We have a winner!

The winner for the Do It Like A Delm Week One Challenge is!

Jennifer McGaffey, with a little help from Lt. Colonel Anderson.

You can see the winning picture here.

Congratulations to the winner — and a big thank you! to everyone who took the time to play.

Tomorrow, Monday, August 24, starts the next challenge week.  Get your Liaden gear and your sense of adventure together!

Gallery of Week One challengers here.

Challenge rules here.

In which every cat’s an editor

When I make notes for a short story, I pretty often write them by hand, with a gel pen, on one of those cheap 8.5×11 inch so-called “legal pads” with the rough paper that takes the ink well.

Belle, as per Maine Coon Standard, has tufts of fur between her toes.  She likes to paddle around in the cat water fountain with her big, hairy feet, and then jump onto my desk and wander over my papers before curling up for a nap.

These two factoids are related.  And not in a Good Way.

*peers at smeared ink*

*peers at page beneath note page, also smeared with ink*


I guess it’s just as well that the story flipped, anyway.


So!  I haven’t talked about my health here in quite awhile, you lucky people, you, but I did want to note that the new, higher dose of levothyroxine — that being the Whole Gig dose — is working a treat.  I haven’t felt this well in. . .years, really.  The random fall-asleep hasn’t happened for weeks, and I can actually get up in the morning when the alarm rings (though I often chose not to do so, because there is such a thing as taking it too far), and function, and my brain seems to be ticking right along (which, right enough, may be a mixed blessing for some, but I’m calling a positive from my side).

After Labor Day, there’s a follow-up visit with the vampyres, to quantify this, and I very much hope that the switch back to synthroid (mandated by the insurance company) doesn’t mess with success, but I am, at this point, very optimistic.

So, yanno:  Yay!


New entries have been posted in the Do It Like A Delm Challenge.  Here’s your link.  Remember! This week’s entry deadline is tonight, Saturday, at Midnight EDT.  Sunday we will announce the Winner of the Week, and Monday?

Monday we’ll start a new challenge round.


Today’s chores are almost done; I’ve got the grates and drip-pans soaking, but the rest of the dishes and the vacuuming are finished.  Which means?  The deck is cleared for working on that story this afternoon and evening.

Note to self:  Research waterproof gel ink.

Hope everybody’s having a good weekend, wherever you are.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

Well, let’s see.  This morning started early when Trooper leapt from the floor directly onto my hip, instead of the bed.  Eighteen pounds of Maine Coon gravity-assisted landing on a single point meant I jolted straight up in bed, Sprite, who had been asleep on my stomach, was catipulted off the bed and thence charged down the hall like all the demons of heck were on her trail. Trooper did the patented all-four-feet-together jump, twisted in mid-air and fled in her wake — and Belle watched the whole thing from the peace and tranquility of the headboard bookshelf, while Steve woke up, and demanded, crankily, “NOW what?”

I explained, got up and limped down the hall, returned to the bed, and so to sleep.  Steve did not return to sleep, which is covered in the Spousal Equity Clause, Subsection 1C  (i.e. “The party which needs sleep most will get it least”), and rose some minutes later, attended by Belle.

In the meantime, Trooper has become convinced that the Bed is Haunted, and tiptoes into the bedroom, craning his neck to see if The Giant Scary Thing is visible from the floor.  I picked him up and put him on the bed, and he reprised the all-four-feet-together jump and ran down the hall to take shelter under the kitchen table, Neutral Territory for many generations of felines.

After coffee and breakfast, I did the business email thing, then updated the Do It Like A Delm gallery for this week, with two new photos, bringing us to eight entries from seven bold entrants.  We’re hoping to see even more before this week’s Challenge closes.

To view the photo gallery of aspiring delms, follow this link.

After business was taken care of, I spent much of the rest of the morning getting to know my new phone, and doing the laundry.  I have determined that MotoVoice can actually hear and mostly comprehend me — which may be a first for voice recognition systems. There are still a few glitches to be worked out.  For instance, I can tell MotoVoice to turn music ON, but I don’t seem to be able to tell it to turn music OFF, which sort of limits its usefulness for situations in which I’m piloting myself.  But, still, there may be a way.  I’ve also been testing the phone’s camera, which is awesome; and the screen’s resolution — ‘way sharp enough for my old eyes to read a book — and trying to get some idea of how long the battery will last really.  So far, looking like 30 hours of mixed heavy use, and standby.  Which I’m not going to argue with, at all.

