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Laptop service plan contemplations

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Okay, holiday's over, and I'm back in the writing saddle (err, office chair). I miss my laptop ludicrously much. The temporary workstation we've got setup for me is functional, but little things keep bugging me. Like the table I'm using as a temp. desk isn't quite wide enough to accommodate keyboard and mouse pad, so when I mouse too far to the right, the stupid thing plummets off the edge, which is not conducive to the creation of scintillating prose. *grumble*

But according to the FedEx website, my laptop is well en route, and should be in the hands of HP by tomorrow. The holidays slowed things down a bit, but I knew they would. I'm on the brink of buying a two-year warranty extension for my laptop before the original expires. It seems that it might be a wise and cost-effective purchase, plus I can't seem to work well without my shiny laptop and the alternative is risking the need to buy a new one if it malfunctions again. I don't usually buy service plan thingies and it's left me feeling waffly, but all things considered, I think it's a good idea. If this power shutdown issue had happened while it was off warranty, I don't know how much it would've cost to fix, not to mention I'd probably be spitting and pulling hair by now instead of just mildly put out.

And hey, the cost should be tax deductible. None of the five . . . six, now eight recently published/outstanding markets paid me before the end of 2005, so 2006 should be a better year for deductions anyway.
   

Writing Stuff

Got some critiques to write, a very overdue review to complete, and then it's back to work on the novel. Or maybe one or two short stories that I've got bouncing around in my head currently--one for jimhines's Heroes in Training and one for Apex Digest's Aegris Somnia anthology. Traveling typically gives me good story ideas . . .


Received:
After two months of nail-chewing and fretting, I discover that the story I've had languishing at Baen's Universe never made it to them. Thankfully, jimhines alerted me that I might consider querying or I'd still be la-la-laing and compulsively hitting my email refresh key. So, after a query and re-sub, I receive a 2-day "you're on the right track, but . . . " form reject. Alas.


New Words:
Two passes on "Rue and Ruin" and finally it's done. I have stuck a fork in and deem it crispy. All sixty (!) pages are bundled up cozy in a submission packet and will go out tomorrow when the USPS revives from their government holiday. Haven't sent out such a thick piece of mail in a while. I need a postal scale . . .

Also did a pass on a story which has been in limbo for four years. Normally I would have gotten it out earlier, but the editor wanted to buy it, which puts vast extensions on my patience. But after having to wait two years before hearing that she actually wanted it (after sending me a confirmation email to a query that she was still considering it and "quite likely to buy it" five months in), finding out the "sold" status on a public newsgroup that I queried in desperation, and then waiting another two years (with assorted queries in there) for contract or other follow-up from the editor, I think the bell has rung on this market and it's time this baby got back into circulation.

I hadn't looked at the story since I submitted it, and I expected it to need a fairly intensive clean-up. Surprising myself, it read pretty solid. It wanted a couple sentence-level tweaks here and there, and I needed to fix a capitalization error, but other than that, I'm satisfied with it. I like this story. I remember now I quite liked it when I wrote it. I'd avoided thinking about it because of the interminable wait issue. I probably should have given up on this market way sooner and sent this story elsewhere. Oh, well. Live and learn.

Club 100 For Writers
      73

I'm feeling:
busy busy
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[User Picture]
On January 2nd, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC), jimhines commented:
Even with two months of languishing, two months + two days is still a pretty good turnaround time. Sorry it was a no-go, but at least it was the encouraging one...

I still haven't received any subs for the anthology. I'm getting antsy. I want to see what people come up with!!! :-)

And hey, I bought a new computer this year. I hadn't even considered that it might be a good tax write-off, but... Thanks!
On January 2nd, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC), elvesforeyes replied:
I must be in limbo or something. Where can I find out more information about the Heroes in Training anthology? I might have some stories lying around that could be deemed "submittable."
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On January 2nd, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC), jimhines replied:
Nope, you're not in limbo. Unfortunately, this is one of those pain-in-the-ass invite-only anthologies. Invites went out a month or so back.

As a writer, I hate the exclusive nature of these suckers. But I'm co-editing with Martin Greenberg, following their lead, since this is my first editing gig.

