Endtime Blues

I had a craptastic dream last night.

In the dream, some sort of apocalypse was happening, and all of my friends were heading back to be with their families (all of whom live in the immediate area). My family’s a couple hours away from me IRL, not too difficult to get to, but pretty much impossible to reach during the endtimes.

No one was trying to get to me.

I don’t know how I knew; maybe Dream-Me received a phone call or something, but I knew there was no one out there who was going to try to help me or reach me, and let me tell you, that was one hell of a bummer.

GNW and its offshoots are firmly tongue-in-cheek, but I did try to touch on what happens to human relationships when the world goes to shit. You cling to whoever you can find, whether it’s the nice neighbor who didn’t let you starve, or the well-meaning Boy Scout who won’t try to attack you while you sleep. But I don’t think Vibeke has faced that sort of loneliness that comes from having absolutely no one. The story would be a lot grimmer if she did.

I don’t know what brought the dream on. I’m working on a short story that faces a protagonist who really does feel alone, but for entirely different reasons — and she’s basically okay with that. Solitary woman, if you will. Getting into her head has been fun.

Steve Jobs and Me

We all have those days. You know, the one where you leave your password list at home and wind up locked out of your own blog, but really, it’s just as well, because you have a frillion things to do and blogging is just too enticing a distraction.

(To be fair, my “day” lasted a good week and a half, during which time my phone also decided to have a midlife crisis, and I had the Worst Tension Headache of All Time, but what can you do.)

Echoes is up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the princely sum of $2.99. At present, I’m trying to figure out a gadget or a widget that will let me put an ad on this blog…meanwhile, I’m turning the AdSense advertising off, since it just seems wrong to advertise my book and have ads.

I’ve seen conflicting reports on the best way to price ebooks. I believe they should be cheaper than paper versions because there’s no paper involved, and I know that’s becoming more and more expensive (I bore witness to the declining grades of paper we used at the magazines). There are some that say newbie authors shouldn’t price over 99 cents…I’m torn on that. If that’s what the market will bear, well, so be it; however, I feel that writers need to value their work. Echoes is still much cheaper than any paperback you’d pick up in a bookstore, and at this point it’s cheaper than a latte at Starbucks. With that said, if dropping prices will gain me readers, I may try it.

This seems as good a time as any to talk about Steve Jobs.

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Day of Rest

Between all the strange lights in the sky, earthquakes, and weird weather, I’m wondering if California isn’t starring in the beginning of some sort of apocalyptic movie. This is how they all start out.

We had a small jolt at about 3 AM today. The bird panicked and flapped around her cage, badly damaging two flight feathers. I rushed her to the Yorba Regional Animal Hospital — they have a 24-hour clinic — and they had to extract the bleeding feathers. Scared the hell out of me…I knew I had to take her in when I realized how much blood was around the cage. We spent a very quiet morning after we got back around 3:45, and now she’s doing some singing and seems to feel much better. Anyway, if you have an animal emergency in OC, I do recommend Yorba.

As a result of this early morning madness (and finally passing out on the couch at 8 AM), my work has been on and off.

As part of our Day of Convalescing, the bird and I watched Monsters and Skyline, two “alien invasion” movies that didn’t do very well upon release. To be fair, I’m still in the middle of Skyline, but an hour into it, this movie seems to be what War of the Worlds should have been. It succeeds where Spielberg’s movie failed in every respect–lots of action (as opposed to the handful of glances we got of the tripods), characters I actually give a damn about and whose arguments seem realistic (remember Tom Cruise and his brats shrieking for no apparent reason? Yeah, me too).

Honestly, I’m puzzled as to why this movie didn’t do better. On one hand, it is kind of a standard alien invasion movie (in that aliens come and want to either harvest us or kill us all), but it handles the situation creatively, and it moves fast. It also happens to have an excellent, underrated leading man in Eric Balfour.

Anyway, it’s been a thankfully quiet day. Hoping to get to bed early to make up for the wackiness of earlier, and tomorrow I get to start figuring out marketing, which…ugh.

But more on that later.

Rejections vs. Silence

Lately I’ve been trying to decide which I like better: The form rejection letter or the non-response.

The non-response, at least, lets me wonder if perhaps it slipped into a spam folder, or was otherwise gobbled up by the Internet. A ballsier person than myself might even send a follow-up, politely asking if my sparkling resume had been received (this follow-up would probably also plummet into the long Internet abyss of “what if”). Logically, they did see it, and decided my skillz weren’t even worth the five seconds it sends to paste in a form rejection. Which, on paper, is more offensive than the actual form rejection itself.

The problem with a form rejection is that it is a rejection. Non-responses still allow you the dignity of fantasizing: “They’d hire me if they saw it.” (Yeah, and maybe that cute guy will call you tomorrow.)

Form rejections say, “Nope, you ain’t for us.” This is akin to the “I don’t think we’re a good match” speech.

In case I’m not being transparent enough, I woke up to a nice little rejection in my inbox. It was for a content mill — just me trying to throw more eggs in the basket — and I appreciate them taking the time to reject me. Still, I kind of like what-ifs.

In the meantime, my Internet is acting up, I have an obnoxious recruiter text messaging me (is this my reward for posting on LinkedIn? Awesome), and I have to ask my doctor for generic acne medication.

In case anyone’s wondering, the going rate for clear skin these days is $410, without insurance.

Still, waking up without oozing pustules is priceless.