rolanni: (Default)

This post is reflected, though slightly amended, from Facebook.

I have a question, O, Internets:

A little background, first. Many years ago, after we had sold our first three books, and been cut loose by our publisher -- but hadn't yet given up hope of finding a new publisher, and selling more books, it was said in some quarters that Miller and Lee were "writer's writers" and as such would probably not be able to make a living, as writers. There's some precedence for this, as writers read differently than even experienced readers, and tend to be delighted by V. Strange Things™, and in general Just Aren't The Target Market.

There are a couple of cures for being a "writer's writer." One, of course, is to Take the Memo and quit writing. The other is to learn how to write to the market. We didn't do either of those things, either because (1) we're idiots (a theory that has some strong evidence supporting it), or (2) we knew that sometimes it takes longer than 2 years and/or 3 books to find a readership, and that, afforded enough time, we would find that readership.

So, here's my question -- actually TWO questions:

1. When did you -- yes, YOU -- start reading the Liaden Universe®, and!

2. Are you a writer?

rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

Five hundred and eighty people responded to the roll call during the month of June.

This counts those who read by RSS feed, and on the several places where this blog is mirrored.  Replies came in from Blog Without a Name, Eagles Over the Kennebec, Goodreads, Amazon, Baen's Bar, and email.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply.

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One last answer to a roll call question:  Sad as it may be, I'm not certain myself whether Coyster is still around to be fed.  He would be quite an old cat by now.  However, assuming that the advances in life-extension that seem to afflict the human characters of the Liaden Universe® have been extended to companion animals -- Kamele left the house in the care of her BFF, Ella ben Suzan.  Granted, Ella hadn't cared much for Jen Sar, but I do think she takes her responsibilities seriously, so we can safely assume that No Cats Are Going Hungry.  No matter what they tell you.

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Of boxes and books and signing pens:

Three boxes of signed-and-personalized books left the Confusion Factory by FedEx yesterday afternoon, and should be arriving at Uncle Hugo's this (Friday) afternoon.  Let us all sing the praises of Eddie, the FedEx guy.

The other ten boxes of books are to travel via UPS.  We called them yesterday for a pick-up, but -- because we live 'Way Out In The Country -- the soonest they could get together a safari to come into the bush was today.  The books will, therefore, arrive in Minneapolis Sometime Later next week,  We hope for Wednesday, but expect Thursday.

Two gel pens gave their lives to this project.  Mourn them as you find best.

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No writing yesterday, except the signature kind.  Must do dishes, and Serious Work today, despite the blandishments of coon cats, who want me to go back to bed.

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I let the purple wash out of my hair after BaltiCon, and for several weeks, no one has mentioned my hair.  I did not quite slip back into total invisibility, but, I did have to Talk Loud a couple times.

Last night, I started to re-purple, in honor of the upcoming book tour.

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And that's all the news that's fit to print.

Everybody have a good Friday.

I need a sign. . .

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 10:53 am
rolanni: (Flying Monkey!)

Mail arrived; no check.  At this point, I'm expecting that it got on the bus to Massachusetts (Massachusetts being "MA" according to the Post Office and Maine being "ME"; many people unfamiliar with addressing envelopes Simply Assume that Maine is "MA") and will be returned as "addressee unknown" to the agency in ten days or a month.

The betting pool is still open on whether or not the books arrive today.

Let's see. . .

Answer to question from the Roll Call:  Yes, we will be visiting Annie's Bookstop in Worcester on Friday, July 8, at 7 pm.  I talked to Trisha last night; she's not sure what happened to the calendar listing, but states that It Shall Be Fixed.  In the meantime, she sent along this link.  Hope to see lots of you there!

Considering all the questions which have been asked in Roll Call, I have a Question of my own:  Is it easier to ask a question where you know it won't be seen by anyone except, in this case, me?

On the schedule today is a podcast interview, writing, and staring out the window.

Yesterday, I did not write, but opted to read and rest my fingers after paying the scariest of the bills on the desk.

They say partly cloudy today, here, with thunderstorms on the overnight.

