In which we meet Rick, and Melanie talks with Andrew. AKA Family Dynamics Are Fun, Right?
In which we meet Rick, and Melanie talks with Andrew. AKA Family Dynamics Are Fun, Right?
Chapter Two, in which we get a look at the interior life of Netwalkers (post-death digitally uploaded personalities), plus Netwalker Sarah becomes aware of a new issue above and beyond the Gizmo….
So I’ve decided that I’m going to try putting up a chapter a week of Netwalk’s Children and Pledges of Honor for a while. Children will go up on Monday and Pledges on Friday. I’ll be working on the website and putting up a Paypal button for people to donate as they desire.
Or, you know, you could also write a review (when done), or go buy the books at the Usual Places (now including iBooks and a few other sources through Draft2Digital as well as Amazon, Nook, Kobo, etc).
And now, for Chapter One, in which Problems Arise With the Children.
At long last it’s here! Netwalk’s Children is live on Amazon, iBooks, kindasorta on Nook (there’s a page link but the dashboard says it’s still in progress), and it’s in progress for Kobo and some other sites. I’m really happy with this book because it came out pretty much like I wanted, and I think it makes a good transition into the last part of the series. We’re getting away from Melanie’s point of view and into that of Bess and Sarah.
So what’s it about?
The mysterious war machine device known as the Gizmo is getting restless and trying to use Melanie’s daughter Bess and her nephew Richard as a means of escape from its confinement. Meanwhile, problems arise with potential rogue Netwalkers tied not just to Melanie’s past but to her parents and the original capture of the Gizmo. Can Melanie work with her estranged Netwalker grandmother Sarah as well as Bess to stop the Gizmo and deal with past shadows that threaten to dominate Bess’s future?
There will be hard copies available at Orycon, and the Amazon listing includes hard copy as well as Kindle editions (I’ve also enabled Matchbook which means you can add on the Kindle edition to a hard copy purchase for a minimal amount).
Technical means aside, this is the first time I’ve worked with Draft2Digital and I like it much better than GooglePlay. I’m submitting fully formated epub to Draft2Digital, though I could just submit a Word file and let them format it. I’m liking the experience so far….
This is also the first cover that I completed entirely on my own, with a little bit of advice from my son. I’m rather proud of that, though the one for Pledges of Honor makes me even happier. My personal perspective is that this book’s the best one of the series so far…and I sure hope it takes off and sells well.
One more Netwalk book to go, and then I’m pretty much done with it for the time being, I think. Netwalking Space should come close to wrapping up the series loose ends, though I could see a far future sequel. We’ll see what happens. Meanwhile, I’m ramping up the Goddess’s Honor fantasy series, and the Oregon Country series is getting built and formed even now.
But today belongs to Netwalk’s Children. Happy book day to it, and may it do well.
Woke up to this today, and it kept on coming. However, because things were right at freezing, even though the snow kept falling at this level, it also wasn’t piling up above two inches. One of the first things I did was trek out to the barn to check on Miss Mocha because she hadn’t gotten her winter shoes yet. That appointment is scheduled for this Friday, and I had been hoping that this storm would be like the others and warm up. Nope. She came loping up with the herd so things weren’t too bad, though she was grateful for me picking out her hooves and spraying WD-40 in them to help stave off the worst of the ice balls. I thought she was shaking because of the cold for a moment but no, it’s because she’s been conditioned to equate getting caught with being fed grain. So she got a taste of grain (about a handful) and she settled with no shivering. Maybe she thought I was going to be crazy enough to try to ride her in this stuff. Nope, not if I don’t have to. Then, when I turned her out, she trotted over to one of her friends and they pressed foreheads together, then she trotted off to join the other one. That mare…sigh. She doesn’t like me taking Mocha away from her, so we Have Discussions. I suspect part of the issue is that this mare is still pretty lame (she’s there for a pasture layup) and Mocha being Mocha, she’s looking out for her. Or something.
