Friday, September 30, 2011

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

It's a good year for fiction writers on the market this year. Or maybe just a good year for me!

In any case I am finding many jobs I want to apply and am actually qualified for in places I actually want to live. This is splendid, as you can imagine. I am kept busy applying for jobs, and spend probably too much time researching various universities and university towns, considering which I would chose to live in, if two of them decided to make me offers at once (oh, happy problem! and very unlikely, I admit).

Dr. Skull is also applying for jobs, and there are also many jobs for his two various specialities, film and poetry. We spend a bit of time tormenting ourselves with that possibility, too -- what if he gets a job offer and I get a job offer and both are good job offers and then what?

Yes, I know. We should have these problems

Meanwhile, due the fact that we teach at a university that does not recognize the existence of any religion except far-right Christians, we are celebrating Rosh Hashanah tonight. There will be a nice chicken, challah, apples and honey, and we will go down to the Arkansas river to throw bread in the water and repent our sins.

Happy New Year, y'all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reading and Writing

I'm having, on the whole, a bad week -- mainly work-related crap I can't blog about, but its very wearing stuff that makes me want to sell all my stock in humanity short. I mean, really. If this is what we're like, why bother? It's just disheartening and exhausting and I hate feeling disgusted by people in this fashion. I'd rather read Chaucer, who demonstrates the other end of the spectrum. (Not his characters, gah, no. Chaucer himself demonstrates it!)

But! For every human character who makes me want to condemn the lot of us to extinction, because really, what is the point if this is what we're like -- there is Chaucer; and there is George Eliot and Eleanor Arnason; and there is Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, who I am reading now, and her latest book, Mothers and Others, is just brilliant.

Of course, Hrdy always is brilliant -- I started reading her with Mother Nature, a look at infanticide, among other things (I'm really selling it short) and have since read everything by her I could get my hands on.

Mothers and Others is an examination of how humans became co-operative -- as Hrdy argues we are (rather than competitive, as most anthropology textbooks claim we are). Hrdy argues that it is the enormous expense of raising (provisioning and protecting) a human child from birth to adulthood that caused humans to evolve into co-operative creatures. We needed alloparents to survive as a species, more or less. (Translation: it did take a village.)

Not only is this an excellent book, well-written, supported, and researched, it explains why what is happening at my university is depressing me so much. Well, rats.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Win Free Book!

Look over here!

Crossed Genres is holding a book giveaway -- you can win a free copy of Subversion: Science Fiction and Fantasy Tales of Challenging the Norm, which -- yes! -- is the anthology my new story, "Cold Against the Bone," appears in.

Details here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Slightly Related Thoughts... lieu of an actual post:

  • Today I applied for two jobs I really want to get and one I sort of would like

  • Applying for jobs takes an astounding length of time

  • Which really annoys me, because I haven't got any spare time these days

  • But I guess it's like that marshmallow thing they do with toddlers

  • By which I mean, if I can delay gratification (WTF that means, in my situation, where I'm not seeming to get much gratification these days) by suffering now...

  • Future happiness!

  • Though when, I would like to know. When? One of my students was exalting about gas prices being "only" $3.31/gallon yesterday. Ai.

  • Protests on Wall Street continue. I try to be cheered by this. Revolution now?

  • 22nd of the month and we are already out of money.

  • But! My novel is going well and besides applying for jobs I have submitted 3 stories this week.

  • So!

  • Upwards and onwards.

  • And!

  • The kid wrote a fan-fic of my novel. My first fan-fic! It is very funny and I will share it with you soon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall! Yay!

Woke to cool winds and gray skies this morning. Fall! My favorite season. Next to February, of course.

Last night, the kid and I stopped at the Harps on the way home from school. She's sitting in on my WLIT I night class this semester.

Wednesday is my long day at the university -- I'm there from seven in the morning until 8.30 at night, teaching all day, mostly, although I have a five hour stretch between my last afternoon class and the start of my evening class, which I use for prep and office hours. Yesterday, though, this got taken up by a lengthy and boring, ah, I mean extremely useful meeting. My, do I enjoy academic meetings. So useful. And so many things get done at them which can't be more efficiently done though e-mail!

