Blog Without A Name

Almost moved in

Eagles Over the Kennebec has mostly made it over to Dreamwidth.  I fear I may lose the reader comments, as they appear to have been stalled in transit for the last several days.  But everything else has come across, including the Very First Post, reproduced below, for the nostalgia of the thing.

Eh? It’s Friday?

Friday, March 19th, 2004 12:28 pm

Then this must be a livejournal entry.

A *test* livejournal entry.

So, Friday….

Did the gym thing, mailed a bunch of thank-you books, came home, checked email, including a note from a lady who is putting together a “Women in SF” class for the fall and would like me to suggest a time-travel SF to teach. She’s already chosen _Agent of Change_, _Remnant Population_ and _To Say Nothing of the Dog_. Time-travel *SF*, though… Must give it some thought.

Steve is making dinner and it smells *wonderful*. After we eat, I’ll hit the road to Augusta to visit the printer on behalf of SRM. Mozart the Maine Coon Cat is sitting tall on my lap as I write this, squeaking at me and occasionally nuzzling my chin.

Tonight I’ll finish the Miri story or it’ll finish me. Should’ve finished it yesterday, but the computer went bonkers and lost me hours, sigh.

And dinner is done, Steve just said “Kage Baker” — duh! — and I’m outta here.

Sharon. And Mozart.

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Books read in 2017

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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Three Points of Light

A.  For those who have been anxiously waiting to learn who the narrator of The Gathering Edge Audible edition will be — your waiting is at an end.  Eileen Stevens, who has narrated all the Theo Waitley books from Fledgling through Dragon Ship, will also be narrating TGE.

B.  We’ve gotten the list of TGE personalization requests from Uncle Hugo — just under 50 folks want their books personalized. The rest of the 200 books Uncle ordered are to be signed, only. So, just as soon as they arrive here at the Confusion Factory, we’ll get busy writing in books!

C.  The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Volume 3 will be published by Baen Books in June.  For those interested, here’s the Table of Contents:

Preface by David Afsharirad
Introduction by David Weber
“Cadet Cruise” by David Drake
“Tethers” by William Ledbetter
“Unlinkage” by Eric Del Carlo
“Not in Vain” by Kacey Ezell
“Between Nine and Eleven” by Adam Roberts
“Sephine and the Leviathan” by Jack Schouten
“The Good Food” by Michael Ezell
“If I Could Give this Time Machine Zero Stars, I Would” by James Wesley Rogers
“Wise Child” by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
“Starhome” by Michael Z. Williamson
“The Art of Failure” by Robert Dawson
“The Last Tank Commander” by Allen Stroud
“One Giant Leap” by Jay Werkheiser
“The Immortals: Anchorage” by David Adams
“Backup Man” by Paul Di Filippo

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Books read in 2017

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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Join us for a Pre-Release Party on May 1!

Asyouknowbob, The Gathering Edge, twentieth novel in the Liaden Universe®, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, owner-operators, will be released in hardcover on May 2.  Naturally, we’re very excited (it’s not true what they tell you that, when you’re an Old and Sober Author you won’t get excited when a new book comes out).  In fact, we’re so excited, we want to share some of that energy around.

So! We’re inviting you all — yes, you, too! — to a pre-release party A(sk) M(e) A(nything) on Reddit, Monday, May 1, at 12 noon Eastern.

You don’t need a Reddit account to hang out and read the questions and answers, but you will need an account if you want to participate in the AMA.  If you want to get an account now, just, yanno, in case, just go here; it doesn’t cost a thing and it’s quick and easy to do.

We’ll be updating here as we get nearer to the date, but in the meantime, put us on your calendar, why not?  It’ll be fun.

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The perils of open glasses

So, yesterday’s excitement included spilling a glass of ice tea across my desk.  Everything’s mopped up now, thanks in great part to Steve’s quick reactions, and no electronics died in the adventure.  We were inspired to explore a top shelf in the kitchen and have returned to use not one, but two sippy cups for grownups, so there’s that benefit.

The other benefit of spilling liquid over a paper-strewn surface is that you get to look at all those pieces of paper as you’re separating them and draping them about your office to dry.  Sometimes, this reveals treasure; sometimes only puzzles.

In the category of puzzle, I discovered a calendar page (we have a Non-Sequitur calendar on the kitchen table, and use the tear-off pages for scrap paper), with my writing in three different directions, elucidating the following:

PP (which I assume is Pemaquid Point; there’s a lighthouse there): Rte 32 1:26 hr
Rock(land): Rte 32 1:10
O(ld) O(rchard) B(each): Rte 295 1:43
Coburn G(ore): 16/27 2:11
Portsmouth: 295 2:19
Houlton: 11 2:32
Jackman: 201 1:56

I’m not certain of the original reason for this piece of research (and I’m somewhat unsure of the apparent assumption that I can take Rte 11 all the way to Houlton; I think I have to cope with 95 at some point, but perhaps not.); possibly I was exploring my options, if a Flight to the Border became necessary.  However, it does nicely establish that we are, in fact, located in Central Maine.

And now, having shared this information, I can rid myself of at least one tea-stained scrap of paper.

Today, cardio-gym and the grocery store in the bright sunshine.  Tomorrow, there’s snow in the forecast, maybe (we look to be on edge of a snowstorm, which may or may not honor county lines; you never know with snowstorms).  In the meanwhile, there’s writing to be done.

