Feb 21 2013

Visitor at the DayJob

This is Bear.

This is Bear.

Feb 19 2013

No time to chat!


Ack!   Too much to do and not enough time to do it in!   Tons of things, most relating to writing but surprisingly and frustratingly, none of them actually being actual writing as such.

But here’s your traditional random quote:

“His approach to expression — his love of vivid colors, bold contrasts, extremes of emotion — was at odds with contemporary tastes, at a time when progressive composers, conductors, and performers were increasingly casting off the perceived excesses of Romanticism.  ‘Lightness and spontaneity were conspicuously lacking in his playing,’ wrote one critic, but Nyiregyhazi  did not aspire to them; he sought Wagnerian heaviness, deliberation, mass.  He loved think, noisy sonorities in the low register, sounds that seemed to well up from some great, deep source, and what critics heard as overpedalling was his effort to blur edges for the sake of weight and expression.”  — Lost Genius, the Curious and Tragic Story of an Extraordinary Musical Prodigy, by Kevin Bazzana, Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, 2007


A peculiar story.

A peculiar story.


Feb 17 2013

If you’re at Boskone this weekend, you might have noticed…


… that I’m not there.

Here’s what happened:

Last year, I had to skip Boskone (that’s convention run by the New England Science Fiction Association, if you didn’t know).   I apologized to them, and asked that I be included the following year.

Along about January, I realized I hadn’t received an invitation to this year’s Boskone!

Now, running a convention is a HUGE, all-volunteer project, and I’m sure that as much of it as possible has to be automated — such as sending out invitations.  And I suspect that the writers who participate in one year are automatically asked back the following.   And I suspect that my removing myself from that category last year resulted in me being passed over this year.

So, I immediately sent an email asking if I could be included this year, if it wasn’t too late — and that I’d understand if it couldn’t be arranged.

And apparently, it could not… so I am Boskone-less this weekend.

I considered attending as a regular paying member of the audience, but a) the hotel was booked up! and b) with the Lost Weekend of Stuff that Could Not Happen Because of Apocalyptic Blizzard last weekend, I have just so much junk at home that needs to get done so that I can — hello! — have time and space left in which to write, that I figured What the Heck, stay home and do that.

And that’s what I did.

But I hope that you ARE at Boskone, and that  you’re having a wonderful time.  Because it’s an excellent convention.

In other news:  I am definitely going to Readercon in July.  This is a fact!   Our hotel room is booked, I responded YES to my invitation — I Will Be There.


And Update on other stuff: As of this writing, The Wood-Gnome Book has reached only $45 on the Con or Bust auction.  Really, folks, can’t we do better?   It’s for a good cause!  (Con or Bust provides funding to help science fiction fans who are people of color/non-white, who want to attend a convention but can’t afford it.   Conventions can be seriously expensive to get to and to attend, not to mention hotel rooms, etc.   So, science fiction people helping out other science fiction people — what’s not to love?)

Plus, the book comes with copy of The Steerswoman!  And I’ll autograph it !   Plus, I’ll autograph the extra sheet with the little story about the wood-gnome book.   And I’ll mail it anywhere in the world!





Feb 12 2013

The Wood-Gnome Book


The wood-gnomes noticed that the Steerswomen were always making books, and decided that they would do that, too.

Except, they didn’t know how to make paper.  So they stole some.

They knew that string was involved.   Luckily, they had some string.  They put it with the paper.

Then they added some hickory nuts, because hickory nuts are good and they wanted it to be a very good book.

Also, dried grass, because there was some.

And bark, and green moss.

One of them had an old silk ribbon, and thought it would look nice; and everyone agreed the book would look nice with a silk ribbon.

So the wood-gnomes took all the things to make a book, and put them in a pile.

They sat and watched for a while.

The things failed to become a book.

Then one of the wood-gnomes added a turtle, because Hey, look, I found a turtle!

The turtle didn’t help.

Then everyone got bored, forgot what they were doing, and wandered away.

Later, a steerswoman found the pile of things, and turned them into a book.

This is the book.


Well, I’ve finished my item for the Con or Bust auction and this is it — a  hand-bound blank book.

I’m pretty pleased by how it turned out.