Having now consumed the afternoon meal, with the phone in need of a recharge, the laundry almost done, and all the cats napping — I guess I’d better get to work.

Here’s a picture taken with the new phone:

Trooper in the Captain's Chair; Sprite flanking.

Oh, and a snippet, just for fun, from the Outtake File:

“Will I,” she asked, her voice sharper than she had intended, “ever be safe again?”

He inclined his head formally, as Jen Sar would do when an important point had been made.

“Scholar, I cannot say. However, it is an object with me, that those who are innocent of my errors will, one day, be safe again.”

Today’s blog post brought to you by Styx, “Mr. Roboto.”  Here’s your link.

Tuesday Morning News

1.  The Kickstarter Campaign for the  Alien Artifacts and Were- anthologies has been funded!  We’re now into the stretch goals, and there’s some really cool stuff on offer, including that raise I was telling y’all about a couple days ago — totally worth checking out.  Here’s your link.

2.  Today! is the release day of James A. Burton’s Dominions, sequel to 2012’s Powers. You may — and should! — download sample chapters here. After which, you will want to download the entire novel, which is only natural and good.

3.  We have our first international! entry! in the Do It Like A Delm Challenge.  Here’s your link to the entries received so far.  And!  It’s not too late to send in your own entry.

4.  Here, have a picture of Belle and Scrabble:

Belle and Scrabble check each other out
Belle and Scrabble check each other out

Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen

So!  The pictures are rolling in for the Do It Like A Delm Challenge.  You can see the first gold contestants at this link.

Wanna play?  Here’s the link to the rules.  Steve and I look forward to your entry — and remember!  Every week, one lucky entrant will win a coupon from Baen, for a free ebook of the winner’s choice.

* * *

For those who haven’t seen it, Judith Tarr did a guest post on Charlie Stross’ blog regarding the [insert tongue in cheek] lack of women writers in the genre of science fiction [remove tongue from cheek, save for later use].  Here’s the link.

Now, honestly, when I saw the topic, I thought something along the lines of Oh, please, there cannot be a single person connected to the internets who doesn’t now know that women write SF.  Why are we having this discussion, again?  But, you know what?  The commenters pretty much prove that this is a discussion we still need to have.  My favorite comments are the ones stating that the female experience, while interesting, really has nothing to do with them* (because they know no women?); and the ones that state categorically that any book with a woman’s name on the cover is, ipso facto, a feminist rant, and therefore of no interest to the reader.

So now my question is — How do you inhabit a universe wherein there are No Women Writing Science Fiction?  Do you never visit a bookstore?  Do you instruct your bookseller to put a monthly bundle of books together for you that only have masculine names on the cover — and no initials, either!  Sneaky things, initials; you never know who’s behind lurking behind initials.

I can’t even.

Mind you, this is not my fight — I’m invisible to the no-women side, and to the all-men-all-the-time side, because I have a male co-author (worse! I have a husband co-author, of many, many years standing.).  The worst hassle I’ve gotten was the guy who thought it was “nice” that my husband let me put my name on his books.  Steve’s worst, I think, was the guy who chastised him for not asserting his rights as The Man in the partnership and allowing his wife to drip Romance all over what ought to be SciFi books.

But, still, I wonder, how the hell you find, and continue to live in, this particular cocoon.  Women have been writing science fiction since before there was science fiction.  And it seems the more that proposition is put forward, the more — rather than the less — resistance it generates.

I used to be a fan of the internet; I used to think the internet would foster understanding between diverse peoples and viewpoints.

Yeah. . .too naive to live.

Today’s blog post comes to you from Woody Guthrie by way of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, “Pretty Boy Floyd.”  Here’s your link.


*Mind you, I read SF books from the male viewpoint for years, and years, and years, and years.  I credit this circumstance with teaching me how to write believable alien characters.  So, yanno, it can be a good thing to read about an experience that’s different from your own.

Words could never explain, I just wish it would rain

So, let’s see. . .

It’s hot, for Maine values of hot, and it’s gonna get hotter.  Next week, in fact, is looking to be a scorcher from edge to edge.  Well. . .it is August.

Let’s see, today started with the arrival in the mail of the eroyalty checks.  Steve and I will therefore be having a week at the ocean, for a much-needed ohmighodwillthisyearjustSTOPalready break.  We have Planned this excursion so that we will have two viewings of fireworks over the sea.  Clever, no?

