truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. There comes a point in every pro wrestling tag-team match where one of the Faces is in the ring alone with both Heels, getting the tar whaled out of him or her. That's what today is like, the Heel tag-team being Migraine and Fibro. I try not to give in to chronic pain (because once I start giving in, there's no good stopping point), but today I went back to bed.

2. Yesterday, I used 5calls.org to contact the relevant people about the Paris Climate Accord. I got voicemail at Senator Ron Johnson's office; talked to real people at Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congressman Mark Pocan's offices; and the EPA's voicemail box was full. I also used RESISTBOT to send this fax to Senator Johnson and Senator Baldwin:
Trump has already made the United States a global disgrace. Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord will make us--rightly--a global pariah. Trump has already done so much damage. If impeachment is what it takes to stop him, then we have to impeach him NOW. Because he isn't waiting. Please protect your constituents, your country, and your planet. STOP TRUMP.

I know that I'm, on the one hand, preaching to the choir, and on the other hand, trying to teach a pig to sing. For Senator Baldwin, all I'm trying to do is give her data: I am one of her constituents and I am vehemently opposed to Trump. With Senator Johnson, honestly, the best I can hope for is that I annoy the pig.

3. I have NEVER IN MY ENTIRE LIFE been as politically active as I am right now. I'm not actually happy about this.

4. The mayor of Austin, Texas, is made of awesome.

5. The Harriet Tubman Home is asking for donations so that they can participate in the bidding war for a newly discovered photograph of her.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
So, basically, this week has been a clusterfuck in a shitstorm, but I want to also note that there are awesome things out there:

1. The white ravens of Qualicum Beach.

2. Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973): I picked up a cheap 2-CD compilation, and holy fucking shit that woman could sing.

3. This video. I usually eschew this particular internet acronym, but I admit it: Reader, I LOLled.

4. George Takei.

5. Deer eat dead people. Forensic scientists have pics to prove it. ETA: See also, giraffes gnaw bones.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: glass cat)
[first published on Storytellers Unplugged, August 29, 2007; thanks to the Wayback Machine for helping me rescue it]

click! )
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (mfu: ik-geek)
Mateusz Skutnik has released Submachine 9. I am beside myself with glee.

(If you want more Submachine, the entire series is here.)


Gandalf checks his email. BEST PHOTO EVAR.


I believe Catzilla turned off the little Cthulhu machine this morning by walking on it. Proof (a) that the people who designed the damn thing have never lived with a cat and (b) that my cat is THE SPAWN OF THE DEVIL.


I had not known about EarlyWord until it was drawn to my attention that The Goblin Emperor got a nice shout-out on their GalleyChat summary for March 4.

There's also a very positive review from Justin Landon at Staffer's Book Review, who admits he went in prepared to hate the book and was won over anyway. I think that's the first time I've pulled that trick off.

(I know if you're reading this blog, you probably don't need to be persuaded to buy the book. Humor me.)


I finally have a day job that is both permanent and part-time (instead of working as a full-time temp, which is what I've been doing the past two and a half years). I am very happy with it; it has taught me that, oddly enough, I enjoy accounting, which is a piece of self-knowledge I wish I'd had in college. It satisfies the same part of my brain that likes Latin and calculus (and Submachine, come to think of it). And I totally get an endorphin cookie when my numbers balance.

Also, if anyone knows any good resources for DIY double-entry bookkeeping, please share! I took a Continuing Education Accounting Intro course, but the textbook, as it turned out, was not very reliable. And my employer is unlikely to be able to spring for accounting software any time soon, so it's just me and Excel.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (sock elephant)
So anyway, in my THIRD POST TODAY:

1. Publishers Weekly reviews The Goblin Emperor

2. Goodreads & Tor are apparently conducting a sweepstakes for The Goblin Emperor, which I know about because I know how to use Google.

3. My beloved friends Lynne and Michael's daughter Caitlin has Aicardi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes all sorts of problems, including potentially life-threatening scoliosis (spine gets too far out of whack, lungs can't work properly). Caitlin just had surgery on her spine, in which she nearly died, and one of her Aicardi sisters, Annie, is now fighting one of the worst possible outcomes this surgery can have. Please keep both Caitlin and Annie, and their parents, in your thoughts.

4. I have started watching The Magnificent Seven TV series on Hulu. I will probably make a post about it when I've finished, but for now I will just say that every single episode I have watched would be improved by MOAR EZRA.