Then it was back to home and prepping for book releases and an upcoming craft show. I laid out the plan for a novella in the Goddess’s Honor series and wrote enough of the opening to insert into the back of Pledges of Honor. Hubby went into the attic to install insulation and I turned to cranking out inventory. When I first planned to participate in the show, I had been thinking about designing stuff. Not inventory. Then I realized I needed inventory, not just flashy design stuff. So. Today was cranking out pretty hanging things, not necessarily Christmasy stuff but things meant to be pretty. No idea if they’ll fly, but I’m running several different lines for this show. Plus chapbooks. All of which needs to be done before Orycon, because we won’t get back until just before the show. Yikes. I do need to plan things better…
There’s so much that’s been going on and it’s been easier to throw a note up on Facebook than write about it. I interviewed for a long term temp job and didn’t get it, but it was a good interview and I know why I didn’t get the position (credentialing). That meant we had to adjust a Portland trip time for the flying trip back to do the interview. Then it was back to Portland and Clatskanie, to winterize the garden plus search out chanterelles. We ended up with three days of great mushrooming as well as piles of produce. For a first year garden it turned out pretty well, providing the bulk of vegetables for four households (all us old folks) from mid-July through the first part of November, as well as giveaways to others. And there’s still onions, carrots, beets, and chard left. We froze some of the produce but ate most of it fresh.
I also have two books launching, one in November and one in December. Netwalk’s Children drops the Monday before Orycon and Pledges of Honor in the first week of December. Production work is done on Children (hard copies will be available at Orycon) and work’s mostly done on Pledges. Now it’s just promotion (sigh).
Promotion and inventory creation. That’s what I’ve got to do here. But for the first day of winter, with snow flying, we’re settled in and stuff is happening.
And with that, I’m tired and off to bed.
Take a listen to Three Unwise Men Episode 7, otherwise known as The Long Awaited Episode 7, in which I am interviewed and talk about the upcoming Netwalk’s Children. And horses. I would have discussed Pledges of Honor, but….we got into Dallas with wireless implant chips (or is it Dynasty?) and matriarchies. Enjoy!
So while I’ve been moving and rearranging the life, and not at all keeping up with my ambitious publication schedule, there’s been a lot of other things happening in my writing world. If everything plays out correctly I should have at least three big projects hitting this fall, possibly four depending on rewrites and drafting times. And short stories. I need to keep writing short stories.
Project #1—Netwalk’s Children.
Finally. It’s done and in edits. The third book of the Netwalk Sequence is my most challenging one yet, because it’s the turning point of the series. The point of view is beginning the shift from Melanie to her daughter Bess. There’s major revelations about the real nature of the mysterious machine known as the Gizmo which the Corporate Courts were created to restrain and guard. There’s also some examinations of multi-generational family dynamics, the nature of digitally uploaded personalities, and a lot of hints about the revelations to come in the final book of the series, Netwalking Space. That doesn’t mean I won’t write a few more things in the Netwalk world—there’s still a set of The Disruption Chronicles to finish and publish as an omnibus. But Space will finish out my primary vision for the Netwalk Sequence. I’ll probably start work on it next spring with a goal of getting it out in time for Christmas 2016.
Netwalk’s Children should be out in October or November, in time for Orycon.
Project # 2—Pledges of Honor
Originally, I sold this work to a small press publisher. Stuff happened, and I got the rights back. Pledges is my high fantasy with a setting based on the late eighteenth-early nineteenth century interior Pacific Northwest instead of medieval Europe, about the transition of a young woman into a God. Well, that’s the series arc but not necessarily a book arc. The series and the books beyond Pledges are still in development. I’m wrestling with anti-colonialism themes in this one and Pledges barely touches those because its POV character is an outsider who turns out to be an insider. Let’s just say that the basic motivation of this story was the question, “What happens if colonial exiles united with the people they were supposed to colonize to overthrow the original, corrupt colonial empire?” A difficult subject and one I want to do right, because I want my colonial exiles to be the ones who get assimilated. Flipping of the tables, one might say. And I’m operating from the assumption that a society that has moved into its colonial conquest days is eventually going to fall.
