Blog Without A Name

Liaden Universe® InfoDump Number 121

Liaden Universe® InfoDump Number 121

BOOK SIGNING:
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be signing the thirtieth anniversary edition of Agent of Change, and whatever else comes to hand, at Children’s Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville, Maine 04901, on! Friday, November 2, from 7:30-9 pm. Hope to see you there!

IF YOU WANT A SIGNED COPY OF THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF AGENT OF CHANGE. . .
. . .but cannot attend the booksigning, 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.

POST CARDS:
If anyone is going to a convention, or is local to a bookstore that is amenable to taking promotional items (ask first, of course), or a reading group, or. . .and would like to distribute postcards and/or bookmarks for the new edition of Agent of Change, and for the Carousel books, please drop Sharon a note at sharonleeATkorvalDOTcom, including your name and address, and how many postcards you would like mailed to you.

PUBLICATION SCHEDULE:
Agent of Change, 30th Anniversary Edition mass market paperback, cover art by Sam Kennedy, published by Baen Books, available October 30, 2018.

“Command Decision,” a brand-new Liaden Universe® story, by Steve Miller, and “The Vestals of Midnight,” a brand-new Archers Beach story, by Sharon Lee, will be published in Release the Virgins, edited by Michael Ventrella, available in  November.

“Dark Secrets,” a brand-new Liaden Universe® story by Lee and Miller will be published in Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, available in January 2019.

Neogenesis, mass market edition, Baen Books, March 26, 2019

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.”

DEADLINES:
Accepting the Lance, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the last book in the Five Book Dash, the twenty-second Liaden Universe® novel, is scheduled to be turned in to Baen in January 2019. Please note that this is a turn-in date. Publication date is set by the publisher after they have the book in hand.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
The Gathering Edge, mass market edition, Baen Books, July 31, 2018

“Revolutionists,” brand-new Liaden story in The Razor’s Edge, Zombies
Need Brains Press, July 2018

Degrees of Separation: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 27, Pinbeam Books, January 15, 2018

Neogenesis, hard cover, Baen Books, January 2, 2018

“Excerpts from Two Lives,” brand-new Liaden story in Star Destroyers, Baen Books, January 2018

CONVENTIONS:
As of this moment in time, Steve and I are planning to attend Boskone 56, February 17-19, 2019.

REMEMBER TO VISIT THESE SITES:

Lee and Miller Patreon Support Page: https://www.patreon.com/leeandmiller?ty=h

Pinbeam Books: http://www.pinbeambooks.com an online catalog, with vendor links, to all Lee-and-Miller, Miller, and Lee self-published works

Splinter Universe: http://www.splinteruniverse.com features outtakes, splinters, oddities from the Lee&Miller writing career, currently changes irregularly.

Welcome to Liad — The official homepage for Liaden Universe® news — http://www.korval.com
Offworld Designs: Liaden gear: https://www.offworlddesigns.com/liaden-universe-t-shirts-mugs

BLOGS AND OTHER WEBLY THINGS OF NOTE
Sharon Lee’s blog, Eagles over the Kennebec: https://rolanni.dreamwidth.org/
Sharon Lee’s “Professional” blog: http://sharonleewriter.com
Steve Miller’s blog, Journeyman: https://kinzel.dreamwidth.org/

FACEBOOK CONNECTIONS
http://facebook.com/kinzel — Steve Miller
http://facebook.com/rolanni — Sharon Lee
Clan Korval: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38719490864&ref=ts
Friends of Liad:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=16280839259&ref=ts
Flaran chamenthi:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=2213414696&ref=ts

TWITTER
Steve’s on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bechimo
Sharon’s on Twitter, too: http://twitter.com/ClanKorval

DISCLAIMER STUFF
This InfoDump is a product of the Liaden Universe®, accept no imitations. You have received this message because you asked for it. If you wish to subscribe to the Liaden Universe® email list, to unsubscribe from the Liaden Universe® email list, or to change your delivery email address, go here:
http://www.fireopal.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/liadenuniversenews

 

Signed copies of Agent of Change

This is an Actual Professional Announcement, for those who want to acquire a signed copy of the 30th Anniversary Edition of Agent of Change.

