Friday, March 30, 2007
During class last night, I had a fun e-mail exchange with W.E. that I thought I'd share because it was funny.
W.E.: I appear to have gotten a $4000 grant, but I have to be signed up for 9 credit hours, so I HAVE to meet with [his advisor] tomorrow to get him to sign my thesis paperwork. I am currently signed up for 6. Just in case, I went ahead and signed up for Forensic Psych as a hedge. I'll drop it as soon as I am signed up for the thesis.
Me: Do you know [advisor]'s office hours for tomorrow?
W.E.: Emailed him a few minutes ago. I am now registered for 9 credits though, so its not Killing Important, but it is High Priority.
Me: Is it Mad Slaughtering With a Greatsword Important?
W.E.: Certainly not. More Slitting Throat While Asleep Important.
Me: How about Ninja Sneaking Up On and Killing with a Ball of Poisoned Rice Important?
W.E.: Essentially the same thing, so yeah, right in that region (not the Crotchal Region, of course, but close).
Me: Eh, Poisoned Rice is for sissies. I'd rather use a bazooka.
W.E.: By god, don't diss the Poisoned Rice. That shit is the bomb!
Me: But bazookas are cooler. You can take out the whole encampment in one swell foop with a bazooka.
W.E.: Okay, so bazookas are literally the bomb, but still. This is funny... http://www.skippyslist.com/skippylist.html
Beyond that it devolved into pointing out our favorite things in the above link and me trying not to giggle while the rest of the class discussed Beloved.
To anyone completely confused by the above reference to poisoned rice, it's part of a game called Tenchu Stealth Assassin. You play a ninja sneaking around killing people. Poisoned rice is one of the weapons, good for taking out dogs and stray guards.
Enjoy the funny in the link. Try not to blow your drink out your nose. And if any of the references are lost on you, well, just be glad you're not a geek.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I never thought I'd hope for a rejection letter. I could potentially end up in a very awkward position here. My creative writing teacher says that it's not my fault--I gave Mr. O'Neill 6 months before e-mailing him to follow up, and another week and a half before sending the story to another magazine. He says any editor that makes me wait that long doesn't deserve any kind of professional courtesy. I was well within my rights to assume that he didn't want the story and move on. I didn't mean to have a simultaneous submission (a big no-no).
Mr. Van Gelder usually has a very fast turnaround time (about 1-2 weeks), so hopefully I'll hear from him first. And he'll want it. Cause I'll feel less guilty about telling Mr. O'Neill that someone else bought the story than telling Mr. Van Gelder that. I'm more worried about a good relationship with Mr. Van Gelder right now. Not the least reason because he edits the freaking Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) names in SF/F short stories. It would look really good on my resume.
All I can do now is wait and hope that Mr. O'Neill doesn't want it and Mr. Van Gelder does . . . or Mr. Van Gelder gets back to me, first.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I'm not even annoyed about it being the Jagermeister tour (and therefore a venue for lots of drinking . . . duh). I'm just glad I get to a) see Lacuna Coil live; and b) get out of this tiny little "city" for a while.
There was all sorts of stuff I meant to rant about from the news this weekend, but by yesterday morning, I'd forgotten what all it was. I remember screaming at the TV (I think that was because of something on Immigration reform and how what they're doing is NOT the right way to go), but there was so much of it I've completely forgotten. Then I decided that was okay; this isn't a political blog (or isn't supposed to be), it's a writing blog. I just haven't gotten to do much writing lately, thanks to all the homework piled on my head (I have to finish Beloved by Thursday, and I'm about two chapters in) and the silly students that keep coming in to the tutoring center and interrupting my homework time (kidding. Mostly).
Anyone else fed up with the government, though, go check this out. I'm not sure what I think of it yet; I haven't had a chance to read all the way through it. But it's something to ponder.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
It had been several months since I'd looked at the story, so I went back over it one more time before printing to make sure I didn't want to change it. I caught one typo (phew!) and added just another line or so for clarification, but other than that, I'm very happy with it. I hope Mr. Van Gelder is, too.
I'm supposed to be working on two different papers for two different classes. One is the Morrsion/Gnostic Gospels paper. I've got a bunch of research done, but I'm having trouble getting the paper going. I think the last time I mentioned this paper, I was frustrated because I couldn't find any articles on both Paradise and the Gnostic Gospels. Since then, I've been informed that this is a good thing for grad students; if no one else has done it yet, it's my schtick. Mine!! Mwaha. Ahem. The other paper is the one for Tech/Business writing. It's about the psychological nature of influence and how we can use that in writing query letters, to get agents to be more disposed to accepting our work. He keeps trying to push me to look at teaching high school students to write query letters. He doesn't seem to get that I DON'T WANT TO. So I have to re-write it, focusing more on the psych stuff and less on the writing of query letters.
