SF Writer -- We need rain here in San Diego; really, I wish it would rain more. I'm not looking forward to summer, and I live by the beach. Maybe I'll head up to Portland for some rain. ...as for square one stuff, all I can say is: don't listen to all these people telling you "the rules." In fact don't even listen to me -- the way I do things would backfire for most people, and I have gotten many doors slammed in my face. But I've had many doors opened too. But I have always believed in not waiting "to get my foot in the door" but to jam the door with my foot and saying, "Hey! Here I am!" --

-- which leads to Glen's question about Ellison, because he (i.e., H.E.) is the guy I learned that attitude from. No, I was never in Clarion, though many people I know have been and from what I gather, it would have been bad for me. My aunt Kathy (now deceased, alas) used to live nextdoor to him in Sherman Oaks. One summer when I was 11, I was sent to stay with her (for I was a juvenile delinquent from age 8-16); I liked to read SF and was into Godzilla and comics and drew (badly) comics. My aunt said, "Oh the strange man next door writes books and Star Trek," and I think he was annoyed with her introducing me to him but for some damn reason he took an interest since I was a "trouble child." When I saw the interior of his house, with five typewriters, each with a different story/screenplay in progress, zillions of books and toys and a parade of women coming and going, I thought to myself: "This is the life of a writer? This is what I want to do." Saved me the heartache of finding out I can't draw for @!#$, for sure. WHen I say he was an early teacher, I don't mean he ripped up my mss. (tho he did with one when I was 15), but he instilled in me the desire to be a writer, what it takes to be a writer, and how to be strong against the publishers and producers. I'm still learning. When my aunt passed away, he was a friend.

Y'know, Blue Moon just issued MY SECRET LIFE in a 700 page trade ppbk. Have yet to read it. Blue Moon just started doing trade ppbks -- mine that came out a few months ago, THE GARDEN OF LOVE, is an omnibus of my first three novels with them. There were more planned, and maybe an original trade ppbk that I was going to do under a pen name, but there has been a management change at that conglomerate. I was going to pitch for hardcovers to the new management, but I doubt they'll go for it.