5. Via @UrsulaV, a picture of baby Eastern Screech Owls and from @EmergencyKittens this really quite remarkable Persian in midair plus some kittens. (Because when in doubt, add pictures of (a) baby animals, (b) cats, (c) both.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (lionsmane)
1. This guy's art is AMAZING.

2. The thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is that I now have a little weather prediction center in my right ankle that FAITHFULLY lets me know when the weather is changing. You know, just like characters in books always do. I must tell you, however, that it is not actually as much fun as you might think.

3. I love this proof that cats have always been cats.

4. I have rubbed a raw spot inside my nose with my sleep apnea tentacles. DON'T ASK ME HOW I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

5. If you are in need of laughter today, this site made me laugh so hard I nearly ended up on the floor.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (mfu: ik-geek)
1. The countries of the world in their own names and scripts--plus days, months, planets, and a wonderbox assortment of other proper nouns.

2. The Xerces Society has a whole section on their website about conserving bumblebees.

3. A Typgraphical Glossary--I now know the term for a written language that does not use vowels is an abjad, and that's only the first entry.

4. Nineteenth-century German marzipan makers. (I love this photograph with a love that is pure and true and not smirking even a little bit at the mustaches.)

5. I was looking up Richard Trevithick for reasons which I swear to god are totally research related, and learned that in Cornish mines, his technological children were called puffer whims. ...You're welcome.

Lagniappe: Wooden churches from northern Russia.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (mfu: albie)
1. We have a new car. The elderly psychotic Swedish car had devolved into panic attacks (the car started setting the car alarm off randomly--and silently, so it was like panic attacks IN MIME) and we finally just said fuck it, and bought a new (used) 2009 Subaru Forester. With all-wheel drive, which I am going to be loving come next winter, I tell you what.

2. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a hawk cam, which as I type this is showing three fluffy baby hawks. (Ooh, and a parent just showed up with a small dead thing. Rock on.)

3. And speaking of fluffy!cams: Kitten Cam! (via [livejournal.com profile] heresluck)

4. Not a cam, but to complete the fluffy trifecta: Clouded Leopard cub getting some really primo chin skritches.

5. Neil Gaiman likes my Sandman essay!1 This is the first time in my life I've written an analytical essay about a work by someone who's still alive to have an opinion. And he likes it! I have some cognitive dissonance, but it is the most awesome dissonance in the history of things that jar your brain when you put them together.

---
1@neilhimself For the record CHICKS DIG COMICS contains the best SANDMAN essay I've read & I've read too many. http://bit.ly/GT3TLe Well done @pennyvixen2

2Oh, come on. How could I not footnote at a time like this?

5 things

Dec. 18th, 2011 08:57 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. I'm seeing a sleep therapist now, because I would like to get off the potentially addictive hypnotic that is currently holding my insomnia down. She told me what I really already knew, that I need to get on a fixed schedule of going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. Which means getting up at 6:30 on weekends. I HATE THIS. I have always been a night owl, and mornings are my favorite time to sleep. But I am determined to give this fixed schedule a fair shot, so here I am, awake and fed and medicated and dressed at 8:30 on a Sunday morning. (Nobody says I have to move fast on weekends, just that I have to get up.)

The fixed schedule idea also means that I have to go to bed--as in, in bed, lights out, eyes shut, at 10:15. And ideally I need to try to decrease my computer usage in the late evenings, because of light issues (photosensitivity plus glow of monitor equals confused circadian rhythms). Which means I have even less time to get computer things done, and I am still trying to finish this goddamn book. Ergo, as little as I have been an online presence in recent months, I'm going to be even less of one, at least for a while. Which is Teh Suck, but I have to find a way to keep the insomnia chained in the basement, and long-term drug usage is just not the way I want to go.

2. So, when I was making my whirlwind trip to Boston, I discovered that O'Hare has a Field Museum store. This is a brilliantly terrible idea on the Field Museum's part, but it did mean I could take [livejournal.com profile] matociquala meerkat socks as a hostess gift (because seriously--meerkat socks). And I bought for myself a pair of tiny Sue earrings. They have become my favorite earrings--for the one set of holes I don't just leave rings in all the time--for days I don't have to dress like an adult.

3. Two really nice capsule reviews of The Bone Key: (1) and (2). And Somewhere Beneath Those Waves got a starred review from Library Journal (here if you're interested) and a very kind mention from Lesley Hall over at Aqueduct Press's blog.

4. These fossa pups, Ingrid, Heidi, and Gretchen, show that Madagascar really knows how to work the charismatic predator* angle.

