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Aug. 24th, 2016

Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

40.  Lightning that Lingers, Sharon & Tom Curtis writing as Laura London (re-read for both; first time reading aloud)
39.  Guards!  Guards!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
38.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
37.  Tiger's Chance, Jan Henry, illustrated by Hilary Knight (re-read)
36.  Carousel Tides, Sharon Lee (1st read for pleasure)
35.  The Fall of Kings, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (e)
34.  Play of Passion, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
33.  Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
32.  Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
31.  Incarnate, Jodi Meadows (e)
30.  Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (e)
29.  Tiger Eye, Majorie M. Liu (e)
28.  Visitor, C. J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
27.  To Have and to Hold, Nalini Singh (e)
26.  The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard
25.  Bride of the Rat God, Barbara Hambly (e)
24.  Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (e)
23.  Maximum Ice, Kay Kenyon (e)
22.  War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (re-re-re-re-read)
21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers (re-re-re-read)
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

Aug. 21st, 2016

moon & mountains

Cold hearted orb that rules the night. . .

Amazonian updates at half-past Rolanni's first cup of coffee. . .

The kindle edition of The Crystal Variation is this morning not for sale at Amazon.  If you, as another Friend of Liad did, need to read the Crystal books right now on your kindle, please purchase the omnibus from Baen.  Here's your link.

Courier Run, Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 18 is on sale in the Kindle Store, but God She knows which edition it is they're selling (the Warning Triangle is still present on the page, warning the unwary of TYPOS), or if they'll continue selling the book in any edition at all in five days.  At this point, I have so many multiple, and confusing emails from Amazon that I'm forced to believe that one tributary of the Big River doesn't know what the other tributaries are doing.

The Hugo Awards were presented last night in Kansas City.  Congratulations to all the winners! Here's the list of finalists and winners.

Yesterday was a lovely, full working day -- and the laundry's almost done, too!  Today is breezy and sunny and oh, so tempting to go to the ocean, or at least the shore -- however!  It is a Sunday in August.  I will, therefore, stay home and?  Work.

On the subject of Housekeeping:  WordPress helpfully closed comments in the Spoiler Thread for Alliance of Equals.  They have been re-opened, and (unless there's a sudden massive upsweep in comments, in which case the moderator will withhold her hand) will be closed by the moderator on August 31.

I think that's it for Sunday morning -- except, yanno, more coffee! and more laundry!  and more words!

Everybody be good.

Here, have a nice, long snippet for Sunday:

That being the case, he was merely Theo's brother -- an unhappy circumstance, given that Theo's home culture held that the proper duty of women was to protect and care for the lesser sex. Even his position as her elder did not weigh nearly so much as the fact that he was male. His necessities must naturally wait upon his sister's.

Still, he had played the kin card cannily, hoping that the joyous occasion of a niece might tempt her where a brother did not. It appeared, however, that he had miscalculated.

Today's blog post is brought to you by The Moody Blues, "Day Begins," from the album Days of Future Passed, which I adored, back in the day, and which I don't even own anymore.  Ah, Life.  Here's your link.

Aug. 20th, 2016

Marvin's not happy

The Action in the Amazon Continues

Those following along at home will recall that, last week, it was discovered by an Alert Reader that Amazon had taken The Crystal Variation, an omnibus of novels Crystal Soldier, Crystal Dragon, and Balance of Trade, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, published by Baen Books off sale.  We alerted Baen.  Baen's Speaker To Amazon found that Amazon had identified 144 "spelling errors."  Until those "spelling errors" were corrected the book could not be sold.

Baen forwarded the list to us, and we identified -- wait for it -- THREE incidences of Actual Misspelled Words (the rest were made-up scifi words, and most of them were "cermacrete"), four instances of missing commas (which Amazon had not pinpointed as errors), and one instance of two words that were smushed together.

Yeah, that's it.  Amazon pulled our omnibus, without notice, for containing three spelling errors across a 1200-page book.

The Crystal Variation is now back on sale at Amazon, thanks to speedy work on Baen's part, for getting those errors fixed, and the book re-up-loaded in record time.

