If it's Sunday...

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 12:26 pm
rolanni: (Default)

...Steve must've made blueberry pancakes for breakfast.  Aaaaaah.  I do so love blueberry pancakes and so seldom have them.  Can't order them when we're having breakfast out, because I go right to sleep, after.  Too many carbs-and-sugars, and not enough coffee and protein in the universe to balance it out, and, since we're usually On The Road when we eat breakfast out...not a good combo.

So, anyway -- blueberry pancakes at home to start the day, then some on-line ordering -- I have committed to a so-called "beginner's" fountain pen, on the theory that it will be easier on my wrists, and more forgiving of the Obscenely Uneven Pressure which is my best effort at writing with a pen nowadays.

Why do I want a pen that's easy on the wrists?  Well. . .it's come to my attention that this book wants to be written first-draft-by-hand.  I can either sit at my desk and stare at the screen for hours at a time, sweating blood for five hundred grudging words, or!  I can sit in my nice chair over there in the reading corner, with a yellow pad and a pen and zip out 2,000 words in an hour.

Even I can understand a message that clear.  The various daily pens -- Sarsa gel-clicks, and a nice Levenger's rollerball -- are good in rotation, but I'm thinking one more would be a nice increase my range, so to speak, and so the Pilot Metropolitan Animal (oooh) will be with me on Tuesday.

In other news, I'm going to try to publish Change Management: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® No. 23 as a paper edition today, in between the Rest of It, and then -- we'll see what we see.  This is, as I've probably already mentioned, very much an experiment.

I am aware that we have fallen behind in updating our Patreon page.  There are Reasons, mostly having to do with that army of ducks I mentioned the other day, but I won't bore you with them, and in fact, the reasons don't matter, except insofar as they demonstrate that we're apparently trying to eat something very much bigger than our heads.  We hope to resume the readings, on a less-ambitious schedule, soon, and we thank you for your patience.

I think that's all the news from the Cat Farm today.  I hope everyone has a pleasant day.

 

rolanni: (kitty!)

Unrestful sleep full of the horrors of free hotel breakfasts (is it me or is there less and less food at free hotel breakfasts?  Some of them have a big crockpot of oatmeal, and that's fine; I can get by on a bowl of oatmeal.  But others. . .Gah.  Picky eater is picky.), interleaved with a roll call of absent friends.  Not sure who elected these the topics of the evening, but the result is a head full of sticky thoughts this morning.

Well.  There's more coffee where this cup came from.

So, today's to-do list:

  1.  Drink more coffee
  2. Edit last night's pages
  3. Edit Due Diligence
  4. Write teaser copy for Due Diligence
  5. Write more words for Fifth of Five
  6. Consider questions to put to the panelists of Writing the Series (How do you plan out a multi-books series?  Well, there's one question right there -- free from Programming.).
  7. Print out Characterization Rant and practice on Belle (don't laugh; Belle's a tough audience.  For one thing, she doesn't care about writing or characters.).  Belle's busy right now; she'll get back to me when her schedule's clear.
  8. Enpurple hair
  9. Meditate

. . .that's enough.

Today's blog post brought to you by War, "Low Rider."  Here's your link.

Oh.  Yesterday, I did build a cover for Due Diligence.  Have a look:



"That's an extra-size lot of respectability you're wanting," he pointed out.  "I did say we're a House full of scoundrels."

"You did.  But I've no objection to scoundrels, being one myself."

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: (Default)

No, we are NOT "ending the Liaden series" (or "killing the series" or "abandoning our readers" or "selling out"* or whatever other variation you like).

