Tag Archives: Netwalk Foundations

Oh hey. Look what’s free just for Christmas week.

christmas shadows

Now free on Amazon for Kindle.

For the first time in years, Diana Landreth is looking forward to a quiet Christmas at home with her family. Or can she? Her mother, a leader in the new Third Force government, has become strangely uncommunicative. The random, disruptive attacks by rogue war machines on cities worldwide may call both Diana and her husband, Will, out to capture the machines. Then Diana learns that her mother’s ex-lover may be involved in the mechanisms that created the Disruptions.

It’s going to be one heck of a Christmas Eve dinner.

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Dahlia is now live!

IMG_8621   So I’m doing something new this holiday season. I’m putting up a few short stories, novelettes, and novellas in the Netwalk Sequence for sale, as I get them finished and I’m able to get them loaded.

The short stories (and, hopefully, the novelettes and novellas) are going to be somewhat different from what I’ve put up before. Basically, I’m adding pictures that are somewhat related to the story, either by topic or location. It won’t be a perfect set of illustrations, because, since I’m taking them myself, I won’t be able to put people in those illustrations (well, maybe yet). So a short story that I wrote for the Plein Air Exhibition, Dahlia, is now live on Amazon for the Kindle here.

I’m billing it as primarily a romantic relationship story, because, well…that’s what it is. A complicated romance in a science fictional setting.

Other pieces I’ll be putting up soon include a sequel to Dahlia, Winter Shadows, which deals with further complications of the relationship between Will and Diana. That one will be a short story. I also plan to issue a novelette/novella about Diana and Will, Problems at the Andrews Ranch, which deals with one of the events which affects the early development of Diana and Will’s company, Do It Right. Then I’ll republish the complete and updated edition of The Daughters Cycle, including all three of the episodic, intertwined, stylistically experimental (for me) short stories I published this summer (Of Mothers and Daughters and Boyfriends; Of Daughters and Boyfriends and Mothers, Of Boyfriends and Mothers and Daughters). Andrews Ranch and Daughters may or may not have pictures included. We’ll see.

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The horses of the Netwalk Sequence

Horses? In a high-tech science fiction story?


Guess I’m in a horsey mood these days, post-horse show. Whatever the reason, last night I started thinking about a post on the horses in my Netwalk Sequence world, et voila! The concept came into being.

Granted, some folks are going to raise their brows at this. Horses in a neuropunk family saga? Horses as a part of a futuristic world where digital personalities upload and an unknown entity wreaks apocalyptic havoc on the world until restrained by an international coalition of corporate interests? You betcha. After all, it’s my world, my creation, and if I want flying cars, horses and skiing in it–yep, it’s going to happen. Besides, the horses function as a grounding purpose as well as being part of the identity of the Andrews-Stephens-Landreth-Fielding family, with heavy roots in Eastern Oregon ranching country to contrast with the timber barons on the other side of the family. I’ve not brought this in, but certainly the ranching background was a formative influence in a young Diana Andrews Landreth’s life and a factor in the development of the skills that made her a formidable bioremediation leader. The ranching background affected Diana’s mother, Sarah Stephens. Even though Sarah’s marriage to Dan Andrews didn’t last very long, horses were a much-loved part of Sarah’s few years on the Andrews Ranch. Diana made sure that her son and daughter, Andrew Landreth Stephens and Melanie Landreth Fielding had horse experience, though only Melanie really took to it.

And there’s more. Without further ado, here’s some of the horses of the Netwalk Sequence world.

Missy. Missy appears in my unpublished short story, “Alien Savvy,” about a sweet little buckskin cutting horse mare who saves her owner Hank Martin from alien attack by her ability to maneuver safely around aliens and lock into herding behavior which scares the aliens off. The Martins are neighbors of the Andrews Ranch, and the deal that Pete Andrews strikes with Hank Martin to get him back on his feet after the devastation on his cattle herd caused by alien attack leads to the foundation of the famous Andrews Ranch strain of cutting and reining horses. “Alien Savvy” hasn’t sold and probably won’t sell to a traditional sf market because of the horse and alien factor. It is very early in the Netwalk Sequence, and maybe I’ll just self-pub it as a Netwalk Foundations piece (do NOT get me started on my perception of editorial short story biases about horses in the sf genre, okay?).

Mocha. Yes, this is my sweet little Mocha in several different guises. Missy’s great-granddaughter Mocha put the Andrews Ranch on the performance horse map with her cutting ability. Diana rode a Mocha daughter to several championships when she was a girl in her late teens and early twenties; one of the few things that both Dan Andrews and Sarah Stephens agreed upon with regard to their daughter during this time was their pride in Diana’s horse show accomplishments. Melanie rides a Mocha granddaughter, also named Mocha, during her flight in Netwalk: Expanded Edition, and Mocha also makes a social appearance in Netwalker Uprising.

