*tap, tap* is this thing on?
Apparently long-form blogging is simply no longer something I do, which is sad. Well, I guess it’s sad. There’s no audience for it, is the thing. My audience is on Twitter, mostly, these days, and to a lesser degree, Facebook, but FB’s algorithms…well. You know how it is.
I’ve been very, very busy this year. So far I’ve done copy & line edits on DEATH OF AN IRISH MUMMY, revised SKYMASTER & LIBRARIAN BEAR, did copy edits etc on BEAR, written 13k of the book I’m not writing & all of the upcoming novella PRACTICAL BOOTS, written a screenplay for a…not exactly competition, but close enough…& filled out the long application form to go with it. I’ve revised BOOTS a bit, sent it to the editor, did a quick and easy edit someone’s manuscript, and am revising yet another novella of my own for publication…sometime this year, I think. I have a final pass of revisions on SKYMASTER before sending it for copy edits, and then I have to start revisions on the 4th & please-god final Guildmaster book, which is in theory as much as half written but needs probably half of what I’ve written removed.
Plus parenting etc during a pandemic, you know, so I feel that’s reason enough for apparently never blogging anymore. :)
One might imagine, from six weeks of radio silence, that I have been busy.
One would be correct.
But there have been some Very Exciting Developments in that time!
First off, I’ve gotten a studio to work in! It’s part of an artist’s collective, extremely convenient to my son’s school, and, as my husband said, “Bohemian enough to suit your sensibilities.” (I pointed out that I’m really not very bohemian, and he said, “No, but you want to be,” which is perfectly true. :)
The collective has a Studio Cat. Her name is Ophelia (or Elektra, or Lady Tara, depending on who you ask), and she is extremely pretty. She also decided I’d brought my cute Itty Bitty Wonder Woman and Supergirl in for her, a topic upon which she was mistaken, and now I have to put them in a Safety Cup when I leave in the evening (well, afternoon) so she doesn’t make off with them. :)
A friend, looking at the studio pictures, said, “I get the impression you’re expecting it to be cold a lot,” and the truth is I probably don’t have enough blankets, fingerless gloves, and shawls on hand yet. I’ve lived in 8 houses in Ireland, and none of them have kept heat worth a damn, but they were all at least nominally sealed. The studio is in a 150 year old textile factory with 22 foot ceilings and “windows” at either end that are merely wooden shutters with no glass behind them. So, yes, in fact, I expect it to be cold a lot. I have ambitions to get a rug for my space, and I need slippers, and probably other things to stay warm. On the positive side, I’m right below a heater (which is a giant space heater style thing), and have no compunctions against using it. :)
The next Very Exciting Development is that when I got the studio, one of my friends began a “Business Shower” fund as a surprise so I could get things for the new space, and it just happened that I found a spare keyboard like my own on eBay just as they were planning to send it.
Now, my keyboard (as evidenced in the pictures) is a fully split, chair-mounted keyboard, and I’ve had it for something like 17 years. Last summer I had a bad run where it had been messed up and I thought it was a goner, although it turned out the keys had just gotten remapped and someone who is a keyboard enthusiast happened to hear about it and could tell me how to fix it. But that was a very bad moment, because although there’s no reason to believe my keyboard will go kaput, I live in terror of the day that happens. I’ve looked for replacements idly on and off for at least a decade, possibly longer, Just In Case, but I’d literally never seen one on eBay before, and it showed up there just as my astonishingly good-hearted friends put exactly enough money in the paypal account for me to get it.
Readers, I bought it.
Honestly, I actually feel a little guilty about buying it, because, I mean, someone else might need and not HAVE one at all. I feel like I should lend it to somebody, or something, until the day comes that I do need it. Except that could lead to it ending up non-functional, too, of course, which would defeat the purpose of buying it in the first place…
ANYWAY VERY EXCITED TO HAVE A BACKUP KEYBOARD and also there may have been some crying when i found out about the gift fund because just omg. what wonderful people i know.
And the final Very Exciting Development is (not to bury the lede) I’ve just turned in my first COZY MYSTERY, which will be out in January 2020 and I am so looking forward to sharing with you all! Eeeeeee!
Tell me about YOUR summertime adventures?
For only the third time in however many times I’ve actually tried it, I have achieved Nanowrimo success. Honestly, I wrote quite a lot more than 50K this month, but I managed to get 50,000 vaguely useable words on this project, which is…slightly more than half…of what I was going for…well, we’ll take what victories we can, wot eh? So now I have to get the other half of it written in the next…week…ideally…o.O…and then for a rarity actually send it to a few beta readers for commentary/insights. And no, I don’t need volunteers, got that sorted already.
Anyway, so it’s onward and upward now. There’s a book launch this weekend, and I still have to get the novella out to the Patreon folks, and…lordy, there’s a lot to do.
Okay, so, to tally up the November Projects:
Goal: finish it, get it out to patrons
Actual: finished it! (8 or 10K or so, so adding that to the 7-10K I cut from Project One plus the 50K I kept on P1…yeah, I got a lot of writing done this month) did not get it out to patrons.