. . .and that's all I've got.

Everybody stay cool.

catatwork2

Today's blog title is brought to you by Train, "Calling All Angels."  Here's your link.

rolanni: (Saving world)

No checks in today's mail, either.

Well.

*looks at pile of bills on desk*

This is going to be interesting.

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Moving on -- Answers to questions from the Roll Call!

*Sword of Orion was written as a work for hire -- that means the publisher owns the copyright, the ideas, and the characters. The publisher went out of business after releasing the first books in about six series, one of which was the Sword of Orion series.  Therefore!  No more Sword of Orion stories.

*Er, no, I actually wouldn't move to Liad, if I could.  For one thing, as a non-Liaden, I would be beneath most people's notice, not to say contempt, except if I managed to insult somebody, which the odds are good that I'd do so within ten minutes of achieving the Port.  I'd rather go someplace where my life expectancy would be longer than ten minutes.

*The Gathering Edge will not be published until May 2017, that is correct.  In the larger scheme of things in publishing, that's really hardly any time at all.  No, I'm afraid we can't write much faster than we already do.

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Today, I learned things.

I learned that orange sticks (aka "cuticle shapers") are now made out of plastic.  They used to be made out of orange wood, but apparently not anymore.

I learned that I can prop my tablet up on the little ledge built into the treadmill at the gym and read as I walk.  And! I don't have to worry about walking into a wall, when I do.

I learned that Microsoft thinks that a $1,000 tablet can "replace" my laptop, which costs 1/3 of that amount.  Research indicates that it does neither the dishes nor laundry, so I fail to see the advantage.

I also learned that my fingers -- my fingers, not my wrists, which is usually the case -- apparently took a beating yesterday, and if I'm a Schmott Guy, which really isn't the way to bet, I'll give them a break today.

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Do I have any Hollywood historians here, or perhaps a Mae West aficionado?  I was wondering if she actually needed the stick she often had with her, or if it was only a fashion accessory.

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Don't forget that Steve and I will be at Flights of Fantasy in Albany, New York on Tuesday, July 5 to celebrate Alliance of Equals' book day!  Be there or be somewhere else!

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In other news, I wrote about 2,200 words yesterday, for a net gain to the manuscript of. . .33 words.  I think that we are now at an end of Backward Growth, and will be proceeding from here on in a forwarder direction.

You heard it here, first.

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Progress on Book the Next
36,569/100,000 words OR 36.57% complete

"I believe it wished me to know that Theo might be in a pickle."

Miri snorted a half-laugh, and he smiled.

"Yes," he said.  "Precisely so."

Sprite overseeing the side woods June 23 2016

Today's blog title comes to you courtesy of Mr. John Parr, "St. Elmo's Fire/Man in Motion".  Here's your link.

rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

In a startling reversal, we have had news of a check!

It was cut yesterday, and will be on the bus to Maine this afternoon.

The reported amount of the check, sadly, reinforces my natural tendency toward pessimism, bearing in mind that, through the offices of our good uncle, Sam, we are currently constrained to put half of all receipts into the tax account.

[Sigh. The neighbor is shooting at his vegetables again.  It's a hobby, I suppose.  And at least it's at a decent hour in the afternoon, rather than 7am.  Apparently vegetables are particularly unruly at 7am.]

Steve and I had a brainstorming session a couple nights ago, and came up with A Conceit, the implementation of which will mean, I very much fear, that the Work in Progress will shrink Yet Again.  I'm tempted to title it The Incredible Shrinking Novel, and have done, but perhaps something. . .more convenable will occur.  In the meanwhile, among the working notes I have here is, "save Festina for later."

One of the things I love about my job is the necessity of occasionally leaving myself notes like, "save Festina for later."

What else?

Someone inside the roll call asked for my opinion of The House of Shattered Wings, which I recently read.  I usually don't give my opinion of the books I read, because I overwhelmingly read science fiction and fantasy, and. . .I know a Whole Lot of science fiction and fantasy writers, as colleagues and friends.  I'm not being paid to review things anymore, and I don't like to hurt anyone's feelings over what is, after all, merely a question of personal taste.

