And so it goes…

It’s been a while since we last talked, and rightly may you ask “What on earth has the woman been doing?”

Well, I’ll tell you.

I finished with the Trader’s Leap copy edits, and returned them to M’sieur the Editor, who has passed them on to the typesetter.  Which, yes, means that there is possibly an eArc in your Nearish Future.

The serialization of The Wrong Lance has finished.  It will remain on Splinter Universe and Patreon through September 11 — coincidentally, my birthday.  On September 12 all chapters and authors notes will be removed and compiled into a chapbook, Splinter Universe Presents:  The Wrong Lance, for those folks who have requested a souvenir.  Here’s the cover art:

We expect to release this concurrently with the mass market edition of Accepting the Lance, on October 22.

Oh, what else?  Ah!  I moderated a panel at reCONvene on August 15, marking my first time as a moderator and a panelist at a virtual convention.  I had fun!  My panelists — Steven Barnes, Jenn Brissett, Br Guy Consolmagno, and Adrian Tchaikovsky — were brilliant and I’d do it again in a heartbeat, which!

Happens to be a good thing, because Steve and I will be participating in AlbaCon in the Afternoon on Sunday, August 30 — which is coming right up!  Other attendees are the writing team of Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald.  Steve and I will be reading — a bit from Trader’s Leap and another bit from a recent chapbook to be named later.  More information will be forthcoming as we have it.

Other than those two events, we’re staying pretty quiet, and healing from the Compleat Disruption of Everything which has been the last 19 months of our lives.  We’ve been reading a lot, as you can see from the lists I’ve been posting; taking advantage of the local Farm Pick Up for fresh fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses, taking long country rides and visiting some of the little parks with which Maine is liberally sprinkled.  We depend on InstaCart for our grocery shopping, and I’m kind of pleased at the fall-off in necessary doctor visits.

On that front, I have do still have one more medical appointment — this Wednesday — before taking up the new aromatase inhibitor (the first having, um, invoked Unwanted Side Effects), and Seeing What Happens.  In the meanwhile, I have two pounds more to lose to hit the first 10 pounds my oncologist wants me to lose.  This is a two-part process:  first hit and maintain at 178 pounds, then move on to maintaining 170.

Yes, I have changed my diet, and it wasn’t really a hardship, since the “plant based” diet isn’t so very much different from what we’d been doing, anyway.  Basically, it’s less bacon, more fish, and lots more veggies, but — I like veggies.

I’m also slowly getting back to something resembling exercise, though — I never thought I’d say this — I miss the gym.  There you have it, though, I do miss the gym — almost as much as I miss going to the ocean.

Fans of the cats will wish to know that Belle has been feeling a little poorly.  The cause appears to be her calcium levels, and she is now on a weekly, very low dose of Fosamax, of all things.  She’ll have another blood draw in three to four weeks to see if this therapy is succeeding.

. . .I think that catches us up.  I will try to do better about updates, now that life has settled somewhat, if not exactly returned to normal.  Mostly, we’ll be writing, reading and cat herding here in Central Maine — which, come to think of it, is our normal.

Here’s a picture of Steve and me at Swan Lake State Park, in Swanville Maine.

The long view on Saturday Cove

So, yesterday. . .

Yesterday was Saturday.  In addition, it was sunny, and warm, and, yeah, a little  breezy, but with a welcome lack of winter tooth.  A pre-spring breeze, in fact.

Friday morning, I had gone out into the world — aka to two places which were not hospitals (the pharmacy and the post office, and yes, I was wearing a mask) — and had noticed that Skylark the Subaru was just a tad reluctant to start.  I mentioned this to Steve, who mentioned that Saturday was looking good for us to Do Our Duty by our Vehicle, and take it out for a battery-reviving ride.

Which is what we did.  We picked a target — Lincolnville Beach in Ducktrap (or, if you prefer, Lincolnville) — and a route — over Pleasant View Ridge in China, which afforded a tremendous view of Mount Washington, as well as Sugarloaf, and — it was just the White Mountains and the Appalachians, as far as the eye could see.

Anyhow, we were motoring along quite contentedly, enjoying ourselves and the sun, and remarking on how many branches the winter had shaken out of the trees, and everything was going well, until. . .

We made a Fatal Error.

We stopped for gas.

For those non-drivers among us — when you stop for gas, you turn the car off.

