>I finally made a loaf of bread last night, the first in two weeks, although I failed to take a picture of it. Herb bread in the bread machine, but I made it my own by replacing a half cup of bread flour with buckwheat flour, dumping obscene amounts of dried herbs in, and even more obscene amounts of parmesan cheese. The loaf browned a little too much – probably because of the buckwheat flour. I’ll have to remember that for next time.

Missed my April 1 deadline on my new little short Deadbells, although it was for a good cause – lots of reading & suggestions on Gio’s Sushi. Plus, I haven’t been in the right frame of mind to work on it anyway – I haven’t had enough space, of any kind – mental, emotional, physical, etc., to tap into whatever it is the story’s about (because I’m not honestly sure, yet. It could go so many different ways). Then on Tuesday, I realized perhaps I should consider that working on Deadbells could rejuvenate me, rather than me needing to be fully, or partially, energized before I open the file. I tried that yesterday, and it worked. Thrilling. Some pieces of it actually came together. We’ll see what happens today.

I’ve had a lot on my mind regarding slush reading, mainly because I was so disappointed in The New Space Opera 2, which I had to force myself to finish. The writing was just outstanding – brilliant, even, in every story. But so dull, with the exception of a few gems – which is normal when it comes to anthologies. Yet this one made me doubt my own tastes (am I really not a SF reader?), doubt my ability to judge a good short (how can I reject/recommend slush submissions if I obviously don’t appreciate these?) and wonder at my own ability (or lack thereof) to write a short story that will speak to readers, which of course is the point of why I write. To speak to someone. To show them something they may not have seen before, or take them some place they’ve never been.

It was quite a step back for me. And then this morning, I realized that all I can really do is reject or approve quality. The editors make the final decisions on what’s right for the magazines, but I can still see quality. Like I wrote above, The New Space Opera 2 is full of brilliant stories – although few of them resonated for me. Perhaps they resonated for the editors, or maybe it’s just not an antho for me.

I did receive X6 from Australia the other day, the novella anthology. I’m very excited to read it.

Two more weeks to the day, before the crazy madness of tax season is over. I’m hoping that my love for cooking & baking will return, then. It seems to have taken a sabbatical – I’ve tried to find it, but it keeps eluding me.

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