Archive for February, 2012

And they hover for a moment, then they fall on past

Winter Storm Warning, we have one!

Just in time for, yanno, Spring Mud.

We could get anywhere from 1 inch to 15 inches of snow. Of, I expect, wet heavy snow. Everybody remember what that means for the power lines? Right. Power lines hates heavy snow; they especially hates heavy snow that brings trees and suchlike down across them. If I suddenly vanish from teh intertubes, you’ll know why.

I spent some time today putting up the guest story at Splinter Universe, an easy task made more difficult by the refusal of WordPress and PayPal embedding to play nicely with each other. However, all fix now, and!

Drumroll, please.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Mr. Bud Sparhawk and his novella “Somewhere, A Sea.”

Splinter Universe News, the Impermanence of Memory, Describing Circles, and the Pirate Kings of France

So, let’s see.

We’ve decided to try something new at Splinter Universe — guest stories! The first of these goes up tomorrow — “Somewhere, a Sea,” by Bud Sparhawk.

For those interested in memory, its function, and the permanence of our recollections, here’s an interesting — and frightening — article. Many thanks to Friend of Liad Mickie for bringing it to my attention.

I have completely shut down my “account” at Google Circles, or Plus, or whatevertheheck it’s called. It appears that whenever someone mentions me in a conversation, I’m immediately made aware of, and have access to, the entire conversation, which is an. . .intimacy that I do not desire. Since I never actually “got” Google Whateveritis anyhow, this is no hardship for me. For those who have encircled or plussed me — I apologize in advance for any difficulty this action of mine may have caused you.

The French Government has decided to digitize all works of the 20th century that are no longer in print. If you, the author (or illustrator, or publisher) object to this high-handed snatching of your property, you have six months to protest and show good cause why the Government shouldn’t just take what it wants, or your work is forever in the database and available for free. Read all about it here

Today here in East Winslow, it is sunny and bright. This is the lull before the snowstorm, due to strike somewhen on the overnight, and continue into tomorrow which is, coincidentally, Mozart’s birthday, who approves of the whole March Lion thing, as long as he, personally, doesn’t have to roar.

In which Rolanni is exhausted

It has been a singularly exhausting day. Shopping has been done, mail has been collected, the doctor and the pharmacy have been visited. Steve and I did stop at the new! relocated! Cacciatore’s to have befores and a glass of wine, which was a pleasant interlude.

Part of what made the day so particularly exhausting is that a doctor’s office keeps calling my cellphone, leaving messages for people who aren’t me. I dealt with them about a billing inquiry that wasn’t for me the week before last. Today, it was a woman identifying herself as “Margaret” of the Dartmouth-Maine Medical Group who was calling “Jill” to schedule an appointment. I tried to call “Margaret” back to inform her of her error — twice. The first time I was on hold for twenty minutes without anyone ever picking up the phone; the second time for fifteen minutes. I finally called the oversight office of the hospital the practice is affiliated with, where, no I didn’t get a live human being, but I did at least get voice mail.

I do hope someone finds Jill’s actual phone number and gets her appointment straightened around.

Sigh.

In other, less exhausting news, Steve has placed a brand new hardcover edition of Partners in Necessity on eBay. There aren’t many of these left. Up until two days ago, I’d’ve said there weren’t any of these left, but there you are. If you’ll remember, our first three books — Agent of Change, Conflict of Honors, and Carpe Diem — were all paperback originals, so the only way you can get them in hardback (should you be a fan of hardcover novels) is in this omnibus edition. Anyhow, if you’re interested, take a look: here’s the link. The auction goes over on March 5.

Books read 2012

Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses, Diane Duane (e)
The Reluctant Widow, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
Friday’s Child, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
Dragon Ship manuscript, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
Kim, Rudyard Kipling (e)
Regency Buck, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
Pollyanna, Eleanor H. Porter (e)
Chimera, Rob Thurman (e)

Report from the couch

I’ve now written Chapter Twenty-Four twice.  And?  It’s still not right.  Fie on you, Chapter Twenty-Four!  I pick my teeth at you, Chapter Twenty-Four.  Onward to Chapter Twenty-Five, which has behaved just as it ought.  So, there.

