Archive for August, 2012
Two cups of excellent coffee with a breakfast of cottage cheese over fresh tomato with toast on the side.
Loooooong shower. Found my hairbrush in the second drawer of the vanity, right where I put it! And? The new vanity is tall enough. For eighteen! years! I had to bend double to wash my face over the sink. No longer, thank ghod.
The bathroom is pretty. The only things left to solve are the mirror, which hadn’t even been on my radar as “could be a problem;” the so-called baseboards; and a couple spots that have to be painted.
Going to go chop up broccoli for cream of, which will be lunch.
Life is good.
So, there’s been a minor kerfuffle on teh intertubes regarding an author named Emily
Griffin Giffin, who reallyreallyREALLY wanted to see her new book hit the Number One spot on the New York Times Bestseller List. She tweeted her fans and urged them to buy her book and push her into the winner’s circle.
Well, OK, fine. We all want our books to hit the NYT list. And apparently Emily had more reason than, say, I do, to think that her book had a shot.
Except…the book missed Number One. It did, I’ll note, hit the Number Two position. But still, Emily was sad. And very, very disappointed in her fans.
And she told them that.
You may imagine the uproar that ensued, or, if you have a hankering to view a train wreck, you can Google on Emily’s name. I’m not here to talk about bad author behavior, but I am going to talk about assumptions.
There was a meme going around a couple years ago, I guess. It was apparently designed to make authors feel like inadequate slackers, because it made certain base assumptions and asked questions from there. Questions like: How old were you when you won the Campbell? How old where you when you won your first Nebula? How old were you when you won your first Hugo? How many books had you written when you won your first Hugo? How many of your books have been on the New York Times Bestseller List?
. . .and so on.
The assumptions are clearly that All Writers Worth Reading have achieved these career milestones — Campbell, Nebula(s), Hugo(s), bestsellerdom. And that you can quantify artistic success by using the same measuring stick used for corporate success.
And that’s a sad, and bad, set of assumptions. Not that it isn’t nice to win a prize. Very few things are as heady as Feelin’ the Love. But winning a prize is…a privilege, not a right, and certainly not a career move.
The bestseller lists are a little different, and subject to manipulation, but for an author whose book hit Number Two to throw a hissy fit and scold her readers for not taking her to the top slot? That writer needs to take a step back and look at what she’s doing, why she’s doing it, and what she hopes to achieve in her life.
I’ve said it many times, and here I am saying it again — the writing business is brutal; if you do not love to write, if you don’t have stories that you must tell; if you’re in it purely for the fame and riches, for ghod’s sake, get a day-job. You’ll have a far better chance of making real money, achieving recognition in your field, and security for your old age, than you ever will as a writer — even if you hit all of those “career milestones.”
I’m happy that people buy my books. And I’m very fortunate that I’m able to devote myself to full-time writing. The vast majority of writers never, ever achieve that. I still have stories I want to tell, and all I ever wanted to do with my life was to be a writer, so I’m living the dream.
How many people get that in their lives?
So, what I guess I’m saying here — there’s rich. And there’s rich. And by the yardstick that matters, I am wealthy beyond belief.
Thank you all, so very much.
So, a Carousel Tides t-shirt that I was holding for someone, because theirs hadn’t arrived, is now available. (The original shirt had apparently taken the route through Timbuktu and Solcintra, but did finally, as of yesterday, arrive.) If anyone wants an XL Carousel Tides t-shirt, please write to me at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom. The price is $19 for the shirt + $5 shipping = $24.
Today, I did chores. I also finished the book I’d been reading in-between things — Geisha, by Liza Dalby. It’s an interesting book, put together as a series of vignettes, which shouldn’t work, but does; and makes for an easy in-between read.
After chores, I wrote! New words, even! According to my log, I haven’t written a word on Carousel Sun since…August 3 — the day of the Epic Flood. How strange.
