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We, by which I of course mean Steve, have seen the laundry done.  Next up is a blankie run, which is surely needed, but which may not happen today.

We, by which I mean I, have gone as far as I can with the story commissioned for, which is today entitled "Block Party."  This means that it now goes to Steve for his review and modifications.

Today's to-do list includes catching up with some more of my backlogged email, and opening up the working file for Fifth of Five, which continues to refuse a title, and re-acquaint myself.

Of possible interest to those reading here is the fact that the turn-in deadline for Fifth of Five has been shifted to March 31.  Wrap-up books are hard.

Let's see. . .in case you missed it, the eArc for Neogenesis is now available in every electronic format known to Man or Clutch, from Baen:  here's your link.  You may also use the link to read the first seven chapters of the book, for free.

To the best of my knowledge -- and Trooper's, too! -- we will be stay-at-home writers for the rest of the year.  This is a good thing, because, frankly, we're exhausted, and also we have Deadlines, which, inexplicably, did not get any further away while we were rusticating in Real Life.

Weatherwise, we seem to be under hurricane weather, again; at the moment the air is sodden and still.  The Weatherbeans are calling with one voice for rain, all day.

. . .and that's all the news that's fit, today.

Today's blog post title comes from Tom Petty, "A Mind with a Heart of it's Own."  Here's your link.


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Steve and I are now back home from our trip to Maryland to be with Steve's mother at the end of her blessedly short stay in the Dove House hospice in Carroll County, and to be with family during the subsequent visitation, funeral, and wake.

We had rushed on the way down -- fourteen hours straight on high-speed roads, from Maine to Maryland -- and made the decision to go easy on ourselves, coming home.  As a distraction, and also to insure that we broke the drive into reasonable pieces, we charted a route via Barnes and Nobles, which means that there are signed copies of some of our books at B&N stores in Woodholme Center in Pikesville, The Avenue in White Marsh, Camp Hill, Wilkes-Barre, Binghamton/Vestal, Saratoga Springs, and Augusta.

For some reason, I have several hundred emails to cope with across my various inboxes; if yours is one, I appreciate your patience as  I slowly get back up to speed.

. . .I think that's all I've got at the moment.

The title of today's blog post is brought to you by Traffic: The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys.  Here's your link.

Hearphones update

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 12:16 pm
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So, we took the car in for the 10,000 mile check-up and tire rotation thingy, then went to IHOP for breakfast and a test drive of the hearphones.

The hearphones...are problematical on two fronts.

Front One:  I can't keep the damned things charged.  Admittedly, this files under Operator Error, but I'm not usually an idiot about keeping the toys charged, so there's some subtlety I'm missing.  And it doesn't lessen Operator Aggravation to arrive at the Test Location and find that the 'phones are, ahem, critically low on power.

Front Two:  Hearing my own voice in my ears is gonna drive me bugs.  And this may actually be a deal-breaker.  Steve urges me to give it another run, to see if I get used to it, which is fair, but at the moment what I'm doing is whispering in an attempt not to hear my own voice, which is...not really much better than sitting like a stump at a group dinner because I can't hear what anyone else is saying.

The plaque (and check) which together comprise "Wise Child's" Readers Choice award arrived yesterday.  The check we deposited in the bank today while we were out and about.  Here is a photograph of the plaque, being modeled by the delightful Mr. Miller.

So, my next order of business is to read another 50ish pages of the Neogenesis page proofs.  Lunch is on the schedule, and, very possibly, a nap, because we not only got up at stoopid o'clock to take the car in, but we got flu shots (the high-test flu shots reserved for those of us who are temporally elongated), too.

Everybody be good.

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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 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.


News you Need

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 06:31 pm
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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.

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?


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So, I haven't done a catch-up post in a few days. That would be because -- there's nothing really to catch up on.

We took a drive down to Old Orchard Beach last weekend and had a nice, relaxing time walking the beach and the town, sitting in the sun on the mall, eating ice cream and people-watching.  Hard to get enough people-watching.  Or, yanno, ice cream.

