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    

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.

Animals are going two by two and it snowed in Butte, yesterday…

We’re getting drenched, real soaking rains. Butte, MT gets snow.

The pond is colder than will let the bacteria work well. It’s still sweatshirt weather here, headed for the 4th of July.

The ice age is possible, y’know, while the southern hemisphere gets full on baked. THat’s the way ice ages have tended to work.

Kidding. But it is a bit nippy here.

And my old home town, OKC, is getting 2-3 earthquakes a day. They used to say, “Oh, well, we have tornadoes, but they mostly miss. At least we don’t have earthquakes!”

Mmmm. Well.

Now I’m told insurance companies are putting signs in the window saying “we sell earthquake insurance.”

I’m also very glad to no longer be living in the shadow of ‘the world’s largest riprap (loose rock) dam’ as given in the 1975 Engineer’s manual…which we did for 10 years.

The car goes in for a check…

I get to sit in the waiting room.
Fun…not so much.
It’s been nearly a year since we bought it. 2000 miles we’ve put on it. And we’re getting about 45 mpg on the highway and more than 50-something in town. We were filling the Forester’s 15 gallon tank once a week or so. This 10 gallon tank gets filled far less often. It gets roughly twice the mileage of the Forester. There’s slightly more overhead room and more cargo space than the Forester. It stops on a dime. It rolls forever on a downhill and gathers speed amazingly. It has killer ac and heating that come on very fast. People sometimes think that a hybrid is going to be a slug at a stoplight. I don’t jack-rabbit because it wastes gas, but the car moves out pretty well without that. It’s fun to drive, kind of a never-ending video game…but you need to watch the road, not the readout. We still love driving it.

The downside of the Prius is that it’s a bit bumpy on rough roads, being so light, and it stops on a dime. You don’t want to hit a speed bump hard. You don’t brake hard on this car: for one thing, the brakes are part of the recharge system, and shouldn’t be abused. For another, nobody but a hybrid can stop that short, including the guys behind you. And it gathers so much speed on a downhill with no power that you have to brake repeatedly to prevent breaking speed limits. Following cars don’t always understand this.

I was amused in the early days of hybrids when a Prius was chased down by a California sheriff at speeds over a hundred. Sales of Priuses increased amazingly nationwide after that.

Jane’s computer ‘sploded last night…

The solid state drive on her HP laptop went flooey—the machine overheats, chronically, and it went. This is Not A Good Time for various reasons. I think overheating and solid state drives are not a friendly situation.

Don’t know what we’re going to do, but we really didn’t need this to happen right now, at the start of the summer convention season and trying to get everything in order. It could be worse. We have Carbonite cloud storage. But it’s a pita.

It’s also cold out there. The bacterial stuff I put into the pond is in murky suspension just because the water won’t get warm enough to let it work. It’s 47 degrees in the morning. I don’t know if Mt. Spokane has ever shed its snow this spring—probably the sun has burned it off: but it’s just been nippy in the mornings. Days are mostly cool, with a few exceptions. I keep trying to pack my sweatshirts, but keep needing them.

Day 2 of new contacts. And I’m a wee bit dyslexic with left and right…

I read the labels carefully, overthought it, was way careful, and put them in the wrong eyes. Scratch one pair of disposable contacts. Went to another, and much happier.

But probably due to a half year of wearing a ‘wrong’ prescription, I have the world alternately focusing clear and fuzzy, one eye fighting the other, and while I cope ok in a quiet, static environment, I went with Jane to get a couple of 6″ cylinders for the sprinkling system–and that meant Lowe’s. And to take back an item at Freddie Myers, and that meant another mega-store and a 10 mile drive. I don’t get motion sick easily, but I was feeling queasy walking around the big stores, and hungry, which didn’t help, so we went to a local rice-bowl type place and had lunch, and we got things done. I’m still having just a little trouble coping. But it’s getting better.

Don’t let a prescription go because it ‘almost’ works. It means this sort of thing trying to get fixed.

Got my contacts: glasses have to wait…

…until my eyes ‘settle.’ I’ve been wearing a slightly wrong prescription for reading for over half a year. This has an effect: eyes and brain are real good at doing a ‘Hubble Telescope’ type correction, and they have to learn that program has been changed.

So the doc wants me to wear these daily-wears a couple of weeks and use a 2.50 pair of cheaters, ie, simple magnifying lenses, for reading.

The contacts are comfy, don’t sting when going on, and I got them on first try, though it’s been a while. The distant world has much crisper edges. I’ll see if I can see the stars if it’s not cloudy tonight. But the right eye, on a slight .25 lens, is being cranky: getting that eye to ‘settle’ is going to take a bit.

The good news: contacts can ‘bandage’ your eye against allergens.
I’ve gone to daily wears so I can give my eyes a rest.

I can drive with these. So what I need is a pair of driving glasses for when I’m *not* wearing contacts, and a pair of reading glasses with, and one without—bane of my life is an astigmatism that gets worse the closer something is. I used to have good vision at all ranges. So, well, I can be glad of the years when it was real good. Now I have to put up with what a lot of other people have to put up with, so I can’t gripe.