Apr 23

Still Alive & Kicking

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  April 23rd, 2016

March and most of April were eaten up by illness, aftermath of illness, another illness, and attempting to get the rewrites done on Cold Welcome and catch up on things left undone while sick.   Including church music.   I am well again (fingers crossed) though far, far behind in physical fitness, housekeeping, and progress on the book after Cold Welcome.    Energy level is slowly coming back.  The rewrite has been delivered to Editor (April 15), and her remaining comments, if any, will be dealt with in the copy edits.

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Mar 04


Posted: under Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 4th, 2016

(Mirrored from Universes blog)

Working on the rewrite of Cold Welcome.  On Monday, I sent Editor the latest draft of the new ending, and in light of Editor’s comments worked on it some more, then started in on front-to-back run (actually crawl!) through combining her original letter, the marked up manuscript line edits,  and the changes that would be required by the new ending.   This also involved having two versions of the first chapters on the monitor at once, the letter, a stack of reference printouts, and the marked ms beside me on the desk. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 19

Will This Work For You?

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  February 19th, 2016

I’d been planning to mirror some of the Universes posts over here, when they were of general interest (or what I conceive as general interest)  but someone mentioned they’d hate to go to the next place and find the same thing.

How about this:  any post that I mirror somewhere else will be labeled on both sides of the mirror:  “Mirrored at [whichever].”    Then wherever you hit it first, you’ll know where else it is and not to bother.   Would that solve the problem?  You’d miss any site-specific conversation, but you wouldn’t be bored by seeing something in two places.

To demonstrate how that would work, I will mirror the post about C.J. Cherryh being named to the SFWA Grandmaster list over here, with its notice, and add the notice at the other end as well.  Or rather, I’ll do that after I eat something.  (Sorry–gluttony before work, at this time of day.)   And maybe someone will have said NO, PLEASE NO or something to convince me it’s a bad idea.

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Feb 17

And the New Stuff

Posted: under the writing life, Website Notice.
Tags:  February 17th, 2016

OK…time to check out Universes, the new website section and blog dedicated to my science fiction writing.  They’re subsidiaries off my main blog (for several reasons):



The blog design, presently based on the same (older)  WordPress theme as this and the other blogs, is giving us some difficulty, and we may switch to a newer theme.   I like the simplicity of the older one, but sometimes needs must.  Though that suggests that maybe the other three will have to switch soon, too.


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Feb 11

Still Not Quite There Yet

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  February 11th, 2016

I had hoped to have the new site & blog up by the end of last year.  Then by the end of January.  Then by the first week in February.

Various things have intervened–and you don’t need to know all the details–but I’m still sick and still haven’t gotten the site up and open for comment.   It’s all done but turning on the lights and ripping the “under construction” sign off the front, pretty much, but the remaining bit is being sticky.

Don’t have Editor’s letter yet, either, though my agent tells me it’ll be here very soon.   Meanwhile writing on the new new book is going very slowly, as I have to know what changes Editor wants in Cold Welcome before going forward into #2.

Rest assured, you will be the first to know when the *shiny* appears.

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Dec 23

New Website & Blog Announcement

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  December 23rd, 2015

It’s not here yet, because my web designer is over in London having Christmas with her family (her son married an Australian living in London–they got married in Denmark and are now living in London.)   And she’s retiring in March (this is Not Fair: she’s younger than I am and I’m not retiring yet!!)   But there will be a new website and blog specifically for the SF side of my writing.   You are the first outside the business to know (my Editor thought this was a great idea, as some of my SF fans are adamant about not sticking a toe into the Fantasy area, lest they be sucked into the swamp)  but never fear–if you’d rather hang out here,  I plan to mirror some of the content there over here (possibly not some of the straight science links I’m planning to include–your opinion on that is welcome.)   And this area will not go away.   There will be more short fiction coming out if things go as planned, and perhaps more long stuff later.

That  blog will be called “Universes” and, like this one, embedded in its site.  In this case, that site will be encapsulated in my main site, thanks to the ingenuity and cooperation of the site host and my web designer.  The Vatta books will be one “universe.”

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Dec 03

Gone Away

Posted: under Cold Welcome, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  December 3rd, 2015

Cold Welcome flew away to NYC yesterday morning,  right when it was due, but I was too wiped to post about it then.  It went off at 129.863 words,  and I think all the words are in the right order, though I suspect there are errors.   I’m still not satisfied with the formatting  for the transition signals I sent to readers, but Word was being such a pig about things that it took me much longer than it should have to mess them about and increase the clarity quotient.

Meanwhile, three more dead or partly dead trees in dangerous locations have been removed by the tree removal crew, the HVAC people put in a good stack for the furnace, roofer returned today to reset and caulk the collar for the furnace & hot water heater stacks (he had insisted we needed to get the stacks installed properly by modern standards)  and I started the toe decreases on one of the turquoise socks (the left one.)

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Nov 15

Closing In

Posted: under Craft, Life beyond writing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  November 15th, 2015

At this stage of revision, I always wish I had another two weeks.  Or a month.    There’s always one…more…problem bit to untangle, that I think would benefit from more time to analyze and think about.  And then another, in the next section.  However, things are progressing appropriately.  The holes are filling in,  the once-blurry places are sharpening into focus, and though I’m dealing with some decisions made earlier that I might make differently now, they’re working out with some fierce hammering and welding.   (Clever ideas.  Clever ideas are the ones that seem so shiny! and smart!  at the time, and that flow easily in first draft and then…toward the end…reveal themselves to be more clever than good.  For instance, the…mumble-mumph.  How do you mumble-mumble and mumph-mumph so as to have a crisis *here* that requires characters to appear to have a random emergency giving you-the-writer the opportunity to lay the hook for the string that will later be pulled, so when something (errummph?) is revealed, the reader will feel a connection–yes, there was a foreshadowing but things were so hectic I missed it–and thus the revelation is not a deus ex machina.   Though of course all this backstage work IS the writer being the deus ex machina.)   Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 20

When characters refuse the good bits

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  October 20th, 2015

You will be as disappointed as I am that just putting very interesting and amazing stuff in the surroundings of a story doesn’t always persuade characters to take advantage.  Things you will not be seeing in the book, despite my earnest endeavors and a lot of research and backstory work:  a mammoth hunt, harnessing caribou/reindeer for transportation of anything,  Irish elk shaking those tremendous antlers, or the terrifying attack of a pack of dire wolves.

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Sep 18

Puzzles, gaps, and what’s happening

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  September 18th, 2015

Puzzles, first.  I never heard from Dragon*Con or whoever (if anyone) won my auction donations about the auction winners.   I was findable (at autograph session and panels) the day after the auction, and expected someone to walk up and show me the certificate and then I’d know who.   Didn’t happen.  The elevator crush was so bad on Monday, when I was leaving, that I did not have time to go over to con ops and ask them…I thought there’d be an email when I got home, but there wasn’t.   Did no one bid on the Tuckerizations?  Did my contribution somehow get lost in the pile of things in the boxes where guests were supposed to put them when checking in?   No clue.  No clue whom to contact.   If I had not come down with a juicy and miserable cold earlier this week, I might have been able to look back through my emails for a contact person, but I can’t sit up and stare at the computer screen that long–vision’s fuzzy too.

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