Thursday, September 27, 2007
Unfortunately, the place we jumped to after Jatol's disasterous disappearance did not work for us. We're now shifting to yet another site. This one is working closely with Mar to get things set up and going properly and the move should go smoothly. We have the site shut down now.
We had to do this before the end of the month or else I'd be looking at paying the one group more money. The new place is paid for the next year, so we're set there.
So hold on. We'll be there soon and won't be moving again for some time, if ever! This has just been way too much work for Mar (and the moderators helping her!) and far too much stress for me. While they're working on the main site, I had eight other sites that had to be moved again as well. AAAAIIIIEEEEE. . . .
But we're getting there. Mar is downloading the database now and Holly is repointing for us because there was a mix up in who owns the domain name was still in her name.
We'll be there soon!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Yes, things have been very busy at this corner of the world, which is why I again missed the Friday Snippets last week There will be more on all the troubles next week, after everything is done and settled, but let's just say that I really don't need any more of this kind of stress in my life.
On the other hand, we are having a lovely autumn so far, and I have gotten out into it more than I expected. Last week we took a nice little trip down to the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge -- an almost perfect day there. The weather was gorgeous, the birds cooperative, and the trees just starting to change. The regular entrance had been blocked off for road repair and most people apparently couldn't find their way to the south entrance. There was hardly anyone there at all
That was last Friday. This Friday I am going to the zoo for a couple hours while Russ takes care of a few business things in Omaha. I haven't been there this month, so I'm looking forward to it. The weather looks as though it will be a good day for it, too. There are a couple little tiger cubs I only got a glimpse of last month, and they should be up and running this time around.
So, that looks like something to look forward to. Next year, they'll have the new butterfly house built. That looks like a great opportunity for a camera person.
Ah, and speaking of cameras, I'm still lusting after the DSC H9. I had hoped to get it in October, but new disasters struck this month, and it looks as though it might be a few more months. I don't need a new camera right at this point, but I've been looking at this one for a long time. It looks like a lot of fun. I could use some fun this year.
Not that it's been a horrible year. It hasn't. It's just that every time we think we're about to climb out of our troubles, something else comes along to knock us back down again. I know that's the way life is for most people -- and like most people, I'm starting to find it very annoying. I would like a quiet couple months, at least.
And I would like a new toy to play with. (grin)
Tomorrow night I hope to post something new for Friday Snippets and have it up for Friday, even though I won't be here. I think I'm going to go with a new novel that is next on my list of edits. This one just came back from Luna after a year and a half. I like the story, but I'm not surprised they decided it wasn't for them. I'm not really a romance writer, and even the Luna imprint needs a little bit more of it than I had in this story.
The book I'm editing right now is one that's already sold and should be published next year, so I really can't snippet it. I am amazed, though, at how much work it seems to need. Or maybe I'm being overly sensitive toward it. I'll do this edit, and if the publisher prefers the earlier version, it's not a big deal. And yes, the publisher knows I'm editing it -- I wouldn't just suddenly drop a new version on her.
I think I might write the sequel to this novel in NaNo this year. Maybe. We'll see when November 1 comes along. So far it has seemed unwise to make any real plans for this year. Not much has gone the way we planned.
And that's it, really. I need to get back to work on other things! Maybe I'll even get the snippet ready so I'm set this time!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
As some of you have probably noticed, there are some ongoing problems at the FM site today. Mar is working on one part (So please don't email her to bother her! She already knows!), and I'm working on another part of it. We hope things will be cleared up soon.
So just hold on.
And maybe go write something to keep you busy. (grin)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Zaphod the cute -- and that should say 2007, not 2006!
I was going to do snippets last Friday but the time just got away from me again. It's been a far-too-busy couple weeks. I have the feeling it's going to stay that way, too. Things have been piling up, and I have to fight to get it done -- and fight with a really bad 'who cares' attitude I developed there for a while. I'm still fighting that one off.
