• Heartfelt thanks for all the wonderful emails and well wishes for my dad. A special thanks to my friend, Fred! My dad had several major complications as a result of the surgery, but he's doing better now. He still has a long way to go, lots of rehab, but I am confident that he will be around for a while. :) He has been moved into the hospital's transitional care unit where they are helping him regain his strength, appetite, and lung capacity. Again, thank you so much for your support. It's been a tough few weeks.
    • June has been very quiet on the writing side of life. Received a friendly rejection from Byline magazine last week and a "get lost" rejection from the Warner Contest, but everything else is still out there. I haven't gotten any writing done at all this month. Next month, I hope to start a major revision on one of my novels. It's going to significantly increase the book's length, too, but I think it will be a better book with the changes.
    • And...it's that time of year again...the Puget Sound calls. I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Friday Harbor, so there will be another long gap between posts. I can really use the vacation. :) Talk to you all when I return! (hopefully with some beautiful orca pics taken with my Mavica :>)


    • This will be my last post for several days. Nothing really to report here. Haven't been able to concentrate on much of anything since Dad's surgery date was set, so I spent the evening improving my submissions database. Put the final spin on generating cover letters and labels, etc. We leave early tomorrow morning for the hospital.
    • Could I make a request from those of you who may be reading my journal? Could you please send positive energy or say a prayer for my dad? I would deeply, deeply appreciate it.
    • Hope to return here soon.


    • Happy Birthday to Kris Rusch! Hope you had a terrific day!


    • Happy Birthday to Chris York!
    • Happy Birthday to Jim Bailey whose birthday was yesterday!
    • Life has been a little more interestingthan I'd like over the past week. My father has to have open heart surgery this coming Friday. This will be his second time. The doctors acknowledge that this surgery is a lot higher risk than his first surgery, but they are confident that they can fix his problems. Without the surgery, he won't be here much longer. So, after Wednesday, I won't be posting for several days again.
    • Still working on the Tidepools story and I'm developing a new outline for the rewrite on one of my novels. This manuscript is the sequel to one of the manuscripts I have out, but the sequel that I wrote many, many moons ago is horrid. I can't even bear to read the outline without cringing, so I'm going to throw about 90% of the ideas out, pretend that a draft doesn't exist, and write a new one. I'm also going to work on Isle of Forever a bit, too, refining the character's goals and raise the stakes. Hopefully, though, I'll be able to finish Tidepools soon and get that out the door.
    • I'm currently reading The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. So far, it's a good read.
    • No response times to report. My mailbox has returned to its dormant state again. I have several things out that are into 3-digit numbers now. (at least 6). Hopefully this dormant period will pass soon.

    5/25/00     Happy Birthday, Vera!! Hope you had a wonderful day!

    • I'm leaving tomorrow morning to visit my brother in Kentucky, so I won't be updating my page for a few days.
    • Today, I came up with a very exciting angle on the new story! Can't *wait* to see if my craft knowledge is up to the test on this one. I hope it is, but I won't know until I try it. Probably won't get a chance to do much with the new ideas over the next day or so (drat!). My brother will shoot me if I bring my notebook, but I don't think I can let this one go until Monday. Maybe he won't notice it if I hide it in my backpack? Of course, that clackety-clack noise is a dead giveaway... Of course, if I bring my Visor and folding keyboard, I can deny all knowledge of typing. [innocent look] [click] [snap] What keyboard??
    • Everyone, pleasedrive safely and enjoy the weekend!


    • wow...I started a new short story tonight. :) It's been awhile, let me tell ya! Working title is Tidepools. I typed out a 2-page letter to myself, detailing what I think will happen in the story and wrote the opening paragraph. I'm experimenting with style on this one, hoping to learn more indepth about story arcs. And this story will be another one of my Pacific Northwest stories. I look forward to writing this one. And I feel a bit of power in these arcs (if I can tell this one correctly), so I hope I can make the story work.
    • My dad has to have an experimental procedure done. The heart cath revealed that he has a 90% blockage of the main graft artery due to scar tissue from one of the stents he had implanted last year. He's participating in a study next week that will use small doses of radiation on the scar tissue to permanently remove it. My dad is one of 60 people in the country to be participating in this procedure. Otherwise, he'd have to have open heart surgery again.
    • Congratulations to Ted Chiang on winning the Nebula award for his novella, The Story of Your Life!! This was such a moving story. Also, congratulations to Leslie What, Mary Turzillo, and Octavia Butler who also took home Nebula awards!


    • I attended a booksigning on Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Indianapolis! Along with Linda Reames-Fox and Joyce Cottrell, Ron Collins, and Linda Dunn, I signed copies of some of the anthologies and talked to a few people about writing and submitting fiction. It was fun! It was great to see Linda, Ron, Lisa, and Brigid again. It had been an awfully long time. I also picked up a couple of cool books, a physics book and a book on tattoos.
    • After the signing, I sat and talked with Ron and Lisa in the B&N cafe. We talked about a lot of things, but it was really great to sit and talk writing with people who understood. I've been at an odd place in the writing world for some time, so it was nice to hear that maybe it wasn't so odd after all. Mainly because Ron seemed to be at the same point. Then I knew it wasn't just me. :) I hope we'll be able to get together again soon. Maybe even trade a short story or something?


    • The cold/allergy/whatever I have finally caught up to me. Left work early today, but after a couple of hours lying on the couch, I started to feel better. It's definitely gonna be a Nyquil night (woo!).
    • Found out that my mom has to have surgery today. To repair a ruptured eardrum. She had a similar rupture 30-some years ago in the same ear, but the doctor said that if she didn't have it repaired, she'd lose hearing in that ear. At least it's treatable. And can't leave out Dad. He's scheduled for another heart catheter procedures this Tuesday. Personally, I think his chest pains are happening because he's working 7 days a week, but what do I know? ;) For my dad, there isn't a very good way to find out if he's having heart problems unless they look inside his heart. His tests always come out fine even when he has a blockage. Thank God for modern medicine.
    • Spent the evening doing more market research, looking at how many new writers sold their first novels this year, that sort of geeky stuff. I find that doing this sort of research distracts me from thinking about the work I have out there.
    • Got a very sweet Winnie the Pooh card today from my buddy, Ron. Thanks again, Ron! I may not tell you often enough, but thanks for being such a good friend. I greatly appreciate sharing the journey with you. I don't talk to you as much these days, but heartfelt thanks for your support.
    • Have a nice evening!