What We Are Doing Is This:

  1.  We are finishing the five-book arc which begins with Dragon in Exile (aka Dragon in Exile, Alliance of Equals, The Gathering Edge, Neogenesis, Fifth of Five (working title))
  2. We are also finishing the 20-book arc** which begins with Agent of Change (aka Crystal Soldier, Crystal Dragon, Local Custom, Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon, Agent of Change, Conflict of Honors, Carpe Diem, Plan B, I Dare, Fledgling, Saltation, Ghost Ship, Dragon Ship, Necessity's Child, Dragon in Exile, Alliance of Equals, The Gathering Edge, Neogenesis, Fifth of Five (working title))
  3. After Fifth of Five (working title) has been completed, Steve and I are under contract for five more Liaden novels in two chunks.
    1. Chunk One, consisting of two novels bearing the working titles of Liaden Mask Book One, and Liaden Mask Book Two
    2. Chunk Two, consisting of three novels bearing the working titles of Liaden Triple Threat Book One, Liaden Triple Threat Book Two, Liaden Triple Threat Book Three
    3. No, we don't know what any of those titles will be "about".  They will be Liaden Universe® novels, because the contracts so stipulate
  4. It remains hard to write the last book in two arcs at once.  Just so that's clear.

I hope everyone is reassured now.  Thank you for reading, and for being so invested in our work. . .

______
*This one is really hard to figure out.  I thought that "selling out" means, um, taking a lot of money to do something questionable that would compromise one's morals or good name.  I could be wrong, here, but I think the key to "selling out" is, well, SELLING, not just. . .stopping.

**or the 22-book arc, if you're of the opinion that the Jethri Gobelyn books are in the main arc.  Not a 21-book arc.  Innumerate writer is innumerate.

Beginning the week

Monday, June 26th, 2017 07:16 pm
rolanni: (Default)

So, the folks across the road from our back woods are building a house.  This is nothing new, they cleared the lot, oh, four years ago, and from time to time a truck and a couple guys would show up, perform Mystery Tasks and go away again.

Well, apparently they decided that This Summer is the Summer of the House, and they've been going at it, hammer, tongs, bulldozer, dump trucks, and electric drills from early to late.  Last night, the last dump truck delivery happened at 9:30, as I was reading a chapter from The Cat Who Saw Red (we alternate chapters), and the cats were in their places in the kitchen, listening avidly (big Koko fans in this house; though Trooper thinks Yum-Yum is just shy) -- and we all jumped at least a foot when the gate slammed open.

It's gotten to the point that I can't really figure out what they can be building down there.  Based on the amount of activity, it may well be an apartment complex.  Or possibly a space elevator.

In other news, work goes forth.  For the record, writing the last book in a five-book arc, which is simultaneously the last book in a 21-book arc -- is hard.

Who knew?

Today included baking another couple loaves of bread, which turned out well, and have been tucked into the freezer next to a half-loaf of last Friday's Pullman bread.  I think we're good for bread for the next week or so.  Which is a mixed blessing.  May have to switch to making cookies for displacement activity -- which is a much more perilous undertaking.

I have, in between this and that, finished the first draft of "Due Diligence," and have put it aside to rest while I pursue other work.  Such as choosing and reading the next story for our Patreon supporters*.

Speaking of which, I have one more bit of business to finish this evening, and then I'm done for the day.

Everybody stay cool.

*Not a Patreon supporter?  Check it out.

Thus far...

Friday, June 23rd, 2017 10:50 am
rolanni: (Default)

So far this morning, have eaten excellent scrambled eggs and potatoes provided by Steve.

At breakfast, we figured out the ending of the cheater story, now titled "Due Diligence," which also had the nice side-effect of straightening out the first scene, and providing a yummy scene in the middle (Lady yo'Lanna, For. The Win!).  So that can go forward and possibly be wrapped up today.

Have also started a loaf of Pullman bread.

Tomorrow, we're due in Bangor for Active Bystander Intervention training, provided by the ACLU, and then the plan is to have lunch at the local family Italian restaurant.

So, what're y'all doing that's fun?

 

Five Minutes of Fame

Sunday, May 14th, 2017 12:22 pm
rolanni: (Default)

So, yesterday, Steve and I journeyed to Augusta, where we meeted and greeted and talked and signed and importuned people who were on important errands and in general had a very good time being Authors on Display at Barnes and Noble.

We sold out of the Carousel Tides.  Apparently, if I could have somehow wandered the country, pressing the book into the hands of young women while whispering haunted carousel, I'd've had a bestseller on my hands.  We also sold a smattering of other books, including the new one!, and had a bunch of interesting conversations.  Only one person said "Ick!" (literally), when we told her the books were science fiction and fantasy, and several people took bookmarks/postcards for their sons, sons-in-laws.  Apparently, there are no daughters/daughters-in-law who read science fiction or fantasy.

