Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Analog likes my style

I was beginning to despair of my writing career (nearly 40 submissions since I started keeping track in 2013, and not so much as a whiff of interest). Then, one of the editors at Analog Science Fiction & Fact sent me this email on November 23:

Dear Andrew, 
Thank you for letting me see "Mother Knows." I'm sorry it didn't strike me as quite right for our present needs. 
I rather like your style of writing and suggest that you try us again.

Whoa, hold on. Did one of the editors of Analog, one of the most famous, widely-read, and respected sci-fi mags in the world, just tell me he liked my style?

Yes he did.

You'd best believe I whipped something off to him post-haste. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

back from the UK

Here's the short version, in case you're pressed for time and don't want to read the rest of this post:

     1. Miss H and I went on our trip to the British Isles and Ireland. It was Fun, with a capital "F." 

     2. A couple of days ago I queried Ethan Ellenberg with a 50-page excerpt of New Model Earth, which is the new title I've chosen for Revival, my sci-fi magnum opus.

     3. Miss H and I are moving. We're staying in Henderson, but we're switching apartments.

I told myself I'd write a post for each leg of the trip Miss H and I took to Europe, with oodles of delicious pictures for you to drool over. This is a travel blog, after all. But to be honest, I can't be bothered. There's too much going on right now. We're moving, as I mentioned. And I'm still trying to do three things every day: write, read, and exercise. So far I've been failing miserably, but not for lack of trying. Well, okay, maybe for lack of trying. But not for lack of wanting. So I'll just give you the picks of the litter: 

Black Linn waterfall, near Ossian's Seat in the Scottish Highlands.

I shouldn't have to tell you what this is.

The obligatory Big Ben selfie.

Tower Bridge ain't falling down...

The Titanic's original slipway in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Trinity College Library, Dublin. 

The view from Dundrum Castle, County Down, Northern Ireland. 

The Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

All done drooling? Great. The trip was luscious. Heather and I had a long layover in Miami on July 3, and spent a sultry afternoon in South Beach lying on golden sand and swimming in bathwater-warm seas and stuffing our faces with Cuban food and ducking self-professed heroin addicts on Collins Avenue. The bachelor party ("stag do") in Edinburgh was a blast; the boys and I pub-crawled across town, buying cheese from a bona fide cheesemonger and whisky from a bona fide whisky monger and mowing down while we roamed the streets. I ate haggis pizza and got to try a beer that was 44% alcohol. Jeff and Jenn's wedding ceremony was beautiful. They had a double-decker bus with their names on it, and got married in a friggin' castle, and the reception dinner was just amazeballs (game terrine, beef Wellington, and apple and berry cobbler), and a fun time was had by all. Then Miss H and I walked from one end of London to the other, and then flew into Dublin and did a private pub crawl of our own, and then had an 18-hour layover in Boston that left a fine taste in our mouths (as did the fondue and pisco sours at Stoddard's). And that was the trip. 

It was, however, ludicrously expensive. 

So expensive, in fact, that Miss H and I have been living paycheck-to-paycheck since we got home. 

Our lease is up, and Ventana Canyon Apartment Homes will be increasing our rent. They claimed it was because there was "development" going in next door to our apartment complex and that's upping the property value. The "development" they speak of is the construction of another apartment complex. I was no great shakes at economics in school, but doesn't an increase in supply and a corresponding decrease in demand mean a drop in price...?

Anyway, we selected a one-bedroom apartment at a complex just a mile and a half away, around the corner on Gibson. It'll mean a downgrade in living space, but much cheaper rent. Frankly, the complex is much nicer: a five-foot-deep heated pool, an indoor racquetball court, and a host of other amenities Ventana can't offer. I won't tell you the name of our new complex, however, because I expect to become a world-famous author soon and I'm keen on privacy.

Yes, I said "world-famous author." I haven't been bone-idle since I got back from the UK. I busted my hump, and with the help of a few erudite beta readers, I whipped the manuscript for Mugunghwa into shape. I'm publishing it for the Kindle...well, hell. Maybe tonight. Depends on how convoluted the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) process is. I've already formatted my novel the way they want it and saved it HTML, and now all I have to do is pick a cover design and set a price, as far as I'm aware. Then it'll pop up on Amazon 24-48 hours from when I click the "publish" button. Fame and fortune will follow.

...but just in case it doesn't, I also prepped my manuscript for New Model Earth (which I shall hereafter refer to as NME) and sent a query letter, a synopsis, and an excerpt off to the folks at Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. These are the same folks who picked up John Scalzi and published his works, so I have high hopes. 

Before 2015 is out I intend to start writing freelance opinion articles for the Pacific Standard, The Awl, and any other online periodical that likes my pitches. Might as well start working as a freelance writer, especially while I'm waiting to hear how my novel ambitions pan out. 

I've also taken proactive steps to get my flying career in order. Rather than lament my persistent lack of funds, I set up a GoFundMe campaign (click here or see the badge at the top right of this page). I need $25,000. That's to get current, get my high-performance rating, rack up 100 hours PIC and 50 hours cross-country flight, do my commercial checkride prep, take my exam, and then become a commercially-licensed pilot. And hopefully get snapped up by Grand Canyon Airlines shortly thereafter. 

I'm taking this campaign seriously. I've shotgunned it out over Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail, and I've even printed out flyers—actual, physical pieces of paper—to post up at the small airports around Las Vegas (North Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City). I'm doing that this weekend, if there's any time after the move. 

If you really love me, you'll save this and send it to everyone you know. Even that hated coworker you have to stand next to in the elevator each day on your way to work.