May 27

Changes, etc.

Posted: under Blog-page Update, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  May 27th, 2018

You probably noticed the new page, the Privacy Policy notice required by the EU.  There’s one on all the blogsites now, but not on the websites, because my website guru is having trouble getting the hosting service’s server to do what she tells it.  She’ll get there.   On the 80 acres online blog, I had to stick it at the bottom of the Policies page because the bar for pages wouldn’t accommodate another button.

The original Paks books (three individual, not three in one) are about to come out in their 30th anniversary finery (which I haven’t seen yet, alas…unless my brain has wiped the cover art, which I wouldn’t think would happen.)

The derelict house next door, which we bought last year and had brought back up to code, is about to get renters into it finally.   They’d rather buy and I’ll probably sell to them in a year or so, if we get along as neighbors.  I’m not planning to move (though life is what happens while you’re making plans, or not making plans, as the case may be.)  I had the house cleaned before they were to start moving their stuff in, and it turns out the daughter of the lady who did the housecleaning (and boy is she good!  But she must never see the inside of MY house!)  is friends with the lady and her husband moving in.  They’ve worked in the same office, though now they’re in the same agency but not in the same office.   Small towns.   It makes me very happy to see that house looking as it does now, and I will be even happier to see it lived in.  It was so sad to watch it going to ruin.

Molly the horse and I have still not achieved cooperation (mostly my fault and due to my lack of energy and weakness and flabbiness) but still hoping that will come.  Mocha ( the taller and more skittish one) is still for sale at the trainer’s.

I’m working slowly on the Paksworld stories, as I said, but Cracolnya’s story still bothers me.  It’s…got a spot in it where I went off the trail, and I can’t spot that spot.  I’m going to consult two of my story-fixers and see if they can find it.

The great SF/F editor and writer Gardner Dozois died today and I’m just…whacked.   He lost his wife to cancer; everyone who knew him was worried about him but I thought (as did many others) he was doing a little better.  And then boom…he got sick, he got an infection, it took over, and…gone.

And that’s really all I have, for now.  Thank you all for your continuing support and kindness.

 

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May 09

What’s Ticking Over in Writer-Brain

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  May 9th, 2018

It’s been a difficult four or five months; those of you who follow on Facebook (now the more frequently posted version) may know about the death of Mac, the remaining horse after Illusion died, husband’s surgery, horse searching, the concussion following first horse’s very efficient bucking, the extensive dental work (now entering the third month), another tick bite by a Lyme carrying tick and the subsequent medication, the second horse purchase (older, quieter, but…it turns out…equally not the cooperative mount I was hoping for), and so on.  And of course *everyone* is having a difficult time with our peculiar Administration and Congress.

So that’s why the long silence.  I decided I would not try to write fiction this year at all…if it comes, it comes, but I’m not going to commit to anything.  I’m out of choir for now, and hope to get back in, but I’m not sure I can manage it due to the necessary driving at night…I need another cataract surgery.   The dental stuff, which started on my birthday in early March, as soon as I dared risk it after the concussion, has been…well, if you’ve had 9 root canals done in multiples and a pulled tooth and a bunch of other stuff, you know my feelings.  Or some of them.  And it’s not over yet.  I thought it was, but it’s not.

But things are once more beginning to tick over in writer-brain.  Some are leftover tags of the Vatta books that want a conclusion; some are leftover tags of Paksworld.  I’ve been doing a little light revision of the next bunch of Paksworld stories, for instance, and have a scene and a notion of where it’s going in a third Vatta’s Peace book.  Most days, however, get no fiction done at all.  Other things fill the time, including trying (so far unsuccessfully) to get fitter in the wake of the concussion.  My right leg is refusing to relearn that most natural (to me) of movements, swinging out and over a horse’s back.  The house next door, that we bought and renovated last year as a possible rent house has renters moving in.  I have not been able to knit since the concussion, or bake bread (weird…but just can’t…hoping that comes back!)  and initiative is way down, though intellectual curiosity is back, and I’m reading a lot of serious nonfiction again.

For your pleasure (?)  here are some pictures.

Mocha, first day here, January 10

Mocha with trainer, late February–now for sale

Molly-second day here, mid-April

Molly – three days ago. Red dun, has the dark stripes

Mocha had no papers…supposedly 3/4 Quarter Horse and 1/4 Arabian.  Molly is a 14 yo registered Quarter Horse, locally bred but her breeders retired and moved away years ago, and she’s not really suited for breeding anyway, IMO.  Others might disagree.  She’s a little shorter than Mocha, with more substance (bone), but she was used as a lesson horse in a program for children and she hates being bridled and isn’t fond of being ridden.  She doesn’t buck (big improvement) but is otherwise in need of retraining, which I’m trying to do between dental stuff and concussion effects and a few other physical problems.

Other than that, both husband and son are doing well.

