March 12th, 2006


Spring in Michigan

Monday or Tuesday we had wet snow and Wednesday night we had rather torrential rains here in West Michigan. Puddles and lakes formed in many of the yards around here and the driveway turned to somewhat soft mixture of mud and sand. By Friday, most traces of snow were gone and it was turning into a "Michigan Spring."


Most people have the notion that Spring is green and flowers. That's "Late Spring" to me. Weeks away. But this brown, soggy ground, windy time of sometimes blue sky and painfully bright sun -- this is Spring to me. There's a smell coming from the mud as it begins to live again. The temperature reaches the 50s, then the 60s. It was 69degF at one point today. There are some shadings of green around, mainly from the expanses of grass, not yet grown enough for anyone to worry about mowing, of course. But the trees are still bare and the flowers are absent.

When we lived in the U.P., Easter season of March and April is still Late Winter. The last snow in our front yard in Laurium MI would melt on Mother's Day. But for Easter each year we would head south to Reedsburg WI for a weekend with family and friends. The Wisconsin Brown Spring would be our first taste that winter would soon be over -- it's the same here on this side of Lake Michigan.

The True Sign of Spring

But it wasn't until 7:30pm Saturday evening when the last piece of the Spring puzzle was set into place, when I opened the bathroom window -- and heard the first peepers from the soggy drainage ditches by the road. If the weather stays warm for another day or two, the noise should become deafening. We'll be able to sleep with the windows open and the white noise machines shut off.

And the world is reborn again for another year.

A Discordant Note

There are reports of a great amphibian die-off going on, perhaps fueled by global climate change, or human development, or some disease. But if it reaches here, I shall miss the little froggers peeping away greedily in the dark. And their role in our lives out here in the country as the last harbingers of spring...

Dr. Phil
  • Current Mood
    rejuvenated renewed

659 Days

659 day returned manuscript from Artemis. No, that's not a typo -- this is a pre-Clarion 2004 submission. I sent "A Man in the Moon" to Ian Randall Strock, editor of Artemis, on 3 May 2004 and got a rejection back on 10 May 2004. Pretty fast. Then I sent "The Moons of Mercury" on 21 May 2004, about a week before WisCon and two weeks before the 2004 Clarion workshop. Nine months later, I sent a query letter 12 February 2005 and never got a response. In June 2005, the Artemis website said they were "on hiatus" and I logged the submission as a NO CALL and went on with my life. (grin)

So today I went by my P.O. Box and pulled out one of my usual manuscript return envelopes. Odd that someone had blacked out the return address I had filled out on my mailing label, so I didn't know who it was from until I opened the envelope, only to find my manuscript and original cover letter with no note, letter or comment. There was no postmark on the envelope. (I am so tired of the USPS not putting a postmark on First-Class and Priority Mail out of the New York City metroplex. I thought the big hype of Homeland Security was No Envelope or Package Left Behind.) Guess Artemis is out of business and someone was cleaning house.

from Ralan's Dead Markets listing:
# Aremis [sic] - was 2-3 issues/year print; sf (fic/nonfic). Paid: 3-5¢/word. Ian Randal Strock, Editor. DoD: 08Nov05

from the Artemis website:
Artemis Magazine is currently on hiatus while we seek additional funding. We've left most of the magazine's web site up for historical reference, and to remind ourselves and you of what the magazine was and what we hope it will again be.

If you're an angel interested in funding the magazine, please contact Ian Randal Strock at irs at lrcpubs dot com.

Artemis Magazine was published quarterly by LRC Publications, Inc. We published an even mix of science and fiction in a full-sized (8.5" x 11"), glossy, full-color format. The science covered the gamut of anything our readers will need to know to build, get to, or live in a Moon base. The fiction was near-term, near-Earth, hard science fiction. We published fact and fiction by some of the biggest names, and art you're sure to love. The most recent issue (Winter 2003), for instance, featured memories of the Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew including a piece by Spider Robinson, as well as information about Columbia's potential successors competing for the X-Prize. We also had a review of the International Space Development Conference, and a piece on "Solid State Biology". Our fiction included wonderful stories by Jerry Oltion, Edward M. Lerner, and John C. Bunnell's "The Pirates of Capella", as well as first-time author Cat Darensbourg. We also featured Daniel M. Kimmel's "Rewind" column, this time discussing "The Mystery of The Woman in the Moon", and Allen M. Steele's latest "Farthest Notion", this one about "Shepard's Balls".

Sigh. An interesting market... gone.

Anyway, 659 days is a "record" for me, even though I still will never know if Ian ever read my story or might've bought it if his magazine had continued.

Dr. Phil
  • Current Mood
    confused mildly confused