Blog Without A Name

Various OR Six Things Make a Post

A bunch of un- and half-related stuff to let people know about.

1. Mr. French, a promising young cat-about-house, is, through not fault of his own, in need of a new situation. French (photo below) is about 2 years old, playful, affectionate, likes people of all sizes, is smart, and quite athletic. He talks often, doesn’t meow, but chirps and hums which is rather charming. He is healthy, has claws, and has lived indoors since accepting his current position, at the tender age of about 4 months. He is up to date on all shots and exams. He comes with toys, and excellent references. If you are within a couple hours of Portland, Maine and can offer French the sort of quality establishment he so richly deserves, please write to Kali Lightfoot — lightfoot44ATgmailDOTcom

2.  Fellow Maine author and fantasy writer James A. Hetley has just today made his excellent novelette “Dragon’s Bones” available electronically through Smashwords.  I highly recommend this story, which was published in paper in 2009 by SRM, Publisher.  Also!  Jim has plans to eventually make his backlist Maine fantasy novels into ebooks, so be on the lookout!

3.  I dinked around with the Pinbeam Books front page this morning. You can now subscribe to the RSS feed and it’ll, yanno, actually feed.

4.  For those who missed all the excitement yesterday, “Intelligent Design” is now available to be read for free at the Baen website.  Also new on the site is Tony Daniel’s essay “Gravity’s Punch” and a brand! new! reading group and study guide for Ghost Ship, courtesy of Baen’s own Laura Haywood-Cory.

5.  The eBook edition of Ghost Ship was released yesterday.  Remember, Baen eBooks come in a number of DRM-free fomats, including Nook (ePub) and Kindle (mobi), so you can read them on the device(s) of your choice!

6.  Since we have a new wave of Ghost Ship Early Adopters — those who have or will soon purchase that eBook noted in #5, above — please refer to this blog entry.  All help greatly appreciated.

Progress on “Kin Ties”
8846 words out of 10,000(?)

Ghost Ship Early Adopters, please read

I may have mentioned here before how we have the Best Readers in the World. This isn’t hyperbole; it’s true. For instance, folks often write to us and ask how they can help promote the Liaden Universe® and/or a favorite/the newest novel in the series.

As it happens, one of the things that helps a new book along is something called “buzz.”  That’s when people talk about the book in their blogs, to their friends, to the barista, to co-workers — you get the picture.  “Buzz” not only tells readers who may like the new book, but who have no way of knowing it exists, about the book, it also reminds readers who have been following all things Liaden that the book is due out realsoonnow.

All righty, then. If you’re one of the few, the proud, the Incredibly Lucky who scored a signed copy of Ghost Ship weeks ahead of the release date, or if you’ve read the eArc from Baen, there are a couple things that you can do to help Theo and Bechimo along the way.

1.  You can post a reader’s review (no spoilers, please) at Barnes and Noble, which is accepting reviews now, even though it’s not shipping the book yet.

2.  You can talk about the book in your own blog, if you have one.  You may of course, use David Mattingly’s gorgeous cover in your discussion — I’ll paste it into the bottom of this entry for you.

3.  You can request that your favorite review site review the book (we have some copies of the book that we might be able to send on  — write to me at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom)

4.  You can go over to Spoilerville and talk about Ghost Ship  or to the Liaden Universe Spoiler Discussion on LJ

5.  You can inquire of your local library if they intend to acquire Ghost Ship.

6.  If you’re a member of a book club or reader’s group, you might consider bringing Ghost Ship to the group.  Tomorrow!  There will be a reader’s guide posted on Baen Books’ front page to help you get started.

7.  If you have a favorite interview site, Sharon and Steve (together or  separately) are pleased to do interviews, so don’t hesitate to recommend us.  If you have a favorite local SF convention, don’t be afraid to suggest us as Guests of Honor, we have experience.  We’ll also talk to libraries, college classes, and do live online interviews.  Suggest!  The worst that can happen is that the person you’re suggesting to says “no.”

General things to remember:  Ghost Ship did not happen in a vacuum; it’s immediate predecessor, Saltation, sold out its first hardcover print run and went to a second printing, hit the Wall Street Journal bestselling science fiction list and placed in the Top Twenty Best Science Fiction Novels of 2010 in the Locus Magazine Poll.

Also — I know I don’t have to say this to you guys, but — be polite.  If someone does say “no”?  That’s cool. We’re not everybody’s cup of tea, and neither is our work — that’s life.  Similarly, if someone says they don’t do space opera, or the book doesn’t sound like Their Thing — also cool.  Insisting  never actually convinced anybody to like something, and we all have our crotchets.

