Blog Without A Name

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair

It has been, if I may say so, a weekend of parts.

Steve and I decided to goof off magnificently on Friday evening and went to see “Hanna” at Railroad Square Cinema, the local arts theater. Stipulating that it is a very violent movie, it’s well worth the price of admission — kind of an action-adventure art film, with depth, and intelligence. I’m still chewing on big chunks of it, and of that, nothing more, since I don’t want to spoil things for those who haven’t seen it yet.

Saturday was a writing day — Chapter Fourteen of the Book Presently Known as George — with some reading at the end of it. Steve and I had so much fun reading Betrayer to each other that we decided to do the same by Foreigner.

Today — Today we left the house early-ish, meaning to find breakfast at Eric’s. Alas, when we walked in all the hostess could offer us was a place at the counter. “I’m sorry, guys,” she said, waving around at the empty tables. “On Sunday, they get on their cellphones the minute church lets out, and call in to hold a table. Any other day of the week, we’d have room…”

That being so, we went ‘cross town to the Holiday Inn that had been and is now the Waterville Grand Hotel, where I had a veggie skillet with cheese, Steve had two eggs over easy, and we shared a fresh-made blueberry crepe for dessert. Excellent. Thank you, Eric’s.

It being so bright and sunny and warm, we went for a drive, down to Belfast to see the sights, and pay our respects to the bay. Home again by way of the Agway and grocery store to take on needed supplies for humans and catkind.

Arrived at home and the groceries dispersed, I returned to my office and compiled Two Tales of Korval for the ninety-millionith time and uploaded one file to Amazon.com and one file to Barnes and Noble. Each merchant tells me that the books will be available for purchase in a day or two.

We will be slowly converting and uploading all of the SRM paper chapbooks under the imprint of Pinbeam Books. Each ebook will cost $2.99, and you’ll be able to read them on your Kindle and your Nook.

I think that’s all the news that’s fit to print, except that tomorrow is Monday. But I’m guessing you knew that.

Did everybody have a good weekend?

Progress on the Book Presently Known as George
33,982 words/100,000 OR 33% complete

“I overheard my small sister say to the luthia that you prayed, Brother.  I do not want to intrude, but I thought you might be done.”

Liaden® Universe InfoDumpling: Ghost Ship

Now is the Hour!

Uncle Hugo’s is now accepting pre-orders for signed copies of GHOST SHIP by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. You must use this link to pre-order:

Your credit card will not be charged until your book has actually shipped.

If you want to receive a signed copy of GHOST SHIP, you must pre-order, even if you entered a pledge for a book.

And you must act NOW: Pre-orders are open through April 30, 2011. That window’s only three weeks wide.

GHOST SHIP will be published in early August 2011. Cover price is $25.

Uncle Hugo’s offers a flat $6 shipping fee in the U.S.; two GHOST SHIPs travel for the same six bucks as one GHOST SHIP. Overseas orders will have to have their postage figured on a case-by-case basisat the ordering site.

Yes, you may add other books to your GHOST SHIP pre-order.

Questions about this part of the process must be addressed to: unclehugoATaolDOTcom (where AT and DOT are replaced by the usual)

Thank you all.

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Baby, would you eat that there snack cracker in your special outfit for me, please?

So! Self-evaluation season at the day-job. That was fun.

Lotsa posters to make, and end-of-year-party planning to do. And Other Stuff. Just when I think I might get a breather, something else rolls in. Despite which, I took fifteen minutes and walked me a round mile up to the toppest-most outdoor point on campus. The breeze was a little cool, but there was sunshine! And alone-time! And, hey, exercise!

I think I know what I’m doing wrong with the whole day-job thing. What I should be doing is walking around campus for seven hours, with a fifteen-minute look-in to the office. Maybe I’ll try that, if tomorrow’s sunny, too.