The one thing that has been helping is to give myself even more work. (Laughs) I decided that I'm tired of not getting much done in writing, so I've been doing 4k a day now for eleven days. That's helped with the word count. It's also gotten A Plague of Rats far closer to the ending. In fact, I'm starting to worry about what I'll write between it and NaNo.
Not so oddly, now that I've thrown myself into the novel again, the writing is going well on it. It's worse when I only do a few hundred words because I never get fully immersed into the story, and then it's harder to come back to it the next time. It slips away, bit-by-bit. It's especially bad when I'm writing something without an outline. Every time I hit that point, I remember why I like outlines so well.
But, even so, the story is moving. I'll have it done soon enough, and then move on to something new. Maybe short stories and nonfiction work for a few weeks. I could stand to do both. And I can work on outlines, of course. I have a couple of those ready to go, and I hope to fill them out a little more before NaNo.
I thought about not doing NaNo this year, but Russ talked me into it. There were a number of reasons I wasn't going to, including attitudes of others and a massive amount of work that doesn't appear to be lessening any. The attitudes shouldn't bother me, of course, and when it comes time for NaNo, they don't. At other times, I find it annoying that people think we should all do exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason -- and this from supposed writers. I say 'supposed' because now that I think about it, the ones I usually hear from are the ones who never complete a NaNo at all, and rarely -- if ever -- write anything else. And they're looking for someone (other then themselves) to blame.
And you know, I've just realized that I've inspired more people to write precisely because I show how much I love it during NaNo than any of the people will ever do with their constant griping about the fact that I write fast, and I love it.
Sometimes it's important to look at the larger picture.
And tonight's larger picture says that I had better stop messing around and get to work on my real writing before it gets any later!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
That would be Pip, nose down on my schedule. Sigh. I put the book there because I was actually trying to keep him off the schedule so I could see what else I needed to get done.
In other news, welcome to Disaster Central. In the last twelve days we've had a car die, the site provider for Forward Motion go out of business without warning, and the furnace die in the house. And neither Russ nor I have been paid. It's getting just a bit tense since the money for the new FM site is going to be due soon. The good news is that if I can pay the $300 and some, I won't have to worry about it for another three years.
Unless, of course, they go out of business as well.
Having just barely gotten the money together to pay Jatol the month before, this is kind of going to be a neat trick.
The furnace is another matter. We'll see. As long as it doesn't drop below freezing, we're okay -- more or less. And it might just be something simple. The problem, of course, is that until someone pays us we can't afford to have it looked at. Russ has to go to Omaha on Friday so he is determined to get a check then. That will help!
Now here's the odd thing. I got tired of falling farther and farther behind in my writing goals, so I've been writing 4,000 words a day for the last five days. It's one of those things where I just decided I was going to do it, and that was that. Yes, prior to having FM settled into it's new place it would have been a lot harder to do, but I still find it kind of funny that I made the decision to stop complaining about the lack of writing and do something about it. A Plague of Rats is going pretty well, though I think it's meandering a bit too much. I do that sometimes. I'll clean it up in the rewrite. I'm also working on notes for Draw the Line which looks increasingly like it will be my NaNo novel for the year.
Tonight I'm lagging a little, though. I'm not sure why, but I seem to have a bad case of restlessness. Still, I'm generally in a much better moood now that I'm writing again. Amazing how that works for me.
I just need to slide Pip back off my schedule to see what else I need to do tonight. . . .
Friday, September 07, 2007
To say that this week has been a zoo would be putting it mildly. You can tell how bad it has been by the fact I was really, really happy to get over 1000 words written yesterday. I haven't done any yet today.
But FM is back up and running well. That, at least, has gone right!
I'm going to do a short snippet from Paid in Gold and Blood tonight. This might be the last one I do for this book. We'll see. It's just a short little bit, and not the most exciting part of the story, but I do like the characters.
"I brought this danger," Katashan said.
"You've said the like before. But I still don't see how it could be your fault."
"I took her from the place of sacrifice, set her spirit wild --"
"And would it have been better, sir, if you'd left her?" he asked, sitting back again. "What would have happened then?"