    • Tonight, I got the first five chapters of one of my novels ready to send to the Warner Aspect Contest. I believe that the contest closes on June 30th. This is the only way to get a manuscript read by Warner Aspect (without an agent). So, we'll see what happens.
    • I did some market research tonight and I fretted over how long some of my stuff has been out.
    • Yesterday was my birthday and Mother's Day. I took my mom out to lunch and then she and I went to the bookstore. I spent my birthday at Barnes & Noble last year, so it was only fitting that we go there this year.:) Then Mom and I exchanged gifts and we let the cats romp through the paper. Bailey kept snatching ribbons and wads of paper and carrying them off to the basement. Yeah, I know -- I live an exciting life, don't I? ;) Living on the edge. Have a good night!


    • Well, it looks like I've got whatever spring illness is moving around the state. Bleh. This translates into a head cold. But I plan to get looped up on Nyquil tonight after not sleeping much last night.
    • Keep your fingers crossed for me! Can't tell ya why yet (sorry, more mystery, but I'm superstitious and don't want to jinx this one), but I need all the luck I can get. This one means everything to me and I'm holding my breath.
    • Happy news about my laser printer! I yanked out the fuser assembly and installed a new one -- and my printer is printing just like new again. I'm so pleased! Over the years, I've replaced my computer several times, but this laser printer has been working diligently for 12 years without even a hint of trouble. I have a color deskjet to do any heavy duty graphics, but my old laserjet has printed every manuscript I've ever written. So, I feel a goofy sense of sentimentality toward this printer. And it was my graduation present from my dad when I received my first college degree. So, I wanted to do whatever I could to revive it.:)

5/10/00    Happy Birthday, Seville!!

    • Sevilli is 10 years old today! :) I hope to post a birthday picture tonight.In not-so-fun news, another fumble on the 10 yard line. I'm disheartened by this one. I truly thought I had a shot this time. I question my ability to write novel-length manuscripts and wonder if I'll ever get this right. I suppose that maybe I will someday, but for now, back to the drawing board.5/9/00
    • Happy Birthday to Ron Collins!! Hope you have a great day!
    • I finally got the brochure sent out yesterday!
    • My laser printer is officially hosed. In a last ditch effort, I'm going to replace my fuser assembly and see if that will solve the problem. If not...well...I need to buy a new one. I'm currently using my deskjet to print manuscripts. It prints fine, but I miss my laser printer. :)


    • Whew! Whatta week! I've been working on a nonfiction (a brochure) writing project and will deliver it to my client tomorrow. Every now and then, I do this sort of work for folks. And the stupid ILOVEYOU worm/macro virus caused me lots of grief at work, but we managed to contain it without any severe problems. Needless to say, it was another hectic week.
    • I hold in my hands a copy of Sword & Sorceress XVII. I just picked it up at our local Barnes & Noble. When I opened the volume and thumbed through it, I got all choked up and reading MZB's last introduction was difficult. My eyes stung when I read her intro of my story. I didn't know it at the time, but I was writing a goodbye letter when sent back my contracts last May. She did so much for me as a writer. There will be three more volumes of S&S, but this one will always remain special to me. My story, Soul Dance, is the longest work I ever sold to MZB and it was written during a rather tough creative period for me. Holding this book in hand with so many of my friends in it (Patricia Duffy Novak, Vera Nazarian, Laura Underwood, Jenn Reese, and Dave Smeds), knowing that we'll never pass this way again...I can't help but feel a surge of emotion. I loved writing stories for this market and I will miss it greatly.
    • Just found out that Civil War Fantasticis listed in Amazon! I was very excited to see the cover! The book will appear in July.
    • I did manage to get Permanent Ink out the door -- finally. About ten days ago. I'm currently working on a dark fantasy piece that I hope to submit to the Cemetery Sonata II anthology.
    • Bailey is currently learning to walk on a leash. He is fascinated by the outdoors and begs to go out. He's a very smart little cat and has done very well on his leash and harness. Seville will be ten years old in the coming week and the thought amazes me. Where does all the time go? Why does it all seem so fleeting? Have a good evening.


    • I figured if I didn't post something soon, you'd all think I had abandoned the place. Had some hand troubles over the past couple of weeks and wasn't able to type much. My rheumatologist is trying a new anti-inflammatory, so I'm able to type fairly close to normal now.
    • Looks like I'm going to be taking my workshop over the internet. That's the bad news. But the good news is that I will be working with John Crowley, Ted Chiang, Bruce Glassco, Jennifer Stevenson, and Bruce Worthel for six weeks! Jennifer and Bruce W. were fellow classmates from an AJ Budrys' workshop I took in 1993, so it'll be wonderful to work with them again. And I'm thrilled at the unexpected opportunity to work with Ted Chiang! That was a great surprise. :) I've got to get a story turned in very soon.
    • No word on any of my other projects, but I sure hope that no news is good news. Still haven't mailed Permanent Inkbecause I already had a story at my intended market, but today, I found out that it's all right to submit more than one story. I plan to get the story mailed in a couple of days.


    • Been feeling a little tired this week and I haven't gotten much done. I wanted to get Permanent Ink out the door before the weekend, but didn't get that far. I hope to get it out by Monday.
    • Finally got a response on one of my projects. The agent said no, but at least it wasn't a no to the query. So, I'll wait and see what happens with the publishers now. After all, a yes from a publisher would make getting an agent much easier. *grin* Still waiting to hear about the workshop *sigh*.
    • On the plus side, I got an interesting letter in the mail that holds quite a bit of promise. Sorry for being cryptic, but I don't want to say anything yet until I have all the details and have finalized things.
    • I have a few story ideas in the works at the moment. Things that I jotted down during the plane flight last weekend. I have a contemporary fantasy brewing -- this one may be a bit dark and I may experiment a little with the magic realism subgenre. And I need to get back to my novel, too. I've got a guy back from the dead and no where to go. I need to fix that predicament. So much to write and so little time. :) Gotta love it. Now, I'm off to the book store for a mocha and a little relaxation. Have a good day!


