Blog Without A Name

Sunday morning round-up

All righty, then!

First up, a reminder:  Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be reading from and signing copies of the Thirtieth Anniversary Edition of Agent of Change at Children’s Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville, Maine 04901, on Friday, November 2, from 7:30-9 pm.  Looking forward to seeing you — yes, you! — there.

If you are unable to attend the November 2 event, and you want a signed copy of the anniversary Agent of Change, with the awesome Sam Kennedy cover, you may send an email before November 2 to Ellen Richmond at kidsbookscellarATmyfairpointDOTnet, with “Lee and Miller” in the subject line. In the body of the letter let Ellen know how many books you want, your snail address, and any personalization request you may have. She will contact you for further necessary information.

So, we attended the Community Health Needs Assessment as our Floating Day Off, on Thursday.  It was interesting, and even informative.  I had been under the impression that the event was hosted by one of the area hospitals; in fact it is an on-going collaborative effort of about eight different hospitals, clinics and health associations.  The meant that there were a lot of professionals present, which was fine; one of the problems identified by our table (all civilians, saving the facilitator and the note-taker) was a lack of access to care, including a lack of doctors, a lack of transportation to get to doctors, and a lack of those activities supportive of good health.

Unfortunately, the lack of access which was so obvious to the public eye was invisible to the professional eye, as we found when it came time to rank the most pressing needs in our community.  The vote went along, dare I say, party lines, with the professionals pushing for programmatic solutions to things like the opoid crisis and self-harm.  That was a little disappointing.  Our facilitator thanked our table for our real-world perspective, but I’m not completely certain that she has any high-level ears available to her.

One of the things that seems obvious to me (warning) is that, if this is about COMMUNITY Health Needs, then the COMMUNITY needs to get involved.  The city needs to get on-board with providing, say, a real bus service, so people can get to their appointments on time.  The clinics need to coordinate; health and exercise classes in the city need to be expanded, supported, and advertised.

The whole community aspect was pointed up when the meeting was breaking up and one of our table’s participants handed the facilitator a card.  She shook her head, and said, “The hospital does all its printing in house.”  “That’s right,” came the answer, “and they put the guy who used to do their printing out of business.”

If we’re all in this together, we can’t solve our problems by working separately.

So, that.

We haven’t quite settled on the upcoming week’s Floating Day Off; much depends on the outcome of phone calls that need to be made tomorrow.  For today, I need to vacuum the house, and then get to work.

Oh!  I keep meaning to show y’all this. . .The Carousel Corner in my bookshelf.

Writers’ Day Off

Where was I?

Ah.  Last Friday was our Floating Day Off, and we went to the ocean to observe the storm tide.  Once that was accomplished, we of course turned right around and went home to go back to work.

Ahem.

In actual reality, we went to Scarborough Beach State Park, as Steve had seen a sign (by which I mean a road sign, not A Sign), and we used our new-found superpowers as Elders of the State to pass through the gate and walk down the road through the marsh, which was filled to the gills with Canada geese, to the weed-strewn beach.

From there, we more or less retraced our path of a couple weeks ago, this time driving back into the upscale housing development around Two Lights (no access to the lighthouses), and then down through Fort Williams Park, ’til we hit the ocean, sort of, and Portland Head Light.

Also visible from Portland Head is Ram Island Ledge Light.

There is a third lighthouse visible from this position to those with Really Good Eyes, or Steve’s camera, called Halfway Light.  My camera is not long-sighted, so you’re spared a picture of that light.

I offer instead my Lighthouse Passport, now with five stamps!  The docent at the museum at Portland Head Light, keeper of the stamps, is empowered to bestow stamps for Portland Head Light, Ram Island Ledge, Halfway Light, and Two Lights.

So, that’s what we did on our last day off.

This week, our Floating Day Off is — today.  We will be attending a Community Health Needs Assessment sponsored by one of the local hospitals at mid-afternoon.  This is in keeping with our goal of becoming an active part of the new community.

