Mar 15

Snippet, snippet snippet

Posted: under snippet.
Tags:  March 15th, 2014

So it’s more than time for another snippet from Crown of Renewal,  which means you get…more than one snippet.    Remember that snippets may have redactions–a word or several–to prevent spoilering.   If long, there’ll be an ellipsis marking the gap, but if it’s just one word…well, you knew the writer was sneaky.  Here we go: Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 15

A Gentle Reminder

Posted: under Life beyond writing, Reader Help.
Tags: ,  March 15th, 2014

No one here has made this mistake.  However, in the greater blogosphere, I see this kind of thing coming and going, and as far as this blog is concerned, I want it to go and stay away.

“What?  What’s wrong?” I hear you say.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 13

The Good News Is…

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  March 13th, 2014

…that last week’s “phone call every parent dreads”  ended well, with our autistic son alive, unhurt,  and not detained by police.  That’s very good news, and I have nothing but praise for the police & EMS handling of the situation–and this in a police force I have criticized before.   It helps, of course, that our son is white, good-looking, and that all the long hours of coaching and practice on polite behavior meant he was polite and friendly to the police officers.    All of those contributed to the way the police handled the situation.  However, the situation and its aftermath pretty much ate our days from last Thursday at 6 pm when we got the first call through Monday’s last contact with the crisis management team.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 07

Paksworld Stories

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  March 7th, 2014

Short fiction continues to flow…it’s odd, this happened after I finished the Deed–the first really solid short stories I’d ever been able to write and finish.  Only one of them sold–”Bargains”–and the agent I got later said the others weren’t that good (since none of them had sold in the several years before he took me on, he was probably right.)    But finishing the trilogy led to an outburst of short stuff.  And now that’s happening again.  (Only now, I think,  I write better short stuff.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 04

At Last…a Snippet

Posted: under snippet.
Tags:  March 4th, 2014

Because it’s the week of my birthday, you get a snippet.    One with some judicious excisions, alas, because  Crown is so very full of spoilers this close to the end of the whole story arc.   It’s still supposed to raise more questions than it answers.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 28

Paksworld Politics

Posted: under Background, Contents.
Tags: , ,  February 28th, 2014

Many forms of government have existed, and now exist, in our world…many forms of government can be depicted in fiction (including ones we haven’t yet seen in reality, like, um, a completely fair one.)   Epic fantasy is frequently criticized for having monarchies and aristocracies  (and the writers thereof accused of romanticism about the Middle Ages.)    So a reasonable question is “Why are the political systems in Paksworld what they are?”

And the answer is, “I studied history at Rice under F.S. Lear and K.F. Drew and C. Garside.  That explains everything.”   And I see a row of stubbornly frowning faces in front of me, with thought balloons over their heads saying “That explains NOTHING.”  And I’ll bet the stubborn faces would still have those thought balloons if I added, “OK, there was also prehistory and cultural anthropology…” Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 26

Paksworld Plumbing, Part II

Posted: under Background, Contents, Life beyond writing.
Tags: , , ,  February 26th, 2014

The historians and archaeologists among you know that plumbing–its existence, variations, quality, and effect on human health (both good and bad)–is highly variable throughout history.    Elaborate systems for providing fresh drinking water, for instance, existed in time (and within a short distance) alongside the simplest, least effective ways of getting water to drink and a place to put your waste.   This allows fantasy and science fiction writers to play with the co-existence of different kinds of plumbing, and different attitudes towards what we now call public health issues.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 22

Writing? What Writing?

Posted: under Editing, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  February 22nd, 2014

There are still bits of good writing news I can’t talk about yet, and thus am required to look carefully blank about when asked.  But I can say that besides dealing with many other things yesterday, a Paksworld story sold to an anthology showed up with Editor’s marks and comments and would I please get it back to Editor by the 28th.  It went back last night.   Editor did a good job of pointing out some things to fix, one of which I really wish hadn’t been necessary to fix, but…Editor had a point.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 19

Brief Note: Excuses for Absence of Posts

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  February 19th, 2014

So what’s been going on is four days of the Great Backyard Bird count (Friday through Monday) and unearthing the septic tank as well as the kitchen drain and grease trap, in preparation for having someone come out with a sewage sucking service to pump it out.   Among the exciting discoveries in the archaeology project (along with bits of pipe and other things from earlier repairs and installations)  was the rediscovery of the exact route of the electrical line from the service box to the outlet by the lily pond for the water garden pump.

lily-pond-electricl-line138

Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 14

Writer’s Toolkit: Strong v. Weak Characters

Posted: under Craft.
Tags:  February 14th, 2014

I recently followed a link from Twitter and found myself at a site listing “women who will kick your ass” to go along with praise of a particular book.   All the other kick-ass women were in movies or TV shows, not books, which I found…annoying.   But still.   Once more the “strong woman character” is interpreted by a media outlet as “kickass” and (as comments on the chosen characters showed) not just “kickass” but “badass.”    For that writer, in that instance, a strong woman character had to be both physically strong and aggressive, and psychologically, morally, glad to be bad, at least part of the time.   Read the rest of this entry »

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