Speaking of the Flood and the aftermath thereto…tomorrow of course we host the plumbers and the flooring team. For one halcyon hour, we also had the electrician scheduled for tomorrow, but he had a cancellation on Friday and moved us forward on the dance card.
Steve will actually be doing the lion’s share of contractor-hosting. I have a long list of errands to run, after which I may retire to the cloistered corridors of the Winslow Public Library, with Ox, and perhaps do some of that writing stuff again. I should also see if the signal is strong enough at the library to allow my cellphone to function. If so, it may be advertant to ask the librarian for use of a private room on Tuesday morning, so I can conduct my interview from a relatively quiet location.
*note to self: take cellphone receiver*
And so we start the last week of summer. . .
Progress on Carousel Sun
20,223/100,000 OR 20.22% Complete
I’d ridden the kick into a spin, now I straightened, staring up into a wholesome round face that was at the moment wearing an expression more pained than pleasant.
Geisha, Liza Dalby
The Kimono of the Geisha-Diva Ichimaru, Barry Till, Michiko Warkentyne, Judith Patt
Partials, Dan Wells
Starters, Lissa Price
A Princess of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs (read aloud w/Steve)
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Grace Lin
From Whence You Came, Laura Anne Gilman (e)
Frederica, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
No Dominion, C.E. Murphy (e)
The Prestige, Christopher Priest
Cuttlefish, Dave Freer
Intruder, C.J. Cherryh (read aloud w/Steve)
Blameless, Gail Carriger (e)
Changeless, Gail Carriger (e)
The Quiet Gentleman, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
Unbroken, Rachel Caine
The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
Sylvester / OR, The Wicked Uncle, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
Death and Resurrection, R. A. MacAvoy
The Unknown Ajax, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
Black Sheep, Georgette Heyer (read aloud w/Steve)
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)
This morning’s mail brings the delivery money for “Landed Alien.” After deducting 33% for taxes , there’s enough left over to pay the plumber’s bill for the timely rescue on August 3, which invoice also arrived today. That’s what we call your perfect timing.
In other news, the laundry’s doing, I have chicken marinating for this afternoon’s stir-fry, and I think I heard the dirty dishes muttering the opening lines of the “Wreck of the Hesperus” a little while ago, so…better deal with that rsn.
Still lookin’ for a home, one (used) but perfectly wearable size MEDIUM t-shirt from BaltiCon 43, art by Kurt Miller. If you can use this t-shirt please write to me and let’s work something out*
*”work something out” means that I’m open to barter or trade. It also means that I am willing to mail you (or a party designated by you) the t-shirt because you (or they) will enjoy it and/or get use out of it. In the latter case, I will ask you to reimburse the postage.
Questions have piled up underneath various blog entries at Eagles Over the Kennebec. So! Massive question-answering. If I’ve missed yours, ask again and I’ll do my humble best.
1. Why am I going to Archers Beach?
Because I have two books set in Archers Beach due pretty soon now, and, as matters now stand, and with Mr. Bouchard’s kind assistance, it was cheaper, in time and money, to stay in town during September, rather than make multiple day-trips down-coast. The decision to do this was made when I thought this year would look very different than it’s turning out, but made they are, and off I am.
2. What will Madam Agent want you all to write next?
That’s kind of got the cart before the horse. Given that the proposal we submitted are all for books in-series, Madame’s job at this point is to either (1) request from Steve and I more fullness of detail in order to clarify our intent, or (2) to send the proposals on to Madame the Editor. We haven’t gotten a request for a rewrite, nor heard that the proposals have been passed on; Madame the Agent is on vacation, so we hope to hear in re (1) or (2) in September.
3. Any plans for more Tree-and-Dragon symbol tees?
There’s a kind of t-shirt shop under construction here. Also coffee mugs and tote bags. I’m not sure what’s going on with all the shirts with teensy-tiny logos on them. Cafepress being…somewhat opaque to me.
4. I take it there is a naming convention that assigns males a two “word” name, like Val Con and Er Thom, but “Daav” seems to be exceptional in that respect as well.