So!  That’s all I’ve got, except the weather, which has been Quite Windy.  We lost two trees down near the Forest Gate, and the gate next to the house (which, to be fair, was not particularly well-tied-down).

Which reminds me that, last week, the neighbor’s dog called in some guys to take down the Enormous Pine in their back yard, which had started dropping Large Limbs Too Near the House, and now my office gets the sun much later in the day.  I hadn’t realized that the Big Tree had shaded the front right clerestory windows quite so much.  Good job that I bought myself a Computer Cap a couple weeks ago.

I’m still trying to understand the dynamics of this house — how the heat moves from my large and sunny room to warm the kitchen and dining room — and how the living room fits into it all.

Well.  I’ll be studying that all winter, I’m guessing.

Everybody have a good day.

 

Short stories and the author

So, I’m in receipt of several emails, and one crazily placed blog entry (read about it here, go over to a Whole ‘Nother Website, to a page that has nothing to do with the topic, and post the question.  Why would you do that?). . .asking when the short stories Steve and I have recently placed with anthologies (not magazines), will be “available,” by which they mean, as a chapbook from Pinbeam Books.  These folks don’t want to buy anthologies filled with stories by strange authors, just to get our new story, but they want the new stories Pretty Dern Quick.

Now, here’s the Thing.  Actually, a couple of Things.

Writers, including Steve and me, write to earn money.

Anthology gigs pay money up front.

One of the things that anthologies purchase with their up-front money is publication exclusivity, anything from 6 months to 2 years (to forever, but we turn those down; there isn’t enough up-front money in the world).

The purpose of anthologies, besides making money for the publishing house, the editor, and, maybe, some more money for their contributing authors, is to (1) draw in readers of Author A with the promise of a new story, and (2) introduce the readers of Author A to other cool writers those readers may have missed.  Anthologies are not inherently evil, honest.

Now, this is how the whole anthology publication works from the author side:

Invitation comes in –> Author rejects or accepts

If Author rejects, Author does not have to write a story to theme and deadline.  Author also does not get paid.

If Author accepts, Author receives contract from publisher.  Author writes story to theme and deadline, whereupon, sometime before publication of the anthology, a check will arrive in Author’s mailbox.

The contract issued by the publisher spells out things like rights purchased, desired word count, payment per word, how royalties will be computed, deadline for submission, deadline for publication, and!  exclusivity periods.

Once more, in short form, here is that process:
Invitation–>Author Acceptance–>Contract Arrives–>Author writes and submits story to Anthology Editor –>Revision letter arrives–>Author revises, resubmits–>Story accepted–>Payment received–>Anthology published

Some of these bits can be switched around, but these are the steps to publication.

When the anthology is published — that is when the exclusivity period starts.  Exclusivity is exactly what it sounds like — the anthology holds the exclusive right to publish Story A anywhere for:  6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 2 years (forever, but see above…)

After the exclusivity period is over, Author may sell the story to a reprint market, reprint the story Author’s self, or stick the story in a drawer and forget about it.

What we here at the Confusion Factory do is — After the exclusivity period is completed, we will cause Pinbeam Books to reprint Story A as an echapbook/paper chapbook.  Sometimes, there’s a little extra time built in before we get around to that, due to other pressing business, and whether we have at least two stories available for reprint (or have spontaneously generated another, free-range, story in the interim) so that we give value to our readers.

We also collect those stories into a big pile, and lately Baen Books has been kind enough to print those collections in the Liaden Universe® Constellation series.  So far, that is three volumes, with Constellation Four coming in Summer 2019*.

What all this means for the “availability” of the following stories: “Dark Secrets,” “Command Decision,” and “Vestals of Midnight,” is!

“Dark Secrets” will be published in Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers, which is now scheduled to be published in September 2019.  The exclusivity period for that story is 18 months.  So, it will be “available,” sometime in mid-2021.

We have not yet been informed of the exclusivity period for “Decision,” and “Vestal,” but assume a year from publication (November 2018), since that’s an average period.

