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 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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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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Mar 15

A Gentle Reminder

Posted: under Life beyond writing, Reader Help.
Tags: ,  March 15th, 2014

No one here has made this mistake.  However, in the greater blogosphere, I see this kind of thing coming and going, and as far as this blog is concerned, I want it to go and stay away.

“What?  What’s wrong?” I hear you say.   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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Feb 26

Paksworld Plumbing, Part II

Posted: under Background, Contents, Life beyond writing.
Tags: , , ,  February 26th, 2014

The historians and archaeologists among you know that plumbing–its existence, variations, quality, and effect on human health (both good and bad)–is highly variable throughout history.    Elaborate systems for providing fresh drinking water, for instance, existed in time (and within a short distance) alongside the simplest, least effective ways of getting water to drink and a place to put your waste.   This allows fantasy and science fiction writers to play with the co-existence of different kinds of plumbing, and different attitudes towards what we now call public health issues.

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Feb 22

Writing? What Writing?

Posted: under Editing, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  February 22nd, 2014

There are still bits of good writing news I can’t talk about yet, and thus am required to look carefully blank about when asked.  But I can say that besides dealing with many other things yesterday, a Paksworld story sold to an anthology showed up with Editor’s marks and comments and would I please get it back to Editor by the 28th.  It went back last night.   Editor did a good job of pointing out some things to fix, one of which I really wish hadn’t been necessary to fix, but…Editor had a point.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 19

Brief Note: Excuses for Absence of Posts

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  February 19th, 2014

So what’s been going on is four days of the Great Backyard Bird count (Friday through Monday) and unearthing the septic tank as well as the kitchen drain and grease trap, in preparation for having someone come out with a sewage sucking service to pump it out.   Among the exciting discoveries in the archaeology project (along with bits of pipe and other things from earlier repairs and installations)  was the rediscovery of the exact route of the electrical line from the service box to the outlet by the lily pond for the water garden pump.


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Feb 01

Would Paks Wear These?

Posted: under Background, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  February 1st, 2014

In Paksworld, as here,  clothing quality and style is determined not just by personal taste, but by wealth.  Wealthy people can “slum down” in cheap clothes, or rough clothes, if they want to, but they can also afford fine clothes in a variety of fabrics, up and including “bespoke” clothes made especially for them.   Poor people now wear cheap mass-made garments, but in the past, though they were limited in both the amount of clothes and the materials available, they could make clothes sturdy and hard-wearing–and fitting the individual, if “fitted” was considered desirable.  Durable definitely mattered–the kind of farm family Paks came from did not have a closet full of garments for anyone.   Garments that wore out in one place would be cut down for someone else; knitted garments might be unraveled, the sound yarn salvaged to knit something else.  Socks were darned, of course, and so were small holes in other garments. Read the rest of this entry »

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