Steve and I will be signing at Childrens Book Cellar in Waterville on November 2 (from 7:30-9 pm, or until the crowd is satisfied, whichever comes first).

If you would like a signed book, but cannot attend the booksigning, 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 ends the Actual Professional Announcement.

Books Read in 2018

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)

Book signing! Post cards! Publication Schedule! Conventions! Snuff!

Today brings an infrequent professional post.

Ready?

Here we go.

BOOK SIGNING:  Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be signing the anniversary edition of Agent of Change, and whatever else comes to hand, at Children’s Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville, Maine 04901, on!  Friday, November 2, from 7:30-9 pm.  Alert readers will note that this is also Fountain Pen Day.  Coincidence?  I think not!

POST CARDS:  If anyone is going to a convention, or is local to a bookstore that is amenable to taking promotional items (ask first, of course), or a reading group, or. . .and would like to distribute postcards and/or bookmarks for the new edition of Agent of Change, and for the Carousel books, please drop me a note at sharonleeATkorvalDOTcom, including your name and address, and how many postcards you would like.  I will be delighted to mail them to you.

PUBLICATION SCHEDULE: 
Agent of Change, 30th Anniversary Edition mass market paperback, cover art by Sam Kennedy, published by Baen Books, available October 30, 2018.

“Command Decision,” a brand-new Liaden Universe® story, by Steve Miller and “The Vestals of Midnight,” a brand-new Archers Beach story, by Sharon Lee will be published in Release the Virgins, edited by Michael Ventrella, available in November.

“Dark Secrets,” a brand-new Liaden Universe® story by Lee and Miller will be published in Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, available in January 2019.

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.”

DEADLINES:
Accepting the Lance, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the last book in the Five Book Dash, the twenty-second Liaden Universe® novel, is scheduled to be turned in to Baen in January 2019.  Please note that this is a turn-in date.

CONVENTIONS:  As of this moment in time, Steve and I are planning to attend Boskone 56, February 17-19, 2019.

A NIGHT IN THE LONESOME OCTOBER:  Do you know where your copy of the classic Halloween countdown novel by Roger Zelazny is?  Steve and I have ours, and we’re ready to start reading on September 30.

Here ends the blog post.

In which we continue to move forwarder on several fronts

So, today, we expect a crew of sturdy lads sometime this afternoon, to deliver the new bed.  We hadn’t quite intended to buy a new bed — no, that’s inaccurate.  We had intended to buy a new bed, eventually, but our intent on Thursday was to do some reconnaissance in that direction. Wherefore we visited Northern Mattress, where we investigated floor models, collected catalog pages, and the salesman’s card.

When we returned to the car, Steve said, “You want to go across the river and look at Fortin’s?”

So, we went across the river, to Fortin’s, where we were greeted by Douglas, the salesman who had sold us our new couch a year or so ago.  We explained the problem — the problem being that our bed was a waterbed platform with a queen mattress in the box.  We’d replaced the mattress a few years ago, but the bed itself had been solid enough, at the time, since it had been sitting in one place for 26 or so years.  Unfortunately, the move was especially hard on the old, press-board frame, which had been deconstructed and re-constructed by non-experts three times in the course of four weeks, and was very much the worse for its ill-treatment.  Douglas said, “You want a platform bed,” and took us to the back of the store, where such items are on display.

Among the necessary features of any new bed had to be a headboard wide enough for the cats to use as a highway to the bookcase aerie in the bedroom.  This has been an Approved Cat Route for at least 26 years, which is to say all of Scrabble’s lifetime (Scrabble being 16).  Scrabble being the Power User of the aerie, we didn’t want to cut her off.

Douglas showed us the Perfect Bed, made right in Newport, Maine, in fact, assured us that he could order it with a bookcase headboard, which would be plenty wide enough for Cat Traffic — but it would take about 10 weeks to arrive, because — handmade in Newport.

