Sunday, August 11, 2019

Update on Sirius S-F

After a great launch and publishing five excellent original short stories, Sirius S-F went on hiatus for a couple of months because of illness here at the Antonelli household - first myself, and then more seriously with Patricia.* Our last published story was June 2.

We do have an excellent assortment of stories in the slush pile, and we look forward to a re-launch very soon. In the meantime you can visit and read the stories already available.

I tweaked the cover page art to more accurately reflect the kind of stuff we like. It is a Galaxy magazine cover from 1960 by Ed Emshmiller, "Venus on Bust".

* Some of you may recall I stayed hoe from LibertyCon because of this.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Update on Patricia’s health:

As some of you know, I stayed home to be with Patricia rather than attend LibertyCon. She was having health problems and I wanted to be with her.
Patricia has suffered from acid reflux disease all her life. Last spring she suffered an attack so bad that she aspirated acid, and had to go to the doctor, who gave her some new meds as well as an inhaler.
She’s had a few more attacks since then, and two weeks ago she started having chest pains and shortness of breath. A doctor’s visit and x-ray showed she has scarring on her lungs, probably caused by aspirating acid over the years. The doctor said it looked like she had emphysema.
They also saw an enlarged heart, and agreed to schedule a visit to a cardiologist. The following weekend was LibertyCon, so I’m sure you understand why I didn’t go.
Between her sore throat, plus apparently some side effect of the medicine, Patricia stopped eating, and so she became very weak. That probably slowed her recovery. By Monday she still felt bad enough that we decided to go to the ER of a hospital in Texarkana.
That was a complete waste of time. If you didn’t see what I wrote, there’s a link to my story about that earlier on my wall.
By Monday night she started to eat again and by Tuesday and Wednesday she started recovering. We went to a follow-up visit to the doctor on Friday. He had good news. He had a radiologist look at the previous x-ray, and he said there didn’t seem to be anything serious going on. Plus the BMP reading from the blood taken the previous week shows no sign of heart damage.
Patricia will still be going to a cardiologist in the future, in light of this scare, but I am happy to report she seems to have recovered. She back at work at the paper this past week and things are getting back to normal.
Thanks for all the expressions of concern. I’m sorry I missed the convention, but a health scare like this puts everything in perspective.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Live and let live

Looking back on Soonercon, I was reminded that ever since I was outed as a Sad Puppy in 2015 there are people who won't talk to me any more. Of course, if you are a guest or panelist at a convention, you are asked - confidentially - if there are people you do not want to be on panels with. But you still sometimes can't avoid colliding with them in a hallway or someplace else.

There were people who used to be friendly with me who now go the other way or ignore me. Not a big deal. You really weren't a friend in the first place. If you are a liberal and put ideology above camaraderie, I really don't care what you think of me anyway. If you are scared of being ostracized because of being seen with me, I feel sorry for you, and it says a lot about the current atmosphere in literary s-f that people are afraid of being spied upon, reported and denounced.

One thing that puzzles me is that I could never have told who would and wouldn't snub me. Some people seem to have a live and let live attitude, and the others - well, I don't know what they think, they don't talk to me any more.

Life is too short to worry about such bullshit.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Done for another week

This week's paper has been put to bed, ready to be printed tomorrow.

This has been a busy ten days. Last week we had our largest issue of the year, with 16 pages. It included many articles about scholarship awards and 144 photos of graduating seniors from the four Red River County school districts.

As I mentioned previously, I was very sick last Monday and Tuesday, so it was a real slog. But we got through it.

This week we are back to a more normal dozen pages, but that includes coverage of the Clarksville High School graduation, which was last Saturday. There are a dozen photos from the graduation as well as a write-up of the program.

As usual, the rest of the paper is packed with local news. I'm proud of it, but I'm looking forward to things slowing down a bit as summer kicks in.

I'm also looking forward to the rain stopping. We've had an astounding wet winter and spring. Just about everyone I know I Red River County is sick with allergies because of all the lush growth.

The rain causes other problems. We had a viciuous thunderstorm yesterday, and our internet cut in and out all afternoon as a result.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Fast copy

My first panel at SoonerCon will be Friday at 1 p.m. I am the moderator for "Creating a Short Story: Harder Than You Think".

