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Things I wish I'd told myself . . .

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Ganked from various folks:

10 things I would tell to my 12-year-old self:

1. DON'T take Russian in high school. Take Latin! Take LATIN!! Or, French. But by God and all that is holy, don't take Russian! You'll never use it and forever lament that you don't have a solid background in Latin. You can take French, but you'll do it in college as an easy A, so it can wait.

2. You're intelligent and beautiful. Don't listen to the asshats who call themselves your friends who are trying to convince you otherwise. If you do, it'll take you years to get over their dysfunctional, passive-aggressive mind games.

3. Take the damn PSAT, you fool. You rawk at standardized tests. Is there a reason you want to throw away the opportunity for college scholarship money? And also, while we're talking standardized tests, do a little prep for the ACT and SAT. When we prepped for the GRE, we totally blew it away. Think about how much better you'll score if you'd just cracked a book or two.

4. When you decide in a year or so that it'd be fun to color your hair blue, don't. Or, if you're really intent upon blue hair, don't let your friend who's going through beauty school do it. Down that path lies tragedy and tears. Well, maybe not tragedy . . . or tears. But a lot of blue on everything.

5. There's nothing you can do about your mother. Sorry. Deal with her as best as you can. But on the positive side, she becomes a non-issue as soon as you leave for college in four years. On a related note, when your mother finds out your dad is helping out with your college tuition, don't let her go after him with her lawyers to fulfill his child support debt, because as soon as she starts legal proceedings, he'll disappear again, and his monthly checks will too. And even though she caused your academic financial dire straits, she won't do anything to get you out of them.

6. Quit worrying so much about what other people are thinking about you. They're not. They're too preoccupied worrying about what other people are thinking about them. And the ones that are spending their time judging you? They're shallow losers who will end up as college drop-outs working pizza delivery jobs or secretaries clinging to the past in a smoky haze.

7. Revel in your health. It's not going to last. Your body's going to fall apart pretty quickly, so enjoy it while you can.

8. Don't let the next four years derail your dream of being a writer. If you do, it'll be over a decade before you pick it up again. You'll lose years when you could have been polishing your craft, taking creative writing classes, and getting published.

9. The guy you're going to fall in love with in the next few months? He's a jerk. In fact, most of the guys you hook up with in the next couple years are going to be total losers. Have fun with them, but don't take them too seriously. And y'know the guy you've had a crush on since first grade? He's not for you. He's going to grow up to be just like his parents, and you know what they're like. Your true love is someone you don't know yet. You'll meet him in college. Trust me.

10. You're a wonderful person. You'll come to see that in time, but it would really cause a lot less heartache if you'd just accept that now.


Writing Stuff

Heard back from the editor of Apex Digest. He approved of my rewrite and wants to publish "Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me" in their Winter 2005 issue, #4. Hurray!

Also saw a review from Bluejack in the July IROSF of "The Life and Times of Penguin" (in the current issue of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine) that made me grin. It's a wry grin, but a grin nonetheless:

"Of all of the stories, only Eugie Foster's The Life and Times of Penguin really managed to stick in my craw. But I managed to get it out, and my craw is doing fine now, thanks. (Foster trots out the usual objections to any sort of loving God, and shoots down the usual straw men. You're either going to agree wholeheartedly, or, if you're to my way of thinking, you'll pound the table grumbling "That's not the point." But if you've ever talked religion with anyone, this will be nothing new. And the story's fine.)"

Now, that makes me wonder, has Bluejack not read Candide by Voltaire? "Penguin" is as high an homage I can make to that amusing work, not to mention my salute to a balloon animal a sweet old man made me. Ah well. I am sort of disappointed, overall, with the caliber of Bluejack's reviews in IROSF. A lot of it is how sketchy his coverage is. He only touches upon one or two of the stories in each issue of any 'zine he reviews. I suppose it's because of the bulk of material he has to cover, but I've been published in several issues that he's "reviewed" and received nothing but a dismissive synopsis. And the one tale of mine that he does deign to give more than passing attention to, he objects to on religious principle. I end up with a dismissive "the story's fine." Well fooie.

New Words: 600
On a new folktale.

Club 100 For Writers
28

500/day
60
I'm feeling:
weird weird
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On July 6th, 2005 01:05 pm (UTC), safirasilv commented:
Hey, your story impressed him enough that he talked about it. It's an odd review, but from the sound of it he just passes most things over, so at least you made an impression.
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On July 6th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Yeah, it's better than a one line synopsis, I figure. And hey, there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?
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On July 6th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC), harmonyfb commented:
Don't let the next four years derail your dream of being a writer. If you do, it'll be over a decade before you pick it up again.

