Sep 19

So It Goes

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  September 19th, 2016

Right…I’m back over here briefly.   The new new book is now over 60,000 words, but there’s an interruption right now because page proofs arrived today and need to be worked on promptly.  And I have a Vatta short story to make jell for an anthology with a closer deadline than the book.  As often with short stories, it doesn’t want to jell.  It wants to either grow to a novel or shrink to an anecdote.  Neither is acceptable.

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Aug 14


Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  August 14th, 2016

I have only one more day to prep for the two-day trip to KC,  so tomorrow I won’t be logging on.  Then I’ll be gone somewhat over a week (two days on the train coming home, too.)     If any of you are going to WorldCon, I hope to see you there.   Meanwhile, if you’re being drenches in rain, please don’t drown…and if you’re stuck in the horrible heat, please be careful of heat injuries.


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Jun 22

Important Notice

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  June 22nd, 2016

In spite of a post on an entertainment website about Gordon Lightfoot, no, I was not his second wife.   I’ve been married since 1969 to the same man, who is not (and, no disrespect to Mr. Lightfoot, I’m glad of that) Gordon Lightfoot.   Most of you would have figured that out yourselves, if you’d ever run into the post, but since it’s out there,  someone who knows you like my books may pull a “Did you know…?” on you and you can help me out by stomping on the rumor if it’s still alive.  (It’s on an internet site.  It will be there forever.)

I’ve informed the site, but who knows if they’ll bother to make any correction.  So I’m being pro-active or something similar.   (mirrored on Universes blog)

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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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Dec 31

Happy New Year

Posted: under Cold Welcome, Life beyond writing, snippet.
Tags: ,  December 31st, 2015

Though it’s tempting, in the current state of the world, to follow that up immediately with “As if…” actually I do always hope that tomorrow, next week, next month, and a New Year will see changes for the better.   And sometimes it happens.  Sometimes there’s a breakthrough, not only in science or technology, but in the hearts of individuals…and then those individuals’ internal breakthroughs propagate through those near them.  Not always, but sometimes.

What I hope for all of you reading this, in the coming year, are those inner changes that bring you closer to the person you were meant to be: a person with agency, a person with dreams and goals so exciting that you break through whatever has held you back (if anything has; some of you are full steam ahead already.)   I hope for all of you an environment that enables your growth.  Friends that care for you, and you for them.  Health, physical and mental, and health care for those times when health needs help.   Mentors, and mentees (if that’s the word): people who help you expand your lives and people who need your help to expand theirs.  Beauty, whatever beauty is to you–a view, a particular mug, a flower, a color that lifts your heart whenever you see it–indoors, outdoors, everywhere.   Enough of what you need, whatever that is.   More than enough, of love.

I am grateful for you, for others, for the natural world, for the cultures that lie behind us.  This world, this–as one of our prayers says–“our fragile island home.”

Let 2016 begin on the stroke of midnight in whatever time zone you’re in…but a new year begins every day.   May it be a good year for you. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 08

Oak Trees, Socks, and Ideas

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  December 8th, 2015

With the book away, and many undone things to accomplish, what’s the next step?   The day after its departure, the tree removers came and took down three trees in the back yard, none of which I was happy to see go, though they were dying branch by branch and endangering the house or a neighbor’s.   Lack of them completely changed the yard as a wildlife habitat (much more sun, much less overhead cover from the winter hawks and falcons) so most birds disappeared for most of the following week.   In the meantime, the oaks went into full color change, two weeks later than last year:



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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 17

Gone Tree

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  November 17th, 2015

At one time we had an old (by CenTex standards, where ash trees frequently do not live past 40 years) and lovely ash tree shading the entire front yard at the house my mother lived in when she died.   In the last 5-10 years, it’s been dying by inches, not helped by the long drought from 2007 to 2013-14.   I don’t have a picture of it at its best.    We felt the job was too big for us to tackle with a couple of ropes and a small chain saw.  This is what it looked like just before the tree removal people arrived this Monday.

Ash-lt-11-16-15 Read the rest of this entry »

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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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