Monthly Archives: July 2013

On revising previously published work

Generally, much as I wince when I see bits and pieces of errors and mistakes in my previously published work, I don’t consider revising and republishing it, for several reasons. First of all, the story I sold was the story the editor wanted to buy. Changing the story would mean changing the collaborative work which is the combined effort of my vision and the editor’s vision and, so far, I’ve had the great good fortune not to have editors who’ve mangled my work. So far. For better or worse, if I’ve sold a story or a novel to someone else to publish, I’m inclined to let it stand (I will probably feel different when I finally encounter the circumstance of having my work butchered. Like I said, I’ve been fortunate. So far).

But self-publication allows the fatal fallacy of re-editing one’s own work. Again, I don’t generally support revising previously published work because it is, after all, the product of its time. Additionally, since I’ve sold this work to buyers, really, in good faith it would require a significant change in the world I’ve created to justify a revision of previously published work.

So why did I just spend several days revising and preparing the copy for what is going to be the revised Netwalk, otherwise known as Netwalk: The Expanded Edition?

One word.


Or, rather, the creation of the object known as Gizmo, which hadn’t happened when I wrote Netwalk. I created the Gizmo about halfway through my editorial rewrite of Netwalker Uprising, when my editor told me “something more is needed.” I thought on it, and, ergo. Gizmo was born, and with it, a missing major driver for the Netwalk Sequence came into being.

Except–oops. There was an entire novel in the Sequence which did not take Gizmo into account, and Melanie being Melanie, if she hadn’t run into Gizmo before then, she would have done so during the events of Netwalk.

Oops. Big oops.

At first I hadn’t planned to rewrite Netwalk as a result of Gizmo’s creation. Yes, there were glitches in the ebook version. Small formatting pieces that I wanted to fix. But I thought about the tweaks I’d have to make in Netwalk to bring in Gizmo, and my head started hurting with a side dish of minor panic attacks as I contemplated what could be a huge effort. My editor recommended that I didn’t sweat it because the nature of the conflict in Netwalk was such that the absence of Gizmo wasn’t that big a deal.

And then the son and I talked about putting out a hard copy Createspace edition of Netwalk. He recommended (based on his experience in the gaming world) that if I were to go with a second edition, I should not only include Gizmo references in the revised Netwalk but add new material to make it worth the changes and add value. I thought about it, but quailed at the thought of the Gizmo rewrites.

Well. It’s pretty much done. Surprisingly, the work wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. When I went back and looked at the Netwalk MS, there were holes where I spent more time flailing around trying to up the ante and didn’t quite make it work. It seems like my subconscious writing brain was already devising a Gizmo-like device, only my prefrontal cortex hadn’t gotten the message yet. When all was said and done, the additions were maybe about 1000-1500 words. 2000 max. And, in the process, I fixed the formatting glitches that had been bugging me, smoothed out some rough spots in the language, and introduced a bit more nuance in the characters of Sarah and Andrew, nuances which arose in Uprising.

I don’t anticipate doing the same for Uprising. For one thing, Uprising is post-Gizmo. I don’t necessarily foresee the need to create another significant canon change which would require such a drastic rewrite. Nor do I want to create the habit of doing such a thing when working independently. However, Gizmo was such a major change in the game that I finally decided that Netwalk: The Expanded Edition needed to happen. Additionally, I’ve put some effort into creating a series bible which, while not perfect, will hopefully keep me going with a certain degree of consistency from now on out. Though the Netwalk: Foundations pieces blur the edges as I explore my characters even further. That said, another wise writer and editor reminded me that Marion Zimmer Bradley always held that consistency glitches in her Darkover series were things that needed to happen for the integrity of the story.

I already have several notations where the Foundations stories deviate from the main canon of the Netwalk Sequence. At some point in the future (probably when I’ve completed the next three novels which will make up the main body of the Sequence), I’ll publish those notes for completeists but I’m not going to knock myself out trying to reconcile Foundations worldbuilding noodling with published work. Netwalk: The Expanded Edition will be the most significant and only full revision of previously published work in the Sequence. Period.