    • Had an excellent time at the convention! It was terrific seeing Patricia Duffy Novak, David Coe, Laura Underwood, and Mildred Perkins again! We laughed ourselves silly the entire weekend and the Once Upon A Story card game was just too funny! Patricia and I went to Chattanooga's aquarium and saw some way cool critters! The river otters were adorable. :) And it was really wild to look a Black Mamba snake in the face. Some of their exhibits were incredible! We also went to the IMAX and watched The Living Sea -- wow!! It was a very inspiring film, especially with Sting's music in the background. I really want to see the new Dolphins IMAX film. All in all, I had a very good time, bought some new books, and laughed a whole lot. Arrived home totally exhausted yesterday.


    • So much going on! Not much of it in the writing world, but everywhere else --aaiieee!! I've made one pass through Permanent Ink, but I don't think I'll get it ready to mail until after I return from Galacticon. Galacticon is a nice, cozy little con in Chattanooga and the people who run it are some of the nicest people you'll meet. This con was the very first convention I attended as a writer, so I look forward to returning here. And I get to see my good friends, Patricia Duffy Novak and David Coe this weekend! I am flying out on Thursday and won't be home until Sunday evening. So...needless to say, I won't get much done this week. I am finishing some handouts for the writing seminar tonight and tomorrow will be for dealing with all those things I forgot to do earlier. :)
    • Contracts arrived today for my story, The Essence of Place which will appear in The Age of Wonders. This anthology will appear in August 2000. I'm relieved that this contract managed to navigate past the ever-present black hole in my mailbox.
    • Only a few more days left of the workshop deadline...I'm starting to get nervous about it. Glad I'll be away this weekend, so I won't think about it as much.
    • Happy Belated Birthday to my little kitten, Bailey, who had his first birthday on Sunday (26th). I bought him some toys and he had a good time playing. I even let him walk around the back yard with me. :)
    • And I love, love, love my Handspring Visor!! This little device rules! I'm so glad I bought it. I heard that they'll be selling the Visors and accessories in some of the office supply and computer stores very soon! There are so many modules I want to buy for the unit...just can't wait! Have a good evening!


    • Stick a fork in it -- this story is done! Woo! It weighed in at about 4500 words. I'm so pleased to have a first draft of this story completed. Didn't think I'd ever finish it! I need to do a bit of refining, of course, and work backward through the story a bit, but draft one is done. I had this really cool dream image last night of storm clouds that I want to fit into the story somehow. We'll see. The story isn't quite where I want it to be yet, but it's very close.
    • I've decided to let the scientists study the black hole in my mailbox. At least this way, something productive is happening with my mail. Besides, Spring is getting close and I wouldn't want all my neighbor's lawn furniture to disappear. Or their new deck. Have a good night.


    • Okay...I meant to have the story done by now, but as usual, life intervenes. Had a family emergency over the past couple of days and just didn't get the story's denouement completed. I hope I can complete it this week. And...I'll fess up. I got a new toy today and have been playing with it the whole evening. I purchased a Handspring Visor and it arrived today. What is a Visor? It's a Palm device with 8MB RAM and this thing is just the coolest little device I've ever owned. I can send/receive email from it! I can purchase other nifty modules such as a GPS and an MP3 player. And they have the coolest keyboard I've ever seen! It's called a Stowaway keyboard and it's made by Targus. This thing weighs a whopping 8 ounces and folds up to about 4" x 3"!! You connect your Visor or Palm Pilot to it! It's a full size keyboard when you unfold it. Wow...just the coolest thing I've ever seen. And no, I don't work for the company. ;> I'm just a computer geek who loves hardware. I love the challenge of setting up new hardware. This thing rocks!! Confession #2: I bought my visor in one of the fruity colors rather than the dark gray. Yeah, it looks like a gameboy. My nephew would be so proud. :) Have a good night!


    • Haven't had much to post over the past few days. Still brainstorming possible fixes for the final scene or two of Permanent Ink. I have a couple of ideas that just started to gel for me this morning. I'm going to let them simmer today and see if one will work. I probably won't start writing until tonight.
    • Happy belated St. Patrick's Day to everyone! Hope you had a good one! Also, happy anniversary to Ron and Lisa Collins. Okay, I'm a little late. It was yesterday, but what the heck. :)
    • The black hole still spins in my mailbox. Scientists are starting to call, asking to study the phenomenon. They mentioned sending a probe into the event horizon to record data. I'm still mulling it over.
    • I hope to post some honest-to-goodness progress on PI's ending tonight.
    • Update:This story is just about finished. All that's left is the denouement. There is still one tiny piece of the story I need to figure out, but I think it will be resolved in the denouement. I tried to finish the whole thing tonight, but I'm just too tired. Tomorrow, I think.


    • Hit a snag on the story tonight. Bleh. I'm going to have to think through a few things before I put this puppy to bed. It's careening toward the final scene. But I'm feeling a little brain tired tonight which isn't helping. At work, I took apart a couple of laser printers, carried a few down several flights of stairs, and struggled to fix a print layout all day. I managed to get it all done and got the layout sent to the printers by 6:00 pm. So...I'm going to turn in early tonight.


    • Wellll....I tried to finish my story tonight, but it just didn't happened. I'm close though. The protagonist is going into the final act of the story. Time to take the gun off the mantle and fire it. I have a bit of uncertainty as to how one of the characters will react to her decision as well as what consequences she'll invoke. We'll see when I get there, I guess. :)
    • Still waiting on all fronts for responses. My neighbors are really getting tired of their trash cans and lawn ornaments being sucked into my mailbox's gravitational pull. Those flamingos ain't cheap, folks! I sure hope that I won't have to wait much longer on the workshop. Need to start planning my summer activities. Have a good night


    • Bad day at work. Too angry to write much tonight. Managed to complete about a page on Permanent Ink. Will have to finish the story tomorrow night. Plan to go to bed early and read a book. Have a good night.