Advertent readers will see that “Revolutionists” and “Excerpts from Two Lives,” will be collected in Constellation Four.  Sometime after, Pinbeam Books will collect them into a chapbook. The reason for that timing is also exclusivity, the period for “Revolutionists” doesn’t go over until next July, scant weeks before we can expect to see the next Liaden collection.

I trust this answers everyone’s questions — and really!  Try an anthology, why not?  You might find some new favorite authors.

____________________
*A Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume Four, coming from Baen in Summer 2019.  This reprints eight shorter works: 2 novellas, 4 novelettes, 2 short stories from 2016-2018.  Titles included are:  “Street Cred,” “Due Diligence,” “Friend of a Friend,” “Cutting Corners,” “Block Party,” “Degrees of Separation,” “Excerpts from Two Lives,” “Revolutionists.”

 

Books read in 2018

51. Bayou, Volume One, Jeremy Love (library book)
50. Bone: Out from Boneville, Jeff Smith (library book)
49. Saga, Volume One, Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (library book)
48. This Rough Magic, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
47. Elizabeth and Her German Garden, Elizabeth von Arnim (read aloud with Steve)
46. Why Kill the Innocent, C.S. Harris
45. To Love and Be Wise, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
44. A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherry Thomas (e)
43. Shards of Hope, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
42. The Tightrope Walker, Dorothy Gilman
41. The Wisdom of the Beguines, Laura Swan
40. Miss Pym Disposes, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
39. Cinnamon Blade: A Knife in Shining Armor, Shira Glassman (e)
38. Hunter of Worlds, C.J. Cherryh (re-read; read aloud with Steve)
37. The Black Wolves of Boston, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
36. The Man in the Queue, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
35. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
34. Waiting on a Bright Moon, Jy Yang (e)
33.  The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman (e)
32. The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey (re-read for me; read aloud w/Steve)
31. Eight Million Gods, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
30. These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
29. The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang
28. The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
27. The Moon-spinners, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
26. The Cat Who Went Underground, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
25. Winterglass, Benjanun Sriduangkaew (e)
24. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
23. The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (e)
22. The Persian Boy, Mary Renault
21. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
20. Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey
19. Woman Without a Past, Phyllis A. Whitney (e)
18. The Mermaid’s Sister, Carrie Anne Noble (e)
17. All Systems Red, Martha Wells (e)
16. Burn Bright, Patricia Briggs (e)
15. The Ivy Tree, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
14. Kiss of Snow, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
13. Throne of Jade, Naomi Novik (e)
12. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik (e)
11. The Cat Who Played Post Office, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
10. The Faded Sun: Kutath, CJ Cherryh (e)
9.  Emergence, CJ Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
8.  The Faded Sun: Shon’jir, CJ Cherryh (re-read) (e)
7.  The Faded Sun: Kesrith, CJ Cherryh (e)
6.  My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
5.  The River Bank, Kij Johnson (read aloud with Steve)
4.  Still Life, Louise Penny
3.  Thick as Thieves, Megan Whalen Turner
2.  The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch (e)
1.  Romancing the Werewolf, Gail Carriger (e)

Wednesday morning adverts

A.  If you are going to a convention, belong to a reading group, or patronize a library or bookstore open to taking promotional items, and! you would like to help promote Agent of Change and/or the Carousel series, please drop me a note at sharonleeATkorvalDOTcom, and I’ll be happy to send you some postcards or bookmarks for distribution.

B.  Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be reading from and signing copies of the Thirtieth Anniversary Edition of Agent of Change at Children’s Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville, Maine 04901, on Friday, November 2, from 7:30-9 pm.  Looking forward to seeing you — yes, you! — there.

C. If, after all, my blandishments have failed and you are unable to attend the November 2 event, and you still want a signed copy of the anniversary Agent of Change, with the awesome Sam Kennedy cover, you may send an email before November 2 to Ellen Richmond at kidsbookscellarATmyfairpointDOTnet, with “Lee and Miller” in the subject line. In the body of the letter let Ellen know how many books you want, your snail address, and any personalization request you may have. She will contact you for further necessary information.

