Dec 10

Story Sale & Anthology Announcement

Posted: under Good News, the writing life.
Tags: ,  December 10th, 2013

Shattered Shields edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt will be released November 4, 2014 to bookstores everywhere by Baen in trade paperback. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dec 09

Page Proofs

Posted: under Crown of Renewal, the writing life.
Tags:  December 9th, 2013

First careful run through the page proofs  for Crown of Renewal is done, finding only three errors–the usual clean job that Del Rey’s production team delivers.  Now for the backwards pass, because I have (though not with Del Rey) found truly awful problems only on the second, backward, pass, when I’m forced to see the page differently and cannot be distracted by the story. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nov 30

A Moment of Antic Lunacy

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  November 30th, 2013

What makes writers laugh?  What makes writers laugh at themselves?   Things like this:

I’ve now looked up Maggie Stiefvater and read a teaser from two of her books, and I think I’m going to have to read one of hers end to end.  In fact, I know I am.  Because writing like that in the teaser, plus sense of humor?  Priceless.

(No, it’s not off-topic: it’s about writing novels…)

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Nov 29

Unwritten Stories

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  November 29th, 2013

Like most writers, I have a head full of unwritten stories–only they aren’t nicely complete, something I could, with time, simply write down.   They’re like the old men who, when we moved here, used to sit on benches in front of the domino hall (no longer there) and grocery store (still there, and now including what was the domino hall, but the wide covered sidewalk is now cluttered with the ice machine, the propane tank locker, a newspaper stand, and signs, so it’s hard to even walk under cover let alone slouch on a bench and talk, as the old men used to do.

At any rate, every one of those old men had stories to tell, but they were shy of the newcomer woman who slowed down on her way in and out of the grocery store, hoping to overhear more.   A few of them (Doss and Wallace, particularly) finally relaxed enough to share some, but nowhere near all, their stories.    The characters in my head with unwritten stories have stories…everyone does…but they aren’t telling them yet, or not in enough detail that I can be sure it’s really a story and not an anecdote they want to share.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 30

Two Down, One Remains

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  October 30th, 2013

So with one story accepted by its anthology, another now with the editor who might or might not choose it…two things remain, one of them a story.  One is an invitation to write a story for an anthology series where a Paksworld story won’t fit, and the other is the problematic Paksworld story I thought didn’t fit the second anthology invitation.   But I’m withholding that for now, because if Editor doesn’t like Story B, maybe he’ll like Story A and I was wrong about it being problematic.    It does have way more obviously-fantasy stuff in it.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 12

Something New: Apprentices

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  October 12th, 2013

Galdon stared at the columns of figures –some taller, some shorter–and felt hopeless.    Around him, his brothers and his uncles and his father worked at similar desks, the elders with pen, the younglings with styluses on wax tablets.   Galdon had a wax tablet and a stylus and this was only the fourteenth day of what he could not imagine doing for the rest of his life. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 07

Moving On

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  October 7th, 2013

Leaving aside the copy edit chores (still going on), I’m thinking what to do about the difficulties inherent in a tenth book…when it’s considered as an entry point for new readers.   The copy editor (and maybe editor–comments are in two colors of pencil, which is often indicative of two persons) feels that something isn’t clear enough for new readers.   But that assumes this book–the fifth of Paladin’s Legacy, the tenth overall of Paksworld–can function as an entry point for new readers.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 01

Copy Edits in Progress

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  October 1st, 2013

The silence following the trip is partly LifeStuff, partly illness (minor, but annoying: very sore throat, drippy nose, gut problems) and mostly the 800+ pages of copy edits now occupying the bed with me while I sneeze, suck down liquids, and make frequent runs to the small tiled room.   I am doing my best not to contaminate the ms.  with lots of hand washing, using clean kitchen towels over anything not immediately being read, etc.    I may bake it in the oven when I’m done (you can do that with paper…if you’re careful.)   I don’t have enough time to just let it sit for a few days while I recover (I hope I recover in a few days.  This started on the train Friday night or Saturday, I see in hindsight.   Since I was sneezed on and coughed on in NYC, in subway and diners, plural, that’s probably where I got it.)  It’s not flu, it’s just some other viral thing.

Anyway, expect nothing until I’m done with the monster, or at least am far enough along to say something interesting.  Early yesterday I did the CEs on the short story that’s in the same world and time period but not spoilerish for the book (or vice versa.)   I need to mail that off but forgot until just now that I hadn’t.  (That’s what a virus plus the !**!**!!!!! idiots in Congress can do to you.)



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Sep 18

Lo, She Comes…

Posted: under Conventions, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  September 18th, 2013

Very early tomorrow I  leave here to drive down to Austin and catch the train, arriving in Washington (if all goes well) early Saturday afternoon after changing trains in Chicago.  I am excited.   I’m taking knitting along (you guessed!) and hope to finish both the current pair of red socks and the green/purple/red/blue pair of short socks.  This may not happen if the writing fit hits.

Anyone who has the time, please do come down to the National Book Festival on the Mall.  I know many of you can’t come, but I’d love to see a friendly face (once you introduce yourself–remember my face-recognition problems)  from this group.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Sep 12

Production Doldrums (for Writer Only)

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  September 12th, 2013

Right now other people are working hard on Crown of Renewal‘s production status–the copy editor, for one–but there’s no news for me to share until after I get the copy edits and return them.

I am trying to catch up on everything that went astray earlier this year (HA! Fat chance!) and prepare for the next trip, next week.  It feels like being stuck windless with sagging sails in the Sargasso Sea, because it seems like no matter how many things I accomplish on a given day, more appear…and I’m not making progress on a book, which is one of the few things that gives me a sense of progress.  Read the rest of this entry »

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