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Mischka

I've known Mischka so long that I don't remember when I first met him. He was just Mischka then, not master, not Ravensfuri. He wasn't yet into metalsmithing, he didn't have the kremlin and he was in an unhappy marriage. But Mischka was always sweet, willing to say hi, give a hug or flirt with.

Over the years, he got out of his marriage and met Kiri, mastered metal smithing to become my brother in the order of the Laurel. He gained the kremlin, that horrendous beast of a tent to set up, and gained a large following of friends. Some were rough and others of gentler miens. And Mischka gathered them all to him because he was a big friendly guy. In some ways his view was simplistic, not in an unrefined way but  just in taking everyone in and having a big party.

I remember a few September Crowns ago when we arrived late. I was supposed to share a tent with a friend but she was nowhere to be seen and her tent not where she said it would be. Mischka and Kiri said I could stay in the kremlin. I crawled onto their bed with them and as i moved very close to hypothermia, Mischka would sleepily throw an arm over me or rub my back.

I have many memories of him, of partying together, of chatting over various hurdles we had to jump in our lives. Misch's life wasn't always a piece of cake but he had many caring friends and Kiri.

I'm so sad, Misch, that I didn't get to see you again and that you haven't had longer to enjoy your journey on earth. I'm selfishly angry that we all don't get more time with you. I'm sorry you and Kiri don't get to grow old  together. You were always a sweet, gentle, teddy bear to me, a friend who always had a moment to say hi, to give a hug. I'll miss you terribly, I'll remember you always. This picture above is an apt one, an image of a passage tomb from ancient Ireland. From one side, we leave life to walk into the wonders of beyond. I send my light and love to help you on this new journey.

May the gods hold you gently.

Coming down the pike

Great googly moogly. How many times can one check their own work and still miss the typos? I'm trying to finish up the Canada Council grant application and looked over my letter to the BC Arts Council. Two typos that I should have caught. Oh well, maybe it will endear me to them.

I should be able to get the travel grant application (for BC arts it was a study grant) off by Wednesday as they require three months to process; the great cogs of government, doncha know.

And I've received three rejections in the past two days. Pooh! One was from a humour market where the rejection was done like a rejected lover letter, ending with, I'm keeping the ring. I suppose they thought they were being funny but I found it rather annoying. Maybe that's why they didn't accept my story...I didn't find their letter funny enough. Grumpy me. :P Weird thing is that I keep expecting a sale this month. Two of my stories are being held and considered for anthologies. I'm not bugging them because they're both mulling so my fingers are crossed.


And it's SPRING! Yay! I love spring and flowers and warming weather. Happy bunny days to everyone!

It's Done!

Yay, got the BC Arts Council application in the mail today. Now I have to get the Canada Council one out but have a bit more time. And gotta get going on the Nephrology book cuz I need the money.

Supposed to go to Kingdom A&S tomorrow and don't want to bail but my belly's been wacky for a few days. Here's hoping it's going away and not getting worse.

My place is a mess. Gotta clean it before I leave... That's all.

Carbon Tax: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

 The latest craze that even the government on all levels has realized brings popularity and kudos, is to go green. From civic to federal governments, this last year we've seen such buzz words as "eco, green, carbon tax and environment."
 
Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan has been championing his "eco-density" movement as we move closer to an election campaign. For the busy, unthinking or easily duped they hear the word "eco" and will go, Oh it must be good for us and the environment, so I'll vote Sam. What does it really mean? It's another word for condo, high-rise and sardine city. Eco-density, like the use of collateral damage to mean dead people, is just disguising the continual downgrading of our living spaces to smaller and smaller areas for higher prices. Oh, but they'll put a little greenspace outside so that when you're pressed up against the glass and staring down five stories, you can dream of a previous era where people gamboled in the grass.
 
Should I even mention that this does nothing for the existent problem of pollution and greenhouse gases and it's the least effective (energetic) way of implementing change. I'd like to know what the tax money will go to except lining government coffers. Bringing in better mass transportation and alternatives would make the carbon tax more feasible if it was actually applied to the big users. If even the little people, the poor people and those who have no choice are punished, it just means that in the end as always, the poor will get poorer and the rich will just continue to pay more to consume the same amount.

Ufdah!

This month I decided to concentrate on sending out literary poems. I have scads of them and haven't sent out much for a while. So I did a search through www.duotrope.com and first found the sites that I could submit to electronically. I looked for the highest paying ones of course. This is still a several night project because you have to read each set of guidelines and check the deadlines for submission, any special formatting rules, who the editor is and where exactly to send it.