Pledges has gone through a number of edits, so I just need to fix breadcrumbs hinting at later developments in the series plus make a final pass through it. I’m hoping to have it out for Christmas 2015. I have a kernel for the second book left over from an internship with Nalo Hopkinson, but boy does it ever need work. Nonetheless, I’ve got some ideas and will be talking more about this series once I get more pieces of it together.
Project #3—Do It Right in Space: Bess and Alex (working title)
This is going to be an omnibus release incorporating two already published novelettes and a novella I’ve still got to put up about Bess and Alex from the Netwalk Sequence. Tranquility Freeriders earned me a Writers of the Future SemiFinalist nomination but it’s not found a lot of love since. In any case, it’s about ambitious interns who figure out how to use skis for emergency evacuations on the Moon. Originally I wrote it for a Heinlein Society contest, then decided I didn’t like the contest constraints and sent it to WotF instead. Too High to Fall was a Finalist in a Story Builder contest and came out in Shelter of Daylight a few years ago, and is a space station mystery centered around a surprisingly stealthed dead skimmer near space station DIR 1. Of Archangels and Fuzzy Green Mascots was developed in a James Gunn short story online course I took a few years ago. It earned an Honorable Mention in WotF but didn’t find much love when I tried to sell it, so I’ve expanded it into a longer work to fit into this omnibus. It’s another space station mystery dealing with sabotage and the Gizmo.
Should be a Christmas 2015 release. Archangels is out on Amazon as a Kindle Unlimited short, and I’ll be running a freebie on it around Sasquan time.
Possible Project # 4—Klone Lane/Klone’s Folly
This is supposed to be a fun little romp of a novella—my Jane Eyre meets Frankenstein in the contemporary interior Pacific Northwest. Reeni grabs at a job as a tutor in an isolated mountain compound to get away from an abusive ex-husband. But she finds out that not only is her ex Karl not human, but neither are her students. Still in early drafts, so I don’t know how far I’ll get with it. I may not get it done before 2016, depending on what happens with the other projects.
Possible Project #5–And other stuff.
I also plan to write more short stories on spec as well to specific anthologies—have two of those prospects that I need to develop right now. I’m also branching out into creative nonfiction and am trying to write those essays as well.
So. Lots going on.
Project #6– Newsletter announcement
I will be releasing my first newsletter in a few days. I don’t plan to spam folks so you should be getting posts about 3-6 times a year, depending on my convention and release schedules. Besides cool pix and stuff that won’t show up on either Facebook or the blog, I’ll be doing a giveaway directly from the newsletter. Stay tuned for further details.
There’s nothing quite like a drive from Portland to Enterprise on a moody, partly cloudy but mostly dry spring day. Hubby and I both drove the cars since it’s now That Time to move both vehicles up here. Originally, our plan had been to make this trip on Wednesday, but Princess Pony was throwing a hunger strike and we can’t dig razor clams due to red tide, so we made the trip today instead. We end up with an extra unplanned car trip because we have to make a flying overnight trip back to PDX, but that just means more boxes get hauled sooner. Not bad at all. And then there’s the trip from Enterprise to Missoula for Miscon. Hello, new life. Yow.
It was a gorgeous day for a drive. Started out with two idiots crossing multiple lanes of traffic to cut off hubby while trying to reach an exit, both within a half hour of each other, but once we got east of The Dalles, then things settled down. As well as got downright pretty.
Usually when we make this drive for Miscon, there aren’t as many flowers and the grasses have started to dry. We’ll see if one week makes a difference or not. This time around, the grasses throughout the Gorge and in the Plateau regions were still green, and tall enough to look like floaty green clouds. Add to that the mixture of clouds and sun, interesting light, and it made for a pleasant drive. I latched on behind hubby and just cruised. We spotted a huge herd of bighorn rams right by the highway, but not much else in the way of wildlife. I thought about a couple of short stories for an anthology call, but they don’t match the theme and it’s not one I want to play with anyway. But I’ll write at least one of them, because Princess Pony has been bad and she needs to get written into a story.