Mail call at home was a postcard from David Mattingly, announcing the joyous arrival of his book The Digital Matte Painting Handbook, which looks yummy for all you digital painters out there.

For the rest of it — the dishes are done, the bread’s just out of the oven, and I’ve stacked some bills into the Easy Pay line. Tonight, I’m getting to bed before eleven o’clock, s’welp me, or I’ll know the reason why. Not I don’t know the reason why I didn’t get to bed before eleven last night or the night before, but you get my drift. I’m still having more problems than joy with the cpap machine. My counselor is supposed to come by tomorrow afternoon (she got snowed out, last week) and bring me a less intrusive mask, which I hope will be less difficult to accommodate.

In the meantime, between the machine and Mozart, I managed to knock the clock off the side table last night and completely bork its timekeeping and its alarm functions. Luckily, I was drifting awake when the clock struck six this morning, and with a little bit of manic rushing around, I go to the day-job on time.

Note to self: Put the clock on higher ground.

I’m chewing on the next scene of George — the start of Chapter Fourteen, featuring the third and trickiest viewpoint character. I have a good start in notes, but this will be a pivotal scene for this character, and I want to be sure it’s strong enough to bear narrative weight.

That? Means I’m goofing off.

What are you doing this evening?

Mail Call

Today brought Eddie the FedEx Guy, bearing two boxes of Korval’s Game, containing Liaden Universe® novels Plan B and I Dare. Good grief, that’s a handful of book. Never mind stunning a small poodle, you could brain a mastiff with this thing.

A little later in the day, Steve reported that the Street Snail had arrived, and cuddled between the New Yorker and a sale flyer from J C Penney were two envelopes — one from Baen, and one from Madame the Agent’s home office.

The Baen envelope contained a check for “Intelligent Design.” Hard to find a nicer way to say, “It’s accepted,” than popping the check right into the mail.

The envelope from Madame the Agent contained royalty statements from Ace. Since Ace is no longer supposed to be selling our books — a proposition that this paperwork supports — it’s a little difficult to understand why they’re sending royalty statements.  Still, it’s nice to be remembered.

Hereabouts, it’s raining, having just changed over from snow, and the deck, Steve tells me, is coated in ice. Winter can get over any time now, ‘k?

And I. . .should be working on George, but the day-job ate my brain. Well. Maybe I’ll go curl up on the couch with a yellow pad and make notes. That counts as writing.

Doesn’t it?

Where can I order a sixty-hour weekend?

Writing, laundry, bread, chores, a little of this and that — you know the drill. And what do I get for all my industry and effort?

Monday, that’s what.

Ain’t fair, I tell you.

Progress on the Book Presently Known as George
31,899 words/100,000 OR 31.9% complete

“Why no, Mr. Golden — why would you think there was a problem?  I merely wish you to explain the process of your thought.”

And I’m not askin’ to be loved, or forgiven

Here we are in the aftermath of the snowstorm — Saturday, which has been sunny, warm and relatively still. The snow melted with quiet seemliness from the trees — we lost some low to the ground branches on a few of the pines, but otherwise no aboreal tragedies on Cat Farm lands. Phew.

Also? The electricity stayed on, which means no down wires. At least, not in this part of the Enchanted Forest. And phew, again.

Today saw the writing of checks — notably those owed to our Gracious Overlord the Internal Revenue Service. Ow, says the Tax Account. On the other hand, this is why we have a Tax Account — The writing of checks, I say, and the Reading of George.

I see by my records that I put George down on January 21st to work on Other Things. Nine weeks was rather longer than I wanted to be away; but! on the bright side — time does provide distance. In all, I like what’s here, though I have to straighten a minor time-kink — an easy fix, as such things go, consisting of moving chapter and adding two lines — and write a character out of a scene where they really shine because said character can’t — really just can’t — be in two places at the same time.

My intentions for tomorrow are to stick with George, go through and tidy up the minor manuscript housekeeping, move the chapter, add the lines and rewrite that scene. Then, I should be back on track to start laying down new material, which is something I’m very much looking forward to doing.

