30th Anniversary Edition

Posted: August 21st, 2018 under Good News, Sheepfarmer's Daughter.
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The new 30th anniversary edition of Sheepfarmer’s Daughter is now out and about.   Hard to believe it’s been that long (though some days I feel more than 30 years older, but that’s another issue.  You will laugh–the other night I was awake and picked up a copy of it just to glance at…and two hours later I was hooked by my own book *even though* I knew what was coming.   Thanks to all of you–and all my other readers–who kept it in print and made celebration of its 30th birthday possible.

The year of fixing things is proceeding, with a consult on eye surgery coming up the first week of September, and renewed work on “What to do about the fact we aren’t getting younger and our wills have aged out and the guardianship on our son needs adjustment…”   Then I need a consult on the concussion aftermath, because we’re over six months and some things have bounced back to normal-for-me-before-this-concussion and some haven’t.   Reading speed picked up markedly in July and is now below what it was in my 20s  but way above where it was after the concussion.   (Honestly, nobody *needs* do read Dick Francis mysteries and other fiction of that length in an hour and a half.)   I can gulp an entire new book in one sitting again….no problem at all with holding concentration.  I’m also reading solid nonfiction as I had been doing (science and medical journals.)  But there are some things still not “there” yet, including balance.   OTOH, the teeth–wow, I did not realize how much they’d been hurting until (past the rather solid and definite pain of serious dental surgery over many weeks)  until after the final stuff healed…they didn’t.   At any rate progress has been made, and more will be made.

On the writing side, the very dry well is now wet at the bottom and Sunday, chatting on the phone with a writing friend, suddenly a plot fragment showed up in my head.  Not connected to anything I’d been doing, but in response to a joke my friend made.  And so…I think the writing of fiction may come back if I don’t strain it while it’s so small and fragile.  The fun of writing (nonfiction, about horses or knitting) is definitely coming back.  So there’s life in the old girl yet, and I’m looking forward to next steps.


  • Comment by Kaye Maserang — August 21, 2018 @ 11:09 pm


    Haha! I know what you mean about getting hooked on reading your own book! It’s a very pleasant feeling to re-read your great American novel and find that you like it, after many years. (Mine is just a self-published fantasy piece, but it’s mine.)
    Have been horrified by what you have been going through. Can relate somewhat, but don’t know whether I could, at 80, get through what you must have been pushing yourself/allowing yourself to do by proceeding naturally–whatever works.
    Reading the 2nd Vatta book as I have time, on Kindle. My best wishes for your recovery. Love yourself back to health!

  • Comment by Richard Simpkin — August 22, 2018 @ 4:01 am


    Is the knitting back yet? or the breadmaking?

    It took me a bit of looking but I’ve found the new SD cover picture on Amazon US (due 4 Sep) and UK (6 Sep), also the new DA cover (US 1 Jan 2019 – firm date or estimate?)

  • Comment by Gareth — August 22, 2018 @ 4:56 am


    So glad the well is starting to fill again. Look forward in due course to seeing what creature and characters emerge! Loved the comment about being hooked into reading your own book – just got my son into the Deed.

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 22, 2018 @ 8:06 am


    Thanks, Gareth. It was an interesting experience…I started reading it with Editor hat on (“well now, let’s see what should’ve been fixed”) and then Editor hat melted away into Reader-state-of-absorption and enjoying the flow of the story.

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 22, 2018 @ 8:16 am


    Knitting is back. Finished a pair of socks last week, working on the pair that was behind it. Had some trouble shaping the toes (the anatomical toes I do) and many hesitations, putting the sock down, picking it back up, etc, but they’re done and if they don’t fit quite as well as usual, they’re still comfortable (and a bit roomy.) The mid-brown-heathery pair behind them zoomed through the last inch of ribbed cuff, past the inch and a half of ankle, and there’s now an inch of the reinforced heel flap on one and today I’ll start the heel flap on the other. At about two and a fourth inches of heel flap, both socks will get their heels turned on the same day, and then I’ll pause to cast on the next pair behind them. Several pairs of older socks failed this year–one or two nibbled up by the mouse invasion we had in an extreme cold spell that showed up shortly after the concussion when I just wasn’t aware enough and left them on the floor overnight. Hate that. But I can salvage some of the yarn. Bread…not yet. I expect that will come with cooler weather, whenever we get it. I don’t know whether the release dates are firm or not…been out of the loop (and shouldn’t have been.) I guess they sent my copies way early this time (usually it’s on or just after pub date.)

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 22, 2018 @ 8:24 am


    A gentle correction: no book is “just” that…it’s an accomplishment, whether trad published, self published, or stuck in the trunk on the original typing paper (or on a thumb drive.) As you no doubt found, getting an entire story out of your head into a coherent external form is hard…but rewarding. And finding you like it after a year or however many years is a joy.

    I’m working on the “back to health” thing, and trying not to beat up on myself for having let things get this far…but I know why I did, and it was necessary at the time. Most lives have difficult choices in them. But breaking the bad habits that kept me going is necessary, too. When tired, stop *before* collapsing. When hurting, fix what hurts *before* the whatever breaks or quits working entirely. (Which reminds me…before that, even, go take your meds in the morning *right* after breakfast, so I will stop here and go take the meds because breakfast was an hour ago… Thanks for writing.