5. Have a picture of Milo and me:

(Stepping Stones Studio 2011)
---
*[livejournal.com profile] ursulav came up with that useful designation.

5 things

Dec. 6th, 2011 08:16 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. The ebook of Somewhere Beneath Those Waves is available from Weightless Books.

2. Apex 31 includes my Booth story, "The Yellow Dressing Gown" (originally published in Weird Tales by the fabulous Ann Vandermeer).

3. Over on the Whatever, John Scalzi is hosting threads for authors to promote their own works as holiday gifts. If you're looking for ideas, I commend the Whatever Shopping Guide 2011 to you.

4. The pictures of these African Sulcata tortoises and their progeny fill me with delight.

5. We are still worried about our Jellicle Ninja. Good thoughts appreciated.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. The Jellicle Ninja is doing much better. Thank you for all your kind wishes!
2. Brit Mandelo has reviewed Somewhere Beneath Those Waves for Tor.com
3. Apex Magazine will be reprinting "The Yellow Dressing Gown" in their 31st issue.
4. I still like my job as a database thrall.
5. The horse continues to be a good horse. A goofy, exasperating horse, but a good horse nonetheless.

5 things

Nov. 21st, 2011 07:39 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. My trip to Boston in a nutshell. (In case you can't tell, the chained up books in the MITSFS library are the Gor novels.) There was also a great deal of Giant Ridiculous Dog, of which I totally approve.

2. Despite the fact that I really liked the Star Trek reboot, [livejournal.com profile] kateelliott has come up with something that would have been SO MUCH MORE AWESOME ZOMG THERE ARE NO WORDS.

3. A brief resurgence of Q&A, since somebody had questions:
(a.) Is there any hope of you writing another Labyrinth book?
Another book is unlikely, unless the clouds open up and the angels descend and I am struck by an idea of such IRRESISTABLE GENIUS that there is clearly no other choice. But I do intend to write a novella about Cardenio Richey and Vey Coruscant's copy of the Principia Caeli and a Jack the Ripper analogue called Jean-the-Knife. The title is Yes, No, Always, Never, and it's in the list of things I'm gonna get to Real Soon Now.

(b.) Secondly, I was kind of expecting for Felix and Kay to wind up together. Am I completely off base?
No, you're not. That was what originally happened, in the very bad and embarrassing draft that I wrote when I was paying more attention to the deadline than to what the book (and the characters) needed.

4. [livejournal.com profile] elisem has written a Lovecraftian hymn, for which she blames me.

I'm cool with that.

5. My introvert meter has expired and I'm out of quarters. Good night, internets.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (tr: mole)
::emerges, blinking, from hole::

So things have been pretty hectic for me in the past couple of months. I've started a new job as a database thrall, and The Goblin Emperor should have been turned in September 1st but persists, hydra-like, in producing two new heads for every one I chop off.

There are all kinds of things that aren't getting the attention they deserve because of this (just ask Catzilla and the Plushie Ninja if you doubt me), but one thing I've failed ignominiously to do is to provide pointers to some things people who like my writing may be interested in.

(Marketing genius, ladies and gentlemen! as Peter Mulvey says.)

1. The compiled list of recommendations from #buyabiggaynovelforscottcardday is here.

2. Whedonistas, in which I along with a fuckton of awesome women have an essay, is available for the Kindle.

3. Back in the pre-The Tempering of Men-launch week, [livejournal.com profile] matociquala posted the first chapter. So, you know, if you haven't bought it yet or haven't heard that there's a sequel to A Companion to Wolves or something . . . it's still there.

(I am so bad at self-promotion, it is embarrassing.)

4. The ebooks of Shadow Unit Seasons 1-3 are available at Barnes & Noble (for the Nook) and Amazon (for the Kindle).

5. Just a note, because I should have said it here: "Absent from Felicity" will be included in Somewhere Beneath Those Waves, which I should also mention is, if you follow the link, available for pre-order.

Also, bonus item: the fabulous cover design for the new edition of The Bone Key. (Seriously. This is the best cover I have ever had. I am in love with it and want to give it chocolate.)

There. I think that does it.

::retreats back into hole::
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: actw)
1. (via [livejournal.com profile] cmpriest) The search and rescue dogs of 9/11. These are wonderful photos of wonderful dogs, and they damn near make me cry.

2. The Tempering of Men launches today! (It's the sequel to A Companion to Wolves if you need that info.) [livejournal.com profile] matociquala is having a contest.

3. Speaking of [livejournal.com profile] matociquala, she made a post yesterday about the cunning ways PTSD encourages self-sabotage. And, I think, about the importance of telling the people you love that you care about them. Because they may really need to hear it.

