Apr 23

Ambushed by Stories

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  April 23rd, 2014

So there I am trying to figure out what kind of proposal to put forth that won’t die in Chapter Two, while short stuff is sprouting up all over my mind, like greenbriar in a mowed pasture.   Greenbriar will never grow into a tall, shady tree full of delicious fruit, but it sure can pop out of the ground and stab you in the ankle.  Short fiction is less painful (I hope!) but  I do now know the difference in feel between “This should run out of steam before x-thousand words” and “AHA!  This character and situation has real potential.”  Usually.  Almost always.   Many of my stories try to grow longer, but they’re like greenbriar, putting out long sneaky strands that have no woody potential.

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Apr 14

Easter Basket: Egg-shaped Snippets

Posted: under Crown of Renewal, snippet.
Tags:  April 14th, 2014

As the rest of my week will be solidly busy,  here’s an Easter treat…little snippets from here and there.

All snippets have the potential to be a spoiler for someone,  though I try hard to keep them “clean,” so crack open the chocolate rabbits, candy eggs, and so on with care.   Some are from earlier drafts and may not be exactly the same in the final book.  They are not in order, either.

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Apr 14

Thank You All

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  April 14th, 2014

Thanks for your comforting words.   I’m doing well…managed to shame the fever blisters that showed up within a couple of hours into disappearing again.   Wish that *always* worked.   The main thing is being tireder than usual.

I will be scarce around here through Holy Week–the choir has a lot to do this week, and all of it requires getting the “outfit” clean between one day’s service and the next.   Showing up Easter morning with a wrinkled sweaty choir robe is not considered appropriate.    The Palm Sunday services (two) went well–a full house for both, as usual, long and tiring for the choir, but good for me (and others.)   Easter will be overflow time.   We don’t do Easter dinner…we come home from church and fall into bed.

At any rate, I’m looking up a snippet for you to have as an Easter egg this week…but avoiding spoilers in the last book is HARD.

Thanks again for your sympathy and your gentle words.



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Apr 11

Family News

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  April 11th, 2014

My father died this morning, after a fall, then a shortish time in a skilled nursing facility,  a problem there, and a brief hospitalization, but at home.  He was almost 102.    For most of my life, we had an extremely difficult relationship, based on very scanty and irregular contact, but that’s not something I want to talk about right now.   If ever.   What is important to me is that while I was on a book tour some years ago, when he had quit driving but was able to get around otherwise, one stop was in the city where he lived.  And I invited him to the reading/signing, and then had dinner with him and one of my half-sisters, who had driven him.   I can only hope it gave him as much resolution and peace as it gives me now.

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Apr 05

The (Possible) Cover for Collection

Posted: under artwork, Collections.
Tags: ,  April 5th, 2014

First, the warning:  This is not the final, approved cover design.   We may be tweaking it in several ways before sending it off for approval (which may not be given.)   Shifting things up, down, sideways a few pixels.    Fiddling with the “shine” on the letters.   Etc.   People should not get attached to it yet.   For that reason, I’m putting it below the cut, and I’m not calling attention to this post on Twitter.    Although this is my design idea,  working with Illustrator ™ is not in my skillset, so all the actual manipulations of design elements to get to this point were done by my very talented friend Ruta, at Willowbrook Designs.   So this is not a picture to be shared widely.   I’ll post a final cover design when it’s all tweaked and has been approved.

What you’re getting is a Private  Preview Director’s Cut kind of design. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apr 03

Cover Art for Paksworld Collections

Posted: under artwork, Collections.
Tags:  April 3rd, 2014

Years back, when I first set up the Paksworld website,  I drew the border design I wanted as a header for it, and then–because I didn’t know how–hired a friend of mine who had worked for Richard Garriott on Ultima Online to render it as a vector image I could use in various ways.   When the notion of doing some short-fiction collections related to Paksworld came up, I immediately wanted to use that design–modified to be a book cover design, not a website header design–on the covers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apr 03

Paks Spam

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  April 3rd, 2014

The patterns of spam that gets through the filter into the Paksworld moderation box is…interesting.  Recently, it’s become clear that search bots are picking up on the two posts with “plumbing” in their titles…there’s been a rush (pun intended) of spams from plumbing contractors, plumbing supply houses,  hardware supply houses, etc.   Quite a ways back, with a post on horses,  suddenly veterinary suppliers, horse feed suppliers, tack, and other equestrian spammers showed up.  I haven’t yet had any knitting-related spam, although the online yarn suppliers I’ve used show up on the sidebars of more commercial websites.

I mark the spam “comments” as spam, and they go away–and those particular spammers don’t get in again–but the whole “scour the internet for any possible keyword that might be a customer” thing means there’s always more.   Commercial spam that makes sense (sort of) like this is one thing.   Then there’s the troll-spam. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apr 01

Patchwork for Paksworld

Posted: under artwork.
Tags:  April 1st, 2014

Nadine Bowlus sent me pictures of a pillow cover she made that might have been found in Paksworld.

Paksworld Patchwork Pillow

Photo credit:  Nadine Bowlus Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 28

Luxury Polishing

Posted: under Collections, Craft, the writing life.
Tags: ,  March 28th, 2014

Quite often, and especially with long books,  writers are up against tight deadlines.   Yes, we proofread.  Yes, we try to find every continuity error, every awkward phrase, every less than perfect word choice.    And we hope Editor and Copy-Editor and eventually the proofreader for the page proofs will find the ones we miss (though sometimes we need to correct their corrections.   The CE who wanted me to have a ship’s weapons “staffed” instead of “manned,” for instance.)  But once a writer is hooked into a traditional publishing workflow,  there’s a limit to how many drafts, how many re-readings, how much polishing can be done in the time alloted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 28

This Week/Last Week

Posted: under artwork, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 28th, 2014

This post would have gone up last week, except for a power outage, a stubborn computer, and two speaking gigs for which prep had to be done.


Yes!  The cover of Shattered Shields in which I have a story, “First Blood.”  Those of  you who haunt Amazon.com have already seen it, no doubt, but last week was my first sight of it, when the editor sent it out to all of us.   Read the rest of this entry »

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