One of these days I may try to do an open submissions anthology. I'm going to see how this one goes, first. Who knows, DAW may decide I'm more trouble than I'm worth, and my first anthology could end up being my last :-)
[User Picture]
On January 2nd, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC), keesa_renee replied:
:wistful sigh: One of these days, I'm going to be in an invitation-only anthology...
[User Picture]
On January 2nd, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC), jimhines replied:
Believe it or not, I know exactly how you feel...
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On January 3rd, 2006 02:37 am (UTC), eugie replied:
I continue to be boggle-eyed that I'm getting invites. It's an occurrence that result in gleeful whooping and disbelieving pinches when it happens.

Don't worry, Keesa. With your talent and motivation, it's only a matter of time before the editors start knocking on your door.
[User Picture]
On January 3rd, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC), keesa_renee replied:
I continue to be boggle-eyed that I'm getting invites. It's an occurrence that result in gleeful whooping and disbelieving pinches when it happens.

Surprised, Eugie?! I'm not, not in the least. I still say you're the greatest living writer I know. Speaking of which, when is your next story coming up at Critters? Soon, I hope!
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On January 4th, 2006 02:04 am (UTC), eugie replied:
You're the absolute bestest, Keesa. I continue to be honored and dumbfounded by your unflagging support and encouragement.

But, erm, next Critters story may be a while as I just sent "Beauty's Folly" off into the wilds, bypassing my usual critique process in a fit of mad optimism.
[User Picture]
On January 6th, 2006 02:18 am (UTC), keesa_renee replied:
Optimism is good. Optimism is very good. But what do you mean, it will be a while?! Are you not planning on writing, editing and polishing a dozen or so brilliant new Eugie-stories over the course of the next week? Eugie, I'm surprised at you! ;-P

Happy writing, at any rate, whatever pace you may write at!
[User Picture]
On January 3rd, 2006 02:33 am (UTC), eugie replied:
"Even with two months of languishing, two months + two days is still a pretty good turnaround time."

Oh, I totally agree. It's all relative. Some markets I wouldn't even blink at a two month wait, with others, two months means hopeful nail-biting. With all the two-day responses I saw reported at the RM, I had such hopes. Alas.

"And hey, I bought a new computer this year. I hadn't even considered that it might be a good tax write-off, but... Thanks!"

Hurray! You're quite welcome. My new laptop is definitely on my "deductions" list this year. It's a legitimate work expense, after all.
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[User Picture]
On January 2nd, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC), keesa_renee commented:
Like the table I'm using as a temp. desk isn't quite wide enough to accommodate keyboard and mouse pad, so when I mouse too far to the right, the stupid thing plummets off the edge, which is not conducive to the creation of scintillating prose. *grumble*

Eewww, that would irritate me no end!! It's really amazing, isn't it, how it's the tiniest things that can be the worst? Mercifully, I have my computer workstation set up in a way that's comfortable and productive. Now, if I could just start producing at it... :-D


Postal scales are awesome. I got one for Christmas...it's very cool. Now if I could just stock up on all the different stamps necessary for getting the right postage, I'd be doing all right. :-) It made me so mad to hear that they were increasing the price of stamps again...grrrr. How irritating!

[User Picture]
On January 3rd, 2006 02:42 am (UTC), eugie replied:
We have a post office so close by (that has a 24-hour self-service kiosk even), I never thought I needed a postal scale, until I saw the Click-n-Ship option on the USPS website. Now the thought of being able to print out my own exact-postage and not have to make my frequent trips to the post office has me hankering for a scale. Shiiiiny. Oooo.
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On January 3rd, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC), keesa_renee replied:
I never have been able to figure out Click-n-Ship. Still working on that one...but as our nearest post office is about ten minutes away, and seems to close down for every single holiday on the calendar, I figured it was worth it. Plus, it's fun! :-D
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On January 2nd, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC), neo_prodigy commented:
four years to hear back about a story? that's insane. i don't blame you.
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On January 3rd, 2006 02:46 am (UTC), eugie replied:
I'm willing to wait quite a while on a market that gives a positive response--"I probably want it" versus dead silence. But yeah, I think four years falls into the beyond excessive wait range.
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