rolanni: (Default)
2017-09-21 05:29 pm
Entry tags:

NEOGENESIS eARC available for download

For them what indulges, the eARC of Neogenesis, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller -- the 21st Liaden Universe®! -- is now available for download (and reading, natch).

Get yours here!

I will, in the fullness of time, set up a spoiler page at sharonleewriter.com

rolanni: (Default)
2017-09-21 12:16 pm

Hearphones update

So, we took the car in for the 10,000 mile check-up and tire rotation thingy, then went to IHOP for breakfast and a test drive of the hearphones.

The hearphones...are problematical on two fronts.

Front One:  I can't keep the damned things charged.  Admittedly, this files under Operator Error, but I'm not usually an idiot about keeping the toys charged, so there's some subtlety I'm missing.  And it doesn't lessen Operator Aggravation to arrive at the Test Location and find that the 'phones are, ahem, critically low on power.

Front Two:  Hearing my own voice in my ears is gonna drive me bugs.  And this may actually be a deal-breaker.  Steve urges me to give it another run, to see if I get used to it, which is fair, but at the moment what I'm doing is whispering in an attempt not to hear my own voice, which is...not really much better than sitting like a stump at a group dinner because I can't hear what anyone else is saying.

The plaque (and check) which together comprise "Wise Child's" Readers Choice award arrived yesterday.  The check we deposited in the bank today while we were out and about.  Here is a photograph of the plaque, being modeled by the delightful Mr. Miller.

So, my next order of business is to read another 50ish pages of the Neogenesis page proofs.  Lunch is on the schedule, and, very possibly, a nap, because we not only got up at stoopid o'clock to take the car in, but we got flu shots (the high-test flu shots reserved for those of us who are temporally elongated), too.

Everybody be good.

rolanni: (Default)
2017-09-20 12:46 pm
Entry tags:

In which the page proofs have landed and the hearphones are going to breakfast

For those following along at home:  The hearphone movie test was inconclusive.  I could, indeed, hear the dialog in Fantastic Beasts clearly while wearing the hearphones, but!  So could I without.  I am forced to conclude that the speakers on the new television set are superior to those in the local movie theater.

I have not yet done the Noisy Bar test drive.  I have a window of opportunity tomorrow, when I need to be in Augusta insanely early so the car can get its 10,000 mile inspection, fine-tuning, whatever.  Steve has bravely volunteered to go with me, and the plan (The Plan) is that, after the car is taken care of, we shall adjourn to IHOP, which is really pretty noisy, and I will do a test there.

One of the things that's really freaky about the hearphones, besides hearing yourself talk through your ears, is that there's a option for "silence" -- which turns off your ears.  Or at least feels like it's turned off your ears.  No input gets through.

In other news, the page proofs for Neogenesis, the twenty-first book in the Liaden Universe®; the eleventh Liaden book we've written for Baen -- landed in my in-box yesterday.  Today, after breakfast, Sprite and I sat down with our red pen and our sticky tabs and went over the front matter and the first 48 pages, which takes us through the first section/chapter.

I will now go on to other things, including working on Fifth of Five, the sequel to Neogenesis and the last book in both the five-book arc beginning with Dragon in Exile, and the last book in the arc begun 29 years ago, in Agent of Change.

Twenty-nine years ago.

Well.  I guess I've earned those purple hairs.

Before anyone asks:  Nope, still don't know when the eArc of Neogenesis will appear at a Baen.com near you.  The last word I had, from two "Baen insiders" (editors, actually, but "Baen insiders" sounds infinitely cooler than "editor") was that the eArc would be available in September.  That is the sum of my knowledge on the subject (honest!).  If you need to know more, you need to write to Baen.

What else?  The fountain pen experiment continues to go well.  I have one pen (out of, er, four?  that escalated quickly) that I'm not really crazy about, but I am declaring success.

So, that seems to be all the news.  Everybody be well.

11.03%
 
48 / 435 pages

 

rolanni: (Default)
2017-09-16 12:48 pm

The weekly ketchup

. . .bearing in mind, as always, that, in my accent, "ketchup" rhymes with "catch-up".

So, let's see. . .

I finished the story I was working on, in first draft; it's resting at the moment, titleless, and with a page of notes.  I'll get back to it, oh, early or mid-October; plenty of time for a mid-November hand-in.  I'm anticipating that the finished story will be about 10,000 words.  Including, yanno, the title.

