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Four New Books!

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ew books!


Four new and new-to-me books I've read this week:


Lock In by John Scalzi
"Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. 4% suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And 1% find themselves 'locked in' - fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

1% doesn't seem like a lot. But in the US that's 1.7 million people 'locked in' ... including the President's wife and daughter.

Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can fully restore the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, 'The Agora', where the locked-in can interact with other humans, whether locked-in ornot. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, …

Back from Vacation! IWSG, ROW80, and Read Holmfirth

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ack from Vacation!




I had some ambitious ROW80 goals this time around:

Keep going on edits for The Handful of Time. I'm only on chapter 3!Otherwise, I could work some more on edits for my short story, Blackbird's Song.And finally get around to submitting Druid's Moon for an editorial review by Barbara Rogan.

I say ambitious, because I was busy drafting new scenes each day as part of the monthly exercise on thelitforum, in between work  and school and vacation and moving house -- we moved last week, and still have roughly 40 of 90 boxes to unpack.

Luckily, this month's exercise is on writing action scenes, and that's exactly the help I need to keep going on edits for The Handful of Time.


Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

This month's question: If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

Ooh, what a lovely thing to dream about. A Mediterranean beach, with a chaise longue on the sand and table…

On Vacation...Ask Me Anything!

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ask me anything!

That's what this month's exercise at thelitforum is all about:

"This month’s exercise is: Ask Me Anything (AMA)!

It's based off the Reddit subforum in which posters are free to ask the host any question, which should be answered honestly and fully. This is a great way to help flesh out a character, whether discovering backstory, motivation, etc. Even though the assorted participants span different times and places, it's these spontaneous, interactive situations between characters that would never "meet" otherwise that let you turn over rocks in ways that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. It’s been interesting to see how a character will respond differently to a question, depending on the asker's gender/social class/time period. ...

Please remember that this is a spontaneous, off-the-cuff, get-'er-done kind of exercise. Don’t worry about making your writing all fancy and polished. Your internal critic has been banned from entry.&…

On Vacation...Exploring the United Nations

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isits to the Palais des Nations!

I had a young assistant accompany me to work on three separate occasions. Here are some highlights:





Sequoia!




Georgian wine jug









On Vacation...HMS Sofa

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n vacation!





Here's a repost from 19 May 2009 of an idea for if you need to take a staycation (back in the days when I used to post to the blog so often that a brief paragraph was sometimes all I needed!):


HMS Sofa

I discovered Anne and May's blog through Nathan Bransford (also check out his link to the 24-hour air travel satellite video on YouTube), and learned that my sister and I are not the only ones that create cruise ships on sofas!

(Discovering a new author blog that I like is veery dangerous, since it adds to my Wishlist/To Be Read pile. The only trouble is reading the comments on the various posts; there're a lot of people out there for whom logical fallacy is a way of life. Back to the cruise ships...)

In creating the HMS Sofa, you collect all the items you will need for an afternoon's sail (a cat or two, your favorite drink, some knitting, a huge stack of books, puzzles and magazines, etc.) and veg for a few hours. No getting up! except to replenish your drink…

Upcoming Vacation...and Insecure Writer's Support Group Day

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ell, I've done it now.


I keep going on and on about having no time, but I've just sent off a character to my first ever Ask Me Anything.



This is a form of the monthly exercise on thelitforum that generally dissolves into a Writers' Houseparty event. It's the only houseparty-type happening on the Forum that I've ever missed out on, even for those of my characters (like Austin and Kedi) who have attended every houseparty.

This time around, while Kedi might make a cameo, I've sent in a brand new character. The justification is that this might save me time and give me some buffer words when I come to write his story during NaNoWriMo. I know about his romantic life, but nothing about the sort of plot he might get involved in!

His name is Simon Chevalley MacDonald. His story was originally meant to be called The Antipodean Time (working title), as it follows The Charm of Time, A Handful of Time, and A Stitch in Time, and was meant to take place possibly while he and …