Sunny Sunday

Today dawned bright and blue and sunny after a subjective quarter-century of rain, which Trooper celebrated by running up and down the house shouting, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” and jumping over any cat who got in his path.

He’s resting in a sun-puddle now, along with the rest of the feline household.

We humans, having breakfasted and taken on caffeine, are perhaps less wise.  I, obviously, am updating my blog; Steve is building bookshelves.  Yes, yes, you knew we’d figure out that we needed more bookshelves, despite the wealth of shelves built into the living room.

In fact, one of four we purchased has already gone into service as the Cookbook Bookshelf, sitting under the clock at the intersection of the living room and dining room.  The ginormous kitchen at the Old Digs had room for its own bookshelf; there is no such “extra” space in the current galley kitchen.

Two of the remaining bookshelves will replace one of the two bookshelves that my father built for my sixteenth birthday.  They were long and low, meant to fit under the eaves, and they were never meant to travel nearly so far, nor so long, as they have done.  The shelf that came to rest in my office is. . .’way too unsteady, given that its duty-list includes not only holding books but standing steady when a coon cat (or two) leaps to the top.

So! two nice folding bookshelves, to match the bookshelves that used to be under the windows in my office at the Old Digs will be replacing the old, unsteady bookshelf, which will find renewed purpose in the basement, where it will have a nice concrete wall to lean against.

Last week’s Writers’ Day Off was, of course, Friday, when we put on our Author Clothes and went downtown to the Children’s Book Cellar, to talk, and read, and sign books.  We had a nice turnout of about 10 people on what was a rainy, cold, occasionally thunder-y evening — included in the crowd were two women who’d driven up from Mount Holyoke (no mean feat in good weather) to attend.

As advertised, we talked:  about how we met, our first writing projects, how writing for newspapers ties in with what we do now, a bunch of other stuff, spinning off into the side-alleys and rejoining the main road down there — as one does.

We also read — switching off — the opening five pages and several other sections of Agent of Change, including the parts where Miri meets Val Con, and the part where Miri meets Edger.

We had fun; and I hope that was true for everyone who attended.

A note for those who ordered signed books:  We await the delivery of a case of books, which had not arrived by Friday night.  When that case arrives, we will sign and personalize books, and they will be cast onto the back of the wind.  Or the Postal System, whichever bids low.

This week’s Writers’ Day Off will be Tuesday.  The first item on the agenda is to vote, after which we will have breakfast out, and consider what else the weather will allow us to do on the thirty-eighth anniversary of Doing the Legal.

In writing news, I have deconstructed the manuscript into major narrative lines, in order to see the natural breaks more clearly.  This is service of weaving those lines together smoothly.  And also, yanno, finishing each line appropriately.  I’m not sure if we’ll have cascading dénouements or just go for one big BANG! across all storylines.  And they say writing a novel isn’t technical.

So, I think that’s it.  After I hit send, I’ll be removing the books from the old bookshelf, and shifting it elsewhere so the new bookshelves can be placed.  This will give the backbrain plenty of time — ahem! — to consider Weighty Matters of Fiction.

Everybody be good.

Reading and Book Signing Tonight!

Tonight, Friday, November 2, from 7 to 10 pm! Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be reading from and signing copies of the thirtieth anniversary edition of our very first novel; space opera classic AGENT OF CHANGE, at the Children’s Book Cellar in Waterville. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Val Con and Miri’s 30th Anniversary News!

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be signing, reading, and talking (you just try to stop us from talking) about the Thirtieth Anniversary Edition of Agent of Change, at the Children’s Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville, Maine from 7-10 pm on Friday, November 2 — Hey!  That’s this Friday!

Everybody — that means you in the back, there, too! — Everybody is invited to this gala event.  It’s free — so, come help us, Miri, Val Con, Edger, and the entire cast of characters from the Very First Liaden Universe® novel ever published — celebrate this important science fictional anniversary!

Procrastinators Take Note!
If you are unable to attend the November 2 event, but you want a signed copy of the anniversary edition of Agent of Change, with the awesome Sam Kennedy cover, you may send an email before November 2  (that is BEFORE this Friday) 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.

So, everybody has this important date inked-in on the calendar, right?  Right!