I will say that, if you are looking for Gothick Urban Fantasy, complete with fallen angels, and immortals banished from the court of The August Personage of Jade, set in post-World War Paris, The House of Shattered Wings is your book.

Yesterday, for a brief period in the afternoon, we had Weather, in the shape of An Awesome Thunderstorm accompanied by a prodigious down-pouring of rain. Today, it is intermittently sunny, humid, and warm, and cloudy, humid, and warm.  Sprite is asleep in the red basket on my desk; Belle is asleep in my her rocker.  Scrabble sleeps with the heffalumps, and Trooper is on hammock duty in the front room.

In a few minutes, Steve and I will meet for ice cream, and then I'll commence in tearing apart the first section of the WiP, remembering to save Festina for later.

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Progress on Book the Next
35,686/100,000 OR 35.69% complete

"Truly, sir, if I stood in your place, I would be extremely cross. The tree has been less than apt, and wounded an ally, besides. Indeed, I find it possible to be cross in your stead, and I mean to deliver it a ringing scold, when next we meet."

Take your daughter to work day June 20 2016
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

Well, let's see. . .

Several questions from the depths of the Roll Call, so! Answers.

*Book tours happen at the whim and/or planning of the publisher.  If we have helpers on the ground, Steve and I will occasionally do a book tour, or visit a bookstore local to the vicinity of an SF convention or WorldCon.  We were in Colorado some years back -- 2006, I think -- as GoHs at CoSine; and in Denver Itself for the WorldCon in 2008.  We did not do a bookstore tour at either of those cons; the local bookstores being largely uninterested in having second-string scifi writers come to their stores.  We are Further Constrained by the fact that we don't fly, which limits the venues to which the publisher can economically send us.  Which is to say:  Unless we're in Denver for Another Reason, and one or two or three of the local stores are willing to host a signing, our book tours, at least, will probably not reach Denver.

*I'm not certain I understand either the need or the desirability for a Collected Liaden Works for Kindle.  That being said...to the best of my knowledge, Baen is selling two bundles of novels -- Korval's Legacy and Phase Change, but I think that only gets you ten or twelve.  Surely, if one has a Kindle, there's a way to make a category, say, LIADEN, and stick all your Liaden books under that category?  Just a thought.

*The reason we have not Mentioned the Rest of the Geography, Fauna, and Population (if any) of Planet Surebleak is because!  all the stories thus far have happened in the Port and the City, and neither Steve nor I feel like writing a Forbes Guide to the Surebleak Outback.

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As reported elsewhere, you may now pre-order the Audible version of Alliance of EqualsHere's the link.

Yes, we are aware that Audible has the book listed as AN Alliance of Equals; we have written to them on the topic.

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It's a warm and pleasant day  here at the Confusion Factory.  I have vacuumed, and done a blankie run, the latter no doubt being the reason why I have three Large Cats asleep on my desk, all within the reach of my hand.  The coffeepot is hissing through its cleaning cycle; and I need to sort laundry.  After lunch, I will make a Sincere Effort to actually add words to the working manuscript.

I hope everyone is having a fine and relaxing day.

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Today's blog title is brought to you by Julie Brown, "Brand New Girl."  Here's your link.

Sprite and Steve June 14 2016

The hurrier I go...

Friday, June 17th, 2016 10:26 am
rolanni: (what it's like)

. . .the behinder I get.

Yeah.

So!  Book the Next has shrunk again, as last night I Officially Removed that questionable 5,652 words, and placed it in a file named "Five of 5."

This brings the word count for Book the Next right down to 32,777.  As a colleague said, "It would be so much easier, if writing a novel were only about stringing words together until you have enough."

So, that.

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One more question from the Roll Call:  Will there be a Jethri and Tan Sim story?