While Steve and I were discussing this, Douglas went back to the warehouse, as one does, and returned with a look of wide-eyed amaze on his face.

“I have the bed,” he said.  “And it has a bookcase headboard.”

“When can it be delivered?” asked Steve.

“Saturday afternoon OK with you guys?”

So!  This afternoon we’ll be taking delivery of a new bed and cat highway.

Didn’t see that coming.

In other news, we have one more Major Contracting Event on the schedule.  We had been going to put off installing heat pumps (yes, that’s plural; because the house is U-shaped, each wing needs its own pump) until next year, since we’d already gambled with the tax money in order to make the move into this house happen, and though our luck had been in, I am by nature risk-averse, and I’d done enough gambling for one year.

Then Mr. Trump announced Trade War, and we realized that waiting til next year would see tariffs and ill-will increasing the cost of items imported from Japan, which would likely put the project out of reach.

We therefore went looking for help, and it turns out that there is a useful consumer program in Maine that has somehow to date escaped cancellation by our governor.  It is the Efficiency Maine Loan program, which gives long-term, low-interest loans on things like heat pump installations, and also has a rebate program for installation of energy efficient systems.

Heat pump installations are therefore set for next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

We’re also expecting the Window Guy to sweep by at some point to fix the stuck windows in the hallway to Steve’s office.  It will be Good if they can be made to close.  It would be Optimum, if they can be made to open and close on demand.

So, that’s the next phase of Real Life Adventures.

For those who are here for news of books, and the production of words —  yes, writing has been going forth.  For those expecting a new book in January — no, sorry; we are scheduled to turn the book in to Madame the Editor in January.  What happens to it then is wholly up to her.

I believe this catches us up again.

I hope everyone has a splendid weekend.

Chariot on the Herschell/Looff carousel at the Heritage Museum

 

Books read in 2018

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)

The on-going adventures of Lee and Miller

So, Tuesday, September 11, Steve and I arose, and left the house in the possession of the housesitter, wending our way to Connecticut in the rain. We broke our drive in Lewistown, at Fran’s, so that I might celebrate my birthday in style, with a breakfast of blueberry crepes.  It was still raining after breakfast, as we continued our drive, arriving at Carousel Convention Headquarters in Windsor Locks, Connecticut about 2:30.  Our base camp was in a Marriott, and I must say it was among the…silliest hotel rooms I’ve stayed in, along a lifetime of staying in hotel rooms of various ilks.

Who in ghod’s name thought it was a Good Idea to design a hotel room with ONE DRAWER, a closet with no door on it, and a couple of random open shelves?  Our reservation was for five days.  Does Marriott Corp actually think that I’m going to throw my stuff in piles in the corners?  Or not unpack?  For five days?

Stupid situation.  I was, and remain, unimpressed.  This may actually put me off of Marriott properties.

Complaints aside, I went downstairs to do my appointed shift at registration, met a lot of nice people, including Irene Harrison (who I know from the Science Fiction Side) and also the mother of one of my writer colleagues.  Small world.

Dinner was had; I scored a batwing horse at the Roundabout Faire (aka the Dealers Room), and we listened to a very interesting lecture by Jeff Briggs, the creator of the Boston Greenway Carousel.  Eventually, we sought our bed, rising at an absurdly early hour in order to board the charter buses for a 7:30 departure for? The Carousels!

Now, a couple things about the convention.  First — This was the largest convention the National Carousel Association had ever hosted — by about 100 conventioneers, 50 of us newbies.  Second — This meant that there were four tour buses in train.  Third — it was raining on Wednesday as we boarded our coaches, and pretty much it rained all day, except (this is important) when we arrived at a carousel.  Then, the rain stopped; and I wanna tell you — it’s rare you get a bus driver who’s that good.

The rain, however, did play havoc with the traffic, and we ran late all day.