Steve and I have been alternating reading stories aloud for bi-weekly posting on Patreon, where they're available to patrons only for a month, before being moved to Splinter Universe, for the perusal of all.  Tomorrow, around noon, Eastern, "The Beggar King" will reveal itself, read by me, with a little help from Scrabble.  Previous readings have been, Steve reading "A Night at the Opera;" me reading "The Gift of Music;" and Steve reading "Charioteer."  It's about time for "Opera" to disappear from Patreon and re-appear on Splinter Universe.

For those coming in late, the Lee and Miller Patreon page is here.  Back in April, we introduced a new goal of $2,500/month.  As of this writing, we are a scant $96 from realizing that goal.

We've also been participating in #1stChapterFriday on Twitter, along with many of our colleagues.  Follow the hashtag for some provocative reading.  Or, here's a link that may or may not work (the ways of Twitter remain a Mystery, I fear).

As some of you may know, the twentieth novel set in the Liaden Universe®, and the fifth detailing the on-going adventures of Theo Waitley, aka The Gathering Edge, was published earlier this month.  This is where I ask those who have read it to please take the time to leave a review on Amazon, BN, Goodreads, or other sites.  As last year, with Alliance of Equals, we're hoping to hit the Magic Number of 100 Reader Reviews on Amazon.  Alliance wound up with 263 reviews, and TGE is well on her way, with 87 reviews already posted.

I find, in fact, that I am remiss in announcing here that The Gathering Edge hit Number Four on the Bookscan Bestseller list for the week of May 11.

And that?  Is all I've got, except a sincere Thank you! for everything you do, from reading our books, to recommending them to friends, to donating to our various causes, to writing encouraging letters.  We'd couldn't have gotten so far on this long, strange, sometimes scary, artistic journey we set ourselves on, without you.  Every one of you.

So, give yourselves a pat on the back, and bask for a moment in the gratitude of authors (I naturally can't promise you the gratitude of cats, though I'm sure they'd appreciate y'all too, if it happened to occur to them) -- and enjoy the weekend.

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.

Where were we?

Sunday, May 7th, 2017 10:40 am
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Ah, we were promoting The Gathering Edge, which came out on Tuesday of last week, the longest week of recent memory.

We had fun at the A(sk) M(e) A(nything) on Reddit, and had some good questions.  For those who couldn't make it, the transcript is available for your perusal.  Here's the link.

Those who have (already!) read The Gathering Edge, please consider leaving a review at Amazon, BN, Goodreads, &c.  The more reviews, the more exposure for the book, the better the chances of the Liaden Universe® pulling in new readers.  Thank you.

Those who want to talk about The Gathering Edge with other readers, there's a spoiler discussion at this link.

As reported yesterday, all of the pre-ordered signed and personalized copies have shipped from Uncle Hugo's.  If you haven't already received your book, it is on its way.

If you didn't pre-order, and now find that you want a signed copy of The Gathering Edge (where "signed" means "the authors wrote their names in the book"), the Uncle does have a few that need homes.  Here's your link.

This coming Saturday, May 13, from 1-3 pm, Steve and I will be hosting a meet 'n greet/book signing at Barnes and Noble in the Marketplace in Augusta, Maine.  Here's your link.

So, there's that.  A couple out-of-state bookstores invited us to come to them for events supporting TGE.  We regretfully turned them down, as we are still ruled by doctor appointments and cardio-gym, and the constraints of having only one driver on the team.  We will find out at the end of May whether Steve is cleared to drive again, and are cautiously optimistic.  Cautiously so as not to be Plunged in The Slough of Despond(tm), if clearance is withheld.

In the meantime, we have some fun things on the schedule -- we intend to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on Wednesday, for instance.  And, of course, Fifth of Five has some claim on our attention, so we're not bored, even if we're boring.

Everybody be good.

Here's a publicity shot from earlier in the week.

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The first goody supporting the new Patreon goal went up last night.  Here's the link.

