Sunday, November 6, 2005

Past Exploits and Coming Attractions

"It seems like people I don't even know are glad to see me." - Buffy, "Dead Man's Party,"  BtVS

Hi, everyone!  Thanks for all the congratulations and kind words.  If you're frequent visitors to this journal, hooray and three cheers!  You guys keep me going.  If you've been here before, but haven't commented until now, thanks for making your presence known!  And if you're new to this journal, welcome!  Feel free to explore.  I post daily, usually around midnight MST, give or take a few hours.  My posting schedule goes something like this:

Monday night:  Monday Photo Shoot.  And you know, I never settle for just one photo.
Tuesday night:  Could be anything, but might be a follow-up to Monday's entry.  Every other week, after midnight, it's the Round Robin Photo Challenge.  And I tend to overdo these things....
Wednesday night:  Could be anything, but may be a follow-up to Tuesday's RR entry.
Thursday night:  Weekend Assignment, usually a bit of an extravaganza.
Friday night:  Could be anything.  May be a follow-up to something else.
Saturday night: Fiction.  Always.
Sunday (day or night):  Whatever.

And if I need to, I might have a second entry that day.

With all that's been going on over the last 72 hours - work, writing, awards, friends, email, catching mice, my house guest and more - I've gotten behind in telling you all about a number of things.  You know what that means, don't you?  It's time for another potpourri entry.

1.  Is It Too Much to Say I Saved My Own Life?

I could have died on Friday.  Well, maybe.  But I lucked out, or did the right thing, or the Lord was looking after me, or all of the above.  Here's the story:

There's a Chinese buffet nearby.  The food isn't very good, but the people are very nice and it's not expensive.  So I went there on Friday.  It was lunchtime.  I was alone. Perhaps forty feet away, a party of five was laughing over their fortune cookies.  Twenty feet to my left, a couple was eating.  There may have been another couple just finishing up in a booth between me and the party of five.  That was about it for people in my immediate vicinity.

A large piece of pork got caught in my throat.  I tried to swallow it.  That was a mistake.  It didn't work.  I tried again.  No success.

Oh, I thought.  This is interesting.  I guess that means I'm choking.  I don't really feel the need for air yet, but I'm going to have to do something.

Can I take a breath?

Tried it.


Okay.  Definitely a choking situation.  Heimlich, then?

I looked around.  The couple in the one booth was gone.  The people with the fortune cookies were laughing, oblivious.  The couple to my left was busy with their own lives.  Nobody knew a drama - or comedy? - was unfolding nearby.  I was on my own.

Can I do a Heimlich on myself?  Maybe, but not sitting here in this booth.  Anyway, I don't know how.

Okay.  Back to basics.  Try coughing.

I coughed. The pork obediently exited my gullet and landed in the napkin I'd held to my mouth.

Okay, great!  I did it!  Now can I breathe?

No.  Not really.  I got a little air, but not much.

I coughed again.  There was no food left to be expelled, but it seemed to loosen my paralyzed windpipe.  I took a noisy, gasping, wheezy breath. 

Nobody but me noticed.

The next breath was easier.  I was okay.

Nobody in the restaurant ever knew what have happened.  But now you know about it.  Don't tell them, all right?

2.  Kate Weighs In

"I saw what you wrote about me on Friday," Black Rose Kate tells me.

"I thought you might," I acknowledge.  "Do you object to anything I said?"

"Nay, your suppositions were quite astute.  'Tis certain that if I'm here much longer, we will have a parting of the ways.  You're too honest by half to tolerate me for long.  You do not approve of my larcenous heart, and the bindings of your conventional morality chafe me exceedingly."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I tell her.  "What did you  think about my award last night?"

"Congratulations, I'm sure, but 'tis of no moment to me.  You may tell people I'm fictional, but I know better."

"I only said that in a few emails."

"And in your LiveJournal, and in IMs to your friends.  Do not lie to me, Karen.  You have not the skill for it."

"Oh, that, yes.  Are you insulted?"

"Nay, but do not expect me to be wholehearted in approval, either."


It seems that I'm apologizing to her a lot these days.  Why is it never the other way around?

3.  The Real Deal

After checking with a certain well-known science fiction writer on the advisability of posting a piece of something I'm actually trying to sell, I've decided that starting next week, my Saturday Night Fiction entry will feature the good stuff:  the first two chapters of Heirs of Mâvarin in serial form. This is your chance to find out what I've been talking about all this time.  For the rest of the story, well, you'll just have to wait until I find a publisher for the darn thing!  The idea here is to free my schedule up a bit, so that I can finally finish the last edit of the first book and start sending it around again. 

Aside from five queries to agents three years ago,  I haven't submitted Heirs to anyone over over a decade.  It was a very different manuscript then, not anywhere near as good as it is now. 

The market has changed in the intervening years, too.  Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia have all made inroads in popular culture.  On the other hand, I'm not in that league, and the publishing industry has been consolidated down to a handful of companies with dozens of imprints each. Tough market - and yes, I'm nervous about sending my life's work out again, possibly to be ignored and rejected.  It's all very well to tell me how many times L'Engle and King had their most important books turned down by dozens of publishers, but what if there are only five publishers left that take unagented fantasy, and I've tried all five?  What then?


P.S.  Oh, I forgot to tell you about the mice. I guess I'll save that story for another time. - KFB


ondinemonet said...

Classic you darlin!!! You are an amazing find, and I have been telling you that for a year now!!! I am still hopping up and down because you won! So well deserved!!! Its about damn time!!!

Always, Carly

dbp2000 said...

Hello!  I included you in a recent entry ... checkit out.


karensull12 said...

Congratulations on your win

ryanagi said...

I'm glad you didn't choke to death in a cheap Chinese buffet! On the other would make for an interesting and heart-wrenching blog entry. ;-)  I would have done an amazing tribute, to be sure.

monponsett said...

If you choke on chinese food, you want to choke a half hour later.

globetrotter2u said...

So glad that you are okay! That is horrible when it happens, and most people are unaware when you are choking, because you are so intent on breathing that you aren't thinking how to draw attention to yourself!
Tell Kate I think she's a scream:)