Jun 05

The Shepherd’s Life: Off-Topic Book Recommendation

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  June 5th, 2015



I strongly recommend James Rebanks’ The Shepherd’s Life.   Some of you may already know about @herdyshepherd1 on Twitter (where I first ran across him), and you may wonder if the book is as good as his tweets.  Better.   You can find lots of reviews now, and his status on the bestseller lists (way higher than I’ve ever been, and deservedly so).  He’s not just reminiscing about his life as  a shepherd…he’s presenting an alternative life view to that most of us are familiar with.  In brief, he’s from a many-generations-farming family in the Lake District, a region that, as he says, is perceived by England as  a national playground, in which the only encounters between those who live there year ’round and those who vacation there tend to be confusing to both sides.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 03

Lesser Bad Guys

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  June 3rd, 2015

I have been struggling for some time with a lesser bad guy who is one of those characters you wish would make better choices–and you give him chances to make them–but he (or she, as in Barranyi in the DEED) just will not do it.  Barra’s reasons were mostly pride, arrogance, resentment…she was furious that Paks had a chance to be a paladin and the gods didn’t choose *her*.  Basically, Cain’s dilemma…how come Abel’s sacrifice was accepted?   This one has very different motivations. Read the rest of this entry »

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May 22

Back from the North

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  May 22nd, 2015

And into the wet, steamy heart of Texas.   All went well.  Here’s a picture of the knitting that got done on the trip:


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May 09

Travel & Time & Books

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  May 9th, 2015

Tuesday morning I head off for the first convention of the season, Keycon in Winnipeg.  My convention seasons have shortened, due to age and LifeStuff, so I’m especially happy this year to be able to make an international trip after having to cancel plans for LonCon.

I won’t be back until the following Wednesday.  I am going computer-free this time, due to other LifeStuff involving electronics and lack of time to deal with complications.  An old-fashioned notebook will go with me–it often sparks my writing anyway–and so will yarn and knitting needles.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Apr 30

Over the Hump…And a Snippet

Posted: under snippet, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  April 30th, 2015

NewBook is now over the hump in rough draft, having crossed the 60,000 word midpoint for this book.   Its first 40,000 words or so have been reworked to improve characterization (which will lead to smoother progress later on. )   It’s unusual for me to have the mid-book slow-down due to characterization problems, but so it was this time.  I expect another slow-down period transitioning over the 2/3 to 3/4 finished problem area, but–if I fixed the characterization problems–that one will be plot related and usually means a mistake made between now and then.

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Apr 21

A Joyous Return

Posted: under Website Notice, Website Update.
Tags:  April 21st, 2015

As many of you undoubtedly found out over the past near-week,  Verizon screwed up royally last Wednesday and SFF.net, my website host, could not keep everything up and running.   Verizon’s inept an incomplete attempts made things steadily worse.   Websites (with any embedded blogs) went down.   The SFFnet newsgroup tree functioned intermittently.   Today, Verizon finally did enough analysis at their end to a) assign a person who had the authority to actually investigate what was really wrong and make changes to their stuff and b) then discover that the firmware they’d installed as an upgrade days before was in fact faulty (which brought  a router manufacturer in on the problem-solving circuit.)

I don’t know, as of now, if the current “it’s working” will be stable, since Verizon had told SFFnet before that they couldn’t do the real fix until tomorrow maybe (!) but  since it is working now, I’m posting this to explain the blank spot since last week and warn of a possible additional interruption.

The heroes here are the intrepid SFFnet crew, Steve and Jeffrey, who patiently worked their way up the corporate ladder of Verizon  (OK, maybe not *patiently*) until they got to a level where someone could make decisions, not just excuses.

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Apr 14

Thursday in Austin

Posted: under Uncategorized.
 April 14th, 2015

On Thursday at 11:30 am, I will be the author guest at Coffee with the Author,  an event sponsored by Holy Grounds, the coffee/book/gift shop at St. David’s Episcopal Church downtown.   There’s a half hour interview/Q&A/etc.  with Jennifer Stayton of KUT keeping the program on track and on time.   Afterwards, lunch downtown sounds like a good idea–including at St. David’s.

This should be fun; I’m really looking forward to it, and hope for good weather so we can enjoy the outdoor terrace–but if it rains there’s plenty of inside space too.

For those in the area but unfamiliar with the venue, St. David’s is between San Jacinto and Trinity, between 7th and 8th–it, and its parking garage, take up the whole block.   The entrance to the church is across the street from the Omni Hotel.   There’s parking available in the garage (you can sign in at the main desk to get a parking voucher) or you can take a bus.

The bookstore will have copies of The Speed of Dark and Oath of Fealty if you don’t have them already and I will be bringing, for show & tell, the proof copy of Deeds of Honor, the print-on-demand paperback of my first indie-published eBook.

If you’re in the area, and can come, I’d love to see you there.

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Apr 11

TWTWTW (in the life of the writer)

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  April 11th, 2015

So it’s been a busy week-and-a-day.  All did not go as planned, except the bluebonnets really did peak when HouseGuest was here from upstate New York and they smelled amazing and we got several walks out on them between showers.


HouseGuest, who like most people who come to Texas did not want to see–particularly did not want to see–what she saw on her last full day, when she ventured out to the north horse lot alone.  She had said she didn’t want to see one.  I hoped she wouldn’t see one.  We wandered here and there among the bluebonnets, with me being very careful, insisting that we move slowly and only when looking at the ground ahead…that no, we could not just walk through the flowers  without using our poles to move them and check for…etc.  And then…there it was in front of her.   Did she shriek and run back to the house?   No.   She took pictures of a nice (!) good-sized, not at all friendly rattlesnake, staying out of range of its strike and using the zoom.   Pictures on my LiveJournal: http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/  for those who want to see our most dangerous snake.

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Mar 30

POD of Deeds of Honor really close now…

Posted: under Deeds of Honor, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 30th, 2015

I received in today’s mail a copy of the POD edition, which has a large PROOF on its last page, and some notes already attached saying “I’ve got this one, go find another one to fix.”    But close, yes.  And a quite attractive paperback, IMO.  Of course I found things that many goings over by many eyes did not catch before this (my proofreading on the screen is not as good as my proofreading on paper!)  but so far I consider them minor.   The front looks about the same on paper as on the screen; the back cover has the same border, the harp & tree centered toward the top, and a blurb.  Plus the very un-archaic-looking ISBN barcoding, but you can’t have everything unless bind it yourself.

Bluebonnets are really coming on now, and of course the rest of the week will be about church music, getting to rehearsals and services, and not losing the theology for the music minutiae.  Next week a houseguest.   And writing.   I am not ready for any of this stuff.



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Mar 30

The New Book: First (I think) Snippet

Posted: under snippet.
Tags:  March 30th, 2015

The new book, having slowed down to take a deep breath in medias res, as it were, with some brainstorming, more research, and hard thinking going on, has now reached 280 manuscript pages (some out of order) and is moving again–though the Holy Week services and car problems will slow it down again this week and I have a house guest next week.  Still.  Moving along, new ideas flowing.   So I think it’s time for a snippet that may or may not survive later editing.  (This is the first, very rough, draft, after all.)

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