Today, it's back to work.  Steve is re-reading Neogenesis; I've just finished recording "The Beggar King," which will be posted on Patreon on May 27, and, when I'm finished this blog post, I'll meander out to the kitchen to put together a pot of lentil soup against the general gray-and-pouring-down-rain-ness of the day.

And so it goes.  We don't have anything but writing a book on the professional calendar until August.  On the Real Life calendar, aside the ubiquitous health things, there's the possibility of going to the Kite Festival at Bug Light Park on Saturday, and scheduling the installation of the new roof (metal this time), but nothing really pressing there, either.  A quiet-ish few months.  That's not all bad.

Hope everyone is having a pleasant weekend.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

This is your Penultimate Warning.  If you wish to own a signed-and-personalized copy of the 20th Liaden Universe®, The Gathering Edge, you need to place your order with Uncle Hugo no later than Saturday, April 1 -- Holy Bananas! That's SATURDAY!

Everything you need to know in order to, yanno -- order, is AT THIS LINK.

In other news, work goes forth on Fifth of Five, PR is being done, checks have come in, checks are going out, coon cats are being spoilt.

In other words, all is right with the world, here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.

And wish the same, for you.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

31F/0C this morning and raining.  We shall leave early for the cardio gym.

Yesterday, chores were done, and a Beginning was Made, including teasing a name out of a somewhat reluctant character, naming hours, and considering motivations.  Five hundred sixteen words for the win.

Fifth of Five is on the move.

Today, as above, the cardio gym, and perhaps a minor errand, then back home to finish the Fine Laundry, and do a blankie run.  And write.

Everybody stay safe.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

My thanks to everyone who put eyes on the Amazon situation.  Many noted that the links to Steve's author page are missing/broken/go somewhere else -- that will be my next Amazon-related project, whereupon I will once again ask for your assistance.  Thank you so very much being here, and being willing and able to assist us as we navigate the Silly Waters of Freelance.

This morning, lest I forget, there was a reprint contract in the mail.  Totally unexpected, but of course Delightful To Behold.

I am in the meantime, making a story from an outtake from Neogenesis.  The title is "Street Cred," and it is destined for a new eChapbook, which I hope to have on-sale before we leave for MarsCon.  This morning, it weighs in at about 7,500 words, out of what I estimate to be about 10,000 words, finished.  With luck I can finish the draft this evening.

Today, Steve is wanted at the dentist, and I'll do some errands in town while that work is being done.  Sunday is forecast to be sunny and warm; our goal at This Point in Time is to take a nice long drive on Sunday, partly in order to assuage cabin fever, and partly to see if I can do a nice long drive all in one go, in prep for driving to Albany, and getting on a train for Minneapolis.

Let's see, what else?  Oh, our mailbox here at the house fell victim to Winter, the first time in many winters, so All Mail must presently be picked up at the post office in Waterville.  Today, I expect to pick up a sweatshirt, and a DVD, along with the usual handful of bills and sales flyers.  I've really been looking forward to the sweatshirt, and honestly didn't expect the DVD to make it to us so quickly, which just goes to show that when you order something called "Arrival," it'll try to live up to its name.

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

Everybody stay safe, and warm.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

Page proofs for The Gathering Edge hit the mailbox yesterday.  This means that, today, I will set up station here on the desk, with our submission copy up on the screen, and the proofs in paper, compare one against the other, and mark any errors on the paper copy.

At the very least, this is a tedious process, and I enter into it with a strong sense of trepidation.

Most of you who read here are aware that the arrival of page proofs in our mailbox means that the release of the Baen eArc is not far away.  We, personally, do not know the name of that happy hour, 'k? So it's no use asking us.  Usually, we find out that the eArc has gone live because an alert reader drops us a note, which we do appreciate. So, if you notice that the eARC is up for download, do let us know, and we'll help spread the word.