I note that, as of this morning, we are a mere Usian $253 short of the new goal.

Thank you all so very much for your support.

Trooper and I were collaborating last night, which is why this notice is a little late:

All Summer in a Day

Thursday, April 13th, 2017 10:21 am
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Late Spring has arrived here at the Cat Farm, which is a little surprising, given that, last week this time it was snowing.  Monday had been sunny and 70F/21C, and the weatherbeans were calling for more of the same for Tuesday.

So, Steve and I played hookey.  We left early, stopped in Lewiston to have breakfast at Fran's, and hit Old Orchard Beach just at high tide.  We walked the beach a little, I picked up a few empty shells, and tossed one snail back into the surf (the door was still on, and I supposed it was still alive).  We left the beach eventually and walked uptown to the Amtrak station, and Memorial Park.  While Steve waited for a train to photograph, I wandered over to the garden, and admired the places where flowers would be, in another six weeks.

When we finished with OOB, we went into Saco to scope out a townhouse/condo.  It was about as big as the first place we lived together, and not, perhaps, possible with three Very Large, and one Not Small cat in the household.

After our tour of Saco, we headed up to Freeport, and Shopped LLBean before continuing up-state.  We stopped in Augusta to have lunch at Lisa's, and so to home.

Nice day, and good to visit places that were neither doctor's offices nor grocery stores.

I must say, too, that we chose our day well.  Yesterday, it was sullen and cloudy all day until it finally rained like heck for an hour or two.  Today, it's partly cloudy, but the high temp will only be around 54F/12C.  We're under an active flood warning for the Kennebec River until Friday midday, which is always exciting.  Flood stage for the Kennebec at Augusta is 12 feet/3.5 meters, and the 'beans are expecting it to crest at 14 feet/4 meters.  There are a several miles and many hills between us and the Kennebec, and we have no business in Augusta for the next few days.  The local streams and wetlands are somewhat overfull, but nothing at all dangerous to us.

Steve at Old Orchard Beach April 11 2017

The Atlantic Ocean from the end of Brown Street at Old Orchard Beach April 11 2017

Memorial Park gazebo and Old Orchard Beach Library April 11 2017
rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

So, yesterday's excitement included spilling a glass of ice tea across my desk.  Everything's mopped up now, thanks in great part to Steve's quick reactions, and no electronics died in the adventure.  We were inspired to explore a top shelf in the kitchen and have returned to use not one, but two sippy cups for grownups, so there's that benefit.

The other benefit of spilling liquid over a paper-strewn surface is that you get to look at all those pieces of paper as you're separating them and draping them about your office to dry.  Sometimes, this reveals treasure; sometimes only puzzles.

In the category of puzzle, I discovered a calendar page (we have a Non-Sequitur calendar on the kitchen table, and use the tear-off pages for scrap paper), with my writing in three different directions, elucidating the following:

PP (which I assume is Pemaquid Point; there's a lighthouse there): Rte 32 1:26 hr
Rock(land): Rte 32 1:10
O(ld) O(rchard) B(each): Rte 295 1:43
Coburn G(ore): 16/27 2:11
Portsmouth: 295 2:19
Houlton: 11 2:32
Jackman: 201 1:56

I'm not certain of the original reason for this piece of research (and I'm somewhat unsure of the apparent assumption that I can take Rte 11 all the way to Houlton; I think I have to cope with 95 at some point, but perhaps not.); possibly I was exploring my options, if a Flight to the Border became necessary.  However, it does nicely establish that we are, in fact, located in Central Maine.

And now, having shared this information, I can rid myself of at least one tea-stained scrap of paper.

Today, cardio-gym and the grocery store in the bright sunshine.  Tomorrow, there's snow in the forecast, maybe (we look to be on edge of a snowstorm, which may or may not honor county lines; you never know with snowstorms).  In the meanwhile, there's writing to be done.