On the mundane side of life, Steve came home from Maryland; I celebrated my 65th birthday quietly, and managed to miss yoga two weeks in a row because Reasons.  I shall endeavor to do better this week.

Fifth of Five is moving along. . .slowly.  Clean-up books are hard.

I've gotten in a couple more fountain pens -- demonstrator pens, so called, which take ink in right from the bottle via a piston mechanism -- and some fun colored ink:  Noodler's Borealis Black; Noodler's Wampum Purple; Diamine Ancient Copper; Diamine Sherwood Green.  The company I bought the demonstrators from, included a bonus eyedropper pen -- no piston, you fill the barrel via an eyedropper.

One of my new pens has a bold nib, which I'm tentatively preferring over what has been my go-to, the medium-nib Pilot Metropolitan.  The ink flow seems smoother -- granted, this may be the difference in the inks; the Metropolitan uses a cartridge.

While I was ordering things in, I also committed a new coloring book:  The Art of Cursive, which looks like a lot of fun.

Let's see. . .my new glasses arrived, so, yay! new glasses!

On Thursday, Steve and I drove three hours one way to the Burlington Mall in -- surprise! -- Burlington, Massachusetts, there to sign books at the BN (which is technically across from the Mall), and also to test drive a pair of Bose Hearphones.  Frequent auditors of this journal will recall that I'm starting to lose my hearing, as one apparently does, especially if one spent a Large-ish Chunk of one's life, earphones in, typing copy from a Dictaphone.  Anyway. . .hearing aids not required at this point, says the last person who evaluated my hearing, right before the insurance companies decided they weren't in the ear bidness.  However! More than a few studies now have indicated that people who have uncorrected hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia; and! that for the best results from hearing aids, one ought to start using an assist before the loss is so significant as to be disabling.

Thus, the Hearphones, which Bose is very careful to say are not hearing aids; they merely assist in direction hearing, and in blocking out background noise.

I did a test drive at the store with the trainer.  He asked me what I would be using them for, and we briefly discussed the fact that writers spend a lot of their time in bars, and I can no longer hear my tablemates in that setting.  So we did that scenario first -- he pulled up a recording of a 250-people restaurant, and had me adjust the gain on the Hearphones, until I could hear him speaking directly to me.  I could still hear the background noise, if I concentrated, but it was a whole lot easier just to listen to him.

One of the weird things is that you also hear yourself, sorta like using a microphone. . . which, actually, I guess you are.

The trainer then asked if there was anything else, and I said, yes -- movies, television.  I can't hear dialog any more.

So, he pulled up a clip of The Theory of Everything, where Eddie Redmayne is explaining Life, the Universe, and Everything to the nice young lady, and I heard every word, clean and clear.

When the clip ended, the trainer asked how that had worked for me, and my answer was, "I watched Fantastic Beasts and I did not understand one word that man said during the whole movie!  This -- I got everything."

So, I brought the Hearphones home.  They are not cheap, and they are getting a rigorous field testing, because they can be taken back to a Bose with no penalty within 30 days.  And the Extra Good News Is? We don't have to drive 6 hours round trip to take them back, if that proves necessary.  They can be returned to the Bose store in Kittery (which doesn't sell the item, sigh), a mere hour-and-a-half down the road.

Today's test was to be Fantastic Beasts, but, when I put on the Hearphones, I was told that the charge was dangerously low; which is a little scary because I charged them yesterday. It's certainly possible that I forgot to turn them off after my tutorial session yesterday, but a device with a two hour charge isn't going to be as useful as it might be.

In any case, after the Hearphones are charged -- Fantastic Beasts.  If we pass Mr. Redmayne, then Steve and I will take ourselves out to a noisy bar, and I'll see if I can hear him through the din.

. . .I think that about catches us up -- Oh.  No.  I am remiss in reporting that I purchased a blue Totoro at the BN.  Yes, I am weak.

Everybody have a good weekend.

rolanni: (Default)
2017-09-09 05:59 pm

Text of Acceptance Speech

For those who were not, as we were not, present at the Baen Traveling Roadshow at DragonCon, reproduced below is our speech accepting the Readers Choice Award for "Wise Child."  Jim Minz (pictured below) accepted on our behalf.  That means he got to reach the speech, which he did with his usual good humor.

Herewith, The Speech:

Wow!

Yes, you heard us.

Wow!

We probably ought to be a little more formal than that, so let’s try this:

To DragonCon attendees, science fiction fans, and readers everywhere: Hello! from the wilds of Central Maine.