Thank you very kindly for your continued goodwill and support.


Ghost Ship art by David Mattingly

Coming right up…

1. If you pre-ordered the hardcover edition of Ghost Ship from Uncle Hugo’s and you want your book personalized (where “personalized” means you want something written in your book in addition to Steve and Sharon’s Official Auctorial Signatures), you must write to Don Blyly at Uncle Hugo’s by July 15 (that’s FRIDAY!) and tell him so. Don’s email address is: unclehugoATaolDOTcom Be aware (be very aware) that personalized (see definition above) books will not ship until after Sharon and Steve’s signing at Uncle Hugo’s on August 27

2. “Intelligent Design” a short Liaden Universe® story by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, will be published to Baen Books’ website on July 15 (that’s FRIDAY!), where it may be read and, we hope, enjoyed by all.


Today, we do errands

Quite a list of things to accomplish in town this morning — town office to pay excise tax on Binjali, drop-offs at the bank, post office, Staples, and the UPS Store; Pearle Vision to order in a pair of back-up glasses, CVS to pick up prescriptions, Hannaford to take on supplies. Maybe I’d better pack a lunch.

Gonna be a warm one today, so say the weatherbeans. Guess I’d better get on the road.

Happy Monday!

Night time’s awaiting; dreamtime is fraying

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on advice of how to get music onto the Droid. Much appreciated!

Yesterday was complicated by the unexpected necessity of having to drive to Augusta, which I did. Unfortunately, in addition to the supplies needed, I managed to also onload a Terrifically Bad Headache™, which meant that I slept most of yesterday afternoon. Not convenient, and absolutely not what I had planned to do with my Friday.

Today has been chores, and writing, and realizing after ‘way too long that putting the Droid in the docking station and hooking it up via USB to the computer is Not At All The Same as jacking the Droid directly into the computer via USB. (So, like, what is the docking station good for, exactly?)

I worked on “Kin Ties” and uploaded another Splinter of The Cards of Fortunate Destiny to Splinter Universe. I also created an LJ Community for discussion of Splinter Universe.  Anyone may read and comment, however! those without LJ accounts will experience a delay in seeing their posts, since anonymous posts will be scrutinized by a human moderator first.

The posts to the Live Journal Community will be mirrored on Facebook at Splinter Universe, so that those who don’t believe in Live Journal can still have fun.

. . .and I think that’s all the news that’s fit to print.

What’re you doing this weekend that’s fun?



. . .some administrivia, anyway. After I unburden myself by saying that I saw a motorcycle accident on the way home — the bike went down essentially at my feet. All parties seemed to be all right, though I think that that the girl driver who cut them off, and kept saying to the cop, “But he hit me!” may be in for a rude sort of surprise somewhere down the line.

And the sad, scary part was — he damn’ near missed her, through no fault of her own, just clipped the very, very backest bit of her rear quarter-panel, but it was enough. The passenger jumped clear, but the bike took the driver down under it.

Ambulances arrived, also police officers, and several helpful strangers, at least two on motorcycles. I pulled off to call the cops and to wait, since I’d practically been in the guy’s pocket when he fell, but turned out nobody wanted to talk to me.

Just as well.

In any case, I’m still a little rattled.

So! Administrivia:

1. As previously announced in this blog and elsewhere, Uncle Hugo’s has received the signed* copies of Ghost Ship very early. If you pre-ordered a signed copy of Ghost Ship from Uncle Hugo’s and you want your book mailed to you RIGHT NOW, write to Don Blyly at unclehugoATaolDOTcom and tell him so. If you want your book personalized**, you must tell Don that, too, by July 15. Books that are to be personalized will be held until Sharon and Steve are in Minneapolis in late August. Signed books will either be released RIGHT NOW, if you write, as above, and say so, or after July 15, if no order has come through for personalization.

*Signed means that Sharon and Steve signed their names on (in this case) a page that was then bound into Ghost Ship. The signatures are authentic; the paper matches that used to print the rest of the book. The books are SIGNED with the authors’ names only.

**Personalized means that you want Sharon and Steve to write something more than their names in your book, to make it, yanno, personal.

I had no idea when the original call regarding the early arrival of Ghost Ship was posted that there was, or could be, any confusion at all between “signed” and “personalized”. Live and learn.

