Oct 26

And Away It Goes

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  October 26th, 2014

There’s a book in progress now (it’s over 100 pages–that makes it a book in progress) It is not (alas for Paksworld fans who don’t like my other stuff) a Paksworld book. What Robin McKinley calls her Story Council (determining what she can write next) I call my Plot Daemon. The Plot Daemon shot down several previous book starts in the past year, some Paksworld and some not, but finally got steam up in the old Inchcliffe Castle* when I quit handing him ideas and said (with all the ire of a frustrated writer) “Fine, then: What do YOU want to do for the next year?”
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Sep 26

Small News on Progress

Posted: under Collections, E-books, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  September 26th, 2014

Got a call today from my agent’s office, that the cover copy person is working on cover copy (the enticing description of what’s inside) for the short fiction collection. The cover design itself is “somewhere” having “something” done (I don’t know where or what yet, so the quote marks are just a hint at that.) However, this is progress. Things are moving. No schedule yet and probably won’t be until the cover’s done and approved.
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Sep 18

Things Change, Things Move

Posted: under Collections, Contents, E-books, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  September 18th, 2014

The short fiction collection has a new title:  Deeds of Honor.  Remember how I said the cover design for the short fiction collection was tentative?    It was indeed, and that design has now vanished from mortal ken (well, not exactly…) and a new rough has been shipped out for work.   You’ll see it when it’s done.   Some things will be the same, and some things won’t.   The stories are in the hands of those who will prepare them for the collection.   I am alternately working on new fiction (not ready to talk about it yet) and the head-notes for the individual stories, which I should have done in another day or so (the new title has suggested changes in the head-notes.)  Read the rest of this entry »

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Aug 10

Farin Cook’s Kitchen

Posted: under Background, the writing life.
Tags:  August 10th, 2014

The kitchen at Verrakai’s country house resembles a number of large “great house” kitchens that have been shown on various British TV series…and a couple I saw when taken to see some of the similarly sized stately homes & castles.   It’s large enough to supply food for the family and house servants, and to give working room to the cooking staff.   Its storage capacity for food is substantially larger than anything a modern family needs; it has two large pantries inside the main kitchen area, plus the dairy,  off one side of which is the meat safe.   Unlike many great-house kitchens, it is not built underground or half-underground, but is on the main living level of the house.   That’s because the underground portion of the old keep tower extended under where the house was later built, and the Verrakaien of that day chose not to connect the house to that underground space.   Part of the house, toward the west (back) end does have a cellar level, accessed only through a secret door.   Like many old houses, the design has changed from time to time over the years, with additions, subtractions, and combinations enough to baffle anyone dwelling there now.  Why, for instance, are the stairs so inconvenient  for someone whose rooms are upstairs near the front of the house?

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Jul 18

Body Art in Paksworld

Posted: under Background, Craft, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  July 18th, 2014

Many people in various cultures have used permanent markings on the body as means of identification–individual, familial, tribal, broadly cultural.    Any of these can be ornamental, and thus fall into the “art” category, but they are often more than ornamental–they have specific meanings.  Temporary markings applied to the skin with colors, mud, ash are even commoner, but ephemeral; the point of this post is the permanent ones in use in Paksworld, and their meanings to the Paksworld cultures that use them (or who abhor them.)    Tattoos, scarification, and piercings all occur in Paksworld, with very specific meanings both inside and outside the groups that use them.

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Jul 04

In Case You’re Wondering

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  July 4th, 2014

Where, you may be wondering, is the planned short-fiction collection in its progress towards release?  Good question, and the answer is, I haven’t done all I’m supposed to do, thanks to a series of things (rethinking a couple of stories,  A-Kon,  the first Father’s Day after my father’s death, and the eye stuff.   And now my agent’s got jury duty.  )

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Jun 14

Scheduling & Book Stuff

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  June 14th, 2014

I am now taking the pre-pre-op eyedrops (started the 12th, will continue on through the pre-op doctor’s visit, which is the 19th) and on schedule for the cataract surgery a few days later.   Came home from A-Kon to the usual ton of work, which I still haven’t worked through because of a) the eye doctor visit–left me with blurry vision for hours afterward, b) storms that interfered with internet usage for some hours, and c) congenital laziness, AKA the desire to finish another pair of socks.  (For pictures of the now-finished “desert canyon” short socks, inside and out, see my LiveJournal post from yesterday. )

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Jun 01

Busy Week Ahead

Posted: under Conventions, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  June 1st, 2014

I now have only three days to prepare for A-Kon: I hop the train Thursday just before noon, and arrive in Dallas mid-late afternoon.   Meanwhile I have an eye doctor appointment on Tuesday,  gym on Monday and maybe also Wednesday (since my usual second day is Thursday) ,  and choir practice Wednesday.   Thanks to the computer stuff, I haven’t done the pre-convention-season shopping I was planning to do…oh, well.

I’m on several panels–if you’re going to be at A-Kon, you can find me (listed in schedule) there and in Artists Alley at table A-15, same row as Jack Campbell, Esther Friesner, Lee Martindale, Robin Wayne Bailey.  My copies of  the US Crown haven’t come, but I will have some of the UK Crown to show off, one of which will be in the charity auction: if you get it, bring it by for signing.

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May 30

Nose to the Grindstone

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  May 30th, 2014

Today had been planned for several chunks of writing work, but the computer problems took up nearly the whole day.   Luckily, I had washed all the socks before that happened, and a few pages were written while notes for others were hammered out.   Others were thought about.   The best news is that what I thought might have to be a three-book project was summarily reduced to one (at the suggestion of a wise friend, and after I thought about it for all of sixty seconds) and that markedly reduces the likely time away from Paksworld, even though no long stories of Paksworld have yet popped up.   That’s because the grimdark project has been eating a hole in my brain for over six months now.  And it will be much better, if it actually jells instead of being a really neat idea, in a shorter form, because the worst grimdark part won’t last as long and the character I’ve been interviewing in a small uncomfortable room will have less time to display his darker side and more time to show his (previously well plastered over) humanity.  I was not looking forward to a whole book of him in detail (but I can’t get the setup out of my brain.  Yet.)  And maybe it won’t jell after all, and I’ll feel less guilty about dumping a single volume unfinished than a set.  And maybe another story WILL jell , quickly, and I’ll be back on a long project.

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May 27

Futures

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  May 27th, 2014

Some of you have mentioned wanting more Paksworld stuff.  “What about X?”  “Will Y ever do [mumble-mumble]?” Read the rest of this entry »

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