So, that.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, Amazon had likewise taken Courier Run, Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 18,  by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, published by Pinbeam Books (aka Sharon Lee and Steve Miller) off-sale, without warning, for four spelling errors and two bad line breaks. These errors were represented as having been reported by a reader who found them "distracting."

Yesterday, I fixed the two misspellings, recompiled the book and re-uploaded it to Amazon.

This morning, I have in my mailbox a communication from Amazon, stating that copyright is important to them, and that I must, in five days, provide proof that I have the right to publish Courier Run, Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 18.  The acceptable proofs are:


Acceptable documentation includes:

- A contract or statement from the author or publisher verifying you
 retain publishing rights
- An e-mail from the address listed on the official author or
 agent’s website
- For authors using a pseudonym, copyright registration or statement
 of pseudonym use



If you publish books for which you do not hold the publishing rights,
your account may be terminated.



So, a letter has been written to Amazon, explaining the situation to them for at least the second, and possibly the third, time since we've been doing business -- in the five years during which we've been doing business -- together.  Though "together" may not exactly be the word I want, here.

As of this writing, I believe that Amazon will sell you a copy of Courier Run, Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 18.  There is a Quality Issues Reported Hazard Triangle just below the title.  The drop-down for that reads:

Customers reported Quality Issues with this eBook.  This eBook has
TYPOS
The publisher has been notified to correct these issues.

. . .so I'm guessing it's not the amended file they're selling.

# # #

In less-fraught news, Steve and I took yesterday off to travel into Waterville to attend the Very First Screening of "Kubo and the Two Strings."  This is a very beautiful movie (we saw the 2-D version); the animation was amazing. The story itself is short on plot, though the writers/directors have an Absolute Mastery of Emotional Manipulation.  I recommend it for the animation alone, and for the overall sweetness of tone.  I came away from the movie feeling (briefly) peaceful and content.  So -- C+.

# # #

For those who have been following the New Box Project.  I offer the following short photo essay:

Trooper still prefers the red basket:

Trooper still prefers the old Aug 18 2016

Sprite is thinking about the new box:

Sprite tries the new box Aug 18 2016

. . .which has already received the Belle Seal of Approval:

The Belle Seal of Approval Aug 18 2016

Observant readers will note that the floofy towel has been removed from the New Box. The floofy towel was Not a Proper Use.  So I was told.

# # #

Today, I work.  And probably do the laundry, because the life of a writer is unremittingly glamorous.

Everybody have a good weekend!

Aug. 19th, 2016

Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

39.  Guards!  Guards!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
38.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
37.  Tiger's Chance, Jan Henry, illustrated by Hilary Knight (re-read)
36.  Carousel Tides, Sharon Lee (1st read for pleasure)
35.  The Fall of Kings, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (e)
34.  Play of Passion, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
33.  Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
32.  Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
31.  Incarnate, Jodi Meadows (e)
30.  Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (e)
29.  Tiger Eye, Majorie M. Liu (e)
28.  Visitor, C. J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
27.  To Have and to Hold, Nalini Singh (e)
26.  The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard
25.  Bride of the Rat God, Barbara Hambly (e)
24.  Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (e)
23.  Maximum Ice, Kay Kenyon (e)
22.  War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (re-re-re-re-read)
21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers (re-re-re-read)
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

Aug. 17th, 2016

Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

38.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
37.  Tiger's Chance, Jan Henry, illustrated by Hilary Knight (re-read)
36.  Carousel Tides, Sharon Lee (1st read for pleasure)
35.  The Fall of Kings, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (e)
34.  Play of Passion, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
33.  Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
32.  Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
31.  Incarnate, Jodi Meadows (e)
30.  Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (e)
29.  Tiger Eye, Majorie M. Liu (e)
28.  Visitor, C. J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
27.  To Have and to Hold, Nalini Singh (e)
26.  The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard
25.  Bride of the Rat God, Barbara Hambly (e)
24.  Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (e)
23.  Maximum Ice, Kay Kenyon (e)
22.  War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (re-re-re-re-read)
21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers (re-re-re-read)
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
Calvin & Hobbes happy dance

Today is Anything-Can-Happen Day

. . .and a marvelous thing has happened already.

