domingo, 25 de mayo de 2008

Portable Writing Devices and the Perils of Online Buying

So, I went and bought a cheap Zaurus 5800 from ebay. It seemed like a good writing tool, something that might get me writing on the bus-metro etc without having to transcribe stuff into the computer afterwards.

And it worked, to some extent. The keyboard is a bit small, but manageable and the first set of batteries lasted more than a week of very extensive use (some five hours a day, I had really boring classes).

But but but but. Connectivity. This may seem obvious to anyone who was self-aware in the 90s, but these things have proprietary everything: software, plugs, infrared, PCMCIA slot... It has a single line 15 pin slot the likes of which none of my techie friends have ever seen before and the device didn't come with its cable. I absolutely cannot connect it to the computer. And I have over 10.000 words on it already. I spent half of today typing and I'm still not finished.

Gaw, the threats of online buying.

Speaking of which; I'm thinking of an Hp Jornada 720 or 728. Any thoughts?

miércoles, 21 de mayo de 2008

viernes, 16 de mayo de 2008

Cosita Preciosa

"Cosita Preciosa" the Spanish translation of "Pretty Little Thing" is up at La Idea Fija.

La Idea Fija is an Argentinian ezine which calls itself a "pretty literary magazine".

Finally, I have a Spanish translation of one of my stories to show to my non-English speaking friends.

jueves, 15 de mayo de 2008

Very Argentinian Synchronicity

On May 9th, Miguel took me to watch Tanguera, a Tango musical of sorts.

It reminded me of a friend from school. She's Argentinian and dances (ballet, not tango, as far as I know).

It dawned on me that I should google her and when I did, I found a blog with Happy Birthdays all over it. It turns out her birthday is May 9th and she's touring, so her family and friends posted Happy Birthdays so she could see them from wherever she is.
Her Mom answered my post and confirmed I'd found the right girl. From the looks of it and from what I could gather on the internet, she seems to be doing well career-wise.

I'm thrilled. What are the chances you'll remember a long lost friend on their birthday by googling them after watching a spectacle that, only vaguely, relates to them somehow?

To top it off, the editor of La Idea Fija, an Argentinian e-zine, contacted me to let me know that the translation of "Pretty Little Thing" will go up today or tomorrow.

martes, 13 de mayo de 2008

Going Postal

9.30E postage for a 8500 word submission to the States.


Note to self: write shorter stuff.

Note to self nº2: submit by email.

Villa Diodati 2

Villa Diodati 2 began on Saturday, April 26th. I cannot tell you exactly when it ended: most people left on Tuesday or Wednesday, but Aliette and I stayed until Saturday. In a way, I still feel as if I'm sitting around the fireplace with a glass of wine in my hand and an urge to write.

Aliette de Bodard chose a spacious gîte in Jaulzy, which was fortunate, since late additions to the workshop (including myself) meant we ended up a little cramped.

I was one of the most fortunate, and shared a kid's room with Nancy Fulda. Aliette slept in a bed under a tilted roof right next to the bathroom, and Ruth had an attic window right over her sleeping place which let in the bright light at improper dawnish hours. Otherwise, the location was great: there was a beautiful church right next to the gîte, an old beautifully kept cemetery, and a cherry tree in full bloom. We couldn't have come up with a more suitable milieu for a writing workshop, if we had brainstormed for a fantasy setting.

The participants at Villa Diodati 2 were Nancy Fulda, Aliette de Bodard, Ruth Nestvold, John Olsen, Floris Kleijne, Stephen Gaskell, Jeff Spock and myself. The workshop was structured like Villa Diodati 1, with story critiques in the mornings, lots of writing time in the afternoons, writing prompts, shared story ideas, brainstorming sessions and more. All of this sprinkled with liberal amounts of conversation and writing insight. We had three magnificent cooks. On Saturday, John made gourmet duck. Ruth blew our brains out with yummy chili on Sunday and Jeff made tagine on Monday. Plus, there were assorted cheeses, some Spanish chorizo and cured ham that I'd brought and all kinds of goodies for lunch.

To say I learned a lot is an understatement. Last Villa Diodati, I noticed that my writing improved after the workshop. I wasn't ready to call a pattern, but after seeing the results of Villa Diodati 2 on my productivity, I have no qualms to say that these workshops make me evolve as a writer. I'm writing more, I'm more confident and I think I'm even writing better.

The workshop was awesome, and the extra week I spent with Aliette was very enjoyable and extremely productive. Aliette and her boyfriend helped me work around some of the technological problems in my novel idea, and I learned a lot from the way she structures and plots her stories. I read the first three chapters of her novel and they were awesome: I wouldn't be surprised if her novel (which she edited a bit at Villa Diodati) turns out to be one of the workshop's success stories.

This workshop was all kinds of awesome, but don't take my word for it. Here are a couple more blogposts by other participants.

Villa Diodati 3 will be held in the south of France in six months or so. I'm looking forward to it.

*This pic was taken by Floris. More over here.

sábado, 10 de mayo de 2008

Apex Digest #12

Here are a couple reviews of Apex 12.

SFRevu Column gives every story a Very Good.

The Fix reviews the issue favorably, and has this to say about "Dear Diary":

Summing up this double issue is “Dear Diary” by Sara Genge. Diary-style stories are often heavily done, but this one combines a childish voice and a touch of fantasy that ties together the first two pieces of the issue and the middle, religious-toned ones. A surly little girl rages against her mother who makes her kill the “gods” in their basement and destroy her “dead god collection” in an effort to keep the ministers off their backs. But mother, daughter notices, has a bit of a secret.

As you may already know, Apex Digest is holding a subscription drive. The magazine needs at least 150 new subscribers to keep on publishing some of the wackiest SF-horror out there. I don't need to remind you that Apex Digest stories straddle the void. There's no other magazine out there that covers the same niche. This means that if Apex goes on hiatus, the supply of fresh raw brain-sf will dry up. And when the zombies can't get their brain-fix the easy way... Let's just say, the world will be a happier place if you go ahead and subscribe. At 20$ in the US and 34$ abroad, Apex Digest is good value for money.

US residents can also get a lifetime subscription for 100$. There are even prizes for being a lifetime subscriber. I'm so jealous of you, guys.

miércoles, 7 de mayo de 2008

I can haz website?

Not much there, except for a cool placeholder designed by Taher, but I'll add content. Eventually.

martes, 6 de mayo de 2008

May 6th...

... 6 am
The time of the year when I realized that it's too hot to sleep with the windows closed but too bright to keep them open.

Oh, joy.

lunes, 5 de mayo de 2008

"Counting Down to the End of the Universe" sold to Shimmer Magazine

This story was written during my darkest moments, just before The Big Exam, when I hardly had time or energy to write.

Sean Markey, aka "The Enabler" forced it out of me and I will forever be grateful for that. I needed a study break and he provided the prodding I needed. Spiritual constipation is bad for the soul and I hadn't realized how badly I needed to write until I was forced to stop.

Sean Markey also helped me rewrite and edit the first drafts.

The result is a combination of birds, clockwork and tumors of which I'm extremely proud. You can't go wrong with tumors, now, can you?

The Shimmer pre and post sale editing process was the most intensive I've ever encountered. I learned a lot from editing that manuscript with Beth and, just for that, I'm extremely grateful. I mean, how many times does one get to have one's work tinkered with by one of the best editors around? Plus, I'd been trying to crack Shimmer for a long time.

This story has made me happy on a many levels. Good story, good. I wish all my babies behaved like that.