2. Splinter Universe is slowly coming together.  Right now, there’s a “splinter” up as a dry run to test website functionality.  A “splinter,” as is explained on the site, is a piece of novel or story that was for whatever reason never completed.  The current splinter is the first two chapters of a novel that died just short of 20,000 words in 2003.  I’m perfectly happy to post the rest, in chunks, but it must be understood that when those 20,000-ish words are done, that’s it.  There’s no resolution to the story, nor will there be.

…and now I need to sign some books and maybe get a glass of wine.

As he slept, his wives kept secrets, holding hands beneath the sheets

The day started early, with the advertised run to Augusta to drop Argent the Forester at Charlie’s Subaru for some work behind the nose. We did, indeed, use the outing as an excuse to have breakfast out — at Rooster’s, formerly the Ground Round. Yes, we’re shallow. And breakfast was good, so, yanno, win-win. Also? Carrabassett Bad Dog Coffee. Make that win-win-win.

Rooster’s menu looks interesting on the lunch and dinner side, so we may go back at some point. Though I think I’ll give the mashed potato pizza a miss.

The young lady at Charlie’s called to let us know that she thought the car would be ready by noon, which was permission to goof off even more! We went to Sam’s Club in order to get our after-breakfast walk in. While we were there, I considered an IPad half-seriously, and said to Steve that maybe if I had a tablet, I could lighten my carry-on load during the August world travels, by leaving The Leewit home.

This was, as you might imagine, an excellent excuse to go down to BN — the new Nook “tablet” isn’t — and thence to Staples, where I was underwhelmed by the XOOM, but quite liked the Acer Iconia, though $449 is a leetle bit steep, even for an Extremely Cute Gadget.

By the time we’d done all this, um, research, it was noon-ish; we went back to Charlie’s, ransomed Argent and so to home, where some poking at the web gained the information that there’s also an Asus tablet, which looks nifty — The Leewit is an Asus, and runs, with all respect, like a little klatha-powered truck. Still…$400 for the 16GB, plus another $139 for the docking station. And, really, not that much savings in pounds. Sigh. Cute as a button.

After lunch, I applied myself to Splinter Universe for a bit, and I think I have, with a hint from, fixed the RSS feed problem.

While I was over there, I put up some goodies, just to keep things moving along.

I see by my PayPal account that several kind people have already donated to the work, though there’s no work yet on display, barring my own inept skills as a website builder. I do very much appreciate everyone’s support — thank you!

One gentlebeing appended a message to their generous donation, hoping that I had a reminder service in place. Um, no. I am Not At All Interested in keeping databases full of people and numbers and dates and sending out reminders. Too much like work, darlings.

We hit home this afternoon just as the UPS truck was pulling up with. . .

Our authors’ copies of Ghost Ship. My goodness! is this book eager to fly!

Hope everyone’s recovered from the holiday, if and when. Tomorrow, I’m for the day-job.

…only eight more days of school.

Quiet holiday

So, apparently the town didn’t spring for the jet fighter fly-over this year. Or, if they did, the jets executed their turn for the return flight in some airspace other than that directly over the Cat Farm. This? Was a Good Thing.

A Less Good Thing was the bee that got up under my hat and behind my sunglasses on this morning’s walk. I snatched off hat and sunglasses, whereupon my glasses spontaneously decided to test gravity, which I can report was operational at that moment, meaning that said glasses fell, lenses down, on the gravel, and, yes, they are now an excellent example of why you should never drop your glasses on gravel. Argh. Granted, they are — were — my back-up glasses, but that means I’m down to one pair, which — given adventures like the one just described — is so not a good idea.

Despite the bee, and gravity, and everything, I had a pleasant day. I learned lots of Stuff about WordPress, most of which I will forget by tomorrow morning. But, no matter, for!

Splinter Universe now occupies a space on the web.

There’s no story there yet, or much of anything else, and I’m told the RSS isn’t working, but still and all, I’m pretty happy with my day’s work.

Come the afternoon, after a supper of veggie cheeseburger on a bun, fresh carrots and baked beans, all washed down by Outrageous Ginger Ale (which was pretty dern good), I worked on “Kin Ties,” and watched the various thunderstorms come through.

Now, it’s time to knock off, get lunch and talk over tomorrow’s logistics with Steve. We need to be in Augusta early in order to drop Argent the Forester at Charlie’s Subaru for a little bit of work behind the nose, so of course the burning question is: Do we eat breakfast at home before we leave, or do we use the drop-off as an excuse to have breakfast out?

Decisions, decisions…

I hope everyone who celebrates had an enjoyable holiday.