Where was I?

Oh, yes. After a 14 hour workday, the kid and I stopped at Harps, so that there might be something to eat in the house for once, as well as to get something for dinner.

As we're rounding the dairy aisle, I said, "What about yeggs? Do we have any yeggs?"

"Yes," she said, in her best sarcastic voice, "we have EGGS, MOM."

"Okay," I said. "Don't get EGGS, then."

"Why do you always say that. Yeggs."

"Because it's what your dad always used to say. It's an old joke."

"Well, there's no Y on the word, you know."

"Jeez. Really? Thanks for pointing that out."

We rounded the corner to frozen food, and suddenly she laughed. "Ow!"

"What?" I said.

"Nothing. I just rolled my eyes so hard I think I sprained my eye muscles."

My kid, folks. Thirteen! She'll be here all year.

Friday, September 09, 2011


The kid, cashing in on the zombie craze sweeping the nation, has written a zombie haiku.

Here it is, for your enjoyment:

Zombie Hitler

Evil when he was alive
Now really, really evil 'cause he's a zombie
Where are the zombie hunters?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

My Story! It haz Sold!

I heard from Strange Horizons yesterday: they are taking my short story, "In the Cold." Hurray, hurray!

I must say, of everything I love about being a writer*, the bit where you open the email and it begins, "Dear Kelly, We're pleased to accept your story..." -- that there is one of my favorite bits.

*and I love almost everything about being a writer, the thinking up new plots, the cold mornings and hot coffee, the revising, the editing, the research, the part about how reading other people's stories and novels is reseach

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Doing Too Much

It's barely September here and I'm already worn out.

Too much to do, as usual. (Sad me!) I've missed Aikido twice this week due to too much prep work. I'm teaching four different preps this semester -- WLIT I, English Grammar, Fiction Workshop, and Comp I -- as well as homeschooling the kid and trying to hammer together this novel, edit the magazine, and apply for jobs.

Oh, have I mentioned that? I'm applying for jobs in the slim hope that maybe we can move out of Arkansas. Not that I don't love my work and my students here -- because I do -- but because I have had my bait of Fort Smith, Arkansas, with its two bookstore (well, wait -- one bookstore, and one Bibles-a-Million) and its two decent restaurants and its two movie theaters that show exactly the same six movies on fifteen different screens and they are never the movies I want to see and its tiny little art museum, which I know is doing the best it can with the tiny little funding it gets, but still, and the strictures that are always on me and worse on my kid -- why should she have to grow up somewhere where she is afraid to speak what she feels aloud on the street? Where she is afraid to use a public restroom, because of how she looks and dresses? Where she is afraid to admit her religion to her best friend in case that friend stops liking her? (And no, I am not making any of this up.)

Anyway! I did make it to Aikido tonight -- where I got banged around merrily on the mat. It is strange that this experience should cheer me up, but it did.

Also, I have joined the AWP, so now I can begin assembling a packet and applying to even more jobs.

Meanwhile! All four of my classes this semester are brilliant classes, even if they do take enormous prep work; and my novel is going very well; and don't I love Aikido!
Once more into the breach, dear friends!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Labor Day Weekend Arrives

And I am pleased.

I've been hard at work on the sequel to Broken Slate, which I am currently and I think finally calling Triple Junction (this is I think perhaps the fifth name this novel has been given, but that reflects more its transformations than my indecisions this time): and what I need most now is time to work on it. It's going like a rocket. I just need recording time.

Which I don't have, with four different classes with four different preps.

Good classes, all of them. Just labor intensive.

Elsewhere, this weekend, I will maybe break down and make some bagels. Which I haven't done all summer, because of the oppressive heat, but the weather guy says we'll get highs in the 80s, so maybe.

And I've got Aikido. And Dr. Skull is going to Green Egg an organic chicken. So there's that!

What about y'all? Doing anything cool for the long weekend?