A non-DOS-based Organism’s Guide to “Mismatch” Names

So since I’ve been talking about Mismatch a fair bit recently, it’s occurred to me that I never compiled or posted the list of names I used. I didn’t invent them – I pulled them from a list of command-line commands (DOS and *nix) and arithmetic functions. Now that Microsoft has finally published the source code for MS-DOS (although it’s still not true open source), it seems like a good time to get around to that.

In order of appearance:

Chowna = chown. Change the owner of a file.

Tana = tan A. Tangent function.

Anda = AND A. Logical AND function.

Ver = Prints the name and version of the OS to the command-line.

Trunc = truncate.

Tina = I think this was orginally Sina (sin A) to go with Tana, but auto-correct intervened.

Break = an interrupt/value change detection method.

Edlin = line editor.

Ctty = Changes the terminal device used to control your system.


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Crossing Boundaries, Crossing Genres

This story really starts in 2008, on LiveJournal. It’s a story of trust, and growth, and crossing boundaries and genres.

(Note: this post assumes that you know Bart and Kay are the co-owners/editors of Crossed Genres Publications.)

2008 and ’09 were busy years for me. I spent most of ’08 planning and having a wedding in the Fall, then started packing the contents of our apartment for a year-end move. Spouse (R) and I moved downtown in the teeth of the (then) worst winter in 5 years, returned our leased car in the Spring when the lease was up, and I started commuting over an hour a day by TTC (public transit).  The move was important on two fronts: it put R within walking distance of their job, and it put us on the edge of the Church & Wellesley (Gay) Village, as well as near the best health resources for queer people.

On the one hand, I got the short end of the commute stick, when we returned the car. But given that parking alone was costing $200/month, it wasn’t a hard choice. The downside to transit was timing (walk/bus, subway, second subway, bus). The last leg to work depended on me catching a bus that only ran once every half hour. The upside, though, was plenty of time to write.

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Today in Photos

Technically, it’s only half of today – or maybe a third – since it doesn’t show the housecleaning, the shoe shopping, and the celebratory drinks with our agent and her partner.

It was +7C, sunny, if sometimes still windy. We went hatless, because seriously. Enough. We desperately need Spring. And because it was warm (relatively), and sunny, we wandered instead of taking the most direct route via transit.

Berczy Park had a mural painted on its wide central sidewalk:

Berczy Park mural

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Check Your Baggage at the Door

I have been meaning to make this post for so many months now it’s not even funny. But I dreamt about having to run multiple collections of baggage through Customs/X-ray machine last night, so I guess my subconcious has taken over the issue.

Baggage Check is about the only short story I have published that I actually enjoy re-reading. It took me something like three or four years to be able to go back and re-read my first sale, Mismatch. I kept expecting to find it had been visited by the Suck Fairy. (Spoilers – it actually holds up pretty well.)

I love the language of Baggage Check. I love the rhythm of it, the pattern of words and layers of symbols.* Friends have mentioned wanting to hear it read aloud, and I may even get over myself and do that someday, to share where I hear the tumble of phrases and the weighty pauses.

I am proud of this story. Proud of the reaction it evoked from the editor. Proud that she declared it award-worthy, even if others disagree.

Maybe I’ll go read it again before I figure out who to put on my Hugo nomination form.


*If you’re curious about my thinky-thoughts on the actual content of Baggage Check, I suggest you go read this interview with me at Crossed Genres.

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Obviously I fail at updates on a regular basis

Some news:

1 – Reminder that my story “Baggage Check” is elibigle for various best short story awards this year.

If you like it, please consider giving it a spot on your ballot.

2 – Fierce Family is now available, and contains my story “Come Away to the Water.”

15 exhilarating stories of QUILTBAG families experiencing adventure, disaster, and triumph make up Fierce Family. They are families of any constellation: all sizes and configurations, families of choice as well as families by birth. They are caring and connected – when outside conflict arises, they come together to defend and aid one another. Fiercely, and without hesitation.

3 – I’m going to attempt updating this blog… but don’t expect anything like a schedule.

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Photoblogging: Woofstock 2013

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Linkblogging – 06/06

How do you define “she”? My take is “Baggage Check”, in CG Magazine 2.0 Issue 6. Read it for free here.

