Zira’s Heart, Shannon’s Life Force, and Tempest’s Back

Several bits of fictiony news for you! First, I’m experimenting with self-publishing short stories as eBooks just to see what the process is like and to feel out interest in this arena. I have no plans to completely abandon sending my stories out to magazines and such. But there are a few stories that I love and still believe are good, but I’ve run out of markets for them. One such is Zira’s Heart, which is a bit too long for most markets. So, I decided to submit it to Smashwords and get it listed in most major eBook stores to see how that goes.

Shorts never receive the same kind of attention that books get in these situations, but I still think it could be interesting (and fun). I uploaded it last night and it’s already in the Smashwords catalog. Now I’m waiting to see if they’ll accept it for distribution to Amazon, B&N, iBooks and the like. I put the cover and link up on the sidebar of my site and I’m tracking how many clicks it gets. I’ll report as time goes on.

In other news, I don’t know why but I keep forgetting to blog about my first Escape Pod story! Elan Vital, which first appeared in Sybil’s Garage no 6, was podcasted in Escape Pod and read by Mur Lafferty. I’m completely excited to have cracked that market and really glad Mur is the editor now, as I enjoy her other podcasts quite a bit.

I did not intend to actually listen to the piece since I always get emotional even looking at that story. But as several people had praised Mur’s reading of it, I decided to listen to just a little. I ended up listening to the entire thing (crying almost the whole time, arg). Mur is fantastic, as others have said. She strikes the perfect notes all the way through. I’m so lucky! All of my Escape Artists stories have been read by such excellent and talented people1.

The discussion about my story is filled with people saying they really loved it (squee!) and some who bounced off hard. I am amused, however, by the person who said early on that the story “isn’t science fiction“. Also amused by the person who pointed out that, whatever happens in the future, he is sure companies will always find ways to charge us subscription fees. Too right.

Over at the Biology in Science Fiction blog, the poster asks “What would you be willing to give to keep someone you love alive?” which is more the center of my story than the actual science. I do enjoy some hard SF now and then. But I’m in the camp of people who think that the science or technology in SF is meant to serve the characters and the plot and the idea, not the other way around. Too much Star Trek as a child?

And finally, this weekend I went to Macy’s in my quest to find a new mattress (as described here) on the advice of those who said they had great deals. Those people? Have a weird idea of what constitutes a great deal. Nothing below $1,000 in the quality I need, and salespeople who didn’t even want to admit that they might be able to sell me a mattress without a box spring. They looked horrified that I should want such a thing. My old box spring is clearly inferior to anything they have. Cue eyeroll.

PayPal being under attack by Anonymous affected a couple of family members from donating to my mattress fund last week, but I think that’s over now. Yay? I haven’t even looked at the account yet since a bunch of people sent me a note saying they wouldn’t be able to send money until next week or so, which is fine. I’m going to ask my new roommate to help me flip my current mattress tonight and try to sleep on the less fucked up side so that my back will stop screaming at me in the night.

Here’s what I don’t get: how did we, as humans, survive all this time without natural latex memory foam individually-wrapped coil mattresses? I mean, this is crazy. There must be a solution for sleeping that is not bad for your back and also comfortable. Also one that does not cost $600+. Fie.


  1. Yeah, that’s right, Amal. I am talkin’ about you. Whatcha gunna do about it, huh? []

11 thoughts on “Zira’s Heart, Shannon’s Life Force, and Tempest’s Back

  1. New to the blog (surfed in from elsewhere) but have you checked out Ikea’s mattresses? Very reasonable mattresses and I don’t think Ikea actually believes box springs exist. I am currently sitting on a medium-firmness mattress resting directly on the (also Ikea) bedframe, and the whole thing ran me about $500 including delivery. Mind you, I did have to assemble the frame, but they’ll do it for you for a fee.

    I don’t know if they have the firmness you want, but they have a pretty wide variety and definitely sound more like what you’re looking for.

    1. Welcome to the blog! My roommates bought an Ikea mattress and it went south quickly, so I didn’t even consider them. How long have you had yours?

  2. I am commenting mostly to say that I am, as ever, a fan of you, Tempest :D :D , and also to say that I am super jealous of Veronica getting the Natalie Morales avatar. Here’s hoping for the Agent 355 one. If comic book characters count.

  3. OK, one last comment, and then I swear I will shut up. The dixiefoam mattresses do require a bedframe with wooden slats supporting the mattress, not one of those collapsible metal ones that only have support around the edges.

  4. how did we, as humans, survive all this time without natural latex memory foam individually-wrapped coil mattresses?

    My opinion? We spent a lot of time in pain. Remember, evolution only cares that you survive long enough to breed successfully.

  5. Let me recommend Dixiefoam mattresses. I think their store is on 23rd st. As you know, my back is extremely fucked up, and they were recommended to me by the physical therapist I saw ten years ago. They do not need a boxspring. They ain’t cheap, but what is?

    I have the full-size pillowtop superfirm. Check ’em out.

      1. OK, but look at the prices! I will go with you on a Saturday (but not next one) or after work on a weekday if you like!

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