Saturday, May 17, 2008

Summer and writing and news from Down Under

Well, summer is here.

Finishing up work on my piece on gifted children and Octavia Butler and Paul Theroux. Hope to have that out for consideration at Utopian Studies in the next few days. That will be four journal articles out, if it works.

Anyway, did a morning of bill paying. It went pretty well. Finished critiquing a bunch of manuscript for a friend. Also got word that my story "Bringing Work Home with Her" made first cut in Australia at Andromeda Spaceways. That's very good news. Very good news indeed. Wish me luck.

I've got a bunch of stuff out now:

1. "All the World a School" at Foundation.
2. "Gated Communities and Gifted Children" at Utopian Studies.
3. "Bringing Work Home with Her" at Andromeda
4. "You've Got a Problem" (about my dissertation advisor) at AlienSkin.
5. "Rescue Man" at Intergalactic Medicine Show.
6. "Jacobite Revolt" at Jim Baen's Universe.

And I've got some stuff coming out shortly (or is already out):

1. "Ezekiel's Retreat" at Interzone (having heard from them in a while, but that's ok)
2. Review of Dunja More's Female Dystopias.
3. Review of Peter Firchow's Modern Utopian Fictions.
4. "Institutional Crisis" at Extrapolation.

The other things in addition to the screenplay for Primetime that I think I can get out by December are the following:

1. A piece on Harry Turtledove's last article.
2. "Guest Lecturers," an essay about William Dean Howells
3. "Much To Do About Nothing."
4. "Nadia's Gift"
5. "Entertaining Couple."
6. "Rumpsringa."
7. Query for Harper's.

Goal for this year is 10 publications under my own name by December 31. It's going to be tight, but I can probably make it. Wish me luck!

Finished up grading for several classes. It was a rough but rewarding semester. Went to orientation at the University of St. Thomas yesterday for adjunct faculty and attended (partially) a meeting for assessing English 1111 at MCTC. Both were good. I worked on my CV this morning. And I'm off to the library.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Post Mother's Day and Gifted children

Well, I'm back from Erie, PA. I saw Mom for Mother's Day. We went to a bar for lunch for Mom's Day. Then we went for a DQ. Mom had chocolate, and I had vanilla. Returned to find chaos from the IRS. Oh, dear. Did some house cleaning yesterday and started planning my summer reading and writing projects. I'm working on a bunch of things. I'm writing an essay on Gifted Children, that I hope will be in a special issue of utopian studies. I'm working on my project on Harry Turtledove that I'm going to try to get in Strange Horizons. I'm also working on my book "Much To Do About Nothing." Those are my summer writing projects, those and a query to Harper's. If I can get those out, I will have had a great summer.

Have to go to work now.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Back to Work

Ok, now that I've posted all the personal stuff I think I ever care to, it's time to start blogging about the things that matter.

Writing and teaching.

Just had a goodbye dinner with the students from my English 3029 class at the U of Minnesota, probably the last class I will teach there. It was fun. Goodbye all.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Hope springs eternal. I have a feeling something very good is about to happen, in the midst of all this chaos.


Getting Back in the Saddle--Life Goals

Been biking this morning and listening to books on CD. This morning, I'm a little groggy. I'm feeling disoriented. But that's nothing terribly new.

I'm going to be reading a friend's manuscript. I'm not going to be commenting on it here as much as I'd like to, because he's asked for confidentiality.

I've seen the last few days as an opportunity to reflect on the past and move into the future. Well...there's nothing else to do. Here's what I'm thinking: Are my actions consistent with my goals. What exactly are my goals?

1. To get married to somebody special and have a very high quality marriage. I want to be able to see marriage as something sacred. Too often, I think, I've seen marriage as confining. That's not exactly true. Theoretically, I've seen it as important. But have I taken the required steps to make my beliefs and actions really consistent? No, I haven't. There we go. That's the rub.

2. To be a father as wonderful as mine, as good as mine was. That's really important. I had a father who was unbelievably good. I also had a mother who was actually incredibly good and wonderful too, although I had a harder time seeing that because she was a little on the fiesty side.

3. To be the very best writer I know how to be. I'm trying to accomplish that goal. I'm more than willing to spend time doing this. Why is this important to me? Is it simply for a little bit of fame? Sure, that's nice. But the real point of doing this for me is to tell really good stories, to make people laugh, and to convince them that they should support noble goals. This stuff is the real goal of all of this. My specific goal is to explore time travel. I've noticed something else as well. I realize that my writing--although not really about me--is really about me. What I write about tends to happen. The kinds of characters I develop tend to stroll into my life. There's something very special about writing.

4. To be a good teacher-scholar. That's important. In this, I'm really interested in teaching and writing about giftedness and utopia. I was a gifted child, and I believe many people have gifts. I've been reading so much about giftedness lately. I'd like to teach gifted children as well. That's really important to me. I'm fascinated that two of the biggest stories of our time--The Harry Potter Series and Star Wars--are really about gifted children and the difficulties they have. It's interesting. Officially, we're not interested. Gifted children are bad. But we are really interested. That's fascinating to me. It's funny. I actually wrote a story about somebody who was gifted. I'm really unlike most of my professors and peers. I don't have a political agenda in the classroom.

5. To be a publisher of self-help books. I'm really interested in this genre. More later.

OK, I've said what I have to say. More later.