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Archive for August, 2011

Friday, August 19th, 2011
Report from Worldcon

It’s Friday night and I’m back in the hotel. Why? Cause I was up late last night and I’m really really tired. There’s been a ton going on and I’ve been seeing a lot of people I know and I’ve met a bunch I don’t know. It’s been great.

So let’s see. On Tuesday, we got into town after some geocaching and driving. We got checked in and met Sharon Lee and Steve Miller for dinner. My first time meeting them in person. We ate at this buffet that was ginormous. I mean, the desert section alone was about forty feet long. There was a salad section, a mexican section, a chinese section, a southern section, and an all around American food section. Can we say overeat?

Now mind you, we ate there after having to pick our way through the maze of the casino. It’s a cave and confusing and smokey. Blecho. But we found our way and I need to go take a picture of the cigarette machines. I haven’t seen one of those since I can’t remember when.

Weds. we went to the Egyptian exhibit at the Museum, and also ran some errands. Then we swam a bunch and the kids made a bubble bath in our giant jacuzzi bathtub. Bubbles went everywhere. We also had Taco Bell for dinner, where there was a billboard still up from the May 14th Rapture plan. And it said the Bible Guaranteed it would happen. I need a picture of that.

Thursday I did the writers workshop. It was really a lot of fun and I hope I was helpful. Then it was off to find my way around the con, which is a total maze. I ran around through the dealers room and art room and talked to a bunch of people, found something I really want to have–a corsair corset coat with bell sleeves that fold back and long tails. Love it. Met my agent for dinner and talked about a bunch of stuff and then it was party time. Went to the Westercon party and saw some Miscon/Spocon folks, then we went to the Tor party. We helped set up and then the room flooded with people. It was wall to wall hot bodies. I lasted about an hour and a half and then I was done.

Carol Berg, Kalandra, Sue Bolich and I then found a quiet spot to people watch and yak for awhile. Got to bed around 1. Man I’m not as young as I used to be. Plus all the smoke is giving me a headache. Can’t seem to get over it.

Today I went to a panel with Patty Briggs, Carrie Vaughn, and Gail Carriger, and then went to sit at the SFWA table. I met Joan Sloanzewski and Rachel Swirsky, and also David Brin, John Scalzi and Brenda Clough. It was so fun to be able to have people just walk by the booth and I got to meet them. It was so fun.

Then from there it was off to a meeting with my agent, Carol Berg and Susan Krinard, wherein which I had a Harry Mudd, a drink designed especially for the con, which was AMAZING. I wanted two, but as it was, it was a strong drink and nearly put me under the table.

From there it was dinner, then people watching at the masquerade, and then back here to talk to you.

What’s so nice is that I get a chance to connect to writers and talk about the craft and the books. It’s my tribe.

Friday, August 12th, 2011

I had been wanting to try out some Carolina mustard barbecue sauce for awhile. It’s good on pulled pork. So today I made a pork loin roast in the crock pot and then pulled it. The sauce has apple vinegar, a bunch of mustard, honey, brown sugar, cayenne, and I forget what else. Heat, reduce, and then put into the pork. Was really good, but I think I should have made more because I like a wetter meat.

I also made this southwestern slaw with red and green cabbage, red onion, cilantro and a dressing made from mayo, lime juice, a chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, garlic and I forget what. It gets all blended up and then put it on the slaw. Anyhow, it turned out really well. Spicy but yummy. We added some watermelon to the meal, and it was really great.

Saturday, August 6th, 2011
What’s in a name: Horngate

I figured some of you might want to know just where I got the concept of Horngate as a name. At the entrance of the covenstead is an arch of antlers and horns from animals. Moose, elk, and deer all lose their antlers once a year and a lot of people go hunting in the mountains for them. Or the antlers are taken as part of the harvest of the animal. Anyhow, living in Montana, I’ve seen some of these arches. They seem kind of magical to me in a way that connects to the earthmagic of Horngate.

