News you Need

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 06:31 pm
rolanni: (Default)

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.

Watch the Skies!

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 06:53 pm
rolanni: (Mouse and Dragon)

Due Diligence: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 24 has been published to the Usual Suspects (including but not limited to: Baen ebooks, Kobo, BN, Apple, Amazon) and will be available for sale as the Various Ghods of Indie Publishing will.

Novella "Due Diligence" is Lee & Miller's 81st fiction collaboration.

Here's the teaser:

When Clan Korval knows your name. . .

Abandoned on a strange port by a scam gone bad, his license to pilot rescinded, and his pockets very much to let, Fer Gun pen'Uldra was teetering between trouble, more trouble, and bad trouble. Cornered in a cheap bar by a too-knowledgeable stranger with an unlikely offer, Fer Gun realized having no money and no license might be the least of his troubles. Clan Korval knew his name and that proposal was hard to refuse. . .

And, just to refresh your memory, the cover:


rolanni: (booksflying1.1)

The last bundle of five Pinbeam Books titles has gone up for sale today at Baen ebooks.  Here's your link.

The November bundle includes:
Master Walk, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Surfside, Archers Beach #4, by Sharon Lee
The Gift of Magic, Archers Beach #5, by Sharon Lee
Spell Bound, Archers Beach #6, by Sharon Lee
TimeRags, by Steve Miller

You may also buy each title separately, if you prefer.

Bears and Bearish

Sunday, January 8th, 2012 12:35 pm
rolanni: (Marvin's not happy)

I think that I may not have mentioned here that there's a "new" eChapbook up at the Nook and Kindle stores* -- a single story entitled "The Day They Brought the Bears to Belfast," by Sharon Lee.  This story is a reprint; if you have the SRM paper-book Double Vision, you have this story in your possession.

An interesting factoid about this particular story, which was written, it says here, in 2002, is that it was the first story we ever offered on the read-it-and-donate-if-you-like-it model.   I believe it earned a hundred dollars over the four or five months that it was on the web -- less than a penny a word, with less than a fifth of the people who read it (based on page hits -- yes, yes:  I know, but that's what it's based on) donating. 
I considered the experiment to have delivered mixed results.  On the one hand, some people had read the story (more, indeed, than would have read the story had I tried to sell it to a magazine, since magazines pretty much don't buy our-or-my stories, and by 2002 I had long since stopped submitting), and some of those had liked it enough to donate.  That total donations hadn't been at the then-pro rate of $0.03/word was. . .disappointing.

Another interesting factoid about "...Bears..." is that it is, of course, a True Story.  But it's also a true story about the First Annual Belfast Bearfest, in Belfast, Maine.  While everything didn't happen Exactly as I Wrote It -- that's the True Story part -- the fact of the Bearfast is true, and some of the bears described in the story were indeed on the streets of Belfast, to the delight of visitors, though, as it came about, not to the delight of all the residents/business owners, some of whom deemed the whole business "undignified."

Steve and I came to the Bears by accident.  My brother-in-law and his wife were just completing their annual trip to Maine, and wanted to meet us for lunch and catch-up before they took off back south, for home.  Based on where they were and where we were, we decided that Belfast made the most sense as a meet-point.

And so we went, all unaware of Bears.

Our first inkling that Something Was Up, was as we entered town.  A strangely shaped shadow drew my eye upward, and there! just over the telephone wires!  Was a bear! in a bi-plane!

I pointed, but just then Steve, who was driving said, "Look! There's a bear on a bicycle!"

There were also lots of people afoot, cameras in play, so our progress down Main Street was slow enough that we got to see quite a number of Bears before arriving at the town landing, the Weathervane, and our highly-bemused relatives.

"Did you know. . .THEY were going to be here?" my sister-in-law asked, pointing at a leather-jacketed bear  wearing a rocket-pack.

"No," I said, "but I'm glad they are."

*  *  *
In other news, I'm not a very good invalid. 

I may have mentioned that we are without fail to turn in Dragon Ship before we leave for Chattacon.  We are, indeed, Very Nearly Finished the book, and I'm really, really looking forward to getting it onto somebody else's desk so that I Never Have To Look At It Again (cue laugh track). 

Faithful auditors of this journal will recall that on Monday I thought it would be fun to roll down an icy hill and sprain my ankle.  I did this thing (so that you! don't! have! to!)  and may reliably report that it isn't nearly as much fun as you might think.  Especially the sprained ankle part, which means a more-or-less permanent residence on the couch, bad leg elevated, while I type on the Leewit.

