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Sep. 13th, 2014

serval

Leadership

Here's another call for suggestions.

A major part of this new novel has to do with Jame proving she is a leader.  Someone mentioned that to date she hasn't done much team playing.  True.  Neither have I.  I'm trying to think of ways she can demonstrate leadership besides keeping her people fed and protected.

Sep. 5th, 2014

serval

Hello

It's been awhile since I last posted.  Nothing terrible has happened, except that my traveling companion had to have back surgery, so we didn't get to London for the World SF Convention this summer.  <Sigh>  We're making plans for next year in Spokane WA, though.

Otherwise, I'm working on Novel 8.  I know every book is hard, but with this one I'm just not getting much traction despite a slew of notes.   I think I try too hard, and then choke up.  Then too, readers are getting upset that Jame et al haven't made more progress.  By the end of this one, they will definitely have moved forward, while the Kencyrath has moved back. The pieces for the conclusion are slowly taking shape.   I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say that for her final year as a cadet Jame has to set up and maintain an independant keep in one of the Riverland ruins, so I'm  researching what will be involved in that from a technical standpoint.  Suggestions are welcome, as usual.  Of course, a lot more will be going on with the plot.  Maybe I can even retool "Stranger Blood."  A visit to Tai-tastigon is apt to be in the next novel, though.

Below is my latest project, a crocheted hanging based on a photo of AZ's Coyote Butte, or maybe it was Antelope Canyon -- I can't seem to relocate the image.  Anyway, besides seeing what I could do with a photograph,  I wanted to try a largely warm palette with layered batting to give it depth.  Not really a great photo of it, though.


Coyote Butte 3

Jun. 22nd, 2014

serval

Portland

Before I forget, I'm going to be in Portland OR July 21-31, helping a friend with health issues, an absent husband,  and twins.   Afterward, we're supposed to fly to London for worldcon in August, but that might not happen if Melinda has to have back surgery at that time.  She's in a lot of pain.

Before that, another friend in Chicago also wants my company while her husband is away.  She says a blond, blue-eyed specter keeps trying to get in bed with her, even when her husband is there.  She's scared.  It's not a nice ghosty.  I'm supposed to validate this and protect her?  Except for encounters with two Hotel 6 ghosts and a gnome in the garage, I'm pretty much supernaturally dense.

And now for something completely different ...

Last week I drove up to a fishery north of Green Bay and picked out ten beautiful little koi for the pond.  I couldn't tell you their breeds, just the names I've given them so far:  Ghost, Spirit, Angel, and Marlowe.  The first two actually belong to earlier broods, among the ones I thought had been eaten.  At first they all hid.  Now they're out, but not yet eating, although there's algae in the pond for the quick snack.  I'm determined to raise them right this time.  Already one of them has gotten caught in a fountain flow and torn in half.  Eek.  I've since found and replaced the filter cover.

Still riding.  The last few times Marc took Countess and I took Brassy  around the perimeter of the farm.  I would say they were pretty tame trail rides, except last week Brassy stumbled, fell to her knees, and pitched me over her head.  She's about 28 years old.   I landed on my head and shoulder, jolted but not hurt.

Jun. 3rd, 2014

serval

Signing in Minneapolis

June 7 (Saturday) I will be signing books at Uncle Hugo's in Minneapolis from 1-2 pm.

Recently I recorded a podcast for the Baen Free Hour.  Looking back, I think I babbled.  Anyway, when they tell me when it's airing, I'll let you know.

I've put two batches of new fish in the pond, and they both seem to have disappeared.  I think ducks got the first.  Hopefully the second are hiding among the rocks.  Due to fierce  rain these past two days, the pond is over-flowing although not as badly as in the past, when fish swam through the grass.

May. 18th, 2014

serval

Songs of Waste and Wood

The Grimly story has been posted on the front page of the Baen website,  down a ways, and I've just sold a very short story to Chicks in Chain Mail VI.  The latter isn't about Jame.  It's also more YA than the rest of my work.  The co-editor called it "charming and delightful," which gives you an idea of how unlike my usual style it is.  Oh well.

Sea of Time has its first review on Amazon -- not a very good one regarding the writer's opinion of SOT, but it makes some valid points.

I half killed myself cleaning out the fish pond this week.  Hard work.  Now a pair of mallards have settled into it, forestalling further work.  I want to add some stones to the bottom before I start buying replacement fish.

Apr. 22nd, 2014

serval

Short Story and Crops

Baen tells me that the Kothifir short story will be posted on the Baen website May 15.

I'm still struggling to get traction on the next novel, despite some 30,000 words of notes.
Rght now, I'm wondering what damage if any a late spring hail storm might do to crops and/or planting.  Any ideas?

Mar. 23rd, 2014

serval

Dead Fish

Oh, and I'm also in mourning for my fish.  There were about 15 of them in a 3,000 gallon pond in the side yard, some koi, also some over-grown goldfish that I raised from inch long babies.  Before December, I kept the ice open with a fountain, but it was so cold that I had to break the crust with a hammer every day.  (This year, at least, I didn't fall in, as I have twice before). So  I ordered and installed two de-icers.  The warmth woke the fish out of hibernation.  Last week I found them all huddled against the devices, dead.    I'll start again in the spring with fan-tails, but I don't know what I'll do next winter to keep them alive.
serval

Galley Proofs

The proofs are in.  My thanks again to those of you who spotted mistakes for me, most of which I wouldn't have caught on my own.  There were surprisingly few typos -- mostly exchanged words and several factual gaffs.  I kept "erotic spices" which was probably an error, but an interesting one.  Curiously, there were more mistakes in the back cover copy than in half the novel, but I think we got those sorted out.

Meanwhile, I'm struggling to get the next novel started.   I might avoid Tori's POV this time.  Something odd is going on with him, something that starts between novels 7 and 8.  For a long time, I've sensed that he has to act uncharacteristically for awhile to set up the end-game, but I didn't know how or why.  Now I have an inkling.  We'll see.

And I just ordered about 150 skeins of yarn on line, my biggest buy ever.  In particular, I seem to be hungry for oranges and reds, with an eye toward crochetting a big, scuptured wall hanging based on Arizona's Coyote Butte. 

Mar. 12th, 2014

serval

ARC of Sea of Time available

Pete Mack reports that Baen is offering the Sea of Time ARC.  Meanwhile, I'm proof-reading the galleys.  They seem remarkably clean so far, unless I'm missing stuff.  For those of you who read the ARC, please let me know if you spot any problems.

Feb. 12th, 2014

serval

Next Novel

Hurray!  Baen wants the next novel!  I thought they would, but it's always nice to hear for sure.  Currently, it looks as if this one will cover summer to winter, starting a month after the end of Sea of Time (due out in June).  I'm trying to think of a title that mentions the soulscape since it will be important here.

Baen has also commissioned a short story tie-in to SoT to appear on its website.  I turned it in today -- an account of how Tori and the Wolver Grimly became friends in Kothifir during their early days there.  At 4300 words, it's almost in shorthand.  I could see it expanded into a short YA novel and maybe will, someday.

I also have an invitation to submit a story to the next Chicks in Chain-mail anthology,  but the plot I've come up with doesn't really fire me up.  We'll see.

And I've been making arrangements for worldcon in London in August.  Melinda and I will be there, after 6 days in York before hand.  Is anyone else going?

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