 

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Dec 06

Aha! Book Depository Has UK Edition

Posted: under Deed of Paksenarrion, Good News, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  December 6th, 2017

If you’re desperate for a whole, not falling apart, Deed of Paksenarrion, my agent informs me that the UK edition is available via this link:

https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Deed-Of-Paksenarrion-Elizabeth-Moon/9781841498546?ref=grid-view&qid=1512606716611&sr=1-1

I did not know that.  But now that I’m informed, I hope it relieves any angst that comes from waiting to find out what covers Baen’s going to put on the 30th anniversary issues.   We’re getting wintry mix precip this evening.  I did not brave the highways and bridges to go to and from choir and am about to turn this off and go stretch out in bed with a mug of hot chocolate with *two* marshmallows in it.  I hope your evening is going as well.  (And yes, I am thinking about the victims of the huge California fires.)

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Sep 07

The Good News & The Good News

Posted: under Conventions, Editing, Good News, Life beyond writing.
Tags: , ,  September 7th, 2017

Editor has accepted the manuscript of INTO THE FIRE (after the second rewrite) and it’s now in production.  Once the copy edits have come and gone, I’m off the contractual hook, so to speak, with the time to arrange for the medical and dental procedures I need.   Whew!   Because an eye with a cataract in it does not get better on its own, nor does a dental situation.

DragonCon was fun but challenging, as the throat injury was still causing discomfort and some loss of voice strength, and the knee injury didn’t allow the kind of fast, steady walking that going from hotel to hotel makes much easier.  OTOH, I made it, so there.

Renovation on the house next door that we bought to rent has gone well, and it’s now time for the flooring crew to put in the new floors.  Then installation of appliances, final plumber visits and electrical visits, and it’ll be about ready to go.  In the meantime I need to have a talk with our lawyer about “being a landlord of residential property.”  The basics; I’ve never done this before.

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Aug 28

And Now….

Posted: under Conventions, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  August 28th, 2017

Shifting attention from hurricane (since it’s moving away from us) without shifting attention from needs of those still being affected, and soon to be affected, by its continuing capacity for destruction, I’m starting the final prep for DragonCon.  I won’t be online as much; I have a lot to do each day I have left.  Thanks for all your good wishes and prayers; please keep those really suffering in this mess in the same good wishes and prayers.   (And the sun just came out–actual sun on the ground and real shadows for the first time since, um…late last week.)

Gotta run.  There’s a bit longer post over on Universes.

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Aug 26

Harvey: Not an Invisible Rabbit or My Childhood Friend

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  August 26th, 2017

Hurricane Harvey’s outside edge reached us about an hour and a half ago: rain and a slowly but steadily increasing wind (not overly strong–about 15 mph, says the weather, with gusts to 23.)    We are in a good place for having a hurricane coming over us, and much luckier than those closer to the coast or, inland, closer to the eye.   We have supplies, we’re over a hundred miles from the eye, we have both distance from, and elevation above, the nearest watercourse.

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Aug 11

Finally? Maybe?

Posted: under Good News, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  August 11th, 2017

Yesterday I finished the second rewrite requested by Editor.  Summer has been full of long, long days at the computer and short-short nights of too little sleep.  (In between the two rewrites was something else that came up and required the same crunch approach.)

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Jul 07

Rewrite Is Done!

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  July 7th, 2017

And that means I have more time for other things, many of which (including my posts here) have languished in the intense two-plus months of getting it done.

When I’ve recovered a bit, I’ll be going back to a more frequent posting schedule on all the blogs.   The next publishing thing (without a deadline, though) will be the second collection of Paksworld stories.   I need my head clearer to do the final editing on that, without bleed-over from science fiction & Vatta stuff.  I don’t know quite how long it will take; I may not get to it until after DragonCon.  Right now I’m working on health issues and all the stuff that didn’t get done that needs to get done (like washing and packing stuff to be given away.  I don’t have a daughter, and our son is now willing to say what he doesn’t care about inheriting.   So some of the china my mother had stays (because I still use it,) and some will find a new home.  Books and toys our son had–that he’s willing to part with–will go.  Clothes I don’t want anymore–some have already gone, but more will.   Papers need sorting.  And so on.   It will be a long process, because right now I can’t work on anything very long at a time.  But that will change.

I’m now back to riding the bike for exercise, making bread for better nutrition (if you’re going to eat bread, making it yourself means you know *exactly* what went into it), growing herbs (and will re-start the vegetable garden) again for better eating, and when I get the energy will start knitting again (it’s been more than a year.)  The priority is health, right now, including mental health (so having time to spend with friends, and time to spend outside with plants and animals, and time for enough sleep is part of it.)   I write better when I’m not exhausted, stressed, short of sleep, etc.

So–I hope within the year to have the next Paksworld fiction collection out, and maybe a collection on the science fiction side as well.    When I’ve reached whatever level of health & energy is possible,  then I can start a regular writing schedule and find out how much I can do without losing ground health-wise.  Until then,  I won’t be pushing myself to start another novel.

Thank you all for your support, and I will be posting more about ideas, about the writing process, and about Paksworld in particular.   I will be at DragonCon this year,  God willin’ and the crick don’t rise, or my widely-expressed opinions about our current political situation don’t land me on a no-fly list.  If you’ll be there, look me up.  I signed up to be one of the mentors in the writing track this year, so someone will be getting a one-on-one discussion about their work.  I don’t know the schedule at all, or how that program is set up.

 

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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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