Wednesday was the pre-con Bonus Day, and we were scheduled to — and did! — visit four carousels.  Our first was the Native Species Carousel in The Greenway Boston.  Here’s a picture from that carousel.  I note, as it was said to me, that this rabbit does not go up and down, though his carrot does.

After everyone — that’s 240 people, now — had ample time to take photographs, and everyone had a ride on the carousel, we reboarded our buses and went out to Hull, where the remains of Paragon Park, including Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #85, sits at the edge of the sea.

The Paragon Park carousel was the. . .saddest of the day’s four carousels.  It was plain that the association was trying their damndest to keep the carousel and to restore it, but. . .there’s work to be done.  I note, for those interested, that there is an adoption program for the Horses of Paragon Park.  Here’s your link.   And!  Here’s a photo of a horse being restored at the on-site workshop:

And, here’s a picture of a jumper on PTC #85:

I will also mention that the sea was magnificent at Hull, waves crashing against the seawall, and spray flying over the parapet to soak inadvertent visitors.  Nice day.

From Hull, the buses swept us, in good time, to the Heritage Museum, which combines gardens, a transportation museum, and a Herschell/Looff combined carousel in all but mint condition.

My back had started to hurt, so I opted to walk from the bus to the carousel, about a quarter mile, I guess, through a really pleasant and peaceful garden, with interesting plantings and thought-provoking installations.  We may have to go back, more into the season, to do the garden justice.

The carousel had been collected in pieces by a Mr. Lilly (I did not achieve clarity on whether this was Mr. Eli Lilly of pharmaceutical fame, or another Lilly altogether), which is why it’s a Herschell/Looff.  Most of the animals were horses, but, having been bought in pieces as it was, there were extra animals.  Three goats made it onto the carousel itself.  Some of the extras were mounted along the carousel’s promenade, and still others were sold to another carousel enthusiast.  Here’s a picture of one of the extra animals:

Steve joined me for the walk back to the bus, and we proceeded to Battleship Cove, there to view Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #54.  By this time, we were two hours and change behind schedule, and my back was really starting to say nasty stuff.

So nasty was my stuff, in fact, that I did not get off the bus to see PTC 54.  Steve did view this carousel, and will perhaps lend one of his photos to at a later time.  I understand it is a very nice carousel.

From Battleship Cove, it was on to West Springfield, and a group dinner at The Nippon Grill and Seafood Buffet, joining up with still more of our group who had not opted for the Bonus Day Tour.

We returned to the hotel around 10:30 pm, having boarded the buses at 7:30 am.  It was, yes, a long day.

. . .which segued into a long night as my back went ballistic.  I finally faced reality — that being that there was No Way I could do the next day’s tour of five carousels and a formal dinner/presentation, if I didn’t take the meds, and No Way I could do ditto, if I did take the meds.

So, I took the meds.

I will pause here to recall that, of all the challenges I had identified with regard to participating in a carousel convention, I didn’t even consider the wear and tear  visited upon a human body by sitting fourteen hours on a tour bus.

Steve and I evaluated the situation and our various options and decided that it would be best for all concerned to withdraw from the convention, which we did.  And then we drove home.

The long way.

Steve drove, I did not take meds, though I may have been guilty of using the heated passenger seat.  We would drive for. . .a time, an hour? two hours? and stop at a likely looking place to go for a walk. We did a thorough tour of Keene, New Hampshire, which is awfully interesting at first hand; which led to a thorough tour of Toadstool Books.  We eventually raised Portland, where Steve had some Serious Shopping to do, so we took a suite off of Payne Road, hunted and gathered an excellent dinner from the Sebago Brewing Company, and so to bed.

The next day, we rose late, breakfasted at IHOP, and hit the mall.  Steve was shopping computers, so I hung out at Best Buy with him.  I talked myself out of a Razer tactile keyboard (wow, does that keyboard feel good), because it’s flat and I’d kill my wrists using it, even though the clicky keys are to die for.  I was not so persuasive regarding a pair of Nikon binoculars, replacing the Bunnell mini-binoculars that I won in a sales contest mumble years ago — 4×30, which I clung to because they were light enough for me to hold.  The Nikon binoculars are 8×42 and weigh just a smidge more than the minis, and now I can watch the yard very closely indeed.