Here endeth the Wednesday morning adverts.

Books read in 2018

50. Bone: Out from Boneville, Jeff Smith (library book)
49. Saga, Volume One, Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (library book)
48. This Rough Magic, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
47. Elizabeth and Her German Garden, Elizabeth von Arnim (read aloud with Steve)
46. Why Kill the Innocent, C.S. Harris
45. To Love and Be Wise, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
44. A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherry Thomas (e)
43. Shards of Hope, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
42. The Tightrope Walker, Dorothy Gilman
41. The Wisdom of the Beguines, Laura Swan
40. Miss Pym Disposes, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
39. Cinnamon Blade: A Knife in Shining Armor, Shira Glassman (e)
38. Hunter of Worlds, C.J. Cherryh (re-read; read aloud with Steve)
37. The Black Wolves of Boston, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
36. The Man in the Queue, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
35. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
34. Waiting on a Bright Moon, Jy Yang (e)
33.  The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman (e)
32. The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey (re-read for me; read aloud w/Steve)
31. Eight Million Gods, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
30. These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
29. The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang
28. The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
27. The Moon-spinners, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
26. The Cat Who Went Underground, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
25. Winterglass, Benjanun Sriduangkaew (e)
24. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
23. The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (e)
22. The Persian Boy, Mary Renault
21. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
20. Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey
19. Woman Without a Past, Phyllis A. Whitney (e)
18. The Mermaid’s Sister, Carrie Anne Noble (e)
17. All Systems Red, Martha Wells (e)
16. Burn Bright, Patricia Briggs (e)
15. The Ivy Tree, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
14. Kiss of Snow, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
13. Throne of Jade, Naomi Novik (e)
12. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik (e)
11. The Cat Who Played Post Office, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
10. The Faded Sun: Kutath, CJ Cherryh (e)
9.  Emergence, CJ Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
8.  The Faded Sun: Shon’jir, CJ Cherryh (re-read) (e)
7.  The Faded Sun: Kesrith, CJ Cherryh (e)
6.  My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
5.  The River Bank, Kij Johnson (read aloud with Steve)
4.  Still Life, Louise Penny
3.  Thick as Thieves, Megan Whalen Turner
2.  The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch (e)
1.  Romancing the Werewolf, Gail Carriger (e)

Books read in 2018

49. Saga, Volume One, Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (library book)
48. This Rough Magic, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
47. Elizabeth and Her German Garden, Elizabeth von Arnim (read aloud with Steve)
46. Why Kill the Innocent, C.S. Harris
45. To Love and Be Wise, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
44. A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherry Thomas (e)
43. Shards of Hope, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
42. The Tightrope Walker, Dorothy Gilman
41. The Wisdom of the Beguines, Laura Swan
40. Miss Pym Disposes, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
39. Cinnamon Blade: A Knife in Shining Armor, Shira Glassman (e)
38. Hunter of Worlds, C.J. Cherryh (re-read; read aloud with Steve)
37. The Black Wolves of Boston, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
36. The Man in the Queue, Josephine Tey (read aloud with Steve)
35. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
34. Waiting on a Bright Moon, Jy Yang (e)
33.  The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman (e)
32. The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey (re-read for me; read aloud w/Steve)
31. Eight Million Gods, Wen Spencer (re-read) (e)
30. These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
29. The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang
28. The Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer (re-re-re-read; read aloud with Steve)
27. The Moon-spinners, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
26. The Cat Who Went Underground, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
25. Winterglass, Benjanun Sriduangkaew (e)
24. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
23. The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (e)
22. The Persian Boy, Mary Renault
21. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
20. Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey
19. Woman Without a Past, Phyllis A. Whitney (e)
18. The Mermaid’s Sister, Carrie Anne Noble (e)
17. All Systems Red, Martha Wells (e)
16. Burn Bright, Patricia Briggs (e)
15. The Ivy Tree, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
14. Kiss of Snow, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
13. Throne of Jade, Naomi Novik (e)
12. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik (e)
11. The Cat Who Played Post Office, Lilian Jackson Braun (read aloud with Steve)
10. The Faded Sun: Kutath, CJ Cherryh (e)
9.  Emergence, CJ Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
8.  The Faded Sun: Shon’jir, CJ Cherryh (re-read) (e)
7.  The Faded Sun: Kesrith, CJ Cherryh (e)
6.  My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart (re-read) (e)
5.  The River Bank, Kij Johnson (read aloud with Steve)
4.  Still Life, Louise Penny
3.  Thick as Thieves, Megan Whalen Turner
2.  The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch (e)
1.  Romancing the Werewolf, Gail Carriger (e)