Progress on Necessity’s Child
(the book formerly known as George)

74,261/100,000 words OR 74.26% complete

She looked up on hearing his step, and she — well, she didn’t smile, but her face eased, and she took a deep breath.

Five things make a post, the discount edition

1.  Mr. Blyly at Uncle Hugo’s reports that, of the 400 signed editions of Dragon Ship assigned to his care, 225 were placed in the first 48 hours of the pre-order period.  This leaves only ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE (175) books left for adoption.  If you were planning on pre-ordering a signed edition of Lee-and-Miller’s Dragon Ship, the exciting! follow-on to Ghost Ship — you really do need to act with alacrity.
Here’s the link to the Rules of Pre-ordering
Here’s the link to PRE-ORDER NOW

2.  We have thus far collected, through February sales of The Cat’s Job, $135.93 in donations to Planned Parenthood for their breast cancer screening program.  Thank you all for your generosity.  For those coming in late, here’s the original post for this fund-raiser, which runs through Leap Day, Wednesday, February 29

3.  Judy Tarr, writing as Judith Tarr, author of manymany fine books, as you don’t need me to tell you, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the second draft and the artwork for her novel Living in Threes.  For a five-buck buy-in supporters will receive an ebook edition of the completed work.  Judy was asking for a paltry $3,500 to fund this project, and she only lacks $1,290 to hit her goal, three days into the campaign.  This?  Is where the fun starts.  I wonder how high over the goal this project will leap.  Go on over and give Judy a boost, why not?  Here’s the link.

4.  I? Scrod the ankle yesterday and so today I’ll be writing from the couch, on The Leewit.  I’ll be checking in from time to time, so tell me something cool in comments, to help take my mind off my troubles.  In the meantime — fascinating stuff in the reading thread!

5.  What?  It’s the discount edition.

The Odin Protocol OR The Writer, Goofing Off

So, last night, I gave myself a scare.  I picked up Cygnus, and pressed the On button, meaning to reading another paragraph or two of Stealing the Elf King’s Roses.  But what came up was not the Galaxy 7.0 Plus home screen, but an Android standing over the words,

DOWNLOAD IN PROCESS
Do not turn off target!

…while in teensy tiny print up in the left-hand corner, it said, ODIN PROTOCOL…and some other things I can’t remember right now.

OhmyghodIbrokemytablet, is what I said.  Steve thought matters were less dire, which is how we work — in any given situation, I believe The Worst and Steve believes the Best.  Rarely are either of us right.

So, anyway, back to the computer to look up ODIN PROTOCOL, which seemed to fall somewhere between dire and awful.  I logged into the Samsung page, tried to email support, but the drop-downs were broken, pinged live chat and got Henry, whose solution to the problem was a hard reboot.  Which, I figured, if I was going to do that, I might as well…just…lean…really…hard…and…long on the Off button, and hold my breath.

…which I did and!  The tablet rebooted and all is well.

Cabana boy!  A glass of wine over here for the grey-haired lady with the cool tech!

Phew.

So, anyway.  This morning, I spent a couple, three hours formatting Legacy Systems (an eChapbook containing “Intelligent Design” and “The Space at Tinsori Light”) for Smashthing.  It is now up and live, right here   Thanks very much to Smashconsumers, for your patience.

“Tinsori Light” has, yes, been taken down from Splinter Universe.  And, no; there’s no paper edition of this volume.  Still haven’t figured it out.

While I was formatting “Tinsori Light,” I bethought me of something a reader told me at Boskone last week.  As I was reading it aloud, she told me, she noticed that there were things going on in “Tinsori Light” that she had missed when she had read it to herself, because she had been so eager to “get the story.”

This intrigues me.  I am not, myself, a fast reader, and, as a writer, I sort of hold the opinion that writers put all those words down in a specific order for a reason.  Certainly, if there were a way not to have to write 100,000 words to hit Novel, and speaking as someone who is well-known to be lazy, I’d be perfectly pleased to do that.

So, you fast readers — how do you read “for the story” and how do you know which words are important?  This is a serious question.

Note:  I’m not dissing the woman I talked to; we had a nice chat about reading protocols and the difference between reading to one’s self and reading aloud to an audience, and she helped me forget that my cellphone was dying, so it was all good; but the conversation did get me wondering…which, yanno, may be less good.

