Ah, my dear friends, I have a terrible dilemma before me. Both Olga and Natalia wish to be my wife; each has written several times to me of their passion. They are equally attractive; both are looking for love, but neither appears to be able to do laundry.
Well. That's really not a dilemma at all, is it?
So, today was an odd day. One of those days where Things Got Done, but they were Entirely the Wrong Things. On the other hand, a day that includes a milkshake and an unexpected ride in the country can't be too far awry.
At least, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I did make it to gym and waked for miles. My "gym book" this go is a Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, and a buncha other awards, soon, I'm told to be Major Motion Picture. Again.
AWIT was published when I was 10 years old. Despite this, I didn't read it (the first time) until I was an adult. It was sitting on a table in EJ Korvette's in...damned if I remember -- Towson, probably. Anyhow, remainder table, one among many of its own kind, and many others, not necessary of its kind. I was waiting for my then-boyfriend to finish up doing something or another, and started to read AWIT, as the most interesting looking book on the table, and by the time he re-appeared, I'd tessered once already and wasn't about to miss the rest of the story. It was a buck I never regretted spending.
I read AWIT a couple times since then, but not for 20 years or so -- found the sequels, but none of them held my interest beyond the first two pages. . . So, yanno, life goes on; so many books, so little time; and all like that.
But AWIT is going to be coming out as a movie next year; this time, so the hype goes, done right, which means that lots of people who read it as kids, and who imprinted on it, are re-reading. And some are being disappointed, and blogging about their disappointment (one more time from the choir: What an age we live in). Now, by the time I'd read AWIT, I'd read. . .a buncha books, many of them science fiction/fantasy (Back when I started reading sf/f, you could easily read the monthly titles, and still have room left over for others kinds of books. It just wasn't possible, if you were any shakes of a reader at all, to read only science fiction.). I thought AWIT was a good enough book. Certainly, the Mrs. Whatsit, Who, and Which have pleasantly improved my inner life. Meg irritated me -- but Meg was supposed to irritate me. Partly, after all, this was a story about Meg coming to terms with Meg, and if she could stand it, so could I.
I did have some reservations about the sudden appearance and utter acceptance of Calvin, especially the part where he liked Meg straight off. Otherwise, he seemed like good enough kid.
Charles Wallace was being set up either as John the Baptist, or the new Christ figure, but I'd already read Perelandra, and Out of the Silent Planet and whassis -- That Hideous Strength. Plus, I'd been raised Roman Catholic. All of which meant I was pretty good at ignoring the God-stuff and following the story along.
So, anyhow. I read it back then; liked it well enough. Read it a couple times more and liked it on rereads.
This time, I'm still liking it. Meg perhaps annoys me less, but, then I know how the story goes, more or less. I find that I misplaced a couple things on the timeline, but no big surprises so far. . .The Happy Medium, surprisingly or not, irritates me more than Meg does this time. Hmm.
One of the reviewers I read was saddened by the fact that AWIT didn't sing for them anymore, and blamed -- the 60s (given a 1962 pub date, and its long history of rejection, AWIT was probably written in the late 50s). The 60s, said the reviewer are just too unbelievable to a person of modern sensibility, and the story therefore suffers from its setting.
I will go on record here as saying that the 60s setting doesn't detract from the story at all, for this reviewer. OTOH, I lived through the 60s.
After gym, I ran the rest of the errands on my list -- sadly, neither CVS nor Agway had any of the bug repellents I had pinned my hopes upon, so I wound up ordering from the internet, rather than shopping locally.
Agway did provide me with a ginormous lacy yellow day lily, a hug pot of bee balm and a
Jimmy hosta with white bells (the hosta on the other end of the property have blue/purple bells). I have probably under-bought, but the wallet gets a vote, and this will at least start a Cat Garden Renaissance.
For those keeping score at home, I remain Utterly Delighted with my new fountain pen, which has scarcely been out of my hand since I bought it. So delighted am I, that I have purchased another Pilot Metropolitan, this is the formal White Tiger color scheme, and blue ink, so I will have a fine signing pen at Confluence.
And that? Really is all the news that's fit to print.