See you soon.

Sunday morning round-up

All righty, then!

First up, a reminder:  Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be reading from and signing copies of the Thirtieth Anniversary Edition of Agent of Change at Children’s Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville, Maine 04901, on Friday, November 2, from 7:30-9 pm.  Looking forward to seeing you — yes, you! — there.

If you are unable to attend the November 2 event, and you want a signed copy of the anniversary Agent of Change, with the awesome Sam Kennedy cover, 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.

So, we attended the Community Health Needs Assessment as our Floating Day Off, on Thursday.  It was interesting, and even informative.  I had been under the impression that the event was hosted by one of the area hospitals; in fact it is an on-going collaborative effort of about eight different hospitals, clinics and health associations.  The meant that there were a lot of professionals present, which was fine; one of the problems identified by our table (all civilians, saving the facilitator and the note-taker) was a lack of access to care, including a lack of doctors, a lack of transportation to get to doctors, and a lack of those activities supportive of good health.

Unfortunately, the lack of access which was so obvious to the public eye was invisible to the professional eye, as we found when it came time to rank the most pressing needs in our community.  The vote went along, dare I say, party lines, with the professionals pushing for programmatic solutions to things like the opoid crisis and self-harm.  That was a little disappointing.  Our facilitator thanked our table for our real-world perspective, but I’m not completely certain that she has any high-level ears available to her.

One of the things that seems obvious to me (warning) is that, if this is about COMMUNITY Health Needs, then the COMMUNITY needs to get involved.  The city needs to get on-board with providing, say, a real bus service, so people can get to their appointments on time.  The clinics need to coordinate; health and exercise classes in the city need to be expanded, supported, and advertised.

The whole community aspect was pointed up when the meeting was breaking up and one of our table’s participants handed the facilitator a card.  She shook her head, and said, “The hospital does all its printing in house.”  “That’s right,” came the answer, “and they put the guy who used to do their printing out of business.”

If we’re all in this together, we can’t solve our problems by working separately.

So, that.

We haven’t quite settled on the upcoming week’s Floating Day Off; much depends on the outcome of phone calls that need to be made tomorrow.  For today, I need to vacuum the house, and then get to work.

Oh!  I keep meaning to show y’all this. . .The Carousel Corner in my bookshelf.

Wednesday morning adverts

A.  If you are going to a convention, belong to a reading group, or patronize a library or bookstore open to taking promotional items, and! you would like to help promote Agent of Change and/or the Carousel series, please drop me a note at sharonleeATkorvalDOTcom, and I’ll be happy to send you some postcards or bookmarks for distribution.

B.  Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be reading from and signing copies of the Thirtieth Anniversary Edition of Agent of Change at Children’s Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville, Maine 04901, on Friday, November 2, from 7:30-9 pm.  Looking forward to seeing you — yes, you! — there.

C. If, after all, my blandishments have failed and you are unable to attend the November 2 event, and you still want a signed copy of the anniversary Agent of Change, with the awesome Sam Kennedy cover, 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 endeth the Wednesday morning adverts.

A short photographic history of a novel

From left to right:
Agent of Change (as by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee), February 1988, artist Stephen Hickman, Del Rey Books mass market original

Agent of Change (as by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller), November 2002, artist Michael Herring, Ace Books mass market reprint of Meisha Merlin edition*

Agent of Change 30th Anniversary Edition,(as by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller), November 2018, artist Sam Kennedy, Baen Books mass market

_____________
*Many readers were introduced to the Liaden Universe® via the Meisha Merlin omnibus Partners in Necessity, which reprinted the first three novels, Agent of Change, Conflict of Honors, and Carpe Diem.  Publication date February 2000, Artist Michael Herring,

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.

Friday Potpourri

In the spirit of getting bidness outta the way first:  Someone — maybe on this blog?  I’ve lost the note itself — asked me to “list” all of our work eligible for this year’s Dragon Awards.  Herewith! the list:

Neogenesis, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Baen Books, January 2018  Category: Best SF Novel

The Dragon Awards are apparently open to anyone who wishes to participate.  Here’s your link.

So, that.

