Jun. 20th, 2017

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As ever, what I've been doing recently is running in place, pretty much. That's going to have to stop soon, though, because we're coming up fast onto June 26 (the beginning of my new Litreactor course), followed by July 6 et al (my Odyssey Workshop appearance), then teaching frantically, then going back down to Rhode Island by the end of July to be Writer Guest of Honor at NeCon. This last I got because Cherie Priest dropped out due to life-fuckery, though I was surprised as hell to learn they'd been planning to ask me sometime in the next couple of years anyhow. And all of this presumes I'm going to be allowed across the border anyhow, but I guess we'll see; one way or the other, there's a whole lot of New England in my future, though no Readercon this year.

And I have a new deadline, too: a story that has to be in by the end of August, for a venue I'd completely forgotten about. Much like Looming Low and "Distant Dark Places," and hell, THAT turned out, right? Riiight.;) Well, I've started to rough it out, and it's going okay. As ever, the main character is currently in the "so there's this [person]" stage, nameless, faceless and genderless, but at least I know their situation fairly intimately--I've decided that this is the perfect opportunity to use all my hard-gained intimate knowledge of what it's like to run a couple of illegal Air B-n-Bs, especially since Toronto's apparently become so infested with the things that they're currently being debated down at City Hall. There was this fairly amazing article I ran across describing how a downtown landlord had forced all his real tenants out, then basically converted the apartment building into an Air B-n-B hotel--he just pays people to come in and clean the apartments before and after, as well as maintaining someone on site to let people in and out; all the bookings and payments are done electronically, while he communicates with his staff by text. "Sounds exciting, and I'm sure not at all illegal," as Tobit Beecher might say.

As I recall, my basic thesis was that the main character would end up taking this job and then losing their home (maybe temporarily), thus necessitating them using the Air B-n-Bs as floating crash-pads while waiting for something better to come along; giving them a deadline would be good, because then you'd be like: "Okay, just a little longer, let's just deal with this for one week/half-week/day more..." And one apartment would be okay but constantly monitored by building security/neighbours who were trying to trip the owner up and get them bounced from their condo, thus making it increasingly difficult to squat in, while the other one would be overtly haunted, which would really suck when circumstances rendered it impossible to stay at the "good" one. I like the idea overall, given how super-Millennial it seems; it's got that nice punch of "yeah, we all think we'd hear the voice saying GET OUT and do so, but some of us are just too fucking poor to do so" that I think contemporary horror could benefit from. So...yup, that's where I'm going with this, I think. Now I just have to make up a ghost.;)

Otherwise, I've been beading like a fiend, making necklaces that I've sold to both friends and Facebook friends. At least ten of those are going down to Readercon, where we'll see if my name on somethinga lone is enough to pry $100 to $130 a pop out of fellow broke artistes. I can't really sell them for less than $75, though, and that's my "know and like you" rate--the component parts alone set me back more than you'd think, but then there's the labor piled in on top. (I can bead a necklace in sixty minutes, usually, and my time is worth at least $50/hr.). Again, I think this activity will probably turn up in the story, or possibly even in Nightcrawling, which I'm also picking away at. Firm February deadline on that one, after all.

In news slightly closer to home, we finally got Cal a tonsilectomy date--October 12th, God willing and the rescheduling don't rise. I had to keep him home from school to take him there today, but it was worth it. We've also finally started swimming at the Cooper Koo Y again, which is wonderful. I'd do that every damn day if I could (and I probably could, if I just drove myself to it. So who knows?).

Okay, so: those are the haps. And now I must get back to it.


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