Instead, I'm working on my writing, and having a hard time feeling guilty about it. I've got a few weeks for these two papers. I guess I'll manage to get them done in time. Right now, I really really want to be published, so writing is coming first. Wah.
Well, my shift here at the tutoring center is over for the day, so I'm gonna sign off, go home, and dutifully go for a walk. I might manage to lose weight before shorts season is underway (doubt it).
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Yesterday I was battering my head against my copy of Edith Hamilton's Mythology, trying to translate Psyche's second task into modern-day terms. All I could think was, "SHEEP! FREAKING SHEEP WITH GOLDEN FLEECE! VICIOUS FREAKING SHEEP!" I finally threw the book at W.E. and asked him if he could come up with anything. In the very logical, unemotional way he has, he said, "Well, she's got to go somewhere dangerous and get something valuable that belongs to the dangerous people."
Duh. Why couldn't I think of it that way? He suggested sending her to the New York Stock Exchange to boost the price on "Aphrodite's" stocks, or perhaps rob a bank. I'm still not sure of those choices, but at least I've got a new way of thinking of the problem. And so, Gentle Readers, do you. The offer of a free signed copy of the book and a mention on the dedication page is still open to anyone who can give me a good idea for this task (I've finally figured out the first and third ones, it's just these damn sheep that are giving me trouble).
School starts again tomorrow. Ick. I was getting used to sleeping all day and playing video games. Too bad I can't make a living doing that. Maybe eventually, when I'm a famous writer--no, then I'll have to actually write all day. Drat. So much for my life of luxury. Sigh.
Must go get W.E. out of bed--we have to pick up a classmate of his from the airport in a few hours.
Friday, March 16, 2007
In light of not being able to use Old English as a second language for a B.A., I'm considering getting a program (or something) and learning German. I'll have a year to get up to reading proficiency.
Right now, I'm headed out to get baking supplies; Eric and I are going to make cookies and brownies. The cookies are for us, the brownies are for my tutoring buddies on Monday.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
W.E.'s weekend was a bit more eventful. Apparently the conference wasn't bad, but there were a lot of people with the whole My School is Better than Your School, You Ignorant Hick attitude, and the You're Only a Master's Student, and I'm a Doctoral Student attitude as well. What made it REALLY fun was his classmates' complete lack of responsibility and self-regulatory behavior. I won't go too far into detail here, but I'll give you a couple of highlights:
1. They spent the entire weekend drunk.
2. One of the really drunk guys was also on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication.
3. Due to Nos. 1 & 2, they almost got thrown out of the hotel, and did end up with a horrible reputation with the other colleges.
4. They're divided into a bunch of cliques. Every group hates every other group with a violent, bloody passion.
W.E. has decided to decline any further invitations to events which he would have to attend in the company of these people. He says he doesn't want to be a baby-sitter for a herd of drunk children who never matured past high school. These are graduate students acting like preteens.
Makes my boring weekend look pretty good.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Oh, well. Back to class.
They hated it. Even the fantasy buffs. No one came right out and said they hated it, but there was a lot of staring at the table and not saying anything, and a couple of the students didn't even bother to give me a marked-up copy with their comments and suggestions. I did get some helpful feedback, but not much. Here's some of the more annoying comments:
(Regarding the Elemental magic) "You know, she's summoning this wind thing, and the wind's whipping around, and I thought there was going to be a whirlwind or something, and then it's My Little Pony."
Let me take this one a piece at a time. A whirlwind or hurricane is an aspect of Air. It's an effect. An Elemental is a creature with some intelligence, affiliated with its Element, that a magician can interact with and ask to do certain tasks. In my mythos, the Elemental of Air is a Pegasus (keeping it as Greek as possible). This comment made me wonder if they've ever read Greek mythology and know anything about the Pegasus. My Little Pony, it's not. Other comments on the Pegasus included that it was "cliche" and that they were disappointed that it was "only" a Pegasus.
I also had to walk them through the myth, which was annoying because, for God's sake, these people are English majors. How did they get away with never learning any Greek mythology? Don't they read Keats? Sigh.
In the introductory material I gave them (this being from the middle of the book and all), I said that the story was mostly set in L.A., but that this particular scene was in Miami. No one seemed to understand that. There were a lot of questions like, "Where are they?" "You do know Miami isn't in California, right?" "Why did someone from California go to Florida to go to the beach?"
Needless to say, by the end of the session, I was ready to throw things. The few good writing tips I got were lost in the complete stupidity of everything else.
It doesn't help my mood that W.E. heads off for Indianapolis today and he'll be gone for 3 days. So I'm completely on my own. And so far, no one's taken me up on an offer to hang out, go to a movie, have dinner, anything with a female friend that means I'm not alone. I guess I can write, work on my cross-stitching, watch C.S.I., and sulk. That'll keep me occupied for a few days, anyway.
Hopefully the next time we speak, Gentle Readers, I won't be having such a pity-party and bringing your mood down.