Jan 23 2012

Con or Bust back again!


Hey, it’s time for the annual CON OR BUST fundraising auction.

I’ve participated in the past, and shall do so again this year… although I have not yet decided what to offer for auction.

I’m thinking, hand-bound blank book — I haven’t made one in quite a while.   But if I run out of time, I may have to default to the old reliable autographed copies of my novels…


Here’s the official announcement for the auction:


Originally posted by [info]kate_nepveu at announcing 2012 Con or Bust auction

I am pleased to announce this year’s auction to support Con or Bust, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions. Bidding starts Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. EST (GMT -5) and ends Sunday, February 25, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST. You may post auction offers and make donations now.

For more details, please see these updated posts explaining how to:

As a reminder, Con or Bust is now helping fans attend all cons of their own choosing, not just WisCon as in the past. (Requests for assistance to attend cons in April, May, and June 2012 will be taken from February 15 through 25; see the “request assistance” link for more details.) Because the demand for assistance is greater than before, please spread the word widely!

More information about Con or Bust.

Jan 22 2012

Even better


So, there I was, typing away in the middle of the night, when one of my characters happens to mention single malt scotch. And I think to my self, Hey — I’ve got some single malt scotch. I could have some, right now!

So I did.

Laphroaig is my favorite single malt. But I had forgotten that I’d purchased some Laphroaig “quarter cask” special variety a while back, on a whim, having spotted it, having not heard about this version of it, and being in a mood to celebrate with some friends.

Many many dollars were spent on this scotch. And we never got around to drinking it. So it came home with me.

I’m here to say: Well spent.

Only thing better than Laphroaig? This type of Laphroaig.

Please, as they say, drink responsibly.   For example, the only thing I'll be driving is the plot.

Please, as they say, drink responsibly. For example, the only thing I'll be driving is the plot.

I did not think that Laphroaig could be improved upon.

How nice that there are some things in life that are excellent. Good books, good whiskey. Paintings so beautiful they make you weep. Music that sneaks up on you and holds you breathless.

Everything should vibrate and be drenched in color.

Jan 20 2012

Picked the wrong day and time to visit the Monkey…


I thought I’d wander over (translation: get in my car and drive) to the Funky Monkey to have some coffee and do some contemplative writing and analyzing, and all. Alas — Tonight’s Comedy Night, and they were rearranging all of the furniture to make room for the extra chairs and tables they’ll need in a couple of hours, and they also had a rather loud jazz cd on in the background. To be heard over the dragging of chairs, etc.

I’ve had the week off from the evil DayJob, and I’ve been hunkering down and trying to ignore everything else but writing… but I had to get to the gym at some point, so I thought I’d tempt myself with a visit to the Monkey first.

Could be worse -- I could be at work.

Could be worse -- I could be at work.

Meanwhile: looks like SOPA is dead, and PIPA is in retreat.

But just in case, here’s Clay Shirky explaining, at which he is so very excellent:

[update! Users of iPad, iPod, and people reading through an RSS reader can’t see Clay, above, because it’s Flash!  They just get a blank space! Oh, noes! You’ll just have to go to the actual site through this link.]

Okay, now they’re vacuuming. That’s enough, thank you, Monkeyites.

Jan 18 2012



What is it, and why should you care?

Check out this infographic.

Or read this article in Wired online…

Prefer the New York Times? How about this?

Or O’Reilly?

What, are you British or something? Well, okay!

But oddly enough, one of my favorite explanations of the effects of SOPA/PIPA as it stands now is this post by Scott Westerfeld, addressed to his young readers, explaining what would happen to his weekly “Fan Art Friday” blog posts…

Pirating movies and music and books is Bad. Stopping piracy would be good. SOPA/PIPA won’t do that.

Instead, my site could be blocked, and I could face legal action, for linking to this:

You can protest.

Jan 16 2012

One of the best answers ever to that question that someone inevitably asks a scientist


On NPR’s Science Friday, when Lawrence Krauss was discussing new ideas, theories and discoveries relating to the possible origin of the universe, a caller asked:

“With all due respect — and I find what you’re saying fascinating — but where is the practicality for us on earth? What is it doing for us today, or even in the very near future?”

Krauss replied:

“Well, you know, it’s a good question, and I put it back to you. I’d say: Well, what does a Bach cantata or a Picasso painting do for us?

“I think the point is: we are human beings and one of the most wonderful aspects of being human beings is being creative, and asking questions, and trying to understand our place in the universe. And it is absolutely true that understanding the beginning and end of the universe is not going to produce a better toaster.

“But… for me, one of the great virtues of science is, it’s a cultural activity. Like art, and literature, and music, it enhances the experience of being human.

“And it addresses the questions that I’m sure you’ve asked about your own existence. And if we can get new insights into our own existence and our place in the cosmos — well, that’s what happens when we attend a good play or see a good painting, it gives us a new perspective of our place in the universe. And I happen to think that is worth it for it’s own sake.”

On the basis of that (well, the entire interview, but the above is what made up my mind), I instantly bought the Kindle edition of his new book, A Universe From Nothing.

Earth and moon, as seen from Mars. (NASA image)

Earth and moon, as seen from Mars. (NASA image)

Jan 8 2012

The holidays: swimming weather vs. walking weather


According to the Canada geese on the pond, that is.

Christmas Eve:

Swimming weather!

Swimming weather!

And Christmas Day:

Walking weather

Walking weather

Better have some cleats on your Wellies.

But how lovely to spend the holidays up in our unofficial New Hampshire vacation home (translation: cat-sitting for friends while they travel).

Plus: quite close to Boston, allowing a visit with Genrette Laurie J. Marks, and her wife Deb Mensinger.

Deb is the friend who had a liver transplant, last January — and some of you participated in the auction to raise money for medical expenses, for which Deb and everyone who knows her are very grateful.

Look, here’s a porch that she sanded and painted and everything:

All painted up and pretty.

All painted up and pretty.

Other people did the rest of the house, but Deb did the porch, she tells me, sanding and staining.

Here’s another view.

Very xmassy

Very xmassy

The whole house looks so pretty, after years of being at the bottom of the list of priorities, with Deb’s illness. It’s a happy place now.

Xmas dinner was excellent, and the tree gorgeous. And I was happy to meet Laurie’s niece Anna, and see Eddy Martinez again, and his mother Anita.

many peculiar decorations, including more than one pickle

For New Years I CANCELLED EVERYTHING and stayed home all by my self and it was so very lovely. I needed to decompress from the DayJob That Ate Manhattan. Didn’t need extra hours in travel, and more sleeping in guest-beds. I sent the presents up north with Sabine. Instead, I watched birds, wrote, and slept, and planned my escape I mean, ways to convince superiors at work that this much overtime is not a good idea, and yes, I could go on but I shall not.

But in other news, I have two weeks vacation coming up. In other other news, they wouldn’t let me take them back-to-back, but I’ve got one in January (quite soon!!) and the other in February. Wherein Writing Shall Occur.

More later…

Jan 5 2012

Real live post coming soon.


Promise. Weekend.

Right now: Oh, yeah. Overtime.