In an Ideal Universe, once you’ve finished filling the tank, you get back in the car, turn the key, the motor turns over, and Bob’s your uncle.

In a less-than-Ideal-Universe, which is where we all seem to be stuck, the car — doesn’t start.

So, there we were, at the Irving gas station on Route 3, right next to Lori’s Diner, blocking access to a gas delivery point, dead, so to speak, in the water.

We called Triple A which this time did not fail us, and very soon we had Sparky himself from Sparky’s Garage, who gave us a boost with a — wait for it — handheld battery about the size of an ipad, and three times as thick.

On the road again, we resumed our drive, arriving at Lincolnville Beach to find that the Entire Population of Central Maine had thought to themselves, “Yanno?  nobody will be at Ducktrap.”  We passed on by, waving at the ocean, and headed up-coast, diverting into Northport, which — no, I can’t describe Northport.  I love the place, but I have peculiar tastes in villages.  Say, that Northport is built vertically above the sea; all roads, save the ridge road to which we scrupulously adhered, go either up, briefly, to the top of the hill, or down, eventually, to the sea.

The ridge road allows many good view of the sea, close in and distant, and so we drove, looking out, across to Searsport, and down to where the odd little boathouses are tucked into crinkles of land right at the edge of the water, and down to more public places, Saturday Cove, and the center harbor.

Coming out of Northport, we continued up to Belfast, did a circuit of the crowded public pier, and so to home, stopping to sit in line at Burger King, to gather fish sandwiches to take home.

So, that was fun, and I’m glad we got out for a drive.  Less fun, I’m going to have get a new battery in the car — and soon.  I want the car to start, and no back-chat, when I get out of Ray Gun Therapy.  That means — new battery before Wednesday, which is complicated by the fact that the weatherbeans are calling for 3-5 inches of snow between 8pm this evening, and midnight, Monday.

Oh, April, you really are the cruelest month.

And she is moving very slowly, rising up above the earth

So, here we are in 2020.  I’ve been warned not to date checks with just /20, because some Bad People could just add, oh “19” to that and steal my check.  I’m sure that’s good advice, but, really I hardly write checks anymore, and when I do, I always date them fully, to wit:  “January 4, 2020,” because old habits die hard, if they die at all.

In related news, many-to-all (depending on your news source) of the credit unions in Maine are off-line as the result of mysterious “connectivity problem.”  This is not as much fun as it may at first seem.

We here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory are clinging to our last few precious Not-Sundays.  There’s writing to do and writing being done, as well as chores, of a sort, but it’s all being done in a soft bubble, almost a “deadline free zone,” which we all know there’s no such thing, but — it’s been pleasant to pretend for a week or two.

Deadlines and doctors appointments return Monday morning, quite early, so we’ll be getting back into the Daily Push realsoonnow.

My first-in task today is to clean the so-called Boy’s Bathroom, and to steam clean the kitchen floor.  After that, there’s the final sweep at the WIP.  After much banging my head against various metaphorical, logical, and fictional walls, I have figured out how to straighten the last kink in the last scene.  Go me.  The entire corrected manuscript ought, I think, be on its way to Madame by the end of the week, and then?  I won’t have anything to do.  [Cue laugh track]

Looking ahead, Steve and I will be attending Boskone in mid-February, and!  We will be Guests of Honor at NarniaCon, aka the Coat Check Con.  NarniaCon hosts a scavenger hunt within Boskone entire; this year’s hunt will be based on the game of Clue.

. . .and that’s where we stand at the moment, still inside the bubble, with the cats napping inside, and the sky grey with snow clouds, outside.

Today’s blog title brought to you by one of my hometown bands, Talking Heads:  And She Was.

In which the Blue Scooter Arrives…Eventually

The Blue Scooter is in-house. Well. Garage.

Funny story about the scooter: It was supposed to have arrived between 3:45 and 7:45, only it didn’t. I was still waiting at 8:10, when a note popped into my mailbox from the Scooter Vendor, telling me that my package had been delivered to the garage at — wait for it — 4:45.

Given I was supposed to sign for the Scooter, this information surprised, but — UPS must’ve told the vendor, right? when the delivery was made? So, I scrambled outside to discover that!

There was no 34-poundish box in the garage.

The Other Side neighbor was walking down her drive, and it has occasionally happened that past deliveries for us have arrived on her kitchen steps, so I went across the lawn to talk to her, and — long story short — no scooter.

