The Brass Ring and the Waiting Game

So I have submitted a story to tor.com, which for those of you outside the speculative fiction community is pretty much the brass ring: they pay five times pro rates and offer huge exposure, since the website is both free and associated with one of the biggest spec fic imprints around.  In the probably very unlikely event that my story is accepted for publication, I will be sharing space with the biggest names and most talented writers working in the field.

But I won’t know for months.  Last time I submitted to them, they sat on my story for over a year and a half.  Which is awesome, because it means I made it to the second-look pile.  I also got the best rejection letter maybe anybody ever got from anywhere, which included an invitation to submit again if I could stand the wait.  That was back in January.

So why did I wait so long? Continue reading “The Brass Ring and the Waiting Game”

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

I didn’t come up with this, but I’ve seen it before.  I saw it again today (hat tip to Joe from Camp Do Nothing), and thought it worth sharing.

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.” Continue reading “The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee”

The Funny Thing About Preconceptions

So, about a week ago I met this guy, a friend of a guy I play soccer with, who came out to have a couple of beers with us after our game.  He smelled strongly of gasoline, because he had ridden his motorcycle to the bar, and the bike had a gas leak, or maybe just a really rich mixture, and the unburnt gas had soaked into his blue jeans.  The reason he had ridden the bike with the gas leak to the bar was because he’d had an accident in his van not long ago, and couldn’t drive it.  After drinking about half of his giant mug of beer, he started telling the story.

The story itself wasn’t all that interesting: he’d rear-ended somebody who’d come to a (according to him) sudden stop one night.  What was interesting was how utterly flabbergasted he was about the nature of the damage to his van.

He was sure the car he’d hit must have had a trailer hitch or something, because the front of his van, instead of crumpling uniformly along the axis of impact, had instead crumpled only in the middle, as if there had been a single point of impact, which made a triangular indentation in the middle.  He kept saying, over and over, how he didn’t understand what had happened, and he kept clapping his hands together to demonstrate the nature of the collision. Continue reading “The Funny Thing About Preconceptions”

A Brief Internal Dialogue

“It´s a beautiful day outside,” whispered the demon in that honey-sweet voice. “You should go outside and enjoy it. It´s not healthy to spend all your time in here, watching the world through the window.”

“I have an idea,” said the angel. “Do you want to hear about it? I think it´s really cool, and I think you´ll really like it.”

“I am an empty chasm you will never adequately fill,” said the page, staring blankly.

“All of you are right,” said the writer, and put pen to paper anyway.

A Look at the Machinery Behind the Curtain

Sometimes I sleep very soundly, and though I dream, the dreams have faded to wisps by the time I have risen close enough to consciousness to apprehend them.  Other times I dream closer to the surface, and though it’s not quite that awesome lucid dreaming experience where you can make yourself fly or cause a tiger, I am able to dream my dreams in a sort of close third-person POV.  What I mean by this is that I experience them as something outside myself while having some insight into what’s happening and why.  Sometimes these dreams are about writing.

I had one of those last night. Continue reading “A Look at the Machinery Behind the Curtain”