Mar 05

Reading in Bed

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  March 5th, 2011

What do you read when you’re sick in bed?    I had some long illnesses as a child, and since I started reading very early,  reading while confined to bed was always part of the day.   My mother could chart my fever by how fast I read, whether I put the book down and closed my eyes, etc.  (She preferred a thermometer, though, having trained as a nurse.)   Among the signs I learned to watch for in myself was reading the same page over and over. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 16

Yee Haw!

Posted: under Craft, the writing life.
Tags: , , , , ,  February 16th, 2010

…”Out of period!” sniffs the judge of exclamations.  “Does not fit the book.”

Well, no, but my copies of the Orbit edition of Oath of Fealty arrived today.    They’re both in the study with me where I gloat over them every few minutes.    Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 17

The Book of Swords, Preview

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  June 17th, 2009

I think I mentioned, some time back, the video Reclaiming the Blade, about the history of the western sword, and how it was used.

Hank Reinhardt, co-founder of Museum Replicas, was on that video, and though he died in late 2007, the book he was working on is now coming out from Baen Books, titled The Book of Swords.  Toni Weisskopf, his widow, took his various drafts and brought them together.

I was sent an ARC of this book, and have been looking it over for a couple of days…and I have to say, I’m impressed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dec 18


Posted: under Contents, the writing life.
Tags:  December 18th, 2008

A month or two ago, I wrote a post over on LiveJournal about cooties, following on a fun discussion at this year’s World SF Convention. In this context, cooties are elements of someone’s work to which a reader has an aversive allergic response. Stories that contain common cooties will repel segments of the possible readership. Cooties are most common in the areas of sex, violence, religion, and power/politics, but are so widespread that a writer cannot possibly avoid including some cootie-generating element.

Cooties generate their strong aversive signal because they’re associated (not always accurately) with an array of things the reader doesn’t like, and serve as a distant early warning of ick ahead. (“Ick” is a technical term for what sickens a reader if he/she encounters it.) Thus someone for whom girl-loves-horse storylines are Ick will see the appearance of a horse and a girl in the same book as a cootie. “Not another stupid girl and her horse!” Eye-roll.

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