rolanni: (Default)

Well, no.  Not quite mid-July, but we'll get there.  We'll get there.

Yesterday, was ant-murdering day.  Maybe every third summer one of the ant colonies will get the bright idea to expand supply lines and send a foraging force into the kitchen, whereupon we enter battle, and prevail, eventually.  It would be tempting to believe that, this year, we really did vanquish the foragers in our first, decisive, victory, but that's not really the way these things have worked in the past.  What will happen is that they'll withdraw, regroup and try again.  So, we await the dropping of the other shoe.

In the meantime, and in-between it all, we've been making plans for our pilgrimage West at the end of July.  As I may have mentioned once or twice, Steve and I will be Writer Guests of Honor at Confluence, in Pittsburgh during the first weekend in August. This will be our last convention appearance of 2017, so if you live near Pittsburgh, this is your call to seize the day.  Hope to see you there!

After the con, we are committed to coming home the long way, so that I might, at my advanced age, for the first time see Niagara Falls, and also so we might seek out and be pleased by the various carousels which can -- and will! -- be found along our route.

Among other things, of course this means buying clothes.  I have therefore purchased, on sale, one! more! pair! of Dry-on-the-fly cargo pants perfect for summer wear and travel.  I have also purchased the Russian sailor's shirt from Peterman's, which I have looked at with longing for years.  I'm calling it an early birthday present from me to me.

For those who were looking for an update to our Patreon page this weekend -- I do apologize.  Life, and words that must be written, derailed my good intentions.  Soon, I promise. . .

Today, I'm doing laundry.  The temperature is warm enough to melt coon cats, though with enough of a breeze that we have opted for fans rather than bring the A/C online.

And, that's all I've got, except that I'd better get back to work if I want to finish writing this section today.

Why, look!  Here are two melted coon cats, right here!

Melted Belle

Melted Sprite

Almost forgot:  Today's blog post title brought to you by Johnnie Cash, "A Boy Named Sue."  Here's your link.

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: (Caution: Writing Ahead)

So, I finished the unweaving and reweaving of the 67,000ish words of Neogeneis, which includes several thousand words of bridge-work, printed it out, and for the last couple days, the coon cats and I have been staked out on the couch, reading for continuity, sense, missing words/scenes, and inappropriate underlining (which become itals in the finished book).  We brought to this task, the Last Red Pen in the house, which was found to be dry, whereupon a blue pen was Pressed Into Service;  three stacks of sticky tabs:  yellow, purple, blue; a set of punctuation tabs; and the current working yellow pad.

The score thus far:  With 264 pages completed, and just 30 pages left to go, the yellow sticky tabs are no more; and a little better than half of the purple ones have been expended.  It's a toss-up if I'll have to tap the blue ones before the end of the story as it now stands.  Either way, sticky tabs and red pens are on the To Buy list.

The story hangs together as such, which is a relief -- there's really nothing more frustrating than a Better Idea that turns out, in practice, to not have been a good idea.

We usually set 100,000 words as the goal for a completed novel, which would mean that, at 67,000ish, BE (before edits), we'd be on the downslope, with only about 33,000 words left to write.

Given the rhythm of the piece already in hand, though, it really does seem as if we're only a little past half-done.  So, we're looking at a finished manuscript of 125/135,000 words, without "extras" such as lexicon or timeline.

Today, after I finish the last 30 pages, I will retire to my desktop, and start inputting the edits/correx/expansions.  Then, I can get to work on the scenes which are forced (duly noted on the yellow pad, and, err, other bits of scrap paper (hey! I don't bring the yellow pad to dinner with me; unfortunately, I do bring the story)).

And that's what's been going on around the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.

In other news, after a brief remission, the cold has come back with a vengeance and an Attitude.  Ginger/lemon tea with honey will definitely be my beverage of choice, today.

I want to thank everyone who weighed in with recommendations re Niagara Falls.  I've done a little bit of research based on your data, and -- yeah, the Canadian side really does seem like the place to be.  We'll be there in early-mid August (if all goes well), which I guess is the middle of tourist season -- and will be a change for us.  Our wedding anniversary is the second most frequent reason for us to travel, and that's in November, after many Sights are closed for the season.  Being at a tourist attraction when everything is open will be exciting.

And now -- back to work.  The coon cats and I will be on the couch.

editorial-office-with-assistants-oct-14-2016 work-in-progress-oct-15-2016 trooper-inspecting-the-work-oct-15-2016
rolanni: (Caution: Writing Ahead)

Have I mentioned here that I Had A Better Idea re: Neogenesis?

Well, I did.  And for a brief, halcyon moment, I was relieved, because it only meant I would have to add words! (yay! adding words!), and maybe shift a scene from Here to There.

