Bustling Through

Posted: January 9th, 2014 under Good News, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
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January is the month in which I have to turn in the annual report on our wildlife management program.   Some years I get it almost done in December.  This year I didn’t,  so I’m working on it now.  Also on another official report.   Husband does the last quarterly tax stuff, but I’m supposed to gather paperwork (whimper) and hand it to him.  Hence, bustling through.But with a bit of good news.  I’ve seen the first version of Richard Hescox’s next character sketch and with only a few small tweaks it should be realsoonnow and up as soon as that happens.    He’s nailed exactly the character traits.   I wanted to show in this person.    (Oh…you’re wondering who it is?   I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little longer. )

Another bit of good news:  The Paksworld side-stories are continuing to work through my head.   I may consider putting out an e-book chapbook this year with some of them.   Three  complete ones (beyond the two sold to anthologies)  have not been seen by anyone but me and a couple of nearby alpha readers.    One of those I wrote as a side story while working on Kings of the North,  even considering it as a viewpoint section for a time.   It has a fossil.  Or maybe…maybe someone lied in the books and this is what really happened?   Hmmm.    Don’t know whether to leave it as is, or make it fit with the books as published.   Another two are in work.

In the non-writing side of my life,  I’m not going to WorldCon in London as originally planned, due to Lifestuff on the home front.    I’ll be sitting out much of the convention year,  trying to get things sorted, cleaned up, organized, tacked down, ready for any storms that show up.   The season of life storms is approaching.

I have started knitting a sock in the Herdwick yarn and love the way it softens my fingertips (the marled yarn, on the righthand side of the picture shown before.)   It does shed its “hairy” fibers.   That doesn’t bother me.   When I get far enough along to show what it really looks like, I’ll post a picture.   I just cast it on today (finished the previous pair, regular commercial yarn in green, yesterday in time to wear them to choir practice.)

We are also hiring some repair work done on the house, since neither of us is quite up to climbing up on the scaffold and ripping off and replacing boards.   Nor are we up to heaving ourselves up into the attic and crawling the length of the house on 2×6 edges.  Our big self-help projects are behind us.    And I am tired of hearing the scuffling and ramping around of critters in the attic.

But a spring garden will go in shortly,  cooking will continue (we just finished the most recent soup at noon today, a hearty beef-vegetable) and eventually I will catch up on sleep.  Maybe.  Choir practice last night was…strenuous.  We had visitors-maybe-new-members, and I think David was showing off, as he had us sight-reading difficult stuff we’d never seen before.   It turns out I *can* sight-read things I don’t quite think I can, but not flawlessly.


  • Comment by Naomi — January 10, 2014 @ 3:41 am


    Hope the awful weather in the US passed you by

  • Comment by Alon — January 10, 2014 @ 4:15 am


    It’s a pity that you’re missing Loncon – I had hoped to see you there.
    Enjoy the quiet before the storms!

  • Comment by Linda — January 10, 2014 @ 7:30 am


    Right, critters in the attic. With day after day of sub zero temperatures I am suffering an assault of red squirrels. I can hear them gnawing through the wood (sigh).

    Sometimes I think the day to day annoyances can be some of the most perplexing moral challenges. Do I try to live trap and relocate? Poison and risk them getting into the food chain? Snap traps built for rats? Some folks say that even live trapping can give them heart attacks and removes them from their known food sources and hiding places and is tantamount to killing them. It’s hard being a bleeding heart liberal.

    Do they have to go into your wildlife report?

  • Comment by GinnyW — January 10, 2014 @ 7:34 am


    Well, obviously you are too busy to get caught in post-holiday doldrums. The annual report on the wildlife sounds like an opportunity to stop, look, and “feel the taig”. January is such a not-obvious time to get outside and look around, I think I envy you.

    I am glad that Paksworld is percolating in your head, and fascinated by the possibility of a “fossil”. In my humble opinion, the plausibility of an inconsistent story would depend on who in the books lied, or whether that person could have seriously misunderstood the situation. Amrothlin or the Lady? perhaps. Dattur? very unlikely unless I misunderstand his role in the larger story. Kieri or Paks or Arian? definitely not. Arvid? very likely, unless it concerns his problematic relationship with Gird. Is it obvious that I eagerly await the forthcoming Crown?