You will perhaps recall that, last year, Belle and I had a wager about how many Alliance of Equals eArcs we could sell.  At that point, Belle was of the opinion that we wouldn't sell more than 500 (which would have been about 150 more than the total eArc sales of Dragon in Exile).  Sprite, who last year was too young to wager, had it as her Strong Opinion that we would earn out our advance on eArc sales.

Neither was right, though Sprite came closer to the truth.  We exceeded Belle's high figure by a factor of twelve, indicating that a lot of Liadens were into eArcs last year, but we did not earn out the entire advance.

This year, Belle is taking the position that last year was a fluke, and that no one wants to read a Whole Book about a Tiresome Kitten, anyway.  Sprite, who this year can place a formal wager, has modified her position to Edge sales equaling sales of Alliance.

My position is that, with All the Uncertainty in the air, it could go either way.  People could hunker down, and hold their purses tight, hoping that the storm passes them by, or they could figure wotthehell; a short life but a merry one.

And now, it's time for coffee and the first shift of proofing.

Everybody stay safe.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

So, let's see.  In our Last Thrilling Episode, the Writers were scrambling to get various projects done by deadlines/extended deadlines.

As of this morning, one of the overdue projects has been turned in; the other is in process.  The novel...is done in concept.  Which means that I have about thirty pages of dialog/rough story to expand and polish.  After all the cake has been iced, I'm guessing we'll come in about 130,000/132,000 finished words.  And, yes, I have written many more words for this book than made the final cut.  Might be time for a Blooper Track.

In terms of Mechanics, the book has been proofed, spell-checked, grammar-checked and continuity-checked through page 555 (remember -- these are manuscript pages, +/- 250 words/page in the Normal Way of things, and slightly less in This Way of doing things, because sub-chapters), and I'm actually feeling pretty good about it as a novel.

However, the next book will be about a person who sits in his chair and does nothing.  Fair warning.

I've been making a list of things To Do when the book is finished.  It looks something like this:


  1. Do income taxes

  2. Clean house

  3. Do Laundry

  4. Make blankie run

  5. Get haircut

  6. Prep for con

  7. Start next book

"Go to the Virgin Islands and sit around the pool drinking Adult Beverages" had been on the list, too, but the Coon Cat Consortium vetoed it.

. . .And I think that's all I got, except to note that Today the Weather Ghods of Central Maine have given us a nor'easter/ice storm.  It's a good thing I was planning to stay inside, anyway.

Y'all be careful out there.

Oh.  Today's blog title brought to you by the Steve Miller Band, "Motherless Children."  It's been on continuous loop in my head for a couple days now, and I thought I'd share the gift.  Here's your link.

Just checking in

Thursday, January 19th, 2017 08:37 am
rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

Yes, yes, everyone's fine here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.  We're simply in the midst of Deadline Heck for various projects, two of which are late, and one of which is coming due Right Soon.  I, personally, have been down deep in the guts of the novel, doing I can't even tell you, because to do so I would have to change brain trains, and I can't really do that right now.

On the Mundane Plane, it was snowing yesterday, so we put off going to town. Which of course meant that it snowed even more on the overnight, and is snowing as I type, so I guess we'll go to town in the snow.

I hear from Uncle Hugo that Mr. Blyly will soon have a page up for the pre-order of singed/personalized copies of The Gathering Edge, the. . .twentieth Liaden Universe® novel.  We'll let you know when that page is live.

For those of a Hugo nominating bent, the Liaden Universe® is eligible for the brand new Series Hugo, which is being test-driven at this year's WorldCon.

The cats are all fine, though of course they'd rather we'd do something a little more interesting than sitting in a chair and staring at the computer screens.  Belle has taken to jumping up in the bed in the early morning hours -- say around 4:00 am, to Discuss Weighty Matters with me.  Steve is of the opinion that she wants me to add a dining room, so she can have a dining room table to sleep on (we just finished reading The Cat Who Saw Red aloud, and I fear Koko is a bad influence.).  She would also like a Cat Porch to be installed.

. . .I think that's all I've got.  Writers lives are pretty boring, really, especially when we're working.

