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.

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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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Sep 03

Home (with News & Questions)

Posted: under Conventions, Life beyond writing, Reader Help, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  September 3rd, 2013

I’m back from WorldCon.  I do have an iPad now, although I never got a chance to sit around downstairs where the free wi-fi was to learn how best to use it, because I was raging busy and also my neck was giving me fits–so carrying any more weight in the tote bag was not going to happen.   I have the iPad, and a padded case with a keyboard for it.  Yay!  (Eventually, when I learn to use it, right?)

Very, very busy convention,  and tiring with the size of the convention center and the heat outside and my schedule.  However,  met a lot of neat people, plenty of people wanted me to sign their books (always an ego-boost) and all I lost on the trip was my really good Knit-Picks needle gauge, which I will have to replace pronto.

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Aug 27

On Being Needled

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  August 27th, 2013

Today I had a needle biopsy of some masses in my thyroid.   I was not looking forward to it (even Writer Brain wasn’t looking forward to it and kept saying “But I’ve experienced a wide variety of needle sticks before…I don’t need another one to use in stories…and anyway, Paksworld doesn’t have fine needles for aspirating cells, or microscopes to examine them with…”  )  I told Writer Brain that if it could horn in with its questions while I’m trying to cope with a bike wreck-in-progress, it could jolly well use its vampire-like desire for sensory input to track this one, too.

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Aug 23

Unwanted Moment of Stark Terror

Posted: under Craft, Good News, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  August 23rd, 2013

I may have mentioned in some comment or other that I had an Incident With Bicycle and Pickup last weekend.   I am lucky to be a) alive and b) whole and–barring a somewhat unhappy neck and some fairly impressive bruises–recovered.   The incident was my fault;  though I knew that was an almost-blind turn into a very narrow lane, and that large pickups lived on the connecting street, I failed to adhere to the ABCs of safety: ALWAYS  Be Careful, not “Nearly Always Be Careful…”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Aug 17

Playing with Deep History

Posted: under Craft, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  August 17th, 2013

Story #2, of the new Paksworld stories, the “lightning strikes” post,  is one of those “out of the blue/accidental hits” stories.   Here’s the article I found that started it all:   “The Ghost Cavalry of Gondole.”  Right off the bat, the title begs for a story.   Reading the article and bring up all the pictures…skin-tingling stuff.  It belonged in Paksworld.  It felt right for Paksworld.  But right as background does not make a story…a big fancy gravesite (a real one) is a fact, not a story.

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Aug 09

When Lightning Strikes…

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  August 9th, 2013

…or the iron is hot, or preferably both, the writer leaps into action and neglects everything but very firm bodily demands.

Of the two things started yesterday, one petered out pretty quickly…it will take a lot of thought to bring it to life. The other, which I thought had nowhere particular to go, has taken over the day, especially this afternoon/evening.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Aug 08

In the Gap

Posted: under Background, Crown of Renewal, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , , , ,  August 8th, 2013

In the gap between sending off the revisions and hearing reactions to them,  I thought I’d discuss a few more things about Paksworld and the series you’ve been reading.  Still no spoilers for Crown of Renewal, though, I hope.

As I mentioned in a comment yesterday,  the series shifted from my original plan for a long story about Kieri Phelan to a consideration of how forced change affects people in midlife.   I began it after we’d had one, and as friends had lost or  were losing their jobs (again!, and several years after they’d just begun a recovery from the previous downturn, at a lower level)  in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.   So I had a lot of direct knowledge of how forced change–even good forced change (because that happens to some)–plays out in real peoples’ lives.   But at the same time, the invented universe I now call “Paksworld”  has its own set of rules and logic–and stories do too.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Aug 06

Crown Molding

Posted: under Contents, Crown of Renewal, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  August 6th, 2013

A terrible pun, true.   But also true that revisions consist of more than pulling out the Chainsaw of Correction.   Sometimes revision means noticing that the arm of the statue is on at the wrong angle…and remodeling, molding it, until it looks right.  Both Agent and Editor found things to say about Crown of Renewal that pointed to the need for more remolding than chainsawing and clipping (though those did occur.)

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Jul 11

Sailing, Sailing…

Posted: under Crown of Renewal, Life beyond writing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , , , , ,  July 11th, 2013

This will be the last post for awhile because a) deadlines and b) medical stuff–appointments, tests, all that, all taking time out of the writing day.    So I decided to hint at some things coming up in Crown of Renewal, along with the background research that went into them.   I hope this will tide you over for a couple of weeks, while I finish the revisions and the shorter work due for an anthology. Read the rest of this entry »

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