In which we learn that the "f" in f-bomb is for "flowers"
- 6,270 words (if poetry, lines) long
Despite all the whining yesterday, I seem to have bicycled almost ten miles today. About half of it was a sustained uphill journey of varying intensities. I'm not entirely sure why I chose to bike after the exertions of the previous few days. It was probably a mixture of vague guilt ("Really, how can I justify taking the car anywhere within city limits on such a lovely summer's day?") and an irrational pleasure in the picture of me pulling up to the ballot drop-off location on my bike. (Today's the deadline for the Democratic primary election in Boulder. There were only two contested seats. John and I voted anyway, because that's how we roll.)
I'm pleased to say that unlike last time, my copy of Charles Stross's Neptune's Brood was actually on the NoBo Corner Library's hold shelf where the email said it would be. After that bike ride, I'd have been rather irked if things were otherwise. (Public Service Announcement: The hold shelf is not for random browsing! If it is on the hold shelf, you must not take it unless that little slip of paper sticking out of it has your name on it! If you are checking out a book at the self-checkout kiosk, please notice if the kiosk tells you "You can't check this out! It is on hold for another patron!" Seriously, people.)
Anyway. Spent much of today's working time in submissions procedures. I got a rejection email yesterday, so today I responded as the freelance fictioneer is wont to do: sent that piece to another market, sent that market another piece. Then I considered the six drabbles that SpeckLit did not select for publication and chose five of them to send to another purveyor of microfiction.
Meanwhile, there's this other story, the one I'm contemplating submitting to Athena's Daughters II before the week is out. It's with friends for critique, all of whom I have, I hope, convincingly assured that they need not hurry to return their feedback before then. As I said before, either AD2 rejects it and I include my friends' feedback for next submission, or AD2 accepts it and I include my friends' feedback in a post-acceptance revision. It's all good.
But in the meantime, there's the small matter of AD2 desiring submissions to be PG13. That is,
Stories must conform to the “Indiana Jones” rule of thumb regarding, sex, violence, language, drug use, etc. We try to keep things here appropriate for most audiences, so if it’s something you’d conceivably see in an Indiana Jones story, it should be fine (i.e., melting faces are okay, F-bombs, in general, are not).
I'd like to register deep disapproval over the pathological idea that fatal violence is acceptable for "most audiences" while strong language and sexual references are not. But said pathological idea didn't exactly originate with the editors of AD2. They're already trying to push through another of the pathological idea sets in our society, that being that the one that says that female protagonists aren't interesting and female authors aren't important. One has to pick one's battles.
So today I did a FIND on every instance of the f-bomb and replaced it with, in most places, other forms of reference to the sex act. Except for the one where Bobbie Mae was re-bawdifying the lyrics to "The Red-Head Song." Now she is being just as coy as the original lyrics, only louder and with more floral variation. And who doesn't like more flowers? I hear that the two red-headed lasses famed in story and song like best of all to get... flowers.