The Pennyweight Update

The Mantid Tangle A few snidbits loosely comprising an “update:”

  • As you’ll see by the image, we had an oothica in the yard, affixed to one of the branches of our crepe myrtle. Yestermorn, that sucker hatched, vomiting a tiny tide of a hundred-plus praying mantids. I am hopeful that this is the Brood of Stinky, Stinky being the one name for about three mantids we had flitting around our yard last year.
  • Script-work continues apace. Had a good call last week with one party, and will likely have a second call later this week with another party.
  • Got in 90% of the drafts for World of Darkness: Mirrors. Happy so far with what I’m reading. Very interesting stuff. Makes me want to run a game.
  • Was slapped with two rejections today. Well, strictly, I guess one isn’t formally a rejection so much as, “You did not win this short story contest,” but really, it’s the same thing. Publication is always a contest. You win by being awesome, or you lose by being less awesome than somebody else. Mostly, I take rejection in stride. Mostly, I like it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s like battle scars. Proof of effort. A latticework of bloodied honor. I’m good now (in part from some kind words from Filamena over Twitter), but any time you get a rejection, it’s hard not to experience that internal twist, that twinge like you have a case of Cancer of the Certainty, a slow carcinogenic nibble at your ego. Again, I’m over it. But it does make me ponder if I really feel like going through the work to get short fiction published. I like building an audience, but these days, the short fiction market is woefully ill compared to five years ago, which then was ill compared to five years before that, and so forth. The pay rates are pretty meager; equal now to what they were 10 or 20 years past. One option might be to try to build an audience by releasing this stuff free, or on a very el cheapo “buy-me-PDF” approach. Then again, I might just fall down and nap in my own sick. Wait and see! dun dun dun.
  • The Fresh Table Experiment? I’d give myself a C+ so far, maybe just a C, I dunno. I’ve been good with going organic, but last week I missed both farmers’ markets locally because it was a nutty week. Plus, we have a ton of food in our pantry and fridge that remain “not-so-farm-fresh” (which sounds like an advertisement for Farmer’s Eve douche product: “Mom, do you ever feel not-so-farm-fresh down there? My vagina smells like plucked chicken!”). Tomorrow, I’ll hit a market, see if I can’t course correct a little. For our anniversary, though, we did eat at a great farm-to-table joint in Kennett Square: Sovana Bistro. They have a “100-mile” section of their menu.
  • Finally, I’m making progress on the new-old novel. Five-k over two days, which is nice. I’m rewriting it to match the script adaptation I did, and, on a bit of a risk, I’m writing it in the dreaded present tense. I find that it gives the narrative a fresh sense of urgency.