the making of fudge

the making of fudge

I have made just about All The Fudge In The World. I’ve added it up, and all told it’s going to be 75 pounds (there are a couple left to do this weekend). That’s a lot of fudge. A LOT of fudge.

Here are the ingredients, from The Big Shopping Excursion:
the_big_shop

Prepping a 12 pound quadruple batch. This is NOT for the uninitiated: I came very close to screwing this up. Expert level fudge-maker only.
quadbatch

This in no way conveys just how much fudge is on the platter. 12 pounds is a huge amount of fudge.
12lbs

The plate of fudge/previous picture holds as much as is in those two pans, plus another of the large pan’s worth.
18lbs

About 30 pounds worth of fudge.
30lbs

So that’s basically what I’ve been doing with practically all my free time the past two weeks. Making fudge and packaging it to send to the world. :) It’s actually been quite a lot of fun, if exhausting, and I may very well do it again next year, if people are interested. :)

too busy to post

too busy to post

I’m at that stage again where I’ve got a backlog of posts I want to write and am apparently never going to get to them so I should let it go

(let it go, can’t hold me back anymore / which reminds me that yesterday Young Indiana pulled all my hair over one shoulder so I would be “like Elsa” and so this morning I said to him “should I braid my hair like Elsa’s?” and he said yes and I did and he said “That’s not like Elsa. Elsa’s braid is on the other side.” And I was like “…yes. yes it is, now that you mention it. CLOSE ENOUGH.”)

and make posts on other topics instead of mooping about the ones I haven’t done. Or maybe I’ll do a quick round-up:

I have read some good books lately. One was Chrysoula Tzavelas’s WOLF INTERVAL, 3rd in the Senyaza (MATCHBOX GIRLS) series, and right now you can get all 3 books plus all her Senyaza short stories at that Kickstarter link for only $12!

Another is Deborah Blake‘s debut novel WICKEDLY DANGEROUS, which I totally failed to read in time to blurb and am sad about. It’s a splendid modern twist on Baba Yaga with some terrific characterisations and funny funny lines. Well worth reading.

And UNMADE, Sarah Rees Brennan‘s third Lynburn Legacy book is out, and ended the trilogy very satisfactorily.

I’ve watched the first episodes of Gotham, Agents of SHIELD, Arrow and The Flash. So far I like The Flash the best by a country mile, as it seems to be having *fun*, but I was thinking about this season’s TV and thought “I like Person of Interest best of the new stuff this season” and then realized I’m watching PoI season 1 on Netflix, not on tv. Oops.

My s9 Supernatural finally arrived. Now I just need time to sit down and binge-watch it. :)

Pretty sure I’ve given up on Elfquest: the Final Quest. My failure to give a damn is turning to active dislike of the story. I just…yeah. Don’t like it. I actually don’t like it, and that’s sad.

I have got so many things to do. Over and out.

Here come the brides!

Here come the brides!

And grooms!

Alaska will start issuing same-sex marriage licenses at 8am this morning, after US District Circuit Judge Timothy Burgess struck down the one-woman one-man amendment to Alaska’s constitution as illegal in a ruling yesterday afternoon following a hearing on Friday.

This is not only a joy to me because it’s my home state, but because I have family involved in this case. I cannot wait to see pictures from the courthouse this morning. #sniffles all over everything

New Senyaza Kickstarter!

New Senyaza Kickstarter!

guys guys GUYS guys guys

I have been terribly remiss in shouting about Chrysoula Tzavelas’s Senyaza Kickstarter. This is for her third book in the MATCHBOX GIRLS series, and I’m in the middle of reading it right now and it is so. good.

Like, early on (because it’s set in Seattle, mostly, sort of, and bcaus I’v got crossovers on my mind) I was reading and I tweeted to Soula that we should really do a Walker Papers/Senyaza crossover good.

Then a couple hours later I was like “or maybe not because the glory of Soula’s writing would make mine look like the pikersville it is and that would be embarrassing” good.

In other words, *good*.

And! This is a particularly good time to hop on the Senyaza train if you haven’t already, because for $12 you get all 3 Senyaza novels *plus* all the short stories Soula has written/will write in the Senyaza universe, which is a terrific bargain.

And also I kind of know the bones of what’s going to happen in book 4 due to a brainstorming session in the war room a few weeks ago and I’m all just like “AAAAH GRABBY HANDS GRABBY HANDS!” so you want to be ready for that, I bet. o.o

And now I have to go finish reading it because I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. ‘scuze me.

URBAN ALLIES announcement!

URBAN ALLIES announcement!

Oh oh I get to shout it from the rooftops!

I’m going to be writing a “Greywalker Papers” crossover story with Kat Richardson (omg omg omg omg) as part of the upcoming URBAN ALLIES anthology, conceived of and edited by Joseph Nassise.