Or not.

So –?

Books read 2012

*The Reluctant Widow, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
Friday’s Child, Georgette Heyer (read aloud with Steve)
Dragon Ship manuscript, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
Kim, Rudyard Kipling (e)
Regency Buck, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
Pollyanna, Eleanor H. Porter (e)
Chimera, Rob Thurman (e)

———-
*The Reluctant Widow was the very first Heyer I ever read and includes the character on which Pat Rin yos’Phelium is based. In which “is based” obviously does not mean “was snabbled up and copied, word-for-word and action-by-action” but does mean that I thought a very great deal about what sort of man would behave in the way this character is shown as behaving, what sort of training he must have had, with a side dish of how doing the right thing is so very often thankless, and even personally painful.

Edited to add:  Steve reminds me that the character above also got me to thinking about the dangerous person who doesn’t present as dangerous — something that we play with quite a lot in the Liaden Universe® — and indeed isn’t dangerous. . .until and unless necessity exists.

Excitin’ doin’s are doin’

It snowed overnight. About four inches of white glop. I got the snow off the steps and off the windshields of the cars, hoping Mama Nature will do the rest. Yep, still afraid of falling. But that’s not what’s exciting.

What’s exciting is that our Moshi arrived today! Yes, we now have a voice-activated travel alarm. Here’s one. It’s cute! And it can understand my speech, as all-too-many voice recognition thingies cannot. Already I want six more of them, to keep this one company.

Mr. Byly at Uncle Hugo’s writes with the following exciting news regarding Dragon Ship preorders: In less than 24 hours we’ve already received 151 individual orders that included 168 signed copies of Dragon Ship. . .

For those who missed the announcement yesterday, here it is.

Remember! Uncle Hugo’s will only have 400 autographed copies — 168 of those have already found homes, leaving a mere! 232 copies in need of adoption. You do not want to let procrastination takes its course in this instance. Really. You wanna make like a Type A, click THIS LINK and pre-order your very own signed copy of Dragon Ship right now!

Continuing with our theme of Excitin’ doin’s, Judy Tarr (aka Judith Tarr) has just, err, kicked a Kickstarter campaign into motion. Judy is looking to raise $3500, which will enable her to do the final draft of her new novel Three Lives, pay for cover art and make it available for sale. Five bucks gets you an ecopy of the final novel, which is so absurdly cheap I don’t know why you’re still standing there looking at me. Oh, you want a link? Here you go.

I think that’s all the excitin’ doin’s I can talk about right now. There is, I hasten to assure you, All Manner of excitement roiling around behind the curtain, but I can’t tell you about them until various eyes and tees have all been taken care of. So, yanno, Watch The Skies.

Pre-Order Autographed Dragon Ship

Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore is now accepting pre-orders for signed copies of Dragon Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, to be published on September 4, 2012. Here’s the link

As always, your credit card will NOT be charged until your order is fulfilled and the book is on its way to you.

Note that this year, Uncle Hugo’s has only 400 signed books to sell*, so time is very much of the essence.

Sadly, this year we will not be able to personalize (where “personalize” means “write a special note requested by you, just for you, and only in your very own book”) Dragon Ship as we did Ghost Ship, for the simple reason that we will not be in or near Minneapolis in September.

——
*As many of you know, Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis, last year offered limited edition signed copies of Ghost Ship through their website.  They single-handedly placed almost 700 signed books into the hands of readers around the world.

Sadly, the publisher changed the rules for Dragon Ship, by deciding to produce a signed edition, limited to 1,000 books, with its very own ISBN, for what was originally an $8 surcharge (unsigned copy $25; signed copy $32).  The publisher has since decided that the $8 surcharge was Not Cool, and is selling the signed copies for $1 over the unsigned, which is reasonable, given the expense of binding in the extra sheet.

The publisher also decided to make the limited edition signed copies available through all outlets — BN, Amazon, Wal*Mart, WhoKnows. Baker and Taylor and Amazon.com have already ordered 550 copies of that 1,000 book run, which is why there are only 400 copies available to Uncle Hugo’s.