Of course, the SRM fiscal year just ended — or started, if you’re of an optimistic turn of mind — and the end of year totals aren’t going to tot up themselves. On the other hand, the books are up-to-date, so I can total a few columns every day for a week, as a warm-up exercise. That’s the ticket.

For those playing along at home — the pledge period for signed copies of Ghost Ship has of course closed, and The Number has been forwarded to Mr. Blyly at Uncle Hugo’s.

You’ll recall that we were initially aiming to gather pledges for 100 books. I’m pleased to say that, when the dust settled, we had received pledges for 525 books.

You guys? Rock.

The next step is pre-order. As soon as Mr. Blyly completes the necessary negotiations with Baen and provides us with the URL for the pre-order website, we will do our part by shouting it from the rooftops.

Watch, as they say, the skies.

What I’m reading

In another venue, I mentioned that, thanks to Project Gutenberg, I am at the moment reading Treasure Island.

For the first time.

And loving it.

…which is something of a surprise.

See, I downloaded Treasure Island because I figured it would be an easy book to put down. Which is to say, the perfect book to be “reading” while I’m actually supposed to be writing.

I had a reason for this opinion.

Sometime back pre-teen, I was given a copy of Treasure Island in a box-full of books handed down from my cousin, Davey Crockett (Well. From my cousin David. Who dressed like Davey Crockett whenever possible and once even managed to wear a coonskin cap and Indian moccasins into church.). Besides Treasure Island, there was Kim and Kidnapped and Robinson Crusoe and The Prince and the Pauper, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, The Last of the Mohicans, and who knows what all else.

I was quite a reader as a kid, and I dove right in. Tom Sawyer was…ok, and I had similar feelings for Huck Finn. The Last of the Mohicans didn’t make much sense, but I read it anyway.

Then, I picked up Treasure Island — and bounced.

Hard.

I tried to keep going, but my reading soul rebelled. I put Treasure Island aside for later and dove back into the box.

And in quick succession bounced equally hard off of Robinson Crusoe, Kim, and Kidnapped.

Happily for me, The Prince and the Pauper was still in the box waiting to be discovered, like Hope. That book, I read until I could recite whole passages. Until the binding broke and I nagged my grandmother to glue it back together for me. I read it more often than I read Jane Eyre, another favorite of about that time, along with The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.

I did, finally, many, many years later read Robinson Crusoe. If it hadn’t been required for a class, I wouldn’t have finished it that time, either. Silly sort of book. And that experience confirmed me in my opinion of Kim and Kidnapped, by association. And Treasure Island, too.

Reading it now, I can’t spot the reason why I bounced so hard. It gets on its bike from the very first word and just keeps riding. There are some words that I certainly wouldn’t have known, but there were certainly strange and unknown words in The Prince and the Pauper, so that wasn’t the problem. It may simply have been that I found the narrator’s voice dull, or — well, who knows, at this point.

But, I wonder, you know, if I ought to go on over to Project Gutenberg and download, oh — Kim, and maybe Kidnapped, too.

The Ultimate

Reminder, that is.

Today, which is in the Northern Hemisphere, April 1, colloquially designated April Fools/All Fools Day, at midnight Eastern Daylight Time, the windows for pledges to purchase one or more signed first-run hardcovers of Ghost Ship, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, which is scheduled to be released by Baen Books in early August, will close.

I append to this reminder the directions for making a pledge. Following the directions counts. Shout-outs and emails (panicked or otherwise) to addresses other than those listed in the directions will not be included in the final count. Yes, it’s hard. That’s life.

Just a word about what comes after the pledge period closes. We will tomorrow pass The Number of Pledges to Mr. Blyly at Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis. Mr. Blyly will enter into negotiations with Baen Books and place an order. After that — we don’t know when — we — that’s Steve and Sharon — will receive a Big Pile of pages of sign. We will do our thing and return the pages, which will be bound into the books pre-ordered by Mr. Blyly.

