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Cheesecake and Beefcake

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Cheesecake cravings assuaged. terracinque swung by on Tuesday to reprise our dinner/movie/pie nights, and he brought a key lime cheesecake. Mmm. I made Pad Thai, but didn't quite get the proportions right--too many noodles and not enough kick to the sauce--but terracinque very graciously said "yum" anyway.

We watched The Lavender Hill Mob and Tomorrow Never Dies, which makes me quite curious about the new James Bond. While it's not possible for them to come up with a nummier Bond than Pierce Brosnan, I'm willing to give Daniel Craig a shot.

   

Writing Stuff

Having a bit of a clash with my inner "you suck" demons these last few days. I've been wondering if I've become a complacent writer, laurel-reclining as result of the string of sales I've had. Have I stopped challenging myself, taking risks, and experimenting outside my comfort zone? Am I writing to capitalize on what I've sold rather than trying my hand at more venturesome projects? And am I ever going to break into the "Big 3"??

Contrarily, am I over-thinking my technique, bogging down my prose and losing the story in the process? And then there's my seeming inability to get to work on, much less finish, a novel.



Yes, I know, I know. Quit wallowing in angst and just put words on the page. Meep.


Received:
- 34-day sale of "The Goddess Queen's Battlefield" to GrendelSong, my second to these fine folks. It's slated for publication in their Autumn Equinox 2007 issue. The story was inspired by Suzanne Vega's "The Queen & The Soldier," a song that britzkrieg introduced me to. Thanks for the muse food, sweetie!


New Words/Editing:
- 600 on the collab. piece I'm doing with mtrimm1. *lob*
- 400: the start of the Swan Lake story that David Niven and Vincent Price want me to write. Spent some time last night/early this morning (as in 1AM early) researching all the myriad incarnations and interpretations of Swan Lake there have been, including the Mercedes Lackey retelling, The Black Swan.
- 300 on a new freelance gig. I'm going to take all of y'all's advice and count those in my "words written"/Club 100 tally. Haven't decided yet if they'll have the same weight as fiction, but they ought to count.
- Poked and prodded a story I've been sitting on that wanted a time out plus final spit-polish before being shoved unto the breach. I like the story very much, but I'm having a hard time classifying it. In the end, I screwed my courage to the sticking place, chucked my "is this a good fit?" wafflings out the window, and sent it to Cicada. While I'm an advocate of the "don't self-reject" school of submission, I still have this thing going on, particularly with the editors/markets that I've had repeat sales at, wherein I'm all anxious about disappointing them, so I find myself hesitating to take risks, submission-wise. Because, of course, seeing the same ole same ole from a writer never gets stale (*snort*).

Ah, rejectomancy at its finest. Or actually, would this be acceptomancy?

Writers are insane. If we didn't start that way, the biz turns us into twitching, neurotic wrecks.

Club 100 For Writers
      9

500/day
      23

I'm feeling:
melancholy melancholy
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On May 4th, 2006 01:47 pm (UTC), wistling commented:
I'm having a similar clash - but more "you rock" vs. "you suck" demons. Half the time I think I'm doing something right, other times I overcriticize myself. The novel's been crawling forward slower than I hoped. But you're right, we should be writing instead of moping. I'm very much a twitching, neurotic wreck this week.
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On May 4th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Here's to padded walls and straitjackets! Yep.
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On May 4th, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC), brithistorian commented:
I never was that impressed with Brosnan as Bond. To me, it always seemed like he was just going through the motions but never really inhabited the role. I'm hoping that Daniel Craig, because he's a little different from the physical type of the last two Bonds*, will be more able to inject his own take on the role.

* I find Dalton and Brosnan to be much more physically similar than Connery, Lazenby or Moore were. I chalk this up to the fact that they hired Dalton as the "next best thing" when they couldn't get Brosnan free of his Remington Steele contract.
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On May 4th, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
I'm not all that into the James Bond franchise, actually. I like it well enough, what with the shiny explosions and blow-em-up action, but it was Pierce Brosnan that got me to the movie theater to see the last ones.
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On May 4th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC), brithistorian replied:
Ah, okay. I, on the other hand, am a long-time fan of the Bond franchise. My view of the Brosnan films is "At least they're still making Bond films. This means there's a chance they can get better." I think part of the problem with the recent films is that the writers have been trying to make the films more realistic. Bond isn't realistic. Bond is over-the-top, standing firmly astride the line separating spy movies from parodies of spy movies.

