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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (22)

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.  )

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (8)

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. )

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (11)

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (10)

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (8)

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 »

Comments (32)

May 13

A Trickle of News & A Bit on Reviews

Posted: under Conventions, Marketing, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  May 13th, 2014

First US printing of Crown of Renewal  in hardcover is 12,000 copies.  WOW!   Should be plenty available from most places.   (I have no idea if all 12,000 selling in the first week would get me to a spot on the NYT list, but it couldn’t hurt.    However, with the cost of hardcovers these days and the general economy,  that’s not going to happen.   Absolutely no dark looks cast at anyone who’s waiting for their library to get a copy, or who will wait for the paperback.    Not into guilt-laying my readers!)   Editor let me know that today. She also reported checking on a potential situation with Amazon that appears not to affect Crown (at least not so far) but had affected other writers’ books (heard about it on a closed list, and let her know that, as well as the Book World problem Hawkman mentioned here.   Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (42)

May 01

Arrival

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  May 1st, 2014

The Orbit UK edition of Crown of Renewal arrived in a box on my front porch this afternoon.    Great gloating ensued.   If I ever get over the thrill of opening a box and finding !my books! inside, I should quit writing…new books deserve that excitement.    Husband grabbed one and opened it.  I grabbed one and opened it.   I didn’t read beyond the first few pages (yes, the story is still there and has not turned into someone else’s story, perhaps about the life of a stockbroker who is dissatisfied with his teenage son and his manager) because I had Other Stuff to do.  Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (48)

May 01

May First Already??

Posted: under snippet, Story, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  May 1st, 2014

How did that happen?   I keep combing Crown, looking for possible snippets  that aren’t spoilers, but…the last book in a group is more spoiler than anything else.    Especially for a group of readers who are as sharp as you folks, who seize on the slightest clue and go straight to intelligent speculation.  Even when you’re off the mark, you’re interestingly off the mark (and sometimes, I confess, make me wish the story itself had gone that way.)   Hence the shortage of snippets from Crown.

What I can offer, sort of, is snippets from stories that will turn up in the related short fiction collections and background information that might lead…anywhere.  Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (7)

Apr 23

Ambushed by Stories

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  April 23rd, 2014

So there I am trying to figure out what kind of proposal to put forth that won’t die in Chapter Two, while short stuff is sprouting up all over my mind, like greenbriar in a mowed pasture.   Greenbriar will never grow into a tall, shady tree full of delicious fruit, but it sure can pop out of the ground and stab you in the ankle.  Short fiction is less painful (I hope!) but  I do now know the difference in feel between “This should run out of steam before x-thousand words” and “AHA!  This character and situation has real potential.”  Usually.  Almost always.   Many of my stories try to grow longer, but they’re like greenbriar, putting out long sneaky strands that have no woody potential.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (25)