    Good luck with the house projects. Hiring the work out keeps other people working.

  • Comment by Chuck Gatlin — January 10, 2014 @ 7:49 am


    About that fossil: Have you ever had two good and trustworthy friends who, nevertheless, told you contradictory versions of the same event? In such cases, I nod and agree with whichever one I’m talking to, and am very careful never, ever to let the subject come up in the presence of both at the same time. Maybe that should be the author’s attitude in this case–with a disclaimer to the third friend (the reader).

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 10, 2014 @ 12:43 pm


    Naomi: The worst, yes, but we had the coldest weather in many years for two nights. And now we’re back up in the 70sF.

    Alon: Yes, it is, but it just wasn’t going to work out, given the Other Stuff. I hope to make it to the UK another time within a few years.

    Linda: Ours are Eastern Fox Squirrels and they’re on the list, but their particular activities in the attic aren’t part of the report. I need to do a breeding squirrel census run in the creek woods, since so many of the trees in which they nested have fallen in the past year.

    GinnyW: (hollow laugh) I wish I COULD relax into post-holiday doldrums! Just drift for a week or two. Not happening, though. The fossil is uttered by one of the king of Pargun’s spies, and either is something that “didn’t happen” or the king lied to Kieri later. I think I prefer “didn’t happen exactly like that” and I can excise it from the story without damaging it. After all, I didn’t use it in the book and the story was written during the writing of the book. If I didn’t think the detail fit then, why not fix it now?

    Chuck: That’s…really good strategy. I need to remember that.

  • Comment by Jenn — January 10, 2014 @ 2:10 pm


    I am living in a winter wonderland. For the first time in a month the weather has been above -10c. We have the most beautiful hoar frost. Weeping willows are the most beautiful but even the old straw broom and wild grass long enough to poke through the 2 1/2 feet of collected snow are transformed. One would think the winter court of elves have walked by.

  • Comment by Richard — January 10, 2014 @ 3:59 pm


    Jenn, I’ve still not booked a skiing holiday yet this winter – what would many of the European resorts not give right now for your snow.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 10, 2014 @ 6:23 pm


    Jenn, the winter wonderland sounds wonderful, but the -10F does not. All our pipes would burst, we’d have run out of propane, and around here nothing functions when it’s that cold. Glad you’re OK and enjoying it.

  • Comment by ellen — January 11, 2014 @ 3:02 am


    Meanwhile in Australia, there’s yet another heatwave poised to make life a misery for those unfortunates who don’t live near the beach….but in a few weeks we’ll be in Canada, experiencing a northern winter 🙂

  • Comment by GinnyW — January 11, 2014 @ 7:29 am


    The winter wonderland sounds gorgeous, although at -10 degrees, it must be difficult to get out to enjoy it.

    Alas, our temperature is bouncing between 10 degrees and 60 degrees (Fahrenheit, not Centigrade)and we have treacherous freezing rain. The peril of living in a borderline climate zone!

    Elizabeth, I can definitely see one of the King of Pargun’s spies lying to him. I would love to know more about his story and his people. He has a surprising integrity for someone who has grown up among lies, deceptions, and treachery. Achrya is not a good mistress!

  • Comment by Annabel Smyth — January 11, 2014 @ 5:24 pm


    I’m really sorry you’re not coming to London. I’ve never been to a convention in my life, but I would certainly have tried to go to the one in London to meet you. I hope you can make it another year.

  • Comment by sheepfarmer's granddaughter — January 13, 2014 @ 9:40 am


    sorry you won’t be at Loncon. It’ll be my first con. Hope you use the time well (new paks series cough cough).

  • Comment by Lise — January 13, 2014 @ 7:39 pm


    Our weather went from -27°C to +8°C in a week. I don’t mind any of those temperatures, but not all at once… It’s not good for the plants either because they had to spread a lot of salt and now the top of the ground has melted. I wish the cold and snow would just arrive and stay put until spring. Less confusing for everyone involved.

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