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

So, let's see. . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everybody have a good weekend.

rolanni: (Default)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The prize is a plaque and $500.

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

And, now!

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

Everybody stay safe.

 

Still not king

Friday, July 28th, 2017 11:51 am
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. . .nor dead yet, either, to the apparent disappointment of some.  I don't suppose this is the only career in which we eat our elders, still. . .

So, let's see. . .

First, thank you so much to all of the supporters of our Patreon fund, particularly today, because -- you made the funding goal this month.  Give yourselves a big hand and, for those who are limber, a pat on the back.  Steve and I really appreciate your generosity.*

On the writing front, I have decided to indeed to push on to the end of the scene, rather than hold back and hope that being in media res would make re-immersion after the projected break easier.  'Twas the tea tin that did it, and you all now know what to blame.

On the all-important clothes front, I see that my problem of having too many t-shirts is solving itself, and the timing couldn't be better, what with a convention and a time among the tourist attractions coming right up.  rubs hands in anticipation

Y'all do know that Steve and I will be writer Guests of Honor at Confluence next weekend, right?  (Here's the link.)  Among the other festivities, Steve will be doing a reading from a work not yet announced.  I will be reading "Emancipated Child," which I've never had a chance to read to a live audience, so I'm very excited, and!  I will also be. . .giving? my rant regarding the writing of "believable female characters," which is something I thought I'd never do again, but -- never say never.

Steve and I will also be doing a GOH presentation, a kaffeeklatsch, a Friends of Liad breakfast (not a con-event; every attendee pays for their own breakfast), and lots and lots of stuff -- and that's just us!  Honest, you've gotta come to Confluence, if you possibly can; it's going to be a great weekend.

Here's your link to the main program schedule.

Steve's schedule is here.

And, here's my schedule.

Looking to see you -- yes, you! -- there!

And now. . .to work, with a side order of prelim packing.


*This does not mean that we are not appreciative of the generosity of All The Rest of You -- we are very grateful for all and everything you do.  Thank you!

 

rolanni: (Default)

Got up early to make the trek to Skowhegan and Steve's eye doctor.  Matters have stabilized, on that front, so -- yay! stabilization!

Came home via the post office -- whereby hangs a tale, which I will now tell to you.

My Formal White Tiger pen was listed as Out for Delivery by the USPS on Saturday, but did not arrive.  It is not, I will note here, Completely Unusual for the Saturday delivery-person to fail deliver packages. She simply leaves them for the regular weekday guy, because -- I have no idea.  Packages hard, I guess.

So, this morning, I looked back to the site to see if indeed my pen was listed as "out for delivery" with the guy who actually does his job, but found instead a note that delivery had been attempted on Saturday, late afternoon, but nobody was home, so a note was left.

Which was...pure, unadulterated mud. First, we were home all day Saturday.  Second, we got our mail 'way early, as we tend to do on Saturday.  Three, nobody from the post office came by the house during the late afternoon.  Four, no note was left.  Five, it wouldn't have mattered if there was anyone at home anyway, because the package didn't require a signature.

I called the post office and explained the situation.  As it happened, the allegation that a note had been left meant that the package was not out for delivery, but was waiting at the post office, until I called with instructions.  Which I would have never known -- because no note -- if I hadn't looked at the website and discovered this, um, deceit.

So, anyway, Deirdre, who was on the desk when I called, was as helpful as one woman could possibly be.  She listened to the problem, said she would go find the package now, if I would let her put me on hold.  It took her twelve minutes to find it, but find it she did, and, at my instruction put it at the front desk so when I came to pick it up, it would be easy for whoever was then on to find.

That part went according to plan.

So!  Eye doctor, post office, grocery store, and so to home, eagerly anticipating the meal Steve had started in the slow cooker before we left home, except!

There had been a minor power outage while we were gone.  Too short for the generator to take note of and kick in, but more than long enough to reboot the slow cooker, which started a count-down-to-cooking, which meant that?

Yes -- you in the back?  Yes; thank you.  Exactly that.

Dinner wasn't ready when we got home, starving.

Today's dinner plans were therefore amended to hot dogs on French onion rolls, and leftover macaroni/veggie salad.  We'll have today's dinner tomorrow.

Speaking of the weather...today at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory it is 64F and raining.  The plants I put in yesterday are significantly perkier than they were at planting, so I'd say that timing was just about right.

As I mentioned in another venue, yesterday's writing session produced! a True Epiphany (or as a friend says, with a bow in the direction of his spellchecker -- an Apostrophe).  Epiphanies often require a lot of frogging, rearranging of scenes, re-assessing motivations, and just what seems to be a whole lot of backward motion when all instincts are screaming, "I have to make words, dammit!"

Experience teaches us that True Epiphanies almost always deliver a stronger, better story, if the writer is willing to bite her tongue and do the work.  Also, if the writer decides not to do the work?  The Epiphany has a way of forcing its point, later, when the amount of necessary frogging leaps from a few pages to a hundred, and sleepless nights and alcohol abuse enter the equation.

So, I've got some unwriting to do today -- not much, happily, because we caught this in plenty too much time.  I may even get a start on rewriting.

And the roads, they roll.

Oh, and the new pen is gorgeous.  I'm really going to enjoy having it with me at Confluence.

Here, have a picture of both fountain pens, all snug in their traveling wallet:

If it's Sunday...

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 12:26 pm
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...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
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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
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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
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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.

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