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.
May 2015
« Apr    

Jane’s got a new Wiishu story up—the carousel horses!

We painted one.

Missing the convention, but getting some work done…

As in—at least I’ve been able to do some maintenance around the place. I think I’ve found the issue with the front fountain, and it’s simpler than I thought, maybe. I need to trench over to the faucet so we can lay some new connection, and bury it. Just have to get a way to connect pipe to a very short hose, which has to have a screw end. Ideally they’ll have a hose barb that’s got a screw end that I could use to make a thing that takes a regular hose screw-on now take a piece of plain hose that I can splice in. They do not make garden hoses in 6 inch lengths with connectors at both ends. But that’s what I need, so I’ll have to make it.

I’m past deadline on the current book but making good progress, and Jane’s backing me up and keeping me going. It’s also good that I’m not breaking concentration for a convention right now—but I do miss being there.

Jane is doing better. Still no heavy lifting. But walking.

We have our own excellent place for brisk walking, right in front of our house, up five lots, and U turn, do 2-3 laps, and we figure that’s good for the back—not far, but just doggedly getting out and doing it, and being careful about chairs and such—and long sitting, so periodic turns about the garden. It’s a good thing we *didn’t* go, because conventions being what they are, you end up pushing yourself, because —good time!—or —I can do this!—and then you go back to your room and admit your back’s killing you. So she’s being sensible, measured activity, activity, then rest, and not climbing stairs and carrying things.

We’re ok. And we will definitely be at Miscon next year. We’re missing a Scotch-tasting party tomorrow. Sigh. But we’ll be in much better shape for Jane having sat this one out.

Thanks for all the good wishes.

We were going to go to a convention this weekend, but Jane strained her back…

This is Miscon, a convention we very much love and look forward to. But unhappily, Jane’s back went out. She’s limping about in pain, the con starts tomorrow, and we just gave up our hotel room (beautiful hotel, with a creek just outside the windows) —because the thought of a 4 hour drive tomorrow plus all the walking and standing just wasn’t going to cut it. And if I went, I’d spend all my time missing Jane. So heck, it’s just not our year to do this. I released our lovely hotel room, which we spoke for a year ago, so somebody late will get a really nice room.

Sigh. I think the drive actually do will not be the several hours to Missoula, but an hour down to Pullman to the chiropractor to get this fixed, tomorrow if she is still in this much pain. Right now she cannot even take a step easily.

Our anniversary…today

Things just didn’t add up to have the party we planned—just too crazy right now. But we WILL have one. Just not on the day.

So I’ve gotten at least a dinner rez. And we’ll hope that wedding cake we saved is still edible.

We finally got the rain.

I waked with something making a racket at the window screen. Wasn’t sure but what I ought to get Ol’ Betsy and check it out, but the tops of the bush outside my window were tossing wildly in the wind, and the joint-ache that had plagued me all evening was gone.

Yep, that was a front barreling through. With rain. Quite a lot of it. I am still sneezing my head off. The yellow pollen dust (it’s the first time I’ve seen dust rimming puddles on the ground, and coating lawn furniture like some alien plague fallen from space—that was yesterday morning. This morning things are rain-washed, and the day’s jobs—water the front yard plants with fertilizer and pull and clean the pond filters—are in doubt.

I really, really need to get the pond filters done, because when they back up, the emergency drain can lower the pond level and generally mess up the chemistry.

This is where a rain suit can come in handy—top and bottom. Rubber clogs, pants, coat hood of impermeable cloth: and pretty warm. That may be the order of the day, to get that filter cleaned out. Yesterday I tackled the waterfall filter and backflushed it into a hose that wasn’t clamped down enough…and it needed a flush badly: smelled of hydrogen sulfide, which is not a friendly situation. Wasn’t too bad a condition yet, just a hint of it, but I still got it right in the face and soaked my clothes. So I fixed the clamp (new drain hose) and then went for my second shower of the day.

Today—at least it’s not that filter. I just have to pull 8 filter pads that weigh a ton when full and hose them down over the ivy bed until they’re light again.

The hawthorne is in full bloom. Every branch is pink half-inch rosettes on all sides. Maxfield Parrish, I tell you.

I gripe, but if not for the garden I’d sit in my chair working all day, which is not good for a body.

And a fast check of the weather forecast shows rain as far as the forecast goes. A lot of it. So I think I’d better put on the rain suit and get that filter changed. The fertilizer-job I think will get skipped this week.

Drive-by posters…not here… on other sites.

I swear, there’s a thing almost as bad as trolls, and that’s people whose brain only picks up buzzwords: they flit through the internet looking for a word that sets them off, and they drop some post picking nits with the original post—not that they read it. But they found one of their triggers.

Sheesh. Some people need to get a more productive hobby.

Even worse when somebody starts arguing with the drive-by.

Several of them this morning. Not here. Elsewhere. Everyone here is selected to be civilized and sane. 😉 But sheesh! There are times I just run in here and shut the door fast!


Pork chops. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, in powdered form. Coat chops, no salt or pepper: the dressing mix powder has plenty of flavor. I had a good result using a little oil in an iron skillet, starting them on the range, then finishing the same under broil (an iron skillet moves easily between the two) until done.

Real easy. Pretty darned good. Kind of a tangy taste. We prefer the thin-sliced chops: two does nicely as a serving.

Coleslaw on the side.

Totally legal on Atkins. And otherwise indistinguishable from just good healthy food.

Tonight, I think, spaghetti and meatballs. If you have a Costco, Kirkland frozen meatballs are almost as good as good homemade. I fix the spaghetti, pop a sufficient quantity of meatballs into a lidded small 1-pint saucepan, heat with a very little olive oil, until they start to brown. This coincides, on low (5) heat about with how long it takes to cook spaghetti. I add a half cup of Classico (pretty darned good) spaghetti sauce from a jar, serve on spaghetti with a dusting or shaving of Parmesan, and the whole deal takes just a shade longer than ten minutes.

During the week, when time is shorter, I often just put diced precooked chicken bits into the same lidded pint saucepan, heat with olive oil, black pepper, tablespoon of dried basil, pour in half a cup of grated Parmesan, stir to melt parm onto chicken, serve as topping for Caesar salad, Cardini dressing, with an half cup of added sugar snap peapods. It’s less than 10 minutes to fix, and cleanup’s a snap.

Kitty crisis…

One thing kitties never miss is suppertime.

When mine didn’t show for supper—I knew something was wrong. Though he’s finicky and sometimes decides he doesn’t want chicken tonight, he wants salmon. And he will eventually show up and eat whatever chicken the black one didn’t.

But he didn’t show.

Well, I thought, he’s sleeping somewhere. Had the evening game. Signed off early with a headache. And started looking in his usual sleeping spots.

By nine, and no kitty, I was searching bedrooms, office, kitchen cabinets, and beginning to search outside—we’ve been letting the black one sit out in the ferret cage on the concrete, so he can roll and watch the birds and butterflies.

Jane had been to the store about mid-afternoon. We began to fear my rascal had gotten out. He is a housecat, has never set foot on dirt, well, not but once or twice, and has no senses about traffic (we live between two very busy 4-lane streets, buses, trucks, you name it)—and I’m not sure he has any homing instinct at all. If curiosity carried him out of sight of landmarks, he might not find his way home. He is chipped, but the chip registration expired a week ago.

By 10, Jane and I have searched upstairs and basement, called and called (he is not good about coming when he thinks he could be in trouble or that there might be a cat carrier involved or if he’s in a place he’s not sure he should be in or if it’s Tuesday and it’s raining…) And we followed the black one’s searches about the house, which began to convince us he was as confused and upset as we were.

At a certain point we left the front door open to the screen so if he came home he’d find a door, and us, and I made trips out to search the garden.

By about 11:30, after searching the back yard repeatedly, I decided to go out for one more search. Jane decided to make a try too. And I also checked, as I had previously, the aisle between the neighbor’s house and ours, through the gap in the gate. And I saw, just for a moment, a fleeting patch of white, as the rascal passed from neighbor’s house to our front yard. I called to Jane and headed out the gate and around. Jane went some direction or another, maybe through the house. And I spotted him—crouched on the path some thirty feet away, wild-eyed and not inclined to come. Nope. He darted past me, down the space between the houses, under the garden gate and in. Jane and I both followed. Jane opened the back door, and we hoped he’d go that way. Nope. Back to the equipment jungle at the back of the ell, where it’s darkest.

At that point, finally, he seemed to think he was in sort-of a ‘right place’ and might deign to come when called, maybe. If it felt right. I called, didn’t make a grab for him. He came right to my hand—-then decided it could be a ‘guilty place’ after all and dived past me. I nabbed a hind leg and a tail and flattened him so I could get a good grip, at which point he became ‘guilty kitty’ and tucked down as small as he could get. I gathered him up, this time with a good kitty-cuddling escape-proof grip, and hailed Jane that I had the escapee.

We took him inside. Oh, yes, glad to be back. Black one sniffs him over. He spends thirty minutes sitting where he can see us, but where he’s not quite in any ‘territory.’

Then evening snacks. OMG, he’s back. He spent the night where he usually does, sleeping right by me, and wanted to sleep in, this morning. I got him up anyway.

This morning, for breakfast, NEITHER cat seemed interested in sitting by the back door, while we ate on the patio.

It probably says something about us that we are better about charging our…

…gaming headsets than we are about charging our cell phones.

The gaming headsets are a moment of justified and harmless mayhem after a day of getting Bren in trouble…

The phone is a device that really should sit on the table and ring only with the pleasant salutations of friends wanting to do lunch.

Alas, we have calls from Unidentified, and various bogus or nearly bogus charities. Even if we’re on the do not call list.

The cells don’t have that kind of nonsense, but I do forget to feed them. So does Jane. Until we’re on the road again and say to each other, like Dekker, ‘What time is it?’

Of course our phones are deader than the ever-unfortunate mackerel.

I know the kind of cell phone plan I need: one that doesn’t charge you if the darn thing isn’t charged.