I then logged into MY UPS, which gives you the news straight from the TRUCK. And the TRUCK said — still out for delivery.

Oh. Great.

We waited some more and at 8:34, the TRUCK said — your package is in the garage.

Mind you, I have not signed for this thing, but — yes, the package was in the garage. Steve and I looked at each other, shrugged, and sealed up the garage for the night.

I mean – honestly!

We figure what happened was that, when the driver realized he was going to miss the delivery window UPS had guaranteed the vendor, he triggered the “delivery” button for the vendor. The vendor then sent me a message, stoopid vendor. If they had minded their own business, I wouldn’t have gotten all excited or had a chance to have a nice chat with the neighbor I see least.

Once the actual delivery was made, the Truck gave me the Factual Truth.

Anyhow. All’s well that ends well.

Or something like that.

Today, we have Assembled the Blue Scooter. Steve suggests it could reasonably be named Schrödinger, which is true. It could also easily bear Heisenberg. I will consider.

In the meantime, it’s bread-baking day, and also writing and all like that, so I’d better get going.

And, before I do get going: A shout-out to all the people who pitched in and got those quotes transcribed! You guys are AWESOME!

Ocean and Ice

So!  Steve and I took a vacation.

I place all blame for this on the Cirque du Soleil, which, back in the waning winter, sent me notice that Crystal would be at the Cross Insurance Arena in our very own Portland, Maine, in August.  I, of course, immediately told asked Steve we were going if he and I could make a date for the show, and he agreed.

There remained the small difficulty of Portland being between 90 and 120 minutes from the New Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, and we kicked around the notion of taking a hotel room in Portland, which was not an. . .unattractive notion, Portland having more restaurants per square foot than any other city I’ve been in, plus, yanno, shopping.

However, it also, slowly, became obvious to us that Old Orchard Beach — which has the Atlantic Ocean, classic rock, an amusement park, ice cream, silly beach shops, the Atlantic Ocean — is only a fifteen minute drive from the Cross Arena in Portland, and so we cannily took a room at OOB, not for one night, but for four.

We drove down Tuesday for an afternoon check-in at a sorta newish place for us — The Waves (“sorta newish” because The Waves is the big sister property to the Sea View, where, back when my first Carousel* book released, I had rented a room block for the release party, so we knew management, but not the property).  Our room was second floor, ocean-side.  It was, in fact, 55 paces to the beach (according to Steve, who Measures Things). The porch overlooked everything — dunes, sea roses, surf, the Thursday night fireworks display.  I spent hours on the porch, breathing sea air, reading, playing with binoculars — just, yanno, doing nothing.  So very fine not to have to do anything.  For a few days, anyway.  By the time we were getting packed up, I was getting a little antsy with the whole “rest” thing.

I took my laptop, because — writer.  But I did not open my laptop.  I did not Facebook.  I did not Twitter.  I did not email.  I took no pictures.  I took no prisoners.  I think I told one guy, in response to a direct question, what it was I did for a living.  It was glorious.  I did, as above, sit on the porch and read; take naps; walk up and down the town and the beach; visited Googin Rock; ate every meal for four days out; also ‘way too much ice cream; played arcade games; talked to Steve about things that were not business or writing (well, OK, we did start to plot a short story, and — full disclosure — I started to play around with the idea for a new Carousel story, if I should manage to get time to write a new Carousel story).

Life at the ocean over our four-day stay was interesting.  We had a number of thunderstorms, including one that produced a horizontal rainbow about a foot off of the surface of the waves, which was really interesting.  Friday night’s storm caught us in the amusement park.  We retreated to the arcade before the heavy lightning and thunder hit, and had just taken up a position beside a row of games when — FLASH! BOOM! — and all the lights in the arcade went out.

There was time for a group intake of breath, and for one child to say, on a rising note “Mah-OHM?” — before the lights came back on and the young lady playing the Terminator machine across from us cussed because she’d lost her best score.

The park was closed for a little while until it was clear that the storm had moved on.  We walked among the rides, saying hello and good-bye, and retired to our room and the so-very-excellent porch.

Yesterday, we regretfully packed out, and drove home the long way, through Oxford, Paris, Milford, Mexico. . .stopping on the way through Waterville to pick up Chinese for lunch at home with the cats.

