Nov 17

Gone Tree

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  November 17th, 2015

At one time we had an old (by CenTex standards, where ash trees frequently do not live past 40 years) and lovely ash tree shading the entire front yard at the house my mother lived in when she died.   In the last 5-10 years, it’s been dying by inches, not helped by the long drought from 2007 to 2013-14.   I don’t have a picture of it at its best.    We felt the job was too big for us to tackle with a couple of ropes and a small chain saw.  This is what it looked like just before the tree removal people arrived this Monday.

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Nov 15

Closing In

Posted: under Craft, Life beyond writing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  November 15th, 2015

At this stage of revision, I always wish I had another two weeks.  Or a month.    There’s always one…more…problem bit to untangle, that I think would benefit from more time to analyze and think about.  And then another, in the next section.  However, things are progressing appropriately.  The holes are filling in,  the once-blurry places are sharpening into focus, and though I’m dealing with some decisions made earlier that I might make differently now, they’re working out with some fierce hammering and welding.   (Clever ideas.  Clever ideas are the ones that seem so shiny! and smart!  at the time, and that flow easily in first draft and then…toward the end…reveal themselves to be more clever than good.  For instance, the…mumble-mumph.  How do you mumble-mumble and mumph-mumph so as to have a crisis *here* that requires characters to appear to have a random emergency giving you-the-writer the opportunity to lay the hook for the string that will later be pulled, so when something (errummph?) is revealed, the reader will feel a connection–yes, there was a foreshadowing but things were so hectic I missed it–and thus the revelation is not a deus ex machina.   Though of course all this backstage work IS the writer being the deus ex machina.)   Read the rest of this entry »

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Nov 02

Just to Complicate Things

Posted: under Life beyond writing, Revisions.
Tags: , ,  November 2nd, 2015

Roofing Begins

Yes, those are roofers tearing off shingles at the house my mother owned when she died.  Our son lived there awhile and stays there on weekends, as do guests.  It’s where we have parties, too, as it has  more room than our house.   It will soon have a metal roof, which should last longer, given that we have hail storms and branches that fall on the roof and squirrels who think getting through roofs is a lot of fun.

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Oct 11

GRRR Google

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

The local PBS station carries as their secondary station something called, and it had an interview with Eric Schmidt of Google; I saw the last part of it.   Right toward the end, he started bragging on how wonderful Google Books Project was, and how they’d been “litigated to death” (not with their money they weren’t) and how that settlement had been overturned (no doubt with the application of money) and they’d get it all done in time and it was a great service to society.
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Aug 28

My Dragon*Con Schedule

Posted: under Conventions, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  August 28th, 2015

My final Dragon*Con schedule, as of yesterday.    I have an hour reading slot on Friday at 5:30 pm (a time when, frankly, I don’t expect many people to show up.   Sensible people will be eating an early supper.   Gratitude will be abundant for those who do show.  Surprise me by stuffing the room with avid fans and something amazing may happen. )

For anyone interested, since I don’t have a new book out this year,  my donations to the charity auction will be Tuckerizations (you get to be a character in something), one for an appearance in a Vatta book, and one for an appearance in a Paksworld story to be published (eventually) as part of a collection.   More details available at the convention.

For the rest of the schedule, read on…

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Jun 13

As the Zeroes Roll Over

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  June 13th, 2015

So tonight the ms. stands at 70,000+ words.   This is after chunks removed and chunks added over the past few weeks.   Front end writing toward the end, and backfilling gaps both.  More chunks remain to be removed, but I’m waiting on the larger ones until I’m closer to the end.   There’s quite a bit of back-filling to be done; some of the writing has been fairly skeletal…the skeleton needs muscle, tendons, skin, and clothing.   Aiming at a finished length of ~120,000, which means 50,000 to do between now and the end of August.  Doable as so much is fleshing out the scenes and the transitions between scenes  (drat–I just has an opossum on the window-screen beside me.  Young one, but well past the cute stage.)  The story itself is moving well into the final stages.

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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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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 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:  for those who want to see our most dangerous snake.

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