Aug 11

Finally? Maybe?

Posted: under Good News, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  August 11th, 2017

Yesterday I finished the second rewrite requested by Editor.  Summer has been full of long, long days at the computer and short-short nights of too little sleep.  (In between the two rewrites was something else that came up and required the same crunch approach.)

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Jul 09

When Is Food a Feast?

Posted: under Background, Craft.
Tags: ,  July 9th, 2017

Recently, in another venue,  a writer posted a link to her blog post on feasts in epic fantasy, considered in a sociological way–her point being the feasts were always expressions of power, and that fantasy (and actually any genre) often/always failed to consider the power differentials, the role of a feast in showing off the giver’s wealth and power, and so on.  Some feasts certainly are exactly that–overt demonstrations to the attendees that the giver is richer, more powerful, than the guests, deserving of adulation and (even more) obedience, submission.   Feasts can be competitive in that way: “Prince A gave us as much beef as we could choke down, and distributed the rest to the castle servants…”  “Well, Prince B gave us beef AND venison AND ham AND stuffed peacocks!  And the leftovers fed the whole castle and village for a week!!!”  But–always the c0ntrarian in the details–I didn’t agree that feasts in epic fantasy were always like that, or that epic fantasy always ignored the kitchen workers, the woodcutters, the shepherds, etc.   In fact, I don’t think all feasts (as experienced) are like that.

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Jul 07

Rewrite Is Done!

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  July 7th, 2017

And that means I have more time for other things, many of which (including my posts here) have languished in the intense two-plus months of getting it done.

When I’ve recovered a bit, I’ll be going back to a more frequent posting schedule on all the blogs.   The next publishing thing (without a deadline, though) will be the second collection of Paksworld stories.   I need my head clearer to do the final editing on that, without bleed-over from science fiction & Vatta stuff.  I don’t know quite how long it will take; I may not get to it until after DragonCon.  Right now I’m working on health issues and all the stuff that didn’t get done that needs to get done (like washing and packing stuff to be given away.  I don’t have a daughter, and our son is now willing to say what he doesn’t care about inheriting.   So some of the china my mother had stays (because I still use it,) and some will find a new home.  Books and toys our son had–that he’s willing to part with–will go.  Clothes I don’t want anymore–some have already gone, but more will.   Papers need sorting.  And so on.   It will be a long process, because right now I can’t work on anything very long at a time.  But that will change.

I’m now back to riding the bike for exercise, making bread for better nutrition (if you’re going to eat bread, making it yourself means you know *exactly* what went into it), growing herbs (and will re-start the vegetable garden) again for better eating, and when I get the energy will start knitting again (it’s been more than a year.)  The priority is health, right now, including mental health (so having time to spend with friends, and time to spend outside with plants and animals, and time for enough sleep is part of it.)   I write better when I’m not exhausted, stressed, short of sleep, etc.

So–I hope within the year to have the next Paksworld fiction collection out, and maybe a collection on the science fiction side as well.    When I’ve reached whatever level of health & energy is possible,  then I can start a regular writing schedule and find out how much I can do without losing ground health-wise.  Until then,  I won’t be pushing myself to start another novel.

Thank you all for your support, and I will be posting more about ideas, about the writing process, and about Paksworld in particular.   I will be at DragonCon this year,  God willin’ and the crick don’t rise, or my widely-expressed opinions about our current political situation don’t land me on a no-fly list.  If you’ll be there, look me up.  I signed up to be one of the mentors in the writing track this year, so someone will be getting a one-on-one discussion about their work.  I don’t know the schedule at all, or how that program is set up.

 

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Apr 27

Link Checks

Posted: under Uncategorized.
 April 27th, 2017

Computers never cease to amaze me, not always in good ways.  This morning I found a comment on an old post in this blog (so old, that comments to it won’t be posted)  and pulled up the post to check its original date.  It was on horsemanship with respect to fighting on horseback.  While reading back through it, I checked the links…one of which led not to a slow-motion video of a horse doing a flying a change of leads, but to a steamy sex site.  OOPS.  That link has been removed.  I checked the other links.  One was dead as concrete, so I hunted up another example of what needed to be shown, just in case anyone else stumbled across that post.

You’ve heard the saying, that nothing ever on the Internet really disappears…your worst errors can always be pulled up to haunt you…but clearly links can turn into links to somewhere else, or just go 404-page-not-found on you.

If any of you find bad links, defined as “not showing what I intended the link to show” please let me know so I can remove or replace them.

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Apr 25

Found Bloopers in Deed of Paksenarrion?