The cats, for those who are curious about how our cats “punish” us for abandoning them — the cats were all four waiting for us in the hall at the top of the stairs to the basement.  Trooper was a little forward of the ladies, and he greeted me first, to be sure I was who I said I was.  Then Belle stepped forward, then Scrabble, then Sprite.

The formalities attended to, they proceeded to beg for Chinese.

After lunch, we unpacked in a leisurely manner, and met for a glass of wine and to read out loud, in the living room, in the early evening.

We’re working our way through the Cat Who/Qwilleran cozies, the book we’re reading now is The Cat Who Went Into the Closet.

I sat down in my corner of the couch, and put the leg-rest out (the right and left seats of the couch recline).  We each had a glass of red wine to hand.  Belle came to sit on my lap; Sprite jumped up onto the Mencken table, where I had carelessly left the Scrabble set (in the box).

Everybody settled, Steve began to read.

Belle fell into a doze on my lap.  Steve leaned forward to pick up his wine, settled back, rustled the pages of the book, Sprite startled, kicked, knocked the Scrabble box off of the table to a crash landing on the floor, Sprite fled, Belle rocketed out of my lap, through Steve, knocking his arm up, so that he was showered in red wine.

There was a twenty-minute recess while clean-up happened, and Steve changed his clothes.

The book — a book club edition, with those thin, gritty pages, dried quickly enough for us to continue reading, Steve’s wine glass refilled.

We were lucky in the arc of wine:  Most of it went on Steve (granted, he doesn’t particularly think this was lucky); some landed on the stain-proofed, dark-brown-tweed sofa; a fair amount splashed one of the pillows, which I count a win, because I never liked those pillows and now I have an excuse to replace them.  A small amount of wine hit the floor, and was handily mopped up.  None touched what I like to call my Good Wool Rug.  The Scrabble set was in the box, the box was sealed with ribbon, thus no escaping tiles.

So, as catsasters go, it could have been much worse.  I have a bruise on my thigh where Belle took off, and Steve’s clothes may not be completely recoverable.  On the other hand, they were beach clothes, so a minor loss at worst.

Today, I’m clearly on the computer.  I’ve already ordered Earth Logic, Water Logic, and Air Logic (the follows to Fire Logic, which I finished reading at the ocean), and I’m shopping on Redbubble for some laptop stickers.  I also need to pull out information about a minor character appearing in . . .Lance, who will be the star of the story we need to write for, and frowning at the notes I left for myself in re the WIP

Yes, and I’ve also opened my email; if I owe you an email — waiting is.

Lunch, I believe, will be leftover Chinese, and that will be the official end of the vacation.  It was terrific, and I’d do it again tomorrow, but — deadline.

And so it goes.

Speaking of deadlines, we still do have book deadlines in our future.  This is what our professional life looks like, as of right now:

Accepting the Lance finishes the contract we called here in-house The Five Book Dash.  It will be published in December.  Believe it or not, that’s Realsoonnow.

While we were working on The Five Book Dash, Baen offered us a contract for two additional Liaden books, the so-called Mask Books (because we had not made proposals, and knew nothing, other than we could write two more Liaden books, and thus Baen would be purchasing a couple of pigs in the poke, or — more elegantly — Liadens in masks.)

A little while after that, Baen offered another contract, for three Liaden books, the so-called Triple Threat.

We are, therefore, still under contract for five Liaden books.

The novel I am working on right now will fulfill the first half of the Mask contract.

Steve is working on a Jethri novel, which will fulfill the second half of the Mask contract.

That will leave the entire Triple Threat to be written.

So — yes there are Liaden books in your future.

No, there are no Carousel/Archers Beach books in your immediate future.

There are no Gem ser’Edreth books in your future.

There are no Jen Pierce mysteries in your future.

Everybody confused now?


Imma answering my email now.

*Carousel novels by Sharon Lee:  Carousel Tides, Carousel Sun, Carousel Seas
Carousel short stories by Sharon Lee:  Surfside, The Gift of Magic, Spell Bound

Just wanna bang on the drum all day

So, mostly, Steve and I have been working, which is, as we all agree, boring to tell, no matter how exciting to do.

Since you and I spoke last, we proofread the galleys for Accepting the Lance, which actually was more exciting than it strictly needed to be, and have been working, variously, on a short story, and the (yes, still title-less) novel.

Last Wednesday, we took a day off to celebrate Steve’s birthday.  We had breakfast in town at Selah Tea, then to Lake Wesserunsett to view the water lilies, dragonflies, and of course the lake.  After that, we took a ride out toward Bangor, paused at Searsport, and so to home, with a fresh-made pizza from Rita’s.  A low-key celebration, but a pleasant change from the same-old, same-old.

