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Friday, September 4, 2009

Newsy Stuff

Thanks for all the comments and lovely emails. I'm doing better, but if I were to listen to doctors' advice, I should be hanging up my keyboard, and I'm not quite ready to do that yet.

Suffice it to say that I will try to limit my computer time and hope that will be enough to control the pain. I'm also going to try to write from bed more often. Ironically, it's not a very comfortable position, but it's an option.

So what's been happening while I've been offline? I know Marian Perera just signed a contract with Samhain. Woot, Marian!

Marian writes excellent blog posts so I'm looking forward to reading her fiction.

Diane Craver just released Whitney In Charge.

My gardening buddy and sick-dog sounding board, Marianne Arkins is in full home-schooling swing. Just the thought of home-schooling terrifies the heck out of me. The woman must be made of iron will and spit. LOL!

My friend Rochita Loenen-Ruiz just got back from Clarion. I still can't get the green out of my eyes. Clarion is like the holy grail of workshops.

My crit partners Mike Keyton and Dorothy have both turned in their manuscripts for review and I'm looking forward to reading both. My red pen is ready to roll. Since I've been reading so much, I feel like I've sharpened my perception for good fiction.

And the last I heard from KS Augustin and Shelley Munro, they were on vacations in beautiful and exotic locations. --Le sigh.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. You guys have been busy!

Me? I've been putting the summer garden to bed. More on that in a later post, but it looks like the tomatoes and edamame were my best producers. This was my first year growing soybeans and I couldn't believe how easy they were to grow.

Books: I've been reading a lot. Some were winners, others were okay, but not necessarily keepers. The most interesting thing I noticed is that the editing quality between small press and NY pubbed was almost always the same. The big mass market books generally had a little more complexity to the plot than many of the small press books, but it didn't necessarily make them better. Sometimes it just made them clunky.

Out of seven books, three were small press, four were mass market. The only two I truly disliked were both NY pubbed. On the other hand, the two I liked the best were also NY pubbed.

Writing: Since I couldn't be on a computer, I limited my writing to a few handwritten notes for plot development ideas.

Fall Garden: I bought a few fruit trees and will buy more in the spring. These few looked terrific though and I wanted to put them in while we still had warm weather. I started some brussel sprouts and bok choy. Hopefully, I'll have enough sun left to bring them to the table.

And I was surprised with a secret crop of basil. I had an old pot with dirt in it sitting next to one of my basil plants. The little rascal seeded itself and now I have basil growing everywhere.

Dogs: Iko is still a ball of fire and up to 40 pounds of tornado. Tank is ever the patient saint who puts up with Iko's rough housing until it gets too much, then he nips the little heathen just hard enough to remind him who's the bigger dog. Right now Tank is off with Greg in SE Texas and his little shadow is missing him terribly. They'll see each other soon enough.

So what's new with you? I need some news from the outside world.


Marianne Arkins said...

We're going to start our fruit orchard next spring -- though we have two apple trees currently.

And Brussels sprouts are so much FUN to grow!! They're so strange -- with the sprouts popping up all along the stout stem. I hope yours produce well for you.

We had a bad gardening year. Aside from the squash, which did well -- and I've grated, blanched and frozen -- nothing else grew enough of anything for me to can. Very disappointing.

I'm sorry your body isn't wanting to keep up with your desires. Hopefully a bit more rest will do wonders for you.

And, re: "...will and spit..." -- I dangle from the homeschooling ledge by my fingernails. So far, it seems to be working, but it's not an easy task! LOL...

Have a great weekend. Give Tank and Iko a squeeze from me.

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: We had a bad gardening year.

Are you kidding? It sounded like you were being bombarded on all sides. Kudos for putting up a great fight. I hope you get your deer fence for next year.

Ref: fruit trees
I have apple at my other place,but the birds eat them before I can harvest. This is my first time with apricot and plum. If I have the same bird problems here, I might have to invest in some netting. I want my fruit.

Onward to 2010.

Sherri said...

Good to see you back online...even in limited form...take care of yourself. I'm still waiting for the second book *wink*

As my blog can attest, not a lot on our front. Three older boys are back to school (kudos to anyone who home-schools, I could never do it!!) and I'm trying to find my pace again, LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Transitioning always mucks up my pace until I can realign myself.

At least now that your boys are back in school, you ought to have more time for writing--and breathing. Breathing is good. :o)

Marian said...

Glad to see you back, Maria, and hope you're not working too hard. Train Iko to fetch you things while you're in bed. :)

And thank you for the plug! I'm working on the Samhain blurbs right now and hope to get them (or the first drafts, anyway) done before the long weekend is out. They don't call it Labor Day for nothing.

Maria Zannini said...

Heh...Iko fetches, but he doesn't quite understand the concept of bringing it back.