    • Spent quite a bit more time on the new story (now with the working title of Permanent Ink). Had to do yet more research on some aspects of the story and then I was off writing again. The story is about three quarters finished. I think the first draft will end up at approximately 4000 words (my typical story length). I should be able to finish the story by tomorrow. Then I'll let it set for a few days and make pass number two at it. Once this story is done, I plan to go back to the novel until another short story idea drags me away.
    • Marshall had his 3 month cancer check on Saturday. Things were mostly fine, but he's developed the beginnings of kidney disease. So...that means we have to feed him special cat food to reverse the disease. I was very concerned about trying to get him to eat the cat food (cats are notoriously finicky eaters), but so far he seems to like it. Seville also went for her checkup. We're trying a new treatment for her stomach problems. I hope it works.
    • We got four inches of thick, heavy snow yesterday that covered the roads and the landscape in white. Today, by early afternoon, it was all gone. Very weird, but I'm glad it's gone. I'm ready for Spring and Summer. Have a good night.


    • Forgot to post this last night...I completed the first act of Permanence last night. Got the rest all worked out in my head. Just have to get the protagonist to the right place and turn up the jeopardy/uncertainty.
    • Put together another query tonight. Keeping my fingers crossed on it.
    • Also, I sat down and created a mental roadmap of the directions I plan to take in my writing for the next quarter. Haven't heard from the workshop yet, so I can't truly finalize everything for a couple of weeks. I have a backup plan if I don't get into this workshop and I also have something in the works (too early to talk about it yet) that if it comes together, I'll have to rearrange some projects to accommodate it. More about that when I have all the details. I also outlined some goals that I want to accomplish, stories I want to write, another novel I want to finish after Forever is complete. And then there's the Master's Project that I must complete by April 10th. Lots of stuff going on (as usual), but the writing feels good right now. I am hopeful that this is the year I finally carry that ball into the endzone. If not...well, write more, send more. Buy more stamps.


    • Still working on the short story. Working title is now Permanence (thanks, Patricia!), but I do expect it to change before I'm finished. The story is coming along well. I needed some more information on my character, so I spent some time doing more research. I didn't find much concrete info (character is a mythological figure) which is actually good because that allows me to be more creative with her character. I know all these wonderful little details about this character now: her likes and dislikes, why she is in the Pacific Northwest (and why that is so fitting), and her hopes and dreams. I'll be bringing in a few other myth characters and giving them a facelift as well (because they are needed in the plot). So far, this story has been an intensely satisfying undertaking and I think that's why it's taking me so long to finish it. :) I'm nearly through the first act. I know how it will end, too, but I haven't yet put the gun on the mantle.
    • Another thing I accomplished today was moving over a few more bits of my manuscript preparation process to Microsoft Access. Created a market addresses table and a form that will allow me to tag markets that I want to print submission and return labels for and produce a cover letter. I have one tiny little text formatting kink to fix and I'll be ready to use it. In case you can't tell, I'm a total Access geek. I love making databases. :) I'm not all that good at it, but I really enjoy doing it. Well, I'm beat...have a good night.


    • Had a good time with my brother this weekend! He's a really good poker player, but I managed to score a few hands and came out ahead when we cashed in our chips. We play with nickels, dimes, and quarters here, so we're not talking about big money. :)
    • Page proofs for my short story, Surviving the Elephant arrived yesterday. I spent most of the afternoon today reviewing them and marking corrections. They are ready to go back to DAW tomorrow. In the remaining time, I did a bit more work on the new short story. But it was a tiring weekend, so I'm cutting out early tonight. Have a good night!


    • My monitor bought the farm last night, but my computer is back up now. I didn't buy a new monitor when I bought my computer, so the monitor was fairly old by this time. It's been giving signs of failure for months, but I've just let it run its course. I got good life out of the monitor. Now, I have a new one sitting on my desk (gotta love Sam's Club for their low cost computer equipment), but needless to say, I didn't get much writing done over the past day or so.
    • Congratulations to Jenn Reese on her sale to Age of Wonders! I'm so pleased that she and I will be in our third anthology together. :)
    • Short entry tonight. I probably won't post again until Sunday. Have a great weekend!


    • Happy Birthday to my big brother, Jeff! Hope you had a great day, ya loser! Seeya this weekend! Looking forward to taking some of your money in poker.
    • Congratulations to Dave Smeds and Mary Soon Lee for their sales to Age of Wonders!
    • Congratulations to Linda Dunn on her acceptance to Clarion!
    • Last night, my account was experiencing technical difficulties, so I was unable to update my page. Made some good progress on the new, still-untitled short story. Seph's story is starting to unfold. Not sure how long this one will be yet.
    • Age of Wonders accepted my story, The Essence of Place today! I'm thrilled to have placed this story for a variety of reasons. Essence is one of the most recent stories that I've written and it's an idea that has grown over a multitude of months. It's a story that I felt was beyond me for so long. It was wonderful to have even finished the piece and I'm so pleased to have sold it. For a long time, I've felt that my work has been total crap and that I was getting worse not better. So, this was a nice validation for me that my current work doesn't suck. And this story is SF. I haven't sold a lot of SF, so I'm always thrilled when I place an SF story.
    • Finally, I'm pleased to announce that Treachery and Treason is now available from Roc Books. My story, Rena 733 appears in this volume. It's a very special story for me. I don't usually plug my work, but if you want to read something of mine, please check out this volume. Warning: the story is dark, hence the nature of the anthology, but it's a story close to my heart and one that marks a major writing moment for me. Gotta get back to writing. Have a good night!


