Four-day weekend, three nifty links

I took the day off Friday, just because I needed it, and we did some painting — the kids’ playroom is now yellow ‘n’ green. Drew and Mitch both dig it, especially the Reader’s Nook in the corner:

Saturday we helped my sister-in-law move — ow. Sunday we just sort of got caught up, and today we finished putting together the playroom and did more odd jobs, then went to the neighbors for a Memorial Day cookout. A good use of four days off, if I say so myself.

In between all the busy stuff, I managed to polish off a couple more chapters in my young-adult urban fantasy novel, to the point where I feel quite excited about it now. Now to write a new three-page synopsis and send it all off to the new shiny agent by month’s end. I think that’s doable.

I’ve come across some nifty links I wanted to share, starting with a recent review of the anthology Paper Cities, which says nice thing about my story “Painting Haiti” and other stories:

Other stories that I thought were highlights of this collection were Ben Peek’s “The Funeral, Ruined,” Michael Jasper’s “Painting Haiti,” and Catherynne M. Valente’s excerpt from her upcoming novel, Palimpsest. In each of these tales, there is a beauty to the prose, one that offsets what is transpiring within the stories, creating a dissonance that enticed me to pay even closer attention to what was occurring. The other stories were only a small step behind these in quality.

The comments are particularly gratifying, because that story has gotten panned for the most part in the reviews, mostly I think because it’s not weird enough or experimental enough.

Second, as luck would have it, the latest National Geographic has an awesome article and photos about Stonehenge, which plays a significant role in my current novel. Can’t wait to read the entire article and check out all the extras, and watch their documentary about Stonehenge on June 1st.

And finally, the first review of my novel A Gathering of Doorways has arrived! Sarah Smith, aka Rhubarb, read a PDF of the book (as described here) and had some marvelous, insightful things to say about the book, including this wonderful bit I just had to share:

As I fell asleep last night, running through the story lines in my head, it came to me: This is an Allegory, in the old-fashioned sense of the term, a series of lessons in the redemptive power of love, the regenerative power of the earth, the freeing power of truth, and more.

Now, while I don’t want to cause insomnia among my readers, I do really get excited when someone finds those deeper meanings in my work. These are all things I try to put into my writing, though it often happens sub-consciously. It inspires me to be a better writer, reading commentaries like Rhubarb’s.

And that’s my four-day weekend. I really, really need to sleep now. Later!

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