  • Comment by Kaye Maserang — August 22, 2018 @ 5:54 pm


    I am taking your last comment (#6) as a reply to mine–yes? Thank you very much for your words and for caring.–K

  • Comment by Dale — August 22, 2018 @ 7:31 pm


    Was happy to see your new post, and to read that you’re improving on so many fronts! I smiled to find that even the author has a hard time putting down a Paks book!

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 22, 2018 @ 8:41 pm


    Kaye…yes, that was a reply to yours. In the comments section in the SekritAdminCave, it was right under your comment. But not here.

    Dale…thank you; I’m also glad to be improving. Hope to continue back to singing, knitting, baking, riding AND writing. We shall see.

  • Comment by Jazzlet — August 23, 2018 @ 10:53 am


    I’m very glad to hear that your health has been improving, especially that you are now tooth pain free. Glad too that you are back to knitting, sorry about the mouse damage, I can certainly empathise, I have discovered due to the small holes in some precious cashmere that we have moths. I now have lots of repellant thingies, and am contemplating repairs.

    Wise of you taking the opportunity to correct bad habits, all the best with that, far far easier said than done. And all the best with more health improvements, more stamina improvements and of course with the well filling up.

  • Comment by Moira — August 24, 2018 @ 5:46 pm


    Very glad to hear you’re doing better, Elizabeth. Doing better at looking after yourself… it’s tough, but it’s not optional.

    Speaking of dry wells, I immediately thought of that wonderful scene with Dorrin in the Verrakai village, shedding a few tears and prayers and her shirt. The well will fill when you’re ready to believe again; that sort of gift doesn’t just disappear.

    Please do take good care of yourself.

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 24, 2018 @ 10:51 pm


    The good news: today I wrote 2000 words of fiction. The peculiar news: if it continues to cooperate, it will be a mystery set in an equestrian center. I swear this was not my plan. But it’s what came out. It may be a false start–the fiction engine may sputter out after a few thousand words–but it’a an encouraging sign that the story wants to be written and it feels “live.” I am not going to impose any expectations on it at this point. It’s so different from my other published works that–even if it finishes–I think it will need to be self-pubbed as an ebook.

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 24, 2018 @ 10:52 pm


    Oh–it’s over on my Facebook, for those who do Facebook.

  • Comment by Moira — August 27, 2018 @ 7:05 pm


    Good to hear! I personally refuse to go anywhere near FB, but I trust that it’ll appear elsewhere at some point.

    Lady C, from that Other Series that dare not speak its name (which I loved), would approve!

  • Comment by Sharidann — August 28, 2018 @ 1:43 am


    Glad to read from you again and to hear that the health is getting better!
    30th year edition I am looking forward to, albeit a tad disappointed Baen didn’t do a hardcover for it.
    Can’t wait to read new stuff from you, but first, focus on your health!

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — August 29, 2018 @ 6:29 am


    I join the others in being glad to read that you are gradually getting better. I think we all feel that writing is not as important as health.

    So you got hooked on Paks. Well, as someone who rereads the series at least once a year and sometimes more, it is definitely a sharp edged hook. Each time I realize something more.

    So take your time and enjoy the end of summer.

    From up in rather hot New Hampshire

  • Comment by arthur — August 30, 2018 @ 1:24 am


    So the new edition of Sheepfarmer’s Daughter will come out on my birthday. . . Cool!

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — September 2, 2018 @ 4:19 pm


    I, too, am glad to hear about the writing. Been out of the loop a bit as have been traveling for work and pleasure for a good chunk of August.

    Have a friend from my year in Wales that writes short fiction who married a (murder) mystery writer so I’ve been getting back into that genre of late myself after many years away.

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — September 5, 2018 @ 11:45 am


    Well is dry – just spit and be prepared to take off your shirt.

    Could not resist.

    Jonathan up here in even hotter New Hampshire.

  • Comment by Julia D. Coldren-Walker — September 6, 2018 @ 9:21 am


    Just got my copy of the 30th edition. Says new introduction by the author BUT right after title page is the Book one notice and then the story starts. Where is the introduction?

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 7, 2018 @ 8:57 am


    I don’t know. It’s possible, that in the mess of last spring after the concussion and during the dental surgery, my brain was shook enough I didn’t mail them in. I know I wrote them. I know I would have intended to mail them in, but I also know my memory was messed up for awhile after the concussion. I have a memory of writing them. That’s all I know. I can’t remember what was going on for about six weeks in any detail, though I remember the buck-off (the beginning of it) and the trip to the hospital and the CT scan…there are “spots” even in that. Who spoke to me first? Dunno. Doctor or nurse? Dunno. Was the CT scan before or after the other X-rays? Dunno. So the likelihood is that it’s my fault the intros aren’t in the books, but I can fix that by posting them here…well, sortakinda fix it. If it was an error at Baen, I’m sure they’ll say something later, when someone jumps them about it.

  • Comment by Sharidann — September 11, 2018 @ 2:03 pm


    I posted the same question as Julia on Baen’s Website.

    Going to keep you posted.

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