It has been a full week. There was an extra run to the allergist, and I got a tooth filled before it could crack. Yoga, as usual, happened Monday and Wednesday and will happen again this evening. I also got to go on a cafe-writing date with Gemma Files. I love writer dates; I refer to them sometimes as parallel play and I find they inspire me to get a lot of writing done.
I am waiting on some notes from my editor on Daughter of No Nation, the sequel to Child of a Hidden Sea, and in the meantime have been chasing a short story. It’s a piece that’s been fighting me. I think it’ll be somewhat different from my usual sort of thing, if I can be said to have a usual sort of thing, and maybe even a leap forward in some ways. But right now the POV is slapping me around. Oddly, this fills me with hope, because “Wild Things” was a pretty tough ride, too. In the end I was quite delighted with it. So we’ll see if it catches fire or fizzles.
I read Joe Hill’s Horns, did some teaching, and, as mentioned in other posts, did some more guest-blogging. I walked a lot, voted in our recent provincial election–first time as an Ontario voter!–and didn’t answer quite enough e-mails or post enough pictures of the cats.
So here they are napping by the pool:
There were dark edges here and there: Jay’s death was on my mind at times, and Grandma’s birthday came and went. But things were and are generally good. The weather is fine, the new neighborhood is lovely, the cats continue to grow like extremely fun weeds, we have friends coming to visit on the weekend from Vancouver, and I’m excited about my upcoming book birthday on June 24th.
My Tor.com story “Wild Things” has been translated into Polish! It’s in Nowa Fantastyka, and the issue also includes a column by Peter Watts on… I may have to get back to you on that.
This is my first foreign translation of any kind, so it’s a landmark of sorts for me. It’s also just plain nifty.
Here’s the cover.
Other things in the life of me: my Creating Universes, Building Worlds students have turned in their final stories, so I am writing critiques not quite day and night. My next course offering will be the more advanced speculative fiction workshop, Writing the Fantastic and as of today there are still slots left for new students. I plan to spend this Saturday at the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, listening to the above-mentioned Peter Watts, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Madeline Ashby and other amazing writers talking passionately about writing, reading, and all the things we fans know and love.
Finally, to all of you who sent birthday greetings yesterday, on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere, thank you! I won’t have time to answer you all individually, but I appreciate so much that you are out there wishing me well.
My wife, my niece and my brother-in-law all have birthdays this week, and so does Tor.com. To celebrate, the latter has collected all of its original fiction into one great big free download of love. You can get it here by registering at the site. It includes three stories by me: “The Cage,” “Among the Silvering Herd,” and “Wild Things.”
Back in Sunnydale, meanwhile, it’s Halloween, and Dawn’s feeling all the way frisky, if you know what I mean.
That’s right–I’ve reached S5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Here’s my essay on the best Riley episode ever.
In other news, I am building a not-safe-for-work Grammar Cop board on Pinterest. I’m hoping this will use up the energy I spend thinking, “Its, not it’s!”
Finally, author Lynette Aspey has written a lovely essay about my Books of Chantment, Indigo Springs and Blue Magic, as well as the tie-in novelette “Wild Things.”
Well, no. Jonathan’s a superstar. And here’s my weekly essay: “Slaying is Hard! Let’s Go Shopping!”
I have enjoyed rewatching S4. It’s been long enough that I forgot a lot of the nuances and hilarious lines, and frankly it’s easier to gently mock the episodes that are, oh, let’s say a little shaky. This may mean that after S5 the rewatches will get funnier and funnier; that’s my hope, anyway.
And while I’m all me, me, me, link!, ’tis the season to remind some of you that I have Nebula eligible fiction. There’s my novel, Blue Magic, which was out in April, my novelettes “Among the Silvering Herd” and “Wild Things,” on Tor.com, and a new squid story, “The Sweet Spot,” about the Fiend invasion of Hawaii, on Lightspeed.
A couple weeks ago I told you all that this novelette, which is set in the same universe as my books INDIGO SPRINGS and BLUE MAGIC, was available for pre-order at the usual big e-retailers. Today it’s officially out, and you can read it on the Tor site.
“Wild Things” takes place between the events of the two novels, but is mostly set here in British Columbia rather than in Oregon. It’s a little picture of the mystical outbreak as it plays out in Canada, in other words. Here’s the opening.
My swamp man wasn’t what you’d call a sexy beast, though I found his skin strangely beautiful. It was birch bark: tender, onion-thin, chalk white in color, with hints of almond and apricot. He was easily bruised, attracted lichens, and when he got too dry, he peeled.
And the thoroughly gorgeous Allen Williams cover:
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: