Blog Without A Name

The incredible shrinking book

When last seen, sometime in mid-April, Ghost Ship stood at just seven words over 40 grand — or 40 percent completed, assuming that the projected finished word count of 100,000 is more or less on-mark.

This evening, we see before us a much reduced, but I believe stronger, manuscript, weighing in at 20,064 words — 20 percent completed.

I have printed out this New! IhopetoGHODimproved! manuscript. Tomorrow, immediately after breakfast, I will read it. Then I will Stare Into Space(tm) for awhile. It would be nice if Monday held off a day or two, so I could really get the stare mojo working, but we all know how likely that is.

In any case, after I have Stared Sufficient Unto the Task, I’ll begin writing again.

And this, my children, is the Glamorous Creative Life of an Author. Is it not grand?

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In which Rolanni realizes that she can’t read

Yesterday, I had an email from someone who wished me to give them the One True Reading Order for the Liaden Universe® novels.  Usually, I don’t answer emails like this, because it never ends well, but I was thinking that maybe I ought to be a Better Person and answer my email instead of letting it pile up until it gets oppressive.

So I answered my email, explaining that, no, I really couldn’t give them the One True Reading Order by reason of the fact that there isn’t one, and suggested a couple of starting points.  You can see the gist of what I said over here.

My reward was a grumpy note indicating that my correspondent wished to read the books in the order that would avoid spoilers and maintain the rush of reading for discovery as opposed to the chore of reading to fill in the gaps.

Now. . .I don’t mind, myself, personally, reading to “fill in the gaps.”  In fact, if I’m to be brutally honest, I’m not sure I have ever experienced the rush of “reading for discovery.”  Some books are more engaging than others, sure, and I certainly like some novels better than others.  And there is absolutely a difference between a first read and a re-read.  But I make no such fine distinctions, when I’m reading fiction, between the sensation of “gap filling” and “discovery.”

Obviously, I lack the ability to savor nuance, which is possessed by other readers.  For some reason, this depresses me, perhaps only because I was slightly depressed anyway.  But, I don’t think I’ll be answering my email for a while.

Round the house news includes the fact that earlier in the week Mozart conspired to help Steve fracture his toe.  And they say cats don’t Care.

On the plus side of the injury, Deceiver arrived yesterday, and Steve got first dibs, since he has to sit in the comfy chair and ice his foot.  He’s getting to be Quite the Expert in icing-the-foot.

My aged and much-beloved boombox (radio, CD, and a cassette player!) died the True Death, leaving me without a cassette player, which, yes, is a problem.  A minor problem, in the scheme of things, but, still…

Also, yes, I know that both this website and the Carousel Tides site are suddenly and without warning Thoroughly Borked for Mac users using Safari.  I’m sorry about that.  No, I don’t know what happened, and, no, I don’t know how to fix it.

I did do something vaguely useful today on the writing side, and tomorrow I intend to sit down at this computer and rip the guts out of the manuscript in process, which’ll be, yanno, fun.

For those who Ebay, remember that there’s an auction going on until Sunday.  Go ahead, indulge yourself.

Hope everybody has a relaxing and uplifting weekend.

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Romance Readers: A Favor, Please

I know that some of you who read here are members of various romance lists and/or regularly participate in the various romance forums around the web.  Might I ask you, if you can do so without violating the standards of politeness of your particular list or forum, to mention that Mouse and Dragon will be coming out on June 1?

Scout’s Progress was very well received by the romance community (winner of the Prism award for best Futuristic Romance for its year (Local Custom placed second for the same year) and RomanticTimes Reviewers Choice for Best Science Fiction Book of 2002) and I would like to make sure that those readers who enjoyed that book know that there’s now a sequel.

(And of course, for those who haven’t read Local Custom or Scout’s Progress — they’re reprinted in The Dragon Variation, also to be published in June).

Baen has a very generous free sample of Mouse and Dragon here, so those who are on the fence can see if the story suits.

Thank you for your help; I do very much appreciate it.

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I went to the animal fair

…or, rather, the pottery sale at the day-job.  The Colby Pottery Club members do such beautiful work.  I managed to get away today with only a mug and a sandwich plate, because you can never have too many pretty pottery mugs and, face it, if you’re having coffee, eventually you’re gonna want a sandwich.

Green pottery mug and blue-green pottery plate

My, they’re pretty.  I especially like that the mug is a little thinner, and thereby lighter than it might otherwise be.  Steve had bought a stunning mug at the winter sale, but it weighs so much that I can barely pick it up empty on a bad hand day.

*is happy*

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Suddenly, it’s busy

Well, it looks like May is going to be some busier than originally anticipated, and it was already busier than April, what with the trip to Oasis at the end of it.

But!  It turns out that Steve and I have a speaking gig on Monday, May 10 — that’s next Monday — to talk about science fiction in general, our books in particular and writing as a career, run away!