At the Maine Mall, we found Brookstone going out of business, and Steve scored all sorts of goodies, including a yummy fleecy throw.  We also stopped for pretzel bits at a — gasp! — pretzel stand, where the young lady behind the counter gave me a Susan B. Anthony dollar as a quarter.  When I showed her the error, she was astonished; had never seen an Anthony dollar.  I bought it from her with a folding dollar so she didn’t make the same mistake again.

We did quite a bit of walking, what with going up and down the Mall, so we did a little shopping at Shaw’s to stock our in-suite fridge, then went back and took a nap.  That evening, we walked around the neighborhood and took pictures. of interesting things.

Here, have an interesting thing:

Next day after breakfast we proceeded through the Dense Fog to the Maine Fine Craft Show being held at Camp Ketcha on Black Point, where among all the other beautiful art things, we met a guy who makes door pulls out of rocks.  I think we’ve found the compromise between Steve wanting door pulls on the new pantry, and me wanting no such thing.  I can live with rock door pulls.

After the craft fair, we went exploring, and found ourselves at Crescent Beach, which is a state park.  We came to the ranger’s kiosk before we found a place to turn around and thereby discovered An Amazing Thing.

Maine residents sixty-five years or older may enter any Maine state park for free.

Who knew?

Well. . .we knew.  Now.  And so we visited Crescent Beach.  The fog was still Epic, but we walked up and down a bit, thereby discovering another thing:  You can get a passport at any Maine State Park at the beginning of the season, and there are passport stamping stations, at each park, so you can stamp your passport.  Which is kinda cool.

Leaving Crescent Beach, Steve headed us out still further on the point, and thus we came to Two Lights Park — a Maine State Park.  We tested our newfound knowledge and were let into the park with a cheerful, “Have fun!”  And so we did.  Two Lights deserves a day-long visit on a day with significantly less fog.  Still, we walked up and down a bit, and took pictures.  Here, have a picture:

We also found Yet Another Amazing Factoid, which is that the National Lighthouse Association has LIGHTHOUSE Passports, which you can get stamped at — wait for it — lighthouses all over America.

Leaving Two Lights, we drove until we were in Portland, and of course we had to visit the Portland Breakwater lighthouse, aka Bug Light.  It was still foggy, which made picture-taking tricky, but here’s a moment of Bug Light in the sun:

We spent ‘way too much time at Bug Light, and were late getting lunch.  Happily, we found ourselves in Old Port, and there! right on the corner where we’d stopped for traffic was — the Empire Kitchen.  We parked the car and had a really interesting Chinese dinner, including the house-made broad noodles, steamed pork buns, green beans with garlic….mmmhmm.  Probably a good thing they’re in Portland and, mostly, I’m not.

Sunday, we shifted to Old Orchard Beach, and a room at the Skylark that Steve had arranged for, pre-convention.  We were told that there was a whale in the Gulf, between shore and the Audobon society’s island, which several of our fellow Skylarkians were fortunate enough to both see and photograph.  Our luck was not on that angle, sadly.  I’ve never seen a whale, myself.  Must go on whale cruise…

So, a pleasant afternoon and evening at the ocean, walking up and down the beach and downtown, followed by a pleasant supper.  Next morning, we rose early, failed to sight the whale in the yet-again Epic Fog, and drove to the new IHOP in Saco (for locals — where the China Clipper had been for approximately 10,000 years).  And there something…strange happened.

We paid our bill with cash, and our change was to be $9.55.  Which the waitress brought to us in the form of nine one dollar bills, twelve pennies, two nickles, and two dimes.  The advertant will immediately see that this is short by thirteen cents.  It was also the weirdest change I’ve ever gotten.  This was 7:45 am on Monday.  Was the drawer in that bad a shape?  Did our waitress not know how to make change, even though the cash register told her how much change to give?  Could she not do the math that would have allowed her to know that a five dollar bill and four ones is nine dollars?  Or that two quarters and a nickle is fifty-five cents?  I continue to be baffled.  I said to Steve at the time that I wasn’t going to “fight over thirteen cents,” but after our waitress came back to ask if we “needed change” and threw an obvious glance at the table to see if there was a tip waiting, added, “but I will blog about it.”  And now I have.

