Monday, March 31, 2008

Battlestar Galactica is starting its last season this Friday. And, better yet, the sci-fi channel is playing reruns all week. So, once they're all collected on my dvr, I should be able to sift through and find almost all of the ones I've missed -- basically the second half of season three. This means I'll be almost (if not entirely) caught up before it starts back.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The illustrations and page-layouts for The Field Guide to Surreal Botany became available today for the authors to proof, and the illustration for my piece is absolutely gorgeous. This is the second time I've been illustrated -- the first was for "Forget Me Not" in Greek. It's the greatest feeling. I take an image in my head that I can't see strongly enough to actually draw it but can see well enough to thoroughly describe it. Then, by describing it, I get the image into another person's head, and that person is able to put it down as a picture on paper. And I can finally see for real what I've been imagining for years. It's amazing. And what a sign of respect! I mean, getting paid for your writing is the standard sign of respect, but, in many ways, being illustrated feels like a more powerful one. I wrote something and an editor liked it enough to go out and hire an additional artist to create a secondary work based on mine. (Or, in this case, the editor actually illustrated my work herself.) That is just incredibly neat.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

She can crawl! Of course, she still seems to believe that swimming would be easier and often chooses lying on her stomach, paddling the air with her arms and legs while crying for help, over actually crawling. Because crawling would be too much work. Nonetheless, she now can crawl, if given proper incentive. Such as, for instance, a nearby Heidi-cat.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Despite almost constant effort, Elaine is still not crawling. But she has a tooth. I haven't seen it yet, but you can hear it click against the glass of cup, and if you feel her gums, you can tell it's very sharp.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oh no! What will we do?! We simply don't have the technology, and even if we did it would take weeks!

But... wait... a centrifuge! That fixes everything.

Ah, Stargate.

Friday, March 14, 2008

We've decided that the safest way to deal with the camellia bush -- which is growing ever more vicious and pernicious -- is to trap it. If we actually kill it, another camellia bush will just take its place. However, if we can ensnare it, trap it in place, and keep it alive by luring birds close enough for it to catch and eat, then it will protect us by scaring all the other camellia bushes away.

Keep your friends close, but camellia bushes closer. Or is that "fight camellia bushes with camellia bushes?"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Elaine's flopping all over the living room floor today. She moves like an octopus out of water -- squished down on the floor, using all of her immense but poorly directed strength. For a while now, it's felt like she could start crawling any day. Now it feels like she could start any minute.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A camellia bush followed us on our walk today. It was monstrously large and flowered in pink. And clearly hungry. It tried to trick us a few times -- once it disguised itself as a man and asked us if we like pancakes, then, right as we turned the last corner, it turned the gravity off. But we were too quick for it and have lived to walk another day.

Though... If you have to be eaten by something, I suppose a camellia bush wouldn't be that bad.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Do tigers ever get tired of being stripey? I have a number of very stripey shirts, and I don't want to wear them every day. You have to be in the right mood to be that stripey. But tigers are stripey every day. You'd think it would make them grumpy some days.
Between the new Terminator TV show interfering with my future-history and my inadvertently "pulling a Casablanca" by discovering a much better ending at the last minute, the story I just finished turned out surprisingly well. If only I could actually plan stories this way...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A cat is like chocolate.
A cat in a box is like a chocolate cake.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Elaine and I were checking out the used CDs at the local thrift store when I spotted a Rick Astley album. I know he's only made five albums, and we already own three of them. But I couldn't remember if this was one of the three or not, so I showed it to Elaine and asked her. I didn't expect an intelligible answer. Of course, I didn't expect what I got either.

There was a picture of Rick Astley on the cover. Not a shot from the famous video -- just a black and white, 3/4s profile from '93. Nonetheless, as soon as Elaine saw the cover, she screamed in delight, reached for it, and started babbling nonsense syllables as fast as she could.

I guess she recognized him.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between robots and guys in space suits.
There are very few deadlines in my life. I think the only story I've actually written to a deadline since I started writing full time was for Windstorm Creative's slug anthology. I figured since my first sale was to a Windstorm Creative anthology, it was worth going out of my way to write a story that included a slug to submit to them again. Also, as themed topics go, "something with a slug" has a fair amount of freedom.

At any rate, due to the almost complete lack of meaningful deadlines for freelance sci-fi writers who haven't gotten book deals yet, I decided to create my own deadline. Four stories a year. That way, I can always submit something to Writers of the Future, as long as I'm still eligible.

Unfortunately, last year, I followed the letter of that law and not the spirit. I went easy on myself and counted two pieces that don't count for WotF -- a children's piece and the first draft of my novel. So, after being ahead in stories for years, I'm finally out of pieces that WotF hasn't seen.

Between editing my first novel and working on my second novel, it'd be really easy to stop writing shorts now... But, I've actually developed a taste for them over the last five years. So, I think I will write a story specifically for the June WotF deadline. It'll be interesting to see how long I keep it up for after that. My dedication to submitting to WotF has never really been tested before.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Elaine found a use for our "ornamental" wood stove. It's the most stable, grip-able object of the right height for pulling herself up on. With its help, she can actually pull herself into a standing position. Which will be a much more useful skill when she can balance that way...
Daniel and I have a recurring argument about "less" versus "fewer." Unlike most of the rest of the world, I care about that distinction. Daniel thinks I'm being pedantic. (We do have other grammatical arguments where the roles are reversed.) Daniel likes to quiz me, offering grey areas that involve decimals to try and catch me up. "Is 1.3 gallons of gas less or fewer than 1.7?" That kind of thing. I particularly liked his most recent attempt. Which I aced, by the way.

Is 4mph less or fewer than 10mph?

The answer is, of course, slower.