Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day weekend

Labor Day is a special anniversary for me - at least in an s-f context. It was on the Labor Day weekend four years ago that I wrote my first s-f story.

Oh, I wrote some stories when I was in high school and took an English elective in science fiction. I also took a stab at writing some stuff around 1988, but I only finished one story and never sent anything out.

In 2002 I was working at a newspaper an hour and 15 minutes outside of Dallas. My wife and I lived in a guest house on a lake. Just before the Labor Day weekend, the A/C conked. There was no way to get it fixed until after the long weekend.

By Saturday my wife couldn't take the heat, so she drove to Dallas and stayed at her mom's. I stayed behind; I had too much work to do, anyway.

But Saturday night I was real lonely and bored. I had a thought, and I googled around the web and found a web site where you could post s-f and fantasy stories. I stayed up until 4 a.m. and wrote a 2,000 word story. I posted it before I went to bed.

Sunday I got up at the crack at noon and logged on to see what people's comments had been. All were positive, and I realized maybe I should do this more.

After a crash research course on the web on how to format and submit stories, I sent the story off to Gardner at Asimov's. The log book says it went in the mail Sept. 8. 2002. (I later rewrote the story and also had the first version pulled off the web site).

The following January I had my first acceptance and my first publication was the following June.
In four years I have written 56 stories and had 26 publications. I can't complain.

Oh, what did I do this weekend? Caught up on sleep and rest and household chores - one of which kinda blew up in my face.

I use a push mower (or reel mower, as some cal it) for exercise. I really like using it on the lawn (I hate exercise because it bores me, but using the reel mower is exercise where I actually accomplish something).

BUT I must have stood in an ant bed for a few seconds while attacking a particularly tough patch of crab grass. I looked down to see my shoes covered in ants, and insofar as I wasn't wearing socks, they were on me pretty fast.

I ran into the house and junped in the shower, but I got bit pretty bad. I have about three different cremes in my feet. Ouch!

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