Went berry picking again last night, right as the storm front started rumbling through. Managed to avoid getting wet, although I once again bear fresh scratch welts from the brambles. Bloodthirsty blackberry gods.
Hobkin turns into a ravenous fiend when he gets a whiff of blackberries and vanilla ice cream. It makes eating dessert something of a tricky enterprise. Yesterday, I let my guard down for two seconds in order to scoop some ice cream into my mouth, and a second later found myself in a tug-o-war with a very determined skunk. He hooked his front paws on the edge of my bowl, used that leverage to stick his nose in, and was busily trying to inhale everything within reach. He hung on so tenaciously that I needed Matthew's help to rescue my bowl. And this was even after we'd given him a handful of berries for his dessert already. Greedy fuzzwit. At least we managed to keep him from upending the bowl on the floor, which I suspect was his primary goal. After cleaning the ice cream off my hands and the outside of my bowl, I retreated to the computer chair to finish my dessert.
Received a request to see the rest of my middle-grade novel from Cricket Books! I sent my Cricket/Cicada editor a query + three chapters a couple weeks ago. I was a bit uncertain about it as Cricket Books is closed to unsolicited submissions, but they said that they're still receptive to writers already working with their magazine group editors. Very pleased and excited that she wants to see the rest of it! Crossing of digits and fretting to commence.
Planned to do some writing last night, but spent the evening instead assembling my submission packet, a task made unnecessarily difficult by an obstreperous printer, and hunting for the flat-rate priority mail envelope that I knew I had . . . somewhere.
On the MIA editors front, my Tangent editor still hasn't posted the review I wrote of Sci-Fiction's "Shadow Twin." I emailed my review to him on June 27th. A week and a half lag for publishing a review for a weekly publication is irritating. And now there's a new story up already. Dammit. I sent him an email ping to see if there were any signs of life in his vicinity, but so far, "no" is the answer. Also, NFG has been sitting on a story of mine that's passed their initial round, and has been garnering some rather nice commentary. But they've had it for over seventy days, which is way long for them, and only four editors have looked at it. Humph.
In sobering news, one of the members of one of my writers groups has a brain tumor. She's had it for years now, and has beaten the initial estimates the doctors gave her on her life expectancy, but recently she's been declining alarmingly. She's a wonderful writer, won 2nd place in the Writers of the Future Contest a couple quarters back. But it seems unlikely that she'll be strong enough to attend the workshop and award ceremony. She just went into respit care and her primary caregiver/best friend is going to try to talk her out of continuing her chemo, since she's pretty sure it's just killing her faster. It's all terribly depressing.