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.

Low rider is the one to meet, yeah

Steve made us power pancakes for breakfast, with strawberries, mmm, and I’m allowing myself a second cup of coffee while I balance the checkbook.
 
In respect of the called-for 92F/33C temperatures on the day, I have preemptively closed the curtains, to the dismay of the resident felines. Well, except for Scrabble. Scrabble knows how to get inside the curtains and sit on the sill. The Silly Fluffs also know how to do this, and if their gruntle grows sufficiently, they will use this knowledge. For the moment, however, I am being Tasked with the complaint that the Comfy Sun Places. . .have no sun.
 
The heat pumps do a really good job of keeping the house cool, and I am increasingly glad that we decided to damn the torpedoes last year and get them installed, rather than waiting until this year, when we could have theoretically “afforded” them.
 
Our bow to the holiday is to have the Food of Our People for lunch — hot dogs and various salads — but mostly this is a working day, there being work to be done.
 
Everybody have a good Thursday, and we’ll see you on the flip-side.
Today’s blog post title brought to you by War, “Low Rider.”  Here’s your link.

Book Day and Other Stories

Y’all know what today is, right?

Right!

Today is the Official Book Day for Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume Four, published by Baen Books.  For those who are new in the neighborhood, this is be the fourth volume of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s collected Liaden Universe® short works.  All stories in this volume has been previously published. The stories included are: Street Cred, Due Diligence, Friend of a Friend, Cutting Corners, Block Party, Degrees of Separation, Excerpts from Two Lives, Revolutionists.  The book also includes an Authors’ Foreward.

You may purchase Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume Four from your favorite bookseller.  It is available in trade paper and as an ebook.  There is no audiobook edition.

For those who are familiar with the game, and who may be waiting for news of the books you preordered for signature — I have news.

The news is:  Four (out of a possible five) cases of Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume Four are on a UPS truck and out for delivery.  They should arrive here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory today.  The fifth case has been detained in Chelmsford, Mass., for an address check.  The Theory is that it, too, will be delivered today, but I. . .am not sanguine.

In any case, as soon as we have books in-house, Steve and I will grab our signing pens and get busy.  Hopefully, we can have the majority of the books back on the road to Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis no later than Friday morning.

So, that.

I have been somewhat remiss in updating this blog.  To catch us up, quickly, we have been working — still with the proofing of Conflict of Honors — a little better than half-way done, now — words are being written on the still-titleless Next Novel, some of which are replacing words that had already been there, so the whole thing right now feels very much like I’m running the Red Queen’s Race (I say “I” because I am lead on this book).  In addition to Standing By on the current WIP, Steve is writing a short story, and also the third Jethri Gobelyn book (no title there, yet, either).

We’ve also been coping with Real Life, as everyone must — health stuff, family stuff, political stuff — y’all know what I’m talking about.

Steve and I did take part in a little hometown activism last weekend, which was Pride Weekend in our town.  Part of the festivities included a Drag Queen Story Hour hosted by local bookstore.  Some folks became offended by this, and organized a protest — which was fine* — and some other folks organized a counter-protest — a demonstration of love for our local bookstore, support of the story hour and for Pride Weekend.  Steve and I were there in support of the bookstore, and mostly, it was good.  Tiring, but good.  For those interested, here’s a link to the local newspaper’s coverage of the event.

And here’s a picture me getting ready to demonstrate.

. . .and I think that catches us up.

Everybody play nice.

________________________
*Forgot my footnote, to wit! WHAT WAS NOT FINE was that some of the outraged citizens took it upon themselves, pre-event, to harass and threaten the Drag Queen who was scheduled to do the reading to the point where she feared for her safety, and withdrew from the event.  Happily, Miss Ophelia was pleased to step in and read to a room that was shoulder-to-shoulder, and that’s with some of the smaller folk sitting on shoulders.

Your mama don’t dance and your daddy don’t rock ‘n roll

This morning!  I get to hang around in my bathrobe for a bit, as a reward for having (finally, finally) finished the first draft of the untitled story, henceforth to be known to the world as “Fortune’s Favors.”  The story introduces some new characters, and looks in on some folks we’ve seen before.  I think you’ll like it.

This brand-new story, with an outtake from Neogenesis and …Lance (that’s the same outtake that didn’t ultimately fit in either book, and the story has flowed past it), and an Author’s Foreword (or, yanno, Backword) will appear in the chapbook:  Fortune’s Favors:  Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 28.

