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.
There’s no denying I’ve been breathing easier, and had much more spring in my step, since Biden won Pennsylvania to become president-elect of the United States of America. In fact, I felt an enormous weight lift with that news, a feeling of oppression melt away, an oppression that’s been with me for four years, since the DTs first set in. (Who would have thought that one man could cause so much damage? In 1930’s Germany, sure. But not here. Surely.)
But has the nightmare really ended? DT hangs on, a child gripped by a tantrum; but is it just that? If only. He knows he’s lost—the whole world knows it—and still he continues to raise money, and to sow distrust of democratic elections. Is he planning a coup to stay in office? If you were planning a military coup, what’s the first thing you’d do? Probably remove defense leaders who were resistant to your autocratic authority. Check. Keep the top leaders of your political party in thrall because they fear your displeasure, and get them to act (to their eternal shame) as if nothing of significance had happened on election day. Check. Lie, lie, and lie some more. Check.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 rampages unchecked, and the presidential transition is obstructed, hampering the new administration’s ability to hit the ground running to bring Covid under control. It’s almost as if they want Biden to face the pandemic at its worst, the better to cast blame.
Note my choice of the word “they.” It’s not just DT, it’s the Republican Party (save for a brave few who have spoken up) that’s overwhelmingly complicit in this malevolent charade. It’s disgraceful; it’s unpatriotic; it’s unchristian; it’s treasonous, really; and it’s a very dangerous game they are playing with our democracy. The Cylons could not have done it better.
We may be more dependent on the honor and oath of our military command than we (or I, at any rate) imagined would actually happen in real life. The day may come when the generals will have to say No to their commander-in-chief when he orders them to choose between serving him, and serving the Constitution. I believe they are up to the challenge.
Meanwhile, we the people, if we want our democracy to survive, are going to have to be vigilant, indeed.
If there’s one firm rule we have in this house, it’s that the dogs are not allowed on the sofa unless specifically invited. How, then, to explain this:
Also, no squirrels are allowed on the porch!
In case you wonder, I’m an emotional tightwire (like many of you), waiting to find out what’s going to happen on election day—or, more likely, several weeks after election day. Will we step back from the precipice we’re dancing on? Will we put responsible adults in charge in Washington? Before we all die of Covid or drown in the melting ice caps? Will we save democracy from our worst impulses?
I can’t stand the wait, and that’s why we’re getting dog pictures on the day before the election.
So this is how October chooses to leave us, eh? I was expecting a dusting of snow—not four inches! All these trees on the bike path still have most of their leaves, so they really sagged under the weight of the snow. I had to bend low to pass through the bower. (Captain Jack and McDuff didn’t.)
In conjunction with the good folks at Bookbub, I am knocking 83% off the price of the Sunborn ebook, for a limited time only! If you’ve read the first three books in the Chaos Chronicles and want to keep going with the fourth book, this is your chance. (Or if the dog ate your ebook copy or you’ve lost it under a pile of unpaid bills and requests for political contributions, and you need a new copy.)
That’s $.99 for a book that Library Journal said “ensures [Carver’s] place among the most inventive of contemporary authors of hard sf and speculative theory. Filled with startling ideas and ingenious plot twists, this sf adventure (along with its series predecessors) belongs in most sf collections.” Library Journal said that, not me. Not that I would go out on a limb to disagree. But if you love cosmic adventures, sentient suns, cool aliens, and malevolent AIs, this is the book you’ve been waiting for. Already read it? Why not buy a copy for a friend? Better yet, wouldn’t the whole set make a great gift?
Sadly for Nook readers, you might or might not be able to get this deal in the Barnes & Noble Nook store. I have been trying to set the sale price there, but due to an unfortunate malicious hacking of their system earlier this month, some of their back-end systems are still not working properly. I will keep trying, but you might not get the discount there. (However, the book is DRM-free, so if you buy the epub edition in another store, you can still sideload it onto your Nook.)
Sunborn is also available in a handsome print edition and an audiobook narrated by multiple award-winner Stefan Rudnicki. Click here for all editions.
Nearing the end of the second of the three writing retreats I have planned. I’m back on Cape Cod, but this time at an Airbnb spot, a charming studio apartment with a kitchen so I can fix most of my meals. Less beagling myself with wonderful seafood, but maybe this time I won’t put on eleventy-seven pounds the way I did last time. Here’s a picture of the pond near where I’m staying.
At first, it didn’t seem to be working. And then… some words came. And then some more. Today’s my last day, so no pressure.
I’m also, intermittently, reviewing the just-recorded audiobook files for Crucible of Time. It’s great! More news soon on the audiobook front.