The cats have been taking all this sitting-in-one-place and staring at pages/screens in stride.  They of course have a tremendous work ethic; they can watch us at it all day.

For those who have been out of the loop, we here at the Confusion Factory have a tightly-scheduled few months coming up.  This is what it looks like from here:

We will be taking a couple of days OFF for some too-long-deferred downtime.

The yet-titleless novel will be turned in before October 18. This is a firm date because!

On October 18, I will be having an operation on my foot, which will require me, in addition, to stay off of both! feet — for at least eight weeks.  In celebration of this event, I have purchased an actual laptop, to replace the Chromebook (geek note:  laptop is a System76 DarterPro, call-name Fezzik), and also a command chair, which really is a very nice chair, except we’ll need to rearrange the entire living room to accommodate it, and I didn’t want the house to be full of furniture, and fill in your favorite grumpy comment here.  I expect there will also be a knee-scooter in my life, since crutches and cats and unsteady user seem like a recipe for disaster.

Conflict of Honors (sorry, no link; I cannot find the 2019 edition on Amazon) thirtieth anniversary edition will be published by Baen in November; Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers will be published in November, including brand-new Liaden story “Dark Secrets,” and stories by CJ Cherryh, Tanya Huff, Jack Campbell — and more!  Also in November, a new Liaden story for in support of!

Accepting the Lance, the twenty-second Liaden Universe® novel, which will be published in December.

Uncle Hugo’s will be accepting pre-orders for signed copies of …Lance, beginning in September.  So, watch the skies.

. . .and that, I think, is all the news that’s fit — or unfit.

Here’s a picture of Steve at Searsport town pier on his birthday.

Today’s blog post brought to you by Todd Rundgren, “Bang the Drum All Day.”  Here’s your link.

Went to a garden party

So, the Authors have been extroverting.  We bought Full Festival Passes for the Twenty-Second Maine International Film Festival, which included a t-shirt, naturally, the sponsorship of one movie, and access to all the rest of the films (10 days! 100 films! eek!), as well as a slew of special events, receptions, and parties.

The film we chose to sponsor is The Fate of Lee Khan, one of the five opening night films.  I do not repent our choice.  We had a great time with this film, picking out similarities to Star Wars, tracing the lines to Crouching Tiger…, and trying to keep track of the double-crosses.  I think we ended up with a quadruple-cross, but somebody might want to view the film and check me on that.

Here’s a link to the trailer.

We also attended a couple of the special events, including a Garden Party, with Brief Remarks, and are planning on attending the reception, concert, and World Movie Premier of The Gathering celebrating the work of Horace Tapscott.

In between all this, Life, and writing, has been going on.  The Nameless WIP  stands at about 81,000 words.  If I get a Turn of Speed, I should be out of this scene today, in draft.  Which will leave The Thrilling Conclusion to be written, and the subplots to be filled in.

Easy-peasy, amirite?

Yeah, right.

Here have a couple of pictures of us at the Garden Party.






Today’s blog post title is brought to you by Ricky Nelson, “Garden Party.”  Here’s your link.

Yet Another Writers’ Day Off

So!  Yesterday, Steve and I took off in the rain to see the Very First Waterville Showing of Aladdin.  I had such a good time.  Yes, I know there’s Controversy.  Yes, I’m aware that Will Smith is not Robin Williams*.  I still had a great time; I have no fault to find and, yeah, Imma order the DVD.  Also, Rajah the Tiger was terrific.

After the movie, we went into Waterville proper and had our first meal at the new Greek restaurant, Opa.  Steve had the crabcakes, which he pronounced very good; I had the lamb kokkinsto (pulled lamb in a red sauce seasoned with garlic and cinnamon on a bed of orzo), which was excellent.

Replete, we wandered down Main Street, stopping to talk with our friend Ellen at Children’s Book Cellar and review the plans for the Drag Queen Story Hour next Saturday, and sought her advice regarding the upcoming International Film Festival (held in Waterville annually).

Then, we wandered back up the street, got the car, hit the grocery story for weekend supplies and came home, where we hung pictures in the dining room.  Yes, yes; it’s taking us awhile to hang the pictures, but we’re getting there.

