Monthly Archives: December 2012

Farewell 2012, welcome 2013

2012 was a very tough year in many ways.  We got clobbered by a lot of medical stuff and I got to know Kaiser Sunnyside Hospital faaaar too well.  But we also lost a dear friend, and other friends died, and bad stuff kept on happening to people, and, and, and….

Yeah.  On the good side, I got a new principal at school and that is working well.  Downside is that I am also now aware that I am tired of commuting the distance I do for the small amount of hours that I officially work.  That issue got obscured by poor administration the past few years, and it’s really only been this year that I’ve been able to confirm this feeling.  This is not news to the union or my superiors, I’ve been pretty honest with them about it.  On the good side, for the first time in years, I feel like I have an administrator that I can collaborate with, work with, and actually talk about effective teaching strategies.  I have ideas that kind of excite me…but I’m also wiped out.  I have to fight technology to do some of the things I want to do.  But….

Meanwhile, the writing work has gone nowhere in 2012.  Some of that was due to spending too damn much time in rewrites, but rewrites got slowed down by a sequence of nasty life rolls.  On the other hand, the River anthology is up for an Epic Award, so hey, coolness!  Nonetheless, 2013 is going to be about a resumption of The Discipline.  I am going to finish the Netwalk Sequence then, and move on to other work.  Pledges of Honor is going to go into aggressive marketing mode.  And I am going to write three new stories in rough draft before I go back to working on novel stuff.  I have all three of these stories roughly sketched out; it’s time to write them.

Mocha did well this year with no significant lameness spells.  I appear to be hitting on the right balance of work, juju and schooling to keep her going.  But we shall see.  I’d like to do at least one show with her this coming year, and do better at reining.  I want to get her comfortable with countercanter and into reliable tempi changes, as well as half-pass at the canter.  It’d also be nice if we could manage some trail rides…

I slacked off too much on physical conditioning this year.  Some of this is due to a protracted spell of back muscle pain which has affected some things I do…other parts are just due to the fact that I hurt all over.  I’m planning to start addressing this through acupuncture and taking some Pilates classes this winter (both already scheduled).I’m also going to get my boot liners checked to make sure I haven’t packed them all in–I’ve got 150-200 runs or so in on them.  Probably time to redo them.  I also need to lose 10 pounds that I appear to have gained over the past year.

So.  For 2013, I need to find a new job that’s closer to home.  That could take a while but I’m determined to do it.

I am going to continue with a consistent schooling program with Mocha.

I’m also going to stay on top of conditioning this year.

When it comes to writing, I’m going to reestablish keeping accountability metrics such as word counts going.  I think I need that to keep me honest and writing.  In fact, when I finish this post, I’m off to Excel to set it up.

I’ve set up a fairly ambitious writing and publishing plan for this year, involving republishing some old nonfiction work from the 90s, indie publishing a quirky novella, publishing the rest of the Netwalk Sequence, and writing entirely new short stories and maybe even a novel.  I want to pursue indie publishing and traditional publishing simultaneously, with the indie being for my quirkier stuff that’s harder to market and sell.  But I still plan to keep on working the traditional publishing side of things as well, because hey, one never knows when the lightning will strike but it won’t strike if you aren’t out there.

Day job is a harder call.  I’m spread way too thin.  As it is, I know the next few months will be horrific and difficult.  I don’t see any way around it.  IEP and eligibility schedules are pretty much cast in stone.  I also have to keep on learning a new curriculum and program, and that’s a challenge.  At least one day in the week ahead of me is going to be spent preparing for the teaching side of my job, so the special ed case manager can spend all her time doing her paperwork and testing and scheduling for the next two months and….oh dear god, I still have papers to grade.  Sigh.  But on the other hand, I want to play with new technologies and acquire the skills to work with people over Skype–did a little bit of this in tutoring this fall and I liked it.  I also want to eventually get to the point where I can run PowerPoint-based intros to the classes for the day and get the kids rolling that way.  As my current setup is structured, I’m not in a good position for an entry task in my Social Studies and I really do miss it.  Gotta figure out how to get it in (for nonteachers, the entry task is something you train the students to automatically start work on the minute they get into the classroom.  It can be writing something, it can be a math problem…whatever it is, it creates the expectation of getting to work immediately while giving you time to set up, take roll, deal with stragglers, etc).  I have entry routines for the two classes in my own classroom.  But the class I share with another teacher, where I come in as she finishes, and the kids stay in the room…I haven’t gotten an entry task to work yet.  Still figuring it out).