"I... don't know," he admitted, but that was only half the answer, and they both knew it. "It would have been nothing good. If this is the power of a broken spell, I don't know what it would have been had everything been completed and the spell set in motion."
"And it wasn't? Why not? She's been long dead."
"Such spells take time to grow," Katashan said. His head pounded, and he wished he didn't have to think about such grave matters right now. However, he could tell from Cork's worry that it had been weighing heavily on him, and likely the same was true for everyone else who knew the truth of Sherina's death. "It was no simple casting."
"How long would it have taken?" Cork asked and drank down the last of the broth himself.
"I don't really know, Cork. I will likely have to go back to the site to find out, though. It may give us the answers we need to destroy her."
"That would be good sir -- but not yet. You're a long ways from well enough to travel."
He nodded without a protest. Even talking seemed to take a great deal of strength from him.
"Anything more I should know?"
"I sleep in the room here with you now. Captain Serrano made it official that I will be your personal aide and servant. Maylee brings us food, and we're damned careful of everyone else. I've feared she would be back at the windows, but Pater Matish says we're safe. Gods help us; I didn't realize he could do that, too. He said yesterday there's been no sign of her. I can't say that makes me feel any better."
"No, me either." If Katashan closed his eyes, he could see her clearly in his mind -- a wavering shape of white and power, hovering like a malevolent cloud above the camp of the dead soldiers. Peralin had fought her away -- he remembered that his own magic had not been strong enough to stop her. Though, granted, he had not been in the best of shape just then. She had not been close to destroyed, and yet she hadn't taken advantage of his weakness. That made him uneasy.
"Perhaps Peralin has been some help."
Cork's face paled a little. His voice lowered again. "I had convinced myself that had been -- madness, sir. That surely the god himself hadn't given me wine -- hadn't come to our aid. I'd really rather he hadn't, sir. Things can't look good if he's involved."
"But he is."
"Yes. I'm sorry."
"Me too, sir. But there's nothing we can do about it." He shook his head, but apparently the reality would not be persuaded to leave him this time. "I've not mentioned his appearance to anyone. The others are worried enough."
Katashan nodded, though it hurt to move his head. He did finally lift his hand and saw bandages wrapped around the wrist and up over the hand.
"Seemed best, sir, not to draw attention to that cut on your wrist. It had started to heal, but it looked too obvious to me. I did that one myself, and let the Pater Matish deal with all the rest."
"Thank you. My ritual blade?"
Cork pulled it out from under his own tunic. "I'll keep it a while longer sir, until the priest is finished and doesn't plan to come back, if you don't mind, sir."
"Kat, sir," Cork said, and then laughed. He looked unexpectedly happy. "I'm glad you're awake now. I've had a world of worry, not knowing what to do next, or what to do if she came back. Do you have any plans on how to deal with this?"
"I'd like to be awake for a little more time before I'm asked how to save the world."
Cork laughed again. Color had returned to his face. "Yes, sir. Good point. Rest now, Kat. Rest while you can."
Thursday, September 06, 2007
FM is very nearly up and running at the new site. Actually, it is there, and you have Margaret to thank for all the hard work and figuring it out. If it had been me, we would have scrapped everything and started with something new because I never would have gotten it fixed.
And we need to thank Holly Lisle, too. It turned out that the transfer of domain name to me never went through on GoDaddy back all those years ago, and it was still in her name. She's started the process to get it over to me again. I remember setting all that up, but something must not have completed.
I have spent the day in bed with a horrible sinus headache that made it impossible for me to even sit up for most of the time. Better now, and I'm waiting for an email from GoDaddy to get the rest of this done.
We're almost there.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
At some point today, FM will be down and moving to our new provider, Downtownhost.com. This is where Holly moved to, and they've been wonderfully cooperative and helpful. The real question is whether our Jatol server will stay up long enough for us to make the move. I'm just waiting for word on what I still need to do, and then the site and chat will be closed down and things will move.
Of course I didn't need this kind of trouble right now, especially since I had just gotten the funds together and paid Jatol last month. Now I'm getting the money together for the new people -- and yes, it is annoying me, but what can you do? It's going to be an expensive year for running FM, but it will be better the years after this.