Everybody stay cool, or warm, as appropriate.
So! My new fountain pen arrived. It's gorgeous, and! it writes sooooo smooth on the gritty old yellow so-called "legal pad" paper which is my preferred paper. The pen came with a converter, which I hadn't realized, or I would've bought it a nice bottle of purple ink, instead of a box of black cartridges. Maybe later.
What's that, you say? Picture? How about a link, instead?
I went shopping after doing the gym thing this morning. Since I had been putting this off for a while, I had rather a Lengthy List and only accomplished about half. I fear that I am no longer the Lean Mean Shopping Machine of yore. . .In any case, I'll try to finish up on Thursday.
One of the things I'll need is! Bug repellent. Bugs find me very tasty (it's like mosquitoes somehow know I have a lousy immune system) and I have it in my mind to be out in gardens and zoos and suchlike things, so bug repellent has moved to the top of the (remainder of) my list. Can anyone recommend a good, not-hideously-poisonous-to-all-living-
The other things I'll need on Thursday are replacement plants for the Cat Garden, which, under the combined efforts of the neighbor's chickens and the lawn guy's assistant, has mostly become a Weed Garden. The dragon flowers are still doing well, but the bee balm was ruthlessly cut off last year by the LGA, and did not, as I had. . .kind of hoped. . .come back. The garden is now well under the limbs of the red maple, so I'm thinking some hosta (called Jimmy here at the Cat Farm, because I can never remember what the damned thing is called, and Steve said that The Murdered Teamster sounded more like a rock band than a plant), or maybe some more bee balm, if the LGA can be educated not to cut off their heads, or some other shade-loving plants. And there's one REALLY sunny corner where some day lilies might profit...
You see, I think, why I decided to Put Off Until Thursday what I did not finish today.
While I was shopping today, I must've seen about eight displays of those little three-sided spinner things, whatever they're called. Not having kids, or grand-kids, either, I hadn't until recently realized that these were A Thing. Back when I was a kid (and dinosaurs, &c), I used to have a continuous steel-link necklace that I used to spin while I was reading and/or studying, because -- though I couldn't've told you that at the time -- it helped me concentrate. My mother took it away from me, of course, because back then such things were Weird and Not Normal and therefore Not Done.
What an age we live in.
I also learned, just today, that I live in a teensy-tiny-vanishingly-small-
Anyway, home now to find that Steve had started the laundry, and is even now putting supper together. After the meal, it's -- time to go to work, with a promise from the local weatherbeans of thunderstorms, maybe, this evening.
And on that note -- y'all have a fine afternoon, 'k?
- Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be Writer Guests of Honor at Confluence in Pittsburgh, PA, August 4-6. Here's your link, and we hope to see you there.
- Due Diligence: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 24 is now available as an ebook from most of the usual suspects, and as a paper edition from Amazon only. Here's your link to the Amazon catalog page.
- Change Management: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 23 is also now available in paper from Amazon only. Here's your link to the Amazon catalog page.
- This is as far as we're going down the path of "converting to paper editions," until we see what happens with these two books.
- The Gathering Edge -- y'all remember The Gathering Edge, right? -- currently has 143 reader reviews on Amazon, which is awesome, and we thank you for your time! You know what would be Even More awesome, though? If Edge could get as many reviews as Alliance of Equals -- 266. Can we do it?
- In case you missed it yesterday, Steve and I were interviewed by the Maine Sunday Telegram. Here's a link to that article.
- Spoiler discussion for Due Diligence here
- Thanks to whomever sent me the gadget for use in waiting rooms.
Here end your Monday morning adverts. Everybody have a great week.
...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.
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34. The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13. Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12. Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9. Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8. Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7. White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6. The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5. Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4. The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2. Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)
Helpful people can stop writing to me to explain that Due Diligence has not yet published to the Baen website. It will appear there eventually and it's not really worth getting your t-shirts in a twist over.
Let's play a new game.
Why not write to me when Due Diligence is available on the Baen website? That way, those who like to check back often can continue to do so, and I don't have to open a whole buncha emails telling me the same thing, of which I am already informed. Win-Win, as they say.
Everyone on for the new rules?
