Feb 27 2011

Back from Seclusion…


… with many words added to the Seekrit Project, but not enough to complete it. Work continues.

Tomorrow: Back to the DayJob. Ack.

Boskone was lovely, as usual, and I got to have dinner with Jo Walton, a rare treat, and hang out lots with Ann Zeddies, who I don’t see nearly enough. And, of course, my sister Sabine, plus our pal Brian.

At Boskone I ran into Kate Nepveu at the Tiptree Bake Sale, and she reminded me about The Con or Bust auction, which raises money to help send SF and Fantasy fans of color to conventions. So, you bet, I put up something for auction! You can read more about Con or Bust and the Carl Brandon Society here, and see all the stuff available here. Seriously: good cause, neat stuff, what have you got to lose?

the entire series, up for auction at Con or Bust!

Be sure to read their instructions on How to Bid if you want to take part.

Meanwhile: Sabine and I just cooked a week’s worth of food TODAY so we don’t have to cook next week, because next week is going to be FROM HELL for both of us. She has special events at work that have to get done without skimping on all the actual work that still has to be accomplished. And I’ll have last week’s work to catch up on while still doing a whole new week’s work at the DayJob, not to mention trying to hang on to all the writing progress and momentum I accumulated while in seclusion.

Plus: gym, I must get to the gym.

Really wish I had another week off…

Feb 23 2011

Writing retreat


I’m here sitting beside this:

pretty good for a gas fireplace

With these guys:

Winken and Blinken, or vice versa

Doing this:

seekrit project is blurrified, so don't try!

Not much else to say…

I, Winken (or possibly Blinken), wish unequivocally  to express my approval of this arrangement, whereby, when my actual  humans are absent, loaner humans are retained and made available for skritches and cuddles 24-7, and canned food is available on demand.  Just saying.

Feb 18 2011

Just before Boskone –


Catching up on the blogs I subscribe to, I came across this on Neil Gaiman’s blog :

I include it because it will make my friend Brian laugh until he collapses on the floor in a quivering heap of helplessness, to the bemusement of Ming the King. Brian being British, see. And I know he doesn’t read Gaiman’s blog. So I put it here.

Which immediately reminded me of a parallel American idea, which I believe I first heard about on BoingBoing (but Gaiman also mentions):

I believe the only actual words in this are “okay” and “baby.”

Had to work late at the DayJob, and am now officially frazzled.

Must go do stuff and hurry off to Boskone!

See (some of) you there!

Feb 17 2011

If it’s so seekrit, why even mention it at all?


Not to be a tease…

Not to make myself feel important…

Not to flatter myself by making people try to pry the details out of me…

I mention it so my readers will know that I’m working on something, even if I can’t discuss the particulars.

I’ve chosen not to discuss the content and nature of this project until it’s done. But the problem is, if I say nothing at all about it, then it looks from the outside as if all writing has ceased.

I wouldn’t want you to think I wasn’t writing at all! I am, and whenever I can snatch time and energy away from the demands of the immediate, I’m off in my little world, hard at it.

So, just letting you know: Got a project. Working on it.

And in case you’re worried: I have NOT stopped writing the Steerswoman Series. The Project is a much shorter work, and I’ll get back on the Steerswoman soon.

So… that’s why.

Now… why am I not discussing the particulars?

While I’ve been writing the Steerswoman series, I’ve also come up with lots of other ideas that are not in the Steerswoman series. I’ve had to set them aside, make notes, put them on the back-burner, because I wanted to use what time I had for the Steerswoman.

But some of the ideas were so interesting that I just couldn’t help discussing them with friends and other writers.

At length. In detail.

And written bits, and then shown to friends and other writers. And gotten tons of feedback, mostly positive.

And that’s fun! The admiration of my peers! Oohs and ahs from the listeners!

Which just encouraged me to keep on talking.

As a result, some of those ideas have been talked to death.

They feel done. There’s no need driving them any more, no urgency to communicate.

This is a real phenomenon that happens with writers sometimes. I seem to recall that the term is something like “Bar Stories”. The ones you tell other writers about in the hotel bar at conventions year after year, but which mostly never get written.

Do I want that? I do not!

So I thought I’d try something: I took a newly-minted idea, one that I had told no one about, had never discussed at all, had never written a word of, not even outline or analysis — and just started writing it.

And I don’t get to discuss it until it’s done.

Then, I can crow and gloat — or moan and groan, as appropriate. And work on rewrites, if that’ll help. Show it to the Genrettes, and Sabine, and my pals, etc.

But not until there’s a complete first draft. Them’s the rules.

So, that’s it. Seekrit Project. Not Steerswoman. Shorter form.

Won’t say more than that.

Feb 12 2011

Boskone, and why I’m not doing a reading.