    • Spent the evening working on a synopsis for Heart of the Labyrinth (only half done) and researching material for the short story. And lo and behold, I put down the story's opening. So far, it's coming together well. At the moment, I feel close to the POV (even though I know nothing about her profession and can't relate to it yet). I am fascinated by who she is and why she chose her profession. The subject matter here is so odd for me, but I think it is a good exercise to stretch myself and my attitudes. I have no idea where this story is going to end yet, but Seph is a very complex character. I know what she wants and what she is trying to escape and I know the decision she must make -- but I don't yet know what she'll choose. Yeah, I'm enjoying this story. And needless to say, I haven't gotten back to the novel tonight. Probably won't until this story gets written. It's not something I feel like coming back to in a day or two. I want to maintain that intensity while I explore the story's theme which, if I screw it up and put too heavy a hand on it, will come off preachy and cheesy. Gotta put a light hand to this one and let it steep on the page a bit. No title yet. I'm sure I'll come up with something though. Gonna put down a few more sentences before I go to bed. I feel like I'm onto something here. Maybe I'm wrong, but this one just feels right. Passion. It's that intensity between spark and flashpoint. Have a good night.


    • Spent the day readying a third novel for submission. It's all packaged and ready to mail tomorrow. I also finished another chapter of the new novel. I've really got to think of a title for this one. I'm tired of referring to it as "the new novel." The working title is Isle of Forever. I don't like this title, so I'm trying not to get used to saying it. At any rate, I get to return to Jared's point of view today. I am currently working on the first scene of a short story, so I want to get that on paper before I get back to the novel. And...I have this crazy idea of sending out a partial on Heart of the Labyrinth. That way, all four of my novels will be out the door. That'd be a record for me. All in all, it's been a very productive weekend for writing. Need to get back to work now. If I have more to post later, I might update my novel progress here. Have a good day!


    • Just before I went out to check the mail, I heard this horrible, desperate shrieking. I raced to the front door and peered out the window. Dear God! The mailman was caught in the gravitational pull of my mailbox's black hole! His little white mail truck was spinning hopelessly toward the event horizon. Donning my antigravity boots (aka my hightop Reeboks), I struggled against the fierce solar winds (okay, so it's a little windy here today) and made a desperate attempt to rescue him and the fate of the universe as we know it. But first, I stopped to comb my hair. I can't go out looking like this!

    • Every inch of ground was hard fought. One misstep could send me spinning off into the event horizon, but the antigravity boots held. Almost immediately, my spacesuit's environmental controls failed, allowing the icy winds to cut through me with every blast (yeah, I went out without a coat).
    • At last, I reached the mail truck.
    • "For the love of God, give me my mail!" I shouted, desperately stretching out my hand to him, the little white truck bobbling on the edge, nearly swallowed up.
    • Panic-stricken, he struggled through his bag, finding a bundle, and then with a wrenching scream, he thrust the bundle toward me. But he was too far away.
    • The raging solar winds buffeted my body, throwing me against the mailbox, but I leaned out and caught the rubber band around the bundle. The rubber band's recoil launched me backward (okay, I tripped over my shoelace.) I pulled myself to my feet in time to watch the little white truck tumble into the event horizon and disappear (like mine's the only house he has to deliver to?) Frantically clawing through the bundle, I found nothing addressed to me. Not one piece of mail --  not even a Resident item to soothe me. I crossed the tarmac (driveway) and carefully stowed the antigravity boots (i.e. kicking them back into the closet). Then, I grumbled to myself and opened a diet coke.
    • Yes, another long weekend of no responses....pout. Good thing I have a novel to work on, to keep me out of trouble. ;)


    • I have managed to get the novel partial ready to mail. It goes out tomorrow. Still no word from the agent. Or any of the publishers. Sigh. I'll probably wait a week and then mail EDP. The black hole still spins inside my mailbox. Wasn't able to get much work done on the novel these past few days, but I'm hitting the keyboard as soon as I post this...need to get some serious verbage completed here.


    • Woo-hoo! Promising news in the mail today. The romance publisher wants to see a partial of my novel. I'm excited and scared at the same time. I'm not well-versed in the romance genre, so I'll just do the best I can do and see what happens. I must say, I'm a bit surprised. I truly didn't expect them to want to see the book. Maybe it's a perceptions thing? I write SF/F...what do I know about romance? :) Guess I'll package up the chapters and mail them off -- see if they generate any interest. My fear is that the chapters have too much technology in them. I plan to analyze the chapters this weekend and get them ready to mail next week. Wow...I can't believe they really want to see my book.
    • I haven't gotten to word one on the novel yet. Got home an hour late from work and have been behind ever since. I hope to put down at least 1k before I go to bed. Have a good night.


    • Congratulations to Ann-Marie Horcher who gave birth to a baby girl, Monica Rose, on 1/31/00!!! I'm so thrilled for you, Ann-Marie!
    • Yes, a painful day at work . . . but I survived with my brain intact. I did manage to do some work on the novel tonight, too. About 1k accomplished. It's not a lot, but I'll take it. I still don't have a decent title for the book, so it remains untitled for now. It's moving along better than I expected. Right now, I'm in Osaza's chapter. She's the sister of the protagonist who is trying to stop the invaders. In the next chapter, Jared will learn what he must do to save his city. So far, I have three POVs in this book: Jared, Osaza, and Khepri. Looking forward to the next chapter, but I probably won't get there for a couple of nights. It's great to be working on a novel again. But...I really want to write this short story, too. Guess that's what the weekends are for. :) Have a good night.


    • Just heard the news! CONGRATULATIONS to Ron Collins on his third sale to Analog!! Looks like Ron is becoming a frequent contributor to Analog! Way to go, Ron! 2000 may indeed be another banner year for him.
    • Still working on the novel and the short story. More details later today (I hope).
    • Update: The novel is still moving at a steady clip. I got quite a bit completed last night and today, but I didn't get time to work on the short story. And drat it all, I came up with an idea in the shower that I want to use in a novel I have yet to write. It is book 3 of a trilogy. I already have an outline for book 3, but I haven't written it yet. But now, I have a totally cool idea that I need to incorporate into that outline. One of these days, I plan to indulge myself in a bit of selfish writing and write book 3. I swear, there just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done, is there? I've spent most of the afternoon on the novel -- and yeah, I should be working on my directed project. Next weekend. Tomorrow, I have to go into work early for another all-day meeting (groan. sigh.), so I don't know how much work I'll get done tomorrow night. But by tomorrow night, my brain will most likely be aching for a little otherworldly stuff (if it doesn't explode first).


