rolanni: (Default)

So this is Rockin' Chair Day for those of us here in the US; the "regular day" sandwiched between a Sunday and a Major Holiday.  Rockin' Chair Day is difficult for those of us who as a rule work on most Sundays and Major Holidays, because we are Free From the Constraints of a Day-Job. (And to tell you the truth, I wouldn't have most of the things they're calling "day-jobs" nowadays, since they mostly seem to embrace all of the working on Sundays and Major Holidays of the freelance life without the freedom to tell your boss what you think of them.  But I digress.)

So, anyway, here we are, on the one day with mail delivery out of three, and we're waiting for two checks. Spoiler: neither one arrived.  However, we did receive, by way of a pleasant surprise, our authors' copies of The Year's Best Military and Adventure SF, Volume 3.

In other news, Liaden Universe® short "Due Diligence" is completed in, um, fourth draft and has passed from being a long novelette (at 17,400 words) to a mid-weight novella (at 22,000 words)*.  It will now sit for a week to cool before the last pass.  If all goes well, it will be published as an eChapbook before Steve and I head out to Confluence at the end of July.

The story being off my case means I can return my whole attention to Fifth of Five, and --

What's that?  Why did I stop to write a short story (well, it was supposed to have been a short story) when I should have been writing a novel?

Short answer:  It was in the way.

Slightly longer answer: Sometimes writers forget how to write, and they need to take up a short -- note that I do not say easy -- project in order to relearn the skill.

The ants made a follow-up excursion into the kitchen this afternoon, but their hearts weren't really in it.  It was a short, victorious battle for our side.  We remain vigilant.

And I think that's it for the day.

If you celebrate Independence Day, enjoy!

The progression of works, according to SFWA is this:
Novel: 40,000 words +
Novella: 17,500 - 39,999 words
Novelette: 7,500 - 17,499 words
Short Story: less than 7,500 words

Today's blog post title brought to you by CW McCall, "Convoy."  Here's your link.

rolanni: (Mozart Easter 2009)

This morning, we got up early (for the third morning in a row.  Yes, I have a call in to the Auditing Department.), in order to adorn Princess Jasmine Sprite in her travel regalia -- the sparkly pink-and-purple leash, the red harness, the royal ladybug ruff, this morning augmented by the sable fleece blanket.

Her Highness had, sadly, forgotten the appointment she had directed Staff to make with her physician, and, as I gathered her up in my arms and started for the kitchen door, she made one loud, anguished cry that sounded for all the world like, "Dad!"

We settled in the passenger side, and she managed to work herself into quite a state by the time we reached her physician's office, where she immediately transformed herself into a Frozen Not-There Cat for the duration of the physical.

She is, as we suspected, Perfectly Healthy, weighing just a whisker (almost literally; coon cat whiskers are. . .not insubstantial) under 15 pounds.  She received her two-year distemper vaccination and was given a chip, which puts her in the vanguard of Feline Technology at the Cat Farm.

Princess Sprite is now resting comfortably on the blue rug (her Turkey carpet, formerly Trooper's Turkey carpet, formerly Sharon's Turkey carpet) in my office, after a brief sojourn in her Secret Aerie to recruit her strength and recharge her Princess Powers.

The mail had been delivered at home by the time we returned.  The mail consisting of two books, and! my new waterproof, lined, winter gloves from Duluth Trading Company.  I am remiss in reporting that my slip arrived yesterday, as did our Yule gift to each other -- a case of mixed wines from

I think that leaves two shipments outstanding, which I expect to see next week.

Speaking of yesterday, it turns out that though pickleball is on the schedule at the Champions Fitness Club in Waterville on Tuesdays and Thursdays, attendance is sporadic.  I went in yesterday, hoping for a game, waited around for half-an-hour, nobody showed, so I left to do errands.  Sigh.  Next opportunity to sport the pickle -- Wednesday morning.

I did learn yesterday that, if I decide to make enough of a habit of pickleball that I'll want my own equipment, I will not want a wooden paddle.  The paddle I was loaned last Wednesday was aluminum, I suppose, and it was like an extension of my hand; I hardly knew I was holding a paddle.  The wooden Club paddles weigh a ton, and I can see it wearing my wrist out inside of a (short) game.

Hmm.  I wonder if I can play left-handed, anymore.  Over the years since the nuns changed my handedness, I've become more and more right-hand-oriented.  Something to experiment with, I guess.

After supper yesterday, Steve and I drove out to Skowhegan, on purpose to visit the New Balance Factory Store, Steve being in the way of wanting a pair of tennis shoes -- about which more in a moment.  I did not intend to buy tennis shoes, myself, but a pair of blue cross-trainers with orange laces called my name and I did not resist long.  I'm wearing them right now, and myghod, they weigh nothing.  Maybe I'll be able to fly again, like when I was a kid in the first new sneakers of summer.

But!  We were speaking of tennis shoes.

I asked the young lady on the floor at New Balance for "tennis shoes," and she obligingly showed me the tennis shoes on offer, helpfully pointing out the pivot point on the sole.  Because "tennis shoe" is a technical term.

I chewed my lip for a minute, and then said.

"Back in the dark ages, we called all the kid's casual canvas shoes tennis shoes.  Nobody really played tennis in them.  There's another word -- sneakers?  Soft shoes that are not created for a single task, but that you can walk and play games in?  I'm looking for sneakers."

"Oh," she said.  "Cross-trainers.  Right over here."

On the one hand, good on her for being patient and guiding me to what I really wanted.  On the other hand, I feel like I'm needing to give a history lesson every time I want to buy something, lately.  Anybody else having this. . .experience, or am I just hopelessly behind the curve?

