First a PSA: my novelette “Wild Things,” got rescheduled for release on Tor.com. It will be out in early November. Sorry to have misinformed you all. In the meantime there’s still “The Cage” and “Among the Silvering Herd” to be had there.
Second, a celebration: my stepsister B has had a baby boy; he is small and adorable and photos are pouring in. I’m happy for her and her husband, and even happier that my father gets a chance to be a granddad.
Third, and not-quite-endlessly, the mini-reno: the cats continued to be aflutter and restless as the office renovation continued. They got a break for one weekend, because of VCon–there was no point heaving a lot of stuff around when there wouldn’t be time free for dismantling the bedroom. But for Canucksgiving Kelly and I put on the final push: we dismantled the two big pieces of furniture–the bed and the desk–and swapped the rooms.
Displaced stuff and a cat:
And oh! The bedroom is so pretty! We bought an old dresser and put the pitcher from the Tucker family homestead on it, and it’s so very olde fashionedee. All that work was so exhausting–I felt ill with fatigue, and also nearly beaned my face with a falling shelf–and so worth it. Take that, Martha Stewart!
Rumble, who does apparently believe that crap rolls downhill, dealt with his stress by trying to forbid Minnow from eating or using the litter box. You can all imagine how popular this choice of his has been with the cat parents. We now have multiple feeding stations on the go and are watching him like hawks. We’re also trying to lure her into the shiny new bedroom on occasion, by giving them both treats, but only when both of them are in there.
I’m up to “The Initiative” in my BtVS rewatch.
In related news, I was on a Whedonites Assemble! panel this past weekend at VCon, and one of the Gentlemen showed up. His real name is Doug Jones and he wanted to thank all the fans for keeping him employed.
Tomorrow, as I’ve mentioned a dozen times already, should see the release of my novelette “Wild Things” into the, um, wild. Eeee! I am very excited.
Look! It’s the cover art for my novelette “Wild Things,” which will be out on Tor.com on October 3rd. If you went to any of my BLUE MAGIC readings, this is the story whose beginning you heard; it’s set in the same universe, between the events of the two novels, and deals with the effects of the mystical outbreak in British Columbia.
Here in the real B.C., (though there’s a lot of stuff about phones in “Wild Things”, oddly) our home phone stopped working, probably sometime last week. Maybe earlier. Did you fail to get through to us? Sorry.
It wasn’t just that we both have mobiles now that kept us from noticing. We’re neither of us much for the phone in any case, so everyone in our lives tends to e-mail us when they need us. Except, you know. The doctor. The pharmacist. The bank. Work.
I spent an hour yesterday futzing around trying to get it fixed, while simultaneously trying to get the tech to give me the number for the people who’d cancel it altogether. Here’s what being on hold looks like at Telus these days:
In the end, the technician walked me through 90% of the let’s fix your phone script before I managed to convince him to tell me who to call to just kill the landline. I’d forgotten, though, that the phone jacks also control our door buzzer. And that too seems to be dead dead dead, so now I’m asking our property manager and strata guys to look into fixing a problem that probably wasn’t Telus’s fault in the first place. But which made them notice we weren’t using the phone, and which thus cost them a monthly more-than-pittance for phone fees.
Letting go of our old phone number was a little weird–we have had the same phone account and number since 1991. But paying to hang onto the number for nostalgia purposes seemed a little silly. It was weird, too, because it feels like a thing you do when you’re moving. And though we’re not moving, you can’t tell it from the state of my not-yet-painted office:
“I’m gonna visit Dad.” Matt is curled in the passenger seat of their antique minivan, scowling as offworlders tromp and slither past their front bumper. Shooting a glance at Ruthie through long, pretty eyelashes, he flips down the visor to check the mirror.
“Dad’s dead, Matt. He can’t see your haircut.”
This July Lightspeed Magazine ran my latest squid story, a novelette “The Sweet Spot.” I was a little preoccupied at the time, so though I mentioned it quite a few times, here and on Twitter and elsewhere, I never got around to writing the introduction I promised for it.
This story is set earlier in the Proxy War than any of the other published squid stories. In “The Town on Blighted Sea,” for example, Ruthless Gerrickle is in her late fifties. Here, she’s just a teenager and just Ruth. She likes to think she’s tough as nails, but really she’s an orphan in a war zone, and is more vulnerable than she’d like to admit.
In writing these stories, I often started out with U.S. geography. (Actually, I’ve just realized the topic of geography and my writing is a whole post in itself, and I’ll try not to keep you waiting for it for long.) “Five Good Things about Meghan Sheedy” is about the Siege of Seattle and “Time of the Snake” is set during an occupation of Los Angeles. I have a half-written squid story set in Las Vegas and one out to the markets now that’s about the Fiend push into Texas from Mexico.
The idea, you see, is that in this global civil war there’s one side, called the Fiends, who have a good hold on all of the world except the Americas. Now they’re working their way upward from South to North: the U.S. is the last real holdout against them. So it’s just a march up the map: Seattle, naturally, happens later than Texas. In “The Sweet Spot,” the Fiends haven’t even begun their land invasion of the U.S. yet; they’re just reaching out to pick off Hawaii. And it’s Ruth’s bad luck to be there, along with her little brother.
Summer 2012 has, so far and for the most part, been weird and wonderful. I got the opportunity to do some book touring, as you know. I went to Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle. Here’s me at my reading with my delightful friend Eliot Fintushel, who’s running a fundraiser for a theater project called ANCIENT VOICES that some of you may be interested in.
I participated in the Clarion West Write-A-Thon, and raised about $70 more than I did last year. I ran a giveaway for naming rights to some stuff on the world of Stormwrack, where my story “Among the Silvering Herd” takes place. The biggest individual donor was author Jeremy Zimmerman, a former student of mine who thereby claimed the right to name an island nation. He has done so–a future story of mine called “Island of the Giants” will take place on the island of Nysa, a haven for escaped slaves, adorable marsupials and, of course, giants. I’ll keep you posted about that story’s fate.
I also held a draw for everyone who donated, the winner of which got the right to name a landmark, ship or plant species on Stormwrack. That has been won by the ever-fabulous Dawn Marie Pares, otherwise known as Kormantic–we’re talking now.
The Write-a-Thon was mostly an excuse to finish up the first draft of the second novel of the three Stormwrack books I am writing. That got done last week. It’s messy but complete. I am now resting my brain and poking at a short story before I dive into revision mode.
Finally, I had, for several weeks, a good reason to believe I’d be in Toronto at the end of October, and so in the spirit of optimism I bought myself a World Fantasy Convention membership for $175ish U.S. The trip didn’t come together, so if anyone wants the membership before the transfer deadline elapses at the end of the month, let me know. I’m open to all reasonable offers.
The good news is that since I won’t be in Toronto, I don’t have to face the prospect of cheating on Orycon in Portland, a con I truly adore. See you there?