I guess that with the day job, my priority is going to be to remain sane and balanced.  And be looking for something to reduce the commute distance.

I do want to finish off the Interpersonal Neurobiology certificate program.  But right now that has to take a back burner to day job  re-inventing and the writing career.  Winter term is just too crazy.  But will there ever be a time when that isn’t the case?

Miscellaneous stuff–I want to start doing handwork again, whether it is embroidery or jewelry.  I need to read more (as a result, I’m now posting stuff on Goodreads as I finish reading a book).  I need to watch more movies.  More, more, more.

Oh well.  2012 is almost over here in PDX, and it’s about time to sign off, enjoy my candles and woodstove, and crack open the bubbly.  I plan to greet the New Year’s by spinning my lighted poi in the front yard.  Maybe there’ll be snowflakes as well.

Happy New Year, everyone.  May 2013 be wonderful.

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Ski day # 2





Today I remembered to bring the camera.  Lots of dry, fluffy snow, and alternating sun and clouds, especially up higher.  I even got to see a snowbow (pictured above).

DH didn’t ski today because his knee is still bugging him.  Timberline was hopping from the beginning.  I did a warmup run down Pucci–still don’t have my ski muscles back up and in line yet.  But a day like today helps.  A quick two runs down Pucci, and I continued on down to the bottom of Jeff Flood–where I decided I wasn’t ready to go yet.  So I moved over to Stormin’ Norman and stayed there the rest of the ski session, watching as the lifties worked to get the Magic Mile up and running.  It was still covered with rime ice from the last storm, and man, the snow depth is amazing for December.





I got in five runs on Norman, which isn’t too bad given the crowds later on and all.  About eleven the slopes started getting really chopped up, and I didn’t want to push my luck for the Mile today.  I didn’t start to see skiers on the Mile until after I’d taken my gear off.  Oh well.  It’s only the beginning of the season.  We’ll see what the end brings.  There’ll be plenty of good ski time.  Just getting my legs back.

And in the end, to be rewarded with this view….







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Jest another li’l ride

Amazing how often I can manage to get to the barn these days without that pesky little day jobbe stuff going on.  Doesn’t hurt that the horse is now shaven and that reduces the after-ride care by quite a bit.  Plus her skin is looking a lot better.  She’s not as itchy and I try to find a time and place for her to roll after a ride in the winter if she’s not dripping wet.  Incredible what a difference this makes for a working horse.  She’s much more relaxed than she has been.  She also stays warm under her blanket, so no worries there.  A happy Mocha is a hard-working Mocha, and that’s good.

And, as far as working goes…we keep on with the counterbending and the more elaborate two-tracking work.  Slick today, so we didn’t work on counter-canter.  So far the area’s at the fourth highest recorded rainfall for the month, headed for third or even second….it’s amazing the footing in the arena has stayed as nice as it has.  We loped big circles as part of the warmup, but it was too slick in one corner for my liking.  That’s okay.  We have lots of stuff to school at walk and trot.

Then I discovered that one of the other boarders is playing with low-level jumping stuff.  She was going into the arena just as I was leaving…but hmm, maybe we can set up a mutual session working ground poles and crossbars?  Miss Mocha is going to need a break from plain vanilla lateral work soon.  I’ve been contemplating ground pole patterns…but a jump session would also be good.  In any case, a low-level bounce would be good for a mental break.

Hmm.  Maybe if there’s a few more days without rain.

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Christmas Eve ride

Clipping Mocha was the right thing to do.  I checked underneath her blanket before I pulled it off and she was toasty warm.  Nice loft, and she was relaxed and comfortable.

Under saddle, she showed more energy than is typical for her on a cool day.  She tends to be sluggish in winter; not so today.  But it was a focused energetic, not stupid, and while she grunted the whole time we worked it was also productive (most likely her commentary on the heavy emphasis on alternating bend and counter bend.  She doesn’t necessarily approve of it.  But it makes such a nice difference in how she works.  Even if she doesn’t approve.  I don’t approve of the yoga that loosens up my stiff hips and all, but I do it anyway).

Got a nice counter-canter after one failed attempt.  I just popped her and growled, and backed her a few steps.  She picked it right off, and today I got a nice, more rounded counter canter in BOTH directions, helped in part by the fact that the footing is still odd and encourages her to round up and work, I’m sure.

