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Fresh Dirt Archives: Winter 1999-2000

A few story sales, a few rejections, and more of the waiting game. That about sums up my life in December. The biggest news is that our baby is due in mid-January, so I've been painting the nursery and doing all the proper dad-like things. Look for a bouncing baby Goldbug to be filling up my writing time for the next couple of months.

(BREAKING NEWS: Goldbug entered the world at 5:44 a.m. on January 26th, 2000, weighing in at 8 pounds, one ounce. Now known as Miranda Claire Nicholson Owen, she'll always be the Bug to Daddy. All parties are home and healthy, more or less sleeping or not.)

I just learned that my story "The Vampire Shortstop," which won the Hubbard Gold Award, has been picked up for reprinting by W.P. Kinsella (author of Shoeless Joe, which became the movie Field of Dreams.) The story will re-appear in the anthology Baseball Fantastic, scheduled for spring training, 2000. My story "Scarecrow Boy" will appear in Lore #10. Lore is a well-respected magazine that has a pretty selective editorial staff. They publish intermittently, but the new issue could be out by the end of this year or early in the next.

I received contributor's copy of Nasty Snips, a small-press anthology from Wales. The book has a few layout errors, but there's a variety of new genre names in the book. My story "Constitution" just came out in Carpe Noctem. As of this writing, I've yet to receive payment, but I did receive a contributor's copy of Issue #16. I endured two book signings for Writers of the Future Vol. XV. Sold nine at the first and six at the second. Not too bad for a nobody, I suppose, except a half-dozen of those sales were to my mother-in-law. Five more book signings are coming up in the spring. I'll be a guest at StellarCon on February 19th, sitting in on two panels and moderating the panel entitled "Suspense and Imagination."

My latest novel CREEP is done, ready to go out, with perhaps a final rewrite to go through and tie up loose ends. I have this strange system of editing chapters as I go, with the editing usually on work that's a month or so old. By the time I get to the end, most of the hard choices have been made. Then begins the mailing.

Right now, I'm working on a rewrite of my third novel, under the much more evocative title CALLING IN THE FIRE. I realized I could take the first four chapters and combine them into two well-paced chapters. I am also developing this story as a screenplay, an interesting exercise in storytelling.

My novel THE RED CHURCH is still at a New York agency. I received a strange "rejection" slip, in which my name was in the salutation, but someone else's address was in the header. The body of the letter referred to a book called SOUTHERN GOTHIC, which I definitely have not written. Shrug. I figure I was in a massive pile of rejections that went out so fast the stack got mingled. One day, they will rue this decision!

Sign up for the Scottstuff newsletter and be eligible to win an autographed copy of Douglas Clegg's Nightmare Chronicles. By the next What's New, I'll probably be in the middle of changing diapers. Who needs sleep, anyway?

--copyright 2000 by Scott Nicholson

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