Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Magic Beans

Okay, so they aren't really magic beans. But it seems like magic; a community garden in the area is giving them away because they planted so many they have way more than they know what to do with. Thank goodness. I can feed the family. The older daughter and I went to the garden today and managed to come away with two grocery bags worth of beans, without getting heat stroke. It wasn't easy; the temp here lately has been in the triple digits. Can you say global warming?

I haven't heard from the current magazine where the short story's on submission yet, but I think there are only about two weeks left in their standard response period, so we'll see. In the meantime, I've been trying to decide what project to work on next. For now I think I'll just keep working on whichever thing tickles my fancy, and see what I come up with. I have come to the conclusion that I do want to finish the second Brenna book, though. I mean, it's already at least a third written, so I may as well finish it. Plus, I also need to keep reminding myself that the first Brenna book has only been on the market in its current form since April, and some publishers take a month to six weeks or more to read a manuscript, so it's still pretty fresh out of the starting gate. It could be that in a few weeks or months, I'll be really glad to have a second book to offer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Currently, I'm reading Cattle Lords and Clansmen by Nerys Patterson as research for a novel that has an early Celtic society. But I've also been considering what faerytale standalones might come from some of the more obscure faerytales, so I've been collecting Andrew Lang's collection of "fairy books." I have a copy of the Blue Fairy Book, and the Yellow, Pink, Grey, and Crimson. But I still need all the others: the Red, Green, Lilac, Olive, Brown, etc. I found the Pink and Crimson at a used bookstore, and I'm hoping that eventually I'll luck out and find the others used as well. Even for Dover, they've gone up a lot from their starting price.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth

Today is a peaceful day for me and the kids. The Huz is busy shooting a fireworks show elsewhere, and the rest of us are home taking care of the dog and enjoying a quiet house and a quiet neighborhood. Just another way to celebrate independence, I guess.

I'm thinking right now, though, about how people aren't really independent. Not completely. No one can live in a vacuum, and even as I prepared for the weekend, I had to depend on others for help with that. I had to go to the grocery store to buy hotdogs and buns, and supplies for S'mores. To do that, I had to have a vehicle, fuel for that vehicle, and at least a little money with which to pay for the food and fuel. I'm now sitting in front of an upright fan, which is blowing cool air on me, and which depends on the power company for the electricity to run. Etc., etc., etc. Unless you live in the deep wilderness and have access to water, fuel and food, you are dependent on someone and something, somewhere. True independence is rare or just possibly nonexistent, because in one way or another, we are all dependent on each other. Connected. We've gone from a nation of people who rebelled against British rule to a nation of people from all origins, with roots in all nationalities. The global marketplace and the response of other countries' stock and domestic markets, not to mention banks and infrastructures, are good indicators of just how interconnected we all are on this small planet.

To a writer, that dependence is clearly visible. Agents, publishers, and writers all depend on each other to keep the cycle of book production going. The process of writing can seem like such an isolated thing that it might be possible--temporarily--to forget all the connections that come into play on the road to publication. In the end, it's not just about how good you are, or how important your message is. It's about connections, starting with you and your material, continuing with you and your crit partners, you and your publishing team, and ultimately, you and your readers.

Happy interdependence day.