So nice lap of counter-canter in each direction, balanced and round.  After that, we took advantage of Not Having Rain to hack a little bit outside.  We explored a few feet past one of our usual spots, and Oh, My, Something Eats Horses Here.  So we explored further, then turned, walked, whoaed, lather, rinse, repeat.  Then I turned her back.  This time she approached the Big Scary Whatever Shed with an energetic walk and lowered head, ears forward.  Apparently if we didn’t get chased then it becomes something to be curious about.

Took her back, brushed her up, starting to get a shine going on her freshly clipped coat.  A nice work and better than a lot of other winter works I’ve had on her.  I suspect clipping may be the way we go most winters, if the trend continues next year.  But next year I’ll definitely do something about it sooner.  She’s a lot more relaxed.

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Workin’ in the woods on a winter’s day.

In Western Oregon winters, going out in the woods on a forty-degree day means dealing with damp drizzle and cold.  Lots of wool and polypro under water-repellant wear.

We spent some time helping a friIMG_7310end of ours with a downed tree down in the bottom of a wet patch on his land.  He burns the wood for heating so it needed to come up to the woodshed to dry.  The rounds were pretty big so the DH and our friend spent time with splitting mauls to break up the rounds.  Then they hauled it up the short but steep hillside to the flat, and over to the woodshed.

We did have company.

IMG_7296Two fawns and a doe hung around the edge of the woods for a while.  They’d all been lying down in the field when we first went down, then got up and browsed around the edges while the guys worked.  Eventually they wandered on.  The little guy in the center here is a little buck, I think, based on his build and general attitude.  Does tend to be shier even from a young age while bucks tend to try to approach humans or at least get into a position to figure things out.

Just another December woods day.  We’d thought about skiing today, but after last week, and the amount of loosely packed stuff dumped on the hill, I think I’m riding instead.  Which I need to get wound up and ready to do soon.

But first, a couple more pix.


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Full body clip and full winter schooling

One thing I’d figured out in early December was that this year was not going to give me any grace in managing Mocha’s workouts and dealing with sweat.  For whatever reason, the past two years I’ve been able to engage her in intense workouts during the winter without ending up with a dripping wet horse.

Not so this winter.

In past winters I’ve gotten away with a trace clip–essentially, just a trim of her windpipe and chest.  That’s been enough to keep her from sweating up.  This winter I went with a more aggressive trace clip—essentially, the “racing stripe” clip where I shave the windpipe and half her neck, the chest, and then a six inch stripe along her belly and across shoulder and haunch.

That wasn’t even enough, even after I got G’s heavy duty clippers and shaved it back close.  Why?  Darned if I know.  Could be age, could be muscle development, could be weather patterns or haircoat patterns…most horse folks I talk to are remarking on the heavy, thick undercoat they see on their horses.  I saw that thick, felty undercoat as I clipped Mocha today, and I’ve got to say, I’ve not seen that heavy an undercoat in a couple of years.

So today we went with the full body clip.  I didn’t clip her head or three-quarters of her legs.  But her neck, her belly, her haunches and the top third of her legs got clipped.   It took two hours of work.  I stopped after each section to clean the clippers and let them cool while sweeping up hair and brushing Mocha off and feeding her treats.  She needed the break from the clippers as well. It was her first time for a full body clip and while she’s good with clippers, the vibration got to her after a while.  I stopped halfway through and lunged her a little bit to let her get the antsies out.  She reversed quite nicely at the trot on a vocal command alone…first time I’ve tried that without a lunge whip to give her the visual reverse cue.  That tells me we’ve done it enough that she knows what switching hands on the lunge line coupled with the verbal means.

Then once I got done clipping her, we went riding.  The footing in the arena is slick because everything is wet and there’s no way to keep anything dry.  It’s deceptively dry on top with slick underneath.  Winter in the Willamette when it’s raining hard on a daily basis.  Welcome to December schooling.

There’s a reason I keep my Western horse in a snaffle, and December schooling is it.  This is usually the time of year when the footing is either slick (even in the best of indoors) or frozen solid.  December work is walk-trot season, focus on counterbends and lateral work.  Many schooling figures (work around the slick spots in the arena!).  Lots of trot work.

What I find interesting is that, even though my back is totally messed up, I can now sit Mocha’s big extended trot more comfortably than I can post it.

Anyway, we did lots of haunches-in, haunches-out work, two track diagonal, two track on the rail, half pass….counterbend at walk in small circles alternating with regular bend, focusing on changing the bend based on seatbone more than leg or rein (as much an exercise for the rider as for the horse).