We’re pleased to be here, at least metaphorically, at this particular Baen Traveling Roadshow, to stand as the proud parents of "Wise Child," which readers have chosen – out of a very stiff field! -- as the Best Military and Adventure SF of 2016.

We must admit to being startled – we have a history of being startled when we win awards! – when Jim Minz asked if we could be with you this afternoon, either electronically or in spirit, to accept this award for our novelette, the seventy-first Sharon Lee and Steve Miller collaboration.

Startled?

Well. . .yes.

We believe that the purpose of a story is to be an experience, a celebration, if you will, for readers – something that they'll hopefully enjoy on reading, and recall, later, with pleasure.

Us. . .We make our living by writing stories, long and short and in-between. Our method is to write the best story we can write, this time; collect our fee – and move on to write another story for readers to experience and enjoy, sometime down the road.

Most short fiction is like that, for most writers: a kind of a fire-and-forget situation, if you will.

In this case, though we won’t forget that, when "Wise Child" hit the Baen.com website last year, we got a lot of positive feedback from readers via email and Facebook. Then, the story was chosen for inclusion in Volume Three of the Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF!

This particular “fire-and-forget” story not only hit the original target but had two secondary hits, as well.

So Thanks!

Thank you, DragonCon, for hosting the award presentation!

Thank you, Baen, for publishing and supporting the book, and the award!

Thank you, David Afsharirad – our editor – for selecting our story for publication!

. . .And. . .

Thank you, readers, for reading, and for voting, and for naming "Wise Child" as one of the best!

Here you see Jim Minz accepting and David Afsharirad showing off the plaque.

Photo by Christopher Ruocchio

rolanni: (Default)
2017-09-06 09:03 am

What in Ghu's name has the woman been DOING?

Life is still happening; as ever, a two-edged knife.  In the midst of it all, I have been doing. . .Stuff

Among the various stuff is Writing Stuff, naturally enough.  I wrote a scene in which two characters I had despaired of getting together meet naturally and cleanly, and even for reasons Dictated By The Plot.  This probably pleases me much more than it should, but writers are odd creatures, with strange pleasures.

I have started the short story commissioned by Baen.com in support of Neogenesis, and have figured out how to accommodate an editorial suggestion, which also pleases me, since, frankly, I didn't think there was any way in heck. . .  But, there, writers are odd creatures, with sideways minds that occasionally work for the common good.

I converted one more eChapbook to a paper edition -- that would be Technical Details: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 21, including "Landed Alien" and author-favorite "Eleutherios". Here's your link.

My standing desk conversion arrived, with the sooperdooper floor mat.  I've been liking it in the standing position, but -- alas! -- my chair doesn't rise high enough to make it perfectly comfortable to engage with while seated.  I shall seek out a cushion.

Also!  I have been remiss in reporting here that "Wise Child," was chosen by readers -- out of a VERY stiff field! -- as the Best Military and Adventure SF of 2016.

The Readers Choice Award was presented at the Baen Traveling Roadshow at DragonCon over this past weekend, Jim Minz accepting for Lee and Miller.  Photographs were allegedly taken, and will be forthcoming.

The prize is a plaque and $500.

Thanks to everyone who voted for Tolly and Disian.  Steve and I are very proud authors, indeed.

And, now!

I need to do some chores and go to town before the thunderstorms start again.

Everybody stay safe.

 

rolanni: (readbooks from furriboots)
2017-09-04 08:53 am
Entry tags:

Books read in 2017

51. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (e)
50. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (e)
49. The Cat Who Played Brahms, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)
rolanni: (Default)
2017-09-03 09:01 am
Entry tags:

What Readers Want, Number Whoknows in a Continuing Series

Thinking about what readers what in books, as one does. . .
 
When we were at Confluence, I said on a panel (which panel, I no longer recall, but it was late in the con. Very possibly it was the last panel, at which, yanno, I'm liable to say anything...) that we were writing books that had to do, not only with Actions, but with the Consequences of Actions.
 
And a person in the audience said, But what if you don't want to read about the consequences of actions? What if you only want to read about the actions, the excitement, the adventure?
 
And I said -- last panel, remember -- that, as far as I was concerned, it was perfectly fine to read Pure Action Books, there were a lot of them out there, many of them are fun, and far be it from me to tell anyone what they ought to read.
 
