Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Huh - should I be flattered?

All of a sudden, I have to word-verify my blog posts, because for some reason, "Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that [my] blog has characteristics of a spam blog."

According to Blogger's definition, a spam blog "can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text."

Um...well gee, that makes me feel just great, Blogger.

Rejected - FINALLY!

After SEVERAL months, I finally got a rejection from On Spec for my re-write of "Whiff." They said it was better, but that one of the plot points was still a little too convenient. I don't think so, so I'll try again with a few other magazines before I think of rewriting it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Weird Al Yankovic! LIVE!

Yup - I heard only a few weeks ago that 'Weird Al' Yankovic, a musician and satirist of whom I've been a fan since that one time he sang about patterns on Sesame Street, was going to be performing live at the Exhibition, and that the price of going there and seeing him was only to pay the gate admission (read: $10!).

My first thought, of course, was HELL YEAH!

I got there about an hour early, and went right to the front (or at least five rows from the front - standing room only there) and talked with some random shirtless guys until the concert started. Everytime a roadie came on to arrange the instruments before the show, we all cheered anyway. And then the concert began.

He started with his latest Polka from his CD Straight Outta Lynnwood, and he rocked that accordion as only a true accordian player can. There was a video screen on the stage, and while he sang it showed the sped-up music videos of the songs he was polka-ing to, which made it pretty awesome. He played a lot of his classic songs, and condensed some of his cooler, newer ones into a medleys, and while he and his crew made costume changes the TV screen showed some of his old music videos and his AlTV spots, where he takes celebrity interview footage and changes the questions so that the answers are taken out of context. Some of the highlights:

-the song "Bob," which I'd never heard before - it's comprised entirely of palindrome lyrics - strange as they are ("Do geese see God?"), they still sound like Bob Dylan lyrics!

-during the song "Do I Creep You Out?" (a spoof of Taylor Hicks' "Do I Make You Proud"), Al took off his hood to reveal a Taylor Hicks' grey wig.

-during the song "You're Pitiful" (spoof of James Blunt's "Your Beautiful"), Al took off a succession of T-shirts - one of which says "Atlantic Records Sucks!" (they're the reason Al couldn't put the song on his record - James Blunt didn't mind the spoof at all!). By the end of the song, he's stripped down to a Spongebob T-shirt, his boxers, and a pink tutu.

-Weird Al to Kevin Federline: "What does it feel like to have a closetful of wifebeaters, but no wife?"

-Again, Weird Al to Kevin Federline: "How old were you when you discovered that you had absolutely no talent? ... Too soon?"

-Weird Al wearing a "fat suit" while singing "Fat" and the other musicians jolting upwards as Weird Al jumped up and down.

-Weird Al, during a fake interview with Michael Stipe from REM, asks him to write a lyric on the spot - Stipe says, "We all use cellphones, so c'mon, let's get real" - a song Weird Al uses as part of his encore, while the videoscreen shows the audience members waving their cellphones. It looked like a sea of little glowing squares, it was cool.

Basically, it was fantastic, I had a great time, and I'm definitely going to see him again if he ever comes back to Edmonton.

Monday, July 23, 2007


There already IS a LOLceleb blog! (www.lolcelebs.com)

Yeah, next time I'll try to run a good websearch first.

So I made a new blog - The LOLstars (lolstars.wordpress.com). Check it out!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I have a new blog!

I had so much fun making he LOLcelebs, that I created a fanciful little number over at WordPress to publish them all. Be sure to go and check out the LOLCelebs - I'll make more, and I hope people will submit their own, too.

Harry Potter and the Selfish, Callous, Childhood Dismissing Edmonton Journal Bitch-Hack Journalists

*ahem* As you can guess, this is a bit of a rant. One of my siblings clued me in to the fact that The Edmonton Journal, the #1 paper for the capital of Alberta, posted the juiciest spoiler for Harry Potter's final adventure in the article's HEADLINE on the FUCKING FIRST PAGE OF THE PAPER. And by spoiler, I mean THE spoiler, that everyone from bookies to grade schoolers has been itching to find out - that is, who lives and who dies.

Pardon my Elvish, but FUCK YOU EDMONTON JOURNAL!