    • Having a good night at the keyboard. The novel is humming along tonight and things are starting to make good sense with the plot. I always find that a trip to Barnes and Noble does wonders for my motivation level. Seeing all those novels on the shelf will do that to a writer, I suppose. I always feel pumped when I return from the book store. So, I've got a mix of tunes blaring from the CD player and the novel threads are weaving through my blood and my fingertips. Yeah...these are the best parts of writing. Like the yawing of a sailboat and that moment where it hums against the ocean almost on its side. When boat and ocean are one. Later tonight, I hope to start writing on the new short story. I've got the information I need to run with it. Gotta go. :)


    • Been doing a bit more research and brainstorming over the past few days. I've developed a bit more of the current novel's story line that will give it some solid tension as the story unfolds. Also, a VERY quirky idea is shaping into a story, but the protagonist's profession is something I know very little (if anything) about. So...I'm gathering info and a mindset in order to bring this story home. And it will be another of my stories set in the Pacific Northwest. So far, it's a quiet, introspective story, but I don't know if it will remain that way.
    • My mailbox is officially a black hole. Still no responses on any of my novel length work out there. And from past experience, the longer the RT, the less likely there is any interest in the work. Still haven't mailed EDP. I'll give it another week or so and then it'll go out.
    • Bought $200 worth of software this week in preparation for the completion of my directed project. My oral presentation is in mid-April, but I'm not sure I'll be finished by then. I may have to kick things into the summer. Depends on how much I get finished in March.
    • Made most of my reservations for Seattle/Friday Harbor this week. My bones ache for a ferry ride and the islands. Can't wait!


    • Happy Birthday to my kitty, Marshall, who turned 15 today!
    • Spent the remnant part of the evening working on the novel. It's an odd novel really. The main character starts off the book dead. A rather metaphysically challenging viewpoint, but I've dealt with worse. Right now, the main character is being dragged through the streets of his city under seige by a necromancer whose last hope is the main character. Of course, being dead, the main character isn't quite himself yet. The revenant spell has brought him back from the dead and he's very confused and angry. His journey to the afterworld was interrupted and he was brought back to the pain of his body and the thick of the battle. But Khepri (the necromancer) needs his help. Only a revenant can journey to the Isle of Forever which lies halfway between this world and the next. She needs Jared to plead with their defeated gods to return and help them drive out the invaders. So...that's the story so far. But the day was long and I'm exhausted. Have a good night!


    • Of course...the moment I say I'm going to work on short fiction again, the novel starts to nag at me. Argh. So, I'm back working on a novel. Spent all of Saturday doing additional research and then I started writing again tonight. Don't know how far I'll get tonight, but I'm hoping for 3k. I'm still in the first 1/3 of the book, so most everything is setup at this point. I may also try to write something for that Arthurian anthology. Not sure yet though. I'm not all that knowledgeable about Arthurian legend. I'll have to do some cursory research and see whether or not I think I can handle the subject.
    • Last night, I also spent a couple of hours making some jewelry for my first official customer. :) I make bead jewelry as a hobby.


    • Heard some sad news today that the magazine, Science Fiction Age is folding. I was stunned by the news.
    • Tonight, I made the final pass on Tintypes. It will go out in tomorrow's mail. Also, I spent some planning time on my directed project for my Master's degree. Deciding how I'm going to approach the coding and layout, that sort of thing. Sure hope I can get a good job with this degree. I've been looking at several job listings. So far, I haven't found anything I'm qualified for, but I hope something will happen for me. Meanwhile, the work situation continues to deteriorate. All I think about is getting out. God, I hope I can find something that will pay me a decent wage. My greatest fear is that I won't be able to find anything else.


    • I sent out another novel query today. This one was sent to a romance publishing house. My first ever submission. I have a novel I wrote a few years ago (it was my first novel dare, by the way). There's a good deal of romance in the story and it's one I really like, so I thought I'd try out the high concept on a romance publisher. We'll see what happens. I'm not expecting much interest, but I really like the book and wanted to give it another try somewhere. If I manage to get a nibble on that book, that would leave one manuscript left in my possession. So I should try submitting it.


    • Spent the last two evenings printing out another of my manuscripts. My laser printer is ailing, so I had to print the manuscript on my deskjet. The quality is fine, but it doesn't have the buffer space that my laserjet has...so I had to break the manuscript back into chapters. The book took a lot longer to print than I had expected. At any rate, I just finished printing it. It's all boxed up and ready for a cover letter. I probably won't submit the book for a couple of weeks, pending the agent's response.
    • I'm trying to get another one of my manuscripts ready to submit as well. Might as well get them all out of the house, right? I've got one I threw under the desk after it came home, but now, I have some new ideas or where to send it. We'll see.
    • I need to start writing short fiction again. At a better pace and output than I am now. I find that I want and need to take my writing to a new level. I want to chisel away some of the staleness that I feel and forge some new paths in my work. I want to redefine myself as a writer. Big ambitions, right? Not sure how to do it, but I feel stagnant -- need to put some current back into my work. Write juicy, to borrow from SARK. :) Again, not sure how to accomplish that, but perhaps I'll figure it out as I start writing more short fiction again. Y'know, sometimes I miss being that aspiring writer just starting out with little expectations and a need to produce, produce, produce. Back then, every story was an exercise to improve my work and move one step closer to publication. Now, I find that I don't want to produce bulks of words. I just want to tell moving, affective stories. It's more of an intrinsic motivation now. It's not just a matter of finishing x number of stories anymore. It's about finishing one that makes me feel, makes me think, or frightens me. I have to be moved in some way or feel a need to say something. I used to churn out a short story a week, but I'm a lot more particular about what I send out these days. Not sure why I became so picky. Must be part of the cycle. Maybe it's simply the explanation that once I've sold a few stories professionally that my work has to better than it used to be. I don't know. Just another quirky writer's ramble from Chez Silverthorne. :) Have a good night.


