Today I am shaving 260 words from one of the squid stories*, so I can send it to a market with a firm 7.5K word limit. I can tell I’ve been through the story before. There’s not much to trim. It’s tempting to simply change the word count at the top of the page and assume they don’t really care about that extra half page or so.
But that would be errant smart-assery, not to mention unprofessional. Even if I weren’t generally rule-abiding, I know it makes me nuts when my students blithely ignore my guidelines. So–a sentence here, an adjective there. Nip, tuck, smooth.
Next weekend I am one of a bunch of Tor authors heading off to the New York Comicon, so I’ll continue working on these little bits and bobs for awhile yet. I’ll shoot a few stories off to market, push paper on a grant application, comb through the files looking for reprint opportunities, that kind of thing.
But this Saturday is my (so far) favorite Toronto event, Nuit Blanche Last year we made our way through the throngs to Nathan Phillips Square, and back, and saw many awesome things. Then we were home, in bed and exhausted, just as the party was properly starting.
This year we are practically at City Hall the minute we step out our front door. So I hope to see even more incredible sights and performances before thronging home to collapse at some ludicrous hour like ten.
How about all of you–what’s on the boards for October?
I read the first scene of “The Sweet Spot,” one of the Imaginarium stories, at the launch. It’s the first time I’ve read a squid story in public, I think. It went down rather well.
I also got to hear and meet a number of the other contributors. Michael Kelly read part of “Blink,” and we got to hear part of “I was a Teenaged Minotaur” by A.G. Pasquella. David Clink read his Aurora-nominated poem, “A sea monster tells his story,” which made all the women at our table all edge-of-weepy.
And then Kari Maren sang her new song, “Fake Geek Guy.”
It was a boisterous, lively event and much fun was had.
Though I have only just started to recover from the blast out to Edmonton, I am headed with Kelly to Montreal this weekend. The last trip wasn’t a pleasure cruise, obviously, but this is–we’re going to see friends. I haven’t been to Montreal since, I think, the 2001 World Fantasy Con. I am looking forward to being there again, with savvy local guides no less!
And, in the spirit of three things make a post – a lot of pictures of Grandma Joan are coming my way and then getting uploaded to the Pham album on my Flickr account. Here’s one by Paul McNie that I think is especially nice.
I am trying to increase the functionality of my web site’s “Shop Planetalyx” page. Upgrade here would mean any improvement from the site’s previous state of “not all that useful, thanks very much.” So I’m updating the links to the various versions of my books and e-books, and also seeing which of my various short stories are still available for free online.
There are three of my “Proxy War” stories, for example. The Sweet Spot is the most recent to appear and yet the earliest, in chronological terms, of the squid stories. In it, a teenaged girl named Ruthie Gerrickle and her brother Matt try to survive the Battle of Kauai. Five Good Things about Meghan Sheedy falls quite a bit later. This time the fight is the Siege of Seattle. It’s one of two published by Strange Horizons. The third, of course, is “The Town on Blighted Sea.” The girl who was Ruthie has long since become Ruthless, but the war is over. Her side did not win. But life, strangely enough, goes on.
You may have also noticed I have figured out how to generate Pinterest memes. This may or may not be a phase I’m going through.
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.