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I missed seeing the last time you performed in Chicago. A client offered me tickets to see you and I scoffed. You, after all, were a country singer and I was too good for that; I’d rather listen to my heavy metal, thank you very much. So when I actually listened to your music for the first time, really listened, it was like you were speaking to me. I was hooked.

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The Nebula Nominations are out! I’m pleased to see several friends and acquaintances on the list. Congratulations to all nominees, but especially to Kij Johnson, Vylar Kaftan, Shweta Narayan, Eric James Stone, J. Kathleen Cheney, M.K. Hobson, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Nnedi Okorafor. I also let out a little squee to see that my favorite episode of Doctor Who, “Vincent and the Doctor”, is up for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation.

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I am pleased to announce that I’ve sold my story, Dog Days, to Crossed Genres for their March issue, Superheroes. This is the story I referenced in my latest Inkpunks post, Writer’s Toolkit: Tarot Cards.

I’m particularly tickled by this sale. It’s my first acceptance post-Clarion, of a story I’m particularly enamored with, to one of my favorite markets. Happy writer is happy.

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Coming on the heels of my sale to Crossed Genres, I can also announce that I’ve sold the story, Indigo’s Gambit, to the EXTINCT anthology, to be published as an eBook later this year.

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I had a Finishing Things Weekend, joined by many friends on Twitter. I almost failed miserably. I finished none of the three things I’d planned on, instead crashing into a fibro-induced sleep state. Spending half of a weekend asleep and the other half wishing I were wasn’t what I had in mind, but I did salvage something from it. After another nap, I checked my Duotrope stats. Saw a nifty new feature that let me search for markets I hadn’t submitted a story to yet.

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Via Jim Kelly, by way of Tim Pratt, and because I am desperately avoiding the writing I need to do tonight, here are a few things I learned (or confirmed) while at Clarion. I write stories about the human condition. It’s the people that interest me, their struggles that move me, and their pain that moves my pen. So, I guess that explains my fascination with people-watching. Find what works for and stick with it.

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This weekend has been declared crunch time, and as it turns out there’s also a Finishing Things Weekend (#FTW) happening on Twitter this weekend. Rockin’. I love peer pressure. The things that I want/need to get done: Revise last weekend’s flash story (flutters eyelashes at critiquers) and submit it Draft another Tesla’s Daughter Super Hero story (yes, it’s apparently turning into a series) Write new flash fiction for this weekend’s Codex Weekend Warriors contest That’s kind of a lot, but I think I can pull it off.

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It almost became a joke; when will the package show up in Canada? Canada Post, I’ve found, is notoriously slow. I diligently checked the post office every couple days (because they don’t deliver to the house). Christmas came and went and finally, on the last day of the year, a package from California arrived. My good friend Christie sent packages to a group of us; we met online and a tight bond formed by a love of words and writing and genre developed, and it’s only grown since.

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I’m planning a submissions party this weekend and you are all welcome to join me on Twitter. I have at least one story that that I should be sending out for reprints and a second that I’m not sure when, offhand, the reprint rights revert. I need to do market research, update my spreadsheets, and get submitting. I’ve also got some stories that have been sitting gathering dust and that’s a crying shame.

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Every year has its ups and downs and 2010 was no exception. Still, it felt like a harder year in many ways. There were unexpected challenges by way of financial disasters, health setbacks and personal roadblocks. At times, I didn’t know how I’d get by day to day. Despite everything, the year ended on a high note. All we can do for the days ahead is work smart and move forward.

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