Everybody stay well.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

This just in, from the April edition of LOCUS:

"SHARON LEE & STEVE MILLER sold three more novels in the Liaden series to Toni Weisskopf at Baen for six figures via Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary Agency."

This is the deal we've mentioned as the Liaden Triple Threat.

To sum up for those keeping score at home:

There are TWO Liaden books scheduled for publication. They are:
The Gathering Edge, May 2, 2017
Neogenesis, January 2, 2018

We are under contract for SIX Liaden books. They are:
Fifth of Five, due January 2018
Liaden Mask ONE, due May 2018
Liaden Mask TWO, TBA
Triple Threat ONE, TBA
Triple Threat TWO, TBA
Triple Threat THREE, TBA

# # #

What follows is a quick review about How Freelancers Get Paid, in answer to some questions on Facebook, and also to (hopefully) forestall the (almost inevitable) Wealthy Author fantasies.

A "six-figure" deal sounds like a lot of money.  In fact, the way we count here at the Confusion Factory, it is a lot of money. However, it is neither: (1) extra money (people tell me this is a Thing; personally, I've never seen "extra" money in my life); or (2) a windfall.

What it is, is our paycheck -- and it's not going to come as One! Huge! Check! Lookitallthosezeroes!


No, how those six-figures are going to reach us?  Is in four payments.

The first payment will arrive sometime after we've signed the contract (we haven't actually gotten the contract, yet, though we've discussed the terms).  That "on-signing money" will be one-fourth of the total "six-figure" deal LESS our agent's 15% fee.  When that check reaches us, about a half of the total will be put aside for taxes.  The rest goes into the household budget, where it will be used to buy cat food, and pay the mortgage, and put gas in the car, and pay doctor's bills, and all the other things you spend money on.

When we turn in the first of the Triple Threats (which will be, conservatively, some time in 2020), and Madame the Publisher accepts it (this is called "D&A" or "delivery-and-acceptance" money), we will receive the second fourth of that "six-figure" deal, less 15%.  Half will be put aside for taxes, and the rest will go into the household budget.

Lather, rinse, &c

The avid student will note that this whole process seems to involve widely separated infusions of Lumps of Cash, during long periods of, err, no cash at all.  Or very uncertain cash.

Twice a year, more or less, we do receive royalties.  But you never know what your royalties may be, and, in fact, it is possible to have a period in which you have earned no royalties, which means buying cat food (our Number One priority for writing Liaden books) gets...tricky.

Writers have various methods by which they even out their cash-flow, in order that they can have monthly budgets just like normal people.  Sort of.  Some have day-jobs.  Some have a spouse with a day-job.  Some write short stories on the side, package them as ebooks and sell them on Amazon/Baen/BN/Kobo & whatever.  Some have Patreon accounts.  Some do a little of this, and a little of that, and somehow all the little trickles of income form a monthly stream that augments the Big Lumps, and keeps the monthly household on a steady course.

We here at the Lee-Miller/Scrabble-Trooper-Belle-Sprite household have a couple of income streams:

We publish eChapbooks; the 23rd Liaden chapbook, Change Management, was just published at the end of February.

We occasionally post out-takes, shorts, and podcasts to Splinter Universe, for which we gratefully accept donations.

This Very Blog has a button on the side-bar:  Buy Me A Coffee, which really ought to be Buy Us Cat Food, but you get the idea.

We have a Patreon account.

And some kind folks simply send us donations from time to time, or set up on-going Paypal payments, or whatever they feel that they wish to do.

You'll notice that several of these income streams are patron-based.  Which is to say, people decide that they'd like to keep the supply of cat food steady, or to be sure that we have plenty of life-giving fluid to support us in our efforts.  We appreciate -- we very much appreciate -- all of those donations, and you are, yes, doing Something Real for which we thank you, very much.

So!  The big lesson to take from all of this is!

YayYayYAY, we're under contract for six books!  We get to hang out with you guys for five or six more years -- is that terrific or what?