We reluctantly checked out of the Skylark, and headed to Oquossoc, which was an excuse to trade sea level for height of land, and overlook the Rangeley Lakes.  Here’s a picture:

We headed down via Route 4, stopping in Farmington for lunch at Soup for You!, and again in Waterville at the grocery store, and so arrived home around 6 pm last night, to the initial confusion, and subsequent delight of four cats.

Today has been an unpacking, bill paying, and blogging day.  I haven’t walked enough.  Must remedy that.

Tomorrow, we get back to business.

. . .and now?  You’re all caught up.

Books read in 2018

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)

Lost Weekend

So, I get back spasms that are really painful.  Not often, but when they come around, it’s really useful to have muscle relaxants on hand.  Which, I did, on Friday evening, when this latest bout started.  Saturday, I took more, which was, just by the way, like dropping ice cubes, one by one, down the throat of Kilauea, and I realized that I was getting kind of low, but!  No worries, really, because I had enough to get me through Sunday and on Monday, I would go see my doctor. (Dangers of The Freelance Life, Number 612: You Often Lose Track of Holidays.)

When I realized that Monday was, in fact, a holiday, I called my doctor’s office, got a phone number of an on-call doctor, from her very scratchy answering machine, and called it.  The number turned out to be the number for the local hospital, who put me in touch with a nurse practitioner, who called me back, heard my plea for a prescription for enough of these pills to see me through until Tuesday, when I would go see my own doctor.  She agreed to send in the prescription.

When the pharmacy hadn’t called in three hours, I called it — no prescription in my name was waiting.  I called the hospital back; they contacted the nurse practitioner, who promised again to send in the ‘script.  No dice.  At 5 pm, I once more called the hospital, the nurse practitioner called me back, said that there was a possibility that the prescription had gone to the Walmart pharmacy in Skowhegan, or may it just hadn’t gone through at all, but in any case, she was really sorry that I didn’t have my meds.

After a Very Bad Night that lasted approximately three years, it was Sunday.  Again, I called the pharmacies — including the Walmart Pharmacy in Skowhegan — but there were no prescriptions for me at any of them.  So, I called the hospital one! more! and they put me in touch with a Whole ‘Nother Doctor, who promised to call in a prescription for “just enough” medicine to get me to Tuesday morning.

Which, he didn’t do.

I took my last pill yesterday morning.  My back still hurt, so, Shan-like, I carried a glass of the red with me for the rest of the day, sipping as needed.

Last night was somewhat better; lasting two years, and while my back hurt when I got up, I find that as long as I stand up, there’s no pain today.

In the meantime, Other Matters have been clarified.  A morning call to my doctor’s office got me the scratchy tape once more, and I was able to understand that its news was that the office is closed until September 10, next Monday, which is. . .just. . .peachy.  I can, says the helpful nurse at the Walk-In Clinic in Waterville, go to them for an evaluation, but there’s no guarantee that the practitioner who sees me will prescribe the drug I’ve been taking, or any drug at all.

Basically, my choices at the moment are:  go to the clinic, now that the worst is over, and waste their time (and mine, now that I’ve lost an entire weekend to this crap), or simply decide that the worst IS over, and go see my doctor on September 10, hoping that she’ll renew the prescription for the muscle relaxants so I can have them with me during the carousel convention (which is important, because, lemme tell ya, getting on and off of carousel horses is hard on your back).

To recap:  It has been a very frustrating and unproductive holiday weekend, here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.  Hoping yours was better.

I am remiss in reporting here that Scrabble’s 16th birthday, observed, fell on Saturday.  Here’s a picture of the birthday girl:

 

Books read in 2018

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)