Many male Liadens are saddled with the two-section personal name. The traditional naming practice is two syllables of three letters each — the balanced syllables are both artistically and philosophically pleasing; the total of six letters is also pleasing, six being a felicitous number for Liadens, along with twelve. So you get Jen Sar, Ren Zel, Sae Zar, Win Ton…
However, some names are very old in the Clan — such as Clonak, Er Thom (which follows the six-letter, two-syllable rule, but the syllables lack symmetry), Daav — some are names that have been imported into the Clan for one reason or another, like Ichliad Brunner. Liaden society is pretty rigid, but it is still a starfaring society, and nasty, foreign, untraditional things will, sadly, creep in among the less principled Clans…
OK, who’d I miss?
Someone suggested that Scrabble or Mozart might pitch in to assist Socks in Monday’s Supervisory Marathon.
Here is a picture of Scrabble, supervising work in the kitchen from the bookshelf in my office. I’ll note briefly that Mozart was not available for a photo at the time, having gone downstairs to hide.
1. The Peavey, newsletter of the Maine Writers and Publishers Association features some Liaden news, as well as news and notes from all points of the Maine Writing/Publishing Geography. This link might work…
2. A librarian friend sends us the following Liaden mention from Public Libraries, the Under the Radar Column, which this month deals with Sci-Fi you might have missed:
“The Liaden series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller was initially released in the late eighties, but was never a big success. However Lee and Miller continued to write them, much to the delight of a dedicated group of fans. Baen has re-released all of the original books, as well as several new titles and the many short stories, in both print and digital editions. Lee and Miller continue to add to their entrancing space opera with the recent YA friendly Ghost Ship (2011) and Dragon Ship (2012).”
3. I usually give clothes I no longer want/that no longer fit to Goodwill in Waterville, but I find that I have two t-shirts, size medium, that I don’t think I’d better donate, given the, err, political climate. Does anyone want a MacHall Cthuhlu “Sell your soul for a cookie?” t-shirt and/or a Balticon 43 (the year Charlie Stross was GOH) t-shirt? If you can use these shirts — both black, both in good, wearable condition — drop me a note at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom and we’ll work something out.
4. For those keeping score, we will on Monday-coming have in this house, in order of appearance: 1. the plumbers, 2. the electrician, 3. the flooring crew, 4. The plumbers. I’m thinking Socks is going to have to get in a temp-cat to help him keep it all under proper supervision.
5. In 12 days I’ll be in Archers Beach.
1. “Landed Alien,” a short story about Kara ven’Arith is this month’s Free Story on the Baen website (you need to scroll down). It will be available there until September 15, and then be retired to the Free Library.
2. Dragon Ship, the fourth book of Theo Waitley, is now available from Baen in the ebook format of your choice.
3. Geek Girl Project continues their Books for Writers series with a review of Carpe Diem, by Lee and Miller.
4. Necessity’s Child is not (that is NOT) the sequel to Dragon Ship. Since it is already written, turned in, and scheduled for publication — three conditions that the sequel(s) to Dragon Ship do not at this time meet — it is Extremely Doubtful that we will “tell our publisher” to release the sequel next. Sorry ’bout that.
4a. Necessity’s Child is actually a darn good book; I like it, and a handful of other folks who read SF, including James Burton, Jaine Fenn, Dave Freer, Todd McCaffrey, Steve Miller, Elizabeth Moon, and Toni Weisskopf like it, too. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
4b. The proposals for the books following Dragon Ship are on Madame the Agent’s desk. We’ll tell you if/when they’ve been accepted by Baen. Until then, you now know as much about this as we do. Feel better?
5. AsyouknowBob, the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory experienced an Epic Flood a couple weeks ago. We, by which I mean Steve and I, have been Coping With The Mess Left Behind (the cats providing encouragement, in between naps), which means that, yes, I’m behind on my email. And just about everything else. Thank you for your understanding.