Dude Haiku

Aug. 18th, 2014 06:52 pm
rinue: (Yes Thanks)
I'm participating in a roundtable for The Review Review which is not going to run for another month or two, and one of the questions for discussion concerns whether as a poetry editor I've noticed a difference between poems submitted by women and poems written by men. To which the answer is, not really, not in the genre I work in. Both men and women are sending me feminist revisions of fairy tales. Both men and women are sending me stuff about space exploration. Both men and women are sending me ghazals, surrealist humor, doggerel, zombie stuff, dissection stuff.

Poems about sexuality involving water are more likely to be from women, but this is not foolproof.

But the following phrase drifted to the front of my mind: dude haiku.

I think just about every haiku submission I've seen has been from a guy.

I don't know why this would be true; I don't think haikus are especially masuline. But it is true.
rinue: (Default)
I continue my self-amusement side project wherein I post an incredibly short SF flash piece every day, Postorbital. I'm up to not quite 140; it started at the beginning of April. Here are some of my favorites recently.


Half her head was missing, but her remaining eye was as friendly as ever, and the processor in her chest was none the worse for wear. “Just some sensor loss,” she said, waving her hand in the empty space where an ear and cheek should have been.


The candidate’s face was tattooed on each potato in squid ink, with the words “I live in you.”


The news had to be embarrassing, or they would have delivered it in person. Instead, they had sent a blinking, big-eyed, baby-voiced cat hologram. “A special message for MEW!” enthused the cat hologram.
rinue: (plunge)
In my anectodal personal experience, I'm a white person (a pale and small female white person, and someone bland enough looking I can work as a film extra when I want to) and I get hassled by cops when I'm in majority white places in the U.S. but not when I'm in racially diverse places in the U.S. There doesn't have to be a dramatic cultural difference; when I lived in the Dallas area, if I was on foot in a majority white neighborhood police were going to stop and ask me what I was up to, and if I was on foot in a majority hispanic neighborhood police were going to slow down, look at me, and then keep driving.

This holds true in my experience outside of Texas, and I've been more likely to get hassled outside of Texas because I've been in more majority-white places outside of Texas. I just think Texas provides a particularly clear example because I could lay two extremely similar towns or neighborhoods side by side, where the police forces draw from the same employment pool.

People who want to express their authority are going to go after somebody, just like rapists are going to go after somebody and bullies are going to go after somebody. If there's a black person around, they "win" and get to be the person to hassle. But once you've filtered out black people and hispanic people, eventually you get to a point where I'm the weirdest seeming one (whether because I read as slightly queer, or because I'm out of work at an unusual time of day, or because I pause to look at something nobody else paused to look at) and I get hassled and ordered around for no reason by loud-voiced armed people a foot taller and two feet wider than me.
rinue: (Star)
I'm feeling very intellectually lonely lately for a lot of reasons, but one of the main ones is that I've recently had a lot of interactions which go like this:

Friendly Aquaintance: Compared to me, you're an expert in [subject area]. Could you tell me more about how [subject area] relates to [idea I had]?

Me: Sure! I don't know how much you know, so here's some basic stuff and then if you're interested here's some weird details you might find fun.

Considerably Less Friendly Aquaintance: It's offensive that you act like you know more than me.

I'm pretty sure this is a coincidence rather than a difference in how I'm behaving, but it makes me not want to talk to anybody ever again. Especially since sometimes [subject area] is me.
rinue: (Aperture)
I have an extraordinary amount of sympathy for gun rights activists, because I am a supporter of nuclear power. It's a miracle of our time, and instead of using it to the fullest, we have to kill ourselves with coal plants, because there's some small portion of crazies that will turn enriched uranium into weapons and try to murder everyone on the planet.
rinue: (Best friends)
Because I wrote a play about it, I'm somewhat associated with the fallacy "correlation is not causation." However, if I could choose to eliminate one bit of muddy thinking from the world that's not what I'd pick. (I mean, at a certain point, you haven't proved anything, but eventually there's a preponderance of evidence. See also: climate change.) I'd get rid of "no true Scottsman."

If you're not familiar, the no true Scottsman fallacy is a way to ignore a counterexample by redefining the in-group. For instance, I could say "no Scottsman spells whisky with an e," and a Scottsman could say "well, I do, though," and I could switch and say "I mean no true Scottsman."

In essence, no true Scottsman is a way to claim you speak for all people similar to you. And it's wonderful if you're using it for humor or hyperbole, but it's less wonderful if you seriously believe it, and use it to stake a claim to a greater principle - to say not only "I think I'm right," but "it's impossible to disagree with me, and if you do, you're not just wrong: in some fundamental sense, you don't exist." The "no atheists in foxholes" problem that ignores all the atheists who have been in foxholes by saying they secretly believe in God and just don't realize it.

You may yourself have come across people on the opposite end of the political spectrum who don't feel they have to compromise with you because you're not "really" American, despite being an American. If you're a churchgoer in the South you're guaranteed to have been told at some point you're not a "real" Christian, even if you're the minister. I have lately seen a few of my friends claim all jews think one thing or another, and any jews who don't think that thing must be brainwashed and/or made up by propagandists.

It drives me up a wall. It is one of the surest ways to get me to stop listening to you, even if I would otherwise be on your side. I mean, I dislike Phyllis Schlafly profoundly, but that doesn't change the fact that she's a woman. I can say I don't think Phyllis Schlafly is in the majority. I can tell you a personal narrative about the ways being a woman shapes my thoughts, but I can't assume being a woman affects everyone in the same way. It evidently doesn't. Look at Phyllis Schlafly, for instance. She exists. I can't speak for all women.

There was a longstanding running joke between me and Chad that I had a superpower known as "The Romie Exception," which was a shortcut to avoid my having to say "well, except me" to everything that came up. This always works, except if you're Romie. This always fails, except if you're Romie. Everybody likes this, except Romie. Even though most of the time I agree with you, I probably have a different reason for thinking you're right than you do.

I can point at the harm done by no true Scottsman, which is easy to do because it's really poisonous. But even in cases where it's harmless, I'm still mad about it. It bothers me that muddy thinking bothers me as much as it does. But it really does.

I think that despite myself I have some kind of entrenched religious belief that holds, for no reason other than that it does, that the main goal of life (or a main goal of life) is to perceive reality clearly. Which is a terribly difficult struggle and likely a pointless one. Yet why else are we here, if not to be here? I say this with a great love of imagination and escapism, but only because I know (or try to know) when I'm doing them.

It is therefore deeply, deeply offensive when I see someone else deliberately denying a reality which would not require them to change anything. You can spell whisky without an e! You can think it looks stupid and wrong to spell it with an e! But you can't tell me no Scottsman does it. Some of them do.


Aug. 9th, 2014 10:59 pm
rinue: (Default)
For some reason, I just got a Google alert about something I did at the Dallas Museum of Art in 2010, and on the page is an artist's statement I'd totally forgotten which is still probably the most accurate summary of what I do as a filmmaker:

"Romie Faienza is a director, producer, photographer, and screenwriter who combines traditional and experimental film techniques to tell semi-fictional and semi-autobiographical stories of love and technology. Her work employs humor, narrative, and bold visuals to explore contemporary existential debates."

Not that I've had a chance to do much filmmaking lately, but there it is.


Aug. 8th, 2014 11:15 am
rinue: (inception train)
Saw Snowpiercer last night at the Somverville Theater, which I recommend. (Both the movie and seeing the movie in a good theater; it lends itself to both big-screen viewing and viewing as part of an anonymous crowd. I don't object to VOD, but this movie's an odd choice for it if you have the alternative.) It has third act problems, but that's equally true of a lot of the stories I like; it's a hazard of weird, ambitious fiction, particularly if there's an episodic element. (See also Twin Peaks, Fullmetal Alchemist...)

When I say third act problems, I'm talking about themes; I'm not bothered by the things that seem to bother other people, not just in Snowpiercer but in SF film generally. I cut films a lot of slack, by which I mean I understand what they are.

For example, film is a medium with its own grammar and limits,

which means that if it's important to understand what a character is thinking, he has to just sit down and say it, either to another character or in voiceover. Try and think of another way to do this. Usually your alternatives are either to decide you don't care whether the audience knows what that character is thinking (which reduces film to abstracted people running and shooting), or to add a lot of extra scenes to "show don't tell" which would cost you untold millions of dollars and double the runtime of the movie.

Obviously, there are more and less awkwardly written monologues, and better and worse performances. But if a film is competently made, I'm not going to ding it for having a talking scene just before the big confrontation. By the same token, when a film compresses or expands time, I'm untroubled; that's just something film does. (See also: Nitpicking Inception.)

Another thing that doesn't bother me is when speculative fiction is speculative. It's about saying "what if." If you don't like the premise, that's fine, but that doesn't make it a plot hole. If the Matrix runs on people instead of a more efficient source of power, it does. If the Empire decided a Death Star was a better weapon than a similarly-priced fleet of warships, fine. If there's a train with an engine that can run forever with energy left over for rave parties, great.

Honestly, I could say the same thing about fiction in general. If you're not willing to suspend disbelief, you're not going to get anything out of it. I can be annoyed that Woody Allen movies are constantly pairing young starlets with grizzled old men, and in fact am annoyed. But if I'm watching one I'm not going to spend the whole time saying "she'd never be attracted to him." The movie says she is. Not a plot hole. Not a plot hole when a character feels different things than I would in that situation.

starts to get spoliery )
rinue: (eyecon)
I caught part of an interview with the author of a book called The Actress, which looks like not at all my kind of book, but to each her own. Part of the reason it looks like not my kind of book is the way the author came off in the interview. That question sometimes comes up about "well can you like art if you hate the creator of that art," and for me the answer is yes but also that it's rare, at least when it comes to narrative art. If I think you're an idiot I probably also find your writing idiotic. And somewhat vice versa. If you're worried I don't like you, you should probably be careful about showing me fiction you've written unless it's great.

In any case, this genius author was talking about how her book explores queerness in Hollywood and how gender is performative and people can have homosexual relationships but continue to self-define as straight, or heterosexual relationships and continue to self-define as gay, and this is all reasonable, and my putting it this way gives the author a little bit more credit than is due because a very smart interviewer was asking questions that made these answers inevitable and was dogged about sticking to topic.

But the author decided it was absolutely essential to declare that she thinks only a very small percentage of the population is bisexual and that only a very small percentage of the people who identify as bisexual are bisexual.

She did not clarify this at all; clearly she thinks this is so non-controversial it isn't worthy of supporting evidence.

I am so tired of bisexual invisibility, y'all. What the hell do we have to do at this point? It's not enough to say we're bisexual. It's not enough to have sex with men and women. It's not enough to talk openly about our attractions. Apparently, even if gender is fluid and performative, if we slept with women and then men, we're ex-lesbian. Unless we go back to sleeping with women again, in which case we were lesbian that whole time.

I'm not sure what the standard is that makes us count as "real" bisexuals. I think we might have to be poly, and have to always have exactly the same number of male and female partners. Exactly the same! No exceptions! Probably with all sex acts involving at least three people, just to make exactly sure, and even then we need to be really careful we are getting exactly the same amount of orgasms from both men and women and making exactly the same amount of eye contact. But also that our partners aren't into it, because then maybe we're just performing hetero or homosexuality for the other partner as part of our secret straightness or lesbianism?

I mean, shit.

Just so you know, from now on if I see you in a pink dress, that thing is red or white, because pink isn't real. Unless your hot cocoa is half chocolate by volume, it's just milk. If your half-caf coffee isn't filled exactly half decaf, and you better fucking measure rather than eyballing a cup with tapered sides, that coffee is full caffeine.
rinue: (Default)
Advantages and disadvantages of having a large pimple under my left eyebrow rather than elsewhere: Although it's huge it's essentially invisible, but it hurts to make facial expressions.
rinue: (Default)
It occurred to me yesterday that neo-Disney's "princess don't need a prince" romantic story template* just flipped the script on girl-stuck-in-tower-or-behind-dragon; somebody still needs to get rescued, but it's now the guy. But since they're guys, they don't have to be rescued from a lack of institutional power; they need to be rescued from their overweening male privilege. Beast is selfish and an ass to poor people. John Smith is selfish and a colonialist. Mulan's guy is a sexist jerk. Aladdin is selfish; I don't even know where to start with the Princess and the Frog dude, who I despise above all others.

Thank god Disney turned an about-face from the hellish world of Cinderella and Snow White, in which two kind people meet and like each other.** What a strong woman wants is an opportunity to devote her life fighting to reform some patriarchal asshole. Oh, Disney, you have understood us feminists.

* Romantic story template = princess films, but by Disney standards where they don't always involve princesses. So Mulan counts, but Tarzan and Hunchback don't. When I say "neo-Disney," I put the dividing line just after The Little Mermaid and just before Beauty and the Beast. Mermaid was the first in what's now called the Disney Renaissance, and was made basically as a love letter to the older films. Beauty and the Beast is kind of a mix of the old and new, and the new got a lot of PR mileage out of the idea of "new classics," with "new" implying an improvement from the bad old days. Never mind that the older Disney films always courted a female audience by flattering them, and gave their princesses a lot of agency.

My theory does not address Tangled and Frozen, partly because I haven't seen them and partly because 3D's a different medium with different traditions and personnel, in much the way film is a different working environment from digital and this influences the stories you tell.

** Even Prince Eric, who gets a bad rap. The worst you can say of him is that he thinks he's mistaken the identity of someone he met once after she transformed into somebody else. He was still nice to her afterward, and set to work to make things right when he got clued in. Mermaid has never been one of my favorites, but it's definitely old-school Disney playbook.

Bad Robot

Jul. 29th, 2014 01:46 pm
rinue: (Default)
The thermostat is in the second floor hallway, the only room in the house which has no exterior wall. On the other side of the wall that holds the thermostat, a shower. Adjacent to the thermostat, the laundry machine and dryer. Consequently, the temperature the thermostat believes exists rarely has much of anything to do with the actual climate of the house.

Therefore, although I am in my office, naturally the hottest room in the house during the summer, especially when I have all my electronics cranked up, I am wearing a sweater and under a heavy blanket. And I am still cold, with yet more cold air blowing, because Ciro is doing laundry.

It is my least favorite thing.
rinue: (inception train)
Three people called in sick today. It could be coincidence, but I suspect a lot of it's wear and tear. We've been understaffed for a very long time - for years of time - but it has gotten even worse the last few months; we're all begged to take on as much overtime as we possibly can, ordered to take more money rather than get holidays off, refused opportunities to take our paid leave even if we request it months out unless we can get someone else to work our shifts as overtime. The work we do is hard on bodies, and especially on voices; there were several points in the day when I sounded like I'd gargled gravel. Still, I got desperate calls and e-mails to see if I could take on more programming.

But I also think it's the wear and tear of the news. We're captioners. Lately, all we do all day is recite the names of dead children and the people who hate them.

I don't think I've ever been in such a bad place mentally. Usually, when I'm hopeless, I'm just hopeless for me. That hurts real bad, but even at my most egotistical I don't think I'm the center of the world. This hopelessness is more impersonal, more numb. It's like the Nothing, I guess.

I read a summary of a scientific paper today that said we're in the beginnings of a mass extinction event that is likely unreversable*, and an article that said (although I'm not convinced) that sea levels are going to rise 4 feet before too long because an antarctic ice shelf has been undermined and will soon break off.**

I'm trying to remind myself that either things can be fixed, in which case no need to panic, or that they can't be fixed, in which case I might as well enjoy what's left. Which is, yes, very Zen, and got me through the early stages of the Patriot Act. I also remind myself that I can say with a fair amount of professional certainty that it's very hard to accurately predict the future, especially as concerns either policital regimes or energy policy.

* To put this in context, though, we're probably at a higher biodiversity level right now than has ever existed. So while I'm not saying "yay! A die-off!" it's also the case that where we are now is not regular.

** Again, putting this in context, Ciro and I have several times speculated about what it must have been like when the Mediterranian Sea came into existence. As I understand it, people were living there, and in a span of two years it filled in with water. Obviously, unlike us with our costal cities, Paleolithic people were more nomadic, although were they really?
rinue: (Default)
Fitness guru people (usually self-appointed, often on messageboards) are fond of saying you shouldn't count housework as exercise, but clearly these people don't live in a house with three flights of stairs and spend all day carrying misplaced things from floor to floor, along with a 20-lb kit. Glrrrrrrrrr.


Jul. 24th, 2014 01:11 pm
rinue: (Default)
Mom and Dad have a crew putting in a new fence. To place one of the posts, the fencers have had to unearth a large, previously buried rock. This excavation has required the use of both lever and a winch. We are watching from the window, very excited, because we love a big rock. Where will we place it? How shall we move it there?

Meanwhile, our crazy neighbor (I do actually think she's mentally ill, at the very least suffering through the early stages of dementia), who has previously accused us of sneaking on her property to poison her tree, has now accused us of sneakily wedging dead tree branches 12 to 20 feet up in said tree, because this makes more sense than that the storm knocked them down two weeks ago and she just now noticed. (I also think she may be legally blind although she still drives.) Worth noting is that she doesn't maintain this yard at all; it's entirely weeds, and the grass is three feet high. I like the look, but I'm pretty sure it's not deliberate.

Maybe I could build a trebuchet from old fenceposts and use it to present her with a large rock. But then I would have to retrieve the rock, because it's my rock and I want it.

[Update: It appears to be not a large rock after all; it's some small rocks and layers of concrete, held together by the ghosts of roots. It will not retain its synthesis for any sort of large-rock usage. One notes that would cause it to act like grapeshot if loaded in a trebuchet. Yet a trebuchet would only remind me that I still haven't been issued a canon. It would gleam so proudly on my office balcony.]
rinue: (Default)
Those of you who have followed this journal for a while know that my teeth are like Catwoman: beautiful and often helpful, but ultimately trying to kill me. Beneath my face lies the deteriorating jaw of a 70-year-old. So it's tissue graft time again, although this time my own tissue instad of more corpse bone or robot parts. In about a month, they'll move some of the roof of my mouth onto my gumline to protect my tooth roots.*

It occurred to me during my cleaning today that the question dentists always ask me about "staining on just your front teeth - do you drink a lot of coffee?" is perhaps not about coffee (answer: I drink an average amount for a coffee drinker in the U.S., which I can say with confidence because this is an over-researched area), but a stealth way of asking whether I smoke, a major contributor to gum disease and oral cancers.

Or they could just be asking whether I drink a lot of coffee.

* Following up on my specialty prescription drug cost entry of a few days ago, the lifetime amount of money spent on my teeth is still I think less than my college costs (grad and undergrad combined), but not entirely out of the ballpark. I can't give an exact number because a lot of it was when I was a minor and not paying my own bills, and there's at least one inpatient surgery where I don't know what the insurance company paid out.
rinue: (Default)
I don't correct people's usage or grammar on the internet (except when I'm working as an editor for an internet publication, where my job is to correct people's usage or grammar). If I really can't tell what they're saying, I might drop a private note seeking clarification. But in general I view it as uncouth, equivalent to phoning someone to say "I got your beautiful postcard in the mail and wanted to tell you immediately that the double L in parallel is the other one and you should be sure to remember that so you don't embarrass yourself in front of other people, which you probably already have. Ta!"

I'm a proponent of the notion that language changes over time. (As an aside, although I'm talking about usage here, the standardization of spelling has been in some ways wonderful for clear communication and in other ways awful for clear communication. We've already lost so many avenues of word-based expression by going to type.)

With words themselves, although it's obviously critical that we mean roughly the same thing by "pretty," even if we find different things pretty, there is a hegemonic power in declaring "this means this and only this," as when people try to enforce psychology's clinical definitions on terms that predate the field of psychology (e.g. depression), while speaking to people who are not psychologists, nor claiming to be. Or the zeal with which people proclaim the tomato is a fruit (botanical definition) when speaking to chefs or nutritionists (who use a gustatory definition, based on the sugar content rather than the item in question being a plant ovary).

So I leave it alone. I do not incline to the magical thinking side of semiotics where if I can get someone to call me the right word they will come to respect me.

Again, all this goes out the window when I'm working as an editor of prose. (With poetry, anything goes. It's poetry.) When I'm editing, I'm thorny and particular. I will shake you by the shoulders until I'm sure you're saying what you mean to say. It's absorbing and time consuming and I don't do it for free. (Unless you're Val. I'm more likely to say no to my mother than to Val. And I'm more confident she'll still like me afterward.) I don't even do it for myself when it's not important.

But my editor brain never really goes away, never really. It's more that I don't let it draw my mental resources, any more than I would voluntarily start dusting someone else's house unprompted. This is easy because I don't feel any moral high ground. It's just a skill I have. For comparison, it doesn't bug me when people sing off-key (I often listen to detuned music on purpose) and it only annoys me when people switch keys midway through a song because it throws off whatever harmonizing I was doing (whether aloud or in my head).

So my internal response to a lot of posts about the Israel-Palestine conflict is really not helpful. That response is: You can't say opposition to Israel's campaign in Gaza is anti-Semitic, because the Palestinans are also Semitic.

This is not a useful thing to say. It is also a losing battle. It is the inverse of Ciro's irritation when anyone calls him Anglo. (He is not in any way descended from the population of the British Isles.) It's definitely a violation of my stance against usage-policing, since the people who say "anti-semitic" definitely mean Jewish and are not speaking as linguists or ethnologists. Nor would getting them to use "the right word" make the conflict go away (whether on the ground, in synagogues, or on facebook).


This is a significant and weird drain on my willpower that has been going on.
rinue: (Cathedral)
From Today's Boston Globe, an article about specialty drugs, emphasis mine:

Fewer than 4 percent of patients use specialty drugs, but they account for 25 percent of total drug spending in the United States; and the growth of specialty drugs is a key factor driving up health care spending, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. . .

Diane Lima of Acushnet['s] 14-year-old son depends on a hemophilia treatment that costs $25,000 to $30,000 a month. Years ago the boy needed a wheelchair from time to time because of frequent bleeds into his muscles and joints. Now, thanks to injections every other day, her son can play sports at his high school, where hardly anyone even knows he has hemophilia.

["Specialty drugs transform lives — but at a cost," Felice J. Freyer, July 21, 2014]

My first thought is that what that boy's medication costs a month, I can live on for a year. But then it occurs to me that what I spend in a month is more than the average person in central Africa lives on for a year.

It is really hard to figure out the value of something that has infinite value. It seems to me when we try to put a price on life all we're doing is calculating what someone could pay for it.

(To reduce my cognitive dissonance, I'm thinking of the $30,000/mo as not being the literal cost of this drug for this boy, but what a particular insurance pool is spending on medical research. Which is pretty literally true.)
rinue: (Default)

[This is the outline of the talk I gave at Readercon 25 about Dystopian Economies. I am currently in talks with glyphpress to expand this and some other writings into a sourcebook for gamebuilders and GMs that use the Shock system (and for anybody interested in inventing fictional but reality-influenced futureworlds). You can download the original Shock: Social Science Fiction here, or buy the follow up, Human Contact, here. ]



I'm going to start with a personal anecdote. When 9/11 happened, I was a senior in college.

                - changed majors late (operations engineering; program folded)

                - taking all econ classes

                - in-class experiments. You play games as a teaching device.

                                a) prisoner's dilemma

                                b) deciding how to split money

                                c)  choosing to give $5 to class or $1 to self

                - 9/11 "broke" the games.

                                a) always a little broken; people not perfectly selfish even "Best" of times

                                b) measurably more generous with each other

                                c) similar effect across country

                                d) has happened after other national tragedies

                - after a year or so, tapers off, like our response to Katrina, Boston Marathon. Back to "normal."


My point is: you don't make people better by changing the game. By which I mean:

                - incentives are important, as are penalties

                - but behavior is too complicated to "fix" with conditioning tricks

                                a) don't get rid of criminals by making perfect laws

                                b) don't get rid of kindness in concentration camps

                - I say this even though there's a sub-field, econometrics

                                a) tries to quantify, predict, measure effects of policy change

                                b) Psychohistory

                                c) CBO, Fed - if futurist, be following their press releases

                                d) econ like weather forecasting

                                                i. real science

                                                ii. better than random chance

                                                iii. but a lot of chaos


I don't believe an economic utopia is possible.

                - not a SYSTEM which fixes the problem independent of PEOPLE


I do think you could get to a kind of utopia even in a very compromised system

                - it's the goofiest thing in the world, but the answer really is LOVE

                - family, social bonds

                - seeing yourself as part of something bigger than you, something noble


So I'm going to talk about economics, and what I'm going to say is mostly about the bad actors

                - because antagonists are good for stories

                - and I trust you all know how to be good guys

                - RIGHT? (laugh line)


Anyway, keep in mind when I talk about EVIL corporations it's because I'm talking about EVIL corporations.

                 - "not all men"

                - yes, I know.

                - OK….

Read more... )
rinue: (plunge)
I've been watching the mail for a rejection from Zoetrope All Story (I always assume rejection, because odds) and it hasn't come yet, although other people have gotten rejections who submitted more recently, per Duotrope. And it is totally reasonable that Zoetrope would hold my story for a bit, because they like me from the screenplay competition and we have that past relationship. Also, I love this story. It's the one with the haunted card deck.


I am seized with anxiety that I didn't enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.

I think I did. I have a memory of addressing it to myself all fancy so that I would remember, and of putting a Johnny Cash stamp on it because I would enjoy getting a piece of mail with a Johnny Cash stamp, and of deliberating whether it was better to place it on top of the manuscript or beneath the manuscript.

But I am a fiction writer and I could have made all that up.
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