I am pleased to report that I have finished the first draft of a new Penric & Desdemona novella. (For that peculiar value of "finished" that means, "still dinking till it's pulled from the writer's twitchy hands.")
Title will be "Penric's Fox"
Length, at this moment, is around 37,400 words. It is more-or-less a sequel to "Penric and the Shaman", taking place about eight or nine months after that story.
Final editing and formatting, arranging for cover art to send it out into the world nicely dressed, etc., will take some unknown amount of time and eyeball-endurance, but e-pub will likely happen in August.
My computer file tells me I started typing the opening on March 3rd, but of course there was lead-up to that. It is, in general, hard to tell or remember when a project segues over from "notion" to "planning", although the notion had been with me for some time. Story notions are like a collection of vaguely related objects rattling around in a box; planning starts when some key object that connects them all drops in, and things suddenly get interesting.
It's been a stressful week. The worst thing to happen, of course, was Jordin Kare's death on Wednesday. Friday we went down to Seattle both to check on the apartment, and to look for a kitten at Cat City. There were some wonderful ones, but they were all on hold. We went on a wild cat chase up to Lynnwood, only to find that the kitten we'd wanted to meet had been adopted while we were on the road.
The second pod was unloaded yesterday, mostly using hired muscle. It filled an appalling amount of space in the garage (I set up the plastic shelves down the center, and there are piles (mostly of book boxes) next to it. So there's that.) I had a bit of a meltdown this morning upacking mostly kitchen stuff, including the Peter Rabbit plate that I'd had as a kid, and realizing that we didn't have nearly enough room for even the reduced amount of stuff we brought, and concerned about money, and, and, and,... The usual stuff that happens when the brain weasels go out to play with the black dog.
We currently have two boxes of stuff to give away, one for my daughter who has just gotten engaged, and a largeish pile for G.
However, despite the stress, our first full week here has mostly been pretty good. Colleen's new caregiver, G", is working out quite well. (Glenn is G; our previous housekeeper, Giselle, was G'. This one is named Gina, so, ... After her I'm switching to subscripts.) Molly, our Chevy Bolt, is finally getting fully charged every day or two. (I am somewhat amused by the fact that she sends me a text when she's done charging. Molly is not amused by being mistaken for a wallboard anchor.)
Our beds are here, but we're waiting until after the new floor is in (Tuesday) to set them up, since moving them would involve taking them apart and setting them up again -- not worth it.
Our cats are at least not fighting; we're still keeping them separate until we can (hopefully) re-introduce them. We've bought a couple of Feliway pheromone diffusers - one for the main area of the house, and one for the room we plan to use for the re-introduction.
I have also replaced the ionization fire detector nearest the kitchen with a photoelectric one. Ionization detectors are sensitive to open flames, and we have a gas stove. Bad combination.
Dreadnought: Nemesis - Book One
by April Daniels
(Goodreads, 4.13 stars · 1,008 Ratings · 359 Reviews )
Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero.
Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.
It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.
She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.
And the sequel has just been released:
Sovereign: Nemesis - Book Two
(Goodreads, 4.05 stars · Rating Details · 44 Ratings · 31 Reviews)
The highly anticipated sequel to Dreadnought, featuring “the most exciting new superheroes in decades.” (Kirkus, starred review)
Only nine months after her debut as the superhero Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-sized job and she’s doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it’s only going to get worse.
When she crosses a newly discovered billionaire supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there’s no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her.
She might be hard to kill, but there's more than one way to destroy a hero. Before the war is over, Dreadnought will be forced to confront parts of herself she never wanted to acknowledge.
And behind it all, an old enemy waits in the wings, ready to unleash a plot that will scar the world forever.
Six of his songs were nominated for Pegasus Awards. Of those, only one of his songs (a parody) won, but it's one that most computer users can relate to: Heart of the Apple Lisa (yes, to the tune of Fred Small's "Heart of the Appaloosa", itself a wonderful song).
Though it wasn't my first inkling of his death, the Wikipedia article about him provides a good primer:
ETA: HA! I have found lyrics online for several of Jordin's songs via a site I'd not heard of before, songlyrics dot com. The dozen or so songs of his which they have can be drilled down to from the "jordin-kare-lyrics" link on their site.
Farewell, fine friend. May we meet again someday, among the stars.
Some have suggested STEAM, so as to include the Arts in the grouping. Or STREAM, to include Reading and Writing. Wouldn’t it be great though if all human intellectual endeavours were simply treated equally?
In addition to the elucidating prose, the article brilliantly integrates music clips and a graphical, color-coded depiction of the overlapping contrapuntal themes in Bach's Fugue for Organ in C Minor (BWV 542). Not only is the article well worth taking a few minutes to read, but there are lots of other nifty articles on the site as well.
- Played by an actor named Chris (Evans and Pine, respectively)
- Gets stuck far away from the fighting
- Gets together with a dark-haired beauty, who helps him
- Enlists the aid of a small band of companions, in a bar
- Drives a motorbike through the woods
- Flies of in an aircraft loaded with weapons of mass destruction in the end
It is based on the song "Balladen om den kaxiga myran" (YouTube) by Stefan Demert.
