A Change Of Scenery

So for the last thirty years or so, whenever I’ve been working on a book or short story (which has been most of the time), I would do it in the mornings before going (or, since our office closed, “going”) to work. Also, for the past 15 years or so, when I’ve been working on the blog—mostly not this one, of course, but rather, the one with the animals on it—I’ve been doing that in the mornings befor work, too, or else on the weekends. But it’s only the last year or so that I’ve been trying to work on a book and do a daily post on the animals’ blog, and that, it turns out, is just a little too much to manage.

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Teaser Tuesday: “The Poppy War”

So this week I was reading The Poppy War, by R.F. Kuang, which I would characterize as Big Trouble in Little China meets Harry Potter meets Mulan, although insofar as I have never actually seen Mulan (any version) I’m kind of just guessing on that last one*.

Smoke gets in your eyes.
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Wrong Turn, Clyde

So as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t plan my books out in advance, except for that one time, and that one time the book didn’t come out anything like how I planned it. This tends to end up working out well for me, but it also means that, sometimes, I end up going in a direction that doesn’t work out. In the case of Dragon Stones, that entailed the wholesale excision of a character’s point of view scenes*; but in the case of the book I’m currently working on, Blue Roses, I’ve decided that the direction it was going with three of the main characters (four if you count the squirrel**) just wasn’t working out, and so I’ve axed the last 20,000 words or so, pruning the story back to where it branched in the direction that proved unproductive***. Because sometimes you’ve gotta be ruthless.

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Teaser Tuesday: “The Seventh Sword” Collection

So this week, and likely for several weeks yet to come*, I have been reading The Seventh Sword, an omnibus collecting the four books in “The Seventh Sword” series, by Dave Duncan:

Way to put a spoiler in one of your book titles, Dave.
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That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2021 Edition

So this year, as it does every year, Goodreads compiled a list of the books I read, making a nice little ― or not so little ― tapestry of covers, along with a few details. You can check out the list at Goodreads here, or, if you like to spend a lot of time watching a huge* image load, you can wait for the screen capture below. But first, a few notes on this year’s list:

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Teaser Tuesday: “A Scanner Darkly”

So this week I was reading A Scanner Darkly, a shortish dystopian novel by some guy named Philip K. Dick. Maybe you’ve heard of him. If not, you’ve almost certainly heard of the movie Blade Runner, which was based on his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?*

PKD: Not an acronym for a medical condition.
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That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2020 Edition

So as they do every year, the algorithm elves over at Goodreads have prepared an annual review of the books their users read and rated in 2020. Being a year when there was, shall we say, not a lot in the way of places to go or things to do, plus one in which I managed not to end up in the ICU for a while, one might think I would have read quite a bit more than in 2019, but in fact, I only read about 200 more pages. Maybe I was spending too much time watching the news …

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Limited Edition “Father’s Books” Cover! Get It While It’s Limited! Get It While It’s A Cover!

So remember a while back when I said I was waiting for the artwork for my new novel Father’s Books as well as for my reissue of Night Watchman, which became orphaned after Mundania Press abruptly shut down operations last year? And how I said I wasn’t going to release the books until I had the artwork, so as not to have to bother doing it twice? And how, a little while after that, I said, well, okay, maybe I’ll release the eBook versions with the placeholder covers, but that I wasn’t going to release the paperback versions yet? Wellllll, if I may quote Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”:

Spike: “I had a plan.”
Angel: “You, a plan?”
Spike: “A good plan, smart plan, carefully laid out. But, I got bored.”
[Spike pushes Angel against a wall]
Spike: “All that watching, waiting. My legs started to cramp.”

Angel, “In the Dark”
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Proofs of Life. Or Something.

So a few weeks ago, I mentioned that, due to the totally botched rollout of their “upgraded” web site, Lulu.com had managed to hose the three books I’ve had on sale through them since, oh, 2008 or so, that I had contacted their support department, and that if I didn’t hear from them, I was likely to retire the books from Lulu.com and move them to KDP and IngramSpark. Well, the astute reader will probably not be shocked to learn that I never heard from Lulu.com, that I retired the books, and that I moved them to KDP. (IngramSpark will be next.) This week, I got the first set of proofs from KDP of the new and improved—as in, likely to actually be available soon—versions of Dragon Stones, Long Before Dawn, and A Flock of Crow is Called a Murder.

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