October 2nd, 2006


A Busy Week

Not the most reliable of posters -- which is okay because my two or three readers are not the most reliable of commenters (grin) -- I've ended up being rather busy this week. A couple of things have clogged up my time:


First exams for both my Physics classes. I often joke to the students that the first exam in any Physics class is a Reality Check -- only they're not laughing now. And my exams aren't particularly evil either. At worst, you could accuse them of being lawful evil, but that's as far as one goes. (double-exam-grin)

Writers of the Future

As I write this, I still haven't heard from WOTF about my Q3 story submitted in June. Speculations' tracking site has a couple people mentioning they got e-mails as Quarter-Finalists, but not much else. Others I know haven't heard either. Don't know what that means -- did I win? place? miss completely?

I've had a story that I've been working on that I've not submitted to WOTF for about three quarters in a row -- ended up not finishing it this time either. Instead, a week ago Friday as I drove home I had a new idea for a story and decided to see if, in a couple of days work, I could "pull a Clarion" and write it on a short deadline.

Mrs. Dr. Phil was off visiting her middle sister at the Large Big Ten State University Which Shall Not Be Named in Champaign IL this weekend, and frankly the first night she's out of town, I rarely get anything done because the cats are short one lap to sit on. (grin) So until I took them downstairs for the night, I'd gotten nothing done on Friday. My plan of mailing by the noon closing of the Allendale Post Office was for naught.

Next plan -- the Holland Post Office stays open until 2 or 3pm on Saturdays, and since the 30th of September, the last day for postmarked submissions, was a Saturday this month... Nope, wasn't done yet.

Finally I had the story done. Or at least as done as this version, at 10,300 words, was going to be done. Half a dozen little plot elements shall have to wait for the 17,000 to 20,000 word version, I reckon. Shame that.

To The Postal Kiosk!

Anyway, the printer version of my story got timestamped 5:02 pm EDT, by then I'd printed, written the cover letter, printed the labels and stuffed the envelope. One thing I did NOT do was stamp the envelope. Instead I carried the postage with me and drove off to Holland MI. The lobby of the Post Office there is open 24/7 and last time I was there it had one of those postal kiosks which allows you to buy postage (with that all important timestamp) and so I bought September 30th postage and put the envelope in the slot and we're done.

Whew. Hate having to DEPEND on technology I've never used before. Especially with a story about how new unproven technology can turn and bite you. (double-meaning-grin)

Success and Success

Clarkesworld got their first issue out on Sunday. Two stories per their format, you can read for free here. More later, but nice to see them launch.

And Baen's Universe has their third issue out. They were flooded with so many submissions, they'd closed until 1 October 2006. Now they're closed until 1 January 2007 -- though they may be going through the ones left in limbo from before. My story has been "sitting on Editor Eric Flint's desk" since about February. I'm not knocking them -- delays happen, a successful launch is what we hope for and suffering the death of their fearless leader Jim Baen hasn't made it easy for them.

Dr. Phil
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