Wingstubs flaring up. Not good. It's been a while since they've given me grief, so I'm somewhat taken aback by their renewed complaints. It's made me look back over the last couple weeks--months even--and I've realized that I've been enjoying an uncommonly healthful period. Aside from the odd sinus headache and now this wingstub flare-up, I haven't been hewn down by all the various ailments that usually plague me. It's nice. Of course, I'm wincing as I type this because my arms hurt so much, but well, best to count one's blessings late rather than not counting them at all, I suppose.
On that note, I've got another follow-up with the psychiatrist today. It should go without saying that I'm particularly sympathetic to the field of mental health and psychology specifically since I got both my undergrad and graduate degrees in it. However, I'm hard pressed to think of these visits as anything but a nuisance. Not to mention a bit trying on my already-strained pocketbook. I don't have anything that I need to discuss with him--no mood swings, no suicidal thoughts, same ole same ole--or consult upon my general state of mental well-being, at least that he can do anything about. So basically I'm forking over the more-expensive "specialist" co-pay so he can refill my stupid prescription for Prozac, which I then have to, of course, pay for anyway at the pharmacy. I think I'm going to ask him if we can do away with these follow-ups and just give me refills without a visit. I suspect he'll say "no" because they have to follow the dictates of my HMO, but I shall lobby fiercely for it. Blah.
fosteronfilm's brother is going to be swinging down here for a visit this weekend. He's expected tomorrow, but he may arrive as early as today. We've been trying to get the house in some semblance of clean and tidy, but so far, our efforts have netted large, dense piles of disorder rather than a light sprinkling of mess throughout. Between Matthew's Film Festival detritus and my Tangent and miscellaneous writing flotsam, we have filled our house with heaps o' disorganized and seemingly random media.
And speaking of media and therefore media mail (smooth segue, huh?), has the USPS gotten really anal about cracking down on media mail fraud or something? The last couple times I've been in there with media mail packages to send out (review copies of stuff to my Tangent reviewers), I get grilled multiple times to verify "This is a book? You're sure it's a book? Only a book?" This, despite the lumpy, heavy, book-like quality of the envelopes I'm offering them, and the clear and boxy scribble by me in bright blue Sharpie of "BOOK MEDIA MAIL." Not to mention the return label which identifies me as an editor and therefore one who, ostensibly, has a legitimate reason for sending bound material out and about. Do I look suspicious? Like I might be conning the USPS by mailing non-bound material for their cheap, cheap media rates? And if I was going to involve myself in the shady business of minor postage embezzlement, would I then go "nope, it's really First Class stuff" after I'd gone to the effort of marking "BOOK" on the thing just because they asked me repeatedly? Delusions of "Closer" much? Grumph.
Got a nice review blurb from SFRevu for my story "The Tiger Fortune Princess" in the current issue of Paradox:
"Another very good story is 'The Tiger Fortune Princess' by Eugie Foster. Set in ancient China this masterfully combines Chinese legend and familiar European tales."
Not huge piles of dissection and evaluation, but he liked it. Works for me.
Also filled out an application for the Speculative Literature Foundation Travel Grant. I asked them to help send me to China to do research on my YA novel. I find it very unlikely they'll offer the grant to me, but I thought I'd try for it. Not sure how far $600 would get me, though, even if I should get it. Out of curiosity, I did some surfing to see if there were any other grants I could apply for as a writer. On that front, America sucks. Canadians appear to have grant opportunities sprouting hither-thither like weeds. I even found an appropriate grant out of Singapore, which of course I couldn't apply for. But, while I found a couple American grants, they were very localized--Vermont and Boston--and thus I wasn't eligible for them, and then there was the National Endowment for the Arts. To its credit, it does indeed offer a couple very phat grants, but aside from the incredibly fierce competition over them, and that I have to wait until next year before the next eligibility period begins where they accept applications (and I hope to have the damn novel done by then), what're the odds of them awarding a grant to a genre writer? Zero? Negative ten? Foo, I sez.
Eep. So sorry! I didn't bookmark the ones that weren't relevant to me. I just sighed and clicked to the next one. If it's any help, the first Google search terms I used (and which I think led me to a Boston grant blurb) were "writer travel grant."
I would point out that David Foster Wallace has gotten NEA grants, and he isn't exactly mainstream. Of course, his sometimes bizarre experimental fiction isn't really spec/scifi/fantasy in terms that the market traditionally views it, either.
He's coming down for business. A convention of some sort.
"And have you warned him about the rain?"
Hah! That was a joke, right? He's from Chicagoland. They get snow up there. Georgian rain ain't nothing compared to snow. 'Course they haven't been getting much rain this summer, but regardless of drought, rain isn't something that's going to faze someone accustomed to Chicago driving.
You may want to look for more localized forms of aid. For example, I know the state of Idaho has grant money for writers/artists/performers. Dig around. You might be surprised at what you find. I found the information for Idaho online.