So what additional material will be in the EE besides the Gizmo updates?

First of all, I plan to republish two previously published stories in the Sequence, exactly as they were originally published. For the record, those two stories are “The Ties That Bind” (Random Realities # 3, Summer 1993) and “Cold Dish,” (M-BRANE SF 9, October 1, 2009). In addition there will be two new short snippets to go with these two stories, “Some Words,” and “To Walk Toward Your Doom.” All four of these pieces happen either just before or simultaneously with the early part of Netwalk. “Ties” and “Cold Dish” are pre-Gizmo and to some extent pre-date a lot of my later thinking about Netwalk processes. Nonetheless, both stories will be reprinted exactly as they were originally published, with no revisions.

I also plan to insert a foreword talking about the changes in vision that happened between the publication of Netwalk and Netwalker Uprising.

Projected publication date is late August. Stay tuned for more information.

And once I’m done with this (and a few more Foundations pieces, to carry me through the first months of Ye Olde Day Jobbe resumption in September as well as help me create some more pieces of crucial backstory), it’s off to write Netwalk’s Children. I’ve not done the formal plotting for Children yet, but I’ve been thinking hard about both it and the book to follow, Netwalking Space.

Are we having fun yet? I sure am.

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OCF and other stuff

I really have to either block out time for blogging or else spend time writing posts that get published some time after I’ve written them. Sigh.  Just a busy life at the moment.

Anyway. Last weekend we went to Oregon Country Fair and stayed at our favorite campground nearby. Well, okay, about three quarters of a mile or so by foot from our campsite to the front gates. We are part of a larger group that we just sort of fell into our first year camping in the very back end of the site. It’s a congenial place to hang out and our accustomed spot in the campground is pretty private. We usually camp in the trees with our door facing away from the main trail.


One of the things about Fair is a lot of wry little visual jokes and word puns, as well as lovely decorations. This year, one of the campers decorated the little trail leading from the campground to the road.









Fair is about a lot of things. There’s music, and entertainment, including some really amazing acrobatic work. This year the acrobatic performances were just plain stunning. There’s also food, and crafts, and other fun stuff. I put aside a small budget for shopping at two of my favorite clothing vendors, Organic Attire and Intertwined Designs. I don’t buy a lot, but I buy something every year, especially from Organic Attire because I love their cotton clothing and their designs. I love Intertwined Designs’s capri pants because they’re the first capri that actually looks good on me and they’re quite durable! I now have three pairs….anyway, both vendors feature good quality, durable, organically produced clothing.

But the food…Country Fair is a safe place for me to find food I can eat with my allergies. And, this year, at a neighboring campground, I discovered a food vendor who makes gluten-free crepes! So for two mornings I had a chocolate gluten-free crepe for breakfast. Yum. I have not had crepes for YEARS due to my allergies.

The other thing about camping at Fair is that it is safe, friendly, and pretty doggone relaxing. After setting up camp on Thursday, we just plain hung out, visited with folks, walked around admiring the other camp decorations, and read/wrote (DH read, I wrote). We went into Fair on Friday, saw the performances we wanted to see, ate lots of good food, visited my favorite gluten-free cupcake booth, and I did my clothing shopping. Saturday, we hung out around camp and red/wrote, then went to Fair late to see some performances and eat dinner.

We didn’t go into Fair on Sunday but took our time packing, had more crepes, and said our farewells. That I-5 drive was foremost on our minds so we made sure we got out on the freeway fairly early and avoided traffic until about Aurora, when we bailed off of 5 and onto 99E.

Wow. What a short summary for such a fun time. I did sell some books and did some promos. And I wrote. But, most of all, I relaxed. One nice thing about our campground is the solar showers. Big solar showers. We went to the showers about midday and, in spite of lines to get in, still had lots of comfortably warm water to shower.

The campground had its own entertainment, with bands playing at night, fire spinners, and drum circles. Individual camps had smaller bands, and our camp features a nighttime movie show.