It was only due to Sister #2's warning that I didn't read the front page myself. It's only now that I realize that I really can't use the internet or watch TV or even talk to people (which should be hard, as I have to work at the Disney Store today and we're directly across from a Coles bookstore) if I don't want the ending ruined. I mean, I don't want to be one of those Internet idiots who's always screaming "spoiler alert!" over the littlest things, but I mean, c'mon! This is supposed to be on the last page of the last Harry Potter book!

I could (somewhat) understand the paper running an article like that maybe two weeks, maybe even one week after the book came out to discuss its meaning and the probable effect on its readers - because at least that would give some people a chance to read the book. But on the first day it's out? On the front page - the one that everyone reads? And in the freakin' headline??? I'm assuming some fucking intern got assigned to one of those "Midnight Harry Potter Madness" parties, bought the book at 12:05, skipped right to the ending, and passed the info onto the newspaper folks so they could cook up a last-minute article before press time.

It's not just because it's Harry Potter that I'm angry - I may sound cliched, but it's the principle of the thing. They deliberately printed the most important spoiler in the most-read part of the article (the headline) on the most-read page of the paper (the front page) on the morning of the very first day the book came out - and do you want to guess how many people were gifted with an advance copy of the seventh Harry Potter? Not a whole damn many - hell, even Stephen King hadn't managed to get himself one.

There may have been a few who, by now, have finished reading the book after buying it at midnight - but there are just as many kids, teens, and adults who didn't stay up past their bedtimes who are only now going out to get the copy. And they just might stop to read the first page of the paper before they leave the house.


I'm willing to bet any amount of money that tomorrow's editorial is going to be chock-full of pissed-off readers who are just as angry as I am that the Edmonton Journal let the fatass cat out of the bag in order to sell a few more copies of its paper. J.K. Rowling is a fantastic writer, and while her later books have succumbed somewhat to George Lucas Syndrome (i.e. - "he/she's so good/successful, we don't need to edit anything!"), she's still managed to cook up a great surprise, and it's always been a pleasure to read through the clues of the book only to have it revealed at the end - and it's almost always been both a) a real surprise, and b) one that's been established by actual clues and isn't just a red-herring deus ex machina.

I'm not saying I wouldn't have read the book if I'd had the ending spoiled - but you read a book differently when you know the ending than when you know nothing about the plot. Rereading a book you remember is about the journey to a destination you already know, but reading a new book is an exploration of completely unknown territory. I'd really like to have that experience with the seventh Harry Potter novel, and I'm sure a lot of people who read the front page of The Edmonton Journal would have wanted that too.

Fuck you, Edmonton Journal. Did you sell a lot of copies? I hope you're fucking happy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The return of the LOLcelebs!

I lost mah shurt

I can haz anudder?


Mah thurst iz kwnched.

Yes, Sandy Clawz

Elijah Wud duz egzist!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The First Installment of: The LolCrushes!

What are LOLcrushes? They are actually derived from the ever-popular Internet LOLCat, which is defined by Urban Dictionary as:

The phenomenon of pasting captions in large text onto pictures of cats. The captions are a specific blend of:

1) txt msg text (shortcuts like "ur" for "your")

2) bad English-Asian translations (like the classic "all your base are belong to us")

3) common typing mistakes (like "!!!!1" and "ZOMG" and "teh")

4) misspellings (like "cheeze")

5) spam shortcuts (like substituting "5" for "S" and "3" for "e")

The Smart Bitches recently retooled that theme for their LOLHoff (as in, Hasselhoff) contest, which I recommend you see. My favourite? The winner - "Ah sex u. Yes?"

So I am retooling that standard for my crushes du jour. Why? For fun! Submit your own if you can, in my comments or by email!

Silly? Yes. Border-line random? Of course. Fun - definitely!
More to come, once I have the time, and perhaps a better understanding of the LOL format.

I'm a redhead!

Yes, I dyed my hair red today and I did it ALL BY MAHSELF.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Two, actually - first, for the most stories submitted in one day (that is, two - "Golden Opportunity" and, the fresh off the word processor "House Hunting"), and then for most stories under consideration at one time (four - On Spec did receive my story, and it's still under consideration, Clarkesworld Magazine, Baen's Universe, and now Strange Horizons). Hurrah! Maturing as a writer!

Yes, I chose Strange Horizons again, but I've been reading it with fair regularity and I'm really enjoying it, and I think "House Hunting" would be a good fit. I'm kinda in love with "House Hunting," I currently think it's the best thing I've written so far, and I've never reread it and not thought, "Damn, I'm good."