As I sit here, drinking my first cup of coffee, and updating this blog. . .

Alliance of Equals has achieved. . .

201 reader reviews on Amazon (US)!

Thank you all so very, very much.

And, oh, hey -- you over in the corner, who hadn't gotten a chance to write a review yet?  Yeah, you.

Your review will be most welcome, too.  We don't have to stop at 201; though we can certainly take a well-deserved breather.

*everybody breathe*

Aaaaaah.

So, OK.  Today is a hospital day, which means I need to move on to my second cup of coffee realsoonnow.  There's bidness to be done when I return, seeing as I finished writing a scene yesterday, instead of doing bidness.

Tomorrow is, so I say now, as full a writing day as I can manage  (note to Self:  put cell phones in freezer), and a screening of Kubo and the Two Strings (which, for a wonder, will be appearing at the Waterville Flagship Cinema) penciled in for Friday.

And that?  Is all I got.

No, wait; it's not.

I've got a snippet.  Here y'are:

Best to accomplish the task at once, while biology was ascendant.

There was no need for the mentor to suffer, after all.

Aug. 16th, 2016

Tea and dragon

In which Rolanni is up before breakfast

As I write this, Alliance of Equals has 195 reader reviews on Amazon; a slim five reviews from 200.  Can we make the goal?  Heck, can we crack the goal?  Only you can make a difference.

So, yesterday, I removed the (pieces of the) wicker manuscript cat basket from the desk to the trash can.  A couple hours later, Trooper Discovered that it was missing.  He did not, however, call in another coon cat to act as witness.  I assumed that he was giving the basket an opportunity to return on its own.

His patience was rewarded later in the day, when Steve arrived home from errand-running with a Very Classy shallow wooden box and/or serving tray.  I placed it on my desk in the place where the wicker basket had been, and placed a towel in it.

Here's the Box, awaiting a tenant:

Fancy New Box Aug 15 2016

The Box sat, bereft, for a couple of hours, while Trooper helped me write from his Usual Position:

Trooper on the case Aug 15 2016

After I had finished work for the day, he walked across the desk, as is his habit, and discovered the New Box.

There commenced about six minutes of Intense Study, before a Theory was formed:

Trooper finds the box Aug 15 2016

I anticipate more Inspection and Theorizing today before a Final Verdict is returned.  Color me Cautiously Optimistic.

#

Progress on Book the Next is going to be difficult to quantify by word count for the next while.  Word count is a blunt instrument at best, but it does give people who are not down here among the commas and the semicolons some feeling of Progress.

Right now, as a result of the Structure Wars, there is more novel written than appears in the master file.  Those words will eventually come home to momma, but for now, they're rusticating over there in a waiting file.  For my own peace of mind, I don't want to count them until they're woven in.

All of which boils down to: No word counts for you, for the foreseeable future.

I will be posting snippets, however, just to let you know that Work Is Going Forward.

Here's a snippet now:

"One usually pursues the weather in such moments," he commented.  "However, it has been so much the same lately, there is scarcely anything to be said."

Aug. 15th, 2016

Saving world

Monday's news and reviews

So, Book the Next is moving once more.  I had to recuse myself from writing while I got the structure sorted out.  I very rarely have to wrestle a book's structure three falls out of five, so, hey -- new experience.  Yay?

Spell Bound, including two Archers Beach stories by Sharon Lee, is now for sale on Amazon, BN, iBooks, Kobo, as well as Scribd, Tolino, 24Symbols, and Page Foundry.

Pinbeam Books does have a new distributor, and the first batch of five books will be going up in September.  Watch the skies.

Also!  All Pinbeam chapbooks have been taken off-sale at Smashwords and brought over to Draft2Digital.  I'm really glad I didn't know exactly how much work that was going to be when I decided to make the move.

The cats, by which I of course mean the coon cats, have, in a surfeit of love, broken the wicker basket that was for some years the manuscript-in-progress basket.  I suppose it was inevitable.  Wicker can only bear so much.  I'm now of two minds -- should I replace the basket with a sturdier basket?  Or! Should I just remove the remains of the wicker basket and not replace it at all?   It's not like I can use it for manuscripts anymore, after all.  And I Have Faith that cats will use that corner of the desk, whether there's a basket there or not.