Today also encompassed Cleaning, which meant a strategic deployment of the Cat Eating Machine, which did not find favor with the Feline Contingent, as Per Usual, though they seem to have forgiven me, now.  I suspect it may be too hot for even a cat to hold a grudge.

I’m taking a blog-writing break from cleaning off my desk, which has become cluttered with notes that had been sitting on the kitchen table, Awaiting Attention.  Sigh.  We really need a House Desk.  And a House Secretary, why not, while we’re at it.

In other news, the Alien Artifacts and Were anthology Kickstarter campaign has passed the $9,000 mark, which means that!  Two new anchor authors have been added: C.S. Friedman, and David Farland/Dave Wolverton.

Though the goal of this campaign is $10,000; I would just like to point out a stretch goal to those who may be on the fence.  If funding reaches $15,000?  All the authors in both anthologies will receive a penny a word raise!  Lest you scoff at the power of a mere penny — for a 5,000 word story, that’s an extra $50, which is more than enough to buy a lobster dinner where I live.

Here’s the link to the Alien Artifacts/Were Kickstarter.

Also!  Monday, August 17 — that’s the day after tomorrow! — we will begin receiving and posting your photographs in the Do It Like a Delm challenge.  Rules and general information may be found at this link.

Today’s blog title brought to you by The Temptations, “I Wish It Would Rain.”

And — there are three cats in my office.  Photographic proof:

Clockwise: Sprite, Trooper, Belle
Clockwise: Sprite, Trooper, Belle

Liaden Universe® Challenge!

Now that there’s new Liaden Universe® gear, not to mention two! new! books! out loose in the world causing who knows what havoc and consternation, Steve and I said, What the heck; let’s have a contest.

We are therefore announcing the DO IT LIKE A DELM contest. Here’s what you have to do to play:

Take a picture (a selfie, or ask a friend to help you out) of yourself, wearing your cool! new! Liaden gear, in. . .a bookstore. . .at WorldCon. . .in a hang-glider. . .at the top of Mount Washington. . .swimming with dolphins. . .at a family picnic — you see where we’re going with this, right? Right.

What’s that you say? You don’t have any cool! new! Liaden gear?

We got you covered.

You may also play by taking a picture of you and one of the two! new! books just out from Baen — those being Dragon in Exile, and Liaden Universe® Constellation, Volume 3 — in exciting situations similar but certainly not limited to those listed above.


If you are one of the few and the proud who still own your original green-and-gold Plan B tshirt, or the second-run navy-and-white I Dare tshirt — take a picture of yourself wearing this historic gear, and you will have a Bonus Point added to your entry.


Yes, entry!

You didn’t think we just wanted you to take photos to post to your Facebook Wall, did you?

Heck no! After you take that picture, we want you to send it to us! We’ll post it on korval.com, and every Sunday,  starting August 23, we will choose a winner from all entries.

Cool, huh?

OK, here’s the rules in 1-2-3 format.

1. Take a picture of yourself in your new or historic Liaden gear doing something interesting. ALTERNATIVELY, take a picture of yourself with one of the two new Liaden books doing something really interesting — but not dangerous! No, really. This isn’t worth getting killed.

2. Send that picture to liadenuniverse@gmail.com, be sure to include an email address that you check regularly with your entry.

3. Multiple entries are allowed, but! No more than one picture per day may be submitted.

4. All submissions may be posted to a gallery on korval.com

5. On Sunday we will choose a winner, and the winning picture will be posted on korval.com in Isolated Glory.

6. In addition to Glory, the winner will receive a coupon for one free Baen ebook of their choice.

7. Contest starts Monday August 17 at 1:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, and ends at noon EDT on Saturday, October 3, 2015.  Pictures received before Monday August 17 will not be admitted to the contest.  The last winner will be posted on korval.com on Sunday, October 4.

Want to play, but don’t have a shirt? Order one here: Offworld Designs

Want to play, but don’t have a book? Look to the Uncle. Uncle Hugo, that is.

To get y’all in the mood, here are a couple of sample shots:

Steve, doin' it like a delm
Steve, doin’ it like a delm.  A delm slightly in his cups, perhaps, but a delm, nonetheless.
Sharon doing it like a delm.
Sharon doin’ it like a delm.  Those kids just can’t keep outta trouble on the streets, can they?