Everybody stay well and warm -- or cool, depending on your hemisphere.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

So, the Compleat Combined Manuscript of Neogenesis now stands at 105,647 words, more-or-less.  I need to write two more scenes and build a buncha bridges, which is not quite the same as writing a scene, even though some bridges pack more wordage than a scene.

It's an art.  Yeah.

There may still be a minor timing problem lurking in the depths, and I have to go back and find the perfect place to put a sentence to explain That Thing, but there's nothing so seriously askew that I can't go forward comfortably and finish the damn' thing.

I think that yesterday, when I stitched together the front half with the back half and could finally, finally, see the book as One Whole Thing, instead of a bunch of Random Chunks, was the first time I felt certain in my bones that I could actually finish the damn' thing, so progress, if not yet victory, is mine.

On the not-book side of things -- does anybody here wear bifocal contact lenses?  The last time I tried them, the approved method was to over-correct one eye and under-correct the other, in order to give the wearer "bi-focal vision," but all it ever gave me is a headache.  I understand that there have been Advances since then, including soft contacts built in rings of varying powers, so your eye can choose which ring it needs to see through for a certain task.  Much more like my glasses, in fact.

. . .and I think that's all the news I have at the moment.  Hope everyone who celebrated had a happy holiday of their choice.

# # #

Neogenesis
105,647/120,000 OR 88% complete
"It is possible, after all, to have too many enemies."

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

In our last Thrilling Installment, it was Trooper's Birthday, known in some less enlightened parts of the world as December 15.

On Thursday, as per The Plan, we did indeed motor into Waterville to pick up the mail, and also to view Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which I adored, despite not being able to hear much of the dialog*. This is possibly telling, but then, I don't expect much from movies except that they look pretty and hang together as a tale at least until the credits roll.

After the movie, we hit Governor's for breakfast (yes, breakfast; don't judge), and so to home.

Friday was a writing day.

Saturday, it snowed, thus becoming a writing day with interludes of snow removal.  In-between, I finished moving my files from the old computer to the new computer, and upgrading the OS on my Asus Android tablet from Lollipop to Marshmallow, which, because of Something Technical, had to be done manually.  This was a case of an operation sounding much scarier than it actually was.  The upgrade went beautifully, and now I have an up-to-date OS, just in time for Google to release the next in series.

Yesterday, also, Steve took point on hooking up my classy new 7-port USB hub and the new multi-size card reader, as both of these required climbing around under the desk, which I'm presently not up for because...

I borked my knee.  No, I don't know how I did it.  I tried ignoring it for a week, which worked about as well as you might think, and babying it with ice and elevation and all like that.  We've reached the point where I'm probably going to call the doctor, though part of me insists that if I don't hear words like "meniscus tear," all will be well.  More or less.

That brings us to what?  Today.  Sunday.

Yesterday, as reported it snowed, and the temps didn't get much higher than 15F/-9C.  Today! It's raining, and the high temp is predicted to be 44F/6C.  Right now, everything is encased in ice, which is my least-favorite winter scenario.

The Plan for the rest of the day is to retire to the comfy reclining chair with the laptop, and work from there.

I had briefly thought that we'd go see Arrival tomorrow before it leaves town, but I'm doubting that's going to be happening.

. . .and I think that catches us all up.

Everybody stay safe.

_________

*I am informed that there are such things as "caption glasses" available at some theaters. Sadly, they are not available at the Waterville Flagship Cinemas.  They are available at the Regal Cinemas, in Augusta, but that makes a 50-mile round trip to see a movie.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

Yesterday, Steve and I had manymany errands to run in town, including the appointment with the second doctor, and another, with our lawyer, who we haven't seen in a few years.

New medication was introduced; paperwork was initiated; groceries were topped off.  And etcetera.

Since we were All Day In Town, we ate lunch at the world-famous Governor's Restaurant.  Steve had the liver and onions, which he pronounced excellent.  I had the chicken pot pie, which did not go above adequate.  The filling was everything I could have wished for, but the pie crust itself was industrial grade, and I wound up leaving it, and just ate the insides.  And my squash.  The squash was wonderful.