However, I could speak authoritatively in terms of writing, and, specifically, in terms of writing the Liaden Universe® (though this is also, and is possibly more, applicable in the Carousel/Archers Beach universe):  In our work, there are Consequences to Actions. Yes, people have to Act, and often messily, because, well, space opera. And also because the people who Act shape the future.
 
But!  The important takeaway here is this:
 
The universe Steve and I write in is a Universe of Moms; there are consequences to actions; and somebody has to clean up the mess.
 
I also said that what readers need to remember is that -- speaking again for myself at the last panel of a convention -- I am not writing for them.  I have never written for them.  I am writing for me.  It's nice that other people like to read what I write, but I'm not writing for All of Them Out There.  I can't write for Them, as any number of internet articles will tell you.  I don't have the tools to write for Them.
 
So, that leaves me.  And you, if you find that I speak your language, or near enough.
 
So, that.
 
And now it's time for coffee.
 
 
rolanni: (readbooks from furriboots)
2017-08-30 10:38 pm
Entry tags:

Books read in 2017

49.  Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (e)
48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)
rolanni: (Default)
2017-08-29 06:31 pm

News you Need

So, I've been trying to get to a detailed post about the Bingham Carousel Circuit, but in truth, it may not happen.  We're having a sudden and very intense bout of Life here, which I guess means we timed our vacation correctly, because now have the resources necessary to get through this bit.

In and around Life, however, there are things that you -- yes, you! -- need to know, which are (read carefully):

ONE:  Today! August 29 2017 is Alliance of Equals' mass market paperback book day!  Go, Alliance of Equals!

TWO:  The number of Pinbeam Books (that would be Steve and me, cleverly disguised as our own publisher) chapbooks which have been converted to paper now numbers six (and six shall be the number).  To wit:
Liaden Universe® titlesChange Management, Due Diligence, Sleeping with the Enemy
Sharon Lee titles:  Barnburner, Gunshy, Spell Bound

THREE:  Our mole deep inside Baen Books has informed us that the eARC for Neogenesis, scheduled to be published in hardcover January 2, 2018, will be released in September (good ghod, that's, like, Friday!).  We do not have a release date, but you might do very well to Watch the Skies, and while you're doing that, spreading the word to your friends, your co-workers, your best enemies, your mom, and, well -- everybody.

So!  That's what I've got.  I will, I suspect, Be Scarce for the next while.  I'm fine; just coping.

Be excellent to each other.

rolanni: (readbooks from furriboots)
2017-08-21 12:38 pm
Entry tags:

Books read in 2017

48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)
rolanni: (flittermouse)
2017-08-20 12:39 pm

Oh, baby you're the only thing in this whole world that's pure and good and right

So, last night, just as we were going to bed, we had a bat invasion.  Followed a fun-filled 45 minutes while we convinced the coon cats that it was not their bat, but our bat; got Scrabble back from the Big Dark Outside, when she strolled while we were holding the door open for the bat to exit; and last but not least, I executed a net-throw that would have won applause in any gladiatorial display, and brought the bat down mid-flight, into the shopping bag that Steve was holding ready.

Yes, sometimes we really are that good.  The "net" by the way, was a mosquito net meant to be worn over a hat.  Here's a picture.

The bat was taken outside and released, whereupon we went to bed, but the coon cats did not, choosing instead to prowl the house, looking for their bat.

Well.

As of this morning, Sleeping with the Enemy: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 22, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller is available in paper from Amazon only.  Here's your link.

I will be converting the rest of the chapbooks as I have time and energy.  Nothing like a firm schedule, am I right?

As of this writing, in addition to Sleeping. . .  Change Management: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 23and Due Diligence: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 24 are also available in digital and paper editions.

And, now, having goofed off much of the morning; it's time to go to work.

See you on the flip-side.

Today's blog post title brought to you by -- of course! -- Meatloaf, "Bat out of Hell."  Here's your link.

rolanni: (readbooks from furriboots)
2017-08-17 10:31 am
Entry tags:

Books read in 2017

47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)
rolanni: (Default)
2017-08-17 10:25 am

The Power of Purr

Today, with the exception of needing to go to the doctor for a follow-up exam this afternoon, is a Work Day, and I will be shutting down the internets very soon.

I do want to mention, for the people who are here for the cats...the marvelous healing power of purrs.

At the ER Monday night, I was given a shot of high-test ibuprofen, and given a muscle-relaxant in pill form to take before I went to bed. In theory, this was to help me sleep through the night.