Last week’s Publishers Marketplace announcement read URBAN ALLIES, an anthology of collaborative tales featuring the favorite characters of twenty top urban fantasy writers, including stories by Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, Christopher Golden, Jonathan Maberry, and Larry Correia, among others, to Kelly O’Connor at Voyager, in a very nice deal–and the ‘among others’ includes Joe Nassise, Kat Richardson, Myke Cole, Caitlin Kiernan, Weston Ochse, Jaye Wells, David Wellington, Devon Monk, Amber Benson, and yours truly.

Faith Hunter and I had such great fun writing EASY PICKINGS (which is, as far as I know, the first “fan fiction by the authors themselves” crossover style thing of this nature officially published) that I’m really, *really* looking forward to writing a crossover story with Kat.

And good golly, Miss Molly, what a line-up of writers to be in an anthology with…!!!

Recent Reads: The Continuing Time

Recent Reads: The Continuing Time

A few years ago Daniel Keys Moran published the fourth book of the Continuing Time, after a nearly 20 year hiatus. I went and bought an e-reader so I could read THE BIG BOOST, and bought the other three books in e-copy so I could read them all one after another. I enjoyed the experience quite a lot, honestly, which was lovely.

Anyway, in early September, during my media blackout month, I wanted something to read, and one of the things about me when I’m writing is that I can’t easily read new fiction. So I saw the Continuing Time books on my e-reader and thought “okay sure, I’ll read one of those” and then somewhat to my surprise re-read all four of them in a few days.

EMERALD EYES stood up better to a third reading than it did to a second, perhaps because I knew/remembered more clearly how it fit into the whole world’s structure. The second reading of it a few years ago left me kind of feeling like it was All Prequel, No Story; this time it felt a bit more like it–well, like it stood on its own, although actually I think what it did was fit into the whole more powerfully because I had a clearer memory of how it did.

THE LONG RUN remains one of my favourite books ever, and by itself puts the Continuing Time on my Desert Island Books. It also helped form some of my personal philosophy, namely and specifically killing is wrong, which is main-character Trent’s bottom line and which (despite the fact that I’m still a meat-eater) I can’t find fault with. I was surprised, re-reading THE LONG RUN this time, how relatively short it is; the 3rd book, THE LAST DANCER, is nearly (maybe equally) as long as the other 3 books put together. Anyway, it also happened that THE LONG RUN was published 25 years ago in September, which DKM wrote about extensively last month. I don’t know that his commentary brought anything new to the forefront for me, but it was interesting to read and–the excerpt from the novella by 18-year-old DKM that eventually became THE LONG RUN ties in to commentary I have on THE BIG BOOST, so I’ll get to that in a moment…

I like THE LAST DANCER more than the author does, perhaps because it was the first of his books that I read, perhaps because although the main character, Denise, is generally described as reactionary rather than proactionary (I just made that word up), I don’t…really find her to be passive. Even reading the book knowing that other people object to her as passive, I don’t see her that way. I think she has (as the kids like to say these days) agency, and while it’s true there are probably several places where she could move more decisively, at the same time, this is a character who has spent her entire life in hiding. The fact that she even *wants* to act, given the potential consequences for her, is pretty impressive. So I’ve got a fair amount of sympathy for the character.

Also, the scene between her and JohnnyJohnny is heartbreaking.

I also very much like the other storyline in THE LAST DANCER, which delves into the history/future of the Continuing Time universe. It happens to be peopled by characters who are almost all dickheads, to the point that the least dickheady of them comes out looking like quite a decent bloke, but I think that’s a pretty good trick for a writer to pull off. The way that character and his nemesis evolve are nicely done, although–even with as much back story as there is, I still want more. In some ways, TLD is my favourite of the Continuing Time, *because* of the back story and my desire to know more.

Then we come to THE BIG BOOST, which–doesn’t disappoint. When you’ve waited eighteen years for a book and it doesn’t disappoint, it’s really done something right. It returns to Trent as the main character, and here’s the thing about the excerpted novella from a writer 30+ years younger than the one who wrote THE BIG BOOST:

The excerpt is deadly close to that same scene in the published version of THE LONG RUN. And THE BIG BOOST, thirty years later–it’s written by the same guy. There’s no significant change in the voice, there’s no altered characterisations. I’m not talking about polishing, improving; anybody improves over thirty years if they keep doing something, even sporadically. I’m talking about the bones and the soul: they’re the same. And I really think that was probably my greatest concern, with a 20 year lapse between books 3 and 4: that the Continuing Time’s spirit would change.

