Mid-March Update

It’s been a rough winter for fans (and family) of genre fiction. We lost Leonard Nimoy and Terry Pratchett within fourteen days of each other. I find it entirely logical to say “bugrit”.

Tomorrow I leave for several days of corporate training in Chicago. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it, though I am feeling some cabin fever. Near as I can tell my hotel is on the river the Chicagoans dye green for St Patrick’s Day, so that should be interesting. And this happens during the first week of a new project so I will probably work some late nights after the full days of learning the grammar of the formal language that is corporate-speak.

(and at this point I lost half an hour, engrossed in the Wikipedia articles on Formal Language, Formal Semantics, and Cognitive Semantics)

Three weeks until the Caffeinated Press event at Schuler Books and Music here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Brewed Awakenings sales are better than expected; we may even turn a profit! It was a lot of hard work getting where we are, and I suspect that the “success hangover” is surprise at how well everything went. I wouldn’t say we were over-prepared for setbacks, but there is a specific and subtle paranoia in waiting for a shoe to drop. Also, I am now officially the Chief Operations Officer of Caffeinated Press, which means I’m the one who takes the Official Notes in the meetings.

I’ve managed to set aside some time for reading for pleasure. This is not to suggest that reading query submissions isn’t pleasurable – we have a lot of words from a lot of talented people – but, well, a good book is a good book. The Hermit’s Story, by Rick Bass, for instance. I just finished the second story in the collection, “Swans”, which was masterfully told and brought tears to my eyes and placed me briefly in a conflicted state between “what the hell am I doing with my life?” and “I need to practice until I write like this!”

I never really paid much attention to Twitter until this year. Now I use it daily, both as a tool for promoting Caffeinated Press and as a way to keep up with the current states of the various facets and factions of the publishing industry. To that end, I am currently following the Twitter feeds of 92 literary magazines and journals. And every day a few more pop up in the “who to follow” box. That list will likely pass 100 by the end of the day.

So now I have started ordering individual issues from some of these journals. Only a couple a week; a good lit journal can cost as much as a good book; and indeed the dividing line between a lit mag and an anthology per se can be quite thin. Since CafPress is ramping up our own 3288 Review it is useful to see who else is out there, and how they do it. So much good writing. So little time.

Also, I just passed 100 feeds in the Journal list. Now I feel compelled to make a spreadsheet. Maybe something to work on in the hotel in Chicago next week.


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