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

So, a minor kerfuffle on Twitter last night, in which I was asked to stop talking politics, or at least to have the common decency to create another Twitter account in which I only spoke about politics, thereby saving the feelings of people who disagree with my politics and safeguarding my livelihood.


There are so very many things wrong with this, but it did make me realize that perhaps a list might be in order.

I therefore offer the list of where Sharon Lee hangs out on the internets, with commentary, so that you may choose the size that fits you.

This blog, which is mirrored at Eagles Over the Kennebec -- Combo blog, personal and professional.  Minimal, if any, political commentary.  You will, however, have to put up with cat pictures.  Some folks have complained about having to put up with cat pictures, so I feel this should be mentioned.

Twitter -- Combo stream; pointers to Liaden Universe® news, this blog, and political commentary.  Some days more commentary, some days less.

Facebook -- Combo; lots of political, historical, real-life discussion interspersed with professional news and discussion of writing/the writing life. Wide-ranging in a word, and occasionally freewheeling.

If you are a person who only wants writing and publication news from the Liaden Universe®, without any messy personal stuff, or politics, here are your options:

Welcome to Liad: Clan Korval's home on the web.  Publishing news, sneak peeks of covers, announcements of contests, Lee and Miller appearances.  That's it.

You may sign up for the Liaden Universe® InfoDump.  This emailed newsletter goes out very infrequently and includes only news, such as where to pre-order signed books, convention appearances, news of eArcs, publications, sales.  Here's your link to sign up.

If you wish to discuss the Liaden Universe® with other enthusiasts, there are several Facebook groups available to you:

Clan Korval

Flaran Cha'menthi

Friends of Liad

There you are.  Choose wisely, choose well.

Oh, and hey!  Have a cat picture:

Counter-clockwise: Sprite, Sharon, Belle, Trooper. Photo by Steve Miller

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

Alert readers will recall that Steve and I turned Neogenesis in to Madame the Publisher on January 28, thereby entering that magical and too-fleeting time known as, I Never Have to Write Again.

During that time, we went to Minneapolis as Writer Guests of Honor at MarsCon 2017, turned "Cutting Corners" in to; reworked "Dawn's Early Light," for All Hail Our Robot Conquerors!; fixed up an outtake from Neogenesis into short story "Street Cred" (now available as eChapbook Change Management: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 23).  We also sold a reprint story, and have a big, crunchy interview to finish this week. I want to write one more short, for eChapbook Number 24, but I can't quite get a handle on it, and the window is getting narrower, as I start laying the groundwork (which involves a lot of staring at nothing, and flipping through the notes in the story file) for Fifth of Five.

In addition to Not Ever Writing Again, Life has continued to happen, including doctor appointments, and the coming home to roost of the bills from Steve's Marvelous Medical Adventure back in November. Bread has been baked, laundry washed, worn, and washed again; cats have been brushed; clocks -- most notably including the clock in the car, and the clock on the coffeemaker -- have been set one hour ahead.

We viewed two movies -- our first on the new television set -- "Arrival," and "The Fifth Element."  I find myself a little. . .put off by the picture, which lacks what I think of as "movie texture,"  and feels very much like "soap opera texture."  Well.  I guess I'll get used to it.

Today. . .today, includes some Life:  grocery shopping; a go at the gym, now that the knee's been cleared; and back home to do some laundry, which is getting done as can be this week; and getting down with the big, crunchy interview.

So!  That's what's been going on, here.  How's by you?

This is what my office looked like in the aftermath of Neogenesis.

rolanni: (Surprise!)


For those who missed the earlier announcement:  The eArc of The Gathering Edge, the twentieth novel set in the Liaden Universe® created by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, is now available from Baen.

EArcs are only available from Baen; they are a specialty item that arose from the Baen Barfly community many years ago. EArcs contain errors in sentence structure, spelling, grammar. However, in our case at least, The Story is the exact same story that will be finally published in hardcover and in ebook.  EArcs cost more than the regular ebook edition because you are getting The Story approximately three months' ahead of final publication.