FM is not the only site I have to worry about, but it is the most important, so I'm focusing on it first.
So, off we go.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
I'm a bit late tonight, which isn't surprising. What is a surprise is that I've found time to do this at all. I have Vision, the DAZ newsletter, two 2YN Classes to post, the updates to Forward Motion for September -- and all of them due right now. Oh, and out-of-town company. And our car died, so we had to go hunt down another one. I'm sure there's more, but I really don't want to think about it right now.
So here's another snippet from Paid in Gold and Blood. I hope by next week I'll have time to wander a bit more while reading all of the other great posts people are making. Right now, though, I just want to survive the weekend.
Sherina gradually retreated to the cliff's edge as Peralin pushed forward until it seemed that horse and rider would leap and take her over the edge with him. She howled with the wind one last time and then took to flight like a screaming banshee, flying off over the ocean. The fog and the night swallowed her and the world went silent -- the quiet of the dead who lay all around them.
Cork shivered again. He looked at Katashan with his face white, and then he looked to Peralin and his horse as they came closer. Cork started to stand, but he hadn't the strength left in his legs.
"Sir," Cork said and then bowed his head so deeply he nearly fell over. "My Lord."
"Peralin will do, Cork."
The fact the God knew his name didn't appear to help Cork much. He looked up with a start and shook his head, denying. . .something. Katashan put a hand to Cork's shoulder before he fell backward this time. Peralin leaned down from Night in a sweep of black, and a strange scent of spring, and pulled out the decanter and glass, pouring it full of the golden liquid and holding it down. Cork stared at the offered glass and Katashan finally took it in hand.
"Let him sip. You know how strong this is."
The scent alone gave Katashan strength again. He carefully put one glass to Cork's lips; his friend seemed nearly senseless and still very cold. Cork sipped, swayed, and sipped again. Color returned to his face, and his eyes blinked and focused once more. He looked at Peralin with his head tilted a little, and Katashan suspected he was probably half drunk already.
"Are they all dead, sir?" Cork said, waving a hand toward the camp.
"Yes, they are," Peralin said.
Cork took the goblet and sipped again. Katashan accepted another from Peralin with a nod of thanks sipped as well, grateful for the warmth, the power, the taste of life.
"Why didn't you come to save them?" Cork asked.
Katashan saw the God's face go very calm, and feared maybe Cork had stepped over the line. He took a longer drink of the damn wine -- if they were about to be chastised (or worse) by a God, he decided he might as well be drunk for it.
"There was a choice I had to make," Peralin said. "If I had come to save them, then Katashan would have been lost. I saved that which is more important --"
"No," Katashan said, shaking his head with more force than he had intended. The wine splashed out, dripped onto the ground-- and grass grew up in an eye blink where it had touched.
"In this battle, Katashan, it is true," Peralin said with unexpected gentleness. "You know this already. I had to make a choice, but because I did, they go to a good reward, having died to save another -- even if they were not aware of the sacrifice they made. Even Lord Arpan, though he little deserves such care."
Katashan, feeling the pains in his body even after the wine, tried not to give way to relief knowing the man had died, and that he would no longer be in Arpan's care. Then he realized it left Cork and him in a rather bad position, with everyone but the two of them dead.
"Where is Sherina now?" Katashan asked, trying to figure out what they could do next.
"Gone, but not far enough," Peralin said. He glanced out at the ocean and looked annoyed as he lifted his hand, as though to feel out the trouble. "I have tried to find what powers still tie her here, and why she's been gaining strength. I've not been able to find the link to the being that controls her. I chased her off for the moment, but being already dead, I can't kill her. And something I cannot quite grasp still ties her to the world of living."
"What will happen now?" Katashan asked, daring to look up at him again.
"Whatever you make of it."
It was the sort of answer Katashan would have expected from a priest -- the sort of answer, in fact, that had always annoyed him, and had been partially responsible for what drove him from the temple. Now he suspected the priests were not being purposely vague or facetious, but only following the true words of the Gods they served. He supposed that should worry him about the state of the world in general.