A short photographic history of a novel

From left to right:
Agent of Change (as by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee), February 1988, artist Stephen Hickman, Del Rey Books mass market original

Agent of Change (as by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller), November 2002, artist Michael Herring, Ace Books mass market reprint of Meisha Merlin edition*

Agent of Change 30th Anniversary Edition,(as by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller), November 2018, artist Sam Kennedy, Baen Books mass market

_____________
*Many readers were introduced to the Liaden Universe® via the Meisha Merlin omnibus Partners in Necessity, which reprinted the first three novels, Agent of Change, Conflict of Honors, and Carpe Diem.  Publication date February 2000, Artist Michael Herring,

No, “dungarees” are NOT overalls

The number of people who don’t know what dungarees are is astonishing to me.  This is what it is to grow old.

Here’s a post about dungarees.

Here’s another post about dungarees.

When I was a kid living in Baltimore, Maryland, the things that the Earth now knows as “jeans,” were marketed as “dungarees.”  The venerable H.D. Lee Mercantile Company sold dungarees, not jeans.  When I was a teenager, “blue jeans” entered the vocabulary.  In my part of the world, these were understood to be those denim coverings for the lower limbs made and marketed by the company founded by Mr. Levi Strauss, aka “levis.”

After some more time had passed, Fashion decided that it was missing a bet.  Since everyone was wearing blue jeans, or levis (but hardly anybody was wearing dungarees, because, I dunno, it was too hard to say? and had fallen out of use), they would adapt the denim limb coverings, make them useless and expensive and christen them “jeans.”

My recent purchase of a pair of dungarees from the Carthartt Company was whimsical, in part — I hadn’t seen dungaree used for many, many years, and was pleased that it had not been forgotten entirely.

But, as the internet proves — the word had been forgotten entirely; gone the way of the Tasmanian Wolf and the Dodo; and recalled by only a few dinosaurs.

Those who wish to believe that dungarees are bib overalls, or coveralls, or simply overalls — carry on.  I can’t stop you, after all.

This is, honest, my Last Word on the subject.

 

 

It’s all about the clothes

So, earlier in the week, I was in Tractor Supply, looking, as it happened, for snow boots, my boots having just lasted through last winter before commending their soles to that Big Shoe Factory in the Sky.
 
I didn’t find any snow boots — muck boots, yes; snow boots, no. But! They were having a minor sale on — dungarees. Yes, dungarees, not jeans. Mens dungarees, in fact.
 
As it happened, I had just a few days previous decided that I could not pay $80 and more for women’s jeans, and I said to myself, Self, back when you were Tall and Angular, you wore mens jeans. Now that you are Tall and Plump, this seems counter-intuitive, but, whatthehell, I’m here, the sale’s here, there’s a dressing room, and — why not?
 
Besides, it’s been years since I’ve owned a pair of dungarees.
 
My first try-on choice was 36×34 (I was skeptical of the 34, but that was the longest available). Turned out they were wonderfully long enough, but — 36 had been. . .optimistic.
 
Thirty-eight by 34, however, fit like a dream. And the pockets! Even a handy cellphone pocket.
 
Plus — they were priced considerably less than $80.
 
So, I bought myself a pair of nice grey dungarees — and today, I’m wearing them.
 
They fit like I’ve been wearing them for years. High-waisted, long legs — and — did I mention? — the pockets!
So, it looks like I’m back to cross-dressing. 
And, did I mention the pockets?