( Jag uppstämma vill min lyra )
In a World Without Fantastic Four Comics, DC Basically Decided to Make Their Own
For the past few years, the Fantastic Four have been absent—both in Marvel’s comics universe and in reality. Although Marvel seems to be uninterested in filling this hole in the comics landscape, it appears DC is more than willing to give it a go: say hello to the Terrifics, DC’s own quirky quartet.
The series, created by Jeff Lemire and Ivan Reis, will be part of DC’s new Dark Matter imprint, which is spearheading a whole bunch of series coming out of the Dark Nights event that’s about to get underway. The roster is definitely unique enough to be Fantastic Four-esque, and even brings back some DC heroes who’ve been mostly absent the comics over the course of the New 52 and DC Rebirth—Plastic Man, Phantom Girl, Metamorpho, and then titular team leader himself, Mr. Terrific.
click headline for full article
Me, I'm delighted to see Plastic Man back. Let's see what he's like this time.
Please go suggest themes! What topic do you really wish someone would tackle that never comes up? What genre, mood, symbol-set, or aesthetic pleases you?
Trip me tryout x yt? Yt? T xxfcxffxfxffxfxfxfxfftxxxfcxfffffyyyyxxx
The Well Stone
In This Place Of Steel And Stars (1st time)
Gargoyles (1st time)
I was awake quite early on Thursday. The morning's Morse practice went a lot better than it's gone in quite a while. Only one word caused me trouble. However, after it was over, much of the rest of the day was a bit of a struggle, energy-wise. A bit of stuff got done, but much less than might have been.
I spent a little more time tidying on Friday, but again ran short of energy and motivation before I got very far. It's still at the "things get messier before they get tidier" stage.
In the evening, however, there was gaming. At young A's request we played 7 Wonders, and Phil won. It was a short enough game that I was home before 10:30pm.
It rained overnight, and it has also been raining randomly and heavily at intervals all day. I have done a bit more tidying. I've also spent a bit of time trying to catch SOTA activators on the radio, ( Radio conditions ruminations )
Edit 7 hours later: Well, quite a bit of stuff has found itself a home in the workshop or the boiler cupboard, and there's a lot less on the floor now. There's further to go, but much less far than there was this morning.
Tomorrow there's an NMC rehearsal.
Warnings for major complications of the 'bureaucracy is literally trying to kill you' sort, systemic transmisia & ableism & classism, capitalism devouring its young.
( Read more... )
FUCK FUCK FUCK. *sound effects of smashing things, ripping with vicious claws*
I'm going out. *doorslam*
ETA: I did indeed go out and that was good. I went swimming in a river! And other things have come along that need dealt with, sigh. Thank you for all the support, both those of you who have commented and anyone reading and well-wishing later. I may close comments here shortly because I need to move on mentally; we'll see. <3
I'm not sure when I first met Jordin. Probably Confrancisco in 1993, where I first met a lot of the California filkers. (Most notably Kathy Mar, leading me the next year to drive up to a small con outside Toronto where she was GOH. But that's another story.)
My favorite memory of Jordin was his debut of "Heart of the Apple Lisa" during his Interfilk Guest concert at ConCertino in 1995. Which, being in Westborough, MA, was right in the heart of Fred Small territory. Given that and the number of computer scientists in filk, the titters from the audience started almost immediately. When he hit the first chorus, you could literally hear the wave of laughter roll from the front row to the back of the room. I was seated about 2/3 of the way back, with a clear sightline to the rear doors into the ballroom. As Jordin continued and the gales of hysterical laughter began to crescendo, I could see people running in from the hallway to find out what was happening.
And the topper? Mary Kay had been worried how the song would be received and thought the jokes might be too esoteric. For a con a few miles from the famed stretch of MA Route 128 known as "America's Technology Highway", home to the offices of IBM, DEC and Honeywell, HP, DG, and--sorry, different filker.
My second favorite memory came while waiting to board a flight at Dulles. I was sitting facing the concourse, watching people walk by, as one does. I saw someone who looked like Jordin walk by. I didn't get up immediately; I first thought it couldn't be Jordin, he lives in Seattle. A minute or two passed, and I became more convinced it really was Jordin. I got up, started to walk down the concourse, got about two gates, and saw Mary Kay sitting near the end of a row of seats. I went over and started chatting, and of course Jordin returned from his perambulations shortly thereafter. Turns out they'd been overseas at an astrophysics conference and were connecting back through Dulles. He'd actually won a significant award at that conference, making me the first filker other than Mary Kay to hear the good news.
Jordin leaves us a long legacy of original songs from the heartbreaking ("Waverider") to the anthemic ("Fire in the Sky"), parodies ("Psi Nought", "Dawson's Concom", "Unified Field Theory"), Les Barker recitations, Off Centaur recordings and songbooks, and drawers full of punny T-shirts. He will be missed.