Dec 23

New Website & Blog Announcement

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  December 23rd, 2015

It’s not here yet, because my web designer is over in London having Christmas with her family (her son married an Australian living in London–they got married in Denmark and are now living in London.)   And she’s retiring in March (this is Not Fair: she’s younger than I am and I’m not retiring yet!!)   But there will be a new website and blog specifically for the SF side of my writing.   You are the first outside the business to know (my Editor thought this was a great idea, as some of my SF fans are adamant about not sticking a toe into the Fantasy area, lest they be sucked into the swamp)  but never fear–if you’d rather hang out here,  I plan to mirror some of the content there over here (possibly not some of the straight science links I’m planning to include–your opinion on that is welcome.)   And this area will not go away.   There will be more short fiction coming out if things go as planned, and perhaps more long stuff later.

That  blog will be called “Universes” and, like this one, embedded in its site.  In this case, that site will be encapsulated in my main site, thanks to the ingenuity and cooperation of the site host and my web designer.  The Vatta books will be one “universe.”

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Dec 03

Gone Away

Posted: under Cold Welcome, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  December 3rd, 2015

Cold Welcome flew away to NYC yesterday morning,  right when it was due, but I was too wiped to post about it then.  It went off at 129.863 words,  and I think all the words are in the right order, though I suspect there are errors.   I’m still not satisfied with the formatting  for the transition signals I sent to readers, but Word was being such a pig about things that it took me much longer than it should have to mess them about and increase the clarity quotient.

Meanwhile, three more dead or partly dead trees in dangerous locations have been removed by the tree removal crew, the HVAC people put in a good stack for the furnace, roofer returned today to reset and caulk the collar for the furnace & hot water heater stacks (he had insisted we needed to get the stacks installed properly by modern standards)  and I started the toe decreases on one of the turquoise socks (the left one.)

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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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Oct 20

When characters refuse the good bits

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  October 20th, 2015

You will be as disappointed as I am that just putting very interesting and amazing stuff in the surroundings of a story doesn’t always persuade characters to take advantage.  Things you will not be seeing in the book, despite my earnest endeavors and a lot of research and backstory work:  a mammoth hunt, harnessing caribou/reindeer for transportation of anything,  Irish elk shaking those tremendous antlers, or the terrifying attack of a pack of dire wolves.

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Sep 18

Puzzles, gaps, and what’s happening

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  September 18th, 2015

Puzzles, first.  I never heard from Dragon*Con or whoever (if anyone) won my auction donations about the auction winners.   I was findable (at autograph session and panels) the day after the auction, and expected someone to walk up and show me the certificate and then I’d know who.   Didn’t happen.  The elevator crush was so bad on Monday, when I was leaving, that I did not have time to go over to con ops and ask them…I thought there’d be an email when I got home, but there wasn’t.   Did no one bid on the Tuckerizations?  Did my contribution somehow get lost in the pile of things in the boxes where guests were supposed to put them when checking in?   No clue.  No clue whom to contact.   If I had not come down with a juicy and miserable cold earlier this week, I might have been able to look back through my emails for a contact person, but I can’t sit up and stare at the computer screen that long–vision’s fuzzy too.

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Sep 02

Dragon*Con items at auction

Posted: under Conventions, the writing life.
Tags: ,  September 2nd, 2015

I’m offering two Tuckerizations at the Dragon*Con Charity Auction, since I don’t have a new book out this year.

One is a character placement in one (probably the one I’m just finishing) of the two Vatta related books on contract.  The other is a character placement in a Paksworld story, one that will either come out in an anthology or be published in another collection  of Paksworld fiction.   If there’s room in my suitcase, I might tuck in a couple of audiobooks as well, but no promises on that.   The Vatta story character will necessarily be a minor character in the book; the Paksworld story character may be more central (depends on the story.)

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Aug 15

I Thought I Posted…

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  August 15th, 2015

…but I didn’t.  I remember now, I started to, was interrupted, hit the wrong button, and the post went *poof*.   The interruption took considerable time, and…eventually….I forgot.   I have no memory of what I actually said, either.  Once it’s out of my head and the little letters appear on the screen, it’s easily forgotten, especially with interruptions.   It may have been about progress, or a reminder that I’m heading off to DragonCon in early September or a comment on the weather.  Whatever it was, it’s gone.

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Aug 04

And the beat goes on…

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  August 4th, 2015

105,000+ now.   Story is coming together nicely, though I’ve found some problems to be chainsawed out in revision.

For anyone who’s going to DragonCon, I got my panel schedule today (yesterday?  I’m writing at full speed; I don’t know when I get what or what I did with it…)  and am hoping to pick up a reading or signing time or both again this year.  I’ll be on a couple of panels with Esther Friesner, which will be fun.

The current pair of socks (the last of the “summer socks” for this year) are on the heel flaps.  Red, with a white stripe below the rolled top–the usual short-sock pattern.  The foot section will be blue and white striped, and the toe will be red with a one-row white stripe.  I hope the navy blue yarn I ordered comes in tomorrow or Thursday so I can start the foot as soon as I’ve turned the heel.  I’m wering the 4th of July socks now (blue top and heel, red and white striped foot, blue toe…)   If it doesn’t, I’ll go on and start the next regular (taller) socks.

But it’s after midnight again, so bedtime for the summer writer.

 

 

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Jul 25

Rounding the Far Turn…

Posted: under Story, the writing life.
Tags: ,  July 25th, 2015

The book has moved from the backstretch, where it was interfered with by sprinter-bred short story attempts, and is now on the turn toward home, though I can’t claim “homestretch” just yet.   It’s running smoothly at this point–10,000 words this past week, which is quite nice (the 3000 word day made my fingers hurt; I’m pretty much limited to 2000 on the day after day thing.)   I’m a little over 89,000 words right now, and it will reach 90,000 words today.   Getting that short story concern out of my mind really helped.   I can now hold the existing story (and what I know or surmise about the part that’s not written down yet)  in my head and see better where it wants to go, like a jockey who’s finally worked a horse out of a bad pocket and has open track in front.    The story-horse is on the bit, eager to get to the finish line.

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Jul 15

One Fence Down

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags:  July 15th, 2015

Sometimes when I agree to write a story for an anthology, I get the idea quickly, and the story rolls right out.  Novels don’t require “ideas”–they require a character who wants their story told.  But short stories for anthologies require an idea, because nearly always the anthology comes with a set of requirements: length and the date it should be turned in, but also thematic elements or tone or both that require coming up with  story that fits  it all in neatly.   Read the rest of this entry »

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