And at the end, no steamy, sweaty horse.  I pulled off her saddle, let her go roll, brushed her off and put her back in her stall.  We were both a lot happier about that.  She has a nice heavy blanket and if I have to get a liner to keep her warm, so be it.  Neither one of us was happy about long periods of her standing around with a cooler and all of that song and dance.  I wasn’t liking the way her skin was looking under this hair coat after getting put up after those intense and wet sessions.

She certainly seemed more energetic and eager to work after the clip.  We’ll see what happens in the long run, though.  Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to some respite from an hour or more trying to get a horse dry after a moderately intense work in midwinter.

Just one of those years.

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A thank you, and first ski day of the season

For those of you who’ve responded to my post about teachers and guns, thank you for your thoughtful responses.  I appreciate every one of them.

Sadly, there are folks out there (but only two that I know of, thankfully) who’ve accused me of either overreacting or being afraid to use a gun.  Sigh.  As far as I’m concerned, they’re following talking points, knowingly or not.  And so far, none of them have any actual classroom or teaching experience in a K-12 setting.  Nor do they show signs of having thought through the force decision steps in that setting.  Sigh.  That’s all I’m going to say.

On to more cheerful things…sort of.  The first day out wasn’t the greatest this year, while not being the worst.  DH wrenched his bad knee when he got into deep, heavy, wet powder and was out for the day.  My bad, because 1.) I didn’t insist we stay on Pucci and 2.) I didn’t scout it first.  My skis handle powder better than his.  So he’s out for a couple of weeks, but thankfully no long-term harm done.

The conditions were tough.  Heavy, wet powder on a base that hadn’t really had time to build.  Pucci was in pretty good shape early in the day; Pucci as I like it with the high sloping banks that make me think of pinball bumpers as I ricochet off of them.  Even at that, it took me three runs to get the rhythm of shifting weight from ski to ski smoothly.  And I’m tight in the hips, not in a good way.

I finished off with a check it out run down Uncle Jon’s band.  Still pretty low snow and as a result, lots of choppy moguls on the slopes.  I opted out of the last steep drop because I saw a little tree emerging from the snow at the top and figured it was lower than I wanted to ski.  I went around, and was happy I did when I looked up from the bottom.  Not only is more snow needed but it needs to have about a week of grooming and packing for best results–at least for what this old lady likes to do.  Given the forecast, however, I think things will be great by next week.

I found my condition lacking in a couple of areas.  Not surprising, considering my usual modus operendi is to ski Pucci and build up my strength before moving on to the longer runs.  Definitely in beginning of season condition.  Which means caution, listening to the ol’ bod, and doing some drills.

And squats and lunges at home.  Ah well, it was a beginning, and I started tapping into the flow.  We’ll see how things go from here.

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Okay. Teachers and general school staff should NOT be carrying guns. Here’s why.

Note: I own guns.  I hunt.  I am familiar with guns and their safe handling and use.

Which is exactly why I argue that teachers and general school staff should NOT be carrying guns in school settings or expected to carry guns in school settings.

I’ve run across this particular meme often enough on Facebook already since the senseless tragedy at Sandy Hook, and it’s making me angry enough that I want to address it explicitly.  Because so far, not a single person promoting this argument has sufficient experience managing kids in a school setting to make a seriously valid argument.

First of all, a school setting is not a home defense setting.  It is a crowd situation.  Teachers and staff are the managers of the crowd situation.  They are known authority figures to the crowd.  They have some idea of who the reactors within the crowd are going to be.  They can manage and direct the group.


Keep in mind that in most settings you will have an adult-student ratio of 1-25 or more.  With older students, you might have certain highly-regarded, level-headed kids who can perform specific tasks to help secure the setting–i.e., close curtains, calm peers, overturn tables, etc…(yes, I have a multi-scenario, rather elaborate security plan should I need to implement it.  I’ve just spent time tweaking it).  Might.

You might also have a panic-stricken, hormone-crazed crowd that you can’t step away from, except to do the basic steps to secure the area.

For example, here are the steps I need to take to secure a classroom–

Get students to a safe location out of sight of window in door and outside window (impossible, therefore overturned tables).

Close blinds.

Lock door (requires I step outside the classroom).

In my regular classroom, I have to walk fifteen feet to secure an outside door that opens onto a covered play area.

Do I really have the time to prepare a weapon safely while doing all of the above?

What happens if I have younger children that I can’t leave unsupervised throughout any of this process and who may need me to soothe them and forestall dangerous panic behaviors?