...one assumes that this is not a request for slash, but for a novel, and the answer is -- Don't know.  It's not on the current list, but we're pretty sure to have another list, sometime in future.  What we chose to write about is predicated on a number of factors, the most important of which is -- What do we feel like writing?  As people frequently mention, it takes us a long time to write a book -- far too long, in fact, to live with characters we dislike or a story we didn't really want to write.

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Several people in a number of venues have asked where they can find more of Tolly Jones.  This is pursuant to yesterday's posting of "Wise Child" (which is here, if you missed it).  Tolly, of course, makes an appearance in Dragon in Exile, and is also present in Alliance of Equals and! Book the Next.

There is some curiosity about Where Disian Came From.  First I heard of her was in Book the Next, when Tolly casually said something, and I was like, "Wait, what?"

Folks also want to know the "rest" of Disian's story -- which, she having arrived fully formed, so to speak, I happen to know!   Sorta.  What I don't know yet is where that story belongs.  And, no (to forestall a frequent variation on a theme) I won't just tell youJust telling you is not a story, but it very well may ruin the story, in that, having just told you, I'll be bored, and won't write it.

Writers are twisty wights, no getting around it.

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Steve and I have had a go at putting together a blog tour for Alliance, and our first stop was at YA Authors You Never Heard Of.

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He'd asked Disian, once, how moving through Jump looked to her. And she'd waxed rhapsodic enough that he'd decided right then and there that a man might have no better use of his time than to seek out the Uncle and offer to do whatever it took, so long as he ended up downloaded as the main brain of a spaceship.

YOU I said no pictures June 11 2016
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

In which we prove that writing is a science.

Or not.

Astute readers will recall that I reported having broken 40,000 words on Book the Next on Monday evening.

Yesterday, I had what we'll call A Better Idea, ripped out about 6,000 words, wrote 4,000 new ones, cut/pasted/re-worked a few existing bits, and! Realized a net loss of only 1,800 words.

Result: Book is stronger (I think), but 40,000 is once again ahead of me.

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Answers to more questions received in Roll Call.

*I can probably Reveal the raw number of Roll Call answers at the end of June

*Roll Call is pinned to the top of Blog Without a Name until the end of June in order to give everyone who reads a chance to see it and respond, if they so desire.  Some folks only check in once a week or twice a month, and we are at summer (for some of us), and people are on vacation

*The Roll Call was not mirrored on LJ because LJ has ongoing problems with spam, and I have had to sternly restrict the list of people who can post there.  And, yanno, I wanted all the answers in one place.  Thank you for your patience and understanding

*Nope, you are in no way obligated to read Blog Without a Name instead of Eagles Over the Kennebec.  In most cases, content appears on both sites

*Returning for a signing at the Uncle's in Minneapolis is, perhaps, in the future.  Steve and I will be guests of honor at Marscon in Bloomington, next March and have been talking with Don about when would be best for us to come visit him while we're in the area

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In theory, yes, the new story goes live on Baen.com today.  I stress that this is Only A Theory; I have not have confirmation of this from the folks who would know best.  Also!  I am scheduled to vanish into my volunteer gig for most of the day, so will be out of pinbeam range.  So -- you're kinda on your own, here.  Happy hunting.

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Progress on Book the Next
38,191/100,000 OR 38% complete

The delmae, like Liadens had it. Smart woman, as far as he'd ever heard. Haz had a high opinion, but then, Captain Robertson, as she'd once been, was twice a hero in battle, and that was the kind of thing that would count for somebody with Haz's bringing up.

Scrabble and Steve June 14 2016

Today's blog title brought to you by Warren Zevon, "Ourselves to Know," because, really, who can resist a rock song about the Crusades?  Here's your link

rolanni: (the kids)

An Alert Reader has noticed that February 2018 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Liaden Universe® in print.  This is derived from the fact that Agent of Change was published as a paperback original by Del Rey, in February 1988.

Said Alert Reader has put out a call for celebratory Limited Edition Hardcovers in honor of this anniversary.  Clearly, this is not something that we, the authors, can do.  We can, however, take the idea to Madame the Publisher, if there seems to be sufficient interest.

This is where you come in.