Now, I adore the Leewit; she's light and portable and I can type rough drafts and blog entries on her all day long without hearing a word of complaint.  What she's no good for at all, however, is doing the last-draft cut-n-pastes, scene rearrangements, and the inevitable etcetera.

Yesterday, Steve gave his Scene to me.  I redlined it whilst reclining on the couch, then, after lunch, I went back to my office, the big screen, and the full-sized keyboard, and keyed in the revisions.  I did not ignore my ankle; I propped it up on a paper box underneath the desk.  And then I went to work for a couple hours.

This proved to be an error.  The ankle swelled up again; the pain, which had backed down, returned with a vengeance, resulting in a very bad night, and?  I still have work to do that must be done at the big desk (The Big Desk), so that's where I'll be, after lunch. 

Who said being a writer wasn't risky and dangerous?
* * *
The near-term schedule is starting to look a little too interesting, but that's balanced by a (for now, at least) lack of projects due in the second half of the year.  Here's what I've got so far:

January 16 -- Dragon Ship (due November 15) turn in
January 17 -- leave for ChattaCon
February 15 -- tax stuff due to accountant
February 17 -- leave for Boskone
March 9 -- talk at Limestone Magnet School
March 15 -- Necessity's Child (due January 15) turn in
March 20? -- turn in short story for Baen website
April 5 -- talk at Rockland Public Library
May 15 -- Trade Secret (due March 15) turn in
May 22-ish -- leave for ConQuesT

. . .we've just been asked by a colleague to participate in a project; not sure of the deadline for that, yet.  Plus, we intend more stories for Splinter Universe, and we're still kicking around the idea of a Kickstarter Project -- obviously, that'll be something for the second half of the year. 

Well.  All I can say is that quitting the day-job was an Inspired Move; I honestly don't know where I'd fit it in.

*Coming eventually to Smashthing -- note the word "eventually."  The Smashwords translation process is. . .I think "cumbersome and picky" is not an unfair assessment. . .compared to those for Kindle and Nook, which is why the Smashwords edition always goes up last. . .and is sometimes, as now, Very Tardy.

For those paper-oriented folks -- yes, we're still trying to crack the paper book nut; no, we don't have a solution yet; and, unfortunately (see schedule above) don't know when we might have a solution.  There are only so many things we can fit around the edges of edges of other things.

Thank you for your patience.

rolanni: (blueyes)

An early morning discussion of the addresses of Hamlet’s duplex (2B and Not 2B) brought to mind the pope’s phone number, which is the title of today’s post, and also a Catholic in-joke. Worse, it’s an in-joke for Catholics who still (faintly) recall the respondents to the Latin Mass, and! those who still remember when phone numbers were rendered thusly: Northfield Eight Six-Nine-Three-Six. You’d think my brain would have more interesting things to do than remember this stuff, but! The above is pronounced, indifferently, I expect: Etcum Spiri Two-Two-O. Note the lack of an international calling code.

When it’s not being a phone number, the phrase is part of the response pair: Dominus vobiscum/Et cum spiritu tuo, which means The lord be with you/And with your spirit.

So now you know.

OK! Exciting doin’s here at the Confusion Factory:

1. I am in the position of needing to write a whole lotta words in a short number of days. This means? I’m turning off the internet and the email. I hope you all have a delightful holiday season of your choice, and I’ll see you again early, but not too early, in the New, and please Goddess Much Better, Year.

2. “Kin Ties” and “Guaranteed Delivery” have aged off the of the Splinter Universe site. They are now available as echapbook Courier Run right now from Smashthing and from Amazon, and RSN from BN. I did clean up the typos and put in the missing words, but there are no other changes.

3. Be good to yourselves, and to each other. Remember to tell the people you love how much they mean to you.

See you in 2012.

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

rolanni: (readbooks from furriboots)

A number of our readers (“our” being Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, the writers behind the stories, and this website) have written to tell us that their friend, or their brother-in-law, or their mom, or the barista at their favorite coffee shop are crazy to add stuff to their brand-new eReader/tablet/phone/netbook, but they don’t want to risk a lot of money buying unknown books.

Well! We’re all about making it easier for new readers to find us, and this is what we’ve decided to do.