Belle and Sprite have entered the Betting Pool again for this release.  Details of the wager are included in this blog post.


For those who have downloaded the eArc of The Gathering Edge, read it, and now want to Talk About It, there is a spoiler discussion here.


Yes, the Uncle, aka Mr. Blyly at Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction and Fantasy Bookstore, will once again be offering signed and/or personalized copies of the new hardcover.  We'll let you know when the pre-order page for The Gathering Edge goes live.  In the meantime, there are still some signed copies of previously-published Lee and Miller titles here.


Neogenesis, formerly Fourth of Five, has been turned in to Baen. Yes, Theo does make an appearance in this book.  It is not, however, a "Theo book."  Neogenesis is currently scheduled for hardcover/ebook publication in January 2018.


Fifth of Five, which doesn't yet have a Public Title, is due at Baen on January 15, 2018.


We have five books scheduled for delivery after Fifth, so we continue to run the Red Queen's Race here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.  This is, as you know, All Your Fault -- yes, you over there, it's your fault, too!  -- and we thank you very much for your continued support.

The books come in two contractual packages, to wit: the Masks (2 books); and the Triple Threat (3 books).  They will be set in the Liaden Universe®; beyond that -- no, we don't know, and it's no sense asking.  It really doesn't do much good to  talk about deadline dates this far out, but we're looking at having work into the next decade.


Here, have a picture of Belle on my printer:

Canceling Boskone

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 11:30 am
rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

After assessing the situation (The Situation) with Steve's health, new med mix, upcoming dental surgery, and the cardio doc's rather pointed, "Do you understand what I mean when I say don't push?" we've decided not (that is NOT) to attend Boskone in February.

We'll miss seeing our various friends and colleagues, but -- necessity is.

Thank you for your understanding.

December 15

Thursday, December 15th, 2016 11:25 am
rolanni: (Calvin & Hobbes happy dance)

Today is of course, Trooper's seventh birthday.  As you can see, the celebrations are already underway.  We took on ice cream and cake yesterday, and will today toast the birthday appropriately.  Trooper has already opened and tried out his present -- a brand new laser pointer.

In other news, Steve is into the Meds and Blood Work Waltz, so -- new meds last week, blood work yesterday, med adjustment this week, blood work next week.  Hopefully, satisfactory levels will be achieved sooner, rather than later.

Tomorrow, we plan to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is still -- astonishingly -- playing at the Waterville Flagship. The necessity of planning errands around daylight is, shall we say, not yet intuitive.  I need to remember that, "Steve will drive us home in the dark," is not in play at the moment.  And that the number of available daylight hours is still shrinking.

So, anyway, we'll catch the 12:50 show in Waterville, and have twilight to drive home in.  It's a plan.

Looking at long-range weather, Winter is blowing in from Canada.  We're looking at dangerous wind chills today and tomorrow.  Saturday will bring us 3-5 inches of snow and Sunday -- will turn warm in the daytime. . .

. . .and rain.

Whereupon the temps will plummet to 6F/-14C.

I am so very glad we have a generator.  Thank you again! to everyone who helped us make that happen.

. . .and now, I must to work.  At some point, this book has got to be done, amirite?

Steve Update

Thursday, December 1st, 2016 11:04 am
rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

Steve and I thank everyone for your concern, your prayers, and your well-wishes.  Rather than answer all the various messages individually, I'm doing One Big Update for everyone.

What Has Gone Before:  On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Steve had a "heart event" at the local grocery store.  An ambulance was called, he was transported to the local hospital emergency room, and from there, at the advice of the on-call cardio doctor in Bangor, to Eastern Maine Medical Central, where he was hospitalized briefly so that his ICD* could be interrogated, and other tests as seemed good to the heart experts could be performed.  The interrogation discovered that the device had fired twice, once at 40 jules, again at 50, when the first didn't get his heart beating again. Tests also confirmed the presence of old scarring on his heart, which everyone guesses means that he had a heart attack at some point in the past that somehow escaped notice. Steve was released from the hospital on Thanksgiving, told to see his doctors within the week, and is, on the EMMC cardio doc's orders, banned from driving for six months.

