The Georgia legislature is in adjournment until Thursday—which will be Day 35 of this session. It's been relatively quiet at work, giving me a chance to play catch-up, but it seems that as soon as I start making headway in one area, stuff starts piling up in another. I can't seem to get my email down to less than 50 "needs response" notes, some of which are egregiously late, as I have a terrible habit of responding to email in last-in-first-out order rather than first-in-first-out as I ought. It feels a bit like using a tablespoon to bail out a leaky boat...that's headed into a waterfall...in the middle of a thunderstorm.
Also, I'm miffed with the USPS. Apparently, a recent homeland security policy of theirs now mandates that all stamped mail which weighs 13oz or more must be dropped off at a post office rather than mailed from a residential mailbox. Because, of course, the folks who work the counter at the post office will have a much better detection system than my local letter carrier when it comes to terrorist mailings of over 13 ounces.
The thing is, I've got a no-frills postal scale at home, and my standard operating system is to stock up on various denominations of stamps so that I can disseminate review items for The Fix as I get them*, without having to set aside time to drive back and forth to the post office. But now, I can't do that with any material that's heavier than 13oz, like, oh, say, most trade paperbacks and glossy magazines. ARGH!
The only thing that's saving me from really pulling my hair out is that I've been encouraging editors/publishers for the last several years to send me electronic files instead of paper. So now, the majority of the review material I receive is electronic. But I still get enough hard copies that this is going to be a major inconvenience and, with fuel prices being what they are, an annoying expense.
In other news, I've migrated my eugiefoster.com website to PHP, specifically WordPress. My experience with webmastering and helming The Fix has really sold me on the application, even though I don't update my homepage with anything like blog-like frequency. The flexibility of being able to make site-wide changes easily as well as the browser-based admin interface really appeals. Now I can chuck FrontPage—which always inserts gobs of junk into my code that requires clean-up—and not have to worry about learning DreamWeaver. Shiny.
*I also use it for my paper submissions, but there've been fewer of those over the years as more and more markets accept submissions via email.
Hmm. Well, it seems that "Daughter of Botu" is not, as it turns out, going to be in the June issue of Realms of Fantasy. Not a problem, but now I'm wondering which issue it's slated for. Did I misread my contract and it said June 2009 instead of June 2008? Or was it just bumped to next issue or something? Must remember to check that when I get a chance.
• 98-day SALE of "Black Swan, White Swan" to Aeon. Woohoo! I've been trying to break into these folks since they premiered. Delighted that this story will have such a wonderful home.
But I'm also all fretty. The acceptance email indicated that their contract should have been attached to it, but it wasn't. I sent a "please resend contract?" email last week, as soon as I got their acceptance, but haven't heard back, and I even succumbed to my twitchy writerness and sent a follow-up from a different email address yesterday. I'm sure it's that they're very busy—and probably not that they've changed their minds, seen that it was a brief bout of insanity that prompted them to receive positively something I wrote, and are trying to come up with a kind way of telling me never again to darken their virtual doorstep with my prose—but my on-again/off-again email reliability issues have really ramped up my writerly trepidation and apprehension.
• Note from Drabblecast that their production of "The Tiger Fortune Princess" is scheduled to go up this Wednesday, huzzah! Also that they're passing on another submission I sent them, pook.
• Email from the editor/publisher of Fantasist Enterprises:
Fantasist Enterprises Needs Your Help
When I started Fantasist Enterprises almost ten years ago, I had three major goals in mind: 1) Create new markets for short fantasy fiction. 2) Help re-grow the popularity of the short story as a literary form. 3) Bring illustrations back to literature in the artistic marriage that the Pre-Raphaelites so championed.
I’ve certainly learned a lot since those early days, in respect to writing and editing, art directing, and running a publishing company. I’ve also met numerous friends, mentors, and students over the years—something that is infinitely valuable. It has been a joy to work with so many talented writers and artists.
Now FE and I need your help. We need to raise awareness of the company and sell more books and art in order to complete our upcoming projects and break exciting new ground in the genre. You can help us reach our goal in many ways.
1) Spread the Word . . .
. . . through your own words: If you have read our books and enjoyed them, please recommend them to your friends. Consider posting reviews on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and anywhere else that book reviews are welcome.
. . . with banners: Add a little visual flair to your website, blog, or MySpace/FaceBook page with FE banners. Go to our banners page for directions on how to add them to your page.
. . . by wearing T-Shirts: Want some FE art on your person? Then check out our T-shirts on our swag page
2) Buy a Book or Art
Buy an FE book through your favorite book retailer or direct from us at www.FEBooks.net, where we are running some specials for a limited time (see below). The stunning art found in our books is available exclusively on our website.
DEAL 1: While supplies last, purchase both FANTASTICAL VISIONS I & II for a total of $12.00.
Yes, FE and I were still cutting our teeth on those publications, but there are some memorable stories to be found within their pages. And soon, they’ll be collector’s items!
DEAL 2: Purchase both CLOAKED IN SHADOW & MODERN MAGIC for a total of $24.75.
DEAL 3: BASH DOWN THE DOOR AND SLICE OPEN THE BADGUY is on sale for $12.75.
So yeah, not only do I support small presses, especially ones that publish short fiction, but these folks had the excellent taste to publish "Souls of Living Wood" in their Modern Magic anthology and "Mistress Fortune Favors the Unlucky" in Bash Down the Door and Slice Open the Badguy, and they'll be publishing "Megumi's Fire" in their forthcoming Paper Blossoms, Sharpened Steel. So buy a book, y'all! Pleeeease?