4. Ariel the dolphin and her baby, which you may file under omg cute! or omg dolphins are awesome!.

5. First successful use of laparoscopic(!) artificial insemination with Pallas' Cats.

(Yes, I like animals. Frequently more than I like people.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. It is disgustingly hot today. Thank goodness for air-conditioning.

2. Think good thoughts for me tomorrow at 11; I'm interviewing with a temp agency.

3. These caracal kittens are just stunningly beautiful. (Watch the video to see their even more stunning parents.)

4. So I'm behind the curve (as per usual), but I have finally discovered Hyperbole and a Half (origin of "CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!"). My favorite entry is probably The Alot Is Better Than You At Everything (it also makes me wonder if alots live in alotments), but The God of Cake is a close runner-up, and the better pain scale made me cry with laughter. (Also, an honorable mention to one of her older posts, "Thing of the Day: Uterus. Rating: NOT AWESOME," for obvious reasons.) But I love the alot. I want to give it cookies, and oh believe me, I will be thinking of it in bad English-usage situations from here on out.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] jenavira has alertly pointed me toward instructions for making your own alot.

5. And finally, a passage I have had to excise from an essay I'm working on, but which I love so much I have to SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD:
The difference between a murder ballad and a revenge tragedy goes like this. In a murder ballad, Johnny does Frankie wrong and Frankie shoots Johnny; in a revenge tragedy, Johnny does Frankie wrong, and when Frankie goes to shoot Johnny, she misses and kills the brother of Johnny's new girlfriend instead.

And Wacky Hijinks Ensue.


Thank you. I feel better now.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. Happy Fourth of July! Also, belatedly, happy Canada Day!

2. I was very sad to discover that Edward Hardwicke died this May. He was my favorite Dr. Watson, and he was astonishingly excellent in Sir Ian McKellen's Richard III. It's obvious from reading what he says about Jeremy Brett, just on the IMDb page, and then reading what Brett had to say about him (and I am still sad, sixteen years on, that the world now lacks Jeremy Brett), that he was a lovely human being and that the friendship he and Brett show between Holmes and Watson was also part of their real-life relationship.

Rest in peace, Mr. Hardwicke. And thank you.

3. And a quote from Jeremy Brett on playing Sherlock Holmes: "I'm so miscast; I'm a romantic-heroic actor. So I was terribly aware that I had to hide an awful lot of me, and in so doing I think I look quite often brusque, or maybe sometimes even slightly rude. In fact Dame Jean Conan Doyle, Doyle's daughter, who's a great personal friend of mine, did once say to me, 'I don't think my father meant You-Know-Who to be quite so rude', and I said, 'I'm terribly sorry, Dame Jean, I'm just trying to hide me'."

4. So, after fifteen years of living in this piece of the Upper Midwest, [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw and I have finally started exploring its natural wonders, starting with the state parks. The bit of it I want to blog about is, in one of the state parks, there's a pine plantation--i.e., planted by someone who intended to harvest the trees for lumber. (The park information is very carefully passive voice, so it's hard to tell quite how we ended up with a pine plantation in a state park.) Walking from the mostly oak forest into the pine plantation was one of the more eerie experiences I've had recently. Because, you see, the thing about pine plantations is that they kill all the other vegetation. No smaller trees, no bushes. No Virginia creeper, no grape vines, no mayflowers or ferns. No animals. No birds. Just these tall, straight trees, and a carpet of dead pine needles. And the mosquitoes who followed us in.

It'll probably get into a story eventually, but in the meantime, it's this odd lump of experience like an inclusion in quartz.

5. There's nothing like disgusting humid sweltering heat to make Catzilla feel snuggly.

5 things

Jun. 24th, 2011 11:08 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec-working)
1. Not to be gross, but the snotbergs in my head are calving.

2. Milo <3 June

3. Since a couple people have asked, Somewhere Beneath Those Waves is a short story collection. It will be published by Prime in November, and will collect all the non-Booth stories I've published up until 2010. (I.e., "After the Dragon" will be in it; "The Devil in Gaylord's Creek" will not.)

4. There is no number four.

5. Bat-eared fox kits! They're going to grow up to look like this, so you can see that it takes a while after birth before the ears deploy. In honor of my love for critters who can use their ears for drag chutes, have some more pictures. (Plus a bonus fennec fox.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (otter)
1. Simon's Cat has a website. Also, a new cartoon.