All in all, a good, relaxing time. But now we have to wait another year for it to happen again. Sigh.

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Netwalk Foundations Monday!

It’s the third Monday of July and you know what that means…More Netwalk Foundations!


Remember that ALL Netwalk foundations pieces are FREE. Go here to get your Kindle, ePub or PDF version.

From the Author’s Notes:

As before, the last part of this series story throws me some huge new things I didn’t know about the Netwalk Sequence world. This piece with Alex and Bess definitely is canon, laying the foundation for the book after NETWALK’S CHILDREN. Now I don’t think that NETWALKING MARS is the title, but NETWALKING SPACE might be.

 I didn’t expect this story to be so heavy about Gizmo, but Gizmo is definitely something I am thinking very hard about these days, as I prepare to fix up NETWALK: THE EXPANDED EDITION and lay down the plot for NETWALK’S CHILDREN.

 Next up will be “Of Boyfriends and Mothers and Daughters, Oh My! Take Three.” And that one promises to be interesting in its own way….

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So that was a long weekend

Besides going to the Blues Festival, I managed to write 7200 words on a short piece–one of the Netwalk Foundations segments. It will be going up next week. And now I absolutely have to stop writing long pieces for what’s supposed to be a short snippet worldbuilding promo, not full-on short stories. Period. I’ll do that after the last Daughters piece.

Still, I managed to get some good ideas in place for what the conflict will be in what was Netwalking Mars and will now be Netwalking Space. Because, well, pacing doesn’t work for Mars, but the Moon and space stations and near-earth-orbit asteroids and killer drone satellites from God-Knows-What’s-Out-There do work. Boy howdy, do they ever work. I also figured some things out about Netwalk’s Children, but those pieces still need to come together. These long stories at least are serving a function–they’re helping me work on some of the main story concepts, while writing scenes that probably won’t be in any of the books, but are turning points nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Blues Festival was a lot of pleasant music, and I managed to pull off some exobrain stuff that actually works. I found a bus tracker app for my iPhone which worked right nicely for what we needed it to do. Then I was able to use my iPhone as a personal hotspot, write on my tablet (with detachable keyboard), and upload the day’s work to Dropbox, come home, download it on the main computer, and work some more. Worked smooth as can be. Yeehaw.

Plus I also figured out the Facebook app on my iPhone, and read everything I’ve downloaded in my Kindle. Okay, that took less time than I thought it would. I can see that if I ever get a job again where I can commute by bus, my e-book reading investments will go up. Not that such a thing is ever likely to happen (big sigh). Not unless I can find something that isn’t a teaching job, I think, and right now any job prospect looks pretty damn dim. I still want to get away from the 80+ mile commute, but based on the results of the last teacher hiring season–bleh. So not happening this year. Or next year, really, because I just don’t see the employment and economic situation improving. Bleh, bleh, bleh. Let’s just say that job world is a pit of despair and leave things at that.

At least on the horse front everything is going reasonably well. Miss Mocha has taken to nickering at me when I go out to ride her nearly every day. Her coat shines like it should this year. Now, if I could only fix those damn brittle hooves without resorting to yucky nasty soaks. It’s not that the hoof wall is particularly dry, it’s that the wall is thin, whether she’s barefoot or shod. At least when she’s barefoot she builds up a thicker sole and is less ouchy than she is in shoes (seriously, horse? Ouching across gravel with shoes on? Really?). She gets a biotin supplement (Trifecta) but we still have cracks and chips up the wazoo, mustang roll or no mustang roll, shoes or no shoes.

This year it’s pretty bad, but I keep wondering about the weird coat from last summer/fall and how it may have impacted her hoof growth. Still haven’t figured out why that weird coat growth happened, but nonetheless, despite no changes in husbandry, no changes in health, she had a hair coat that just didn’t grow in right last fall and winter. I keep looking at her hooves and I swear I can see the difference about an inch down with better, firmer hoof wall. I suppose that means we’ll have a few more months or so of dealing with that hoof wall.