I try to send any poem I can off to literary markets first as they pay much better for poetry on average than a speculative market. I have managed to get $50 for one spec poem and now $100 for a literary poem. On average though, spec poems are around $10 and liiterary $20 and up. I also sent out about ten stories this month. And I continue writing on the erotic novel, but I'm going to have to pull the other novel out this coming week and read over it and the outline and synopsis if I'm going to do the Kansas workshop.

Next month I might delve into the very hard market of children's lit. I have a few stories so it won't take as long. I had this great dream two nights ago and woke up going, this would be a great young adult novel. It had the full plot, conflict and resolution. And can I remember it? No. Wah! But overall, I'm feeling rather accomplished, along with three sales for the month. Wheee!

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SF Novel Writing Workshop

Well, on Saturday as Rhea and I discussed the worldbuilding workshop, then went for drinks and something to eat and to hammer out our second story some more (she threw a left curve into it so we had to sort out where it was NOW going), I talked about organizing the World Fantasy con SF Canada party. SF Canada is a very small country cousin to SFWA, the professional speculative writers organization.

I'm a member at large on our not too active board. We had talked about hosting a room party but our funds are limted as well and I knew no one would do anything unless I jumped on that bandwagon. I told Rhea that I'm doing this, one: because World Fantasy is in Canada this year (Calgary) and we should be highlighting our Canadian writers. It's part of SF Canada's mandates but rarely is much done.

And I've been to enough WFCs to know what the parties are like. WFC is a professional con--mostly writers, publishers and editors. The schmooze quota can be high. My ulterior motive is that by being the organizer and being there I get to chat more with the editor/publishers. Not that it's been a huge problem in the past. Rhea kind of gave me a verbal bitch slap though, and said, why are you wasting this opportunity and you don't have a manuscript to pedal?

I said, because I'm just trying to keep myself in the saddle and write whatever I can and get something under my belt. Therefore I've been writing erotica because it's easy without getting bogged down in too much research or worldbuidling. I need to reinvigorate my writing, which has been working some. She wanted to know if there was any horror or fantasy in my novel but nooo, it's straight-out erotica. But damn her, she planted a seed in my wee brain.

And then I'm reading through LJ and read Kij's story. Some people have a way of evoking a world that's different than our reality but you swear after reading their tales that it's out there and you just hadn't noticed. Ursula LeGuin did it with Always Coming Home. Kij has done it several times. And then I recalled I'd been curious about the novel writing workshop she teaches in Kansas every summer. It's one of the few universities anywhwere that actually has a Center for the Study of Science Fiction. (Hmm, I hope fantasy is okay though I could argue my novel is SF just as Anne McCaffrey did)

I gave her a call to just say hi but also to ask if this would be a good thing for me. Well, upshot is that if I can find the $$$ I think I'll take it as it will jumpstart the stalled novel. http://www2.ku.edu/~sfcenter/novel-workshop.htm If nothing else, then by WFC I'll at least have a partially reworked novel for consideration. 

Now I have to get my taxes done doubly on time to see if I have any money to fix my broken tooth and do the workshop and go to Calgary in the fall for WFC. So much for a decadent themed birthday. I don't think I'll be able to afford the long overdue tattoo unless I can get a better paying job. I'd like fame and riches. Right now I'd settle for riches. :D
What a long title and you could possibly know some of these things or not care about them. Behind the cut...

Kissing

Over the years I've had the pleasure and sometimes unfortunately, revulsion of kissing a fair number of men. I once, long ago, agreed to be a kissing judge in the SCA. I believe they put an air mattress in the middle of the field and the guys came and kissed one by one. The same was set up for the male judge. It was an enlightening and mostly grueling experience. Young gamer, SCA geeks were the ones that signed up. In the end I believe the judges found each other to be the best kissers. :D

Maybe it's because Valentine's Day has just passed but I've been thinking about kissing. A kiss can be a great turn on and the beginning of good foreplay. A bad kiss can be a turn off to the rest of a sexual experience. If I find someone a repulsive kisser I'm going to be hesitant to go farther than kissing them. So, as to men, they can pretty much be put into categories. Kisses really should vary and some of the below moves in small dosages can work well. An overwhelming preponderance for one style or lack of variety makes some of these truly disgusting and many boring.

THE VACUUM
This usually involves the man clamping his lips to yours lamprey style. He then tries to suction your tongue out of your body. Sometimes he won't get as far as the tongue but will suction you lips off. You're lucky to get away with light bruising and not look like a victim of zombiehood.

THE SLUG
I would prefer the Vacuum over the Slug. This one will either kiss by squishing his face into yours. I say face, because for all intents and purposes the lips are not alive. You have to do all the work. Should the slug let the slimy protuberance of his tongue into your mouth it will lay there like a slug, wet and ...oh sorry. Slugs are more animated but kinda slimy and disgusting no matter what.