2. Life on White does absolutely stunning photography. All kinds of animals, vertebrate and invertebrate. ([livejournal.com profile] oursin, I commend to you the hedgehogs.)

3. The Indianapolis Zoo has a baby dolphin. I recommend the video, especially if your own species is getting you down today.

4. Sadly, Cinnamon, the doyenne of Disapproving Rabbits, has died. She was thirteen, which is a darn good run for a rabbit. All my sympathy to her humans.

5. There are snow leopard triplets (and their gorgeous mom) at Zoo Basel.

5 things

Jun. 3rd, 2011 01:51 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (smaug)
1. Ten months and two days out, I have had my last orthopedist appointment. (This is the ten-month anniversary of my ankle surgery, which was two days after I broke it.) The orthopedist is very very pleased. There's no sign of the fracture, the joint is symmetrical, the talus is nicely contained by the tibia and fibula. (He pulled up the original ER X-rays, in which, yeah, the tibia has ceased to contain anything and the talus is kind of drifting off out of the joint in a way I find even more horrifying now than I did at the time. In some circumstances, opiates really ARE your friends.) Unless the metal in my ankle starts to cause me pain, they don't need to see me again. Three loud cheers.

2. [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu pointed me to this lovely review by rushthatspeaks of The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow (written by Opal Whiteley, edited by Benjamin Hoff). Reading the review is its own reward, but I need to quote the first paragraph, which is what made Kate think of me:
The best way to describe the reading experience I had with this book is to say that it resembled what might happen to a perfectly innocent person who does not know much about history while looking up newspaper headlines from 1880s London. Which is to say, there you are researching away, doing nothing particularly ominous, and suddenly all of the scholarship on Jack the Ripper lurches out of its cabinet and starts gnawing on your leg. Up becomes down, dogs and cats start living together, the definitive works on the subject are written by people who do not have a personal interest so much as a personal ideological obsession, and otherwise perfectly rational researchers start yelling at one another "WHAT PART OF PH'NGLUI MGLW'NAFH WGAH'NAGHL CTHULHU FHTAGN DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?"

Of course, what it says about me that this paragraph evokes me to my friends is . . . perfectly deserved.

3. The Lindorm is still at the Saab place, but they promise I will be able to pick it up today.

4. Menstrual cramps continue to blow dead bears.

5. The Drabblecast has sent me an engraved brandy snifter and a murder weapon blunt instrument MASSIVE PLAQUE to commemorate "Mongoose" (written by [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and me) being their Story of the Year for 2010. ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala will be getting her own PLAQUE and snifter because The Drabblecast is a class act like that.) I love only slightly more than the fact that this plaque looks like it belongs in a Clue-for-Writers game (Miss Scarlet*, in the Conservatory, WITH THE PLAQUE!) the fact that both snifter and PLAQUE are engraved with a tentacle not unlike this one:

Honestly, I think sffh has the best awards: rocket ships, tentacles, H. P. Lovecrafts, the Jackson Awards' rocks . . .

---
*Did anyone else, as a child, suspect a secret affinity between Miss Scarlet and Scarlett O'Hara?
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (horse: fd-milo)
1. The tow truck guy, bless his tattooed heart, figured out what's causing the Saab's psychosis before I had to pay him to tow it to the service guys.

2. It's the ignition switch. Now we wait to find out whether the service guys can rebuild it or whether we have to get a new one . . . on which there is no ETA. I love my 1997 Saab, but there are drawbacks.

3. Speaking of drawbacks, my insurance company voted no on the Lyrica prescription. I need to find time to call my doctor's office and find out what we do about round 2.

4. On the other hand, the acupuncture is working. I took a walk with [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw yesterday after my appointment and had to double-take twice. Once because my ankle didn't hurt and once later because my thigh muscles weren't stringed-instrument-tense. It didn't last, but boy it was nice while it was there.

5. And finally, today I had the odd experience of consciously witnessing myself have a breakthrough. I've been struggling for most of a year, since before I broke my ankle, with cantering. (Yet another thing fantasy writers don't think about.) I fell off the first time I tried cantering off the lunge line--actually it was three hundred and sixty-three days ago, May 19, I just went and looked--and since then I've been struggling both to learn how to canter and to stop being afraid of it. (The huge hiatus because of the ankle did not help.) But today we were working off the lunge line, and I asked my teacher if we could try cantering. Not because I thought I ought to, but because I wanted to. She was delighted.

Milo and I cantered. I didn't fall off and I wasn't terrified I was going to (although I do need to quit trying to grip the stirrups with my toes). It was splendid.

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truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
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