So, I’ve finally posted another entry. I am pleased to report that today I sent out my first revised Clarion story, “Money Is The Best Damn Thing There Is” (also known as the magical mystery tour story) to the F&SF and am getting to work revising “The Silent Horde” (also known as the gasbag story). In terms of new writing, I’ve been making slow, excrutiatingly slow, progress on a new story. Not sure if I really like it, but I’m about 3500 words in and I really want to finish it soonish rather than later-ish.

In other news, I’ve been working quite a bit for the Stanford Daily, both copy-editing and writing. Copy-editing is an interesting journey through the English language. It’s actually quite hard to write a news article that says everything it needs to say and doesn’t come out a bit garbled. The demands of putting so much information in so few words often lead to awkward phrasing and cliche (the later is particularly true in sports writing). And seeing that stuff on a daily basis has made me a much better journalist, which I hope has come out in my own articles. So, it’s been good times. I’m also living in this crazy vegetarian co-op, which is awesome (despite the intense euphoria I feel nowadays at even the sight of meat). The people here are definitely different than the average run of Stanford student.

I also went to the San Francisco Book Fair a few weeks ago and picked through their science fiction and fantasy books in minute detail, coming away with 30+ books for 1 or 2 dollars each. My greatest find was the complete short stories of Edgar Allen Poe, which has been a blast. But I also got Maureen McHugh’s second book (I didn’t even know there was a second book) and I finally own copies of Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner and Nova by Samuel Delany (two books I adore).

I also got a ridiculous number of Sheri S. Tepper books (for the reason that there were a ridiculous number there, and I had heard she was good) but the one I read, Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, was quite strange. I kept looking at the copy-right page, trying to figure out when it had been written. It said copyright 1996, but it definitely felt like something written in the 70s or 80s. The characters spoke in feminist rants. It was ridiculous. Entertaining, but ridiculous. I enjoyed it, but it was mostly by laughing at the feminist stuff, not because of any sort of thoughtfulness it inspired.

Oh, and my greatest acquisition. Part One of L. Ron Hubbard’s Mission Earth dekology, entitled “The Invader’s Plan”. The last time I read this was back in 8th grade…and I was not dissappointed. It is just as strange, disgusting, and disjointed as I remember. Truly the work of a modern master.

13 thoughts on “

  1. mallory_blog

    Congratulations on finding your way to the creation point again – I’ve read a lot of post-Clarion blogs this year of writers struggling with getting back their writing energy. Maybe they just blog more but it seems like more writers were experiencing those issues this year.

    1. blotterpaper

      Yea…I’m kind of back where I was before Clarion. I had dreams of drastically ramping up production, but mehh. I did go back and trunk a huge number of my old stories (something like ten) after coming back, so the internal editor definitely reared up on its hind legs here. I’m also finding revision to be kind of an interesting process. Not fun, exactly, but more fun that writing.

  2. aimeempayne

    Yeah, Tepper can be a bit heavy-handed. I think her earlier work is probably better. Grass is one of my favorites. Though I haven’t read her for a while. Hmm. Now I am worried about going back and reading them again.

    1. blotterpaper

      I don’t know. Unlike BK, I actually like agenda pieces. I read the New York times editorial pages and skip the front page (no facts needed here, just tell me what to think please). What made this wierd was that the agenda was just so strangely old fashioned. With this book, Tepper was three waves of feminism too late. But I have heard that her other books are better (and since I purchased three of them, I’ll doubtless be able to figure that out for myself).

  3. thatmadgirl

    When you’re reading L. Ron do you see Nancy Kress staring over your shoulder, shaking her head? 😉
    Good luck with the new story! You’re doing better than me…

    1. blotterpaper

      I still remember losing all credit with her, merely because of my love of an underappreciated classic…(I’m looking at you, Alex). The plummeting respect was actually visible.

        1. blotterpaper

          I love having stories at high-end markets like FSF. Every time I have a story at a place like that I can spend my days dreaming that my mailbox will hold an acceptance…ahhhh….

    1. blotterpaper

      Yea, it’s kind of nuts actually being busy. Even during Clarion, I felt like I had plenty of free time. It’s wierd to come back to my room at 6 PM and realize that I literally did not have more than half an hour to spare since I woke up. I guess that sounds wierd, but what can I say except that I’m lazy. Being busy actually hasn’t hurt my writing very much, it’s mostly cut into all the time I spent loafing around.

      1. kellysarah

        OMG, you felt like you had plenty of free time during Clarion? do you not need to sleep? Is it some scientology thing? maybe I should join…

        1. blotterpaper

          Yea, I dunno. It was wierd. Everyone else was so busy, but I just wasn’t (and I slept 8 hours a night too). I mean, writing isn’t that intensive really. When I’m writing, I can do 500 words an hour fairly easily. In a week, that’s only 10 hours of writing, really. And besides that, everything else was just reading everyone else’s stories and goofing off.

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