What Happens Now, since Steve read the story hot off the printer last night, and noted a couple of things to be tweaked, is:

*Go over the story, line by line, tweaking tweaks, and adding in That Thing that got dropped in the heat of the moment

*Go over the outtake, line by line

*Write the Authors’ Note, pass it to Steve for edits, go over it line by line

*Build a cover

*Compile the entire book and get it up for sale with the Usual Suspects

So, depending on Real Life, you — yes, you! — may be able to purchase the first new Adventures in the Liaden Universe® chapbook in over a year, by mid-April.  Rest assured, we’ll tell you when it’s available.

Moving on to the rest of the to-do list, I have a couple of phone calls to make, including one to the dentist, which I’ve been putting off for mumble, and really shouldn’t put off anymore.  Also today, I need to hit the gym, because today is not the day to skip the gym.  When I get back, and after phone calls, I’ll draft the Authors’ Note, and maybe start shopping for a cover.

See you on the flipside.

Today’s blog post title brought to you by Messers Loggins and Messina.  Here’s your link.

Wednesday Updatery

I do like Mr. Higgs’ dress blues.

In other news, the Dead River guy arrived two hours early for his 10 am appointment to do the annual cleaning and testing of the boiler. Happily, the office called ahead and woke us up, so we put pants on. I threw the cats into the back hallway, so that they didn’t go downstairs to help the boiler guy, whose work is located in the Goblin Room. Boiler guy has departed, leaving us with the happy news of work not covered under the annual contract which will need doing in warmer weather. This will apparently be a zoo, because of the Numerous Zones we have in this house, and the fact that all of the lines will have to be drained before the work is done. They will then need to be refilled, and air in the lines is apparently A Thing.

Today, I have some Administrative Stuff to do, along with prep for Steve’s visit to the Cardiac Center tomorrow. We’re wanted there at 6:30 am so…wow, yeah. Prep. I already have two paperbacks in my backpack, a portable battery in case the phone needs recharging on the fly, a notebook, pens, and a couple of oatmeal bars — so the essentials are covered, at least.

I have explained the upcoming schedule to each of the cats. Possibly, Scrabble believes me; the coon cats unanimously think I need a nap.

The story, as yet titleless, stands at just under 5,000 words; it should be right around 20,000 by the time everything plays out.  I will not be taking it with me to work on at the Cardiac Center, because that would be pointless.

Also, no, I have not looked yet at the half-a-book (which also need a title) which is due in September, nor yet have I read Accepting the Lance.  Next week things will become more regularized.  She said sternly.

I believe this brings everybody current.

Stay well, and happy.

And that’s a wrap

Accepting the Lance, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the twenty-second novel in our original Liaden Universe® series, our eighty-sixth collaborative effort, has been turned in to Baen.

Lance weighs in at just about 130,000 words.

It will be published in December 2019.  Cover art will be by David Mattingly.

It is now traditional for the writer to say:

THUD.

 

 

Housekeeping Note: In Which This Site Will Be Twilit

Because I know some of y’all worry when the blog doesn’t update regularly. . .

I will not be updating this blog — or any blog, actually — for. . .a while.

The reasons for this are several.  One is that, of course, we’re deep in the end game for Accepting the Lance, which is due, no excuses, by the end of January.  By itself, as you and I both know from experience, this would be enough to limit updates.  I’m lead on Lance, and being the end of several story arcs, as it is, it’s being, ahem, a little difficult to bring in.

In addition to this, a small mountain of family crises has landed in my lap.  As it turns out certain obligations fall to the last surviving child of a parent — and that would be me.  You will remember that my sister died earlier this month, very suddenly, leaving things with regard to our father’s care. . .a little awry, but recoverable, or so I imagine her thoughts went, had she recovered.  She did not, and in the aftermath of her departure, documents which really ought to have been kept. . .weren’t.

I have therefore inherited said small mountain, which includes people demanding payments, and other people denying me access to accounts, until I can prove X,Y,Z.  Needless to say, the folks who want their money are a lot less particular about what I can prove than the folks who are holding the checks.

To sum up: I am simultaneously embarked on two life-devouring projects, which means “extras,” like updating this blog, will have to go on hold.

Steve will be updating Welcome to Liad with writing, professional, and appearance news (yes, we do still plan — very much — on attending Boskone in February).  He also plans to resume the story hours on Patreon.  He has begun writing the next Liaden book, which he tells me will be a Jethri book, the sequel to Trade Secret.

