Blog Without A Name

Night off

So the power went down at 4:45 last night, just when I was starting to fill in the DMCA form because Yet Another person thinks it’s Perfectly OK to steal from us.  I was in a foul mood, because, well, people stealing from us — and instead of writing, I’d be form-filling, and it’s not like I have enough time in the day to write anyway. Then the power went off and that was Just. . .Ducky.

Which, as it turned out, it was.  Steve hooked up the reading lamp in the living room to the Big Green Battery and we read together on the sofa for the next five hours.  Very pleasant and cozy.  We should do this more often.  Possibly without requiring the destruction of innocent utility poles as a prompt.

In other news — The Catechism of Cliche — or at least parts of it.  Go, read, enjoy.  Then get thee to the Dalkey Archive Press and purchase for your own The Best of Myles, which collects all the “Cruiskeen Lawn” columns from the Irish Times, giving you access not only to the Catechism, but to the sordid details of the Ventriloquists War, news of The Brother, and all the various schemes launched by Myles na Gopaleen, the Da, to make money.

Also highly recommended are the na Gopaleen novels The Third Policeman and At Swim-Two-Birds.  The former is a science fiction novel disguised as a literary novel.  The latter is a writer’s novel, detailing the adventures of  a young, layabout writer, whose characters, fed up with his sloth and his bad treatment, turn on him.  Both are very, very funny.

And now — no, wait!  Everybody saw the article about the “Rosie computers” during the war, right?  Here, in case you missed it — worth a read.

And now I better get some coffee and get on the road.

I was born one morning when the sun didn’t shine; I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine

Day job surreal.  Send Winslow Homer.

Headache.  Applied ice cream therapy.

Submitted proposals for two novels.

Packed box for shipping tomorrow*.

Going to go collapse now.


*Pending outcome of this:

Winter Weather Advisory in effect from midnight tonight to 5 PM EST Tuesday…
Snow developing. Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Lows in the upper 20s. Light and variable winds. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Snow. Total snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches. Highs in the mid 30s. Light and variable winds…becoming northwest 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Slouching toward Bethlehem

. . .or maybe only Monday.

Well, I had great plans for today, chiefest among them wringing a complete first draft out of my underachieving brain and onto the page.  This did not happen.  Honest to ghu, how long can it take to write a single story?

I did shovel snow — the snow was wet, the day was warm — and took care of bidness correspondence, some of which begat more correspondence to be done, um, later.  I paid medical bills in-hand, and there’s still money in the checkbook.  I did the laundry.  I fell on Mozart, which may have been his plan, but wasn’t mine.  Just generally speaking, I’m at a point in my life where the less I fall down, the better I like it.  Reprising the role I play in Real Life, I have been an Evil Liberal on teh intertubes.  I did not do the dishes, because I didn’t want to.   I received the wisdom of the LJ Flist on iTunes, for which I thank everyone who shared very much.

. . .and that’s all the news &c.  Time for lunch and the girding of one’s loins for the morrow.

Progress on “Intelligent Design”
5,373 out of 10,000 words OR 53.73% complete

She makes the moon go ape and the monkeys go bananas

Kind of a tiring week in which nothing of note really happened.  So, I’m tired and I’m taking the night off.  Tomorrow, Steve and I need to run down to Old Orchard Beach in the morning, and further than that?  I’m not planning.

In-between and around the corners, I did get a little bit of work done on “Intelligent Design.”  I’m looking for a good chunk of time, say, Sunday, to buckle down and get the first draft done.  Right now, this is what it looks like:

Progress on “Intelligent Design”
4,110 out of 10,000 words OR 41.10% complete

And, finally:  I want to be completely clear that this is Oz’ (aka birdhousefrog)’s fault.  Completely.

King Kong Tonight, Rhoderic Land

Layin’ out another lie; thinking ’bout a life of crime

Well, so.

It’s snowing here, but, then, it’s snowing everywhere.  The weatherbeans are calling fourteen inches on tomorrow’s storm. I guess there’s an inch, inch-and-a-half down now from today’s little effort; fluffy enough that I could sweep what was there away when I got home, and not have to worry about going back out, oh, now to do some more.

The day-job having no snow policy for staff  saving, “Come to work, tho’ Hell should bar the way,” I’ll be depending on Wiser Heads for tomorrow’s plan of action.  If the state police say that only essential personnel should risk their necks in the weather, I will be listening to the nice policeman.  And, no, so not essential personnel.

In the meantime, though I meant to get on with “Intelligent Design” — of which more later — this evening, instead I wound up balancing the checkbook, doing some odds and ends of SRM bookkeeping, and dealing with the mail.

Ah, the mail! Among other items of interest, today’s mail brought a 1099-Misc from Fictionwise for my sales through them last year, totaling a whopping $156.48.  Not going to Vegas on that.

Also of note was the arrival of the W2 from the day-job, which confirms that income from writing (we’re just counting my half, here, right?  That’s fair, innit?) outstripped income from Honest Labor last year.  This year, I fear there will be No Contest. I’ve already had to take so many days without pay, and with the upfront for three novels due in, not to mention the Odd and Unexpected bits of money that wander in from time to time — well.  It wouldn’t be sporting.

The highlight of the day’s mail, however, was — Mr. Timpani, if you would?


The highlight of today’s mail, I say, was the contract for “Intelligent Design.”  And now?

Now it can be told — “Intelligent Design” has been commissioned by Baen and will be appearing on the front page of the Baen website as a free! story! in the merry monthe of mid-July.  And, what’s even cooler, than, yanno, a free Liaden story?

There’s a free story up there right now, by Larry Correia, and there’ll be another one, come mid-February, by another Baen author.  So what you really want to do?  Is bookmark this page, so you won’t miss out on any great free stories from Baen authors.

I think that catches everybody up on the excitement here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.  Everybody stay safe, stay warm, and be careful.

We are Siamese, if you please; we are Siamese, if you don’t please

All righty, then!

Last night, we discovered that neither of the disks we had in from Netflix actually worked in the DVD player of my computer.  Whether this is DVD player fail, or DVD fail remains to be seen.  Still, we were in the mood to watch a movie, dern it, so we went out onto the intertubes and streamed “My Man Godfrey” straight out of Netflx Central.

The streaming worked a treat; the movie, despite my deep and abiding adoration of William Powell — not so much.  I don’t see why a perfectly sensible man ought to be stuck with an empty-headed screwball just because she loves him — but that’s probably just me.  I think he’d done perfectly fine with Molly, if the plot demanded romantic closure, a point of which I am doubtful.

Today, I filled out my Worldcon panelist survey.  Truly, I am made of energy and crunchy goodness.  I also made rice to serve as the base for day-job lunches throughout the coming week and did a bit of work on “Intelligent Design.”

I tried mightily, and failed equally so, to design a t-shirt at Cafepress, which aggravates me much more than it’s probably worth, but enough to ask — if you sell t-shirts on the internet, and you don’t use Cafepress, what do you use?

For those who keep count, tomorrow’s Monday, and hereabouts the weatherbeans are calling for cold.  Also, I have no window washer left in my car and I can’t get the hood open, though it reports that it’s unlocked.  Tomorrow’s drive to the day-job will therefore be Fraught With Peril.

Note to self: Laugh at Peril.

Next on the list here is doing the dishes, which I shall undertake immediately upon saying g’night to y’all, and then a wee bite of lunch.

Progress on “Intelligent Design”
3,072 out of 10,000 words OR 30.72%


I seen a peanut stand, heard a rubber band; saw a needle that winked its eye

Well, so.  Steve ventured out into the snow showers early to mail the marked up galleys of Korval’s Game back to North Carolina.  I stayed home and updated the welcome page here at Sharon Lee, Writer, and dithered around the house, trying to figure out where the story was kinked.

Steve returned home, bearing birdfood, and I filled up the feeders, with him spotting me for the one that requires an over-the-head-stretch to set back on the pole (not a recommended placement).

(Finally) Figured out where the kink was, and talked it over with Steve when we met for dinner.  Then, after dinner got down to it.

I wrote about 1400 words today, but the numbers aren’t going to reflect that, because I cut 800 (which I may use later), retaining 900+ for the new! improved! narrative.

