Jul 18

Body Art in Paksworld

Posted: under Background, Craft, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  July 18th, 2014

Many people in various cultures have used permanent markings on the body as means of identification–individual, familial, tribal, broadly cultural.    Any of these can be ornamental, and thus fall into the “art” category, but they are often more than ornamental–they have specific meanings.  Temporary markings applied to the skin with colors, mud, ash are even commoner, but ephemeral; the point of this post is the permanent ones in use in Paksworld, and their meanings to the Paksworld cultures that use them (or who abhor them.)    Tattoos, scarification, and piercings all occur in Paksworld, with very specific meanings both inside and outside the groups that use them.

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Jul 06

A Snippet from the Future

Posted: under snippet.
Tags:  July 6th, 2014

I’ve been working on the Cracolnya story, as much as I can–mostly cleaning out the typos and first-draft awkwardness that I usually don’t bother with until later, but work on when stuck.   And I’ve been visiting various forums where I’m registered but where the old computer system had become incommunicado (“your browser is out of date; please update to the current version…”)   So there I was on Book Country, where I’ve dabbled in advice to those who ask for help with something, and decided to post a bit of dialogue, as the forum leader suggested people do.   It’s only fair that you folks get to see it too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jul 04

In Case You’re Wondering

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  July 4th, 2014

Where, you may be wondering, is the planned short-fiction collection in its progress towards release?  Good question, and the answer is, I haven’t done all I’m supposed to do, thanks to a series of things (rethinking a couple of stories,  A-Kon,  the first Father’s Day after my father’s death, and the eye stuff.   And now my agent’s got jury duty.  )

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Jul 02

A Sort of Warning

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  July 2nd, 2014

Because I’ve seen comments on other venues about some writer’s fans going after a reviewer who didn’t like their favorite writer’s books…please, should you find a negative review or comment on mine, don’t be those fans.   There will always be reviewers who don’t like a given book…there are reviewers and book bloggers who don’t like mine…but let them dislike it in peace.   If it’s a venue where a lot of reviews are posted, and you feel like posting a more favorable one, go ahead, but I don’t want to be the occasion of an attack on a reviewer/book blogger, whatever. Such storms nearly always end up leaving muck all over the writer, who may not have wanted the row in the first place.   We have a pleasant bunch here, and I don’t think it’s likely any of you would start a row, but just in case you’re tempted.

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Jun 25

Home Again

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  June 25th, 2014

The surgeon said the surgery went well, and I’m now home with a heavily patched eye, glasses sitting on the end of my nose (see “heavily patched eye”) , still obviously affected by the anesthesia drugs…but wanted to thank you all again for your good wishes & prayers, and assure you that I’m doing well.   Actual results await the unveiling tomorrow of the operated eye and its gradual return to what will be its normal vision from now on.   But the basic health stuff–I’ve had water and food, and other bodily functions are proceeding according to plan.    There are details that might be interesting (seen from within, part of the procedure appeared to produce visuals rather like the APOD pictures from the Hubble and other big telescopes–like being in or near one of the nebulas photographed in false-color, with some shape emitting little lightning flashes in electric blue-white.  Space battles?  Or was I that drunk on the anesthesia?)

Tired, needing to go back to sleep, but wanted to alleviate anxiety.  More later.

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Jun 19

A Mixed Bag

Posted: under Craft, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  June 19th, 2014

Surgery’s next Wednesday.   Good to know there’s only a 3%  chance of losing the vision in that eye, though as the person who’s benefitted from its vision (poor as it’s been sometimes) for 69 years, I could wish that % chance was lower.   I intend to spend even more time than usual in the next five days looking at things and maybe even photographing them.   However, life isn’t all about my eye, or even me…and though I’m in a writing gap right now (not only is it hard not to think about the surgery, but the eye in question is making it very clear its cataract is getting worse)   I am thinking about the craft of writing and the many ways writers try to bridge the gap between what we see in our heads, and what you get when you read what we wrote.

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Jun 14

Scheduling & Book Stuff

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  June 14th, 2014

I am now taking the pre-pre-op eyedrops (started the 12th, will continue on through the pre-op doctor’s visit, which is the 19th) and on schedule for the cataract surgery a few days later.   Came home from A-Kon to the usual ton of work, which I still haven’t worked through because of a) the eye doctor visit–left me with blurry vision for hours afterward, b) storms that interfered with internet usage for some hours, and c) congenital laziness, AKA the desire to finish another pair of socks.  (For pictures of the now-finished “desert canyon” short socks, inside and out, see my LiveJournal post from yesterday. )

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Jun 09

The Wanderer Returns

Posted: under Conventions.
Tags: ,  June 9th, 2014

Just got in from A-Kon.  Slightly brain-fried–very busy weekend, a delightful convention, meeting with old friends & new, and a good train ride home at the end.  Some of the books I shipped up there actually sold (3 stuffed boxes went out.  One is to be shipped back.)  Not really in shape to check out all the comments that have come in and deal with them…and tomorrow, remember, I’ve got that appointment with the eye doctor who will be removing the worse of the two cataracts (but not tomorrow–this is the “set everything up” appointment.)   It will involve dilation, alas, which means blurry vision for hours after I get home, and thus not working on the computer much.

 

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Jun 05

Gone Girl

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  June 5th, 2014

I’m out of here in…10 minutes now.   Play nice in the sandbox, treat each other well, have fun in Spoiler Space, and I’ll be back next week.  (Whether I will have the energy to deal with comments on Monday night is up for grabs, and Tuesday morning is the early appointment with the eye surgeon….which means eyes dilated…which means not seeing the screen any too well when I get home. ) Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 01

Busy Week Ahead

Posted: under Conventions, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  June 1st, 2014

I now have only three days to prepare for A-Kon: I hop the train Thursday just before noon, and arrive in Dallas mid-late afternoon.   Meanwhile I have an eye doctor appointment on Tuesday,  gym on Monday and maybe also Wednesday (since my usual second day is Thursday) ,  and choir practice Wednesday.   Thanks to the computer stuff, I haven’t done the pre-convention-season shopping I was planning to do…oh, well.

I’m on several panels–if you’re going to be at A-Kon, you can find me (listed in schedule) there and in Artists Alley at table A-15, same row as Jack Campbell, Esther Friesner, Lee Martindale, Robin Wayne Bailey.  My copies of  the US Crown haven’t come, but I will have some of the UK Crown to show off, one of which will be in the charity auction: if you get it, bring it by for signing.

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