Yesterday I got the copyedited manuscript of One for Sorrow in the mail.  Today I began going through it, checking everything out, correcting anything that needed correcting, adding/excising, etc.  I’m almost halfway done with it after a few hours, but my head is hurting something fierce, so I’m taking a break for the day and will finish it up this weekend.  But wow, copyeditors are scary and amazing.  Mine has looked up road names to point out “Fisher-Corinth Road” does not have a dash between it, according to official online Ohio resources.  (Even though that’s how it’s spelled on the road sign out here.)  And has caught inconsistencies like when I spelled “Mmm-hmm” with the three m’s on page whatever, and then “Mm-hmm”  with only two m’s in some other  line of dialogue.  I’m very grateful and very very afraid at the same time.  I hope they’re being paid well, copyeditors, because I sure know my brain sifts right through things of this nature and I’m glad someone is there to catch stuff like this.

After I’m done with this, I think my part of making the book is finally over.  What a relief that will be.   Seriously.  I have read this book a gazillion times now.  By the time it comes out, I will probably want to run screaming from the sight of it.  This may make for awkward reading and signing events.


It’s still so beautiful outside, even if it’s late in the night.  My windows are up, the rooms are breathing with fresh air.  I love the sound of the traffic crossing my apartment building, both the vehicles and the human traffic, the cars speeding by, the human voices.  Today I heard the most lovely voice singing a gospel song and when I went to the window saw a black mother pushing a baby in a pram down the sidewalk.  A pram!  I don’t know when I last saw one of those, especially around here.  She was singing as she pushed the pram, but she wasn’t singing to the baby in it.  Her head was turned up toward the sky.  To me that felt more like church than any church I’ve ever been in.  I was glad the light had changed, too, from early dark of winter to that late evening dark honey light of spring that seems to drip over everything before letting night take over.  All day long I couldn’t do anything but wander around– my apartment, the streets–thinking about and reviewing memories and futures.  That’s how I know spring has finally arrived.

Map of Seventeen

I found out this past weekend that my novelette, “Map of Seventeen”, will be published in the next installment of Viking’s YA anthology series that editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling are putting together.  So far Ellen and Terri have edited three in this series:  The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest, The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm, and Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, which will be released this July.  The next anthology will be The Beastly Bride.  I’m looking forward to it already, even though it won’t be published till 2009.

Bruce Sterling in Belgrade

I came across this video of Bruce Sterling talking about civil engineering and economic development in his new home city of Belgrade.  Sterling, for those readers of this journal that are not somehow interested in reading or in the reading of science fiction especially, should note that Bruce Sterling is a science fiction writer who is known for many of his novels written during the cyberpunk movement of the eighties.  He’s been visionary in residence (yes, an actual title, which I think is really cool, as we forget sometimes, as a culture, how important it is to actually have visionaries and support them in some way to enable them to keep us focused on important things) at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, among many other things.  His mind is really amazing when it comes to thinking about designing our future economies and the way that we will live as a species, whether we like to think about these things or not. 

What I liked about this video is that, though he’s in Belgrade talking about its economy and the design of that city, there’s a lot to learn for those of us in and around Youngstown, Ohio who are part of the revitalization effort here.  Take a look.  Some of the ideas Sterling talks about in relation to Belgrade’s economic development would be applicable here as well as for a lot of other American cities attempting to halt urban decay and grow into the new century.


In an e-mail I just wrote to a friend, I describe a story/project thing that I’m working on at the moment, and how it’s challenging me in all sorts of different ways on how I need to structure its narrative and form.  At the end of my description of this somewhat multi-media story I’m creating, I wrote, “It’ll either be genius or a complete and utter ridiculous thing that fails on all levels. LOL.”

I laughed, but it’s true: it’ll either be something a level up in many ways from anything I’ve written before, or it’ll fail.  Whether it works in the end or fails to work, I think I’m learning more from it about storytelling and writing (I think of them as different processes and activities, joined sometimes for the same purpose) than anything else I’ve written before, and that, if nothing else, feels good to me. 

Have any of you writers out there reading this ever written something that required you to reassess how you go about writing a story before?  What was it like for you?  Can you say if it succeeded or failed?  I’d love to hear what others (not just writers, but if you work in another discipline too) have experienced in their more challenging creative endeavors, whether it’s here in the comments or on your own journal.  (Just leave me a trackback so I can come read it, too!)

Is this the singularity?

I love interesting statistics like the one in this video from Youtube, which as been making the rounds among blogs and sites concerned with economic development lately.  I feel like I should be watching Braveheart or something when I watch it, but you’ll get the point.  We’re, uh…a little behind, I think.  The world’s moving faster than we are maybe.

Did you know?

A fun test

Not totally accurate on all counts, but fun nonetheless.

drawing personality

What does your drawing say about YOU?

The results of your analysis:

You tend to pursue many different activities simultaneously. When misfortune does happen, it doesn’t actually dishearten you all that much. You are a thoughtful and cautious person. You like to think about your method, seeking to pursue your goal in the most effective way. You like following the rules and being objective.  You are precise and meticulous, and like to evaluate decisions before making them. You have a sunny, cheerful disposition.

Want to go to the Nebula Awards? has joined up with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to offer a chance for readers to win two tickets to the Nebula Awards Banquet in New York City this May 11th through the 13th.  No travel is provided, but a two-night stay at the Marriot is included, so if you live in the Northeast especially you should give it a try.  You have to answer a trivia question to answer, but google can answer anything, remember. Also there is a rules and regulations page, so click on that to make sure you’re eligible and doing it on time.

I’ll be at the ceremony, as I’m a nominee in the category of novelette, so I hope to see you there.