Anyhow, we arrived home in the dark, by which I mean after 4:00 pm, had a snack, caught up with email, and retired to the couch.

I don't think I reported here that we are now the proud owners of a smart television -- the kind that connects to the network, and from which movies and television shows can be streamed.  Steve has been lobbying for one of these for. . .awhile now, and we finally found one at a reasonable price from a place that would (a) deliver it, and (b) take the old television, which weighed approximately two tons, away.

Myself, I didn't see the need for this particular sort of new tech -- until last night, when I retired to the living room, exhausted from our efforts upon the day, and intent on nothing more than to finish reading my book over a glass of wine.

In turns out that, while I was answering email and updating the checkbook, Steve had introduced the new TV (do people even call these things TVs, anymore?) to the network, and had signed into Pandora, and the Instrumental Folk Channel, which is a favorite with both of us.

. . .I think I may be sold on the new technology.

Today, I still kinda feel like I've been beat with a stick, but! there's words to write, so I believe I'll have at it.

Everybody stay warm.  Or cool.  Depending on your hemisphere.

Oh, hey.  If it really is Thursday -- here's a Throwback picture.  Steve and I signing at the Augusta, Maine Barnes and Noble, sometime around Christmas, 2010.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

We have a winner for the Monday night drawing for a free MP3 edition of Dragon in Exile, the 18th novel-length Adventure in the Liaden Universe® created by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and!

The winner is Number 55!

Congratulations Number 55, well done, indeed!

We will be releasing the winner's name on Welcome to Liad, as soon as we have verification and permission to do so.

And you!  Have you entered today's drawing?  What drawing you ask?  Here's the rules

We ask people to please read the rules and follow the directions.  "Entries" made at venues other than the venue stipulated will not be counted, plus you will make me cranky.  You don't want to make me cranky.  Also!  We ask that people enter from the email address that they check at least daily, and not to enter twice from two different email addresses.  This will also make me cranky, and worse -- I will mock you.

OK, then!

In other news, Steve had the first of an arranged two doctor appointments yesterday, in which most questions were deferred to the second doctor, who's up on Wednesday.  I guess that's a Watch the Skies.

Also, it snowed yesterday, and on the overnight, so first order of bidness this morning was sweeping snow, and have now moved on to coffee and answering my mail.  This will shortly be followed by more coffee, breakfast, and working on the Novel That Will Not End.

Everybody have a good day.

Here's a photo of Twig to help you get that going.

twig
rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

Audible lets us know that!

There's a free excerpt available of the audiobook edition of Alliance of EqualsHere's your link.  Enjoy -- and tell your friends!

I had planned to go to the ocean today, but that wasn't possible, because Reasons.  Steve and I did go cat-shopping (as opposed to shopping for cats), because one of the sisal-bound (you notice I say "one of") scratchers has gone to that great sisal forest in the sky. So, naturally we need to replace it.

We knew what we wanted, we had found what we wanted on the web last night, but -- we wanted to take a look at it before committing.  According to the web, the item was available at PetSmart, so off to Augusta we went, to discover that --

You see where this is going, right?

Right.  Plenty of devices made for the grooming of cat claws, but of the perfect scratcher there was no sign.

Since we were in Augusta, where there are two pet supply emporiums, we went down to the other one, but -- no luck.

So, after stopping for lunch, we came home and ordered the dern thing off of the internet, anyway.

Neogenesis. . .stands at about 85,000ish words.  Maybe.  You know what I'm going to wind up doing, and so do I, and I might as well just make my bow, and Do It, instead of wasting energy trying to do it the other, more comfortable, way.  But -- old habits.  Anyway.  Back to writing scenes with an eye toward building bridges after I've written enough to know where everybody is, and when.

Next book -- one character who sits in a room and pets his cat for 100,000 words.

Oh, no. . .wait.

About today's blog title:  AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" has long occupied a Special Place in my Heart, which pretty much proves that I am Not a Nice Person.  And the rendition that I know best includes, at the end of the third stanza, where our narrator is listing the services offered, he says:

Concrete shoes, cyanide, TNT
Done dirt cheap
Neckties, contracts, high mountains!
Done dirt cheap

Google Lyrics renders "high mountains" as "high voltage," which just isn't the same.  And what does Google know, anyway?

