Mar 23

A New Old Thing

Posted: under Good News, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  March 23rd, 2017

As those of you with tattered old mass-market paperbacks with the woman on the black horse on the cover know,   Sheepfarmer’s Daughter came out in 1988, as did Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold came out in 1989.   To celebrate 30 years in print, Baen Books is going to put out an Annversary Edition of them next year, and asked if I would write an introduction to each volume.  Of course I said yes, and I’ve roughed out the first one and sent it on to Toni Weisskopf at Baen.

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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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Jan 20

UK Cover for COLD WELCOME

Posted: under artwork, Cold Welcome.
Tags: ,  January 20th, 2017

Today’s the day Orbit UK is releasing the cover art for COLD WELCOME so here it is.  If you want to see it in a larger format, it’s over at the Universes blog.

The Universes post has both this cover and the US cover in a larger format, plus my amateurish “concept” sketch in crayon, that looks nothing like either of them.  For a good reason.  I’m not a professional artist <G>.

 

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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 04

Cold Welcome Cover

Posted: under artwork, Cold Welcome, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  August 4th, 2016

Cold-Welcome-coverComing in March 2017 Read the rest of this entry »

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Jul 26

Who Knew…

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  July 26th, 2016

…that visa problems might still exist in the far future worlds science fiction writers write about?  Surely future political entities will have better solutions than we have…won’t they?   (Plot Daemon says “Bwah-ha-hah-hah-hah-haaaaa….”)   And rules about who is really a citizen…and problems with missing paperwork…and what happens if you’re deported from your own planet and you haven’t ever done anything wrong there?

NewBook progresses,  still generating plot and complications in a healthy way.

Addendum July 26 Comment posted by Elizabeth:

Lordy, lordy, this is being fun. No, the characters aren’t having fun. There’s frustration on all sides. Officialdom is annoyed with people who don’t tick all the boxes, fill in all the blanks, sign on dotted lines, get things notarized, and then stand patiently in line for hours… (yes, I was caught in a bureaucratic paper-pushers’ delight a couple of weeks ago, and got to watch other people have a worse time than I did. Then watch a nearby city’s evening news report on the “new mega-center” that the online stuff kept directing me to because it was “faster.” It wasn’t faster; it was jammed and people who weren’t there at 5 am weren’t going to get whatever it was they needed done. Thank you SO much, Texas legislature.) Anyway.

For the writer, the chance to make use of such experiences is one of the things that makes them bearable. The other thing is knitting. Knitting is perfect when you have to wait…and wait…and wait…and wait.

People who say they aren’t patient enough to knit sit or stand in line jittering and fussing, and miserable, while I am adding rows to a sock. It becomes a game. How many stitches or rows can I do before the line moves again? How many while waiting for my number to be called? And it amuses others who are waiting, at least some of them. At least one person in any room is either a knitter, or a relative of someone who knits/knitted or crochets/crocheted. Someone will ask what it is, or if the yarn is wool or cotton, or comment on the colors. And often we can get a lively discussion going that’s not about how slow the line is.

Post & Comment mirrored from Universes blog

31,000 words now

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Jul 11

Nose to the Grindstone (Mirrored from Universes blog)

Posted: under Craft, the writing life.
Tags: ,  July 11th, 2016

In the “where are we now?” category, the book is, as of today, at 16,000 words (still short fiction of the novelette  or novella type)  and 83 manuscript pages.   The good news is that story is flowing.  It’s going nonlinear in the “threaded plot” sense, as Aunt Grace, Rector of Defense, has just gotten home to find her place booby-trapped, while Ky, at dinner in another location, is about to be unpleasantly interrupted by the persons who rang the doorbell there, and a character from Cold Welcome has taken on a new identity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 26

The Dun Mare’s Grandchild, Part Two

Posted: under snippet, Story, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  June 26th, 2016

As light revealed the land around them, Oktar knew they were north of the town, riding north, winterwards as the horsefolk said, and the reason he hadn’t been able to feel the rein was that he had none–his grandfather held Oktar’s horse’s rein as well as his own in his one good hand.  The horses moved at a brisk walk, ears forward, alongside a stone wall with sheep on the other side of it.  Oktar turned to look behind.  Nothing of the town showed but a blur of smoke in the distance.  Read the rest of this entry »

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