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A Different Kind of Sighting

So here I am, scooping up newsstand copies of November's Analog and I don't feel all that silly doing it. I have relatives, after all.

But meanwhile, my neighbor is now the self-appointed dictator, er, president, of the newly-formed (by her) H.O.D.F.C., Purcellville Division. Heck, I think she's the President of the world-wide H.O.D.F.C. She sent me a fan letter:

"You can WRITE! My gosh, "Re\Creation" was great. Just finished it, in a quiet moment today. All I could think was 'Wow. This is really good. Wow. She can really write.'"

My response was: "What were you expecting? Total crap?"
(Typical smart-ass writer response. Note to self: say "thank-you" and shut up.)

And she said, no, but she had no context, it's all hush-hush, this being a writer thing. Which is true. One is very careful what one says until an editor has actually purchased something, until one has a sale. It takes guts up to that point to quietly say in public "I'm a writer." I then usually hedge by saying "I'm a CPA" something people can identify with. But maybe now I won't hedge so often.

I needed a break this morning and I figured the issue had been out long enough, so I skimmed through the Reader's Forum online, looking at the two threads for the November issue. Both contained comments on "Re\Creation" much to my surprise (and secret delight).

The Dude (called to read the posts) wonders how I will react to a negative comment on the story. I wouldn't link to it, that's for sure. But I told him the point is people are actually READING it. In an issue that contains the opening 1/4 of a new novel by Robert Sawyer by way of competition. We write in solitude, we writers. Our work is read by family, friends, crit circles, editors. And now, my story has actually been read by people who have no connection to me, have never heard of me.

And, btw, the first two comments posted are both favorable. They found "Re\Creation" worth their time and money. (Mixed feelings about it, but that's not the point either.)

I'm a happy camper this morning.
Frog Out


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 13th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
Cool deal, Oz! Your happy camperness puts a smile on my jaded face. ;)
Sep. 13th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
I think "jaded" is a stretch. You'll be scampering a bit yourself when it's your turn for Analog. Or Asimov's. Or F&SF. Or Realms. Did I miss any?

Sep. 13th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
No, you didn't miss any. But now that I'm getting back into SF, I'm going to get aggresive with Analog. I'm currently losing interest in fantasy. I go in cycles.

"Jaded" is what our generation is. "World weary" applies to Generation Y. *hee*
Sep. 13th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
Awww. Congrats!
Sep. 13th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
Ah. Found those two comments. I understand your story. :>)
Sep. 13th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
Yes, you do. But then you know the writer. You spent two intimate weeks with her in the mountains of NM.
Sep. 13th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
It's out there! That is so awesome! Congratulations!

Relish it, roll in it, make it bigger and better. This is the stuff that will get you through the hard times. First publication--so exciting!

*revels in vicarious happycamperness*
Sep. 13th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
We relish and roll together in happycamper scamper in the midst of all the moving debris! You should see my place...the new wood floors dislodged most of the house and my deadlines have pretty much dislodged the rest. Deadline over on Monday. YEA!

Sep. 13th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
LOL! I bet those floors look great, though, so it will be worth it.

Have you ever seen matociquala's fridge magnet? It goes, 'No one with a clean house ever wrote a novel.' Words to live by...
Sep. 13th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Loved it! Re\Creation was definitely an ANALOG story, why ev er did you not think so? I found it charming, chilling, high tech, edgy and smart!
Sep. 13th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
I think because until 2 members of the Analog mafia gave me comments at Worldcon, I'd never met an Analog writer. All the writers I knew submitted to F&SF and Asimov's and had never been accepted by Stan or had their nose in the air about Analog. They talked about the classic Analog puzzle story, and this isn't one. They said Analog stories lacked characterization. And heaven forbid an Analog story should have classical or literary allusions in it! And they warned me that "VR" had already been "done" by writers far better than I was, so it would probably never sell. (I never thought of it as a VR story, either.)

The Worldcon writers workshop gave me hope. Maya even introduced me to Stan, she was so convinced it was an Analog story. But that's not why he bought it. I sent it a year later and he'd forgotten about meeting me for two seconds.

And thank you for reading it. Really. Makes me more happycamper. I do a happycamper scamper, I do.

Sep. 13th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Yay for scooping up copies of Analog :-) I will have to do the same, so I can read your story!
Sep. 13th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Maybe they have a discount on the soggy copies!

It's actually the story that my JPK tribute was referring to.

Sep. 13th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
Yay! And Yay again! WOOT!
Sep. 14th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks! BIG hug to you! You look so svelte in the full-bodied photos now. WW suits you.

Sep. 13th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's icing on the cake!
Sep. 14th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
And she said, no, but she had no context, it's all hush-hush, this being a writer thing. Which is true. One is very careful what one says until an editor has actually purchased something, until one has a sale. It takes guts up to that point to quietly say in public "I'm a writer." I then usually hedge by saying "I'm a CPA" something people can identify with. But maybe now I won't hedge so often.

I totally sympathize with this. Even when an actual editor had bought an actual story of mine, which had actually run with my actual byline (my first, non-counting sale was to True Confessions, years ago, so...no "by Ann Leckie" there) I found myself sitting in a parent-teacher conference panicked by the teacher's utterly innocuous question, "What do you do?" I chickened out. I didn't say, "I'm a writer." I said, "I work at the high school cafeteria."

The idea is getting less scary. Maybe someday I'll be able to say it without that feeling of less-than-total conviction, as though while I'm saying it I might just bite down and not say it, or I'm hoping whoever I'm saying it to wasn't paying full attention...

I think some of it is, the number of people who are completely happy to announce that they're writers--who never actually finish anything, or send things out, or who, if they do, insist they get rejected because the world is against them, or their genius is ahead of their time, or whatever, instead of just doing the head down, fingers on keyboard, get better business. And since most people I'd say it to would never, ever have read any SF, they either have an over-inflated idea of what it means when I say, "I sold a story" and think I'm on the path to rock-star style riches, or else just assume that it's all crap.

But you, Madam, have sold a story to freaking Analog! Which, I need to get myself a copy. :)
Sep. 14th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
Wow. I'd be so honored if you read it.

Ok, so you said you work in the high school cafeteria over saying you're a writer? Ha!

Sep. 18th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
I read it and enjoyed it! You're going to submit it to Escape Pod, yes? Dunno if it will be Steve's thing, but you can't beat a little extra income on a story!

And yes, I said I worked in the high school cafeteria over saying I was a writer. I find there's something...braggy feeling? I didn't want to say I was a writer until I had some kind of real basis for saying it, until I had some sort of concrete, objective basis for thinking myself a writer. I mean, beyond the "I write" part. Anyone who writes is a writer, of course, but when someone asks you "What do you do?" they mean something different. That was the part I wasn't sure of, the part I didn't want to claim until I felt absolutely sure there was no question.

Also, when you say you're a lunch lady? No one asks you if your books are at Barnes and Noble, or looks blank when you name the short fiction markets you've sold stories to, or wrinkles their nose and says "Oh, I don't read science fiction."
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )