Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Good News!


Well, it's been a while since I posted. I've been sick as hell, with a side order of poverty, garnished with depression, and sprinkled with drama. It's been pretty miserable, not to go into the fascinating and interminable details. The last time I saw my dad, I told him I needed some good news for a goddamned change.

Well. Sometimes you get what you ask for.

The first piece of good news is the birth of Olivia Anita Kendall. She's the child of the missus's younger daughter, Becky Kendall, and her husband Ryan Kendall. (Ryan is someone I'd like to have available for hanging-out purposes. He and Becky are medical researchers -- people who have devoted their lives to saving lives.) While I can't begin to regard Becky as my step-daughter, I definitely see Olivia as my granddaughter. And she's already kind of a remarkable kid, in that...

Well, I'm quite capable of caring for babies, and yes, there's something sweet about a fragrant armful of infant, but I'm not that much of a baby fan. And to describe newborns as 'beautiful' is absurd. For the most part, they're pretty much a form of vaginal discharge that screams and shits. But the photographs and videos of Olivia show a really lovely little person rather than a blood-soaked raisin covered in mucus. Go figure.

She's in New York now, but with any luck her family will relocate in the Bay Area and I'll get a chance to spend time with her. I can hardly wait.

And then yesterday I got an email from Patrick Nielsen Hayden. If you aren't familiar with the name, that's because you're not up on the publishing side of the science fiction and fantasy world. He's an award-winning editor, a real force in the field. He also plays a mean guitar. (His gin-glass-slide slack-key impersonation is of particular note.) And he teaches at Viable Paradise, which is where I met him.

He's decided to pick up one of my stories for Tor.com. This is a pretty big deal for me. No, it isn't print -- but from what I understand, in terms of money and exposure, I'm much better off here than I would be in any of the more traditional venues. And if you look at the writers they've published, well. This is not shabby company. This makes me look pretty good.

And there's extra fun involved. I get to do an audio version of the story. I've always fancied myself as having a knack for such things, so I plan on enjoying the hell out of that project.

As a side effect, some of the sting of my recent penury will be alleviated. I'll be able to get my eyes checked and lenses replaced (Have I mentioned how bad my vision has gotten lately? I honestly suspect I've hit legally blind. I think I'm going to need five fucking pairs of glasses at this point. I should get a bandoleer. The missus is quite concerned and has entreated me to rub my eyebones with cod-liver oil and urine, bless her heart.), get my boots resoled, and possibly be able to afford to get a treat of some sort -- maybe the Michael Shea collection, or the Gasoline Alley compilations.

Okay, everybody. Fingers crossed. My professional writing career has commenced. Let's all hope I don't screw it up.

9 comments:

Julia Rios said...

Sean, that's fantastic! Congratulations! I look forward to reading and hearing your story!

Glendon Mellow said...

Amazing stuff Sean! Tor.com is fantastic!

And congratulations to your family as well!

DariceMoore said...

That's wonderful! GO YOU! Is it one of the stories we read at VP?

avo said...

Congratulations, Sean! As I understand it, Tor.com is a SFWA-qualifying pro market, which means you could join SFWA after two more qualifying sales and you could be nominated for the Campbell (not a Hugo) Award. (Bear and Scalzi are Campbell winners. It's something like the Best New Artist Grammy, except you can still have a career afterwards.)

Sean Craven said...

Thanks, all.

Darice, it's the God's Tourists story, now titled Tourists. 's funny -- I didn't realize it was one of those Cheever/Updike/Carver-style epiphany stories until one of the critiques was that the narrative needed to be driven by the narrator's desires and decisions. "No," I said to myself, "it's not a dramatic story, it's a -- hey, I left out the epiphany!"

Avo, I guess I'd better get a few more stories published, huh?

Julia Dvorin said...

Right ON! Congrats!!

Robyn said...

Wicked Excellent, Sean! He did say he liked it in the crit...

Steve Buchheit said...

Just saw the sale on the VP mailing list. Congrats, Sean. That's one hell of a feather in your cap. Tor.com is an excellent market.

Andrew said...

"For the most part, they're pretty much a form of vaginal discharge that screams and shits."

Good luck finding that on a greeting card at Safeway...

Congratulations Seany boy ;)