It also doesn't help matters that Bond is a character not of our time. He is, I must admit, a sexist pig. By trying to make Bond more palatable to 21st century sensibilities, I think they've smoothed over too many of his rough edges.
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On May 4th, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Totally agree. I think the writers, especially in the latter Brosnan Bonds, lost sight of the fact that humor is an essential element. 007 is best when there's wit and double entendre speckling his dialogue. When they start trying to make him deep or serious, it just doesn't fly.
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On May 4th, 2006 03:56 pm (UTC), brithistorian replied:
You got it!
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On May 4th, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC), faerie_writer commented:
What's the 'big 3'?
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On May 4th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC), terracinque replied:
I'll take a guess: she means the "big 3" markets for science fiction stories, and I think those would be Analog, Asimov's, and...you know...that third one.
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On May 4th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Yep, terracinque got it, or rather got two out of three: Asimov's, Analog, and F&SF (Fantasy & Science Fiction). I have broken into the fourth major player in the lineup, Realms of Fantasy, but I'm despairing at ever reprising that success right now.
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On May 4th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC), brithistorian replied:
I just have to ask here: Do you think the big 3 are even relevant anymore? Their circulation is dropping. They tend to feature the same authors repeatedly. Younger authors, despairing of ever selling there, are increasingly looking to other markets. Many readers have entirely abandoned short fiction in favor of novels. The big 3 are becoming increasingly hard to find in newsstands and bookstores (if you can even find a newsstand any more), and are getting most of their readership through selling subscriptions to a rapidly greying core group of readers and to aspiring writers. Don't get me wrong - I think it would be great if you were to sell something to one of the big 3, and I'd buy an issue for that reason alone, but as much as I love to read the big 3 (apparently I'm rapidly greying before my time), I think they're becoming increasingly irrelevant to the current state of SF.
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On May 4th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Unfortunately, as you said, there's a certain increasing irrelevance to the short story format overall--readers are going for the novel-length stuff exclusively more and more. A decidedly depressing state of affairs for short story writers like me.

But even though, yes, their circulations are dropping, the Big 3 digests still have the largest readerships of any of the other genre 'zines, and are published with more frequency and regularity--very important to maintain a subscriber base, no matter how greying. They also pay more, in general, then their competition. Additionally, they also get a disproportionate amount of notice when it comes to the awards and Year's Best anthologies. And while this may be a sign of the industry, which is incestuous and close knit to the extreme, award nods and appearances in Year's Best anthos are indisputably career boosts. Winning a Hugo (or making the short list even) is by no means a guarantee of getting a novel contract or making the NYT bestseller list, but it does help.

It's also been a longtime personal goal for me to break into them.
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On May 8th, 2006 03:19 am (UTC), brithistorian replied:
That makes sense. I'd never really thought about the business impact of breaking into the Big 3, and can certainly also understand the emotional attachment. Growing up, my ambition was always to be interviewed in Omni, but obviously that's never going to happen now. :-\

Will somebody PLEASE either restart publishing Omni, or else publish something equivalent??? I'm beggin' ya, boo!
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On May 4th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC), reddherring1955 commented:
You are definintely thinking too much about writing. Stop it! Just write. Take risks. Reach Nirvana, and I don't mean the band, they're history, babe goddess.

Where did you get your Pad Thai recipe? It's one of my son's favorites.
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On May 4th, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"You are definintely thinking too much about writing."

Meep.

"Stop it! Just write. "

Meep.

"Take risks. Reach Nirvana"

Yes ma'am.

"Where did you get your Pad Thai recipe?"

It's sort of a work in progress. I start with staple ingredients and then adjust the ratio and proportions of the seasonings and spices, hoping that a Pad Thai zen will happen. It has a couple times, but the last couple attempts have been on the "meh" side. Want me to send you what I've got for your culinary experimentation? The basic recipe is still a reasonable Pad Thai, just not an excellent one.
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On May 4th, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC), reddherring1955 replied:
Pad Thai
Sure, I'll take the reasonably decent Pad Thai recipe. Maybe Zen will smile upon me if I make a few discrete alterations as well.

Hope you aren't too meeped out. I promise not to be so mean in future . . . maybe.
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On May 4th, 2006 06:58 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Re: Pad Thai
Recipe on its way!
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On May 4th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC), terracinque commented:
I wasn't being gracious! It was yum!
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On May 4th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
I'm glad you liked it. But I can do better . . .
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On May 4th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"anyway all writers are balls of nerves, it's a fact..."

Absolutely. *twitch*

"although I'm a conservative gal and think no one can equal Sean Connery"

Sean Connery is indeed a legend. No disputing that.
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On May 4th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC), pabba commented:
Congrats on the sale, but lay off the meeping! That should be left to me and others that quiver in your wake of awesomesaleness! :)
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On May 4th, 2006 05:15 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Aw, shucks, thanks. Although my "wake" is feeling to me more like random and chaotic splashing.
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On May 5th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC), basletum commented:
Having a bit of a clash with my inner "you suck" demons these last few days. I've been wondering if I've become a complacent writer, laurel-reclining as result of the string of sales I've had.

Complacent? You? Methinks you underestimate yourself. I, on the other hand, used to think that I was genius enough to figure out how to do anything, but then I came face-to-face with essays and research papers. Total, complete, mental shutdown.

But on a positive note, I recently sold a humor article to the Writing-World.com newsletter. And the speed in which it got accepted has left me thinking I might have found a strong point with my writing. So, onward with yonder insane humor! Mwahahahaha!
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On May 5th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"Complacent? You? Methinks you underestimate yourself."

Meh. I dunno about that. But, thanks.

"But on a positive note, I recently sold a humor article to the Writing-World.com newsletter. And the speed in which it got accepted has left me thinking I might have found a strong point with my writing. So, onward with yonder insane humor!"

Sweet! Major congrats! I wish I could manage humor on any sort of a consistent level. Go you! *flings confetti*
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