Saturday, February 23, 2008

Periphery is available!

Periphery, the Lynne Jamneck-edited collection of erotic lesbian SF, in which I have a story, "The Rocky Side of the Sky," is now available on Amazon. After the delay caused by the sale of Haworth Press, and the company's subsequent decision not to continue publishing fiction, it's nice to see the collection in print!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A not-so-shaggy dog story

I watched the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show the last two nights — another family tradition, particularly since someone in Lisa’s dog club had a dog go Best of Oppposite a few years back. The dog slept through most of it, while the cats and I watched with some attention….

The best part, though, was during the Toy Group, when one of the diminutive champtions — I think it was the toy fox terrier — was introduced as "Louisville Slugger." (His father was "Grand Slam.") Not only is this funny to start with, it reminded me of one of our trips to Chicago, and the first time I ever saw a Chinese Crested.

We were staying at a hotel near the lake, in a neighborhood that clearly was full of dogs and dog-lovers, and that particular morning we'd decided to find coffee and croissants somewhere in the area before we headed off to the conference. Our search for an open coffeehouse led us past a small park, and as we passed it, we could see a guy behind the fence who looked like — well, like Tony Soprano's Chicago uncle. A goombah. A great big dark-haired dark-chinned man in polyester slacks and a polo shirt with a sports jacket over it, and a diamond ring you could see from across the street.

And as we tried not to giggle, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a plastic bag, and stooped to clean up after a dog that was too small to see behind the parked cars. A bulldog? A small pit bull? Some vicious little dog of uncertain lineage and obvious menace?

He carefully deposited the bagged waste in the trash can, then pulled out his handkerchief and picked up the dog: a Chinese Crested — a hairless Chinese Crested. He wiped its feet and the puffs of ankle fur, then settled in in the crook of his arm. It bounced up and licked his chin, bracing its now clean paws on his jacket, and he gave it a hug and walked on.

Naturally, we spent the next couple of days inventing stories about the man. Lisa found a name for him, but she never did get the chance to use him in a story. But now…. If you read anything of mine that includes a semi-retired mobster named Sonny Trentacosta and his little dog Louie (short, of course, for that well-known Chicago gangster's weapon, the Louisville Slugger), well, you'll know where they came from.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Story Sold!

Well, it's official! My short story, "One Horse Town," has sold to Catherine Lundoff's anthology of lesbian ghost stories, Haunted Hearths. I'm extremely pleased, not least because I enjoy Catherine's work, and it's been a pleasure working with her on this project.

I understand there's going to be a reading/release party for Haunted Hearths and for Lynne Jamneck's Periphery (in which I also have a story) at this year's Wiscon. Woohoo!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Sunday

Sometimes you end up continuing a tradition long after its original purpose has been lost. This is the case with the Super Bowl and me. Although I grew up paying attention to college football (how could I not, living in Arkansas?), I was never a huge pro football fan, so it was actually Lisa who started me watching the Super Bowl. She was fascinated by the ads, and by the time the game aired, she'd compiled a list of the ones she was waiting to see. (I think she would have been delighted by the announcements last night that repeatedly directed viewers to a MySpace site if they wanted to see all the new ads without having to bother with the game.)

The first time we watched the game together, she wanted to channel surf during the game, and come back for the ads, and for the first time in our relationship, I caught myself saying words like "heresy" and "abomination." Cut away during the game? The gods of football will punish you for that - and even after she pointed out that neither one of us cared who won, the mere idea made me twitchy. So we compromised, and I ended up watching the game (and getting emotionally involved, always) while Lisa read a book and looked up whenever the ads came on.

I'm not sure that the appearance of the Super Sunday Yarn Sale made anything better. Oh, it made me happy, deliriously so, but Lisa grumbed that there ought to be something equivalent for gardeners. (An All-Star Plant Sale?) And even when I made her come along to pick out yarn for herself, she made her decisions in under half an hour and had to stand around while I fondled skeins and made arcane calculations and generally had a wonderful time.

I went to the Super Sunday Yarn Sale yesterday, arriving 3 minutes after the doors opened (and, no, I wasn't the first person there), and spent about an hour and a half picking out some lovely yarn. (From which I intend to make 2 pairs of socks, and two different jackets from the new Knitted Kimonos, a book I really adore.) And yesterday evening, I settled down in front of the TV to watch The Game and The Ads. And, you know what? It wasn't as much fun without the arguments over whether or not we could catch a few minutes of Mythbusters during the second quarter, and without knowing what the big ads were going to be.

Of course, if the Patriots had won, I might feel differently.