Blog Without A Name

Lee and Miller Official Goin’s-ons

Things have been happening here at the Confusion Factory.  Also, things are about to happen.  Here’s your handy guide to our Official Goin’s-ons.

  1.  “Cutting Corners,” a Liaden Universe® short story including but not limited to: norbears, pirates, and piloting re-certs is now live and ready for you — yes, you! — to read it.  Here’s the link.
  2. The first Patreon goody has been posted — Steve reading “A Night at the Opera,” by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  This may be accessed by Patreon folks only.  After May 15, it will migrate to Splinter Universe for everyone’s listening pleasure.  Here’s your link.
  3. The second Patreon goody will be posted on or about Saturday April 29, and it will be my turn.  There’s a poll open right now, to help me figure out which story I ought to read.  Here’s a link to the poll.
  4. On May 1 at 12 noon Eastern Daylight Time, Steve and I will be hosting a pre-release A(sk) M(e) A(nything) at Reddit.  We hope you’ll be able to join us.  You do need to register with Reddit in order to take part in the AMA.  You can register here.
  5. On Tuesday, May 2, The Gathering Edge, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the twentieth novel-length adventure in the Liaden Universe®, will be published, in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook.
  6. On Saturday, May 13, from 1-3, Steve and I will be at the Barnes and Noble in the Augusta Marketplace in Augusta, Maine, hosting a meet and greet and a book signing, and we hope to see you there!

And now? You’re all caught up.

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Books read in 2017

21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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New Patreon Goal and Goodies

Those of you who have been with us for a while will recall that we maintain a Patreon account.  It was originally established when it became clear that, because medical bills had eaten our downpayment, the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory would not be relocating, and thus would need to Take Steps to upgrade the current arrangement.

The most important single thing that we felt needed to be done to make our house in the country safer as we got older was a whole-house generator.  We set a monthly goal of $2,000, and with the help of many, we were able to install the generator.

At that time, after taking advice, we did not offer goodies or other incentives, aside from our very sincere thanks (and the sincere thanks of the cats, naturally).

This time, we’re returning to the theme of medical bills.  Not only did Steve have a “heart event” in November, but he has had, since elementary school, an ongoing dental. . .issue (which very likely exacerbated his heart problems), which entered a new phase of expense.  In Maine — at least in our part of Maine — dental insurance is Very Thin On The Ground, so we’ve been doing the Insured by Visa thing.  We thought we could whack down the backlog reasonably, but the fine dental professionals keep front loading more stuff, and there’s only so much room on that Visa card.

In addition, my health insurance payments have been going onto that same Visa card, as well as some. . .unanticipated medical bills of my own (not wanting to be left out, or anything).

Anyway, long story short, we’ve “announced” a new Patreon goal of $2,500 per month, and! we’re offering an incentive for folks to sign up or increase their pledges.

So, here’s what we’re going to be doing:  Patrons will have special early access to one (or both) of us reading a chapter, a short story, a poem several times a month (right now, given doctor’s appointments, Random Is, but we’ll shoot for every other week). Ambient cat noises supplied at no extra charge. The reading will be posted first on Patreon, for the enjoyment of patrons only, and eventually – after a month or two – migrate to Splinter Universe, for the Edification of All.

We expect to post our first reading installment on April 15, 2017, to give USian patrons something to look forward to on Income Tax Day.

Fuller details are available at our Patreon page.  Here’s the link.

As before, and as always, donating is utterly and entirely voluntary.  Please do not stint yourself or your household, or deny yourself books!  (Especially do not deny yourself books!  This is about getting y’all new books on schedule, among other things.)  If you can help us out, and you want to help us out — thank you, very much.  We’re cool, whatever you decide to do.

And I’ll just take this little space that’s left down here at the bottom of the page to thank everyone who has given us support, including buying our books, sending cards, and random surprise gifts, PayPal donations, Patreon pledges, and kind letters.  It all helps.  Really.  You guys are awesome.

So, that’s what’s going on.  First reading goes live on Monday.  Steve’s picking out a story right now.

 

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All Summer in a Day

Late Spring has arrived here at the Cat Farm, which is a little surprising, given that, last week this time it was snowing.  Monday had been sunny and 70F/21C, and the weatherbeans were calling for more of the same for Tuesday.

So, Steve and I played hookey.  We left early, stopped in Lewiston to have breakfast at Fran’s, and hit Old Orchard Beach just at high tide.  We walked the beach a little, I picked up a few empty shells, and tossed one snail back into the surf (the door was still on, and I supposed it was still alive).  We left the beach eventually and walked uptown to the Amtrak station, and Memorial Park.  While Steve waited for a train to photograph, I wandered over to the garden, and admired the places where flowers would be, in another six weeks.

When we finished with OOB, we went into Saco to scope out a townhouse/condo.  It was about as big as the first place we lived together, and not, perhaps, possible with three Very Large, and one Not Small cat in the household.

After our tour of Saco, we headed up to Freeport, and Shopped LLBean before continuing up-state.  We stopped in Augusta to have lunch at Lisa’s, and so to home.

Nice day, and good to visit places that were neither doctor’s offices nor grocery stores.

I must say, too, that we chose our day well.  Yesterday, it was sullen and cloudy all day until it finally rained like heck for an hour or two.  Today, it’s partly cloudy, but the high temp will only be around 54F/12C.  We’re under an active flood warning for the Kennebec River until Friday midday, which is always exciting.  Flood stage for the Kennebec at Augusta is 12 feet/3.5 meters, and the ‘beans are expecting it to crest at 14 feet/4 meters.  There are a several miles and many hills between us and the Kennebec, and we have no business in Augusta for the next few days.  The local streams and wetlands are somewhat overfull, but nothing at all dangerous to us.