In fact, it helped me sleep for about four hours, when the pain woke me again and I lay in bed counting the hours until CVS opened and I -- well, actually, Steve -- could go into town and get the prescriptions filled. I twisted and turned and couldn't find any position that provided relief -- for an hour or so by the clock on the ceiling.

About 4 am, I decided that, if I started walking, I could be in Waterville when CVS opened, Belle jumped up to the foot of the bed, STOMPED up until she was next to me, sat down and HUFFED. It really was very clearly, "What on earth is the matter with you, stupid kitten?" -- and she started to purr.

"It won't work," I told her. Whereupon she blinked at me, threw herself against my chest (I was laying on my side) and brought up the Big, Deep, Rough purrs from 'way down at the bottom of the Purr Box. I closed my eyes, still convinced that it wasn't going to work. . .

And woke up at 9 am with my back hurting, but somewhat less.

The rest of Tuesday was spent with heating pad on/heating pad off, listening to Pandora and dozing. Trooper took day-shift, with Sprite filling in for necessary breaks. Yesterday, all was very nearly back to normal, though Trooper and Belle still hung close, and today, as previously suggested is a work day.

As I type, Belle is in the wooden basket on my desk, and Trooper is sitting next to the keyboard, purring and aiming head-butts at my chin.

Everybody have a good day.
rolanni: (Default)
2017-08-16 10:25 am

Trip Report: Condensed Version

Early in the morning of Wednesday, August 2, Steve and I turned the keys and the cats over to the house-sitter, and took the show on the road.  Our first goal was Coraoplis, in Moon Township, PA, where we were scheduled to be Writer Guests of Honor at Confluence, from Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August 6.

This was my first Confluence (I had, way back in the Dark Ages, attended a Phlange in Pittsburgh, which was the convention preceding Confluence) and I had a blast.  Everyone was very kind, interested, and interesting, too.  Confluence is a small con, but I swear to you that the Entire Membership attends all of the panels.  All of my panels were packed, as was my reading (I read "Emancipated Child" -- an Archers Beach story -- and Steve read "Intelligent Design" -- a Liaden short story), and my rant.  The Guest of Honor speech was very well-attended, and, well -- did I say we had a blast?

Moon Township being a far more cosmopolitan area than, oh, Kennebec County, Steve was pleased to find -- and consume -- pierogies, a Food of His People which he had not had for years.  And we were amazed to discover, at the end of con dinner, the existence of Burgatory.

Our after-con first goal was North Tonawanda and the Herschell Carousel Factory.

If you're ever in North Tonawanda New York, you must go to the Herschell Carousel Museum; it's that awesome.  And? There is a fully restored Herschell Carousel on the premises -- one ride is included in the cost of admission; rides thereafter fifty cents each -- more than a bargain!

The surprise takeaway from the museum was that the Herschell Company saw carousels as a way to sell the motors that provide the motivating force.  There were, in the museum, advertisements from the papers of the day, soliciting entrepreneurs to sign into the carousel franchise.

Talk about skewing your worldview.

We spent so much time at the carousel museum that we missed lunch and had a quick, catch-up meal at Pane's restaurant, which is the sort of place that makes you want to move to wherever it is so that it can be your neighborhood restaurant.

After our belated meal, we got back on the road to our second post-con goal of. . .

Niagara Falls, New York (no, we didn't go to the Canada side; yes, we had a good time, anyway), where we claimed our suite at the Red Coach Inn (which was surely an extravagance, but, oh, my goodness, I did love that suite, with its canopied bed, and the gas fireplace -- the fainting couch! -- and the brocade curtains, all of which overlooked the rose garden, and the sidewalk, and just right over there, the flashing, roaring river.

On Tuesday, we walked over Goat Island to pay our respects to Tesla, and also to take at least a gazillion pictures.  We circumnavigated the island, then walked across the Three Sisters Islands, and in general had a very pleasant morning.  After lunch and a nap, we took another walk, down through the gardens to the various landings and overlooks, finishing up the evening with a nice dinner at the Red Coach Inn, and a viewing of the fireworks!

Wednesday, I took a ride on the Maid of the Mist, and got well and truly soaked.  I can report that my quick-drying cargo pants are, indeed, quick drying.  Not so much the red sunhat.

Thursday, we left town, bound for Binghamton, New York, and the carousel circuit -- which is a post in itself.  The short form is that, on Friday, we located and rode all five (number six, which is located in the zoo, is down for maintenance this summer), and won for ourselves the coveted Carousel Circuit rider pins.  Here's mine:

On Saturday, we left Binghamton, over-nighted at World Famous Quechee Gorge, and so to home on Sunday.