Everybody stay well.

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Writing News and The Economics of Freelance

This just in, from the April edition of LOCUS:

SHARON LEE & STEVE MILLER sold three more novels in the Liaden series to Toni Weisskopf at Baen for six figures via Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.”

This is the deal we’ve mentioned as the Liaden Triple Threat.

To sum up for those keeping score at home:

There are TWO Liaden books scheduled for publication. They are:
The Gathering Edge, May 2, 2017
Neogenesis, January 2, 2018

We are under contract for SIX Liaden books. They are:
Fifth of Five, due January 2018
Liaden Mask ONE, due May 2018
Liaden Mask TWO, TBA
Triple Threat ONE, TBA
Triple Threat TWO, TBA
Triple Threat THREE, TBA

# # #

What follows is a quick review about How Freelancers Get Paid, in answer to some questions on Facebook, and also to (hopefully) forestall the (almost inevitable) Wealthy Author fantasies.

A “six-figure” deal sounds like a lot of money.  In fact, the way we count here at the Confusion Factory, it is a lot of money. However, it is neither: (1) extra money (people tell me this is a Thing; personally, I’ve never seen “extra” money in my life); or (2) a windfall.

What it is, is our paycheck — and it’s not going to come as One! Huge! Check! Lookitallthosezeroes!

Ahem.

No, how those six-figures are going to reach us?  Is in four payments.

The first payment will arrive sometime after we’ve signed the contract (we haven’t actually gotten the contract, yet, though we’ve discussed the terms).  That “on-signing money” will be one-fourth of the total “six-figure” deal LESS our agent’s 15% fee.  When that check reaches us, about a half of the total will be put aside for taxes.  The rest goes into the household budget, where it will be used to buy cat food, and pay the mortgage, and put gas in the car, and pay doctor’s bills, and all the other things you spend money on.

When we turn in the first of the Triple Threats (which will be, conservatively, some time in 2020), and Madame the Publisher accepts it (this is called “D&A” or “delivery-and-acceptance” money), we will receive the second fourth of that “six-figure” deal, less 15%.  Half will be put aside for taxes, and the rest will go into the household budget.

Lather, rinse, &c

The avid student will note that this whole process seems to involve widely separated infusions of Lumps of Cash, during long periods of, err, no cash at all.  Or very uncertain cash.

Twice a year, more or less, we do receive royalties.  But you never know what your royalties may be, and, in fact, it is possible to have a period in which you have earned no royalties, which means buying cat food (our Number One priority for writing Liaden books) gets…tricky.

Writers have various methods by which they even out their cash-flow, in order that they can have monthly budgets just like normal people.  Sort of.  Some have day-jobs.  Some have a spouse with a day-job.  Some write short stories on the side, package them as ebooks and sell them on Amazon/Baen/BN/Kobo & whatever.  Some have Patreon accounts.  Some do a little of this, and a little of that, and somehow all the little trickles of income form a monthly stream that augments the Big Lumps, and keeps the monthly household on a steady course.

We here at the Lee-Miller/Scrabble-Trooper-Belle-Sprite household have a couple of income streams:

We publish eChapbooks; the 23rd Liaden chapbook, Change Management, was just published at the end of February.

We occasionally post out-takes, shorts, and podcasts to Splinter Universe, for which we gratefully accept donations.

This Very Blog has a button on the side-bar:  Buy Me A Coffee, which really ought to be Buy Us Cat Food, but you get the idea.

We have a Patreon account.

And some kind folks simply send us donations from time to time, or set up on-going Paypal payments, or whatever they feel that they wish to do.

You’ll notice that several of these income streams are patron-based.  Which is to say, people decide that they’d like to keep the supply of cat food steady, or to be sure that we have plenty of life-giving fluid to support us in our efforts.  We appreciate — we very much appreciate — all of those donations, and you are, yes, doing Something Real for which we thank you, very much.

So!  The big lesson to take from all of this is!

YayYayYAY, we’re under contract for six books!  We get to hang out with you guys for five or six more years — is that terrific or what?

 

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April 1

Asyouknowbob, tomorrow is April 1.  In addition to being the last day that interested parties may pre-order a personalized copy of The Gathering Edge, it is the anniversary of the day 39 years ago when Steve Miller and I combined our households, and informed our cats that no, we were not joking.

On April 1, our blogs, emails, walls, and various feeds are April Fool Free Zones.

Thank you for honoring the spirit of our day.

 

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April 1 is tomorrow; have you ordered your signed TGE yet?

This is your last, your ultimate, reminder.

The deadline for ordering personalized copies of The Gathering Edge, the twentieth novel in the Liaden Universe®, the direct sequel to Dragon Ship, the fifth book in the Theo Waitley story arc is!

Tomorrow, April 1, 2017

Everything you need to know about pre-ordering your book may be found at this link

Here ends your ultimate reminder.

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Have you pre-ordered your signed copy of TGE yet?

This is your Penultimate Warning.  If you wish to own a signed-and-personalized copy of the 20th Liaden Universe®, The Gathering Edge, you need to place your order with Uncle Hugo no later than Saturday, April 1 — Holy Bananas! That’s SATURDAY!

Everything you need to know in order to, yanno — order, is AT THIS LINK.

In other news, work goes forth on Fifth of Five, PR is being done, checks have come in, checks are going out, coon cats are being spoilt.

In other words, all is right with the world, here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.

And wish the same, for you.

 

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