THE SLOBBERER
This one is evident and can sometimes be combined with the Slug that lies in your mouth. Usually the lips are animated but the aim is bad and the tongue is of an overly moist humor. You'll end up with drool sliding down your chin, over cheeks and up your nose. Sloppy kisses can be fun from time to time but you shouldn't have to worry that you're going to drown.

THE BABY
You know how cute babies are when they're suckling and if they're hungry their little open mouths seem to blindly search for something to suckle? (Maybe I should call this the sandworm.) Well it's not so cute with men. You see this huge gaping maw coming your way and you're not sure you'll get out alive. The mouth will usually encompass yours and your lips too. I'm inclined to yodel to see if I can get echoes.

THE BOARD
These guys think that kissing involves keep your lips in a tight rictus over your teeth. Again, there will be little true interaction with the lips. They kiss by opening and closing their mouths because their lips rarely move. You'll have to do all the work.

THE PROBER
Some men think their tongues are penises. They'll ram that stiff sucker into your mouth and keep jamming it back and forth. There will be little to no exploration of the teeth and sometimes these guys combine with the Baby. You're lucky if you get a kiss on the lips to begin with and you'll rarely get a chance to give a reciprocal kiss unless you forcefully push the probe back out.

THE PUDDING
Puddin' lips can be kinda nice. They may have skills with the tongue but the lips (and sometimes the tongue), although animated may lack any muscle. When you kiss them you might sink into them. They're not all bad and depends if they combine with other good types.

THE CHOMPER
Teeth is what the Chomper is all about, which, as we know is not all bad. Unless it's all teeth. Biting the lips can be fun but slamming one's teeth into lips that have teeth on the other side is painful and cutting. Something soft between two hard surfaces usually gets squished.

THE MUSCLE
These guys put muscle into their kisses. Their lips and tongues are animated and alive and have some resistance. Too much muscle however, can become a workout and hard to give any reciprocal kissing.

As in all these styles, the best one is a versatile one, where both kissers have a chance to explore. Your mileage may vary. Some people might prefer a particular style only and that's fine.

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Words Words Words

This was posted by a member in my SF Canada group.The website highlights regency romance writers but they had a guest interview with John Dierdorf. He discussed the changing meaning of words, which is fascinating. And just wait until you find out what vaginas really were used for. They were...well, you'll just have to read it and the comments from everyone as they try to solve the sentence he gave. http://wordwenches.typepad.com/word_wenches/2008/02/im-delighted-to.html His own site is linked there and I've now got it bookmarked because it's fun and also great for anyone writing anything in a past era.

As well, I just found out my SF story, "Ice Queen" will be in the Warrior Wise Woman anthology by Norilana books.  http://www.norilana.com/norilana-ww-guidelines.htm  And my story "Stict Management" will now be in the erotic anthology Open for Business by Cleis Press.

Huh? Wha--

I'm still all over the map. Mostly I'm fine around people but sad if left to my own devices. My camouflage seems to be firmly in place.

I've been writing once a week on the novel, averaging about 2000 words. This Monday was 3000. I only write for about two hours (and three cider) after teaching dance. But I'm pleased with the progress. I should have a novel (erotic) by June-ish if I keep up. I'd like to speed that up but it's better than nuthin. Working on several other stories.

Tried to get a second novelette into the Tesseracts 12 anthology (since the first one was rejected in 12 hours--Gah!) but I only got 6000 words done. Still, not bad. That story has sat unfinished for years and was started after a visit to Kij and Bob in New York. Yes, sitting from that long ago. But it's moved along and I should have more of an idea how to finish it now. I always knew it was going to be a long one.

Rhea and I are working on our second collaboration. The first is still out. We're trying SF since there's a shortage of such these days and our chances of being accepted go up just by writing in that field. Our styles mesh fairly well so the rewriting isn't huge except for synching things up and smoothing out various elements. Also got confirmation that my story "Strict Management" will be in the Cleis Press antho called Open for Business. Also my flash fiction, horror piece "Amuse-Bouche" will be in Shroud Magazine #2.

Teaching dance is going fairly well. I'm getting a flow developed. Still need to polish my teaching but everyone's getting a workout. I need more music too still. I'm going to continue renting the studio on Monday nights, but I'm seeing if I can move the time to 6:30 since it's hard for some people to get there.

And I'm thinking of dipping my foot in the water and judging and Kingdom A&S. I sent Isolde an email and said she had to let me know a couple of weeks in advance though or I would book the time and most likely not go. 

I wish my body would stop hurting in various ways and doing odd things, and that I wasn't sad. I also still have to do the job hunt thing. Sigh...

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