Seriously. Princess and the Pigs is evolving into a saga worthy of the original “Primrose and the Pigs” from the old Usenet group rec.equestrian. Mocha still freaks out about the pigs. Even though she’s been moved further away from them, if she hears them fussing, she gets worried. Heck, the barn owner’s fired up a chain saw right next to her pen and she’s okay with that. She’s okay with most everything–except. Pigs.
Oh. And she pulled a hunger strike. She hasn’t been eating. That’s what brought us up sooner than planned, because the report was that she was pacing a lot and not eating, losing weight. Barn owner had put her into a smaller pen and was cycling through everything she could think of to tempt Mocha to eat. Hubby and I figure that she’s missing a familiar contact.
So we show up. Immediately horse wants to eat. Eat Equine Senior. Eat grass. Eat the feeder full of hay that she’s been scorning. She’s been starved, Mom, STARVED.
Yeah. Right. We stood by the tire feeder while she scarfed up a flake of grass hay and some alfalfa. Basically, just held the lead rope and wouldn’t let her pace away from the feeder, but stand and eat like she normally would. She ate steadily but not frantically. As she ate, I could see her facial muscles relax and her eyes soften. We also put one of her familiar blankets on her (the spring sheet) and I think that helped as well.
ARRGH. Well, I guess the horsie wuvs me. But geez, I’d prefer it to be without all these dramatics. Oh well.
So that’s the dispatches from here. I’m flailing away at Netwalk’s Children and hope to have the dang thing done before Miscon. We’ll see.
And there is some squeeable news on the writing front, but I can’t disclose as yet.
Looks like my intermittent internet presence will continue until after Miscon, folks. Not that anyone in particular is missing me, I’m sure, but still…
No pix yet because I am not quite adventurous enough to try uploading some pix to the big computer with anything more than a personal hotspot, and etc, etc, etc. Nonetheless, we’re in the moving process and getting things figured out, worked in, and all that good stuff. Projections now are for chaos for the next few months as we work through painting at the Enterprise house, hauling the remainder of stuff to Enterprise, and etc, etc, etc. My current high-speed access is at a coffee shop where my phone doesn’t work (the joys of Bowlby Stone).
But. Good stuff is happening all around. We have successfully made three trips with horse trailer, two with furniture, one with horse, and today we embark on the monthly entertainment of hauling horse hay. Horse hauled well but she is currently in a huge snit because she doesn’t like living in an outside pen with pigs and stallions around, she doesn’t like being alone in a stall by herself, and she’s pacing and just ticked off at the world in general. Still–her feet look better than ever, she’s holding her weight and looking hard and fit in spite of the pacing, she is playing in the creek, and she’s back to normal under saddle. She’s also eating and drinking. And I’m riding my sweet mare at the foot of the Wallowas. Stunning views.
Painting is proceeding slower than we anticipated, but it’s still going along. I’ve made contact with the local Handcrafters Guild and plan to have a booth at their Christmas bazaar the first weekend in December. I’m also getting on the local school substitute list. I have placed books in the local independent bookstore, the Bookloft. Hopefully I’ll be a reader when the monthly Fishtrap readings start up in the fall. Making writer, teacher, and artisan connections slowly, starting on horseperson connections as well.
Netwalk’s Children is also progressing slowly but surely. The slow pace of the writing is helping me figure out some plot twists, which is good.
We’re also discovering some cool new places around here. The Lostine Tavern would not be out of place in Portland or Seattle, and IMO (but not hubby’s) it beats the pants off of McMenamin’s. Locally grown beef, one of the best gluten-free buns I’ve eaten, great fries, local brews…not to be missed. Speaking of local brews, if you’re quaffing a Terminal Gravity, then that’s brewed about a half mile from the house.
So connection and communication is intermittent right now. If you’ve got the phone number, though, feel free to text or call.
And now I’m going back to wrestling with ACX and approving the Alien Savvy audiobook.
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.
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.