Captain Robert took his crew to Shangri-La and Timbuktu

Slightly less excitement yesterday. I guess you can’t be blacklisted every day.

From the musical side of My World, Abney Park is releasing a new album on October 15 — Off the Grid.  There’s a rumor of an online pre-release party, but no links yet.  I’m very excited, and will be buying one of those CDs Very Soon After they become available.  Also! Frenchy and the Punk are doing a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of two new CDs.  They’re less than $700 short of a very modest goal to complete a very worthwhile project.

On the housekeeping front, yesterday…I decided that I wanted cranberry bread, but I had some other stuff to do and didn’t want to be tied to the whole rise-punch-down thing.  So, I unshipped the bread machine, which I use once every year or so, loaded up the ingredients, pushed the button, and went back to my office.

About fifteen minutes later, the machine SHRIEKED, and kept on shrieking while I ran down the hall to the kitchen and pulled the plug.  Looks like the kneading blade froze up.  I was corked off, because, hey! cranberry bread.  So I dumped the dough out, and preheated the oven to 170 degrees while I finished kneading the dough and distributing the cranberries (I found later that you don’t first-rise with cranberries.  Who knew?).  Then I turned the oven off, put the dough in, set the timer, and went back to my office.  An hour later, the dough had doubled. I punched it down, set the oven to pre-heat to 375, made a loaf, put it  in a loaf pan, covered it, put it on top of the stove, and went away again for half an hour.  When I came back, the oven was hot, the dough was riz, and in she went.

I had a couple pieces of the result of all this effort this morning for breakfast, with cream cheese.  Mmmmmm, cranberry bread and cream cheese.  Very tasty, despite All It’s Been Through.

Now, I have to figure out if the bread machine is DOI.  And, if it is, whether I want to bother with another one.

There was frost on the deck and the cars this morning, and I just came back from a walk in the sun.  (Maine resident moment:  I looked at the thermometer before I left, saw that it was reporting 37F/3C outside, and said, “Oh, I’d better get a sweater.”  Which I did.  My nice, RED fleece sweater, to go with my nice RED hat.)  It’s just a little too breezy to be perfectly comfortable (note to self: find Fall gloves), but my, isn’t sunshine nice?

The proof copy of Barnburner arrived from Lulu yesterday (probably, yanno, a couple days ago, but I hadn’t managed to get to the post office for a couple days).  It’s a perfectly presentable little book, especially for something that’s going to be sold entirely off the web and not browsed in bookstores, so Here’s The Plan.

I’m going to format Barnburner’s sister book, Gunshy, and make them both available, for now, from the Lulu Store.  This will solve the immediate problem of people who want those particular books-as-books and who can’t find them. It looks like the price-point will be right around $12US.

It seems pretty clear that Lulu is not going to be the permanent solution for any future chapbook-like-objects Steve and I may do, such as collecting the stories off of Splinter Universe onto paper.  I’m still exploring options there.  The biggest problem is that the POD presses are…not kind to chapbooks.  We may end up having to do perfect-bound 5.5×8.5 (aka “digest”), and going 84 pages each (the lower limit for digest) to get a rational price for people.  This would mean a longer wait while enough material builds up, but! more stories when the book does make weight.

And just by the way — if you’re thinking of using Lulu to self-pub.  As dancinghorse said, back in another conversation, if you’re willing to accept a number from Lulu’s ISBN tree and let Lulu be the “publisher” of your book, they will distribute to Amazon, BN, &c, &c, for “free”.  If you have your own ISBN (which Barnburner and Gunshy, for instance, happen to have), Lulu will charge you $75 per title to distribute to Amazon, BN, &c, &c.  And then of course, the bookstores get their discount off retail…so you earn less per each.

For those who wonder how I fill my hours, now that I’m “not working”, I have the following projects immediately on my plate:

1. Format and proof Gunshy

2. Do fly-revisions on the first 60 grand of Necessity’s Child and make a list of those things that Must Happen, those things that it Would Be Nice to See, and those things which are just Off the Wall. (Sorry, this really is as close to doing an outline as I get. Sometimes, I don’t even do lists, if I have the time to just Live In the Book.) Then, yanno, finish writing the thing.

3. Write and post “The Space at Tinsori Light”

4. Start with the Liaden Audible Lexicon project

5. Continue researching POD options for chapbook-like-objects.

6. Consider a possible crowd-source project for next year. I’m tempted, but I don’t know if it’s feasible. Checking notes and deadlines now.

Deadline projects in-house at the moment are:
1. Dragon Ship — November 15
2. Necessity’s Child — March 15, 2012
3. Trade Secret — July 15, 2012

Plus, various flavors of Life, some of which, like the details involved in the closing of SRM, are ridiculously time-consuming and involve appointments with Experts.

So, anyhow, keeping busy, here. If not out of trouble.

And, as it’s a little cool in the office, I’ve just put one of the shawls Sarah Al-Amri of her kindness sent me.

Twice warm, me.

4 thoughts on “Captain Robert took his crew to Shangri-La and Timbuktu”

  1. If your bread machine is in fact dead and you *do* decide to get another, don’t buy one. I have one, it’s been used exactly twice, and it’s just taking up space and collecting dust. We can figure out how much it will be to ship and work out something.

    I’d forgotten about it until I saw your post, LOL!

  2. That’s very generous, thank you.

    The bread machine here at the Cat Farm does look to be dead, all right, but I’m leaning toward Not Replacing. I didn’t use it all that often, and, like yours, it just mostly took up space.

    It’s not like I don’t know how to rise bread and bake it, after all.

    This was our second bread machine. The first one got a *lot* of use, because we were both working a couple of jobs — the crockpot got a lot more use then, too.

    Though Steve is got something in the crockpot today, and it smells wonderful…

  3. I’m doing a lot of crock pot recipes lately – I’d love to know what Steve has in yours!

  4. We don’t use the bread machine because it’s just so NOISY and drives us nuts. If you change your mind in the next week or so, just let me know, otherwise I’ll pass it on to one of your readers who wants it and will use it or put it up on Ebay or something.

    I was actually inspired by a net friend, whom, upon hearing that we wanted an ice cream maker, said “I’ve got one here gathering dust on my porch” and sent it to us. 🙂

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