It’s been a crazy April

Um. Yeah. So let’s see. Hubby retired. I am madly scribbling on the rough draft of Netwalk’s Children, sandwiched in between snarking about Sad/Rabid Puppies, dealing with moving shit, packing, packing, packing, and oh, did I mention packing? And other stuff.

We hauled a load of furniture to Enterprise with the horse trailer. Outside of one scary moment when someone cut in front of me in Portland with a heavy trailer behind (and oh yeah, having to adjust things out of the driveway because we’d overloaded), it was uneventful. Slow, long, but uneventful. I had one chivalrous fella ask me if things were all right when we stopped to check fluids and such at Hermiston rest area before heading over Cabbage Hill–nope, just SOP stuff for newbie trailer drivers used to nursing along older vehicles. But the truck pulled a heavy-laden trailer over the Blues just fine (I was considering the irony of retracing ancestral steps except that’s right, the ancestors came in on the Applegate Trail and didn’t go anywhere near the Blues. Fools.).

Then back to PDX, coping with a sole bruise on Mocha’s problematic left fore, and packing, packing, packing, and did I mention packing? We have a good chunk of the house packed up and the son is getting antsy about the rest of it. Eh. I’m at the stage where I’ll abandon stuff rather than haul it. The joy of being a retired teacher is that you replicate this stage of packing every year at the end of the school year, so I’m kind of jaded at this point about this stage of packing. It is The Stage That Goes On Forever. And Ever. And Ever. I can remember years when I succumbed to the frantic urge to Throw Shit In Boxes, and the regrets three months later. Nope. Not going there, at least with the boxes I pack. Won’t say anything about the hubby..;-)

After killing ourselves with packing, we headed down to our friend who lives near Astoria, to spend four days chasing razor clams at low tide. We had new clam guns and boy howdy, were we ever gonna use ’em. So. After the drive down, we got a routine going. Prep the night before, hubby and I fixed breakfast and coffee, friend drove to the beach, we got our limit of clams, stop by Freddie’s for a little shopping, back home to clean clams (guys) and write like mad on the book (me). Over the course of four days of digging we came close to getting ten pounds of clam meat, the guys decided to keep lots of data on the harvest so that’s why I’ve got the numbers. I collected a lot of sand dollars and am thinking about ways to use undrilled freshwater pearls, broken stone beads, and other stuff for crafty sorts of things. Done right, well….

The way this clam stuff is going, I may have more material for a steampunk/rococoa/steamfunk/deargodsomethingweirdwestevenifIdon’thavealabel from the Astoria exposure. It’s very early in the creation but I recognize that something is getting tweaked on the creative end.

Meanwhile, I’m cranking away on Netwalk’s Children. Dear God, I was right to dread writing this book. It’s hopelessly complex, but yet very fun to put the rough bones together. I just don’t know if it will be together by Worldcon…which…sigh.


I can haz a Worldcon job. I do have a Worldcon job. I am the Sergeant-At Arms for the World Science Fiction Business Meeting at Sasquan. Starting next week, I’m gonna be looking for friendly warm bodies to help me make sure that the actual mechanics of running the Worldcon Business Meeting (Kevin Standlee, please forgive me, I’m learning all the formal terms) flow smoothly.  It will require an ability to show up at a morning meeting. I’d like to have enough people to rotate through several days of meetings so that no one person gets tied down to showing up every day unless they want to.

My priorities:

1.) Protect the integrity of the voting floor while

2.) Doing my best to facilitate the process while

3.) respecting the individuals involved.

This means dropping agendas. This means respecting process, and respecting people that you don’t agree with. This means keeping in mind that we all love speculative fiction but that we come from different perspectives, and short of overtly, nasty, godawful ugly shit, it’s–well, it’s politics. It’s making sausage. It’s compromise, and it sucks and I know a number of my friends on Facebook and all will sneer at me for being this way. But goddamn it, I’ve been the single issue politico; I’ve done the purity dance, and while that side is needed…I’m not the grrrl for the mad dog run any more. That’s for a young person to do. My job to find the middle path, to forge the agreements, to contribute to and support the process. That’s what you do as an elder, and that’s the path I’m approaching.


I will need people to run mics, check credentials, and possibly help with crowd management. Patience, tolerance, and a balanced perspective with a sense of humor will be paramount. I won’t ask people to do something I wouldn’t do myself. If you have experience with the Oregon Country Fair or music festivals…then yeah, drop me a line here.  A Pratchett perspective is welcomed.

Netwalk’s Children, alas, is at the stage where I’m just throwing things at the page. I’m at the 3/4ths point, and almost at the final cataclysmic blowup. Three POVs are almost too many for this book; I may drop a POV for fifty pages and with the pacing of this book…everything is happening in a very short period of time. Lots and lots of stuff unfolding. I’m not satisfied with the structure, which means I may go back and rip things to pieces. Except I don’t have the time and luxury to do that because I’m moving stuff. Except I need to do it. ARRRGH. Maybe I’ll have a better perspective when I do the scene tracker, except that’s going to be

And then I keep thinking about Astoria, and the maybe steampunk book. Way back when I was writing the River story for Alma, I had something Columbia River-themed in mind. I just haven’t figured it out yet. I suspect the South Willamette Valley/Southern Oregon story (Bearing Witness) will come first, and then I’ll be able to write about the Columbia. Years ago, I wrote some lovely stuff when interning for a few months with Nalo Hopkinson. I can’t use that world because, well, stupid contract shit. But pieces of the writing still haunt me, especially the singing of the sails and the trip upriver.

I can’t write ocean stuff because, well, body’s pretty much issued the ultimatum that I’m a landlubber. But there’s a pretty strong and intriguing theme brewing there. Just not sure where it’s leading me yet.

And I find it ironic that maybe I finally find the freedom to write about the Willamette Valley after committing once again to the Wallowas. Though the Columbia could well insert itself into the mix first. We shall see. Several worlds out there stirring and roiling as I wind up the Netwalk Sequence.

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