One of my on-board tasks is to proofread the manuscript for Liaden Universe® Constellation, Volume Four, due at the publisher in August.  I just finished proofing “Street Cred,” and damn! that’s a good story.  I realize that it’s not cool to be pleased with your own work, but, hey, I’ve never been cool.

And, it really is a good story.

Let see, what else?

Ah.  June 27th marked our second month in the New Location.  Time flies and all like that.  I’ve made my peace with the dishwasher, more or less; and while I still don’t quite comprehend the new dryer, progress is being made on that road.

One of the many things that amuses me about this house is that, yesterday, I walked a mile and a half.  This was exclusively inside the house, going from my office at the top of the short arm of the U, around to the laundry room, in the middle of the long arm of the U (directly across from my office, as the crow flies, if crows could fly through windows), and back again.

Though the first mad flood has been stemmed, we still from time to time entertain contractors.  Tree Guy says he’s going to take down the two dead pines “next week” but hasn’t called to set, y’know, an actual day.  Also, it may have escaped his notice that Wednesday is the Fourth of July.  Cleaning Guy, who was supposed to have come by yesterday morning, cancelled because a tree had fallen on his mother’s house and he was needed to help with the clean-up.  So, we’re waiting for another call from him to reschedule.  And the War Engineer is supposed to drop by on his own schedule to finish getting rid of the useless bits of the fence.

Work continues to go forward on Accepting the Lance.  Mind you, it’s not going as quickly as I would wish, which was ever the case, but going forward is Good.  I’m perhaps being over-gentle with it, given how suddenly and completely its predecessor died the True Death.  We don’t want that to happen again; oh, no, we do not.

Reporting from the land of More Excitement Than You Can Possibly Stand, after I became unable to drink caffeinated coffee, I settled on Twining’s Irish Breakfast Tea as my caffeine delivery system.  It has a nice mouth feel, and has the darkish taste of coffee.  Sort of.

Steve recently got me a box of Twining’s Lapsang Souchong, and. . .man, that’s interesting.  I don’t know that I’m going to make it my Only Tea, but I’m definitely going to keep a box around.

And that?  Is all I’ve got.  Going to be a busy weekend, what with writing and proofing and all.  Also, by Maine standards, at least, a hot weekend, as I suppose is proper as we in the US run up to Independence Day, the quintessential summer holiday.  Which reminds me that I have to find where Waterville stages its fireworks. . .

Everybody stay cool.

Shameless Self Promotion and the Saga of the Pantry

Asyouknowbob, the SFWA Big Bundle of Space Opera vanishes into hyperspace in 9 days, 14 hours, and yada-yada minutes.  This bundle includes books by Mike Shepherd, Stephanie Bedwell-Grimes, Terry Mixon, Vera Nazarian, Lee and Miller, and so! many! more!  You want this bundle, you know you want it!  Satisfy your craving now!  Here’s your link.

Also!  There’s a kickstarter running for the publication of original anthology Release the Virgins!  Lots of swell authors on board for this one, if it’s funded, among them Jody Nye, Keith R.A. deCandido, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Gail Z. Martin, Shariann Lewitt, Sharon Lee, Steve Miller — and more!  Here’s your link.

Here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory’s new location, proofreading of the 30th Anniversary Edition of Agent of Change continues to go forth.  Given the sorts of errors that have been identified — dropped words and paragraphs — this one may warrant a third pass.  Happily, we have until August to return it to Baen.

Work also goes forth on a Liaden short story commissioned for a space opera anthology; which has an August delivery.  And of course planning continues on Accepting the Lance.

We have also been continuing with Necessary Adjustments to the house.  This week’s triumph was the installation of the pantry, which was completed yesterday.  Today, April will stop by to measure for the countertop, and I need to ask her about the microwave shelf, which needs some adjustment, but, for all intents and purposes, we have pantry!  And now I get these stupid boxes out of my living room.

. . .which will then, of course, be replaced with whole other stupid boxes, as we get the Tech Room sorted out.

Sooner or later, we’ll achieve a State of No Boxes and no contractors/installers, but I fear it will not be soon.  And I do have to keep reminding myself that we haven’t even been living here for a full month.

*deep breaths*

For those interested, here’s the Before and Afters of the dining room/pantry situation.

. . .and now, to work.