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.

Snow came—though thinly; another slushy bit today. Our furnace has been out for a few days…

This house is well-insulated, a bennie of living in the north. It takes more time than that to drop us below 64 degrees in the house, and since we keep the winter day temperatures around 68 F, or 20 C, we're pretty ok. Even during the 8 day blackout with no furnace action (the ignition is electric) we made do with a hunter's indoor-capable propane stove (had to keep a window cracked) intermittently: we were able to keep the fish tanks at 61.8 by draping doors and windows and doing our living in the same room. We re-lit it once, but we had problems with the fan motor, so that didn't last. Turns out, however, that the thing fell within the 5 year warranty, and our only bill was labor. Yay! We finally have actual heat coming out of the vents, and the cats, instead of being furry balls or lying on our laps, are sleeping atop my bed on a fuzzy blanket, stretched out in comfort. We still hold to our 68 F but at least we have, like, a warm bathroom. Life is good. Our local HVAC people are good folks: they know our names when we call, they have our records, they service what they sell, and they're prompt and sane. We got this furnace in 2013 (Carrier brand) and they assured us our AC portion was perfectly good, though we asked. I also appreciate a company that gives you an honest assessment of your stuff without trying to con you into something you don't need. So---we're warm, we're ok, the snow is forecast to continue until the weekend, lightly so, and we did not have a huge bill. 😉

They say snow is coming.

Just went to the store... Pot roast, potatoes, carrots, celery, etc. It's supposed to be just a light dusting, but more later in the week. We are home and snug and preparing to decorate for Christmas, a thing Jane dearly loves to do. I agreed to clean up in advance while she picks up the new novel for a couple of days, then turnabout, and so on. All is merry, but not yet bright. Our neighbor put up Christmas lights before Halloween: we just plan to put up trees, nothing outside...we lived in one of those extravagant decoration neighborhoods that sort of did the ultimate: there was even a plan for where to land a chopper to get a neighbor out if somebody had a heart attack, because the road was jammed solid after dark. Having done THAT kind of decorating---we think a mantel and a couple of trees is quite enough! 😉

Back from Philcon…

We made it. We landed in Denver as winter storm Argos got fired up, had change planes on a 10 minute most-of-a-mile hike, de-ice the new one, got on toward Philadelphia, took off at 2, landed at midnight, no food since noon. Met by a Philcon friend, taken to Wawa to get really very good sandwiches and on to the Cherry Hill NJ Crown Plaza, which was a room with a glorious view of autumn foliage and the river 12 stories below... Conventioning, conventioning, conventioning. Autographing, meeting many people I haven't seen in more than a decade--- Argos hit with such a fury it blew our window open, but the cool air was really nice---40 degrees. Philadelphia seems to like the temperature kept around 73 degrees, and we came dressed for fall. So we were able to sleep well, given the open window blasting 40 degree gales. We had a lovely time, met and re-met, and then boarded the Southwest flight home, which this time took us to Las Vegas. On this leg, partly because I'd strained my once-injured knee in Denver and Jane was handling our really heavy carry-ons, we yelled uncle and took the wheelchair option...felt a little guilty, but not willing to have permanent damage to the knee in another sprint; and it also let me take some of the weight off Jane's hands, carrying it in my lap. Which made ME heavier for the pusher, but hey, they set the pace, not me. We got out of there with no supper, no food but a bag of fritos (lunch size) and on to Boise, and on to Spokane. Kudos to our dear coach Joan who got us TO the airport in good order, and to friends Tim and Cheryl, for Tim picking us up even if Cheryl was under the weather: friends are people who are there when they say they'll be, come hail come wrack... we're home. Arrived home to refire the half-week old frozen pizza, burned my side of it, ate it anyway: hunger is a good sauce, for sure. Next day, breakfast and unpacking. We're exhausted. And the house furnace quit. We're working on that issue. But we had left the cats the longest ever, from Thursday midday til late Monday, and their manners were impeccable, not a mistake, not a hairball, nothing scratched or overset. They simply met us at the door and have been pretty well glued to us ever since.

Sigh. A basement full of books…

About 4x the number that will fit on shelves in our library area of same. This is a job we've postponed since moving here. We've tried about everything to figure how to sort this mess, but I think Jane is onto it. Three quarters of them have to go (to a library charity) and unfortunately a large proportion of the wrong books are occupying the shelf space. So Jane is clearing about 3 shelves for 'this has to stay,' which lets us sort forward and discard as we go. It's kind of like lawn mowing tall grass in one sense---that first you have to create a place to set the mower. It's a good winter project. Right now it's pre-winter gardening. Getting the wisteria trimmed back and the green trash filled before they do the last collection. Peace, everybody.

Jane has been posting some very pretty pictures…

She has. Her link is in the left sidebar.

