New Foreigner Book!


a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn. Plus, coming soon: e-books: Yvgenie, and books from Jane.



At Miscon 2013, around Memorial Day, Missoula MT, At SoonerCon, in OKC, around June 15, also Spokon in Spokane, in July/August, Beyond that, we aren't sure.
July 2015
« Jun    

A few more nasty days…

Then the temperatures go back to the high 80’s. The 4th of July is very often the height of heat for the summer here, as August tends to be fire season…I do hope the WOrldcon doesn’t get pink skies and the smell of smoke…

And we’re surviving. We lost the one tree. We’re thinking about whacking it back to the base and seeing if it can grow a new top.

We’ve now passed the hot air to Montana…

And it will not top 100 again this week. We’re back to more typical 4th of July weather.

Casualty, one tree, and several bushes which may not recover. We’ll give them til next spring to see if they rebound. Rhodies don’t readily replace leaves once lost.

But at least the egg is through the snake and Montana gets the weather…after Idaho’s stovepipe gets through with it.

Alas, our mitigating cloud cover will not materialize. 106 degrees on Sunday…

with a little cooldown Monday, then right back up in the 100’s by next week late.

Tricities gets 109. I am only glad we are not in the Tricities.

We are VERY glad of our patio canopies. It renders broiling into a gentle bake.

Sunday 105 in Spokane? Ugh…it’s been so cool most days…

An update however is saying that there is a chance it will ‘only’ get to 102. But Tri-Cities is forecast for 109. That’s brutal.

Still, folk down in the Tricities (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland) swear they like heat.

Not so much, us up here in Spokane.

They’re saying cloud cover and possible rain.

Which means 102 with humidity.

Monday will be, maybe 96. I am really not ok with heat. Over 72 and I melt. I had heat exhaustion one too many times as a kid in Oklahoma.

Our anniversary gift to ourselves was canopies over the patio. THis now seems a very nice thing.

Ace Hardware—not what it used to be.

I swear, everything we get from Ace breaks.
The plumbing parts? Bought a PVC to hose connector?
Broke right off when attaching a hose.

Tool handles break. What kind of industry machines a sound, metal blade, and attaches it to a handle that’s going to bend and break off.

Pump clip-on’s break…a bicycle pump should be sturdy enough to have a clip attach to a tire and detach without falling off in your hand the first time you use it. Fluke? Nay. We had two. I didn’t learn the first time.

I just do not get the economy of stuff that has good heavy, proper parts and then some ‘save-a-half-penny’ connector that’s a wonder it held up to get put on at the factory…

Jane got the leak fixed. Works like a charm.

She has now tackled hard-piping the front water feature. The hose gave way and created a mess. We think there were two problems, a rock that had fallen against the float-cutoff mechanism, and a split in the hose. So every time you turned on the hose the float would cause it to pour water in without cutoff, and the hose split would flood the area outside the valve box where the float valve is. Cure: remove the rock that’s jamming the cutoff of the float valve, and put a piece of pipe in, instead of the very cheap several-years-old hose.

Jane worked in the hot sun for 6 hours laying new irrigation line.

Today…she is sunburned and headachy. And it leaks. There is a split in the hose somewhere about halfway along its length.

The layover from hell…not mine, thank goodness.

United puts passengers in military barracks in Goose Bay

Once upon a con, I waited for nearly 6 hours in Toronto while Canada’s Eastern attempted to roll up one working plane to send to Halifax. Little did I know that legendarily the union feud within Eastern was so bad that at one point pilot and co-pilot were not speaking to each other, but frostily involving ground control as an intermediary…

Well, I had booked on this airline, in the winter, and thus far 3 planes had failed…they’d roll em up, and send ’em back to the hangar. Finally to get our way belated flight off, they borrowed a plane from Canadian Air, and off we went.

Engine next to me sounded wonky. Lot of vibration. Our delay meant we weren’t going to make a storm-free entry into Halifax NS.

In fact, we reached Halifax and aborted 3 landings with bushel-sized chunks of snow breaking off our wings and flying back through the lights. I’m beginning to think, “People who’ve seen this sort of thing probably didn’t survive.”

We came around again. Terrible turbulence. Stew grabs a bullhorn and yells, “We’re going down…” And turbulence hit, throwing her up, and then down. Magazines from the seat pockets flew up and all over. Stew valiantly crawls up over a seatback with bullhorn in hand and finishes… “…in Monckton, New Brunswick.” General applause.

Our left engine still sounds sick. We’re tossing all over the sky. The dear lady next to me starts chattering about which doilys and silver and china she’s leaving to which kid…

We finally get there, park in the snow at the end of a long line of stranded airliners, and have no transport. We hike toward the distant lights of the terminal in the dark—I’m wearing strappy high-heeled sandals. Frozen. Absolutely. But that one light, like a distant star, guides us on.

We collapse, shivering, except one man does a total meltdown at the desk howling that his wife is waiting for him at Halifax. Uh, guy, we’re alive. Shut up.

Other people are being told they’re stuck here for a while. I brightly realize–I’m an INTERNATIONAL passenger, which gives me priority, and manage to claim a vacant seat on a morning flight.

We have no luggage. It finally arrives. We have to pull it loose from the iced-over cart, and it’s frozen shut. We do get a bus to a hotel. That’s the good news. The bad news? We no sooner get checked in than we all get calls saying the bus will be back in an hour and a half, which will be dawn, and they’ve put those of us with seats on the first flight out.

Didn’t even undress. Just ran warm water on my feet, flopped on the bedspread, and tried not to sleep through the wakeup call.

We got airborne, on an ice-cold plane with one side of the tires sorta frozen and thumpy, and the pilot saying to us all, “Belt in and hang on. We’re first out and we don’t know what we’re going to run into…”

We did get to Halifax, but that’s another story.

We were, at one point during the bouncing around, told that if we couldn’t land at Monckton, we’d have another chance at Goose Bay.

Reading the above, I can only say—I am very glad not to have been in a barracks in Goose Bay.

The dreaded juniper—a chainsaw and a win…

Today’s gardening?

Juniper bush. I think it was original to the house, ca 1954. It had spread, from a central trunk about 10″ in diameter, to a woody mass about 5 feet in diameter, and had radiated out branches each as thick as a lady’s wrist, about 8 in number to a radius of 15 to (we’re still not sure if some of those bushes still green are independent or connected) 30 feet.

It had also grown up tall enough (hip-high) the city wanted it removed, because it’s on a corner.

So—two women both over 60, with a bitty Poulan electric chainsaw, a pair of loppers, a pair of hand clippers, and a bottle of Aleve… have, today, reduced this thing to a 15’x10′ patch of dead dust with a knee-high stump we are going to declare a permanent monument….plus a big pile of thick juniper branches we can’t put in the green bin, and a big pile of juniper foliage we CAN put in the green bin. We are going to move in three small junipers from the retaining wall, move two small burning-bush plants from the side garden to the area of the retaining wall where the small junipers were, and we are declaring it a victory. If that stump’s still live, and sends out more branches, at least they’ll be little ones.

And that’s BEFORE we actually get to work today.

Because no novel gets out of this house without computer trouble…

…the computer failed a Windows update this morning.
My fault, probably. I told it to close the Update screen, since it listed that as one of the programs that was stalling its operation.

It didn’t like that.

Glory-oski. Jane helpfully got me an info screen on the office computer. I read that. It said give it 3 hours. Then I went back to my machine.

Update stayed frozen at 30% and holding. For two hours, before it finally went to’shutting down’. And froze.

Well, after a significant amount of time, I powered off the brute force way and intended to come up in Safe Mode. It went right ahead and booted, and went to a screen that confessed “Update Failed.”

At this point I transferred yesterday’s work to Jane’s computer, and rolled up my sleeves to run a fix.

I called up the Update screen, which, if you read carefully in such instances, offers you a path to fix it, by going into Windows’ guts, turning off Updating, and totally deleting the contents of two folders, which are the update records, then turning Update on again.

Writing every step down to refer to, I did the deed, and asked Update to perform.

It churned for nearly another hour…but found 7 updates it needed. Now, meanwhile, this being the detritus from Update Tuesday where everything Microsoft-linked decides it wants to interrupt your operations to update (Adobe, Java, Norton, you name it) —and swearing a bit—I got the updates installed, and the machine is slowly working its way back to normal.

Jane and I have decreed this is pizza day. It started early, with the Night Terror deciding to knock on my bedroom door, as Jane will do if she wants me to get up and help her in the yard. It was 5:30 in the morning. She was still asleep. I went back to bed, murmuring threats. Come 6:30 I gave up and got up. And we decided to take the chain saw to some piled-up limbs from a trim we did putting in the fence—things too big to be easy to dispose of, which is why I got the chainsaw. Then we have the stump out front where the city declared we had to take a juniper down. Which turns out to be some 15′ feet wide, and apt to denude the whole corner, but, hey, that’s the rules: it’s a corner. People need to see the traffic. So we’d taken out some, but the chainsaw is helping. It’s just slow.

Have I gotten everything done that I want to do? Well, I certainly wanted the computer to work.