Kokanee. A little dark bay mare that is the original Mocha’s descendant and a daughter of Diana’s championship mare. She’s a low-key presence in the upcoming Problems at the Andrews Ranch, and Diana gets righteously angry at her estranged father-in-law for wanting to buy her. Kokanee is Diana’s hope for continuing her father’s breeding program, even as she also struggles to build Do It Right as a viable international bioremediation technology company. One of her foals sires Melanie’s Mocha.

Charlie. Fiesty and grumpy Appaloosa ranch gelding who is Dan Andrews’s last mount. Charlie never did have the temperament to go to shows but he could go miles on a daily ride and had a comfortable amble gait that was easy to sit–perfect for an older rancher. But he had enough spark to pretend to be a bronc when first saddled up on a cold morning. It was all bluff and play, though. Dan never let it become more than that, and he enjoyed Charlie’s antics up until his last rides.

Griffen. Rental Appaloosa that Diana rides in Problems at the Andrews Ranch, when she goes to meet Nez Perce land acquisition negotiator Joaquin Ridge, a former boyfriend and old high school buddy.

There are other horses I’ve not put a name to yet. Bess, Melanie’s daughter, doesn’t take to horses in the same degree that Melanie does, and yet she finds peace in interacting with horses. Alex Jeffreys really takes to horses and he rides a black silver dapple Rocky Mountain gelding. Alex and Bess find uses for miniature horses in space settings, and develop a strain that–well, let’s wait and see where that goes, shall we? That part still needs development.

Needless to say, the equine element of the Netwalk Sequence is an understated but very real presence.

Hey, it wouldn’t be my world if I didn’t have horses in it, now, would it?

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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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Busy days, busy days

There’s been a lot of blog silence of late, mostly because I’ve been treading water trying to keep from overdoing and getting sick during the last weeks over school and like, well, writing, y’know? Committing to the twice-monthly Foundations series has proven to be huge, especially since I find myself wanting to write regular stories instead of the drabbles I’d first envisioned. I have at least one that I’m going to offer as a sales short (too long IMO to give away), and another set of three where I am consciously playing point-of-view-games-while-progressing-the-story games. Those are going to be fun, and help me grow as a writer, and, hey, no consequences since I don’t plan to sell them but give them away. OTOH, it’s all good backstory preparation for the big transition in the Netwalk Sequence, from Melanie to Bess.

But! Other things are going on. The last day of school with students was on Wednesday of last week (the 12th), where I met the kids at the swimming pool, watched MUCH CUTENESS (yes, middle schoolers can STILL be cute), went to the park with them for lunch, then herded cats while we watched Epic. Visually nice but I started out collecting plot coupons and the story pretty much unfolded the way I thought it would. But hey, Very Nice Visuals. Sweet story but very predictable. Phyl, you’d like the depiction of the faery world.

Next day, had my eval, talked planning for the fall, loaded up what I’m bringing home for the summer (mostly files to sort and reorganize), and landed a job interview. After a leisurely lunch at the Rendezvous, I headed for home only to find a worried phone call on my cell once I got my messages. The Mysterious Overfeeder had struck again, feeding horses before the person who was supposed to be feeding. Only happens when the owner/trainer is gone. Always alfalfa. NOT a good thing. Luckily, this is the second time in about four years, and we think we’ve identified the culprit. No horses took harm, as it happened just before the feeder showed up so she knew it had happened and didn’t double feed them. Most worrisome, though, was the feeding and quantity of the stuff to horses and ponies who don’t get that rich a feed usually. Fortunately for MO, no horses colicked or foundered. And Mocha was fine. This is a Very Good Thing, as my Mama Bear mode gets unfurled big time by stupid stuff like this.

Friday, I participated in an administration/union leadership golf game which was entertaining and not at all what I usually do (more what I would expect to be doing as corporate wife than as teacher). Gorgeous day for it with 70 degree temps, partially cloudy skies that opened up to full sun toward the end of the afternoon, and BIRDS. Adolescent robins dodging golf balls while squawking for food (um, only a few of us had any experience, and some didn’t even bring clubs. I rocked my Eastmoreland Garage Sale $3 Tournament Queen golf set from the 50s/60s). A young osprey or red-tail screaming to be fed in one of the Doug firs. A hummingbird who hovered threateningly over one hole, but never swooped on us, just hovered there Letting Us Know that we were intruding.