What is the MOST IMPORTANT thing for me to be doing–managing the kids or managing a weapon safely around kids?  Keep in mind that I may be the sole adult in the room.  It may fall upon me to get the kids quickly to safety under direction.  I am the direct kid manager.  Do I have time to manage a gun?

I’ve also been reading a rather useful book about force decisions by Rory Miller and Lawrence A. Kane, Scaling Force: dynamic decision-making under threat of violence.  I’m currently in the Level Six–Deadly Force–section.  After reading Miller and Kane, I am very comfortable in stating that teachers can’t do it all.

See, that’s the other piece about putting it on teachers and staff to carry guns in school.  This isn’t a home defense setting with limited people.  This is a crowd setting.  In order to safely and effectively shoot an intruder without causing harm to innocent bystanders (for whom you may be charged if you do injure or kill them), you have to practice that scenario and train in assorted crowd scenarios.

Many teachers already don’t have enough time in their lives to do the daily tasks required of them as a teacher.  Where’s this training time going to come from?  Who’s going to pay for it?  What further academics get cut from tight budgets to fund this sort of aggressive security scenario?  I can pretty much guarantee you that it’s likely to be PE/Health followed by Social Studies that’ll go bye-bye (the arts are already gone in many schools).

There’s also the issue of safe secure carry within a classroom around kids who might decide to try to get that weapon from you.  The potential emotional impact on struggling students of a teacher carrying a weapon (and please, don’t get me started about finding a place to secure a weapon in my room.  That just adds to the reaction time if it comes down and it’s another temptation for kids).

Now does this mean I’m unarmed in my classroom?

Let’s see.  We have staplers.  We have scissors.  We have chairs.  We have books and other things to throw.  We have tables to stack and form as door and window barricades.  White board cleaning spray.  Trust me, if it comes down, I’m going to roll with the situation but there are many lovely tools in a school setting that can be used as self-defense, given the time and secure setting to prepare them.

It’s just getting to that secure setting.  To that end, more effective school entry security is a must.  The ability to secure settings such as libraries, cafeterias, and outdoor playgrounds quickly is a must.  The ability for staff to communicate quickly and privately is a must.

None of these require the use of guns.

If society deems that we need armed staff in the school, then put one or two deputized, sworn, trained police officers in each building.  Their job will be to keep the building secure.  Many high schools already do this, some getting the staff from the local police department.

Better that than teachers carrying.  Period.

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Filed under education politics

Every step I take at work is a reminder.

I heard the news before I left for work.

Rehearsed lockdown strategies for both my classrooms on the drive. Climbed out of the car, gathered my stuff, including potluck food, and made sure my scanner badge was secured around my neck.  Passed the badge by the sensor, and as the bolts shot open, I thought about Sandy Hook.

I unlocked the locked door of the now-closed middle school office.  K, one of the aides, was working in there.

“Did you hear?”  K asked.

“Before I left home.”

“Me too.”  We exchanged worried, grim looks.  Then she described her fears about not being able to round up the littlest kids quickly enough in an emergency at recess.  I shared my fears about being able to keep the middle school boys from doing something stupid.

When I walked into my first classroom, one kid asked, “Mrs RW, did you hear?”

“Yeah.” I told them what I knew.  Then added a rap about safety and why it’s important to be able to keep them safe.  One kid said he’d break out a window and run.  I suggested that might not be the best course because someone else could be outside.  He stopped and thought about it.

So did I.  And not for the first time.

Every day in a school setting is a reminder.  And Sandy Hook, coming this soon after Clackamas, is a real slam in the gut for every school staff member out there.  Besides the formal lockdown practice, we talk about what we’d do and how.  When we have a scary experience with adult or kid, we talk about what happened, both formally and informally, and how we could do better.  I’ve been through two lockdowns as a teacher, but there’s been other touchy situations including a minilockdown.  None have involved live action; they’ve been preventatives.

And all that could change on Monday.  Or any day of the days remaining in my teaching career.

In the case of a lockdown, if it happens when I’m in my regular classroom, I have to go outside.  My room is in an outer wing of the school, near a central door.  While the other exterior doors can be automatically locked from the main office, those doors can’t be.  I have to lock those doors.  Then I have to lock my classroom door from the outside, making sure that my curtain is closed and my door window covered.  With any luck, I haven’t just exposed myself and any students in that room to danger.

It’s a strategy I think about pretty damn regularly, really.  It’s part of my job to do that.  I have nightmares about it sometimes.  I probably will have a nightmare about it in the week ahead.