Posted: under Editing, Errata.
Tags:  April 25th, 2017

Richard Simpkin asked over on the Universes blog if it would be possible to fix the various typos, etc. in the first-original mass market paperbacks of the Deed.   He could think of one off the top of his head.  So could I (but I don’t know yet if we had the same one in mind.)   So I’m opening up a topic where you can post the ones you’ve noticed, and meanwhile I’ll ask Baen Books if they’re prepared to fix a few things that slid through.  Please reference the mistakes to the title (since the anniversary edition will be in three separate ones) and if possible the page 3 of the original paperback.   At this point I don’t know how many, if any, of the errors they’re going to have time to fix.  My guess is that they’ll be willing to fix typos & misspellings, but not change the places where it was my research or analysis that went wrong, because that would falsify the “new edition” thing.  Or maybe not.  We’ll see.

 

 

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Mar 23

A New Old Thing

Posted: under Good News, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 23rd, 2017

As those of you with tattered old mass-market paperbacks with the woman on the black horse on the cover know,   Sheepfarmer’s Daughter came out in 1988, as did Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold came out in 1989.   To celebrate 30 years in print, Baen Books is going to put out an Annversary Edition of them next year, and asked if I would write an introduction to each volume.  Of course I said yes, and I’ve roughed out the first one and sent it on to Toni Weisskopf at Baen.

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Mar 09

Done (at least for now)

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 9th, 2017

So INTO THE FIRE reached its appointed end yesterday–today has been filled with other chores–and now I’m going to comb the burs out of its mane, curry the mud-clumps off its back and belly where it rolled and wallowed, and present it to Editor with (I hope) nothing much for her to do but work her magic with the clippers to make it still prettier.

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Mar 07

Birthday Present

Posted: under Uncategorized.
 March 7th, 2017

The websites and blogs have all moved to their new host, where they are now live and healthy and ready to receive more posts from Y’r Author.   That happened today, thanks to a rescue by the stalwarts at SFF.net (which is closing down) and Anne Yates-Laberge (whose name I keep typoing…my fingers aren’t there yet–I just typed finters for fingers, too.)   The previous arrangement for the move, Somewhere Else, turned out to lack certain necessary capacities (to the great frustration of Karen, my web-guru since last summer)  and when the end of everyone’s patience was reached,  Anne performed the necessary miracles, rather like Paks arriving at the last moment to save the day.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 04

Website Move Underway

Posted: under Website Notice.
 February 4th, 2017

Since my longtime website host, SFF.net, is closing down its hosting service on March 31,  all its denizens have to vacate, taking along all their goods and chattels, before then.  As with my physical house, my web house has a lot of stray goods and chattels (four websites, embedded blogs, and one subsite), but I’m now in the process of moving them to a New Home.   Or, to be honest, my new website maintenance person, Karen Shull, is doing the heavy lifting while I try to ignore this set of chores, and the political train-wreck now occurring (good luck with that, says the Citizen part of my head: you should be harassing your so-called representatives), and finish Into the Fire, whose title now seems unfortunate and prophetic both.

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Jan 23

Progress, Lurching Ahead

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  January 23rd, 2017

That was actually me at the Austin Women’s March, the lurching ahead thing.  I had a cane with four little cushioned feet.  And needed it.  I am not as spry, had been sick earlier in the week (er…wasn’t OVER being sick, either!)  and instead of being in the 70s and partly cloudy, the sun came out full on just before the march started, and it shot up to about 90-something.  It was a great march; I didn’t make it the whole way, but I made some of it, enough to know I’d put out all the effort I had.

But INTO THE FIRE is now over 125,000 words.   Progress forward has slowed because I’m rearranging.  In my “process” (a word that suggests far more rationality in the choice of what to do and where to go next than I actually achieve!)  whenever I get stuck I start a different scene that’s been perking along but doesn’t necessarily belong right there, where I was when I started writing it.  It used to be that I wrote in chapters, all wandering around from maybe 4500 to 6000 words…short-story length, though they were clearly not stories in themselves.   Awhile back (not sure when) I started trying to form longer strings.  It’s not as smooth in some ways, but in others the lack of chapter markings along the way allows things to be the length they need.  What’s much harder is finding  things.   It’s much easier to remember that the chapter where the rhinoceros charges a beehive and ends up with sticky honey on his horn, and then rubs his horn in the gravel and it’s not ordinary gravel but jewels and now he’s got a jeweled horn…is chapter ‘low twenties’ if not the exact number, than to remember that it’s page 437 in a manuscript with no internal markers.

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