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Tired of feeling sick

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I am done being ill, please. Headache and nausea are a supremely unpleasant combination. Almost was reduced to tears at work from the stomach-churning pressure behind my eyes. Wanted to come home, but I've taken far too many sick days this year already. I think my current bout of hell-on-earth is sinus-related. Gulped pills, including two, red mana-from-the-gods, also known as Sudafed, and slumped with my head in my hands over my keyboard for a bit until the over-the-counter meds could smooth the pointy edges to a tolerable level. There was prolonged misery, but it gradually improved to mere discomfort.

So I am mostly functional now. Although still quite irked at how my body rebels against the notion of good health and wellbeing. What more does it want? I give it multiple servings of caffeine--wrung from the fresh grounds of burnt plant life--every day, lounge on the couch evening after evening, so it doesn't have to suffer the ravages of exercise, and periodically get it hyped up on overdoses of pure, flavored sugar. Oh. Wait . . .

Writing stuff:

I know I've made a story title too long when I keep having to refer back to my own documents to remember what I named the bleeping thing.

Ten critiques so far on the story up on Critters. I haven't had enough patience with myself to read through the comments as carefully as I usually do. I'll go over them syllable by syllable when I start contemplating the rewrite, but for now I've just been skimming them to get the overall gist. Overall gist: good writing, not enough characterization. Sigh.

Decided to bundle together two, short folktales and send them up the queue. They'll take their place at the end of the line when this story rolls off.

Also did the long put off rewrite of the story inspired by the Suzanne Vega story britzkrieg introduced me to. There's so much subtext and symbolism to this one, I really don't think it's a good fit with the usual suspects, so I'm sending it to more "literary" places. Not mainstream literary, as it's too Fantasy for that, but Specfic literary. An interesting niche to try to market, one that seems to pay particularly poorly in money, but exceedingly well in prestige amongst the highbrow SF circles.

I did some very depressing calculations as I went about my writerly procrastinating over the weekend. I added up what the Cricket Magazine Group will be paying me for the three stories I signed the contracts to last Friday. Each story was close to or over the maximum word count for Cricket, hence a good average of the maximum amount that market will pay all together. For those three sales, I will make almost, but not quite enough, to pay for one month of our household expenses (mortgage, bills, food, etc.) At the princely rate of a quarter a word, I would have to sell a story a week to survive at our current rate of spending.

I'd bang my head in frustration, except my noggin is still rather fragile, and quite unhappy with me as is. But at a quarter a word the notion of a short fiction writer making a living off their wordsmithing is utterly unrealistic. And to put things into perspective, there was a huge flurry of debate and objection when the SFWA raised what qualified as "pro" rates from three to five cents a word this year. So five cents a word is considered "good money" in the SF writing world. Obviously, five times that is damn fine pay.

Okay, I'm not in the writing gig for the money. I do it because I love writing. I'm an addict. I love when the words flow from my mind's eye, through my fingers, and appear on the screen and I lose every sense of the real world around me, and become totally immersed in a story of my own creation. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a story I'm proud of. I go through writing withdrawal if I don't put words on the page for an extended period of time. And I'm vain enough to love seeing my name in print. But damn, it would be nice if the pay were better.
I'm feeling:
queasy
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On May 10th, 2004 02:22 pm (UTC), dire_epiphany commented:
I am sorry to hear you are sick. :/ Nausea and headaches should never ever be allowed to come at the same time.

If viruses were smart, they would make us feel so wonderful, then people would run around saying "please sneeze near me, I need another cold!" Then, the viruses would be happily spreading themselves around the world, but no, they have to make us feel all yucky and thusly are sealing their own death pact as most viruses/sicknesses make people want to curl up in bed alone. Perhaps they are all suffering from some sort of low self esteem... poor viruses...

Ahem...