But it didn’t, and with a space of a few years between reading THE BIG BOOST and re-reading it, with the EMERALD EYES story fitting in better to my perception of the canon, I can appreciate that even more. When I read THE BIG BOOST originally I desperately wanted to like it; re-reading it confirms it’s worth liking. If it suffers from something, it’s that it wants the rest of the AI Wars: it’s a bit like the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which, as a friend of mine said, ONLY NEEDED THE REST OF THE MOVIE to be great. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie didn’t come out until the 3rd film… :)

Anyway, it was a good enjoyable re-read and I’m glad the urge struck me.

writing, fudge, conventions

writing, fudge, conventions

It has now been 24 hours since I submitted my epic fantasy proposal to my agent and nobody has bought it yet. I’m very disappointed. :)

Last week I brought fudge to the arts & business centre where my son’s preschool is. *This* week I’ve had people who have never spoken to me before kind of falling over at me and saying “OMG that fudge!” and often “Do you sell this?!” :)

A writer whom I would very much like to meet, and who does not go to conventions, just announced that he would be going to Worldcon in Spokane next year. I suspect there’s a very high chance it would be the only opportunity I’d get to meet him IRL. #wibble

I keep thinking there’s more I want to post about but my brain is too thick and slow (sick and thow, I typed first, which is probably right too, at least the sick part) to remember what it is, so I’ll just post now.

Oh wait yeah, one of the things is I’m still prodding at the idea of the Old Races Kickstarter, when Kickstarter launches in Ireland later this month. 6 stories over 12 months, maybe? 12 stories over 18 months, for stretch goals? Hmmm! :)

end media blackout

end media blackout

At least, a theoretical end to the media blackout. I should probably carry on with it to a fair degree, because it was pretty successful.

I think I got around 40K written in September, maybe as much as 50, including all the synopsizing and stuff I did for the epic proposal. It made a dent, anyway, in my to-do list, and I’m considerably less freaked out than I was at the beginning of September.

The epic proposal isn’t quite done, although that had been my hope. The bulk of the work is done, but I’ve got polishing to do and at least one chapter to bulk up. I’ve made huge inroads on improving the first book synopsis (which wasn’t bad to begin with) and I’ve written a considerable amount (some of it, ah, more coherent than other parts) for Future Books/Series Synopsis stuff. In a truly ideal world I would get the whole package off to my agent on Friday, but that’s wildly unlikely. (Actually. *stares at what I need to do this month* This Friday might be necessary. Hrm.)

Remaining goals for this year: finish two books, write 3-5 short stories & make 40 pounds of fudge. Not necessarily in that order, mind you. (Not even vaguely in that order.)

The media blackout gave me a chance to also do half a 500 piece puzzle (I didn’t stop, I’m just not done yet :)). I read a few books (not many, although a couple more than I expected to). I watched four or so episodes of Person of Interest on non-writing nights, and saw a couple of movies. I also managed to tidy the dining room and, to a lesser degree, the office, so that they are more bearable places to be in. I probably also accomplished some other stuff I can’t think of right now.

I have ambitions, in October, of making Young Indiana’s Halloween costume *before* Halloween eve. #nods

all in a day’s work

all in a day’s work

So bright and early this morning I went downtown to run some errands, figuring the shops I needed probably wouldn’t be open until 10 but thinking I’d go to the library to work until they opened.

Turned out the library didn’t open until 10 either. @.@

Anyway, I rented a spot at a cafe and got working and after a while thought well, I don’t have to pick Young Indy up until noon, I’ll just work until 11 and then do errands.

Moments later my phone rang and the guys delivering our new printer needed me to be home in 10 minutes for delivery. I leapt in a cab and rushed home.

(In a reversal of #everydaysexism, the cabbie, who was in his 60s and the sort of man who hung out with friends who would accidentally cut up his new coat by messing about with their new knives, said to me out of the blue, “Do you like Rhianna? I love her song Stay. There’s people who say men won’t listen to female artists. That’s bullshit.” Made my day, that fellow did!)

I arrived home just in time to get the printer, then was at sort of loose ends for a bit, trying to decide if I should stay home and work until it was time to collect Young Indiana or if I should go do errands or what. Eventually I decided to do errands because they’re easier without a small child’s assistance, so I got that done and walked up to Indy’s school. (The woman at the cafe there was like “Where WERE you!?” :))

Then it was home again to tackle the office, which required cleaning and rearranging to support the shiny! new! printer! That took most of the afternoon in an on-and-off way, and this evening I got the printer set up and am even as I type gloriously printing out the epic fantasy proposal with automatic duplexing and to much quieter fanfare than the old laser printer. (It’s a Brother home office printer; auto duplexing, color, scan, copier. I luff it already.)

That’s me today, then. I have a…bunch of write-ups to do. Two books, a couple movies, maybe even some TV.

time travel

time travel

The way I think about time travel scenarios you’d think I was likely to be caught up in one AT ANY MOMENT. My current mental scenario obsession: I awaken on Jan 1 of the year I turn 13, with as much knowledge about the future as I can, y’know, remember. What do I do?

(Answer: the 1st fucking thing I do is find a way to stop the Challenger launch. Call in a bomb threat to NASA, I don’t know, but *something*.

2nd thing I do: start acquiring fake IDs. Dunno how you do that in Kenai. “Excuse me, sir, I’m looking for the bad element, can you direct me?”

3rd thing I do: buy stock in Microsoft and Apple. Etc.)

If this is not normal, what the hell do normal people *think* about?