November 10th, 2005


Writing thoughts, anent nothing in particular

Was reflecting today (in an email to someone) that on a lifetime basis (well, lifetime of my current data set, since January, 2001), I run about 7 or 8 rejections for every acceptance. Even taking only this year's data, that ratio is about 6:1. Don't what that means to anyone, but I offer it for your delectation.

I also mentioned a while back that the Child had asked me why I chose to become a writer. Watch this space for an answer soon. I'd be curious how the rest of you scribblers might answer that. Here in comments, maybe, or on your own space -- but if you do, leave me a comment directing me back, eh?

Tech thoughts

I run Pine on a Linux server which hosts the and domains. I *like* it that way. One reason I use Pine is that its an effective client which is accessible from my Treo, my Dell, my iBook, and almost any computer I happen to visit. I have been using gmail more and more as a sort of collateral client, because I like the storage and archiving features.

Usage notes and questions:

I've been BCC'ing all outgoing Pine mail to my gmail account. (This is in response to a suggestion from davidlevine when we were discussing this issue a while back IRL. Thanks, d00d.)

I haven't quite wrapped my head around what to do with all my incoming email. It's still landing on Pine, and if I want it in the gmail archive I have to forward it to myself. I don't want to route all the incoming mail through gmail, because checking from my Treo will become problematic. I could in theory set up some kind of Pine rule to forward everything that doesn't fall down my spam trap, but I'd in effect be spamming myself at that point.

Anybody worked this out to their satisfaction yet? Comments, suggestions? Inquiring minds want to know.

Submission neepery and minor grumpiness

I was doing some story marketing at lunch today, and I realized that I hadn't sent anything to Strange Horizons for a while. Pulled out a story I thought might suit them, and spent twenty freaking minutes taking it out of standard mss format in a Word doc and putting it into their required text formatting. (It had a lot of _italics_.) Which led me to realize why I've really slowed down submitting to SH.

I love the market. I love the editors. I love the stories. Hell, they've published plenty of mine. But the SH submission prep is a dreadful hassle and a complete time waster -- reformatting a file for SH is a one-shot activity with no repeatability value for other markets. I think I'm going to pretty much stop subbing to SH and any other markets that won't take either paper subs or .doc/.rtf subs of files in standard format. It's too much trouble, and my life is too short to be cruising through a 40 page file looking for underlined text to replace.

First lines

Sort of per matociquala, first lines from stuff either being worked on or just sent out...

Once upon a time there was a goat roper name of Artemisia Cleminshaw lived out in the cedar breaks of western Williamson County.

Listen up, you little oxygen sinks.

Eleutherio knew the busses the way some people knew their own bedrooms in the dark.

Brass apes raced through the streets of the great port city of Copper Downs.

Little Pig sat in the thin-leaf tree and watched Mother Sun dance upon the water.

"Z-flotilla's gone over to the rebels!" shouted one of the comm ensigns.