It’s now my second February living in southwest Ontario, with 50F weather and scattered rain showers. The snow, which didn’t fall until mid-January, is a memory and it will be at least a week before we have any chance of seeing more.
What the hell, Canada?
When people learned I was moving to Canada, I heard all kinds of jokes. Eh? Eh? One was about seeing moose, which I’ve seen no trace of here but I have found in northern Wisconsin, where my Dad lives.
Life with chronic health conditions and no health insurance is interesting.
Celiac disease is pretty much a condition of maintenance. There’s no cure and the only preventative measure is avoiding eating or drinking gluten (wheat, barley, rye, and oats). Gluten is everywhere. Beer and bread are bad but I’ve found it in foods I would never have suspected, like tomato soup, sausage and lunch meats, and many, many sauces. Flour is a cheap filler and thickener so it’s commonly used, which makes the life of a celiac a royal bitch.
I thought it’d be interesting to look at some rough numbers, based on my Duotrope stats, year over year.
13 submissions to 10 different markets
4 stories on submission
13 rejections, 5 personal (38%)
43 submissions to 36 different markets
11 stories on submission
39 rejections, 16 personal (41%)
Each year saw one story pulled from circulation after one submission (one was a reprint from 2008)
Seeing as we’re close to the end of 2011 and it’s unlikely I’ll have anything else published this calendar year, now is as good a time as any to recap the short fiction I’ve had published in the last twelve months.
Self-promotion is so totally not my thing. Jaym Gates recent Inkpunks post about awards season was a good reminder that I should be doing this, though. I’m not entirely certain I’m doing this the right way, but here it is.
We’d been in California for a few days and the previous night at my work Christmas party. Three years ago this morning, we flew to Las Vegas. One of us (not me) was airsick as we landed in the middle of a sand storm. Ironic, because this was literally a whirlwind. Work put us up in a lavish hotel on the strip, one of the last acts of kindness I’ll remember them for.
If you had asked me if members of Congress were exempt from insider trading before today, I would have said yes, of course. I would have argued that, with the kinds of information that our congressmen and -woman are privy to, they especially should not be allowed to use non-public information to trade stock for financial gain. Knowing when to buy or sell a stock when a company is about to have a contract terminated, or is about to come under congressional investigation, for example, is privileged, sometimes even classified information.
NaNoWriMo is over. I failed to win. I failed, but there are lessons in failure.
I set out to do a few things aside from writing 50k words. I wanted to learn to turn off my internal editor when I needed to, so that I could write first drafts on the computer. I wanted to write something longer than I’d written before, previously around 6,000 words. I wanted to get a better understanding of novel structure.
I wrote this in the middle of the night as news of the raid on the #occulyla camp was breaking on twitter, half asleep but compelled to get some of my thoughts written down before I fell asleep:
The police are within their duties to do remove occupiers as occupiers are within theirs to commit acts of peaceful civil disobedience. Where law breaks down, in my mind, is when those in the upper echelons of authority usurp the power of the press by controlling who can report when, and by what media, which by extension raises the question of the accuracy and lens through which the truth is filtered.
I feel like I’ve been at a near standstill the last four days. With one zero day among them, I’ve barely scratched a thousand words among them. To make up for the shortfall, I need to write roughly 2,400 words/day though the rest of the month in order to hit the Nano goal of 50k. I’ve hit that number once this month.
It’s going to be a nail biter.
I found my stride yesterday, sixteen days in. I didn’t strictly follow end of day guidelines for Nano, calling it a day somewhere close to 1AM. I drafted a scene and a part of the next and it’s the best writing I’ve done all month. It’s what all others will be held up and compared to, and mocked mercilessly when they fall short.
Project: Black Mirror
New words written: 1,803