Today is gloriously sunny, and the weatherbeans are calling for a high of 74F/23C.  I have all the windows open in my office.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love my office?

Lest you think that the only thing we’re doing around here is taking day’s off, I report today’s to-do list, which includes!

  1.  One hour proofing Conflict of  Honors mass market anniversary edition.  Which is not as easy as you might think.  Our experience proofing Agent of Change for it’s anniversary edition revealed, um, Some Number of Errors which had come through from the time, long ago, when We gave the electronic files from Embiid to Arnold of Fond Memory, who then stripped out the existing coding, and recoded, automagically.  So!  We’re proofing Conflict against the Meisha Merlin and the Del Rey editions.  Which means I (1) read the chapter in the MM edition; (2) go through that chapter in the pages provided by Baen, correcting any errors, and (3) if there’s a conflict, the Del Rey edition is the tie-breaker.  Yeah, it’s taking some time.  But the corrections aren’t due until July, so we have time.
  2. Figure out where the pieces Steve has given me back actually go in the current novel WIP, and putting them there.
  3. Writing the next scene in said novel WIP.
  4. Deadhead the geranium.
  5. Try on corset to test The Look for next week’s story hour.

Also!  For those who missed the news, you may now purchase Fortune’s Favors:  Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 28 AND Shout of Honor: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 29 in ebook format from your favorite online vendors including Baen, Kobo, BN, Amazon; and in paper format from Amazon only.

. . . and I think that gets us all caught up again.

Everybody have a good weekend!

*I was 40 when the animated Disney Aladdin came out, so I did not fixate on Robin Williams as the One True Genie before whom all others must be inadequate.  Truth told, he was a little too too for me, but that was often my experience of Robin Williams.

Writers’ Day Off Thursday Edition

So, yesterday, the sun was out, and was predicted to stay out all day.

We therefore packed up some drinks, threw ice and yeti freeze-blocks into the big ice chest, made sure we had our cameras in our bags, and escaped into the day.

We stopped for breakfast at IHOP in Augusta, then headed south.  We hit Old Orchard Beach at the peak of high tide; walked the beach, took some pictures, and were very comfortable in our winter jackets and woolly hats.

Though the Original Plan had not been to spend the whole day away, that pretty much went out the window before we’d even finished breakfast.  A whole day of sunshine ahead of us, with no emails to answer, or work to do?  Far too alluring to put aside.

We therefore drove souther, to York Beach, where we stopped short of Long Sands Beach to take pictures of the two lighthouses we could see in the distance, and a pod of ducks playing in the breakers.

The ducks were hard to get a good picture of (yeah, no kidding), but they were hysterical to watch.  The whole pod of them would be bobbing along, and then one would look over its head, discover a breaker, and apparently yell, in Duck, “Oh, no!  We’re gonna get wet!” whereupon the entire pod would dive beneath the wave and resurface — one, two-three, four, five….six-seven-eight — and bob along happily until the next breaker started to foam, and they’d do their thing again.

So, ducks are hard — everybody knows that.  What was surprising is that the lighthouses were hard to photograph.  While the sun was busily beating down on us on the sidewalk by Route 1, out there in the ocean, it was seriously misty.

Eventually, after having a nice chat about the glorious day with a couple who were walking their dogs — and making friends with said dogs — we got back in the car, headed for Long Sands Beach (this being, as I’ve always thought, having been early spoilt by the beaches of Maryland and New Jersey, an Exercise in Irony), but!  I saw a sign by the side of the road, and the sign said:


“Quick!” I said to Steve, “turn right!”

Turn right he did and we followed a road lined on both sides by, ahem, Seaside Cottages, until the road ran out at Sohier Park, and there, in all its beautiousness, was Cape Neddick Lighthouse, which everyone calls The Nubble, to the point that people have forgotten its proper name entirely.

Here, have a picture of The Nubble.

We spent a loooong time at Sohier Park, taking pictures, sitting on the benches and soaking up the rays (warm and sunny in the park; no need for winter coats, at all).

After awhile, I said to Steve that I was going to walk to the other side of the park to see if the gift shop had lighthouse stamps.  I happened to have my Lighthouse Passport with me (don’t leave home without it!), and, after a moment’s rummaging about, Steve found his in his camera bag.

So, we both got our passports stamped for The Nubble and! for Boon Island Light, which you can sorta see from York Beach.  Sorta.  That’s pretty good, given the Season hasn’t opened yet.