If Limited Edition Liaden Universe® Hardcovers were published, would you purchase it/them?

I realize that price is very often an object for you, as it is for me, so if you have a price in mind, let me know that, too.

Thanks for your help.

. . .Sprite also thanks you for your help.

Sprite Feb 26 2016

Interactive Play

Sunday, February 7th, 2016 10:15 am
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

If you read this, please leave a comment.  Tell me, oh, how long you've been reading -- the blog and/or our work -- and what brings you here, and what the weather's like today.

Thanks!

rolanni: (The Dragon in Exile)

So, here's the thing.

I have An Idea, and I need your -- yes, all of you! -- help.

As writers, Steve and I are fairly frequently called upon to read from our own work in front of an audience.  This is fairly often an enjoyable thing to do, and, when we have a new book out, we just start from the first page and read for our allotted time, feeling that this is Fairest.

However!  Sometimes we are called upon to read from our own work in front of an audience, and -- we have no new book or story to read from.

And it has been in my mind for a while now that we should read the -- or at least some of the -- Favorite Passages of members of the audience.

This, however, has never proved practicable, since we don't always have all of our books with us at conventions or on book tour.  With the advent of tablets and ereaders and other technologies, though, the thing perhaps becomes doable.

And here's the part where I need your help.

If you could ask Steve, or me, or us to read ONE favorite scene from one of our novels or stories. . .

What would it be?

Be as specific as possible -- page numbers and edition with a short description of the scene will be best, I think -- and remember!  Only ONE.

Choose well.

Let the games begin.
rolanni: (The Dragon in Exile)

Inquiring Minds Want To Know. . .

At the beginning of "Dirty Dancing," Baby sets us into the story-frame with a voice-over as we watch the family car driving up the turnpike there in Maine.  She says:

That was the summer of 1963 - when everybody called me Baby, and it didn't occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles came, when I couldn't wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I'd never find a guy as great as my dad.  That was the summer we went to Kellerman's.

So my question is -- what do Frances and Johnny do, now that they've defied just about everyone?  Does Johnny join the housepainters union?  Does Frances go on to Mount Holyoke?  More important -- does she join the Peace Corps?

What logically proceeds from the ending of "Dirty Dancing?" and!  -- bonus question -- what's the happy ending?

Go.

Oh.  Today's blog title is "The Time of My Life," Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes.  Here's your link.

rolanni: (Clan Korval's Tree and Dragon)

In your opinion, what is the:

Darkest Liaden book?

Lightest Liaden book?

Please show your work, by which I mean, explain your choice.

NOTE:  Since the eArc of Dragon in Exile is available and some folks have read it, it may be nominated for either of the above categories.  HOWEVER, since the official publication date is not yet upon us, please, if you do nominate DiE, leave a spoiler space before your explanation, out of compassion for those who wait for the retail release.  Thanks.

rolanni: (Carousel Seas)

Before I ask the question, I shall Issue a Warning.  To wit:

BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THE QUESTION, THE ANSWERS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.  IF YOU OBJECT TO SPOILERS, DON'T READ THE ANSWERS!

This is the only Warning that will be issued.  Thank you for your attention.

Off in Another Part of the Internet, someone has observed that the Carousel books are to Urban Fantasy as Cozy Mysteries are to Hardboiled Detective.  They further wonder if there is a subgenre of Cozy Fantasy, which I believe there is not, though I'm willing be proved wrong.

Most importantly, however, is the request for More Like This from other authors -- which is to say, now that he has finished the Carousel books he would like to read more books like them -- and asks for titles.

Now, I'm derned if I know of anything just exactly like the Carousel books -- I was trying for a Certain Deliberate Effect, and I think I pretty much hit it (in case there was any doubt, I'm rather proud of the Carousel books).  I could offer a list of anti-Carousel books, by which I mean those books that the Carousel books were written to. . .refute.  But, with the exception of maybe deLint, sorta-sometimes, I'm coming up blank on the "if-you-liked-this-then-you'll-like-that."