And! For those who Await, a photo of -- no, not the new sneakers -- Princess Sprite and Trooper, doing the taxes.

Sprite and Trooper do the taxes Jan 6 2016
rolanni: (So There)

Well. . .nuts.  I thought I had plenty of manila folders, but it turns out that I have. . .three.  Not quite enough to make the 2016 files, and we'd been -- aggressive in getting rid of empty, old folders, back earlier in the year when we thought we'd be shifting house.

I zapped over to Staples to order a box (or two) of folders, only to find that Staples was being Entirely Bitchy about shipping "add on" items (manila folders are "add on" items, because apparently no one ever wants them for themselves.  Who knew?), which meant, in order to get the damned things shipped to me, I had to add on other "add on" items, notably an envelope sealing stick -- which was OK, the cats helped with the Yule card mailing by eating the rubber tip off of the stick we had -- and also some #10 envelopes, to make weight.

Not Best Pleased, Staples.

Ah, well.  Package to be delivered tomorrow, so I'll change out the working files then, moving the 2015 files to a banker's box which will reside in a corner of my office until the taxes are done, and then move downstairs, to join all the rest of the banker's boxes full of previous years' taxes.

I've already made the 2016 expense spreadsheets and whatnot -- go, me.

Moving on to Other Matters, look what came in the mail today!

Our authors' copies of Conflict of Honors!  Or Eine Frage der Ehre.  Cover art by Timo Kümmel.

German edition conflict of honors Dec 22 2015

Also!  Remember to Watch the Skies, or, more precisely -- Watch Welcome to Liad, where Steve and I will be posting a end-of-year goody for y'all on December 24.

. . .and that, I think, is all the news that's fit to print.

Oh!  Speaking of office supplies, revenge and all:  Watch the Sticky Note Experiments. Brought to you by Eepybird, based in our own Buckfield, Maine.  Thanks, guys!

rolanni: (juggling the moons)

There were gifts in today's mail at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.

First, there was a check for the munificent sum of $29.77 from the Treasurer of the State of Maine, said sum representing a check sent to my attention at the Post Office Box in Unity, Maine, which has been closed for at least 12 years.  Somehow the Unclaimed Property Division got hold of it, and contacted me via my State Representative. I filled out a form, returned it, and lo! Money in the mail.

I'd like to have a little more detail in the Story of This Check, but the above is apparently all the State thinks I can handle.

So, that's looking like lunch out.  Or maybe a viewing of Cinderella at the local theater.  I don't want to make a hasty decision, here...

Also in the mail, a sample pen for Tree and Dragon Trading (except on the pen it says "Tree Dragon Trading"), and an offer to imprint many, many more pens, all I have to do is say the word, and send a check.

It is a classy pen, though it's a ballpoint; Shan would be pleased to have it in his breast pocket, if Shan had a breast pocket, which, of course, he doesn't.

In Other Exciting News, the Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of the next Girl Genius graphic novel:  Girl Genius:  The Second Journey, Book One, has gone live.  Here's your link.

Also, for those who share my interest in Heyer and in Austen, here's Sherwood Smith talking in her usual cogent fashion about the differences between the two writers.  Here's your link.

Also!  Monday will see the Prologue of Shan and Priscilla Ride Again go live on Splinter Universe!  Watch the Skies!

Mail Call

Saturday, May 18th, 2013 10:26 am
rolanni: (Calvin & Hobbes happy dance)

Look what came in the mail!  Thank you, Woodchucks!

New Sampler from  Woodchucks' Revenge

New Sampler from
Woodchucks' Revenge

Those who have read Carousel Tides will recollect a shout-out to Woodchucks' Revenge on the acknowledgements page, for a song called "Voices in the Hills," which was part of the inspiration for the trenvay.

The Woodchucks do blues, old folk, new folk, cowboy songs, and anything else that takes their fancy, and you haven't discovered them yet, you should give them a listen.

Here's their website.

And here's the website of their producer, featuring sample songs from a wide range of artists.

Have fun!

rolanni: (Marvin's not happy)

Feeling somewhat blue today.  You have been warned.

The mail deliveryperson continues to fail of delivering Items of Considerable Interest to the residents of the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory. Note to self: Look into arranging for a new mail deliveryperson.

Frequent readers of this journal will recall that Steve and I had been having a. . .discussion* with the insurance company about whether or not the cost of a diagnostic echocardiogram for a heart patient could ever be justified.  The doctor’s office finally prevailed, by, I assume, the time-consuming, but effective, means of burying the insurance company’s Denial of Service Division in forms, and the echocardiogram was, after about a month’s delay, performed.

We have now received the bill for that procedure, and I am able to tell you the sum of money that the insurance company was fighting to keep rightfully in the hands of its stockholders (who, as you all of course know, deserve a return on their investments).  That sum is. . .


That’s right — nothing.  Not one thin dime.  We are responsible (as we knew we would be, since we have the Pay Anthem Blue Cross Six Bills a Month So We Can Have An Insurance Card insurance) for almost the entire amount of the bill.  I say “almost” because Anthem Blue Cross happily knocked $42.18 off the total due to the hospital.

Man, that was so totally worth a month-long tantrum.

. . .In other news, I have heard back from Himself in re the Carousel Tides t-shirt. I’ll be talking about that in a separate post a little later today. First, though, I need to do dishes.

*By “discussion” I mean here that the insurance company kept repeating, “But, the expense!  Ow! OW! Our Stockholders’ Money!  Oh! my daughter!  OH! my ducats!”  while the doctor’s office kept filing forms indicating that the echocardiogram was the third corner in a diagnostic triangulation to be certain that the various therapies Steve is undertaking in order to improve his heart’s function are indeed working as desired.


Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.

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