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 2014
« Jun    

Ode to de Feet…or, well, better shoes.

For good joint health, a little tip—I’ve begun to realize, some time after I’ve ceased skating and gotten a little too sedentary, that my feet aren’t maintaining the stance they had, and they’re causing lower back problems that stop if I pay attention to my foot stance. I tend to wear flipflops during the summer—but—
Your knee SHOULD, as you flex during a kneebend, have the patella (kneecap) go right over the split between big toe and second. As you walk, your ankle should NOT sink inward (particularly true if you have a high arch), but should remain stable, having your weight nicely distributed clear to the outside edge of your foot.
In short, hauling everything back where it belongs can help leg, hip and lower back. The same way a horse has to be well-shod to avoid problems, I hate to say it, people, we as a species are kinda in the same boat.
I’m ordering some flipflops that have a high arch support to the inside, which I hope will correct that. If they won’t, I’ll be looking to wear (shudder) actual shoes.
It’s on one level a silly thing to mention, but a lot of people haven’t had the bennie of a balance sport like figure skating to make you aware how important your feet are, and seeing what a little laxity in stance is doing to MY back, I think it worthwhile to make the suggestion: check the posture and check the ankles. I’m hoping a better shoe will cure some discomfort.

The overflowing catbox blues…

…got sung at us before I started work this morning.

We have very patient kitties.

That got handled.

Editing is reaching uncharted territory and into unwritten territory. That means things go more slowly, with pauses for thought. I wish I could go out and sit by the pond, but it’s still too hot. We have the pink sky that says a forest is burning somewhere…I don’t know where.

Summer in Washington. I hate forest fires season. It’s the forest renewing itself: that’s the way it is. But it makes everything look odd-colored and it makes people wheeze. If we could get a little rain right now it would go a long way toward helping firefighters calm it down.

It was 99 here yesterday, breaking a record for a 3-day stint of high heat. It should cool down this weekend, but they’re also forecasting winds, and that won’t help the firefighters.

Forest fires are why I’m real glad not to live next to the woods up here. We have several towering hemlocks and a lot of trees, but if you’ve got this lovely wooded view on the edge of a town—you can lose it to fire and be staring at bare black sticks for a decade until it recovers. Not mentioning the scariness of wondering if the wind is going to shift and move the firefront in a way that the firefighters can’t fix.

The cost of living up here.

A little heads up re travel within Yellowstone and which ‘gateway’ you might want.

melting roadway in Yellowstone

Not that alarming: they replace walkway now and again, but this one is in the path of car traffic.

Things that work: stone wave steamer

This little gem: first cook rice, noodles, couscous, etc in another pot.
Then half fill the Stone Wave pot with pre-cooked meat of any sort. Add 1 heaping tablespoon sauce or salad dressing of any compatible sort—sour cream is good, likewise Italian dressing, or spaghetti sauce, bbq, etc: add a chopped veggie of some sort for the rest —canned or fresh: beans will do, eg, with bbq; or dried tomatoes or fresh mushroom with spaghetti sauce; heat about a minute per pot. Dump over the rice, etc. Fast, no big prep, pot washes easily, and the sauce doesn’t spatter your microwave because of the vented lid. La! Culinary success for the most devout “I can’t cook” person.

Back at work…

When you read aloud, you find things, you make connections, and find problems…which is what we were doing on the road, literally, while driving. Us being on the road is always us hard at work, because nothing else seems to bring us out of ‘writing’ mode and into ‘reader’ mode. There’s enough going on to occupy the faculties that ordinarily remember too much, and get us down to the ‘here and now’ of the book.

since we came back, we’ve been locked into must-do mode. Jane’s doing all the cleanup from the trip and the prep for Spokon (at which Wiishu is Doll GOH) which entails a lot of costuming…and I’m locked in my room writing non-stop.

We have to stop in the evenings, so we’ve gone out a couple of times, if nothing else, just for relief, but we’re getting there. Things that could have gone one way or another way in the book are now all heading one way, and I’m hoping to get a running start at the ending, which I now have in my head.

Meanwhile we lost a bag with Jane’s knitting somewhere on the road, and since the project was for the convention, and was 3/4 finished, that was a heavy loss—not to mention the yarn involved. We did find there is a huge two story yarn shop in Spokane, so we were able to replace the weight (lace-weight0 and colors, and poor Jane has cast on and bravely started over.

Meanwhile I am halfway through the rolling rewrite in two, going on three days, so I am not doing badly.

Nice evening…

We did a little gaming with friends, who offered us a nice (and diet-friendly) supper…fun, but I’ve got to do something about my guy’s armor…

And I’ve already dropped about half the gain from the splurge on the trip. That fast. I’m happy. But not overconfident. Got to behave for a while.

It’s continuing hot.

And I’m continuing to enter changes and notes from the read-out-loud on the trip.

Re the Prius, last night the electric door lock malfunctioned—so I thought. Had trouble locking it; then couldn’t open it. La! Turned out it would work fine if Jane was standing near. SHE had her key on her person. Turned out I’d left my keys at home. No malfunction. Mystery solved.

