Mar 09

Done (at least for now)

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 9th, 2017

So INTO THE FIRE reached its appointed end yesterday–today has been filled with other chores–and now I’m going to comb the burs out of its mane, curry the mud-clumps off its back and belly where it rolled and wallowed, and present it to Editor with (I hope) nothing much for her to do but work her magic with the clippers to make it still prettier.

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Jan 23

Progress, Lurching Ahead

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  January 23rd, 2017

That was actually me at the Austin Women’s March, the lurching ahead thing.  I had a cane with four little cushioned feet.  And needed it.  I am not as spry, had been sick earlier in the week (er…wasn’t OVER being sick, either!)  and instead of being in the 70s and partly cloudy, the sun came out full on just before the march started, and it shot up to about 90-something.  It was a great march; I didn’t make it the whole way, but I made some of it, enough to know I’d put out all the effort I had.

But INTO THE FIRE is now over 125,000 words.   Progress forward has slowed because I’m rearranging.  In my “process” (a word that suggests far more rationality in the choice of what to do and where to go next than I actually achieve!)  whenever I get stuck I start a different scene that’s been perking along but doesn’t necessarily belong right there, where I was when I started writing it.  It used to be that I wrote in chapters, all wandering around from maybe 4500 to 6000 words…short-story length, though they were clearly not stories in themselves.   Awhile back (not sure when) I started trying to form longer strings.  It’s not as smooth in some ways, but in others the lack of chapter markings along the way allows things to be the length they need.  What’s much harder is finding  things.   It’s much easier to remember that the chapter where the rhinoceros charges a beehive and ends up with sticky honey on his horn, and then rubs his horn in the gravel and it’s not ordinary gravel but jewels and now he’s got a jeweled horn…is chapter ‘low twenties’ if not the exact number, than to remember that it’s page 437 in a manuscript with no internal markers.

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Jan 18

Notice of Change

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  January 18th, 2017

My hosting service is closing down at the end of March.  I need to find a new hosting service, a new registrar, get everything backed up and transferred, ASAP.   As most of you know, getting that DNS change thing accomplished takes awhile (or can take awhile) and so there may be a gap in which the sites disappear.  If that happens, please be patient.  I can’t say when it might happen, yet, because I was only notified today of the shutdown.  I’m in freefall and trying to finish the book.  (Don’t know why I’m surprised–everything else in the past year and a bit that caused a new load of work to land on me did so in the context of “but there’s this deadline.” )   I will try to keep you informed, but I will be far busier than I thought I’d be.  I have four websites (and a sub off one of one of them, so five, really) and four blogs embedded in them.    That glug-glug-glug you hear may be me trying not to drown.  (Same message on Universes.)

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Nov 04

Up From the Depths…

Posted: under Cold Welcome, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  November 4th, 2016

Bubbles rise to the surface of the murky water…the water-lily pads bob up and down…somewhere something is moving, but nobody can quite see what it is…until a large blob, crowned with two water lily pads and a glob of slime that drips down a face obscured by a wetsuit hood, rises to the surface.

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Sep 19

So It Goes

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  September 19th, 2016

Right…I’m back over here briefly.   The new new book is now over 60,000 words, but there’s an interruption right now because page proofs arrived today and need to be worked on promptly.  And I have a Vatta short story to make jell for an anthology with a closer deadline than the book.  As often with short stories, it doesn’t want to jell.  It wants to either grow to a novel or shrink to an anecdote.  Neither is acceptable.

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Aug 25

Home Again

Posted: under Conventions.
Tags:  August 25th, 2016

I survived WorldCon by not doing a lot of things I normally do  (none of the evening/night events or activities), but I made all my panels and managed a couple of dinners with friends.   Aside from that I went horizontal as much as possible.    It may or may not have fended off con crud (certainly people near me were sneezing and coughing, and I sometimes sneezed or coughed without feeling sick–the air was dry, then there were storms, then it was dry and windy.)   Interesting people met on the trains and also at the convention.   I fell madly for the nearest (fantastic!) grocery store, Consentino’s Market and wished for a fridge and a kitchenette.  Wow, the meals I could’ve cooked.  And eaten.   Amazing produce.  Amazing cheese selection.  Amazing bakery.   Amazing meats and seafood.  AND they also had hot food and made custom sandwiches and, and, and…

A good crowd at my signing and at my reading.  Full table at the kaffeeklatsch.   Generally excellent panels.    Generally excellent co-panelists, etc.,  and good folks all around.   Some lovely things in the Dealers’ Room, but I ended up with books, as usual, even though very tempted by hand-painted silk scarves.  They just weren’t the right colors for me.   Larry Smith was in good form in his “book room” and sure enough…that’s where my money went.  The KC convention center is HUGE and there was a lot of walking on hard floors, some of it at speed (some of us gave up on the green room’s allures early on because our panels were so far from it, that it was difficult to get there on time if we got to the green room at the time recommended.  This is NOT a slam at the convention, which had to work with the rooms as they were.   Just a reality we dealt with.)   The one panel I moderated really didn’t need a moderator (thank you, kind panelists.)

I was accosted after one panel by a woman who mistakenly thought I was an M.D., and told me all her reasons for anger with the medical profession in a taut, hostile voice, on and on and on (she did have a very unfortunate set of circumstances) and finally said “So YOU’RE a doctor…!” and when I said I wasn’t, she was sure I was, and I finally convinced her…and that took the wind out of her sails only briefly, because then she went on and on into other miseries of her life until finally I had to go…and seemed disappointed I couldn’t stay and let her vent more.   Sad.   Wish she’d say all that to the specific doctors she’s sure mishandled things.

Feeling tired still, so that’s all the convention report here for now, except that there were Paks fans there, and some good questions about Paksworld stuff.

 

 

 

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Aug 14

Vanishment

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  August 14th, 2016

I have only one more day to prep for the two-day trip to KC,  so tomorrow I won’t be logging on.  Then I’ll be gone somewhat over a week (two days on the train coming home, too.)     If any of you are going to WorldCon, I hope to see you there.   Meanwhile, if you’re being drenches in rain, please don’t drown…and if you’re stuck in the horrible heat, please be careful of heat injuries.

 

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Jun 22

Important Notice

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  June 22nd, 2016

In spite of a post on an entertainment website about Gordon Lightfoot, no, I was not his second wife.   I’ve been married since 1969 to the same man, who is not (and, no disrespect to Mr. Lightfoot, I’m glad of that) Gordon Lightfoot.   Most of you would have figured that out yourselves, if you’d ever run into the post, but since it’s out there,  someone who knows you like my books may pull a “Did you know…?” on you and you can help me out by stomping on the rumor if it’s still alive.  (It’s on an internet site.  It will be there forever.)

I’ve informed the site, but who knows if they’ll bother to make any correction.  So I’m being pro-active or something similar.   (mirrored on Universes blog)

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Apr 23

Still Alive & Kicking

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  April 23rd, 2016

March and most of April were eaten up by illness, aftermath of illness, another illness, and attempting to get the rewrites done on Cold Welcome and catch up on things left undone while sick.   Including church music.   I am well again (fingers crossed) though far, far behind in physical fitness, housekeeping, and progress on the book after Cold Welcome.    Energy level is slowly coming back.  The rewrite has been delivered to Editor (April 15), and her remaining comments, if any, will be dealt with in the copy edits.

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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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