Surfacing briefly to assure you that yes, I am still here…


… just currently involved in some things that are taking a lot of work and attention…

And for some reason WordPress has stopped automatically emailing me when a comment is posted here!  If you posted, and wondered if I would ever reply, this is why that’s been delayed.

Fussing with the WordPress settings… I blame it on the same update that inserted quirky extraneous characters in all my previous posts (which I still have to go through and clean up by hand).

And now, of course, everything has to stop for:


My taxes being particularly bizarre, with different income streams and business deductions.  It’s a chore, but thank goodness for tax software!

(If you’re thinking of suggesting that I get them done professionally:  the amount of time it would take me to explain to a professional exactly what’s going on, and sort out all the receipts and expenses, is about the same as the time it would take for me to do it myself with the software.  So.)

In other news:,my sales have been up for the last couple of months, due to some lovely reviews and endorsements, by:

Janny Wurts: You know how people who don’t know anything about publishing, and who meet an author, will inevitably ask: “So, did you paint the cover yourself?” Causing the author to laugh long and hard and say “Hell, no!”  Janny Wurts is the only SF/F author who says “Why, yes I did!”  Seriously.  Go look at her website. (And then buy her books… and there are lots of them, so you’re not likely to run out! — I just bought The Curse of the Mistwraith.)

Blaise Anaconda at Under the Radar SFF Books : A really nice review, and I do appreciate his avoiding any spoilers, while pointing out some attractions. Warmed the cockles of my heart…

Max Gladstone:  Max wrote quite a detailed analysis of The Steerswoman, and I found it very interesting!  You heard me rave about This is How You Lose the Time War, which he wrote with Amal el-Mohtar.  His latest, Last Exit, is getting some great reviews, and is now in my stack of books to read.

Twitter is the place where I hear about these things.   My source of news in the SF/F world in general, actually.

Meanwhile, it’s gone past 1AM, and I should have been working, y’all! Or reading research.   Lots of research recently…

Hm.  Missed blogging both February and March.  (This knuckling down better pay off…)

More later.

8 Responses to “Surfacing briefly to assure you that yes, I am still here…”

  • Ben Says:

    I like how he talks how everyone gets something different out of books, and he talks about how the first book handles violence and it’s done well, and the one thing (apart from all the other single things) I’d personally have to criticize about the series is that Rowan is also a way too competent swordfighter on top of everything else … though I guess that’s not necessarily the same. Just vaguely connected.

    • Rosemary Says:


      She’s a woman usually traveling alone, she lives in a world where violence is common, she (and all the steerswomen) get special training in how to protect herself with a sword — and your complaint is that she’s good at it?


      • Ben Says:

        That explains why she got some general competence with swords’, it doesn’t necessitate that she’s that good at it.

        Either way the point wasn’t about whether it’s realistic or not; of course she could be good at it. It’s simply that to me the best bits are when Rowan goes about problem-solving via deductive reasoning and perseverance, and not so much via the action-hero bits. And I’d have personally preferred if the series stuck more to that, instead of occasionally throwing in a swordfight/duel or whatever.

        It’s obv. just my personal take, but Gladstone’s blogpost just sorta reminded me of it. There’s very few protagonists that solve whatever it is they are solving without any action at all; even if it’s some “genius detective” in a mystery or, I don’t know, a lawyer in a court drama, there’s almost inevitably a violent confrontation with an antagonist and suddenly instead of having to reason or argue their way to success it’s a fight. There seems to be some sort of underlaying “action temptation” to fiction.

        Anyway, that’s all.

        • Rosemary Says:

          Ah, got it.

          I must say that I, too, dislike it when an author just throws in an action/fighting scene, merely to have something exciting happen.

          And that’s why I never do that.

          Every single action or “fight” scene in my books exists for a reason. In The Steerswoman, specifically, each of those scenes also provides Rowan with some piece of evidence — and she later uses that evidence in her deductions and reasoning.

  • Mz Conduct Says:

    Really Ben, even after the explanation in the books how she had sword training alongside her Steerswoman trade and even more training with Bel, don’t forget the advanced ‘wizard’ sword… you went there? How much do you criticize Michael Bay movies? Rambo movies?
    The first fight in the first book COMPLETLY explained things perfectly and succinctly.
    How many movies and books shake off getting shot in the arm, and the characters shake it off like nothing and call it a flesh wound? have you ever seen what a gunshot can do to an arm? Trust me; it’s not ‘just a flesh wound’.


  • Ori Says:

    There’s are two ways around the WordPress character issues without manually going over each post. It’s caused by WordPress changing the default character encoding from “latin1” to “utf-8”, which among other things (allowing for non-Latin characters in a post), differ in how it handles smart quotes. Since it didn’t modify existing posts in the database, it tries to interpret those as utf-8 characters.

    1) Hard way: Perform a database migration of all old posts:

    2) Easy way: Switch WordPress back to using latin1 by changing this setting:
    define(“DB_CHARSET”, “utf8”);
    define(“DB_CHARSET”, “latin1”);

    However, this second option will cause similar character display issues the NEWER posts written since the upgrade, but before this change.

  • Vickie McManus Says:

    I’m looking forward to reading the Max Gladstone analysis – so very fun to see what other people get out of the series.

  • lucidrose Says:

    Hi there,

    Just wanted to note you also get quite a bit of buzz on reddit within the /fantasy forums. I have heard about this series QUITE a lot – probably for at least a year in various posts – and finally just started book one. Very intrigued so far (I’m very early in)
    wanted to share in case you were not aware!