And while you’re there, if you like what you see, consider subscribing to the magazine. It’s just $15 USD for a year’s worth of short fiction in ebook format.

Also in this issue is a story by AJ Fitzwater: “Second Skin”. AJ also has a review of my story over here.

Belatedly following up on The Next Big Thing blog hop, here are some posts that are (directly or indirectly) linked to mine:

And I think that’s all I got. Go. Read. Be intrigued. And then let the authors know what you think!

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Quick photo update

Took a long weekend to rest my thumbs and get some physio done on the tendons. Then yesterday was the big camera show, where I made my two planned purchases, and took some random photos.

Here’s a kangaroo:


Here’s a kiwi:


What were a kangaroo and a kiwi doing at a camera show? Posing with small children for eager photo-enthusiast parents, apparently. There were also live models to practice on, supposedly with coaching, but it was too busy to get within range of them.

Today, after grocery shopping, was a meetup with the local knitters for yarn fondling.

Here’s my spouse’s fancy nail polish and some yarn.

ewe-knit 021

And now, to bed, where I should have been half an hour ago.

eta: Argh, they’re not supposed to be square, but I don’t have the brain to argue with WP right now. Click through to Flickr for the real versions.

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The Next Big Thing – Work in Progress

Sabrina Vourvoulias tagged me for this “The Next Big Thing – Work in Progress” chain-blog thing, so here it is. Of course, I’m also breaking the chain, so the wrath of the WIP gods (who do not exist) may rain down upon me. So be it.

Before I start rambling, I will say, do go and read Sabrina’s blog post, and her novel Ink. It is one of the best books I’ve read in the past year.

Without further ado, my answers to 10 questions about a future book or a book that I’m currently working on.

1. What is the working title of your next book?

The short version is just Carnival. The long version is The Carnival That Straddles Worlds.

It was supposed to be a short story. Then it was supposed to be a novella. Now it’s more than 38k, and the ending will probably take more than 2k, so I guess it’s busting out into short novel range. At least until a serious round of edits pull it back.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

It was prompted by the Cool Bits Story Generator.

The prompt was: Your narrative is a supernatural thriller. It begins in other worlds. There is sex against a wall and a carny who meets an androgynous girl. It ends with candy.

A friend added the following commentary: This is a gritty, weird thriller about a carnival that straddles the worlds.

And the idea crawled into my hind-brain and wouldn’t go away.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy is probably closest, with elements of horror. It’s not exactly a thriller, despite the original idea.

(There likely won’t be sex against a wall, either. At least not in the ‘on-screen’ version. I have a feeling it’ll get pegged as YA and that just won’t fly.)

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I’m not familiar enough with any child actors to cast Tif and Nate. And despite having a couple of weeks to think about it, I have failed to come up with actors for The Lady and the Owner. Hmm. Check back later?

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

To borrow part of my friend’s phrasing:

This is a gritty, weird thriller about a carnival that straddles worlds, the people who inhabit it, and the children who become lost in it.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Don’t know for sure yet, but probably neither of those. If I can convince it to be a novella, there are some magazines and/or small presses that might consider it.

7. How long did/will it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The sad truth is that I started it in 2007, and it’s still not quite done. I really want to finish the first full draft by the end of this year.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don’t really know what to compare it to. I worry that people might compare it to The Night Circus, even though it’s not even remotely similar in my mind.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The prompt was the initial inspiration, and then the encouragement of my friends/alpha-readers on LJ/DW kept the words going (albeit slowly…).

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s an adventure story for gender-queer kids, and for those adults who wish they could have been more out than they were while growing up.


Update: Tagged writers after all! Coming soon, posts on The Next Big Thing from Anthony Cardno and Kelly Jennings!

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Maybe a Photo Blog, then?

Since I seem incapable of blogging about writing, maybe photography will work better.

Today, I stopped in to the TPL’s Dystopian Anime Bash, and attempted to get accustomed to my new DSLR by actually taking some photos. The results weren’t ideal, due to crowd and lighting and the fact that I’m only playing in Auto mode at the moment, but I did get a few I liked.

I’m especially fond of the Ed Elric.

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