Mar 14

Gnome Expansionism

Posted: under Background, Contents, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 14th, 2012

There I was, writing away on Book V,  when something popped up that solved a mystery.   This should not be spoilerish, more like background material that we just haven’t seen yet.    It was clear all along that there were more gnome princedoms than Aldonfulk and Gnarrinfulk, but those were the only ones who had inpinged on the story so far.    My attempt to figure out where they were and who they were had foundered.   Until today.

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Feb 23

Good News & Thank You!

Posted: under Echoes of Betrayal, Good News, Marketing, Reader Help, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  February 23rd, 2012

Editor emailed this morning to let me know Echoes has gone back to print another 3000 copies.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a hardcover sent back to print that fast before.   Very happy dance of writer.   Wowza and all that.

And it’s you folks–the readers–who have made the book popular enough for this to be needed.  THANK YOU.    Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 14

Unexpected Deaths

Posted: under Contents, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , , , ,  February 14th, 2012

I was reminded again this weekend of the way death comes seemingly out of nowhere to shatter relationships new and old.   A friend of mine in another state was participating in a serial transport of a rescued dog from the shelter where it was first found to its future home, some two thousand miles away.   The puppy stayed at her house overnight, and the next day she drove it to the next person in the chain.   The person set off…and she and the puppy were killed in a weather-related road accident.  You can read about it on my friend’s blog, which includes a beautiful tribute to the remarkable woman who was killed.  Please do, in fact.

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Feb 10

And an Update

Posted: under Background, Contents, Website Update.
Tags: , , , ,  February 10th, 2012

The history page on the Paksworld website has now been updated and expanded.   Ever wonder what they use for money in the different realms?   Want to know more about trade?   You folks were showing enough interest that when I went into the file to fix typos (and let’s hope I didn’t just create more typos)  I decided to add more information.

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Jan 30

Book Reports

Posted: under Contents, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  January 30th, 2012

Agent had some worthwhile comments on Book IV which sent it back to me for more work.   This will result in an added chapter early in the book and the “perking up” (my term, not Agent’s)  of some fairly large chunks considered “flat” as well as showing one character more active and tough than before (hadn’t realized that character had softened that much between books.)     Some of that will involve shortening, and some will involve lengthening, as usual.   Agent has contacted Editor, who gave permission for an extension to do the work he suggested, pointing out that we could send her the version I sent him today, or a better version in ten days.  (Agent has had the book since January 20 and I appreciate the fast, analytical reading Agent gave it. )

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Dec 06

Revision, Revision, Snippets

Posted: under Contents, Echoes of Betrayal, snippet, the writing life.
Tags: , , , ,  December 6th, 2011

First a thank-you to y’all for your patience.    It has been a…um…very busy time here at the old homestead.  Tonight is the night of the Messiah performance, and that will make four days in a row of driving to the city for 3+ hours of singing (and on Sunday I drove in early to sing the first service at church, then drove home to do the other stuff.)

Your reward for the patience is a snippet, after a short review of revision progress.   I have finally (FINALLY) got important two important events tied in neatly with all their threads connected.    As I near the end of a book, everything has more and more threads hanging off it (it’s connected to this, that, and the other in various ways–foreshadowings that may go back several books,  links to contemporaneous happenings, hooks set that will turn out later to be significant, etc.    The next to last book in a group is even more rife with threads for every major event, internal and external.   And every one of those little stinkers needs to be woven in, as invisibly as possible, so the pattern is unbroken.    But enough about the work in progress:  Herewith a snippet from the work to come.

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Oct 11


Posted: under Contents, Craft, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , , , , ,  October 11th, 2011

I am deep in chronology now, maybe halfway through, and discovering that I have duplicated some events (though the way the scenes are written varies a lot) and completely left out some very important ones.  Last night’s work session was on one such scene (a plot-mover for sure.)    Getting the others into even rough order helps a lot in seeing overlaps, duplicates, and gaps.

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Sep 13


Posted: under Contents, snippet.
Tags: ,  September 13th, 2011

At the end of Kings of the North, there’s a war just started between Pargun and Lyonya.  News has arrived in Tsaia, but not everyone’s heard it yet.  Beclan Mahieran, squire to Dorrin Duke Verrakai,  is out on patrol in the SW corner of Verrakai’s domain when Dorrin hears…commanding two tensquads of militia (some of them former Phelani soldiers.  Beclan’s proud of the fact that he is given a longer patrol route and more troops than the other squires.  He has no idea what’s coming.


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Aug 25

Nose to the Grindstone again

Posted: under contest, Conventions, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  August 25th, 2011

And another milestone number:  Book IV is now over 140,000 words.   This was one intermediate goal–to hit this or more before leaving for DragonCon.   Glad to be here a couple of days ahead, as it means I can visit ArmadilloCon this weekend.  Can’t spend long there, what with the packing and also the resting-up I need to do, but I can at least drop by and visit friends I otherwise don’t see between the conventions.   Next year I’ll be going to WorldCon in  Chicago, which gives me an extra day (assuming ‘DilloCon’s in the same relation, time-wise, to Labor Day weekend) and I should be able to actually *attend* it again.

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Jul 22

Progress by Zig-Zag

Posted: under Contents, Craft, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  July 22nd, 2011

I was determined to keep on schedule as much as possible before husband’s surgery, so my goal for this week was to make it to 120,000 words.  Which I did.   Today I went back to an unfinished chapter (it had stopped in a sort of lurch awhile back) and it took off a bit.    A certain teary widow has pulled up her socks and had an idea I certainly had not anticipated when I quit on that chapter.    I’m impressed.  Kieri’s impressed.

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