You know, I've set the world record for the shortest lapsed time between starting to write a short story and getting an acceptance from an editor.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, I sat down after breakfast to write a short story for Dawn Witzke and the forthcoming Earth anthology - part of the Superversive Press Planet series.

I had promised Dawn I would submit something. I had been very distracted recently because of my buying the local newspaper on Jan. 1, 2018.

I started at 8:30 a.m. and wrote up the story, "This Planet is a Hole", in an hour - 1,395 words. I emailed it to Dawn, who was on-line and who read it immediately.

She accepted it at 9:58 a.m. An hour and a half from start to acceptance.! I guess I learned to write good copy fast working as a journalist for 40 years.

The anthology was published last June.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Sick and tired, really

I haven't posted much this week, for a good reason. I've been sick, or behind in my work because I was sick.

This winter and spring has been ridiculously wet here in East Texas. We’ve had dozens of thunderstorms that have dropped four or five inches of rain at a time. As a result, the proliferation of allergens from all the extra growth has been tremendous.

Now, in the past I’ve had a few episodes of what I call an “allergy attack”. I’ll suddenly start sneezing violently may ten or twenty times, then get all congested with a powerful post-nasal drip which makes my throat so raw I have trouble speaking. These attacks are so severe it usually takes me at least a day or two to recover.

At work, this week was one of the busiest ever. With our local high school graduation set for Saturday, the paper was the largest of the year so far – 16 pages.

I came to the office Monday and just after 9 a.m., as I was speaking to a friend, I had one of these allergy attacks strike. She actually backed away because she thought I was going to drop dead. I almost passed out.

For the rest of the day I could hardly talk and I was woozy and light-headed from the blood pressure spike caused by the violent coughing and sneezing. I was still sick as a dog Tuesday. I couldn’t use the telephone because whenever I started to talk I’d start to cough.

I got the paper to bed at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Thankfully, by Wednesday I felt better and I’ve been pretty much normal the rest of the week.

I can’t believe I had this happen on one of my busiest deadlines, but I have a good staff and we pulled through.

Monday, May 27, 2019

My SoonerCon schedule

I hope you are planning to attend SoonerCon June 7 – 9 at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in Norman. They have a great line-up of guests, including yours truly. Here is my program for the convention:

Creating a Short Story: Harder than You Think
There are many paths to the peak of the mountain, says an old proverb. Authors discuss what works for them, and share common stumbling blocks to avoid when crafting short stories.
1:00 p.m. Friday, June 7, Sooner A
Lou Antonelli (Moderator) , J.H. Fleming, Vickey Malone Kennedy, Michelle Muenzler, Sue Sinor

New Ancestral Myths Writers, artists, and editors discuss recent works which combine characters from ancient myths with modern themes, situations, and aesthetic trends in order to create stories about today's concerns with mythical resonance. What do they actually say about ourselves in the current moment?
3:00 p.m. Friday, June 7, Sooner A
Mel. White, Lou Antonelli, Carolyn Kay, Michael R. Martin, Caleb Masters

Autographs Noon Saturday, June 8, Oklahoma E - Lou Antonelli, Deborah Chester, Dr. Lonnie Johnson, Craig Wolf

A Shift in Urban Fantasy - Werewolves and shifters have become ever more popular in UF. Authors describe their own werewolf or shifter characters, how they connect with their human side, and how that shapes the story.
2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 8, Boomer A
Steven E. Wedel, Lou Antonelli, Bekah June, Lee Killough, Michael R. Martin

Readings: Alternate History 1:00 p.m. Sunday, June 9, Noble
Lou Antonelli, David Carrico, Jeff Provine, Adam J. Whitlatch

What's in a Nom de Plume? Why do many authors use a pen name? To hide identity, or to change genres while escaping reader expectations based on the name alone? When is it a good business decision, and how do you go about choosing that new identity?
2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 9, Boomer A
Melinda LaFevers, Kevin J. Anderson, Lou Antonelli, Rachel Caine, Cary Osborne, Steven E. Wedel

Update on Sirius S-F

After a great launch and publishing five excellent original short stories, Sirius S-F went on hiatus for a couple of months because of il...