So! for those who have read at least two of the Carousel books (those being, in order of publication and event: Carousel Tides, Carousel Sun, and Carousel Seas) -- can you help a fellow reader out with authors/titles/subgenres?

Thanks!

rolanni: (great horned owl)

Over in another part of the internet, a question, in several parts, has arisen, to which I used to know the answer, but it seems, like so very much else, that the Wisdom of the Internet has produced a new, and startling, answer.  This happens a lot, as we get older, that what worked for us no longer works for anyone else, so this is in the nature of a reality check.

So, first, the meta-question, with my own response beneath, in parenthesis.

1.  Do you need an agent?

(Well, no.  You don't need an agent.  We've variously had agents and didn't.  When we have had representation, I've found it to be worth the 15% commission.  In my experience, agents not only vet contracts, but they're also on hand to make those Awkward Phone Calls, such as:  "In the most recent contract, X Rights are reserved to the author, and yet you, the publisher, have now exercised those rights.  We assume, of course, that this is an honest error, but, still, it needs to be addressed.  How would you like to proceed?"  Also, we often ask our agent for advice regarding situations we haven't faced, and which she likely has, by reason of representing many authors. So, that.)

2.  Is it "better" (as in "more cost effective") to have a lawyer go over your contract, as opposed to an agent?

(My received wisdom is that lawyers look at publishing contracts and their heads explode, because they simply don't know what the words mean.)

3.  Will the publisher get angry with you, the author, if, after they've offered you a contract, you hire an agent (or a lawyer) to go over it?

(Myself, I think that a legitimate publisher would be delighted to have a pro going over their contract and dealing with the writer's questions, rather than having to cope with that, themselves.  I also think that, in the probable case of the agent/lawyer finding nothing amiss, that this finding would be the beginning of a foundation of trust between author and publisher.)

4.  Would you ever not read a contract because you know that the publisher would never, ever act against your interest as an author?

(Myself, I think that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Also that good fences make good neighbors.  Mistakes happen.  Somebody new in the Contracts Department might send the wrong contract, for instance.  It's a pain, but -- just better, all around, to read the thing and reassure yourself that your publisher loves you.)

5.  I addressed this somewhat in my answer to #1 above, but -- Do you feel that having an agent is actually cost-effective?  Why or why not?  Examples are encouraged.

rolanni: (Ghost Ship)

So, yesterday, I bought a new car.  It was an Unplanned Purchase in which a complicated combination of factors conspired to create a Perfect Moment to strike.  I am of mixed feelings regarding the whole situation.  On the one hand, I adored the little green Subaru Legacy; it was zippy and sweet-tempered; good in the rain, the sleet and the snow, and never, ever once let me down.  On the other hand, it was more than 15 years old.  The new car -- by which I mean, "new to me" -- is several generations younger.  It is apparently capable of doing things that I cannot, as yet, imagine.  It, too, is a Subaru Legacy, in color a cheerful bright blue; but Subaru Legacies have gotten taller in the intervening years -- not a bad thing; in fact, a feature.  It's roomier inside than the green Legacy, and!

. . .it has heated seats.

It also has very low miles; was apparently kept by its former owner in the lap of garaged luxury, and only allowed out on the road during the very finest and bug-free of spring days.

So.  I have a new car.

I ALSO HAVE, with Steve, a collection of our work to get into shape to send on to Madame the Editor realsoonnow, and!  I need your -- yes, your -- advice.

A common reader complaint regarding the contents of the first two Liaden Universe® Constellations was that they lacked an ABOUT THIS STORY at the top of each story.  Apparently, lots of people like those, so, to keep peace in the family, we're going to write an ABOUT THIS STORY for each of the twelve stories in Constellation Three.

And here's where we need your help.

What sorts of things do you want to know ABOUT THIS STORY?

Discuss.

_____________________

Today's title comes from "Brand New Girl," as performed by Julie Brown in Earth Girls are Easy.  Here's your link.

Essay Question

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 11:55 am
rolanni: (Carousel Sun)

I've got a lot to do today, and I thought maybe you'd like something to do, too!

So, here you are -- an essay question.

