Mar 28

Luxury Polishing

Posted: under Collections, Craft, the writing life.
Tags: ,  March 28th, 2014

Quite often, and especially with long books,  writers are up against tight deadlines.   Yes, we proofread.  Yes, we try to find every continuity error, every awkward phrase, every less than perfect word choice.    And we hope Editor and Copy-Editor and eventually the proofreader for the page proofs will find the ones we miss (though sometimes we need to correct their corrections.   The CE who wanted me to have a ship’s weapons “staffed” instead of “manned,” for instance.)  But once a writer is hooked into a traditional publishing workflow,  there’s a limit to how many drafts, how many re-readings, how much polishing can be done in the time alloted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 28

This Week/Last Week

Posted: under artwork, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 28th, 2014

This post would have gone up last week, except for a power outage, a stubborn computer, and two speaking gigs for which prep had to be done.

Shattered-Shields-cover

Yes!  The cover of Shattered Shields in which I have a story, “First Blood.”  Those of  you who haunt Amazon.com have already seen it, no doubt, but last week was my first sight of it, when the editor sent it out to all of us.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 16

Progress Report: Paksworld Short Fiction

Posted: under Collections, E-books, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 16th, 2014

Rancherfriend-E, recruited as my editorial assistant on this project,  took far less time than I would have to act like a Sorting Hat and divvy up the stories-so-far between the two proposed collections.   I made one change about the time she was emailing me “You could do this instead…” and her this and my that were the same.   Then I threw a couple of other things into the first group (partly because I wanted to and partly because it would even up the wordage between the two) and she said “Good idea.  I think I’ll take a nap now.” 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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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.

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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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Jan 13

Knitting With Herdwick Yarn: More on Paks Crafts

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

The Herdwick yarn I bought is exactly what I hoped for–a yarn that belongs in a fantasy novel, in that its feel (like the breed itself) is old, traditional, and suits a rugged pre-industrial setting.    Here’s a small swatch knitted on US #5, (3.75mm) needles, from the Aran-weight, light-colored yarn.   I’m getting five stitches per inch.

   Herdwick-swatch-Aran198

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Jan 09

Bustling Through

Posted: under Good News, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  January 9th, 2014

January is the month in which I have to turn in the annual report on our wildlife management program.   Some years I get it almost done in December.  This year I didn’t,  so I’m working on it now.  Also on another official report.   Husband does the last quarterly tax stuff, but I’m supposed to gather paperwork (whimper) and hand it to him.  Hence, bustling through. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dec 10

Story Sale & Anthology Announcement

Posted: under Good News, the writing life.
Tags: ,  December 10th, 2013

Shattered Shields edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt will be released November 4, 2014 to bookstores everywhere by Baen in trade paperback. Read the rest of this entry »

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