And that's the quick version.  I do intend to write a blog post about the Binghamton carousels, so -- watch the skies.  In the meantime, I need to get back to work.

 

rolanni: (Default)
2017-08-15 02:33 pm
Entry tags:

In other news, pain hurts

So, yesterday, being our first day back home in Quite A While, We had Stuff to do, including laundry, which Steve took on while I settled accounts and various whatnot.  My back had ached a bit when I got up, but since that's more or less the nature of the beast, I ignored it, which works 99 percent of the time.

. . .only not yesterday.

The pain got worse during the day (I say this, who has a very high tolerance for the stuff), and by about 7 o'clock I called Uncle, who directed me to the Emergency Room.  There, I received an exam and a diagnosis --  muscle spasms and! you're not 25 anymore, Woman -- a shot of what turns out to be high-strength, liquid ibuprofen, a prescription for muscle relaxants in addition to one to see me through last night, and Strong Advice to acquire and use a standing desk.

Today, I am bouncing back and forth between heating pad and desk, and trying to settle the correct dose of ibuprofen.  Normal service may resume tomorrow, but I'm thinking Thursday is more likely.

Everybody stay well.

rolanni: (Phoenix from Little Shinies)
2017-07-31 11:20 am

Monday. . .

Today is Steve's birthday, the celebrating of which we are deferring to the trip to Niagara/Binghamton.  The trip is also my birthday celebration, and! last year's anniversary-of-the-legal-marriage and this year's anniversary-of-the-legal-marriage.

Today, there is vacuuming and vacation packing.  This is a Trip in Three Parts, so packing is. . .interesting in its way.  Usually, we throw the things we'll need at the convention in suitcases, pack a train case, hand over the suitcases to the nice baggage experts at Amtrak and worry no more.

Since we'll be driving to Pittsburgh and overnighting on the road, I have packed an overnight bag, and will today be packing the purple duffle with the items that will be required on the vacation and homecoming leg of the trip.

Tomorrow, I will pack con clothes, since they are more susceptible to wrinkles than cargo pants, polo and denim shirts.

And so it goes.

I need to check my tablet to make sure that I'll have enough to read.  Fifty books on the to-be-read shelf.  Is that enough?  Maybe I should take a couple paper books to be sure I don't run out?  No, wait!  We'll be at a convention.  If I need books, I'll be able to stock up there.  Phew.

I'm really looking forward to this trip:  the convention, of course, and then the meandering road home.  I'm especially pleased to be approaching this whole segment in a state of not being depressed.

On that front, I have backed out of the last application of antidepressants, and am continuing with meditation, which has been helping decrease the noise in my head, even though I'm probably the world's worst meditator.  I'm using the guided meditation at Headspace, which I like very much, even though the occasional assertion that "thoughts are just thoughts" baffles me.  I mean, yes, thoughts are just thoughts, but I'm in the business of turning thoughts into stories, so I'm accustomed to giving thought some weight, so to speak, in my life.

I'm continuing to cut down my exposure to toxic persons, which is, sadly, an on-going task. I've cut back my presence on Facebook and on Twitter, which also helps decrease the noise in my head. . .which is not nearly as frightening as I thought it would be, having lived my whole life with a noisy head.  Maybe that's what's meant by "thoughts are just thoughts."

So, that.

For those who missed the initial announcement -- there is a new patron-only podcast up on the Lee-and-Miller Patreon page -- here's your link.

Also!  Steve and I have unlocked three earlier podcasts so that they can now be enjoyed by everyone.  Go to this link, and scroll down.

And that, I think, catches us all up.  Time to get out the vacuum cleaner and wake up all the cats.

rolanni: (readbooks from furriboots)
2017-07-31 08:34 am
Entry tags:

Books read in 2017

45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)
rolanni: (Default)
2017-07-30 05:43 pm

Patreon news

There is a new podcast up on Patreon.  Here's your link.

Note that the new podcast is locked to Lee and Miller patrons only.   We have, however, unlocked several previous podcasts, so that anyone may listen.  Those podcasts are:

Sharon reads "The Gift of Music," by Sharon Lee.  Here's the link.

Steve reads "Charioteer," by Steve Miller.  Here's the link.

Sharon reads "The Beggar King," by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  Here's the link.

Enjoy!