We bought souvenirs (a Nubble Light lapel pin to join my collection of lapel pins; Steve got a Nubble Light ball cap), and eventually went out again into the day, to mooch around the park a little more, and finally drive back down into town.

From York, we went to Ogunquit, and stopped at the Maine Diner in Wells for supper.  Steve had the not-Maryland-style-crabcake; I had the chicken pot pie.  It was all good, though I found myself kind faunching after the lunch being consumed at the table next to us, which consisted of: a rootbeer float, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, and a slice of apple pie with ice cream.  I *really* want a rootbeer float now, but all we have in-house is “hard” rootbeer, which, yanno?  It could work.

Anyhow, we eventually wound up at Trader Joe’s (yes, again); took on supplies, including some frozen things (see ice chest and yeti cooler-blocks, above), and came home the fast way, insofar as there is a fast way, there to unpack, and view our photos on the day, then to the evening meal, a glass of wine and bed.

Today, it is raining.  I’m doing the laundry, after this blog post is finished, I’ll be opening up the WIP.  We also have in house the galleys for the new mass market edition of Conflict of Honors, to be published by Baen in October and!  the list of people who pre-ordered a signed copy of Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume Four from Uncle Hugo’s SF Bookstore.  We don’t have the books yet, but as soon as they get here, we will leap — yes, leap! — into action!

For our next Writers’ Day Off, I’m thinking of viewing Aladdin next Friday at the local theater.  That might be pleasant.

In the meantime, as above, it’s back to work.

Here, have another picture of The Nubble to warm you up.

Writers’ Day Off Weekend Edition

So!  We started our writers’ day off this week — well.  Last week. — by going into town to attend a multi-artist reception at the Framemakers in downtown Waterville.  The party was in full swing when we got there, including live music.  We caught up with a couple folks we’d known from my newspaper days, and got to know some new folks, and a good time was had by all.

Saturday, we got up at what passes for early, and motored on down to Standish, where we had breakfast at Percy’s Table — Steve had pancake, egg, and bacon, while I went with sweet potato hash (sweet potato, red potato, carrot, spinach, onion, sweet peppers), which was excellent (the decaf was good, too) — and one of the waitstaff geeked out entirely over my hair and jacket:  “You are so pretty!  You bring springtime inside to us!”

After breakfast, we wandered over to St. Joseph’s College, on the other side of Standish, and got lost for a couple hours among the rocks and minerals.  If you ever have the chance to go the Maine Mineralogical & Geological Society’s annual gem show, do that.  It’s a huge show; vendors from all over; informative and beautiful.  Steve and I both noticed that there seems to have been a breakthrough in geodes — there were enormous split and polished specimens on sale — one was as tall as my waist, which is fairly far from the ground.  Also, when I think of a geode, I think of a hollow rock filled with crystal.  Many of those on offer were filled with minerals that were not necessary crystal.  Interesting and tempting, though I note that neither one of us brought home a geode.

There was an. . .unsettling incident.  I had gone upstairs, to visit with the vendors who had been left in the upper darkness.  I was waiting to be admitted by the door dragon, and a tall guy (taller than I am — unusual in Maine, even now), fashionably shaved head, diamond stud in one ear, dark clothes — kind of came in beside me — and he stuck beside me, in my erratic drift from this table, to that table, back to that other table, until I made a willful effort to ditch him.

Later, Steve and I were in the lunch room, sitting together on the couch and having  a restorative Pepsi when there was a boom!, which was this guy being thrown against the window by a security guard.  Apparently, there were, um, items in the guy’s pockets, some of which had broken free when he pulled out his cellphone.  Followed an altercation, including the guy breaking away and making a run for it, getting tackled by the security guys, and what might have been Law Enforcement called in.  Exciting couple of minutes there.

Anyway, we finally hit overload and quit the gem show, heading for Old Orchard Beach, where we negotiated a short reservation for mid-August, and stopped for lunch at the Clambake.  Thence to Trader Joe’s since we were passing by, to take on wine, and some more sprouted tri-color rice, and cheese, and black-and-white cookies — and so to home.

We finished the day off with a couple glasses of a nice Malbec, and grilled cheese sandwiches made with cheese bread.  Yum.

So, there we are — Writers’ Day Off.  Today, is Writers Get To Work, and now that our business here is concluded, that’s what I’m going to do.

Here, have a picture of Steve and me, at breakfast.