Anyway, we’re having good works right now. Back in the curb, my thumb’s healed up so I can manage the neck rein like I should. I’m watching now for the first signs that we’ll need hock injections. So far, just the beginning hint that the time might come in August, but nothing for certain yet.

And that’s it for today.

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Busy, busy days.

Do I have any other sort of days? Sometimes I wonder. In any case, three weeks into summer break and I am busy taking online classes, riding Mocha almost every day, doing projects around the house, and writing. The heat of the past few days has sidelined me but that’s the usual state of affairs, especially when we have this rapid transition from cool to hot. Needless to say, I’m a typical west-side Pacific Northwest girl. I know that when I start struggling, the smartest thing is to go flat and read. So I have been. Problem is also that the heat causes my gut to make sad noises at me and go into random spasm modes. Not fun at all!

Today starts the Waterfront Blues Festival, which is one of DH’s favorite events. He’s already down there waiting to get in early and snag a shady place to sit. Because I struggle so much with the heat, I come down later in the day and join him. This year I’m hoping to be able to coordinate smartphone and tablet so I can do some writing work using Dropbox. We’ll see how that goes. Worst case scenario, I get stuck with writing longhand. Not that big a deal either–after I file down my nails today. I’ve already broken one, damn it.

I’m grappling with some of the issues coming up in Netwalk’s Children. I have several murky things I want to address–the nature of parental influence and control, the effect of prenatal and immediate postnatal virtual exposures (one symptom is a tendency toward extreme sensory overloads which create meltdowns that look a lot like autism), just what the hell Gizmo is and what its goal ultimately will be, matriarchal concerns across generations, matriarchal dynastic behaviors…oh yeah, this book has some interesting potential. Any book at this stage of development is full of potential, but this one in particular has me contemplating some big issues–and how to make it a whopping good story. We will be seeing Bess making a huge mistake which has monstrous consequences that will alienate her from her grandmother Diana (but will have the effect of endearing her to her great-grandmother, the Netwalker Sarah). We’ll see a more human side of Andrew (so far we’ve really only seen him fail). But the biggest piece is that we’re looking at the third/fourth generations to interact with Gizmo and the consequences thereof–not just to the humans but to Gizmo itself.

And space. Bess functions well in space, she adapts well to it and her children will be even more so.

So yeah. Good stuff ahead.

Mocha has also gotten into the regular work mode. I’ve been riding her in the bareback pad with a snaffle during these hot days (well, and also waiting for the farrier to trim her hooves, I don’t like working her in complex fast stuff when her feet get too long. Too easy to torque joints that way). She chuckles at me when I walk in the barn door and is right there ready to go out, even with fresh alfalfa in her manger. There’s been some interesting adventures in bareback pad world, including a moment where the cinch came off and I only discovered that because the pad was sliding back underneath me (a strange feeling when the pad is sliding but you are not). We’ve been working on spins, extension and collection at walk and trot, and I’m slowly working my way up to rollbacks and flying changes. So far Mocha’s let me know SHE doesn’t think I’m ready, mainly by doing simple changes and trotting the first steps of the rollback rather than her usual fast stop, whirl and run. In this case I’m respecting her choice, but we are revisiting it under saddle because I don’t want these behaviors to become habits.

The routines of summer. I still need to work on losing five pounds. I need to get more fit for skiing this winter. I went into skiing with poor fitness and hip problems last year, and it made the season not fun. This will not happen this coming season, not if I can help it!

The fourth of July really is the beginning of summer, at least summer in my world. What are other people doing for summer this year?

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Netwalk Foundations Monday!

A little late, but here it is…

Of Mothers and Daughters and Boyfriends, Oh My! Take One is a little bit different from past stories. There’ll be two more in this mini-series…I’m playing with interlocking tales.

Enjoy! And remember, as Tom Petersen would say…”Free…is a Very Good Price!”



Go here for links to read this for FREE

for Kindle, Nook and PDF versions.

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