Steve at Old Orchard Beach April 11 2017
The Atlantic Ocean from the end of Brown Street at Old Orchard Beach April 11 2017
Memorial Park gazebo and Old Orchard Beach Library April 11 2017
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Pets keep us healthy

So, this morning, Trooper and Belle were scheduled to have their annual checkups and distemper shots.

Usually, we take them to the vet singly, and the Cat of the Hour will sit in the lap of the one of us in the passenger seat (wearing harness and leash), and look out the window.  This saves Trooper and Sprite, at least, from being drippy, hysterical messes by the time they arrive at the vet’s, since both of them hateHateHATE being in the cat carrier. Belle is much more laid back about the cat carrier.

But, it fell out today that we had to take both, mostly because Trooper was a month late, his doctor appointment having taken second place to the various other doctor appointments with which March was overfilled.

The Plan, inasmuch as we had A Plan, was to put both Trooper and Belle in the bathroom — an enclosed area with no really inaccessible-to-humans hiding places — then bring the boxes to them*.  As it happened, when the time came to board cats, both Trooper and Belle were in the bedroom, so that became the holding area.

Belle was asleep in her blanket fort under the end of the bed, so I picked up Trooper, carried him down to the living room, and put him in the cat carrier (this sounds easier than it was, but with two of us, we did get him tucked in quick).  Steve closed and “locked” the door, and! Quick as the cat can lick her paw, Trooper’s catcher’s mitt paw flashed through the mesh door, wrapped around the sliders that secure the locking bolts, yanked them — the door popped open and he was gone, running down the hall to my office.  (My office = safest room in house in Coon Cat Logic.)

Figuring he’d stay, and not wanting to panic Belle into taking refuge in a less-accessible space, I rousted her from her blanket fort, carried her down the hall, slipped her easily into the other box, Steve closed the door, and Belle sighed, and curled up on the blanket.

Then, I went to get Trooper while Steve carried Belle out to the car.

Back in the box went Trooper.  Again, the paw flashed out, but this time the locking bolts were firmly seated, and that old trick didn’t work.

Steve picked up the box, with 18 pounds of coon cat in it, and?

The box fell apart.

Trooper ran for my office.  I got the harness and leash out of the closet, put them on the cat with no trouble at all, and Trooper got to sit on Steve’s lap on the way to the vet.

. . .for some reason, I’m exhausted.

And how was your morning?

________________
*Trooper was going in a cat carrier, because we weren’t sure he would accept Steve’s lap.  He does not, as a rule, seek Steve out, or sit on his lap, and all his previous “rides” have been on my lap.

 

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Books read in 2017

20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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Everything Upcoming!

We’ve had some queries about upcoming publications, and upcoming appearances, and, and — herewith an attempt to get them all in one place, for you, and for us.  Please note that the list is probably not complete; it’s only as complete as far as we know, as of Right Now.

Upcoming Appearances
May 1Ask Me Anything, Reddit, starting 12 noon
May 13: Meet ‘n Greet and book signing, Barnes and Noble, at 9 Market Place Drive, Augusta, Maine, from 1 – 3pm
August 4-6Confluence, in Pittsburgh, Lee and Miller will be writer Guests of Honor
March 9-11, 2018: MidSouthCon, in Memphis, Lee and Miller, writer Guests of Honor

Upcoming Interviews
April edition of The Intergalactic Medicine Show: Lee and Miller interview, reprint story, and! sample chapter

Upcoming Publications
April 15 +/-: “Cutting Corners,” Baen.com
May 2: The Gathering Edge, hardcover, ebook, audiobook, Baen & Audible
June 6: “Wise Child,” in Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Volume 3, Baen
August:  “Dawn’s Early Light,” in All Hail Our Robot Conquerors, Zombies Need Brains
December 15 +/-: Short Story, Baen.com
January 2, 2018Neogenesis
TBA: “Excerpts from Two Lives,” in Ships of the Line, Baen

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Saturday morning advert

A.  The EBOOK edition of The Gathering Edge is now available for PREORDER from Amazon.  Here’s the link.

B.  We have a new goal at Patreon, and a promise of goodies in the (very near) future.  Check it out here.

C.  Eagles Over the Kennebec is now completely installed in its new home at Dreamwidth, and the previous account at LiveJournal has been deleted.  Here’s the link to the new journal.

C1.  Here’s a link to an article explaining the mass exodus from LJ, for those who are interested.

D.  As previously advertised, Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF Volume 3 will be published in June.  A Special Feature of this book is that it serves as a ballot for an award given at Dragoncon.  Readers may vote for the best story in the volume; the winner of that vote will receive a plaque and a check for $500.

E. Steve and I will be doing a Pre-Release Party/AMA at Reddit on May 1.  Why not stop by and see us?  Bring a friend, in fact.  There will be enough virtual brownies for everybody.  Here’s a link to more information.

F.  Steve and I will be having a Real Life Meet and Greet/Book Signing at the Barnes and Noble at 9 Market Place Drive, Augusta, Maine, on Saturday, May 13, from 1-3 pm.  Hope to see you there.

G.  I will be intermittently about this weekend.  The pace of doctor/dentist appointments has taken its toll, and I’ve gotta take advantage of two days in a row to write.

Everybody have a great weekend.

In case you missed the news, earlier this week, the nice folks at Baen sent Belle a box:

After a little while, she let us open it. This is what was inside:

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