Monday, December 19, 2005


Eggplant publications is closing. I got the word this morning. No info on why. Which means Jintsu is closing. Which means End of the Line will not be coming out in February, if ever.

Somehow, I cannot be all that surprised. I guess I should be glad, from a karma point of view, that at least no one died this time. Or did they? I really cannot be sure.

Excuse me while I go beat my head against a wall.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

never doubt your sifu

Sunday I was the first one to class. Sit was already in there, and the first thing he said to me was, not, "Hello," or "Hi-how-you-doing?" but "How's your car?"

I kind of blinked, because the car was no better or worse than it had been, but I had missed Wednesday class because of the snowstorm and I thought perhaps he assumed I had car trouble. I said, "It's fine. It's just old."

He said, "Maybe time to get a new car."

I chuckled, but it stuck with me. He alarms me sometimes, when he gets all pointed and specific. He can be as vague as Cliff Huxtable about things. Tony said, "He's predicted the future before, you know." I did know. I had been told stories, and I can name a half-dozen times that Sit has read my mind or anticipated questions I had. Admittedly he's been teaching a long time and has seen students go through the same blocks again and again, but I've had my own precognitive moments over the years and I was inclined to take the warning seriously, if for no other reason than because the car is 17 years old.

Monday night I was driving home, trying to get home early because Scott needed to borrow my car, and two miles from work the Check Engine light comes on. Now, the thing had been running rough for a while, Scott insisted it was the fuel line, but I suspected an electrical cause. At any rate, I wasn't taking any chances on the interstate. I turned off Metcalf into the Pontiac dealership. Not wild about those guys, but they once changed a flat for me for free, so I figured the least I could get was a diagnostic.

The service tech called me an hour ago. Spark plug wires are shorting, ignition coils are shorting, idle motor is only working sporadically. Of course, being a dealership garage they want to replace everything with OEM parts and charge me three times cost, so I told them just to clean the motor and I'd do the rest of it myself.

But the moral of this story is, when your Sifu tells you it's going to rain, for Pete's sake pack an umbrella.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


I read "Horseflesh" for the first time tonight, which is to say I read the hardcopy I took to my writer's group last week, instead of dinking around with the computer version which really accomplishes nothing except moving commas around.

It's not as bad as I thought it was. I disliked it because I was forced to rush through the end, and it shows--the dialogue is a bit rushed, transitions are jagged, but the structure is basically solid. I could, if I wished, play up a certain thread--not really a subplot, just a theme--pertaining to Trace's burgeoning precognative abilities and the Big Bad, but the story functions well enough without it. If I do make the change I'll have to rewrite the climax, as well, which would be prudent because that's the part I was most dissatisfied with. I don't think, however, that any of that will happen before Christmas. Too much to do. Measured the heads of my mother-in-law and sis-in-law today. Also picked up some dandy, very cheap brown hound'stooth check wool, which I need like a hole in the head. Now I am waiting for my hat pattern to arrive, although if it doesn't come soon I'll be forced to wing it.

Stay tuned.