    • Didn't do much of anything over the weekend. I managed to get my manuscript out the door on Saturday morning, but that was pretty much the extent of my activities. I have a lot going on in other arenas that are really impinging on my writing. I am trying to finish a second Master's degree this semester and looking for jobs. It's time to make some very serious changes in my life, major steps. I can no longer deal with my situations. It's time to make some changes.


    • Spent the evening preparing one of two novel manuscripts for mailing. Boy, do I feel nervous about sending it out. They've asked to see the whole thing -- the thought is daunting. I've had such miserable luck with novel submissions so far. So many have gone into a black hole and never emerged until I withdrew them. I consider myself to be a fairly patient person, but two years and no replies to queries is a little much. So, I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't happen this time. If all goes well, the manuscript will go out on Saturday and the nail-biting will begin. After this one goes out, I have to print the other requested manuscript and get it ready to mail. ARGH!! Sending out a novel is so much more difficult than a short story -- much less two. I'll just take a deep breath, close my eyes, and mail them. Hiking the ball one more time.


    • Did my first cleanup pass on Tintypestonight. Something just seems to be missing from this one. Not sure what that something is yet, but I think I'll set the story aside for a few days. The story is close though. Not sure what kind of market there will be (if any) for this story, but I just wanted to write it.
    • Didn't get much else accomplished tonight. Still running some ideas through my brain and made an interesting connection between the weird dream I had and well -- a feeling I have. Not sure if that makes any sense. Unfortunately, this feeling is a recurring theme in my fiction, but it's what moves me. Gotta go with the sparks, y'know.
    • I find myself painfully moved and haunted by the crash of Alaska Airlines flight 261. There's something so stark and numbing about 88 people disappearing into the ocean. Eighty eight people with homes, jobs, and family are just simply gone now. In six months, their possessions will all be parceled out, houses sold, and every physical landmark of their existence erased. As if they'd never been. Instead, their survivors are left with photographs of frozen moments, frozen smiles, and memories that fade slowly with the passage of each day. Not to mention regrets, unspoken words, and no way to say goodbye. And the pain of separation, of not knowing what follows this world. How can 88 people simply cease to exist? Where have they all gone? There has to be something more. My heart goes out to the families of the victims of flight 261. It's a tragic loss.


    • Got two promising responses to the queries I mailed out last week (one from an editor and one from an agent). Frankly, it makes me a little nervous. I'm worried that I'll somehow screw this up. Now, of course, I have to print copies of two novel manuscripts. I feel queay just thinking about it. I've been here so many times and every time, I get tackled on the ten yard line. Maybe this time, I'll get the end zone? The rest of the evening, I intend to devote to cleaning up my latest short story. I'll think about the novels tomorrow night.


    • I finally finished that bloody story I was working on! Took forever. I decided that I didn't like the odd direction the story had taken and ripped it out completely. So the story turned out to be about 3750 words, more in my typical word count range. I'm not quite happy with it yet though and I'm still unsure about the title. I may go back to the previous one: Tintypes. This story is kind of a revelation-type story. Not much of a try-fail cycle, if there's any at all. Probably is and I'm just not seeing it. I'm so glad to have a draft completed though. This story has nagged at me for some time and I hate to leave stuff uncompleted. Now, I can start some new projects after this one is out the door.
    • Once again, we got pummeled with another winter storm. We've got about 6 or 7 inches of new snow on the ground. I had to run some errands yesterday, so I actually drove in the worst of it. But I'm glad I did because it was another good test of my Cougar. Again, my Cougar did really well in the snow. I loved my Saturn, but it was horrendous in the snow.
    • Now, I feel a little out of sorts with this story completed. I'll have to start something new fairly quickly because I hate that lost feeling that comes after the completion of a project. A good motivator to get a new short story on the boards, I guess. :)


    • Had a grueling 8.5 hour meeting at work today that started earlier than my normal start time. Needless to say, my brain is total mush tonight. I tried to work on my short story, but gave up. I decided I needed to listen to some angst-ridden Alanis Moressette tunes and just do some fun writing. Nothing works out the stress like Jagged Little Pill. :) The hospital and doctor bills are starting to come in now, so I'm feeling a little panicked by the big bills. Can't wait to get these things paid off and out of my face. Ironically, I learned this week that the surgery didn't fix one of the sinus problems I've been having. Sigh. That translates into more nasal sprays and prescriptions. Oh, well, at least part of the problem is fixed and any improvement is better than none.
    • Got a 31-day rejection from Analog today. Everything else is in a perpetual holding pattern. D'oh. Hopefully, in the next six weeks or so, I'll hear back about whether or not I got accepted into the workshop. So far, I've been too busy to think about it much which is good. There are only twenty slots -- maybe I'll get lucky this time. Gotta go write! Have a good evening.


    • Got my W-2 form today and spent the evening doing my taxes. So taxes are done and out of my face. I'm totally pleased with my refund this year, too. Woo!
    • Spent time on my current story, but not enough to finish it. I should hopefully finish the story by Thursday. Tonight, I discovered an interesting angle on the story. It's going in an interesting direction and now I'm wondering if it will like I'm expecting. Sometimes, I never know. I confess, I feel a little shaky about the new development, but I'll uncork it and let it breathe. See how it feels tomorrow. My fear is that I've taken the story down a dead end path, but maybe not. We'll see.
    • Fingers crossed for Tippi's Age of Wonders story that is now in the antho's hold pile! Way to go, Tippi!


    • Didn't get much writing done tonight. I spent much of the evening fixing some minor website glitches. But I did quite a bit of brainstorming on a story idea shaping up from a VERY strange dream I had (of crystal helixes and the future). It was such a cool dream though and the images have stayed with me for a few days. I want to make a story of it, but there are some missing pieces still. So, I spent a good amount of time tonight thinking through the protagonist's motivations and the rigid society he is trying to escape. Man....this one may be screaming novel before this is over. Which I don't mind a bit except that means I'll have to put my present novel on hold because this idea is quickly reaching flashpoint. Some ideas are a slow burn like the story I just finished (The Essence of Place), while others are explosive (e.g. Experiencing Deep Purple). I haven't had a truly explosive idea in a while and I'm not quite sure if this one will reach flashpoint. But either way, I'll have fun finding out. :) I intend to work through a bit more of the current story in the short time I have left tonight. G'night!