::looks at all the child-free, high-free time years lost to ad writing::

Oh, honey, do I ever sympathize.
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On July 6th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Hindsight bites. Sigh.
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On July 6th, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC), reudaly commented:
Yay on APEX!!! I chose to send one of my newest, favoritest pieces to Jason because he's so cool - even though I could've hit the bigger markets first.
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On July 6th, 2005 04:30 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Jason's very cool. I've enjoyed working with him and he conducts a really fun interview. Not to mention Apex is just simply a very swank publication.
— On July 6th, 2005 04:34 pm (UTC), reudaly posted a reply · Expand
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On July 6th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC), aimeempayne commented:
That was lovely.
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On July 6th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Aw shucks. Thanks, sweetie.
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(Deleted comment)
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On July 6th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Hee. Thanks! It was fun to think about and write.
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On July 6th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC), nmsunbear commented:
1. DON'T take Russian in high school.

Gawd, yes. How I wish I'd taken French! If only I hadn't been able to tell the difference between "ay-hooonh" and "ay-hunh." (Do you remember that test? I assume you took it too.) Of course, if I hadn't taken Russian I would likly not have gotten together with Arne....

8. Don't let the next four years derail your dream of being a writer.

Since yoou're talking to a 12-year-old self, these obviously aren't the same four years that derailed me... but being a writng major in college made me decide it could never happen. It took a brilliant mentor in library school to put me back on track.


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On July 6th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
'If only I hadn't been able to tell the difference between "ay-hooonh" and "ay-hunh."'

Oh. My. Gohd! I think I'd blanked that from my consciousness. Those terrible, terrible language labs. I remember running around as a subbie chanting "ay-hoonh" and "ah-hunh." Too funny!

Thanks so much for triggering that blast-from-the-past memory! Eeee!
— On July 6th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC), nmsunbear posted a reply · Expand
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On July 6th, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
The List
Very eye-opening. Thanks.

Joel
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On July 6th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Re: The List
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On July 6th, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC), writer_space commented:
I love your list. It's amazing, the number of things we shake our heads over in hindsight, but I still wouldn't change much of anything. Even if I would like to smack the younger me around a little bit and wake her up. *g*
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On July 6th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
I've got very few BIG regrets, looking back. I'm the person I am today because of the trials and tribulations I went through then. But I can't help but think I ought to have been able to get where I am with fewer bumps.
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On July 6th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC), shawn_scarber commented:
Scary that I can most relate to the blue hair.
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On July 6th, 2005 04:42 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
My first hair coloring experiment and it was such a disaster it scared me off from doing more for quite some time. And I had a lot of blue-tinted pillowcases after that . . .
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On July 6th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC), ogre_san commented:
You've managed to find and push a reviewer's hot button. Welcome to the club. :)
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On July 6th, 2005 04:42 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Erm, yay?
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On July 6th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC), merebrillante commented:
Anyone who even tries to take on a re-telling of Candide deserves an award, much less a glowing review. Don't worry about the lad, he's probably never even heard of Candide, or if he has, thinks is an STD.
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On July 7th, 2005 12:50 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"Don't worry about the lad, he's probably never even heard of Candide, or if he has, thinks is an STD"

Mmf. That got a belly laugh out of me. Thanks, by the way.
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(Deleted comment)
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On July 7th, 2005 01:00 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
I'm glad we got to hang out at least some in high school. I knew then you were a very thoughtful and very compassionate person. But yeah, I wish we'd gotten to be better friends then too.
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On July 6th, 2005 08:31 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
I think Number Nine should be pounded into the head of every twelve-year-old (and thirteen-year-old and fourteen...). But, then again, they wouldn't listen, would they?

I sure as heck wouldn't have listened. Stupid younger self.

Pat Kirby
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On July 7th, 2005 01:03 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Ah, the delusions of certainty and the foibles of insecurities of youth. How I don't miss it.
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On July 6th, 2005 08:42 pm (UTC), amokk commented:
I'm trying to think of 10 things, hm...
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On July 7th, 2005 01:04 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Fun exercise, isn't it?
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On October 31st, 2005 08:04 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Comment on "Penguin"
Eugie,

I just heard "Penguin" on EscapePod. The story is wonderful. Nothing more to say :-) Except, perhaps, that it ranks with two stories that made me old cynic swallow a very fat lump, both of which were by Hans-Christian Andersen.

Thank you.
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On November 1st, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Re: Comment on "Penguin"
Thank you, mysterious nameless reader (listener). It always makes my day when I hear from people who enjoy my fiction.
— On November 4th, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) replied, “Re: Comment on "Penguin"” · Expand
— On November 5th, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC), eugie replied, “Re: Comment on "Penguin"” · Expand
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