Aug 26

A Short Post About Waste

Posted: under Background.
Tags:  August 26th, 2014

With thanks to Jonathan, actually.     When I was a kid, in mid 20th c. South Texas,  buying, preparing,  and consuming food provided  much less waste than it does today.   Vegetables in the grocery store were not encased in plastic bags.    Milk and cream  weredelivered in glass bottles which the milk company picked up at the time of the next delivery.   Depending on the grocery, bread might be in a wrapper, or might be “nekkid.”    Meat was wrapped in butcher paper, true, for its travel homeward, but there was no little plastic try and clingfilm wrap over it.   Grocery sacks were heavy brown paper, widely used (by us as well) as containers to line trash containers in the house–containers that almost never overflowed the modest size they were back then.   They were also used as drawing paper for kids, as costume elements,  as mulch in the garden,  as something to put on a patch of mud in the yard to keep it off shoes,  as an extra bedside trash container for used tissues when someone had a juicy cold, and so on.   Flour  in small amounts came in a paper bag, as did sugar, but flour in 20 pound and more amounts came in cloth bags, and the cloth was brightly printed cotton–easy to turn into clothing, curtains, quilts, whatever.   (My mother made my clothes, but refused to make me a “flour sack” dress, claiming we never needed that much flour at a time and the flour beetles would get into it.)   Paper wrappings were biodegradable–if buried, they decayed readily.   The few foods in jars and tin cans resulted in useful containers for later use, as did the aluminum foil frozen food “dishes.”   As for the food itself,  we ate it at one meal after another (if there was enough for leftovers)  and when it was down to the end, we had dogs, cats, and a parakeet.  Scraps went to animals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Aug 21

The New Spoiler Space

Posted: under Spoiler Space.
Tags:  August 21st, 2014

Sorry, distractions hit and I forgot I was supposed to get on with this.    This is your new spoiler space for talking about anything new and spoilerish.   If any of you do show up at DragonCon, you will hear me read something that would be a spoiler, so it’s under the this blanket (or will be, about 10 days from now.)

Please keep spoiler-space discussions to discussions of what’s actually been written, and avoid too much speculation on what might be written.   If you start thinking ahead like writers, it’s inevitable that one of you will come up with something far too close to what I’m doing, and that can cause us (you, me, agent, publisher) problems of the “which came first, chicken or egg” variety.   I do stay out of spoiler space, mostly, but as the moderator of the comment section, I see things willy nilly whenever I go to the cmments section to answer a comment (which I do because it lets me use italics and other formatting bits.)

Anyway–you have been forewarned.  If you hate spoilers, do not read any comments in anything labeled a Spoiler Space.  (It’s after midnight, my brain was already brown and crispy at the edges and is now thoroughly fried.)

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Aug 20

Where IS She?

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  August 20th, 2014

I’m here, but other things have taken over my time in the past couple of weeks.   The Perry indictment (Yay!) and the Ferguson, Missouri situation (@##*!!**!)  and the Border situation (#**@!!!)  and of course various international FUBARs, all of which make me wonder if the entire world has gone insane at once.

Should you want my opinion on either or both of these, the posts are up at my LiveJournal.    There are better versions of the Perry indictment’s background (all the way back to how Perry got a statewide office in the first place and his connection to Karl Rove) in an article by James Moore on Huffington Post.  The Ferguson article was written on this past Sunday afternoon and already could use some updating (as in, the convenience store did not call the police–a customer did.  The police did not even come by to subpoena the video until the following week.  So apparently the original story, that the two teenagers were accosted for jaywalking, and not in suspicion of a crime, was right.)

Meanwhile choir practice is back in session, and tonight we start rehearsals on both music for the coming weeks and large chunks of the Mozart Requiem, which may keep me sane as this mess goes on.    Next week I leave for DragonCon and will be absent for days (not taking electronics with me–they’re paying my travel so I’m flying.)    You’ve all been very good about playing nicely in the sandbox while I’ve been distracted–please keep it up.  You’re a wonderful bunch.

