Yeah, sure, it's the fourth, so I'm a little late, so what?
As you can tell by my Reading Section, I've had to put aside the last books I have to review in order to start on the gargatuan pile of books I have to read for three classes alone. My Popular Culture Comparative Lit class hasn't even ordered its books yet, so there's going to be even more to read, unless of course the focus of the class ends up on being graphic novels again, which, unless they are different books from my Holocaust Graphic Novel class, I'm going to have to drop out and find another class. Sigh.
I had to read Interview with a Vampire for one of my classes (Popular Themes in Literature and Art), and for the most part I enjoyed it. Much better than the movie, which contributed mancandy and only mancandy - and not even good mancandy. If you've cast Antonio Banderas and Tom Cruise in the same movie together, there's absolutely no point in disguising the former as a man-geisha and the second as an obvious-fake-blond ninny. You are ruining the mancandy!
Anyway, while some parts of the novel confused me, the language was very beautiful, and allowed me to see just how much homoeroticism and borderline-pedophiliac-lust had to be gutted out in order to make the film "acceptable". Good Lord. I've been advised not to follow Anne Rice's books much further, as they tended "to get very porny," according to a reliable source.
Anyhoo, my writing is becoming a little more animated (meaning, I've actually started doing it again), and I finished my "Giant Story" and changed the titled to "Golden Opportunity." It has quite a depressing ending to it, which is a first for me, I think. But I think I managed to put an interesting twist on a fairy-tale formula, and I absolutely adore my final line, something that is also a rarity for me, since ending stories is not one of my strongest points.
I'm not sure what I'm going to work on next - Reading 'The Willow King' is calling to me. I can scarcely think about anything without applying it in some form or another to that story, because I based it on something fairly autobiographical (my relationship with fantasy novels and my two sisters). I also need to work on "Whiff," in order to rewrite it for On Spec. I think if I try rewriting it along the lines of the rejection letter's criticism (which I happened to agree with, eventually), it might turn out to be a quite different story, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I know I've got the writing chops to be published, so even if "Whiff - Take Two" turns out vastly changed, it will still be a good story, in my opinion.
I'm also going to submit "House Hunting" to my online Fantasy Group. I wrote it too close to the deadline to get any criticism on it before sending it in for the MacTaggart Award, so I'd like to get some feedback on it before I submit. "Parasite: A Love Story," I'm going to leave as-is, but since it's a trifle more science-fictional than my other stories I'm not quite sure which magazine to send it to. It has aliens it in, but no hard-science-fictional concepts, and romance is the focus and theme. I think I might try sending it to Fantasy & Science Fiction, since it's a little bit of both, and it's been at least a year since I sent them anything. I once received advice to not send stories to the same publisher everytime, one right after another, because if they keep getting rejected, they're going to start remembering my name and automatically associating it with rejection, which might bias them towards my stories as they get better.
Once "House Hunting" is critiqued and revised, I believe I'll try another magazine. I sent a story into Realms of Fantasy once, and got an open, empty envelope in return with no return address. I had no idea if it was a rejection or an acceptance (I strongly suspect the former, since they never renewed the contact), and I don't want to try them again for a while. I might try the new Fantasy magazine, or something weirder like Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. I could even try Challenging Destiny again. Or I could head over to the Golden Gryphon website and see if they're accepting submissions for anthologies. One of the many good things of having a Locus membership is that they keep me up-to-date on all the story magazines, and on the types of stories they publish - I think they're much more reliable than the Writer's Market books.