It’s Boskone time again!

In case you don’t know, Boskone is one of my favorite conventions, and I’ll be attending again this year.

It takes place in Boston, at the Westin Hotel, February 18-20th. See their web page for more info.

Here’s my schedule of panels and events:

Friday 6pm Big Canvas, Little Strokes: Creating an Epic Fantasy Series
Peter V. Brett
David Anthony Durham (Moderator)
Elaine Isaak
Rosemary Kirstein
Jo Walton
Building a world in fractal detail, animating a vast cast of
characters, finding and holding an audience: let’s talk about the
challenges of writing in a format with perhaps the broadest scope in
the business.

Saturday 2PM — Kaffeklatch. (This is where you just get to hang out with me, while drinking coffee and tea, and eating the treats I’ll probably buy at the Tiptree Bake sale.

Sunday 10am Music for Writers and Readers
Alan F. Beck
Rosemary Kirstein
Resa Nelson
Faye Ringel (M)
What music do you listen to when in a creative mood? Writers will
bring examples to soothe the audience’s savage breasts. The audience
may respond with their own favorite tunes to read great SF/F/H by.

Sunday 2PM Autographing. I’ll sign your books, memorabilia, etc. I draw the line at body parts, however. I might have a handful of books you can buy and then have me autograph, but I do encourage you to buy from the bookdealers in the Dealer’s Room if you can. We have to support them!

Now, as to why I’m not doing a reading.

As you may have noticed, it’s taking a while to complete the next volume of the Steerswoman Series.

I’ve read a lot of sections from that work-in-progress across the years. And as of now, I’ve read far too much of it. It’s no longer possible to read more of what I have without a) MAJOR plot spoilers, and/or b) reading something far to raw and recent, or c) reading something that will just be WRONG and need editing out later.

The other thing I’m writing is my Seekrit Project. Which, of course cannot be read from. As it is Seekrit. Until it’s done.

Thus, nothing to read, unless I read from old already-published works. Which, I just don’t care to.

Anyway, the Kaffeklatsch is instead of the reading. So, come and BE with me! We can talk. I’m nice, really. Many people have told me so.

Other writers I like who will be there: Jo Walton, David Anthony Durham, Jane Yolen, Michael Swanwick, Walter Hunt, and oh, plenty more. Plus: artists! Scientists! Filkers!

Do come.

Feb 6 2011

Why, thank you!


So I finally got through an especially unpleasant couple of weeks at the DayJob, where multiple snowstorms generated tons of new projects for the front-line people, with work coming in so fast that the office staff could not possibly keep up.

Office staff including me, that is.

Overworked, stressed out, all that. Plus, trying to NOT let the chaos prevent me from continuing to write on my current project. Which, remarkably, I was able to do.

With things calming down a bit, I thought that I deserved a reward for hanging in and hanging on. And I knew what I wanted — I’ve always wanted to try a stub-nib fountain pen. My handwriting is and always has been borderline illegible, which is something I’d like to try to, if not cure, improve upon. Stub nibs alter your writing, so it’s said, and I’d like to give it a try.

Aha! Levenger sells one. But, alas, when I examined my cash flow I discovered that It Could Not Be Done This Month. Next month, yeah, this month, no.

Oh, well, thought I…

But wait! I was just looking at my bank account. What if I looked at my… PayPal account?

And remarkably, there was exactly enough to pay for that pen, with added monogram, and shipping. (Okay, not exactly: there was $1.65 remaining.)

So, those of you who purchased copies of The Lost Steersman and the British edition of The Steerswoman from me back in December, thank you again. This is what I got:

monogram is classier 'cause it's lower case

So far, I’m liking it. The balance is different from my Parker, but that’s not a bad thing. And Parker doesn’t make a stub-nib.

In other news: Scored a week off at the end of February, and I’ll be cat-sitting for some pals in a part of Southern Connecticut even more southern than where I live. So, not only do I not shell out money for my writing retreat week, I actually get paid for it. Plus: quality time with the world’s most affectionate cats.

Coming up: Boskone, about which I will say more shortly….

Feb 2 2011

Stayed home


Because it made sense.

Excuse me, waiter?  Waiter?  A little service here, please?

And ice cannot be denied.

So, I wrote. Ha.

Yes, I'm beautiful.  Now feed me, dammit.   It's COLD!

Feb 1 2011

More Jake!


I listen to WUMB folk radio during at the DayJob, when I’m doing lots of straight data entry.

And I just heard a little promo for the NPR show World Cafe, which they carry, and Jake Shimabukuro is on it! You can listen now.

I’ve got it on in the background now, but it’s kind of noisy here… And I have to walk around in a minute. So I’ll turn it off and listen later at home.

But, you go right ahead!