New lower back thingie, besides the Gazelle glider…

This one is also helping both Jane and me...a home traction for lower back that ought to be safe if used as directed. It's from Teeter, the people that make the inverse table hanging thingie, so I figured it had to be other than a crackpot gadget. It's far less expensive, about 50.00; you have to lie on your back on the floor with feet on a chair, knees bent as if you were sitting. You thread this roller thingie onto your legs, you take hold of the handles and push down, and simultaneously try to relax your back (not easy!) You hold for about half a minute, then release half a minute, and repeat this several times. You don't feel pressure in your back, or not much of anywhere, but it is providing a little bit what hanging upside down would do, without the stress on the rest of your body and accumulation of blood in your brain. I'm not as agile as I used to be, so I ask Jane's help to arrange the thingie. But it helps a lot. Upper leg pain is sometimes not hip pain, but lower back pain referred sideways; and in our cases, seems to be. It relieves it, and the unit is cheaper than one visit to the chiropractor to have much the same.

the recipe worked.

Here's the recipe: coconut flour naan. The dough worked. I was able to create naan flats, pick them up and have them hang together, plus turn and lift with a spatula. And it tastes good. Oily, yes. We are now on the see-if-it-sticks-to-your-ribs test, meaning are you going to be hungry an hour after eating same. My sense is not. Accurate measure, as pointed out, is really helpful. Use a cup and tsp measure you can shave flat with the back of a knife: this assures there's no visual trick in the measure. Into a bowl put 3/4 cup coconut flour, 2 tablespoons psyllium powder, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt. In a 2-cup measuring cup put 1 1/2 cups ice water. Spoon in coconut oil (it's a solid) until water level says 2 cups. This means you have 1/2 cup coconut oil. Extract it with a slotted spoon to heat-safe bowl and microwave it: 2 min should be enough to melt it. Fill cup rest of way to 2 cups water and microwave 3 minutes to boiling (depends on your microwave)--- Mix dough with paddle or stout spoon, until it develops rubbery resistance, then shape into a ball and let rise 5 minutes. Lay ball on board, bisect from 6 to 12, bisect again from 10 to 5, and again from two to seven, or thereabouts, which should give you six pie sections. Shape into balls. One by one flatten them like a tortilla, and fry in half a tsp of coconut oil in hot skillet. Give it plenty of time to brown before trying to flip it: when all edges are brown, that's about time. Serve hot. You could drizzle a little no-cal pancake syrup, or add butter, or a little sugarfree jam. Or melted butter with garlic if you want to take it another direction. It gets everything in the kitchen dirty, but the good news is if you have a sink with hot water and Dawn (cuts grease) it will rinse right off and leave very little for the dishwasher. Recipe serves 6. You'd only want one. It's filling. We ate 2. I cooked one more and am saving it in the fridge to see if it can reheat tomorrow for breakfast. I'm also saving one ball of dough in the fridge, for tomorrow, to see if it can be held in the fridge; and I'm freezing two dough balls, to see whether this is an option. I'll let you know. It tastes a little coconutty, not that much. Sort of like vaguely coconut flavored pancakes. Has a pancake texture.

Well, the piper must be paid, and diet is at hand…before the holidays hit.

And before Philcon. I've found a recipe for coconut flour naan, and either it's going to be bloody awful, or it's going to help. If there's one sin we both love it's bread---and this recipe actually looks like it MIGHT be good. If it's good, I may be able to convert it to other recipes. Breakfast is the easiest meal for me myself, as I could eat bacon and eggs every meal for months and be happy, but even bacon and eggs for breakfast wears on Jane real fast. If we're on strict Atkins, she personally (this is not saying for everybody) doesn't suffer from cholesterol: long as she doesn't do high carb, but eats proteins, she stays down. Me, I can eat most anything and remain immune. But---this has the promise of alternatives. I mean, even if it turns out coconut-flavored, I can cope with that. Lunch and supper---well, we're doing fairly ok for lunch in a mostly-lettuce chicken wrap...and supper is easy with most any meat and some cruciferous veggies or the like. But one thing we both know---there's a time when the harm done by too much weight exceeds the harm of a pretty strict diet, and its inconvenience as well. So tonight and tomorrow night, a little fling with chicken curry, but after that, we're getting serious. I'll let you know how this turns out and if the recipe's any good. It's scarily like cooking with coconut flour, coconut oil, and Metamucil, but (glug) if it turns out bread---it's all good.

Happy birthday to Jane!

Shu's trying to eat her bouquet of roses. Seishi wants to eat the ribbon. What can I say? The cats are involved.

Books associated with Alliance Rising

We're going to be putting out Finity's End in Closed Circle. And others. I'm going to talk with Betsy about putting out Merchanter's Luck in e- book, too. There is already a book planned to follow Alliance Rising. It happened when we realized we have story left over. But it doesn't mean I'm not writing more Foreigner books. We're just going to be writing MORE books.