So, I have used that line as I know it, for the blog title. And now?  I'm going to send you to Joan Jett's cover, which she ends at the bottom of the third stanza.  Here's your link.

#

"Indeed not!" Bechimo sounded scandalized. "It is the captain's place to order for ship and crew."

family-shot-november-3-2016
rolanni: (Pilot Theo)

It's raining in East Winslow, and aims to do so all day.  So, fine.  I have a section, ahem, "outlined" and words to go before I sleep.

In the meantime, your Friday morning adverts.


  1. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (and a Cast of Thousands) will be at the Rhode Island Comic Con in Providence, RI, November 11-13.  Look for us at the Wordfire Booth in the dealers room.  Here's your link

  2. "The Road to Pomona's," a new-old story, with author's commentary, has been posted to Splinter Universe.  Here's that link

  3. Lee and Miller and the Liaden Universe® were spotlighted in the October issue of Locus Magazine.  You can download a pdf of the article here.

  4. Speaking of the October issue of Locus, Alliance of Equals appeared in the Number 2 spot for bestselling hardcovers (in July).

  5. Alliance of Equals currently has 241 reviews on Amazon. Steve and I thank everyone who took the time to comment.  It's never too late to review a book on Amazon -- any book on Amazon, not just ours -- and by doing so you help the title, the writers, and other readers.

  6. The winter holidays will be here before you know it, and of course you want something Totally Cool to wear.  This is where the Liaden Universe® store at Offworld Designs comes in.  Polo shirts, long-sleeve denim shirts (in cool blue or formal black), the always--popular t-shirts, and! coffee mugs, which make a lovely gift for the hostess or host.  Here's your link.

  7. The Gathering Edge, the 20th novel-length Liaden Universe® adventure, will be published by Baen in May 2017.

  8. Neogenesis, the 21st novel-length Liaden Universe® adventure, has been scheduled for publication in January 2018.

  9. Steve Miller and Sharon Lee are currently scheduled to attend three science fiction conventions in 2017.  They are:  Boskone, February 17-19, 2017, Boston MA; Marscon (Lee and Miller, writer guests of honor), March 3-5, 2017, Bloomington MN; Confluence (Lee and Miller, writer guests of honor), August 4-6, 2017.

  10. Neogenesis, aka The Book Scheduled for January 2018 publication, now stands at 73,891 words, more or less.

As a reward for reading this far, here's a snippet:

"Only think! I may call upon soldiers and specialists. You may call upon -- forgive me -- a gaggle of pilots. While they are very fine pilots, they are of little use to us in the absence of --"

second-breakfast-oct-27-2016
rolanni: (Caution: Writing Ahead)

So, I'm trying something...newish with Neogenesis.  What I'm trying -- it isn't actually new, but it is stretching --  codifying -- something I naturally do in storytelling, mostly because of how I tend to think.  Anyone who has tried to hold a conversation with me will know that I skip from here to there to over there, and back again, all the threads related, however tenuously, and interspersed with mini-stories.  I'm told it's exhausting.

Anyway.

For this book, I'm trying to take control of that tendency to bounce around and use it, consciously, as a solid structure.  And, it's kinda kicking my butt.  I tell myself that at least it will be an unusual book.  Unusual's good, amirite?

In other news, annual medical exams have been take care of, car maintenance has been taken care of .  Steve and I have voted.  Sadly, this has not kept any political ads, or phone calls out of our sphere.  There really ought to be a filter you can apply to your phone and your computer once you've done your civic duty, so you don't have to be bombarded anymore.  Somebody get to work on that, will you?

Today, I really ought to vacuum, and make the bed, too; but everybody's sleeping so nicely. . .and it's not like I don't have anything else to keep me occupied.

Maybe later.

Oh.  And today's blog title is, of course, courtesy of Talking Heads; Once in a Lifetime.  Here's your link.

guess-ill-make-the-bed-later-oct-27-2016

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