The last week or so has been one of those times when I find myself bent and twisted in a lot of different directions.
Treecat Wars, the second of my novels with David Weber, is officially released. Now those of you who have been reading the teasers on Baen’s website can find out what happens to Stephanie Harrington on Manticore, how Stephanie’s friends cope as they take over being the treecats’ champions without the presence of their fearless leader, and if the Landless Clan finds a new home or is destroyed in the course of the search.
It’s a thrilling read, if I dare say so myself, with lots of action, intrigue, and some really involved interpersonal conflicts to round out the tale.
Last week, Weber – I’ve always call him “Weber,” not “David”; by now it’s a pet name and he’d probably collapse in shock if I called him “David” – and I did a podcast interview for Baen Free Radio. Just to make it more fun, editor Toni Weisskopf joined us. The interview was conducted by Tony Daniels, but I think it’s pretty clear which Toni/y is speaking when.
Anyhow, we had a lot of fun. Just from how we talk all over each other and Weber keeps saying “I just want to finish this thought…” listeners will probably get a pretty good idea of what it was like as we were designing the books! The interview goes up on Friday, October 11th at: http://baen.com/podcast/podcast.asp.
I also did a signing for Treecat Wars at Alamosa Books here in town. There’s nothing like seeing stacks of the novel in a store to make the project suddenly “real.”
Yesterday, I did an interview with Josh Gentry, the editor of Snackreads. We’ll talk a bit about my humorous short story, “Hamlet Revisited.” (Available at www.snackreads.com for a mere 99 cents). However, we also plan to talk about a wide variety of topics related to writing and how being a professional changes the game. If all goes well, the interview will be available not only as a podcast, but on video on YouTube – an intimidating prospect for someone as camera shy as I am! I’ll let you know when it’s available.
As you know from last week’s post, Artemis Awakening is moving through the steps involved in its May 2014 release. The cover art is ready, the book jacket copy is being prepared, and early reviews solicited. The book is now available for pre-order for those of you who want to make sure to be among the first to get a copy.
Even with all of this going on, I’m continuing work on the sequel to Artemis Awakening. AA2 is now about 70,000 words long and the fur is about to start flying. (Literally, in some cases.)
As a break from all the professional activity, this past weekend, Jim and I went with our friend Michael Wester to see the show put on as a part of the 2013 Pacific Coast OrigamiUSA Convention. It was well worth the visit. The local hosts had tied the decorations into the Balloon Fiesta, which is also going on, so both the hotel foyer and the showroom were liberally hung with brightly colored balloons made from folded paper. The hotel atrium was dominated by a ten-story high balloon sculpture made from twisted crepe paper, anchored to an actual balloon basket far below.
In the showroom, we inspected numerous intricate origami works. I’d like to say I had a favorite, but that would be impossible. There was so much variety and so many different styles – from representational to abstract, with everything in between. The rendition of the Church of San Felipe de Neri in Old Town, Albuquerque. was incredibly impressive, standing at least four feet tall at the tips of the spires. We’d thought it must have been created by one of the local clubs, but it turned out to be the work of a Canadian couple. They had taken their images from the web and used Google maps to make sure they had elements like the intricate details of the roof angles just right.
The church was surrounded by a colorful garden, complete with myriad origami people, each unique and each wearing their own set of carefully folded paper shoes. While the church was such a perfect representation that anyone local immediately knew that this wasn’t just any Spanish-style church, but one specific church, the garden was a fantastic riot of improbable combinations: the lamp posts in purple, trees sharing space with gigantic (in contrast) flowers. I wasn’t surprised to find out that one of the other displays that had impressed me – a set of twenty different miniature origami flower arrangements – had been done by the same people.
As I wandered around the room, studying each display, going back for second and third looks, I found myself musing that there is a lot of similarity between origami figures and a professional writer’s life. Like origami paper, we get twisted and folded in different ways. We’re as odd a combination of elements as a kimono-wearing rabbit folded from sheets of paper. We’re public and private, highly visible, yet oddly at our best when the techniques we use to create our tales are invisible and we ourselves vanish to be replaced by our creations.