    • Writing had to wait until tonight. I've gotten to the halfway point on another short story I've been trying to finish for some time. The story is tentatively titled In The Presence of Angels. It'll probably be a longer story than I typically write and I imagine that it will need a few iterations before I'm satisfied with it. Nevertheless, I made good progress on the story. I should be able to finish it in the next day or two. Looks like my eclipse images will have to wait a few days. Have a good night!


  • Today was administrative day. I had to send out a few queries and such. My niece and nephew are here today, so I won't be writing until they go to bed tonight. Today, it is snowing again. We have at least 10 inches of snow at the moment with 2 more expected tonight. Needless to say there were big, juicy snow drifts that had to be walked through. We threw snow at each other, played follow the snow tracks, made snow angels, and claimed the pile of snow at the end of the driveway (a.k.a. Snow Mountain) as our own. After conquering the summit of Mt. Snow, we tried to make a snowman, but the snow was too dry. Standing there watching Kirsten and Skyyler walking in my footprints in the snow, I couldn't help but smile, knowing that they were walking tracks that my brother had set down in a similar snow decades ago. It seemed like only yesterday that he and I were that age, and now I'm watching his kids. At the same time, I feel the years like miles between us and I feel like that same kid playing beside them. But the snowball smashing against my cheek from my smirking niece knocks me out of my hallmark moment. Kids. Thank God for them. Now, I've gotta go make some hot chocolate. I'll probably post some writing progress (I hope) later tonight.


    • Didn't do any writing tonight. I got home late from work and needed to fix some minor website glitches. I'm currently watching the lunar eclipse! The sky is amazingly clear here. Thought I'd share my shots with you. My shots and processing are rough here, so please excuse the weird layout/sizes. I'll clean it up this weekend.
      [Color enhancement on this last image is mine, trying to make the image more like what's in the sky. It isn't blue.]
    •  Gotta go! Enjoy!


    • We got hit with a winter storm this afternoon. Before it's all over, we'll have six inches of snow. It started snowing about 4 pm and it's now 10:15 and STILL SNOWING! Amazing...this is the first major snowfall we've had this year. It was zero visibility on the drive home from work and my first real test of the Cougar. The car did great and I made it home in one piece. I just wonder what morning will bring after a night of blowing and drifting.
    • Got a bit of hopeful news today. One of my stories made the hold pile for Age of Wonders. Keeping my fingers crossed that it turns into a sale.


    • Spent the evening preparing an application and materials for a summer writer's workshop. Took a lot more time than I was expecting, but the packet is finally ready to mail. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    • I'm in the process of trying to finish another story that I was unable to complete this summer for whatever reason. I've got a little better handle on what the story means, so maybe that will help me complete it. It's one of those stories that started out with a lot of momentum but ground to a halt by the end of the first act. But I understand whose story it is now and how the plot unfolds. I'm not sure how it ends, but maybe that's just as well.


    • I finished my first short story of the year today. The story is called The Essence of Place and it's about 5200 words. (Gee, this is starting to sound like a cover letter. :>) This one was an absolute bear to finish, but it feels pretty good just to have it completed. I need to clean it up quite a bit, but I'm fairly pleased with it. I hope to submit it to SFFNET's The Age of Wonders anthology.
    • I don't really have any New Year's resolutions or major plans for the coming year. Just to write more and send out more stories. Last year's success was an anomaly, so I don't expect those kind of sales this year. It would be nice, but I'm a realist. I do plan to write two novels this year, but a lot of the plans I've made over the past few months seem to be more dream than substance. I confess, I've lost my edge. Part of it is my own unrealistic expectations, part of it is life throwing amazing amounts of stress my way, and part of it is feeling like Sisphys. Rolling that rock up and down the same hills for seven years without result. I've spent the past few weeks deciding whether or not I want to keep rolling that blasted rock up and down the hill. My answer: Yeah -- I do, I realize. Only this time, instead of focusing on the top of the hill, I'm going to do my best to focus on MY rock and MY journey. It's really difficult, sometimes and I don't always succeed, but that's the theory anyway.
    • My cat, Marshall is holding my desk hostage until I feed him, so that's it for me today. Have a good day.


    • Welcome to Watermarks.Thanks to everyone who sent me email (hi, Fred!), asking me to keep updating my journal. Your persistence wore me down. That and the fact that I'm severely behind on correspondences. Updating it all here will save me time. : ) I have renamed the page Watermarks because like the sea level, my writing journey ebbs and flows. Life ebbs and flows, too, so I thought the retitle was fitting. Not sure how or if this page will be much different than its previous incarnation, but nevertheless, here I am -- for better or worse. A day in the life of an average writer will fill these pages as it has since I first put up my web site in January of 1996. That's about it. Just straight-from-the hip grumbles, wild hoots, controlled angst, and quiet observations. And good dose of what I'm working on at the moment.

    • Heartfelt sympathies to Diana Rowland on the passing of her father. So much pain, yet it always reminds us that we're alive. Sometimes feeling alive is worse than feeling numb when we're faced with the raw emotions of sorrow. I wish I had some words of comfort to offer, Diana. I'm so sorry for your loss.
    • Best Wishes to Tippi Blevins and Ron Collins on the upcoming Nebula voting. I hope to see both your stories on that final ballot.
    • I'm having some troubles with my domain name and my ISP, so instead of waiting another few weeks to resolve that...I've decided to publish the new site. I hope the load time isn't too awful. I have a 28.8 modem, so I figure if I can stand it maybe it'll be okay. If not let me know.
    •  And so it goes, the ebb and flow of another day. Gotta get back to an unfinished short story that's been causing me grief for a long time.