Mar 24 2017

Emerging to socialize soon, because damn


I’ve sort of been keeping  myself incommunicado (more or less), on the assumption that now that I’ve solved that particular plot problem, writing this book should be a piece of cake!  Smooth sailing, rolling along, easy-peasy, right?  Just kick back and let ‘er rip!

Well.  As a strategy, this has been less than blindingly successful.

Although, not entirely unsuccessful, either.    More like: yes this is a job and yes, you have to do the work.

The view most days.

Anyway, I’ll be taking a few days off to hang with pals.  Because the outside world does exist, and there are people in it I kind of would like to see now and again.   Social media can fill some of the gaps, or at least keep you up to date on specific events in the lives of your friends, but you have to refresh it with real-life contact sometimes, right?

Much of my social contact tends to be convention-related, but I skipped Arisia and Boskone.  So… I have no conventions lined up until Readercon in July.

I’ve been planning on Worldcon in Helsinki in August, but some costly but needed car expenses may have taken that off the table.   I’ll know better in a few weeks, when different revenue streams make their contributions, and I can better evaluate my spending limits.

Of course, whenever the Worldcon takes place overseas, there’s a North American Science Fiction Convention held  that one can attend instead, if one is of a mind.  And hey, I just got an official invitation to be on the program at this year’s NASFIC!

Which this year is in… San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Alas, also an expensive proposition.  So, we’ll see.

In other news:

Ada Palmer’s latest is now available:  Seven Surrenders, being the next installment in her Terra Ignota Series.  I’d tell you all about it, but I can’t because I am SO BEHIND in all my reading!

Seriously, I’ve got books stacked up like planes circling in a holding pattern over an airport: physical, ebook, and audiobook  versions, all waiting for my attention.  And most of them are just going to have to wait a bit longer.

This is somewhat exacerbated by Open Road Media’s recent ebook sale (now over, sadly), during which I splurged and got an insane number of books that filled many gaps in my collection.   And some gaps in my education, as well.

Currently managing to occasionally read some pages of John Brunner’s The Whole Man (via Amazon here) which was originally published when I was all of eleven years old, so I think I can be forgiven for missing it the first time around.

In physical books, I’m finding myself simultaneously inspired, appalled, and fascinated by Marina Abramovic’s autobiography, Walk Through Walls.

Whatever one might feel about her work (or avant-garde performance art in general), you can’t fault her for dedication…

In audiobooks, I listen to one sort of thing when I’m lulling myself to sleep, and much more interesting stuff when I’m trying to divert myself at the gym or on a particularly boring walk.  Right now, Malala Yousafzai’s I Am Malala is breaking my heart and making me angry.

I am also way behind on my guitar practice.

And laundry; have to do some more laundry…

But I did get to see Laurie and Delia at the Genrettes meeting on Sunday.  Always delightful.

Which reminds me — next time, I’m in the hot-seat again.


Mar 12 2017

Stuff. Plus: other stuff.


I’ve been spending a lot of time sorting through the discussions and insights from the most recent meeting of my writer’s group.  I was in the hot-seat that time, with the current version of Book 5 (of which there is now about 25,000 words, since I had already surgically excised  a bunch of crap that Did Not Belong).

A lot of good and useful stuff was said,  and it all made sense at the time.  I certainly agreed with most of it, and it ought to have been very helpful indeed.

And yet…

I found myself dithering,  a lot.   It seemed that something was missing.

I tried hitting the new scenes from different angles, and got nowhere; then tried to get myself moving by all sorts of methods, eventually including sheer dogged determination — and I still just kept getting stuck.

Absolutely, something was missing, and it was something that, apparently, I could not do without.   And I had no idea what the hell it was.  Largely, I suspect, because it wasn’t there, and I therefore could not actually look at it.  Right?

In fact, (rather like Rowan in the dragon fields) I was looking for a hole.  And since a hole is only visible when the system is in motion, I had to make things move.

So, in sheer frustration I threw together a slap-dash of a scene (which I will not actually use in the book), in which three characters just argued with each other.   I just wound ’em up and let ’em go at it.

Eventually, one of them won the argument.

But it wasn’t the one I expected.

And that fact was the missing piece.   It made things so much more interesting…

So, now I’m all smugly self-satisfied, and sort of rubbing my hands together, gloating.  Heh.

You know, my sister once said to me, after reading something I’d written: “You don’t plot — you scheme.


In other news:

The temperature got up to, what, 60 some-odd last week?  (That’s 15 Celsius.)   Until it suddenly snowed.


A stream off of the mighty Quinnipiac, just outside my office.

Now it’s 17 F (-8.3C) outside.

And they’re saying another 8 to 10 inches on Wednesday.  Yow.

Fortunately, I live exactly two miles from my office.