The next Tuesday, while Steve does his duty as a Trustee of the Winslow Public Library, I’ll be at the Fairfield Library, talking about how a novel goes from Crazy Idea to an Actual, I-can-hold-it-in-my-hand Book.

The Tuesday after that, Steve will pick me up from work at the end of the day and we’ll get on the way to Florida, while the cats have their good friend Mary over to keep them company.

Mouse and Dragon and The Dragon Variation will hit the street while we’re in Florida, unless they ship early, which is certainly possible.  Unless, yanno, they sell out before they leave the warehouse.  Work on that for me, willya?

Just a week after we come back from Florida, we’ll be leaving Maine again, this time for Duckon.

Somewhere between Orlando and Naperville is the Staff Retreat at the day-job, then summer hours go into force.  Not, may I just say, a Moment Too Soon.

Oh, and yeah — we’re supposed to be writing a novel.

Oh!  And Saltation will someday arrive in Maine, so that we can sign, seal and ship them.  That’ll take care of  the latter part of June, I guess.

July seems to be pretty calm at the moment.  August. . .

I’ve got ReConStruction on the calendar, but finances may not support it.  We’ll know better when we get back from Illinois.

August 15, the day-job goes back to full-time, and a week or two after that the professors arrive, Insanity happens, and I won’t be able to hear myself think.

Shuffles through calendar.  A movie deal in July?  Yeah, that’ll fit the schedule. . .

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First Edition, Second Edition

A “first edition” is the first (hard) format bound run of a book.  In this day and age, we pretend that this doesn’t mean Advance Reading Copies by saying that ARCs are “unedited,” which is to say, not the finished work.

A “second edition” is the next altered printing — for instance a mass market paperback edition, or a printing that incorporates Significant Alterations in the text.

A “first edition” may go back to press many, many times, at the publisher’s whim.

Now, pay close attention, because I’m only going over this once more:

1.  Lee and Miller had an arrangement with Baen, said arrangement being that L&M would receive, as part of their advance, Saltations sufficient to cover the subscriber books — some 1200 novels.

1a.  Baen printed what its many years of experience had taught it was entirely enough books to cover its contractual obligation to Lee and Miller, and probable bookstore sales, as supported by the evidence of bookstore pre-orders.

1b. For some reason outside of Lee and Miller’s and Baen’s control, a large number of books were ordered at the last minute by bookstores.  The books were early in the warehouse; the warehouse filled the orders, with the result that. . .

1c.  When Baen Management issued the order to transfer inventory from the warehouse to Lee and Miller in Maine, the day before Saltation‘s street date, essentially all of the books were in the distribution channel, covering orders.

1d.  Baen Management immediately sent Saltation back to print, in order that it might honorably discharge its contractual obligation to Lee and Miller, and through them, the subscribers, and (one devotely hopes) to cover the bookstore re-orders even now clogging the ordering system.

2.  The above series 1 is a Good Thing because…

3.  The early, unexpected movement of Saltation from warehouse to bookstores resulted in the early and highly gratifying movement of Saltation into the hands of readers, which resulted in Lee and Miller’s appearance on the Wall Street Journal’s bestselling SF list, which is one of those resume building things that are important to authors if they want to keep writing.

4.  Writing me a nasty note about how you’re disappointed that you’re going to be “stuck with” a “second edition” when you were “promised” a “first edition” (which you were never promised; you were promised a “thank you book” signed by the authors) only irritates me and reveals you as someone of inferior understanding.  Also?  Don’t expect a reply; I am hereby serving notice that any more such mail goes straight into Trash.

Thank you for your attention to and understanding of this situation.

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Sick Day

Not much to report today.  Mostly, I slept.  The result of all this effort being that I feel somewhat better — better being defined as “I can breathe, there does not at the moment seem to be a hot poker jammed into my temple, and I have no fever.”

If this situation stabilizes, I will be able to go to the day-job tomorrow, assuming that, if I was contagious, I’m not now.

In other news, for those who may be interested,  I’ve updated the Carousel Tides site with two new geographies.

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Well. . .

. . .I was going to tell y’all about our lovely excursion to Kennebunkport yesterday, where we visited a bookstore and told the nice lady why she needed both Fledgling and Saltation in stock, leaving a mass market of the former and an ARC of the latter with her so she didn’t have to take our word for it.  And how, after that, we went to Bartley’s Dockside for a lovely lunch, before strolling through town, admiring dozens of dogs who were likewise engaged in window shopping, had ice cream, explored the second-floor shops and their wooden walks overhanging the tidal canals, and, too soon, drove home in the clear silver evening.

However, I’m sick, so you’ll just to imagine it all for yourselves.

It’s possible that my head will explode tonight.

. . .that would be an improvement, ackshually. . .

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