewhere. Today, it is forbidden to all visitors, and is being slowly reclaimed by nature.

During WWII, some 1,300 Chinese and Korean slave laborers died there.

Also, I have an interview with the Plain Dealer on Monday, the proposal for The Spindle of Necessity is done, and the one for Palimpsest is almost there. It's May, my birthday is in three days, and things seem pretty bright. Knock on the internet.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished

To Yearn a Living

*deep breath*

Spindle proposal away to agent. Cross your fingers, kids. I've been terrified of whether I'd be able to sell the next novel for two years now. Angels and ministers of grace defend us...

Also, The Orphan's Tales has officially gone into its second printing--thank you, everyone who bought it.

  • Current Mood
    nauseated tremulous
c is for cat

West Side

Got a lot of stuff done today, despite not much of it being actual, you know, writing. I'm still hoping for some wordcount before the day is done. Brain is mush today.

However, I am working in this independently-owned coffee shop in Westlake, and all their tables are white plastic, and all their walls yuppie pastels--light pumpkin, sage, butter yellow. And all I can think is:

It's like being inside a Mac.

My God, it's full of stars...

Anyway. This makes me make up Mac/PC commercials starring Starbucks and Mojo's. Which I should not be allowed to do.

SB: We give money to poor children in Africa. If you don't buy from us, you're actually stealing from starving kids. You like kids, don't you?

Mojo's: We have really crappy coffee and flat-looking pastries, and, weirdly, photos of hummus on the walls, but hey! We have free wireless! And girls playing guitars on Wednesdays! And we're looooooccaaallly oooooowwwwned! Drink crappy coffee--save the soul of corporate America!

SB: We are greedy and will absolutely not give you free wireless. And if you like doe-eyed ingenues wailing Joe lies when he cries! on a barstool, well, whatever. Buy a CD off the rack behind you. But when you have wireless, you just fritter the day away posting to your LJ, so you know you'll come back eventually.

Mojo's: We play the Indigo Girls all day long!* We put the only power outlet in the place right next to the children's play area! Which has loud, throwable toys! Because we are so easy-going and up with life!

SB: *withering stare*

Mojo's: Organic? Sort of organic? Pictures of organic things?

I should not be left alone to amuse myself during the day.

*Not a joke. Nothing against the Girls, I even recognize the album, but there is something in a very special coffee shop that advertises "solace" on their menu and plays the Indigo Girls in their perfectly white interior that makes me shudder, deep, deep inside.

EDIT: EW! EW! Some mom in the play area just opened up a container of ranch dressing for her kid and now the Giant Macintosh Coffee Shop reeks of ranch! *chokes, dies*
  • Current Mood
    bored bored