More cookies and eggnog, please sir…
More cookies and eggnog, please sir…
We’re getting our first real snowstorm of the year, as I write this. We’re deep into the night right now, and it looks like maybe 4-6 inches have fallen so far. Maybe it’s time for this year’s pictures of our Christmas trees. Here’s the one in front of the house. You can’t really see it from this angle, but I cut off so many branches close to the house (squirrel on-ramps, they were) that from a profile it almost looks like a bas-relief of a pine tree. Still, it works!
That strange purple aura isn’t visible to the naked eye. At first I thought it was an artifact of my camera, but now I’m thinking—maybe, just maybe—it’s dark matter. Or maybe dark energy, hard to be sure.
And here’s our indoor tree, a little different this year. We didn’t go out and get a tree. Or rather, we did but we just went to the back yard and brought in a branch I’d pruned off the big oak tree. With fire in the, er, fireplace.
Happy ChristmaHanuKwanStice, everyone!
Panglor—the man and the book both—have always been about exploring bizarre new worlds. It’s literally much of the plot of the story. For quite a few years now, he and his ou-ralot companion LePiep and his human companion Alo have been available only in the digital world. Now, he’s found his way back into Print World! Yes, a new print edition of Panglor has hit the newsstands—er, bookstores. This is the first print edition since the Tor paperback of 1996, which was a revision of the Dell first edition of 1980. Long trip, dude!
Here it is, wandering into a store near you, whether on that great long river (you know the one I mean), or elsewhere. Basically, in theory, any store that orders from Ingram. Which is pretty much all of them.*
*Translation: It can be ordered by any store.
After all these months of wearing masks and taking proper precautions, I still have trouble remembering to put on a mask when I go out—especially if it’s something quick and routine, like taking the dogs for a walk. It’s not like I’m hiding the masks; they’re hanging right by the door. Am I the only one with this problem? I can’t be.
I decided I needed a mnemonic reminder. So now when I go out, I (try to remember to) chant to myself, “Going out? Cover your snout!”
It helps. Just like “Going out? Don’t go without!” helps me remember to take my wallet when I’m going to the store.
Neither is foolproof. I’m grateful for Google Pay on my phone, which saves me about once every few months, when I find myself at the grocery checkout, patting my pocket, and cursing softly because there’s no wallet there.
Some of us need all the help we can get, these days.
Not everybody likes it, though.
Back in the day, I used to sell autographed copies of my books from my website, by way of a simple pricelist page that could be printed and mailed to me. I didn’t sell a lot, but it helped me connect with some readers. Then the web got more complicated, and sales tax got more complicated, and I gave up on that model. Now, I’m selling autographed books through Etsy! Yes, that place you go to (statistically more likely if you are female) to buy crafts and things. It turns out you can sell books there, too, and a number of authors and booksellers do just that. Now I am, too.
Here’s what I’ve got in my StarRiggerBooks store so far:
All autographed and personalized as requested. Great gift ideas, right? Come and be my customer! Or share it with a book-loving friend!
*You didn’t think I could build an Etsy store without the help of coffee, did you?
Just in time for the holidays, I have put on sale a complete autographed set of The Chaos Chronicles (to date), right here in my very own, shiny new Etsy shop! This is a matched set of trade paperbacks from my very own Starstream Publications. Signed, personalized, you name your fondest desires. What makes a better gift than brand-new books autographed by the author? Plus…discounted 20% for the holidays!
I will be adding other books to my shop, but we’re starting out with the crown jewel! Click right here to take a look. There’s no harm in looking, right?
Last writing retreat of the year, this time in the Falmouth/Mashpee area. Little cottage in the woods, little man by the laptop stood. Close to a marine estuary, very quiet.
It’s not far from here to the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth, which I was looking forward to exploring for fresh air and Nature and exercise. I got three minutes into my ride when I realized that the whup-whup-whup from my front wheel was not bumps on the trail, but a bulge where the tire was getting ready to blow. Gahh. Good news: lots of bike shops in the area. Bad news: none of them carries the odd size tire my eccentric recumbent uses. So… no bike riding this trip.
On the other hand, I’m on the edge of a big wildlife refuge area, so there are lots of trails and whatnot. Also, the ocean, where Vineyard Sound expands into Nantucket Sound. Beautiful! In the second photo, you can just make out Martha’s Vineyard on the horizon.
Also, words are being written. Actual words. Of a novel. Yay.
Audiobooks of The Reefs of Time and Crucible of Time have hit the ground with a hop, skip, and a twist. The narrations by Stefan Rudnicki have been finished for a while now. But their appearance in stores has been erratic and slow. A glitch at Findaway tripped up the distribution of Reefs, which should have been out a month ago—but it’s now finally appeared in a handful of stores. Unfortunately, Audible is not yet one of them. Lon-n-ng review times (caused by a flood of new submissions) have caused delays for both books in getting into Audible and Amazon.
Crucible was actually the first to make it through to the first stores, even though it was the second to be recorded and uploaded. But Reefs is catching up. Right now you can get them both at Apple, Scribd, Google Play, Kobo, Chirp, and eStories. I hope to see both of them in all the stores before too much longer. For continually updated purchase links, see my Audiobooks page.
In the meantime, I’m pleased to report that my new audiobooks really are finding an audience. Keep spreading the word for me, okay?
Addendum: Crucible just showed up in the Nook store, and they’re selling it for 25% off. In fact, they have the whole series discounted. Go, Nook! (Reefs is now there, too.)
Breaking news: Reefs is now available in the Audible store, as well as Amazon! See my Audiobooks page.
In more upbeat news, I recently was featured on a talk show called Writers Corner Live with Bridgetti Lim Banda and Mary Elizabeth Jackson. They run a very polished operation and were great, welcoming hosts. I had a lot of fun talking to them. You can view it right here, or visit the Writers Corner Live page on Facebook.
Here’s the YouTube link to the interview if it’s not displaying properly for you.
Squirrels! The destructive little buggers have outdone themselves this year. They’re not just chewing the Christmas lights on our outdoor tree; they’re chewing the wiring and the electronics on our rooftop solar panels! And when workers came to repair the damage and install critter guards (which we should have had in the first place), they found a nest under one of the panels. And then they saw a fat squirrel dive right through a roof vent into our attic. We’re lucky he saw it go through, because the vent had been hidden by the panel, and otherwise, we might not have discovered the hole the little varmints had chewed.
So now, we have a pest-control guy on the job, to eliminate the squirrels so the solar panels can be put back. And we just had a tree crew here, trimming back the beautiful, tall oak tree on the property line behind our house, removing among other things the handy “bridge to paradise” that an overhanging branch had been providing the squirrels. (Afterward, I saw two of the little fokkers on the shortened branch, looking agitated. The bridge is out! The bridge is out!) This is starting to get expensive!
As if that wasn’t enough, yesterday the squirrel guy saw another squirrel jump from the pine tree in front of the house, and dive through yet another, previously undiscovered hole into the space above the front porch ceiling! Ka-ching! What’s going to be next? Squirrels in the hot tub? Okay, we’re safe on that one; we don’t have a hot tub.
No offense, Nuts, but I’m asking for a BB gun for Christmas.