And all of this is a roundabout way of saying that Sandy Hook hung over a lot of my day today, simply because that’s what my day job is and so many of my routines evoke what I’ve been able to read of the nightmare that happened there.  I’m a teacher.  If some idiot with a gun, a knife, or other weapon invades my school premises, it’s my job to keep the kids under my supervision safe.

This is one of those days when that reality slams home.


Argue about gun control and mental health all you want.

Meanwhile, every day, the shadows of Thurston, Columbine, and now Sandy Hook walk with me as I go about my daily work.  For me, it’s not a theoretical construct.  It’s a daily reality, one that I practice against with a certain degree of regularity.

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The Next Big Thing

Whew.  And now, after the Ranty McRantypants post, here’s my Next Big Thing.  I got tagged by Mary Victoria and–um–well, I think just about everyone else on my f-list has already been tagged.  So if you’re reading this and you haven’t been tagged, consider yourself to be tagged!

What is the working title of your next book?

Netwalker Uprising, which will (hopefully) be out in late December or early January.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

A followup to my Netwalk novel, part of The Netwalk Sequence.  I’ve been playing around with matriarchal dynasties for a while, so it’s matriarchal corporate future dynasties with cyberpunk and skiing.  And bioremediation geeks.

What genre does your book fall under?

Oh snap.  Let’s see.  SF action-adventure, or as I like to call it, ski bum neuropunk.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Dang, I don’t know.  Probably Scarlett Johansen for Melanie.  Maybe.  Gillian Andersen at the age she was when she played Scully in the early X-Files.  Meryl Streep for Sarah (in her The Devil Wears Prada bitch mode).  A younger Meryl or current Gillian Andersen for Diana.  For Marty?  There’s no clear image of a geekish Native American actor to play him, damn it, and that’s who I’d want.  Maybe Will Smith as a default.

Otherwise, I’d like the characters to be all unknowns, preferably ski bums who could act and are ready to move on from ski pr0n flicks.  I’d love it if one of the ski movie companies fell in love with Uprising and decided to try to make it.  I think they’d catch the right edginess of the work.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In a post-apocalypse recovery future, how can Melanie Fielding find a way to protect her family and her business from virtual attacks by opponents from beyond the grave?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It’s ski bum neuropunk featuring a strong female protagonist and her family interactions.  What do you think?  Seriously, it’s going to be self-published, out in e-book and POD.  Just working on the final edits with my editor now.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The initial manuscript was whipped out in a passionate writing flurry after I finally figured out how to kill my internal editor, back in 2006 or so.  I wrote Netwalk, Netwalking Mars, and then Netwalker Uprising in a six month blaze.  Out of sequence and by all the rules I shouldn’t have written anything but the first one, then tried to sell it.  Shrug.  The stories rode me hard.  Uprising got whipped out in two months, rewritten, then set aside while I tried to sell Netwalk.  After I self-published Netwalk last fall, I started the intensive Uprising rewrite.  Had a major revelation about the nature of the world which led to massive revisions (along with input from the editor that the middle of the book was significantly broken and needed fixing).  Still doing final tweaks now.  This is a world in development, and man, is it ever mutating.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Some of Elizabeth Bear’s work, some of K.W. Jeter’s work, and C.J. Cherryh’s Cyteen and Foreigner works.  Not all necessarily due to topic but to mood and pacing.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The initial idea came from a discussion with my husband about what it would be like to observe Hells Canyon through a hawk’s eyes.  I started imagining just what sort of implant interface that might take (this was long before GoPro cameras and I took the “through the hawk’s eyes” literally).  Subsequently, I started skiing and that really kicked off the story.  I stole the characters from an earlier noir novel I wrote and tried to sell in the 90s, A Madness in the Blood.  Some of the elements in Madness will come out at the very end of the Netwalk Sequence…as in, Sarah has a deep dark secret which has scarred her for her entire life and affected her in virtual life.  It takes her great-granddaughter to reconcile Sarah to that horrific secret.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

In Netwalker Uprising, I’m trying to integrate a degree of feminist consciousness with the conventions of sf thriller writing.  I want to show a strong female protagonist who also copes with the realities of family life.  Now she is rich, powerful, and privileged, so she has resources not available to ordinary people, but nonetheless…I wanted to have a strong woman protagonist who Has A Life, and really would like to get back to it, despite all the craziness that just seems to come her way.

Now…if you want to play and you haven’t yet…you’re tagged!

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