From Right Now until January 2012, you, your friend, the BiL, Mom, and the barista can try out six! Pinbeam Books eChapbooks and! one novel at, as they say, Greatly Reduced Prices.

We’ve knocked two dollars off each of the following eBooks, just for you:

Chariot to the Stars by Steve Miller
Includes: “Rain Day,” “The Solution,” “The Inventoried,” “The Cat’s Job,” “Charioteer”
|Kindle| |Nook| |Smashwords|

TimeRags II by Steve Miller
Updates and expands Steve’s first volume of poetry, TimeRags, published in 1975.
|Kindle| |Nook| |Smashwords|


Variations Three by Sharon Lee
Includes: “Coffeecat,” “The AfterImage,” and “Passionato”
|Kindle| |Nook| |Smashwords|

Endeavors of Will by Sharon Lee
Includes: “Stolen Laughter,” “The Winter Consort,” “The Pretender,” “The Silver Pathway,” “Stormshelter,” “The Girl, The Cat, and Deviant,” “A Matter of Ceremony,” “The Handsome Prince,” and “Cards” (poem)
|Kindle| |Nook| |Smashwords|


Master Walk by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Contains the novelette “Master Walk”
|Kindle| |Nook| |Smashwords|

The Naming of Kinzel by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Includes: “Kinzel the Foolish,” “Kinzel the Innocent,” and “Kinzel the Arbiter”
|Kindle| |Nook| |Smashwords|


The Tomorrow Log by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
A space opera novel detailing the adventures of master thief Gem ser Edreth
|Kindle| |Nook| |Smashwords|


For those who want electronic editions of Lee-and-Miller, and Lee, novels, the entire oeuvre (barring Sharon’s mysteries, of which more in a moment) to date can be purchased directly in the format(s) of your choice from Baen Books.

Sharon’s mysteries set in Wimsy, Maine, are available in the electronic format of your choice from Fictionwise (and in paper, from Lulu)

And! all of the great stories, including Liaden story “Intelligent Design,” that have been published for free on Baen Books’ front page throughout 2011, are collected in this great electronic anthology, which is absolutely free.

Speaking of free stories, don’t forget to check out Splinter Universe which right now has four complete short stories and a number of “splinters” available to be read. Donations are gratefully accepted.

So, that’s what we’ve got! We hope you enjoy reading our stories as much as we enjoy writing them.

More great stuff to read at Pinbeam Books.

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

rolanni: (Tea and dragon)

Yesterday was Steve’s birthday; a quiet birthday. We had lunch at Selah Tea in Beautiful Downtown Waterville, did a small ride, with milkshakes, came home for a pizza and wine and a chapter of Explorer.

This morning was about lining up the bills to be paid while we’re traveling. More bookkeeping to do tomorrow morning, thank ghod. I’d hate to run out of stuff to do. It now being after lunch — a reprise of Steve’s spicy black beans and rice from Friday — it’s time to get to the couch and with George. The idea here is to try to institute a schedule that caters to the writing brain’s preference not to work early in the day and! which allows us to go to bed before 3 a.m. Going to bed at 3 a.m. does not find All That Much favor with Certain Physicians, which is a damned shame, but there you are.

In case you haven’t seen it Elsewhere, we-as-Pinbeam-Books are offering a 50% off coupon on the electronic edition of “Changeling,” to help people prep for the August 12 publication of “Kin Ties.” All you need to do is go over to Smashwords, choose your preferred format (yes, Kindle (mobi) and Nook (ePub) are supported, DRM-free) and use coupon code KB93Q (not case sensitive) at checkout. The foregoing coupon is good until August 12.

“Kin Ties” will of course be available to read on August 12.

And now? To the couch!

See y’all later.

Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (bleedingheart from furriboots)

So! Endeavors of Will and TimeRags II have been uploaded to the Smashfolk.  The score at halftime there being:  8 books in the premium catalog; 17 awaiting Judgement.  In the meantime, the only — did I say ONLY? — book yet to be uploaded is. . .The Tomorrow Log.  Which is going to have to wait a couple days.

The day-job was somewhat horrid today; tomorrow, I have an “exit interview,” whatever that is. One would suppose an exit interview would happen. . .closer to the actual exit, but — apparently not.

In the meantime, and looking ahead, Steve has located my vehicle for me.  On sale, too!

And with that, I’m outta here.  Remember!  This weekend!  in Portland, Maine!  PortConMaine!  Be there, or be Totally UnCool.


Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (agatha primping)

So, today, I broke down and got a haircut. I told Ashley, the long-suffering and cheerful stylist who drew the short straw, that I was going to an anime convention. Reasonably enough, she gave me an anime haircut. Steve professes it very classy. I think it needs a couple of purple stripes.

Shorn, I descended upon the Hannaford to take on supplies and came home in an unexpectedly hot and bright solstice afternoon.

Today, I have upload to Smashwords Calamity’s Child, Quiet Magic, and The Naming of Kinzel.  Books awaiting transmogrification are:  The Tomorrow Log, Endeavors of Will, and TimeRags II.

Once again, these books do take a while to go through the Smashwords’ Premium Catalog process.  Eventually — note this very important word — Eventually, I say, all Miller-and-Lee chapbooks, plus The Tomorrow Log will be available in the Apple Store, in the Sony Store, in the Kobo Store, and in places like Scrollmotion and Diesel.

Jeff VanderMeer of Underland Press is building a book to be entitled If You Lived Here and is soliciting nominations of readers’ most beloved Science Fiction and Fantasy universe.  (Why, yes, the Liaden Universe® is eligible for nomination.)  You may nominate up to three worlds, science fiction and/or fantasy.  Be warned!  This is an essay test — you have to explain why you love and would want to live in each world that you nominate.

Fans of Mozart take note:  He’s a little under the weather today; we administered pain meds and he perked up enough to have something to eat — wet food this time, thank ghod.  He’d thank all of you for your concern and good wishes, if he wasn’t, yanno, a cat, so I thank you in his stead.

And now, having done work, and achieved anime hair, I’m outta here, for tomorrow?  Is Wednesday and I must go to school.


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

rolanni: (booksflying1.1)

Up early to take Mozart to the vet’s to have dental work done, then home for a visit from the c-pap nurse, eat lunch, and go back into town to pick Mozart up from the vet’s.

Between all that, Steve and I took a walk; I did. . .all? Really? of the laundry, and converted Eidolon, Misfits, Halfling Moon, Skyblaze, and The Cat’s Job into Smashbooks.  This leaves only four chapbooks, a slim volume of poetry and a novel to convert.

I do believe I’ll be pleased to see the back of this particular project.

For those of an opinionated turn of mind, NPR is looking to compile a list of the 100 Best SF and Fantasy books. You can submit your favorites here. Please note that the rules allow the nomination of a series as one work — the Liaden Universe® novels do qualify.

It’s somehow gotten later than I thought it would be by this time, if that makes any sense. The pain meds seem to have worn off poor Mo, who now can’t quite settle down. I offered him some wet food, but, no, he wanted cat crunchies. Made my teeth hurt, just watching him.

Regardless of which, I ought to get something to eat, my own self.

Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (Mozart)

. . .there lived a scholar who had three daughters, and they were the light and comfort of his elder years.

A reader stopped me after a panel at some con or ‘nother in order to tell me what was wrong with “Veil of the Dancer.”* The essence of their complaint was that it was written in “fairy tale” language and yet it wasn’t a fairy tale.

I told them I thought that was one of the story’s strengths.

No.  Authors, according to this earnest young person, aren’t supposed to “mislead” readers.

…and here I thought that was my job.

In any case! Quiet Knives (including “Veil of the Dancer,” and the title story)  and With Stars Underfoot (including “This House,” and “Lord of the Dance”) — Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Numbers 9 and 10, respectively — have today been uploaded to Smashwords.  There remain only 13 more chapbooks and a novel to process.

In other news, Mozart has this morning been out to Deepest Unity, braving yaks and chickens, and sheep the size of Colorado in order to see his stylist.  He is now returned, and sporting the Summer Shorts.  He looks. . .adorable, that’s the word.  Adorable.

Many thanks to everyone who weighed in on databases!  I am much enlightened, and more than ever determined not to enlist as a database programmer in my twilight years.

Me and the yellow pad are headed for the couch, now.

Hope everyone has a pleasant evening.

*Why do people do this? Do they think I’m going to rewrite the story, or recall all the magazines/chapbooks/webpages in which the offending narrative appears?  Or — what, exactly?

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

The author at work

Sunday, June 12th, 2011 08:47 pm
rolanni: (Default)

Today’s eChapbook upload to Smashwords was Shadows and Shades: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 8 I thought I might get another one up this evening, but Events Conspired against me.