The interior paper is handmade from recycled materials.    Although I treated the paper surface  for writing and drawing, it’s very rough-textured and quirky.   Works well with fountain pen and illustration pens, if you don’t mind a bumpy ride.   Colored pencil uses the texture to good advantage.   I have not tested for watercolor.


I include some loose scraps of the same paper,  to test your media before using.

Book size is 4.5 inches x 6 inches (11.43 cm x 15.24 cm).

The cover is textured art paper,  trimmed with frayed silk ribbon and carved wooden beads.    Endpapers are papyrus.


I include with this book: a sheet of the same handmade paper printed the little tale about the wood-gnomes (seen above,) and a copy of the British edition of The Steerswoman, in which we first meet the wood-gnomes.


I will ship anywhere in the world.     North America gets Priority Mail; other international will be via first class mail, which will take somewhat longer.


If you want to bid, head over to Con or Bust using this link– opening bid is $25.

And don’t forget to check out the items other people have contributed for auction!

Feb 11 2013

Of course, it’s all about the snow.


We were right in the path of the worst of the snowfall.  I haven’t seen the official count, but Sabine had to make her way from the back door to the front yard, and she was in up to her waist.   Call it 30  inches (about .76 meters to the rest of the world).

Upside:  The Dayjob was closed down — yay!  Day off!

Downside:  I spent hours and hours shoveling snow.

When not shoveling snow or drying off from shoveling snow, or sitting about in an exhausted stupor from shoveling snow,  I’ve been making my auction item for the Con or Bust auction (which is taking place right now).    I’m doing another hand-bound book, but of a different design than last time.  It’s experimental.   I hope it works.  I’ll let you know when it makes its debut.    Right now the innards are being compressed by my bookpress; the handmade paper is rather, –how shall I say it — idiosyncratic.   Each sheet has its own idea of how it’s going to warp and bend, and damn the neighbors!

Meanwhile, you should head over to Con or Bust and see what’s on offer!   Some seriously fine things or fun things can be had, and the money goes to a good, SF-related cause!


Feb 6 2013

Way too much fun.



I’m supposed to be getting ready to go to work, but I finally checked this out and was trapped in a creative fervor!!

The Pulp-O-Mizer!


I could do this all day.  But now I have to wash my face.  And get dressed. And put on MAKEUP.

I could do this all day. But now I have to wash my face. And get dressed. And put on MAKEUP.


Now I want to make one for EVERY ASPECT OF MY LIFE!


Outta time.


Must go now.


 Go make yer own.



Feb 5 2013

It’s that time again!


Con or Bust is starting their fund-raising auction on February 9, and once again I’ll be offering an item.

Last year I did pretty well with a hand-bound blank book of my own making.

It looked like this:

the handmade paper inside was recycled from printouts of The Lost Steersman

I’m going to do another, but I don’t yet know what it will look like.   Because I’ll be making it this weekend.  So, it won’t be ready for the first day of the auction.

But you should head over to Con or Bust anyway, because the list of  available items is already in progress.  Plus:  they have a whole new website, which is much easier to use than the old LiveJournal-based one.

Wait, you don’t know about Con or Bust?   Well,  read this.

More later —

And now for your random quote of the day:

“As Mr. Fox rubbed his hands over the success of his coaching, he came to regard Sarah as an arch pupil who had lost herself in the spirit of the game. ‘At the Birthday Ball he (the King) had no eyes but for her, and hardly talked to anybody else. He brought her (by leaning forward and stooping often) to come forward & stand by the sid of his fauteuil: all eyes were fix’d on them & the next morning all tongues observing on the particularity of his behaviour, if it can be thought particular that a young King should not be able to avoid shewing the strongest symptoms of love & of desire for the prettyest creature in the world; for, if possible, she look’d prettyer that night than ever. Her Ladyship, with modesty very natural to her, and yet with looks unaffected, returned the fondness of his eyes & gallantry of his discourse as much as ever he could wish –‘” (– Oh good grief, I really must stop there.  Honestly.   Unless there’s a rocket ship later in the book, or a steampunk automaton, or something –  I can quote no more!   It’s all I can do to keep typing without falling unconscious out of utter, thumping boredom.  Sorry, they can’t all be winners, folks. )

— from Lady Sarah Lennox, an Irrepressible Stuart 1745-1826 by Edith Relker Curtis, GP Putnam & Sons, 1946

wake me when the zombies show up

wake me when the zombies show up