We came home last night, were about to cross a downtown street when the police started across. We jammed on brakes, and the black and while turned on sirens and right turned onto our street, headed away from us and on toward the turn we were going to take. Three more b&w’s showed up, careening past us, while we held right where we were, green light or not. They disappeared in the same direction, toward Maple Street Bridge. We decided maybe another bridge would be better, so we wiggled our way through quieter streets to reach the Monroe Street Bridge, and still don’t know what drew four B&w’s on a screaming run toward whatever it was. That area has easy access to I-90, to the bridge, and to Brown’s Addition, which is usually quiet, but there’s occasional trouble there. One of those things we’ll likely not find out…


I worked a bit, then fell over for about an hour and a half—the weather out there is nasty. But thanks to Tim and Cheryl, local heroes, the pond and garden and fish tanks not only survived, but fared pretty well. Ponds and tanks have an ok/not-ok cycle, and having been fairly spiff for the wedding, they were in their not-ok phase. I chemically set them up to function safely, conservatively, if maintained regularly, and thanks to Tim and Cheryl, they came through better than I’d left them…

This was such a relief! We got back to 94 degree temperatures, and that’s just brutal hot. So it’s a great relief to not have to plunge back into pond draining and refurbishment immediately on getting out of the car—and more so to be able to plunge mentally into doing all the things I want to do on the current book.

I got 10% of it edited this morning, which involved sharpening some scenes with a surer knowledge of where it’s all going—this is how writers manage to sound intelligent, you know. Time is mutable and reversible…it’s called ‘editing.’

We were soooo bad while traveling. Our rule when traveling tired is ‘whatever you want, eat it’—and we did. Carbs like crazy. We’d were really afraid we’d gained a lot, because our clothes were getting a little, well, snugger than we like. But—we’d regained about ten pounds apiece, which is an easy fix if the weight isn’t ‘hard-set’, meaning it’s very temporary if it’s a quick gain. It can come right back off if we go back on strict Atkins. So…we’re back on the straight and narrow for a couple of weeks, and expect to be back where we were in about that time. It’s weird: we were binging on fast food, fries, (bad for my joints) tomatoes, bad for my joints, a whopping lot of carbs, like a hundred, two hundred or worse, with desserts and shakes and bread and chips, and we normally hold it to about 20 a day.

Well, end of the road: we both resolved we’re desperate for protein, and can’t stand the sight of a fudge delight double pigout sundae, no ‘m, downright unpleasant to contemplate same. Last night it was a chicken Kiev with broccoli, and couldn’t eat all of that. Today, Atkins shake, and Atkins chili for lunch. Supper will be Atkins. I’m already feeling a bit less stressed out. Thing with carb, your hunger goes flat, then spikes; you eat some more carb, flat, then a spike, and that goes on all day. For us, with Atkins-type levels, if not the official dinners, we eat enough, but the spike doesn’t come: no more high to crazy-making low, in which you’d eat wallpaper if that was the only choice. Works for us, at least. So we’ve definitely been off the diet long enough that getting back on is a relief. After the Amish Ovens stop, where I had unlabeled bratwurst, home made, I literally hurt so bad that I sat down on a bench at Wall and had to have Jane’s help to get up. My legs hurt, like sincerely hurt, even when sitting still. Now they don’t. So I’m pretty sure Jane’s suspicion about onion powder in the bratwurst was dead on. Stuff just kills me. And a succession of long days of driving didn’t help matters.

All better now. Pain has gone away. But that’s why I read labels, ordinarily. Onion in excess of, say, a teaspoon in a large recipe, onion or garlic powder in any amount, garlic in excess, potatoes more than one meal every few days, tomatoes, same deal—and the pain is quite persuasive this is not a good idea for me. Lord! This was a bad dose of whatever it was!

So we’ve had all the ‘fun’ we can eat, and it’s Atkins meatloaf for supper, quite happily!

Home again!

We don’t like to broadcast our absences on the internet (for sensible reasons!)—
But we’re just in from a 5000-6000 mile trip.
We headed down to OKC to see my brother, who was going off to Libertycon the next weekend, as we were going to Soonercon, in OKC the same weekend. Jane and I did the writer’s workshop there. Then we headed off to Chicago-area, via Springfield IL (which has a very nice little restaurant, should anybody ask) and saw Jane’s sister, then took off again for Wall, SD, which has a very long but hysterical history with Jane and me during the Great Move North; and on from Wall to Devil’s Tower WY, which is fairly near Buffalo, one of our regular stops; and we THOUGHT we could make it on in to Spokane from Buffalo, but we were just, by then, too tired. We were already tired, and sagebrush in bloom is enough to put you out cold while you drive; so about noonish, in Butte, MT, Jane and I concluded it would be dangerous and stupid to push the last 300 miles home even if we had plenty of daylight. We know a truckstop Motel 6 in Rocker, just outside Butte, that’s cheap, efficient, and forgiving—they checked us in an hour earlier than they routinely will—, and we just tucked in and rested all that afternoon and through the night.

This morning we got up about 5:30, caught the cats, snagged a sort of breakfast, and headed home.

Which is where we are now.

Great trip. Good people.

Now I’ve got a ton of notes and have some writing to do!

Happy 4th of July!

Doing fine. Trying to get this book finished. Thinking is ALSO writing. :)

Lost the phone…really lost it.

I have no idea, except this purse sometimes dumps the phone compartment — zipper’s a bit too wide. So I think it’s toast. Fell out somewhere. Dead. The good news is—it’s a 30.00 phone. The bad news is…well, I had to deal with the robotic help at TracFone. “Enter your phone serial number.” and “Thank you. We’ll send a signal to your phone. Please call back if you haven’t received it in 10 minutes.” No matter what help path you choose—same answer, same routine, no living person. I finally got a guy on chat who got the credit card removed.

I am now a customer of T-Mobile, and the number is ported. And I’m paying a bit more for the phone and for the privilege. I also now have the cheaper version of those phones you touch the screen to manage. Which would be fine, but entering names in the phone book is 3 erasures for every letter or numeral successfully touched. I think I like the phone (Alcatel), but man, is it cranky about entry. And having had (since childhood) a shaky right hand, I now see why people type with their thumbs on phones: you need the brace of the other fingers.

I have entirely resisted the idea of taking a selfie for the accompanying portrait. It’s just too…too.