Experimentation may be in order.

As I write this, there are 193 reader reviews of Alliance of Equals on Amazon!  We only need seven! more! to hit our goal of 200 reviews.  Thanks to everyone who took the time -- and, if you haven't reviewed, and do have a couple minutes -- that would be so very awesome.

In Cat Garden news, I have arrived at and installed two solar light-sticks -- one green; one blue.  The green one appears to return more sunlight to the garden at night than the blue one -- but it's early days.  The blue may need some extra time to stoke up.  One needs be patient with items bought on clearance.

I think that's all I've got this morning.  It's to the gym, then home and work for me.

How's your Monday shaping up?

Scrabble in her rocker August 11 2016

Aug. 13th, 2016

Red umbrella from rainbow graphics

Ebook News You Can Use

Those of you who purchase ebooks from Amazon need to be aware of the following:

a. The Kindle edition of omnibus The Crystal Variation, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, including the novels Crystal Soldier, Crystal Dragon, and Balance of Trade -- has been taken off-sale by Amazon pending correction of "serious quality issues." These issues are "misspellings."  Amazon forwarded the list of 144 instances of misspelled words to Baen, which forwarded it to us.  More than a dozen of those "misspelled" words are "cermacrete."  We also have "ISBN" identified as a "misspelled" word. Also, cantra, kais, qwint, Iloheen, aetherium, autoshout -- you get the idea.  Steve and I have each made a pass down the list and have so far identified three Actual Misspelled Words, and one that I need to research, but believe to be a spacing problem.  The process from here goes like this:  We tell Baen which words are Actually Misspelled.  A Baen editor will fix those errors.  The Baen Ebook Team will then recompile the omnibus and shuffle it into its various formats, including forwarding a "clean copy" to Amazon.  Amazon will then, at some point, put the book back on sale.

If you would like to purchase an electronic copy of The Crystal Variation in the immediate future, your best choice of vendor would be Baen Ebooks, which offers the book for sale in All Formats Known to Man or Clutch.  Here's the link.

b.  Amazon has also stopped selling Courier Run, an echapbook containing two Liaden stories by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, for Serious Quality Issues.  In a Surprising Plot Twist, this title shows as being Live and On Sale from my publisher's dashboard.  KDP support is Researching the Issue and promises an answer by August 18 -- next Thursday.

If you would like to purchase this echapbook before next Thursday, please seek it elsewhere -- BN, Kobo, iBooks still offer it for sale.

c. Sleeping with the Enemy was also briefly off-sale at Amazon, but its honor has been redeemed and it is now on-sale in the Kindle store, as well as at the rest of the Usual Suspects.

d. Spell Bound, an echapbook collecting "Will-o'-the-wisp" and "The Wolf's Bride," two Archers Beach stories previously published on Splinter Universe, is now for sale at the Amazon Kindle store (after a brief tussle in which Amazon insisted that the content was available "freely on the web" and therefore I had no right to publish the compilation), and! at Kobo, and iBooks.  BN will presumably get around to publishing sometime soon.

A related note: Since these stories have been collected, they have been removed from Splinter Universe.

Today, it is rainy and cool at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.  I plan a quiet, working day.  I realize that we are very fortunate in our weather.  All of you who labor under Dangerous Heat Advisories -- please be alert and take good care of yourselves.

Aug. 12th, 2016

Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

37.  Tiger's Chance, Jan Henry, illustrated by Hilary Knight (re-read)
36.  Carousel Tides, Sharon Lee (1st read for pleasure)
35.  The Fall of Kings, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (e)
34.  Play of Passion, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
33.  Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
32.  Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
31.  Incarnate, Jodi Meadows (e)
30.  Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (e)
29.  Tiger Eye, Majorie M. Liu (e)
28.  Visitor, C. J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
27.  To Have and to Hold, Nalini Singh (e)
26.  The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard
25.  Bride of the Rat God, Barbara Hambly (e)
24.  Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (e)
23.  Maximum Ice, Kay Kenyon (e)
22.  War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (re-re-re-re-read)
21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers (re-re-re-read)
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

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Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

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