Who is your favorite character in the Carousel books so far -- and why?

Remember to insert spoiler space, if you need to discuss specific scenes from the books.

See y'all on the flip side.

rolanni: (Carousel Sun)

I will answer questions about the Carousel Sun podcast (here) and other questions about the Archers Beach books.  Not all the questions, but, just maybe, your question.  You won't know until you ask, so -- ask!

I've screened the comments so they are only visible to the Woman Behind the Curtain.

rolanni: (Carousel Sun)

This is a continuation and expansion of a discussion started over on Facebook, which was kickstarted by this summary of Carousel Sun:

Urban fantasy novel, sequel to Carousel Tides (2010), about a woman who returns to a small town in Maine and becomes involved in a faerie war. (Locus Monitor -- New Books, 4 February)

There are a couple of things wrong with the above.  Most notably, Carousel Sun isn't Urban Fantasy, because it takes place in Maine, and it does not take place in Bangor, Lewiston-Auburn, or Portland, which are the three "urban" areas in the whole state, according to the Federal Government.

I'm also wondering where they got this "faerie war."

We thought we'd be OK by calling the Carousel books "contemporary fantasy," but apparently "contemporary fantasy" means something Very Definite to some people.  (To me, "contemporary fantasy" means "a fantasy story that takes place Right Now.")

So, I've been giving some thought to how best to describe these books, as much in order to guide readers who would like this kind, as warn away those readers who come in thinking they're getting A Specific Thing that the books don't deliver.  (Like, oh, "faerie wars.")

Now, the best I can come up with as a sub-genre is "mundane fantasy." Kate, after all, doesn't get a free pass on anything for being Guardian -- it's Added Responsibility for which she goes uncompensated (cue Superman's Song). Fercryinoutloud, Gaby collects returnables, and I don't see Borgan flyin' no yacht. Felsic's crew -- wait, do you guys have Felsic yet? Anyhow, it's not like any of these folks are living high in the fancy condos; they're working people, doing their jobs.

So, like I said: "mundane fantasy" or maybe "blue collar" fantasy, though there has been some concern expressed that, while these come close, they don't quite Nail It.

Summing up, the points for discussion are:

1.  What are your expectations of "contemporary fantasy"

2.  If you had to tighten the classification for the Carousel books (Tides and Sun), what phrase would you use?  Please try to avoid spoilers for the books.

Have at it!

Plot Device Question

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013 05:54 pm
rolanni: (Surprise!)

Oh, look, a Winter Storm Warning, starting at 10 a.m. tomorrow, when I Fully Expect to be at the grocery store, if I'm not at the vet's office with Mozart.  (Good wishes and prayer wheel spinnings for Mozart, please.  He's decided that baby food is even kind of a chore to eat.  We think (hope) he's got something going with his mouth that maybe the vets can fix.  They're cautious, and reasonably so, about putting a 15 year old cat under anesthesia.  On the other hand, baby food shouldn't be that tough to chew...)

So, anyhow, 3-6 inches of snow expected from 10 a.m. tomorrow through 10 p.m. tomorrow night.  The good news is that the projected temperatures are higher; the original forecasted temps would have almost been too cold for snow...

But, that's not why I called y'all here today.

What I'd like to know is, Would you want to live forever?

Or, alternatively, Why would someone want to live forever -- absent, OK, a Deathless Enemy who must be pursued and neutralized, or Science!  or True Love or Fear of Eternal Damnation -- though we're starting to get thin, here, by my reckoning.  At some point, I think, one would become So Weary that even the threat of Eternal Damnation might not trump the wish to simply lie down the burden and sleep.

This may, I note, Just Be Me.

And I will, in fairness, also note that we deal with at least two Deathless in our work.  What seems to keep them going is Their Work, and they are fortunate, that their work is infinitely variable.

But, given your everyday guy who happens to be a vampire, or who otherwise has to perform some vile act in order to NOT DIE, when their lives seem to be, aside the quest to NOT DIE, pointless or without purpose. Why does that person want to live forever?

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