 

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Aug 10

Farin Cook’s Kitchen

Posted: under Background, the writing life.
Tags:  August 10th, 2014

The kitchen at Verrakai’s country house resembles a number of large “great house” kitchens that have been shown on various British TV series…and a couple I saw when taken to see some of the similarly sized stately homes & castles.   It’s large enough to supply food for the family and house servants, and to give working room to the cooking staff.   Its storage capacity for food is substantially larger than anything a modern family needs; it has two large pantries inside the main kitchen area, plus the dairy,  off one side of which is the meat safe.   Unlike many great-house kitchens, it is not built underground or half-underground, but is on the main living level of the house.   That’s because the underground portion of the old keep tower extended under where the house was later built, and the Verrakaien of that day chose not to connect the house to that underground space.   Part of the house, toward the west (back) end does have a cellar level, accessed only through a secret door.   Like many old houses, the design has changed from time to time over the years, with additions, subtractions, and combinations enough to baffle anyone dwelling there now.  Why, for instance, are the stairs so inconvenient  for someone whose rooms are upstairs near the front of the house?

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Aug 05

Skewed from Topic: Socks Again

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
 August 5th, 2014

There’s a post on my LiveJournal about the completion of the seventh “short” sock.  With pictures.  But to spare you having to click on that link, I’m putting a picture here.   Also because it’s time to brighten the place up again.

 

7-pr-shorty-socks226

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Aug 02

DragonCon

Posted: under Conventions, Good News, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  August 2nd, 2014

I have my tentative schedule for DragonCon posted on Live Journal  (if I can quit typing LiverJournal!  Darn the new glasses.)  It’s tentative, and I’ve asked for a reading slot and a signing slot as well…if I get them, those will show up in my final schedule.   I have just been told that Ebola patients are being shipped to the CDC in Atlanta.  One hopes not on commercial airlines coming into Hart International, because that place is sufficiently full of incoming con crud already.

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Jul 18

Body Art in Paksworld

Posted: under Background, Craft, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  July 18th, 2014

Many people in various cultures have used permanent markings on the body as means of identification–individual, familial, tribal, broadly cultural.    Any of these can be ornamental, and thus fall into the “art” category, but they are often more than ornamental–they have specific meanings.  Temporary markings applied to the skin with colors, mud, ash are even commoner, but ephemeral; the point of this post is the permanent ones in use in Paksworld, and their meanings to the Paksworld cultures that use them (or who abhor them.)    Tattoos, scarification, and piercings all occur in Paksworld, with very specific meanings both inside and outside the groups that use them.

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Jul 06

A Snippet from the Future

Posted: under snippet.
Tags:  July 6th, 2014

I’ve been working on the Cracolnya story, as much as I can–mostly cleaning out the typos and first-draft awkwardness that I usually don’t bother with until later, but work on when stuck.   And I’ve been visiting various forums where I’m registered but where the old computer system had become incommunicado (“your browser is out of date; please update to the current version…”)   So there I was on Book Country, where I’ve dabbled in advice to those who ask for help with something, and decided to post a bit of dialogue, as the forum leader suggested people do.   It’s only fair that you folks get to see it too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jul 04

In Case You’re Wondering

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: ,  July 4th, 2014

Where, you may be wondering, is the planned short-fiction collection in its progress towards release?  Good question, and the answer is, I haven’t done all I’m supposed to do, thanks to a series of things (rethinking a couple of stories,  A-Kon,  the first Father’s Day after my father’s death, and the eye stuff.   And now my agent’s got jury duty.  )

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Jul 02

A Sort of Warning

Posted: under Life beyond writing.
Tags:  July 2nd, 2014

Because I’ve seen comments on other venues about some writer’s fans going after a reviewer who didn’t like their favorite writer’s books…please, should you find a negative review or comment on mine, don’t be those fans.   There will always be reviewers who don’t like a given book…there are reviewers and book bloggers who don’t like mine…but let them dislike it in peace.   If it’s a venue where a lot of reviews are posted, and you feel like posting a more favorable one, go ahead, but I don’t want to be the occasion of an attack on a reviewer/book blogger, whatever. Such storms nearly always end up leaving muck all over the writer, who may not have wanted the row in the first place.   We have a pleasant bunch here, and I don’t think it’s likely any of you would start a row, but just in case you’re tempted.

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