It would be nice if writing paid you enough to live on - it would make me very happy. :) In fact, I think, at least in this country (since I don't know about other countries) we do not value artisians enough. In our money driven world, where the bigger the better and the more status you have, artisians are regarded as something nice but not worthy - this is something that needs to be changed. I just wish I knew how.
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On May 11th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
I think the whole patron-supported artist system needs to make a comeback. Wouldn't it be sweet to be able to lounge around, being creative and producing works, and not worry about bills? Ahh, pipe dreams.
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On May 10th, 2004 02:45 pm (UTC), gardenwaltz commented:
writers pay
you think that's bad, you should see what they pay poets. or rather, what they often don't pay poets.

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On May 11th, 2004 02:11 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Re: writers pay
But if you calculate the cents per word ratio, it can pretend to look better. Well, sometimes.
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On May 10th, 2004 05:46 pm (UTC), alleypat commented:
I never had the patience for Critters. I've tried them several times over the years and it seems like so much work to put into it for so little to get out of it. Tho, if people have no other outlet, I suppose it's good. I hope you feel better.
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On May 11th, 2004 07:44 am (UTC), britzkrieg replied:
Critters
I never had the patience for Critters. I've tried them several times over the years and it seems like so much work to put into it for so little to get out of it.

This may not be the proper forum for this, but I'd be interested to hear you elaborate on this. I'm in Critters, too, and that's how I met eugie.

I do have a few complaints about it, though. After being in for more than a year, I was hoping to have a larger circle of "regulars" to trade crits with. There's something to be said for having strangers review your work cold, but I think people who already know you and your work also have a valuable (?sp) perspective. Of course, there's a lot of waiting involved, too, without any guarantee of quality feedback once your story comes up.

Overall, though, Critters has been an enriching experience, and one that I plan to continue for a while at least. I'd still be interested to hear about other good (online) alternatives.
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On May 11th, 2004 02:06 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"I hope you feel better."

Thanks!

"I never had the patience for Critters."

Critters, like most writing groups, is a mixed bag. I like it because it's so big and so well run. Though I put more credence on the opinions of my first reader (my hubby) and select friends. I'm also a member of two other writers groups, and while both of them give more developmental and inspirational support than Critters, they're not as good about providing critiques in a consistent and timely manner. So, while I typically just roll my eyes and discount about half the Critters suggestions I get, it does at least mean the other half are points that I ought to consider.
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On May 11th, 2004 02:14 pm (UTC), alleypat replied:
have you tried OWW?
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On May 11th, 2004 02:18 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
The whole fee-based aspect of it is something of a turnoff for me. I'm dubious about the whole paying to participate thing, although I know a lot of writers who really like it (OWW, not paying that is).
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On May 11th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
4:30?! Yuck. You have my sympathies. Yah, I'm liking the upper effects that Sudafed has, especially with Caffeine not giving the same kick it used to!
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On May 10th, 2004 11:13 pm (UTC), ex_angeldove677 commented:
Maybe you need to gulp more "fresh squeeze" orange juice to boost up your energy and immune system. But I'm glad you're feeling better nowadays. Sometimes medications help.
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On May 11th, 2004 02:14 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
More orange juice, check! Although I take a multi-vitamin and eat fruit every day, so theoretically I should be getting enough C. Theoretically.
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On May 11th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC), britzkrieg commented:
I'm sorry that you're feeling so wretched! I wish I had some pertinent advice to offer. Maybe keep up the yoga?

I love when the words flow from my mind's eye, through my fingers, and appear on the screen and I lose every sense of the real world around me, and become totally immersed in a story of my own creation. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a story I'm proud of.

This is why I write, too.

Personally, I need the day job, not just for the money, but for the different mental challenges. Once I get back into writing (sigh), I think I'll have a good balance going again.
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On May 11th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
I've been totally slacking on the yoga. I made a valient effort, and then my momentum cut off below the knees. Sigh. Yes, I definitely need to get back on the yoga wagon.
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