May 30

Nose to the Grindstone

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  May 30th, 2014

Today had been planned for several chunks of writing work, but the computer problems took up nearly the whole day.   Luckily, I had washed all the socks before that happened, and a few pages were written while notes for others were hammered out.   Others were thought about.   The best news is that what I thought might have to be a three-book project was summarily reduced to one (at the suggestion of a wise friend, and after I thought about it for all of sixty seconds) and that markedly reduces the likely time away from Paksworld, even though no long stories of Paksworld have yet popped up.   That’s because the grimdark project has been eating a hole in my brain for over six months now.  And it will be much better, if it actually jells instead of being a really neat idea, in a shorter form, because the worst grimdark part won’t last as long and the character I’ve been interviewing in a small uncomfortable room will have less time to display his darker side and more time to show his (previously well plastered over) humanity.  I was not looking forward to a whole book of him in detail (but I can’t get the setup out of my brain.  Yet.)  And maybe it won’t jell after all, and I’ll feel less guilty about dumping a single volume unfinished than a set.  And maybe another story WILL jell , quickly, and I’ll be back on a long project.

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May 27

Futures

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  May 27th, 2014

Some of you have mentioned wanting more Paksworld stuff.  “What about X?”  “Will Y ever do [mumble-mumble]?” Read the rest of this entry »

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May 13

A Trickle of News & A Bit on Reviews

Posted: under Conventions, Marketing, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  May 13th, 2014

First US printing of Crown of Renewal  in hardcover is 12,000 copies.  WOW!   Should be plenty available from most places.   (I have no idea if all 12,000 selling in the first week would get me to a spot on the NYT list, but it couldn’t hurt.    However, with the cost of hardcovers these days and the general economy,  that’s not going to happen.   Absolutely no dark looks cast at anyone who’s waiting for their library to get a copy, or who will wait for the paperback.    Not into guilt-laying my readers!)   Editor let me know that today. She also reported checking on a potential situation with Amazon that appears not to affect Crown (at least not so far) but had affected other writers’ books (heard about it on a closed list, and let her know that, as well as the Book World problem Hawkman mentioned here.   Read the rest of this entry »

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May 01

Arrival

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  May 1st, 2014

The Orbit UK edition of Crown of Renewal arrived in a box on my front porch this afternoon.    Great gloating ensued.   If I ever get over the thrill of opening a box and finding !my books! inside, I should quit writing…new books deserve that excitement.    Husband grabbed one and opened it.  I grabbed one and opened it.   I didn’t read beyond the first few pages (yes, the story is still there and has not turned into someone else’s story, perhaps about the life of a stockbroker who is dissatisfied with his teenage son and his manager) because I had Other Stuff to do.  Read the rest of this entry »

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May 01

May First Already??

Posted: under snippet, Story, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  May 1st, 2014

How did that happen?   I keep combing Crown, looking for possible snippets  that aren’t spoilers, but…the last book in a group is more spoiler than anything else.    Especially for a group of readers who are as sharp as you folks, who seize on the slightest clue and go straight to intelligent speculation.  Even when you’re off the mark, you’re interestingly off the mark (and sometimes, I confess, make me wish the story itself had gone that way.)   Hence the shortage of snippets from Crown.

What I can offer, sort of, is snippets from stories that will turn up in the related short fiction collections and background information that might lead…anywhere.  Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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.

Shattered-Shields-cover

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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Mar 16

Progress Report: Paksworld Short Fiction

Posted: under Collections, E-books, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 16th, 2014

Rancherfriend-E, recruited as my editorial assistant on this project,  took far less time than I would have to act like a Sorting Hat and divvy up the stories-so-far between the two proposed collections.   I made one change about the time she was emailing me “You could do this instead…” and her this and my that were the same.   Then I threw a couple of other things into the first group (partly because I wanted to and partly because it would even up the wordage between the two) and she said “Good idea.  I think I’ll take a nap now.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 13

The Good News Is…

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  March 13th, 2014

…that last week’s “phone call every parent dreads”  ended well, with our autistic son alive, unhurt,  and not detained by police.  That’s very good news, and I have nothing but praise for the police & EMS handling of the situation–and this in a police force I have criticized before.   It helps, of course, that our son is white, good-looking, and that all the long hours of coaching and practice on polite behavior meant he was polite and friendly to the police officers.    All of those contributed to the way the police handled the situation.  However, the situation and its aftermath pretty much ate our days from last Thursday at 6 pm when we got the first call through Monday’s last contact with the crisis management team.  Read the rest of this entry »

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