Goal: revise, push thru production, publish
Actual: finished it!
Goal: study a book, write 3 chapters
Actual: studied 3 chapters :)
Goal: 3 chapters
Goal: get it out to backers
Actual: noooooooooot. quiiiiiiiiiite. got a bunch of stuff DONE for that, but nooooooot. quiiiiiite.
Overall, I’d say the month has been a tremendous success, work-wise. (Imagine what I’d have gotten done if I hadn’t been sick for 3 weeks, she said, rolling her eyes.) So yeah, that’s what’s gone on here.
Next month come hang with me while I revamp my Patreon, finish projects 1-2 and 4-6, and go to the gym 4 days a week… :)
I am in Helsinki for Worldcon! If I was a more organized person I’d have posted about this earlier, but, well, I’m not, so. I’m in Helsinki for Worldcon!
I will be publically available for chatting at the following times:
1. The Dublin 2019 parties on Thursday & Saturday nights
2. From 2-3:30ish on Friday afternoon–informal kaffeesklatch type thing, the Dublin 2019 table will know where I am if you don’t see me in the seating area around there
3. The Hugos on Friday night
4. Any other time you waylay me unless I have stuff specifically scheduled
4a. I have a panel about women writing comics on Saturday morning at 10am so I’ll definitely be there. :)
Anyway, Helsinki! I flew through Copenhagen, which turned out to be exciting because I thought I had an hour layover but it turned out my plane arrived, I got through passport control, and as I was heading for my gate (ON THE OTHER END OF THE AIRPORT) they announced final boarding for my flight to Helsinki. I scurried and said “my connecting flight just got in!” and they gave the board a skeptical look, but the sign didn’t say “closed” yet, so they let me on and closed the door behind me. Whew!
I hate (haaaate) taking public transport in places I know not at all, so I was nervous about the train from the airport to the hotel, but it turned out that it was very well annotated and I made it with no problem. Then my roommate collected me at the train station (THANK YOU) so all I had to do was follow her and get there safely. And now I’m oriented, so it’s all good.
I immediately saw half a dozen people, upon arriving, whom I might have hoped to see at some point over the weekend, so that was rather lovely. We got dinner and our tiny group of three expanded to about 11, some of whom expressed great surprise over my very different hair (and went on to theorize I might be a spy; I told them not to blow my cover :)). Then I wandered around the convention hall a bit trying to get oriented inside, and managed that fairly well, but didn’t go to the panel tat semeed fun because it was already packed full when we got there!
Instead I said to people that Helsinki is on the same latitude as my hometown, so I was going to go outside and be emotional about the light :)
Then I went outside and was like, oh shit no, I really *am* going to be emotional about the light, and it left me feeling a bit verklempt.
But then I found another friend and got introduced briefly to Ellen Datlow who knew my name (*faints*) and I had a bit more to eat and it was a lovely ending to the evening, which is now going to end properly so I can get up early and have more time with the light. ♥ :)
I’m somewhat better than I’ve been, but I’ve still got a cough and snotty nose. No, I haven’t gone to a doctor, but only because it turns out there’s a shortage of doctors in this town and nobody is taking new patients. We got signed up with a clinic in theory but we still haven’t gotten notification that we’re actually in their system, so…yeah. Anyway. At this point I think I’m going to have healed up before I’m in the system. Whee.
That said, all I want to do today is lie in a lump on the couch and watch Brooklyn Nine Nine all afternoon, but I’d have a 7 year old beside me saying, “What? What?” and fake-laughing at things, which wouldn’t really be much fun.
The Wrinkle in Time trailer dropped yesterday and made me cry. Twice. It looks amazing. (“Mommy,” Indy said incredulously, “are you *crying*?” Yes. Yes I was.) Anyway, I haven’t read the book in at least twenty, possibly thirty, years, and I immediately bought a new copy to read it. I didn’t think it would hold up, honestly, but I’ve read the first chapter and so far it’s still amazing.
I also re-read THE HERO AND THE CROWN a couple days ago and for the first time the acid trip battle with Agsded actually made sense to me. I’ve only read the book about forty times, so it’s nice that I eventually became able to really follow that scene.
Also I don’t remember crying through Talat’s rehabilitation before. *wipes eyes*
I made crabapple jelly with the last of LAST year’s crabapples, some cherry jam, pitted more cherries that Dad brought out, and bought some peaches that I need to process today and see if I’ve got enough for jam. I have frozen strawberries, too, and some many-berry mix frozen berries. Jam, glorious jam. :)
There are TWO kittens in the garden. We’re calling them Topsy and Turvy and are feeding them and their mama. I’m waiting for the local rescue people to have a capture cage available, so hopefully that’ll come through soon.
I turned a grant application in last week. I’ve got a book proposal just about ready to submit. I have copy edits to do and need to email my editor about line edits. And…I’d have to look at my to-do list to see what’s next. That’s plenty to get me through the week, though. :)