This is how writers fool themselves into doing crazy difficult things, like, oh, writing novels.  They say to themselves, "Oh, it won't be so bad!  In fact, it'll be fun!  And know That Scene you've been wanting to write?  It'll fit inside of this project just as slick as..."

You get the idea.  But what we say to convince ourselves to do these crazy things?  That's not the worst part.

The worst part is that we believe it!  Over and over and over again.  And we never, ever learn.

Which brings us back to Neogenesis: the Adding of One Scene and the Moving of Another.

If I had been honest with myself, I would have said something like, "This is going to be a massive pain in the hat; you're going to have to take the book apart by narrative lines, reshuffle the scenes so that the action in That Line doesn't all happen on Tuesday afternoon, which is another thing you'd think I'd learn, but. . .no -- and also! write bridge scenes so that the new order will Make Sense.

So, that's what I've been doing.  With luck and a tailwind, I'll finish that nonsense tonight, and get with advancing the storylines tomorrow.

In other news. . .Since both WorldCon and NASFiC are out of our reach next year, being held respectively in Finland and Puerto Rico -- and! since Steve and I will be Guests of Honor at Confluence, in Pittsburgh in August, and! since my 65th birthday is in September (hey, proximity is where you declare it), I have formed a Plan, which is that we will visit Niagara Falls for one of those whatchamacallits -- vacations -- on our way home (geography being also subject to declaration).

Now, because we take so few vacations, and mostly travel when there's a scifi convention in it for us, I'm asking you world travelers -- yes, you! -- for suggestions on what (besides the Falls, natch) we should absolutely not miss doing in Niagara Falls.  Best place to stay, best restaurants, tourist traps, walks, excursions -- the sky's the limit (well, not literally, because I don't do airplanes, though I might do a hot air balloon).

Thanks very much for your consideration and help, and now?

I gotta go build some more bridges.


Today's blog post brought to you by Guns 'N Roses, provided courtesy of the gym, which apparently has located the "All 1980s MTV All The Time" station on their satellite service.

"Paradise City" -- here's your link.

rolanni: (tortoro)

I've been seeing a lot of squee about Winter Soldier, and! it so happens that I still have two matinee admissions left on my Flagship Cinema gift card.  I'm drawn to the squee, but. . .not Cap's biggest fan here, so I'm torn.  Have you seen Winter Soldier?  What did you like about it (as reasonably as you can without spoilers)?  Do you think there's enough Other Stuff/Characters to carry the movie for someone who's lukewarm (at best) on Captain America?

In other, completely unrelated news, the blurb for Carousel Seas is now up at Amazon -- here's the link -- from which we learn, among other things, that Carousel Sun is/was a National Bestseller, according, I'm thinking, to Bookscan.  Which is nice to know.

In that same vein, and for those who did not read it elsewhere, Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume 2 appeared in the Locus Bestseller List for Trade Paperbacks reported in the April issue, at Number Two, just behind Fahrenheit 451.

Thank you all, because we surely couldn't have achieved either of those list without you.

Here at the Cat Farm, it's warm again, and sunny, but we're not going to the ocean.  I've done the dishes, and groomed the cats, and other Sunday chore sorts of things and in a couple minutes, I'll be turning off the intertubes and getting down to work.

Hope y'all are having an enjoyable weekend.

Cabin fever

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 01:25 pm
rolanni: (juggling the moons)

Here at the Cat Farm, it has been a Week of Parts.

We had the exploding computer part, and the going to the dentist part, and the Steve's eye exam has been rescheduled for the third time since January part, and the delivery of various boxes of used books from geographically distant parts of the country part, and the arrival this morning of a bitchy headache, of which I Do Not Approve, and the arrival of the Win7 machine, of which I Do Approve, at least in theory, since I'm not going to undertake to transfer programs and files from one computer to another computer while I have a headache.

Into this week of Parts have come emails -- two, one from Kimpton Hotels, and one from Starwood -- tempting me to take a winter break.  Surprisingly, I find myself most tempted by Kimpton, which offers me a quirky Kimpton-y room in a hotel built inside of an historic building in downtown Philly, walking distance to museums and The Shopping.  It's been a long, long time since I just hung out at a museum for a day, never mind a couple of museums over three days.  It would, my brain says, Be Nice.

Mind you, it's still winter in Philadelphia, too -- in fact, at last report, Philadelphia was having more winter than we here in Central Maine are currently enjoying -- and I'm not a fan of walking in the slush and the wind, be it city or country -- but the idea of a little museum-touring mini-vacation is. . .awfully attractive.

So, if you could drop everything and take a winter break -- where would you go, and what would you do?

September 2017

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