The flow is much better now.  Of course, now I’ve got three viewpoints weaving one plot, which is ambitious for a short piece, but the lazy way wasn’t working.

Now, we’re going to both knock off, watch a movie and relax.

Tomorrow, back to the word mines.

Progress on “Intelligent Design”
2,330 out of 10,000 words OR 23.30%

Deep in my heart I’m a warrior

Day-job continues to be a stern chase. Got in and spent the usual 20 minutes reseating the usb connections from my keyboard and trackball into Mac so I could actually do my work. Sigh. It was 65F/18C in my office this morning when I arrived. I fear Mac likes the cold even less than he liked the extreme heat of summer.

After my computer was working, I got into sorting piles of stuff into piles of stuff that actually have something to do with each other. I made two — or was it three? — job talk posters. I started setting up interviews for the last set of three candidates, made photocopies and sorted them into their own piles; set up limo appointments, took in and processed a cool half-dozen electronic applications for the late-breaking surprise! search.

I’m still missing the whole “easy” part of that last. I can see that it might look easier to them what has no idea of the process and are distressed by huge stacks of file boxes reminding them that someone had to handle and process all that paper. But I’m not actually finding it easier to do. In fact, it seems to add about three steps to what I used to do.

At home, I managed to do a little bit of actual work — about 500 words on “Intelligent Design,” — which was like pulling hen’s teeth. Definitely looking forward to the weekend and having an attention span to bring to this story.

And, yes, as those of the cognescenti knew immediately upon looking at the title of today’s post — today’s earworm is “Electric Avenue.” I blame Pandora, which for some reason decided that I needed to listen to a string of old Motown.

Onward. But not right now.

Progress on “Intelligent Design”
1,731 out of 10,000 words OR 17.3% complete

Blue Collar Writer

Steve and I have two calendars on the kitchen table — those big, brick calendars that you pull off a page a day? — that we look at together every morning with breakfast.

One is a New Yorker cartoon calendar, which delivers its usual mix of shouted laughter and blank stares.  The other is Quotes from Wild Women, which, sadly, is not living up to its hype.  Today, for instance, it delivered up a quote from Annie Dillard, which I don’t remember — something about wanting a dark room to write in so the outer scenery doesn’t come between you and your inner version (paraphrasing broadly here).

…and I said to Steve, “Yanno, the only thing I know about Annie Dillard is that her writing advice is considered Holy by a certain subset of writers I know, but I haven’t the faintest idea what she’s written.”

Steve, being the sort of guy he is, immediately went to Amazon and found a list of Ms. Dillard’s works. Several of which seem to the same book, which has been “amended” after its initial publication.

My first reaction, upon hearing this was, “My ghod, how can she AFFORD to just keep tinking with the same books?”

…and so my bias is revealed.

Ms. Dillard is, as you probably knew, but I only today discovered, an emeritus professor. She had, I assume, tenure, and didn’t have to worry about writing new books; about earning out; about keeping her audience. I mean, I’m sure she worried about it, but not in the same way that I worry about losing audience, market appeal, royalties and contracts. Because, here? No tenure. Writing is my job. Yes, I have a day-job, but it doesn’t support me (day-jobs used to support one; it was the temptation of day-jobs; the tension. If you had a job that paid all your bills, and kept you in relative comfort, where was the drive to make your art — aside the art itself? Now day-jobs support the stockholders, who sow not, nor do they spin. But that’s another rant.); income from writing is what keeps this household. If I had to choose one income stream to dry up and blow away, it would be the day-job (speaking from a purely economic perspective, and absent its many other flaws); the writing more nearly supporting us.

Though — I dunno. Maybe I should sit back here, in my room with a very nice view, and cats, too — re-vision, rewrite and re-release Agent of Change? What would I do, exactly, to “amend” it?

Well. . .rewrite a whole lot of sentences. I know more about sentences now than I did when we wrote Agent.

On the other hand. . .Agent of Change has a helluva lot of energy, you notice? Wouldn’t want to lose that, and who knows if the gaumy sentences are part of what fuels that jazzy, off-center drive?

Nah, best not to mess with what’s written.

Besides, we have three new books under contract.