Where We Are Now:  Steve is still somewhat tired, and is trying to do some of that "rest" thing that we're both so proficient at, not.  Next week is the Week of Appointed Doctors, after which he and we will know more about Where-and-How We Should Proceed.  In the meanwhile, we have deadlines, and cats, and life goes on.

Going Forward: The biggest challenge facing us is the ban on Steve being able to drive.  We do still live hellengone out in the country** -- 9-ish miles/20-ish minutes to the nearest grocery store, in good weather, which means a 40 minute round-trip before you even get shopping -- and we're suddenly aware of minor risk situations that have always been present in our lives, such as, "If Sharon breaks her glasses. . ." and which have now acquired ". . .we're screwed," in the place of ". . .Steve drives her to town."  Also, I'm night blind, which means that all and any errands must be accomplished between 7am and 3 pm in the winter.

And, really, these are first world problems, considering how things might have gone.

And that's the up-to-the-minute news.  Once again, thanks to everyone for your concern and support.

*Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

**Frequent readers will recall that we had made, for exactly this reason, an effort to move into town, even into a town where there was grocery delivery service and other artifacts of civilization, only to be defeated by Circumstances.

rolanni: (Coffee with Rolanni)

Tuesday, we split up the act.  Steve went to town in pursuit of an appointment with follow-up grocery shopping, and I stayed home to work.

. . .and I was working when I got a phone call from Steve, who was sitting on the floor in the Hannaford deli department, as a result of having slid down the front of the cold cut case, his ICD firing twice on the way down.

John, Bernadette, and others of the Hannaford crew leapt into action, someone called an ambulance while John helpfully put the full shopping cart into the deli's cooler to await retrieval when all was sorted out.

Fast forward about 45 minutes.  I arrive in the Emergency Room at Inland Hospital, where Steve is answering intake questions.  He looks fine, if a little sheepish.  We figure to wait for the results of several tests, and so to home.

In the meantime, the ER doctor calls the cardio folks in Bangor, Inland not having the means to interrogate the ICD to find out WTF actually happened.  The cardio doctor on-call says, Five years and this is the first time the ICD kicked?  Put him in an ambulance and bring him to Bangor. Now.

So!  Off Steve went in style and luxury, while I went to Hannaford, retrieved the basket from the cooler, and the other groceries that were already in Steve's car, told the night manager to alert him to the fact that the car would be in their lot overnight, drove carefully home, put the cold stuff away, informed the cats of Events, and made sure dishes were full, and the cat fountain, too, packed a bag, and headed for Bangor.

It is now dark.  Very dark, in fact, being upwards of ten o'clock at night.  I. . .let's just say that driving in the dark is not my best trick ever.

Arrived at the hospital shortly after eleven o'clock, found Steve eating a late-night roast beef sandwich, looking tired but mostly fine.  I stayed the night in a recliner helpfully provided by the night nurse, and drove home early Wednesday morning.

Wednesday for Steve was tests of all sorts, including the interrogation of the ICD, wherein we learned that the ICD had fired twice at increasing jules.  Since nothing invasive was scheduled.  It was decided that I would stay home, which I did, and Thursday morning the word came from the Hospitalist that I could fetch Steve home.

. . .which is where he is now.

His regular doctors need to see him within the next week -- naturally no one is on today.  The biggest change that has come home from the hospital is that Steve is banned from driving for at least six months.

This. . .will make life Very Interesting, and may affect upcoming convention schedules.  More on this as we sort things out.

Today, I need to go into town to complete the errands that were left hanging on Tuesday (including finishing the grocery shopping), and meeting the kind friends who will be helping move Steve's car out of the Hannaford lot and out to our driveway.

To Sum Up:  Steve had a heart event; the ICD operated as it should; he is home and receiving quality feline care.

. . .I think that catches us all up.  Everybody -- be well.

October 2017

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