I mean, I've felt that way about all my stories at some point, or else I never would have submitted them to magazines in the first place. But then after I've submitted them I think they're awful or immature and how embarrassing it will be for the editors to read it - but so far that hasn't happened with "House Hunting" yet.

I did include a cover letter this time, the standard issue for me - you know, the one where I say I'm a Senior reviewer for Green Man Review and yes, my fantasy novella DID get published by a professional magazine. I'd like to think it makes a difference, but I guess it all depends on the editor.

Submitted "Golden Opportunity"

I submitted "Golden Opportunity" to Baen's Universe today, in the Universe Slush Pile forum at Baen's Bar. Best case scenario - my story is plucked from murky oblivion and placed in a reputable e-zine that pays professional rates. Worst case scenario - I get some helpful comments and a chance to rewrite.

Now on to work with "House Hunting."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rejected, and the Writing To-Do List

Heliotrope got back to me in less than a week to reject "Golden Opportunity" - that's either a very good or a very bad sign. There are still magazines out there - I'm thinking of trying Baen's Universe next because they have a special section for new writers and a forum that gives lots of feedback. So my writing checklist is as follows:

1. Submit "Golden Opportunity" to Baen's Universe

2. Prepare "House Hunting" for submission.

3. Rewrite "An Unmagical Age."

4. Rewrite "Joyful Noise."

5. Continue writing the first draft of "The Middle Child."

6. Keep plugging away at Reading 'The Willow King'.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Submitted - "Golden Opportunity" to Heliotrope Magazine

Thank you, Anonymous Commenter, for your advice - he/she suggested I try "Golden Opportunity" out at Heliotrope, a delightful magazine that not only can be read online (fave story so far: January Mortimer's "A Godmother's Gift"), but is currently accepting online submissions.

I've noticed a lot of magazines are now accepting online submissions - it didn't use to be so, did it? I wonder why...There are lots of reasons why, of course - the recent bump in U.S. postal rates might be one - but it seems like a sudden change to me. Maybe it's just that I didn't catch on to these magazines that now accept online submissions until recently. It does mean one has to be more careful, though. I don't know why it is, but I tend to read stuff on paper more carefully than words on a computer. E-mail is a fascinating messenger system, but it's still something of a casual system to me, if that makes any sense. There's something about sending a crisp, white manuscript in a manilla envelope with a white "postage paid" sticker on it that seems more formal than sending an attachment in an E-mail. I mean, my mother's friend sends attachments in E-mails, and more often than not they are videos of a man applying a Tazer to his reproductive organs for laughs. Not quite the same as a writer sending something out in the hopes of getting published.

There's also the Blackberry reason - people are reading on those now, but they still seem too small for me to read anything comfortable on. Still, I'm a dinosaur when it comes to handheld technology - I still use my parents' cell phone, and it doesn't take pictures or text or download or even fold in half like all the other ones do.

Still, it saves on both time and postage, so I have no complaints. I've recently sent E-mails to On Spec, since it's been four months since I submitted my story to them, and they're situated in the same city as me so it seems unlikely that the manuscript would have taken a horribly long time to get to them. I know they're very busy, but I did wait four months before E-mailing them. I just hope I don't have to wait another month for them to reply to the E-mail.

I also started another story, "The Middle Child." It's not a fairy-tale retelling, although it does have another misanthropic female teenage narrator. I seem to write a lot of them. I don't want to fall into a pattern, but a misanthropic female teenage narrator just seems the best fit for the particular story I have in mind (I got the idea from reading "A Godmother's Gift," although they're not alike at all). Maybe it's because I spent so much time being a misanthropic female teenage narrator myself.

Now I'm a misanthropic female twentysomething narrator.

Good gracious, I'm a twentysomething now, aren't I?

*cough* Moving on, I also finished the first draft of "Joyful Noise." It took a while, but I think it has a good foundation and could survive a couple of rewrites. It has some great actions scenes in it, I think.

Ah well, I'll just have to see how my writing turns out. I still have lots of ideas (I have one in mind about God's little brother and sister, which doesn't need a misanthropic female teenage narrator).

P.S.--> I apologize for posting the atrocious cover for Nicholas Nickelby - it was the best one that I could find on short notice.