. . .and here ends my tale.

Everybody stay safe, right?  And may the incoming year bring joy and success to us all.

 

Catching up, Sunday Edition

Yesterday, was Trooper’s ninth birthday.  Here he is at Opening Ceremonies, ignoring the camera:

I am remiss in reporting here that I ordered in a steam mop.  Today I used it for the first time, on the ceramic tile in the entryway, the kitchen floor, and the floor of the master bathroom.  I can report that it does the job, and it’s easy.  The whole contraption weighs less than the bucket of water I needed to tote around to clean the floors with a regular wet mop, so I’m sold.  Will try it a little later on the wood floors, but I don’t foresee any problems.

This particular unit has a core unit that detaches, so you can steam-clean, say, the bath tub!  Really looking forward to trying that out.

We have had deliveries, including the Dr. Who Barbie, Michelle Obama’s biography, Becoming, a case of paper, my new Linux desktop, Steve’s new Linux laptop, and cable-wrap, because Sprite keeps getting tangled in the computer wires on her way to the side of the desk where the adding machine lives, because she loves to sleep with her head on the adding machine keyboard.  Yes, I know, but she’s a cat; we don’t question, we adjust.  Monkeys are good at adjusting.

We have received in the mail our countersigned contracts for our stories in Release the Virgins!  Steve’s story is “Command Decision,” mine is “The Vestals of Midnight.”  The publisher lets us know that …Virgins will be available from the the Usual Suspects in early January.

What else?

We’ve been working.  Accepting the Lance is due on Madame the Editor’s desk at Baen by the end of January, if not sooner, and there are still a number of bridges to be built.  Steve read through the entire manuscript to date yesterday, and today we’re talking Story Stuff.  For those who are curious, here’s what the manuscript looks like.

. . .and I do think that catches us up.

Everybody be well.

In which life is interesting

 

Yes, yes, there will be another Liaden Universe® novel.  Actually, there will be. . . *looks at projects list*. . .six.  Six more Liaden Universe® novels.

Eventually.

Accepting the Lance is due to be turned in to Baen in January.  It is in the publishing schedule for the end of 2019. 

After Lance is submitted, Steve and I will be taking a couple months “off,” as the saying goes, and then starting the next book.  Which will be a Liaden Universe® novel.  No, we don’t know what it will be about.  No, we are not out of ideas for Liaden Universe® novels.  Thank you.

Work on Lance continues to go in a forwarder direction.  I am reading the manuscript now; should finish today.  Looks like I have some bridge-building in my immediate future, which wasn’t entirely unexpected.

In Real Life news, for those who follow along, on the day before Thanksgiving my sister went in to the hospital with what looked like a stroke.  Despite tests, medical science could not find what had caused this episode, so she was sent home. 

She was readmitted to the hospital less than a week later with a “massive infection,” was given every antibiotic known to science, and daily dialysis. She went into cardiac arrest late on December 7 and died in the early hours of December 8. 

I am behind on answering email.  I will, I promise, get to yours soon, but there are things in queue ahead.

I think that gets us caught up.  All of you who celebrate winter holidays — be joyous.  We here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory give a nod to Yule; and a modest nod at that, since we’re usually on deadline for a book in December.  This year, we achieved wreathes — one for the front door, one for the dining room, and a modest string of lights for each.  Serendipitously, a friend sent us a turtle ornament, so now we have a Great A’Tuin Wreath.  Which pleases me.

 

 

The Friday after the Thursday before

Today, we work. Tonight, we journey into Downtown Waterville, to see Hot Tuna in concert. Steve bought these tickets, what? a year ago? So this is our Official Gift to Ourselves for the 38th Anniversary of Having Done the Legal.

Tonight’s event will be enlivened, if that’s the word I want, by the Parade of Lights, which will close off Main Street at 5 pm. The parade starts (it says here) at 6 pm. The doors to the Opera House (on Main Street) open at 7pm, and the show starts at 8 pm.

I have a feeling that Timing Will Be, if not Everything, Than Verrrry Close Indeed.

I see here that one is not allowed to bring bags of any sort into the Opera House; we are advised to bring wallets only. I therefore advise the paparazzi that my fashion choice this evening is cargo pants (and a bulky sweater with another sweater under it, on account it’s gonna be COLD tonight).

What’re you doing today that’s fun?