Somewhat before the above — we don’t know exactly when — Mr. Blyly will put up an ordering page so that you may actually place an order for your book(s). When that page goes up, we will shout its URL from the rooftops. Watch this space. Watch your email for another InfoDumpling. Watch Facebook, Twitter and LJ.

And, now, the directions:

*If you will buy a signed copy of GHOST SHIP by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (no fibbing, now), write to ghost_shipATkorvalDOTcom and *say so* BEFORE APRIL 1, 2011

*If you have questions about this Crazy Idea, write to fledglingATkorvalDOTcom

*This is a preliminary count only. Do not sent shipping info to this address. See next point.

*Once we have a count, and assuming that count equals or exceeds 100 books, Uncle Hugo’s will set up a pre-order webpage. We will publish the URL of this webpage in all venues available to us, just like we’ve posted this InfoDumpling. You will have to go to this page and ACTUALLY ORDER your book(s). Your credit card will not be charged until your book has actually shipped.

*If the initial promise does not meet the 100 book mark, there will be no signed copies available.

*Signed copies of GHOST SHIP will not (that’s NOT) be available directly from Lee and Miller.
Thank you for your patience and support.

 

PSA: Signed Copies of Ghost Ship

This is your penultimate — or, if I forget to do another one between Now and Then, your ultimate — reminder that April 1,this Friday, at midnight Eastern Daylight Time, we will stop accepting pledges for signed copies of Ghost Ship. On Saturday we will transmit The Number to Mr. Blyly at Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis and he can make the necessary arrangements with Baen Books.

If you have been meaning to bespeak a signed copy of Ghost Ship, but haven’t yet gotten around to it yet — now is the hour. For the curious, we have at this moment, pledges for 460 books.

Follows the directions for making a pledge that will be counted. Note that your ability to follow directions will be graded. Shout-outs in the comments and personal emails to an address not listed below will not be counted in the final pledge number that we send to Uncle Hugos. Only pledges sent to the pledge address, below, will be counted.

OK, here’re those instructions:

*If you will buy a signed copy of GHOST SHIP by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (no fibbing, now), write to ghost_shipATkorvalDOTcom and *say so* BEFORE APRIL 1, 2011

*If you have questions about this Crazy Idea, write to fledglingATkorvalDOTcom

*This is a preliminary count only. Do not sent shipping info to this address. See next point.

*Once we have a count, and assuming that count equals or exceeds 100 books, Uncle Hugo’s will set up a pre-order webpage. We will publish the URL of this webpage in all venues available to us, just like we’ve posted this InfoDumpling. You will have to go to this page and ACTUALLY ORDER your book(s). Your credit card will not be charged until your book has actually shipped.

*If the initial promise does not meet the 100 book mark, there will be no signed copies available.

*Signed copies of GHOST SHIP will not (that’s NOT) be available directly from Lee and Miller.

Thank you all for your enthusiasm for, interest in, and support of our work over the years.

Two Reminders

Reminder the First: There is still time to pledge for a signed first edition hardcover of Ghost Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the sequel to both I Dare and Saltation, to be published by Baen Books in August of This! Very! Year! Instructions are here. Posting “I Want One” in comments is not a pledge. We’re writers and we’re being asked to count. That means we need to have all of the things we’re counting in one place. So! Follow the directions please. As of this writing, we have approximately 425 books pledged, and the sky’s the limit, so if you want one, sing out!

Reminder the Second: There’s still time to vote in the Locus Poll for Best Works of science fiction and fantasy of 2010. This is a readers’ poll; anyone may vote until closing on April 15. If you don’t find the work(s) you most favor in the drop-down menus, spaces have thoughtfully been provided for write-in votes. You will be asked for your gender — please be truthful. And please — only vote once.