Tomorrow is — Monday! So what? Well…I need to drive Mozart to to his stylist tomorrow morning, and Steve has some appointments in the city, but I — don’t. Which is good.

The other thing of use that I did today was work on George, to the tune of nearly 2,000 words added to the rumble and roar, which, lately, is a Stellar! Day! of writing. This stint gets us to the end of Chapter Sixteen, new ground, all, so — yay.

Progress on the Book Presently known as George
43,008 words/100,000 OR 43% complete

Yeah, Mike thought, some people were too stupid to come in outta the snow.

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

rolanni: (So There)

Man, summer vacation is the greatest.

Yesterday, I tidied my office inasmuch &c. It had just gotten too messy to write in. I can’t say that it’s tidy as I sit here, but it’s tidy enough, and that’ll do.

Today, I converted and uploaded Loose Cannon: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 7 to Smashwords. Because of its reviewing process, it is taking those books I’m uploading quite some time to propagate out to the other vendors, but for those who consider Smashwords to be their Bookstore on the Web, the Liaden Universe® is coming your way. My goal is to upload a book a day, which should get everything we have up in…counts on fingers…seventeen days. Which means by the end of June, even given a break for PortConME, which is coming up in Portland, June 24, 25, and 26.

Today, I also worked on George, breaking new ground. Hopefully this work will pick up, too, now that we’re into a saner headspace. For values of sane that include comfortable and usual, for me, if not necessarily for you.

And now, work done, I’m going to go rustle up some lunch. Steve had mentioned that the potstickers we had narrowly missed having for breakfast on Friday might make a good lunch.

I think he’s onto something.

Progress on the Book Presently known as George
41,082 words/100,000 OR 41% complete

"I fear that you will not walk far with me at your side," he said. "But I will gladly go as far as I might, with a brother."

Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (the captain will see you now)

Uploaded Changeling to Smashwords and linked it up good and proper over at Pinbeam Books. I know it’s Not the Done Thing for writers to say good stuff about old work, but I do like Changeling. A fine story.  I’m glad we wrote it.

Let’s see, what else? Steve and I have come up with a list of thirteen stories to tell live! on the web! Contrary to our Initial Vision, not all of those listed are Ride the Luck and/or Aelliana-and-Daav stories. There’s a reason for this, and the reason is:

Baen contractually has first dibs on the next Liaden novel. We will therefore not even tempt our backbrains with the cookie of “linked stories” because you can see exactly where that would go, can’t you?  Don’t despair though — there is one Ride the Luck story in the mix, and I’m sure there will be more, assuming we’re all sufficiently amused to keep at this awhile.

What else on the day? A warm one, bright and sunny. Changes coming at the day-job. Exciting changes. No, I’m serious. But, before the exciting changes, the staff picnic development day, on Wednesday. I signed up for a couple of interesting lectures, and Lunch With Seven Strangers, with sounds rather like a play in the style of Murder by Death.

I should upload another ebook to Smashwords tonight, but, yanno? I’m going to go read for an hour, and rest my hands.

Hope everyone had a splendid Monday!

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

rolanni: (booksflying1.1)

So, Admin has decided when summer is — a hotly anticipated decision at the end of every school year. Really, I think we’re missing a bet by not starting a pool — insert groan here — but the administrative staff, whose household budgets serve as the markers in the game, can’t really afford to gamble.

In any case, summer starts on Monday! Which is good. Now I can get some work done.

Speaking of work, I have been — slowly, I’ll grant — uploading ebooks to Smashwords, which offers multiple formats for download and a library shelf for patrons, so if you change your desktop, or drop your smartphone into a koi pond, you will at least not have lost your books.

You may, as of this day and hour, find the following Lee and Miller, and Lee, and Miller ebooks on Smashwords:

Two Tales of Korval:  Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 1
Fellow Travelers: AitLU #2
Duty Bound: AitLU #3
Certain Symmetry: AitLU #4
Variations Three
Chariot to the Stars

I do know that this part of Steve and Sharon’s Excellent eBook Adventure is taking a bit of time.  We do intend to keep at it until it’s done, and the advent of day-job summer may well speed the process along.  Do tell your ebook reading friends about Pinbeam Books (eBooks you want to read!).  Signal-boosts greatly appreciated.

And now?  Steve is making Philly cheese steak sammiches for lunch, so you can bet I’m heading for the kitchen.  Yeah.  Along with the cats.


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

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