I love reading Elizabeth Bear's blog (see the newly added "they must need bears" in the Link section). She seems to get so much done that reading her progress spurs me to keep writing even though I've been very lazy with it of late.
I got some interesting comments in class about my newest story, "A Little Early". It was supposed to be a light, fluffy, comical fantasy parody, but some of the characters (particularly the nameless villain who enters, makes a few lame threats, and than has an amusingly abrupt death) were flat, and the story could have been deeper. I once considered making it a novel, but the premise seemed a little thin for that so I tried a story.
As usual though, the comments mainly concerned: "We need details! We need backstory! We need fantasy-world explanation!" My classmates have said this about nearly every one of my stories. However, I am really the only fantasy writer in my class - nearly everyone else writes about broke college students and couples falling apart and people committing suicide, and all with lots of sex. So I'm guessing they aren't really fantasy readers, which makes me wonder which of their comments I should consider relevant and which ones are simply a matter of taste. I notice that when I submit stories to my online Fantasy Writers group, the comment about "explain the fantasy world" almost never comes - I suppose because they are more open to it because they are expecting new things every time.
Anyway, I think I've finished with the "Whiff" rewrite - but I'm going to give it a day or two, and then come back to it and examine it more closely. "Parasite: A Love Story" is currently lurking around Strange Horizons's corner of the Internet, waiting to be read, and I'm quite anxious to hear back from them. I've been to the site several times now and have liked what I've read - plus, they have published lots of Elizabeth Bear's stories.
Now I think I'm going to see if I can't go back to Reading 'The Willow King', spruce up "House Hunting" (now that I no longer have to worry about a word limit), restart "Magic Doesn't Grow On Trees" from scratch, and of course, push through and see if I can finish the Safety Boyfriend screenplay.
As for reading, it's all been for school, but I'm almost finished. I had to read Toni Morrisson's Beloved and Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, and I'm thinking of comparing them in an essay. Beloved had a very cool ending, and it went in some unexpected directions, but I have to say that I liked The Secret Life of Bees so much more. It was such a warm, happy, pleasant book, it's definitely a keeper.