We played best ball golf, which was a good thing, as otherwise I think some of us would still be whacking our way around the course. It was my first time playing something besides a par 3 course so I got very friendly with my woods and drivers. But it was all in good fun, relaxing, and a nice end to the school year.

Saturday was Jaycon, which gets its own post because hey! pictures!

Sunday was the ballet, plus various Seckrit Project-related writing things.

Monday was writing, horse, and some other fiddley-foo stuff which sucked up my time.

Yesterday was a job interview, massage, and Fireside Writer day.

Today I need to meet someone and sign union-related paperwork, then do barn, then come home and do house stuff and work. And write. Of course I’m going to be writing!

Whew. It’s been a soft landing as far as finishing off school years is concerned. But if the past week is any indication, I’m going to be making up for the exhausted paralysis of previous years big-time. I have many things to be doing. Can I do them all (oh yeah, throw in three college classes this summer. Two of them will be self-paced, but even so…)


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Netwalk Foundations Monday!

It’s the first Monday of June, which means….yep, another Foundations Monday!


So just what does Sarah the Netwalker experience when she blows up and has to be exiled to virtual space? This is a rare look inside the thought processes of the most dangerous Netwalker who exists in the Sequence. Sarah, ultimately the mastermind and inspiration for Netwalk.

But all is not peaches and cream in Sarah’s world. And once she ends up in the White Room–there’s trouble. Go here for a free download of the latest addition to the Netwalk Foundations series!

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Conquering the ski boot issue and writing process stuff

I think I’m finally getting this boot thing back under control. It’s been freaking annoying, really, because I’ve spent this ski season fighting my boots, my goggles, um, what haven’t I been fighting? Oh, yeah, the skis.

Anyway. After crashing in a stupid spot last Sunday, I went boot shopping and ended up with a pair of high level boots at a major, major discount (Dalbello Electras, for those who want to know). They’re as stiff as stone, but I feel the fit adjusting with each turn I take in them…and as I get used to these little darlings, I grow to like them even more. I’ve had three days on them now and today, they finally started softening up. Of course, I’ve been sticking them on boot warmers before I put them on, which I think is also helping…but learning how to best buckle these boots has also been a help. My feet are reluctantly relearning the proper ski form after being able to caper as they please in the other boots. They’ll still need a few more days to reset the bad habits, but…given that we had a huge dump of very nice, crispy snow up on Hood, and that I’m mostly through a lot of my extra paperwork sessions at work…I think I can work in a few ski days before work.

No Palmer this year, though. Not in condition for it, still working through the hip and leg issues as well as the boots.

It was a lovely snowy spring day, as well. Spring snowstorms can be cold and crispy but not as cold as winter–or they can be icy and sloppy and wet. This was a cold and crispy day, which produced nice fresh powder, lighter than our usual stuff. DH and I did three turns on the Jeff Flood runs before bagging out and heading for Norman. Flood was getting hit heavily and chopped up. Norman, on the other hand, was less popular (most folks riding that lift head for the terrain parks, not the run) so it was pretty nice skiing. We got four runs in on Norman, then got our sack lunch and ate in the lodge.

Then we did errands on our way home, chores, and then I finally got into writing. It’s been a while since I’ve been using the laptop instead of the desktop to write, so I pulled the laptop out and sprawled in bed. That ended up being a pretty good place to work so I got a major chunk of my rewrite started. Problem is, this was supposed to be a light edit before we put it up as the first freebie in the Netwalk: Foundations series. It’s a story I wrote sometime around 2000, before I really even knew much about Netwalk, about Kathy Miller. What I wanted to do was throw it out there to show a little bit of writer worldbuilding in process (which is what the Foundations series is going to be about; putting up bits and pieces of the world as I write sketches and stories to share how things fit together).

Four days after I first started, it’s turning into a major rewrite. Some of that is due to changes in the worldbuilding since the story was originally written. After all, I’ve had thirteen years to think about it, off and on. And yet the bones of the Netwalk Sequence are in it, as solid now as they were then.

But it’s not really a commercial story, it’s a worldbuilding story. Ergo, I’m figuring out some character development that will become important in the next piece of the Sequence (family interactions, family interactions, a big chunk of the Sequence rests on the conception that these people form a dynasty based on some significant dysfunctional elements…plus space! Family dysfunction in Spaaaaace!. Just not space quite yet. Getting there).

That said, I’m trying to make it entertaining infodump.

More later as it develops. For now, happy ski girl needs to go crash…to rest up for what looks to be a very busy week.

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