Tribulations of a Domestic God

Yes, it’s true. I am a Domestic God. Ange would disagree of course (she has a tendency to do that), but today, my domestic avatar incarnated and promptly dealt with not only the dreaded vacuuming, but the washing AND the folding. At one point I even considered the ironing pile, but sanity prevailed when Ange sent me on a few errands. Fortuitously, in domestic god avatar mode, I applied celestial magic to all tasks and even managed amiable small talk with shopkeepers – when my regular incarnation would simply stare awkwardly at his shoes. Yes indeed. A Domestic God.

Inspiration also struck while I was showering, as it is wont to do. A magnificiently cool story entered my head, fully born ala Stephen King’s stories-are-unearthed-fossils theory of creativity. I am about to start work on it this evening. The working title is Blasphemy on Eight Wheels.

Ange and I discussed more of a potential webzine, which I have workingly titled Brimstone, but everything, including the name, is up for grabs at this point. The basic webpage template looks pretty cool though. I think it will be left (defininately until after our April holiday anyway), just in case I am ‘activity displacing’.

Ange’s TAFE experience has brought home some wonderful concepts. Activity Displacement is one of them. The concept is simple enough. When you do something (like, say, formatting – which is our word for farting-around-doing-bugger-all-but-on-the-surface-looks-like-something-important-and-may-well-be-but-it-isn’t-relevant-right-now) that takes you away from the activity you SHOULD be doing (housework, writing, homework etc.), then that is Activity Displacement. Having a term to put to the concept, we now are able to identify Activity Displacement in most things we do.

The other cool label Ange came home with the other week was the term ‘normalise’. Throw the word ‘familiarise’ out the window folks, the community services powers-that-be have this wonderful new label. It’s use is pretty cool too (eg. The homeless, um, err, sorry, the ‘street-present’ youth ‘normalised’ the fact he was homeless and drug-dependant). Despite my sarcasm, the word normalise is quite useful. Normalising something is really combining the concepts of ‘familiarise’ and ‘habit’ in one neat word. In the truest sense of the word, I have normalised uploading entries to this blog.

Okay, enough of normalising wankey words in my blog. I also updated my list of eleven big US markets to crack. I have added Amazing Stories (newly resurrected for the 21st century and boasting 10c US/word for stories). So now I have twelve big markets. I’m not having much luck with Chiaroscuro though. Today they rejected Sobek’s Tears. Oddly enough, this rejection was a very nice one, which in many ways contradicted the one from Ideomancer the other day. The editor said the “piece has a strong moral message, almost akin to Aesop’s fables“. They rejected it purely because the setting was not contemporary enough. I say fair enough on that one, particularly with such praise to boot. I’ll now wait for a decision from Apocryphal Tales anthology, as this was where I originally sent the story. I would be VERY suprised if they knocked it back on the grounds of quality or suitability (i.e. this is one of what I hope are ‘shoe in’ stories). Am I building up to disappointment? Nah, it’ll sell. Somewhere.

On the subject of markets, I have yet to crack most of the Australian ones, but things are looking good. My targets here are:

Borderlands (which I have sold Hear No Evil to)

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight magazine



Dark Animus

Ticonderoga Online

Fables & Reflections

Antipodean SF (On Dark Clouds Borne appearing there soon)

Of these markets, my story Ian is sitting in the ASIM slushpile after passing all reading rounds (i.e waiting to be picked for an issue, or else discarded after a few months, but otherwise considered acceptable for publishing), and Firewall v1.1 has gone through re-writes after suggestions from the Ticonderoga editors, so my hopes are high they’ll accept the uber-revised version after investing so much into improving the story. I also have pending stories with all the listed mags except Dark Animus, so odds are I will make at least one breakthrough soon. I particularly have high hopes for Practical Joke (with Ideomancer, who have proven a tough nut to crack, with rejections of The Black Door and Sobek’s Tears) and Room Three (with Borderlands, as a Hear No Evil follow up).

I have also submitted to a number of anthologies. My biggest hope is Daikaiju, the giant monster antho from aussie Robert Hood. A rewrite of Plan Ni was requested a while ago, which resulted in a MUCH better story (at that stage, it was borderline for their shortlist, so here’s hoping with the improvements). The pulpy Kraken novelette is also in their sights. I am also quietly wishing The Black Door will see its way into the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild antho, Encounters. While it is my most rejected story (refused by The Harrow antho, Darkness Rising antho, and Ideomancer), I believe it’s a pretty good story, with a decent amount of characterisation and unnerving details.

Okay, I don’t know how I did it, but I seem to have normalised waffling, so I’ll cut this activity displacing blog entry short and get onto that sexy new story. Same Bat time, Same Bat Channel tomorrow, Dear Reader.