Feb 19

C.J. Cherryh: Grandmaster

Posted: under writers to read.
Tags:  February 19th, 2016

If you haven’t read any of C.J. Cherryh’s incredibly intelligent, complex, thought-provoking, entertaining science fiction or fantasy,   perhaps you don’t know how deserved this announcement is, and why some of us met it today with “About time!”   Cherryh has published somewhere the far side of 60 novels and many, many shorter works (though I think her novel series–very long arc stories–are her real metier, since they give her the space she needs to tell the kinds of stories she does.)  Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 19

Will This Work For You?

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  February 19th, 2016

I’d been planning to mirror some of the Universes posts over here, when they were of general interest (or what I conceive as general interest)  but someone mentioned they’d hate to go to the next place and find the same thing.

How about this:  any post that I mirror somewhere else will be labeled on both sides of the mirror:  “Mirrored at [whichever].”    Then wherever you hit it first, you’ll know where else it is and not to bother.   Would that solve the problem?  You’d miss any site-specific conversation, but you wouldn’t be bored by seeing something in two places.

To demonstrate how that would work, I will mirror the post about C.J. Cherryh being named to the SFWA Grandmaster list over here, with its notice, and add the notice at the other end as well.  Or rather, I’ll do that after I eat something.  (Sorry–gluttony before work, at this time of day.)   And maybe someone will have said NO, PLEASE NO or something to convince me it’s a bad idea.

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Feb 17

And the New Stuff

Posted: under the writing life, Website Notice.
Tags:  February 17th, 2016

OK…time to check out Universes, the new website section and blog dedicated to my science fiction writing.  They’re subsidiaries off my main blog (for several reasons):



The blog design, presently based on the same (older)  WordPress theme as this and the other blogs, is giving us some difficulty, and we may switch to a newer theme.   I like the simplicity of the older one, but sometimes needs must.  Though that suggests that maybe the other three will have to switch soon, too.


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Feb 11

Still Not Quite There Yet

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  February 11th, 2016

I had hoped to have the new site & blog up by the end of last year.  Then by the end of January.  Then by the first week in February.

Various things have intervened–and you don’t need to know all the details–but I’m still sick and still haven’t gotten the site up and open for comment.   It’s all done but turning on the lights and ripping the “under construction” sign off the front, pretty much, but the remaining bit is being sticky.

Don’t have Editor’s letter yet, either, though my agent tells me it’ll be here very soon.   Meanwhile writing on the new new book is going very slowly, as I have to know what changes Editor wants in Cold Welcome before going forward into #2.

Rest assured, you will be the first to know when the *shiny* appears.

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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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