OK! Due Diligence: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 24 by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller is available from most on-line retailers, and is publishing to the rest. It was, for a couple days, a Number One Amazon Bestseller, and has fallen today to Number Three. It has also garnered a surprising number of reviews -- thanks to everyone who has taken the time!
Those who are just arriving at the party -- there's room for your review, too; if you are so moved.
Because there were So Very Many requests, Due Diligence will also, soon now, be available in paper, from Amazon. The reason it will not be available REALsoonnow, is that I made an error and have to fix it, as soon as Amazon stops doing something else that Amazon is doing with the file. O! Brave New World, that hath such golems in it!
In other news, there's a small army of ducks between me and the work I really need to be doing, here, and the coon cats are not really much into duck hunting. Their advice is to curl up on the couch with a book and let the coon cats camouflage me as a Big Pile of Coon Cats. This is, I note, often their advice.
And that? Is all the news that's fit to print.
. . .I do believe that I need more coffee. . .
At some point, I asked Larry for the recipe and he sent me a link to the original source. I could dig the link up if I wanted to, but I’m not going to; as far as I’m concerned, it’s Larry’s cake recipe.
( Read more... )
Larry passed away suddenly this past Wednesday, right before I was going to see him at Dexcon.
Due Diligence: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 24 has been published to the Usual Suspects (including but not limited to: Baen ebooks, Kobo, BN, Apple, Amazon) and will be available for sale as the Various Ghods of Indie Publishing will.
Novella "Due Diligence" is Lee & Miller's 81st fiction collaboration.
Here's the teaser:
When Clan Korval knows your name. . .
Abandoned on a strange port by a scam gone bad, his license to pilot rescinded, and his pockets very much to let, Fer Gun pen'Uldra was teetering between trouble, more trouble, and bad trouble. Cornered in a cheap bar by a too-knowledgeable stranger with an unlikely offer, Fer Gun realized having no money and no license might be the least of his troubles. Clan Korval knew his name and that proposal was hard to refuse. . .
And, just to refresh your memory, the cover:
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:
Drink more coffee Edit last night's pages
- Edit Due Diligence
- Write teaser copy for Due Diligence
- Write more words for Fifth of Five
- 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.).
Print out Characterization Rantand 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. Enpurple hair 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."
So, it's been an odd couple of days, with all the simple things going awry, but, thank goodness, none of the big things.
This morning, we got to Charlie's Subaru before the crew did -- 15 minutes early for a 7:30 am appointment. Skylark, which has 4,600 miles on it, got his 6,000 miles/6 month oil change, tire rotation and systems checks. All good, which was a relief, if not particularly a surprise, and we're on for driving to Pittsburgh, Niagara Falls, Binghamton, and points wherever else in a couple weeks' time.
After Charlie's got done with us, we went crosstown for breakfast at Lisa's, and then, reasoning that the coast was going to be a Total Zoo, set off up-country (which would be north, to you) on the Big Road, so as to (1) get me some practice driving the Big Roads (my default is the mid-road, if there is one), and (2) not go home immediately. We stopped at the overlook and tried to say hello to Mount Katahdin, but it was being shy today, hiding under a mantle of clouds.
We continued north and got off at Benedicta (town motto, To Work is to Pray; population 314), drove through town to Sherman, where we found the ramp to the expressway going south, and took advantage of it.
A stop for lunch and home again, to wage war on the ants, and also to dust and vacuum the inside of the car. Car wash is on the list, and we need more bug juice for the windshield cleaner.
While we were on the road the blue striped Russian sailor shirt arrived from Peterman, and it's gorgeous. I'm torn between being sorry I waited so very long to buy it, and being delighted that, when I did buy it, it did prove to be splendid.
Speaking of clothes, I found my red hat, which was covered in cat fur (strange). I have brushed it off, and it, too, is ready for a road trip.
I was going to work this evening, but that kind of got kicked sideways, so tomorrow is a no-internet, all work, all day, sorta day.
And I think that catches us up. Everybody have a terrific weekend.
Today's blog post brought to you by Bruce Springsteen, "4th of July, Asbury Park". Here's your link.