Nothing Much To Report

I have managed to hammer out nearly 10K so far this week, which is pretty darn good for me. (May never go anywhere, but it’s nearly 20K at this point, and generally once it cracks 15K it’s alive and is A Thing That Will Happen Eventually, so I am cautiously optimistic.)

I got a review that called “Jackalope Wives” “not a great story” and I spent two days moping at the bottom of the Weeping Closet, from which I was extracted via Cheesecake Factory.

Penguin sent me a check. (We eat! Woo!) Amazon UK also sent me a check, because I had my preferences set wrong, and that meant that the poor tellers at my local bank had to work out how to cash a check in pounds from Luxembourg, which is not something that comes up much in rural North Carolina. (Dusty binders were removed from dusty filing cabinets. They were very nice about it.)

My agent informed me that she was sending Regency Ninja out to an editor who requested to see it. I have no real hope, but I’m thrilled that she still loves it enough to be trying to get into editorial hands.

I ordered a bunch of vegetable seeds and bought a couple of books on vegetable gardening in the Southeast, in hopes that I will find the one book that says “You. Ursula Vernon. With the wombats. You are to lay down cow manure on this date, follow with some garden soil because that crap clay you’ve got isn’t dirt. You are to plant seeds on this date in this precise place and then you are to mulch when the seedlings are X high. You will fertilize with THIS on the following dates. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?!”

This book does not exist, but I keep hoping.

Really, nothing much going on–just holding on until spring.

  • reply Escher ,

    Wait, Jackalope Whatnow?!

    ….okay so apparently you posted the link to that story on your LJ but not here, so I never saw it. Excuse me while I go read it.

    • reply Corylea ,

      If the story is on LJ but not here, could you leave a link to your LJ? Thanks!

    • reply Pam ,

      The reviewer is an idiot. I like the Ursula Le Guin vibe to it. Also I’m glad to see the return of the Father of Rabbits. Grandma Harken, Grandma Billy, and Baba Yaba should get together for tea/shots once a month.

      BTW I saw this book in the public library the other day and think you and Kevin need to review for KUEC
      http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Things-Trader-Joes-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B008G1GI74/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391802244&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=Cooking+with+all+things+Trader+Joe%27s+%2F+Deana+Gunn+and+Wono+Miniati.

      -Pam

      • reply Heather R. ,

        I think it’s one of those stories that resonates very, very strongly with experience. (I don’t begrudge anyone their opinion normally, but…hoo boy it’s hard not to this time.)

        I read it three times, back-to-back, then went and listened to the audiobook version, then read it several more times.

        I cried. A lot.

        I quoted passages of it endlessly at my boyfriend, especially every passage that reminded me about my ex (the “learned to brood early and often” bit comes to mind).

        I read it so many times I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve read it.

        It’s definitely on my list of favorite short stories ever.

        • reply ursulav ,

          Oh…wow, Heather! I’m so glad it spoke to you–that means a lot!

          • reply Heather R. ,

            It wasn’t an easy read for me by any means, but then, nothing that has a seed of truth in it ever does.

            And if someone is going to have ungodly amounts of artistic talent, I’m glad its someone who writes like you do. Some of those turns of phrases in the story really have stuck with me.

            Hope the cheesecake was lovely, you deserve it 🙂

        • reply Angel G. ,

          The reviewer who said “Jackalope Wives” isn’t a great story is wrong, in my opinion. I love that story.

          I can’t help but wonder if the reviewer is a would-be writer him/her self and the less than positive review is simply a product of his/her jealousy of your incredible talent. Whatever caused the person to write what they did, don’t let it get you down. You’re an amazing writer and artist. Keep up the good work and I hope you finish The Thing That Could Become A Thing.

          • reply Glynn ,

            Are there any more short stories like that that weren’t mentioned on here? That was fantastic.

            • reply ursulav ,

              Alas, no–I think that one came out when I was traveling, and I neglected to link here. (LJ updates more easily on the fly.)

              • reply Glynn ,

                Fair enough, glad I got to read it. 🙂

            • reply Betsy ,

              It’s such a relief to see someone who seems way more experienced with gardening than me (I’m a noob whose brown thumb is slowly gaining tinges of green) say they’re looking for that same book that I’ve been searching desperately for – substituting my name for yours and various things appropriate for tiny subtropical balcony container garden.

              Oh, and hi, my name’s Betsy and I’ve been reading your various blogs and things on and off for ages because I like your humour and your words and your art and I am now going to go find this Jackalope Wives story because it sounds interesting.

              • reply Randy ,

                My personal opinion, worth every cent you paid for it (and hopefully a tiny bit more :-}): You have an unusual sense of humor and perspective on the world. The people who don’t have a sympathetic sense of humor and perspective will go “Huh?” and say things like that reviewer did. The people who *do* have a sympathetic sense of humor and perspective will be very grateful you’re in the world writing and creating art. I’d suggest you create for that second group–we’re glad you’re around.

                • reply Valerie Watts ,

                  A little late to your post (and your art — here from Scalzi’s Blog. Hooray for Honey Badgers!)

                  I recommend Felder Rushing’s books for your garden guide. I’m not in NC but in Georgia – we share our red clay – and I manage a fairly productive vegetable and herb garden every year – and I’m a seriously lazy gardener.

                  His website is here http://www.felderrushing.net/ so you can get a feel for his “style” and a friend gave me “Gardening Southern Style” several years ago – I found it helpful and fun. He’s also got a book (booklet?) specific to North Carolina vegetable gardening.

                  My own personal advice for gardening in the south — raised beds. Good Luck!

                  • reply ursulav ,

                    Oh, cool–an NC specific one would be nice! (I do, in fact, do raised beds–it’s really the only way on clay! Some of them are only a couple inches, but I’ve got a two foot one for carrots.)

                  • reply Helen ,

                    I’d say this reviewer of “Jackalope Wives” was a Pretentious Nong, but that helps you not at all.

                    I will say instead that I adored that story (I really don’t adore many stories at all nowadays–I have become too much of a narrative nitpicker, personally and professionally). It stuck with me. Like the commentator above said, it resonated. I sent it to a friend and a parent, neither of whom normally “gets” my preferred genre type, and they both read and were delighted by it too. It dug in and stayed with me.

                    So, three more dissenting opinions to add to the pile. I’m not sure how much it helps, but I was bemused by the PN’s dismissal (seriously? Was this person a professional? I genuinely hope not) and thought to toss my hat into the ring.

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