Here’s a picture of one from Jackson Hole, Wyoming:

Saturday, August 6th, 2011
what’s going on today

I’m getting love looks from the dogs. They are being all cute as they stare. Pet me. Walk me. Let me be on your lap. Come, go to bed and let us cuddle on the bed with you. Scratch our stomachs. Both are on the couch. Not that they are spoiled. Not at all. Not even a little.

I sent my copy edits back to my editor for Shadow City. I’m pretty pleased with it.

Now I need to make a list of projects and things to do. I’m finding I’ve got a mess of things all over the place and I am feeling scattered. So I need to get organized and start digging into work in an orderly fashion. I’m not good at orderly. I like it messy. But I have a week to get ready for Worldcon, which includes reading the entries for the writers workshop and making comments, plus I need to prep for school which starts in three weeks (I have to get the hang of Moodle as part of this), plus work on responding to a thesis stuff and some other stuff from students that have come in recently. Oh, and do mommy stuff. And some house stuff. And yanno, life stuff.

I also need to go back through the Horngate books and create a wiki of information. I had one, but it wasn’t compatible with my new mac system, so now I’m set up with a new wiki program, and need to populate it. Oh, and I bought a little Bamboo drawing tablet that I want to play with and I know nothing about how to use it. Have you ever noticed how little time there is to do all the cool and fun stuff you want to? To read and to see movies, to go to museums and see plays, to do everything there is to do.

Friday, August 5th, 2011
The news of the Day

Well, I’m losing my Horngate editor. She’s got a fabulous new job and she will be leaving in a couple of weeks. I am so happy for her and so unhappy for me.

What you need to know is that a good editor is worth her weight in gold. And jewels. You want her to be able to see the flaws in your work so you can make the book the best it can be, and you want her to let you have your own storytelling voice and style. You want her to be organized and focused and smart. Mine is all of that and more.

Ironically, this is the second time I’ve lost this very same editor. She was my original editor at Roc with the Path books, and then moved to Pocket. Then she bought my Horngate books.

So I raise a glass to you Jen, and then I’ll drink the entire bottle and eat chocolate cake and wallow in self pity. Then I’ll get back to work. I don’t know who will be replacing her, but I hope they can find someone as good.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Back in the saddle again

I’ve been having a tad bit of trouble with the website and posting, but I’m back! Been doing things with the kids, particularly school supply shopping. The list seems to get longer each year. But they are supplied and the boy does not have new socks because he argued he didn’t need them, and then I saw today how holey most of his socks are and I expect there will sock shopping in the future. Girlie made out when grandma bought her a bunch of dresses (lovely, hugely expensive dressed on %70 off sale, so that was a good thing). Boy made out with books, since he wasn’t into clothes. Girl got books too, just he got more. And I got myself a copy of Elie Wiesel’s Night and Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants.

Right now I’m working on finishing the copy edits for Shadow City. For those of you who don’t know what that means, let me splain. When you turn a book it, your editor reads it and sends it back with an editorial letter. That letter will include a lot of notes on how to improve it. You revise, and if your editor is happy, it goes to copy edit (if not, repeat step one).

The copy editor goes over the manuscript to correct if for grammar, house style, consistency, and anything else she finds. It then comes back to the editor who also goes through it making a few notes, and then it comes back to the writer. I go through it and can still make changes to my work (this is the last chance for substantive revisions), and to see if I agree with the changes of the CE or E. Sometimes I don’t agree. When I don’t, I STET the change, which puts it back to the original. Now I try not to do that too often, but sometimes the changes just don’t sit right.

Here’s a for instance. It’s more grammatically correct to say “it was as if a piece of every place that had ever existed or been thought of had come to Chadare and cropped roots.” (real sentence from manuscript). Only, given that Max is thinking that, she would never say as if. She’d say like. So even though it’s correct, it’s more important to me that the voice is right, so I STET it.

So that’s what I’m doing today. I do like the process, especially when the copy editor is as good as this one is. Now, back to it . . .