It would explain a lot of problems --
And then he realized he was trying to concentrate on anything except what he would make of it. The wine, at least had given him strength, if not clarity of mind. He looked at Cork, still pale and trembling as he held tight to the goblet in his hands. Cold? Shock? Fear? Katashan wondered if he, too, should tremble.
He looked back at Peralin, trying to get his thoughts focused again, and at the same time considering drinking more wine and maybe hoping everything would go away, at least for a while. Is that what he would make of it? "We can't go back to Salbay and tell them that their lord is dead, along with all this men, and only Cork and I survived."
Cork gave a little moan as he realized the implications. "They'd be certain you had your hand in this one, sir," he said. He looked stricken now, no doubt thinking about friends and family, and the lovely and brave Maylee whom he might never see again.
"I will fight your battle, my Lord," Katashan said looking up at Peralin, who seemed confused and uncertain by the statement. "But I will ask a boon. Find a way for Cork to go home, right now."
"No, sir!" Cork protested. The color came back then, and along with an unexpected fire. He held the goblet tight in one hand, but caught Katashan's arm with the other. "I will not abandon you in this battle, Katashan. No."
Katashan pulled away, lifting a hand and stilling him from further comment. "This is not your war --"
"Like hell it isn't!" Cork all but shouted, and then gave the God, watching with a little amusement, a look of apology. "Your pardon, my Lord. I did not mean --" Cork stopped, stared up at the waiting God for a long moment, and then apparently gave that conversation up as hopeless. He turned back to Katashan, his face set with a stubbornness Katashan didn't find really surprising. "Sir, you cannot fight this war alone. We've already seen that."
"Your home is important to you," Katashan said softly, hoping he kept the feelings about his own home, and all that he had lost, from his words.
"Yes it is -- important enough that I would fight and die for it, even if I could never go back there again. But you know what that's like, don't you, sir?" That one hit home. Katashan bowed his head, and only looked up when Cork put a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry. But I still won't go home --"
"Would either of you care to hear my thoughts on the matter?" Peralin asked.
They both looked up, startled. Katashan wasn't certain if he should feel hope or dread, but he nodded.
"Go back to the fort at Salbay. By the time you get there the others will have spread the tale of what happened here, and about the evil spirit that killed all the men."
"But you said they all died," Katashan replied and tried to quell a hint of frustration.
"I said all of them are dead." Peralin waved toward the camp. Katashan looked and turned away again so quickly that his head pounded. He didn't want to see the dead, and wonder if he could have saved them, or if he should even have tried. "However, a group of this sort is bound to draw the attention of others. There were some mountain people on the heights who thought this group might be easy to rob, since the guards were so lax. But then they saw the fog roll in, and the two of you escaping just as the evil fell upon the camp. They are even going to say that the troops deserved it, having watched how they treated their prisoner."
"Will they?" Cork said, startled.
"Certainly. They have already headed back to the fort."
"Why?" Cork said. "It's not that the mountain people are apt to bring us news in the past."
"Because they believe that there will be a reward for telling the commander of the fort that his Lord has been killed. However, they are going to be disappointed since they will be the second with the news. The first will be a party of ten soldiers who had followed some ways behind, in hopes that you could get Katashan free, and they could help spirit the two of you away. Their scouts saw what Sherina did. You and Cork will be assumed dead until you get back, and the Mountain People have told their part of the story. There will be suspicion, of course -- but nothing will be charged against you."
"Oh," Katashan said. His head started to spin. He held the goblet of wine back up to Peralin with some haste. Drunk enough after all. "So, it's safe for us to go back to the fort now."
"Safe? Did I say anything was safe?" Peralin asked with a shake of his head. "There is no safety, Katashan. Not until this matter is resolved. But you would be wise to head back to the fort and what allies you have in this world. And you would be wise to do so quickly. There are horses, still -- spooked, but better than walking. The dawn is coming. I cannot stay."