Archive for March, 2022

I Still Have Questions

March 30, 2022
Our Yard Last Wednesday

But at least I have some answers… 

First, though a few public service announcements.

This Friday, April 1 (no fooling), I will be speaking at the meeting of the Albuquerque SF Society.  According to their official announcement:

“Jane Lindskold will talk to us about the three novels she has out from Baen Books this year – Library of the Sapphire Wind: Over Where Book 1 in February, Aurora Borealis Bridge: Over Where 2 in April, and A New Clan (Star Kingdom book) co-written with David Weber, in June.  She will definitely answer questions from attendees, and might even read a passage from the first Over Where novel.”

The meeting will begin at 7:30 pm (doors open at 7:15 pm) at St Andrew Presbyterian Church, 5301 Ponderosa Ave NE (between San Mateo & San Pedro, south of Montgomery – near Erna Ferguson Library).  See their website under Meetings for further information.

I will have a few nifty little things to give away… And if everyone has already read Library of the Sapphire Wind, I will read from Aurora Borealis Bridge.  And, of course, I’ll be very happy to sign your copies of the new books.  Or even older ones.  I’ll bring my colored pens.

In further news, my website, JaneLindskold.com, has recently had some shiny new additions.  Among these was updating PayPal for the site’s bookshop.  If you’ve had difficulty ordering, you might want to try again.

In a Wednesday Wanderings a few weeks ago, I mentioned various things I was musing about.  One of these was when would the flickers vanish and the quail reappear.

 I am happy to announce that last Sunday we saw the first quail, and the flickers are still around, so evidently, they overlap.  We have also heard our first toads of the season.  Our neighbor’s apricot trees are in full bloom.  I guess it’s officially Spring.

As to another of those musings, I’ve decided that rather than having “gotten used to” fifty-degree temperatures shifts, I’ve simply come to rely on New Mexico’s weird weather as a source of amusement.  This last week was particularly good: Wednesday we had about four inches of snow; by Sunday, the temperature hit 87 F.

I haven’t gotten around to baking using rose water as an ingredient.  I’ll let you know if I do!

Our Yard on Sunday

FF: Over the Next Few Weeks

March 25, 2022
Mei-Ling Admires

Over the next few weeks, those of you attuned to such things may notice works from the Nebula ballot being listed.  A few notes for would-be detectives.

A work not being listed does not mean I did not look at it.  I might have done so and not chosen to complete.  (The reading time is ridiculously short for such a long ballot).  I might not have been able to obtain a copy, since the days when publishers were able to routinely send out works under consideration are long gone. 

And my general guideline (listed below) for short fiction remains the same.  I usually only mention my reading of shorter works if something blows me out of the water.

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.  The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading. 

Completed:

Prospero’s Children by Jan Siegel.  Lush description, different worldbuilding.  Second part has a dreamlike element that will work for some, not for others.  Overall, I’d read more by this author.

A Storm of Horses: The Story of Artist Rosa Bonheur by Ruth Sanderson.  This lushly illustrated biography (written for a younger audience, but perfectly enjoyable by this adult) takes the saying “a picture speaks a thousand words” very seriously.  Each illustration is packed with detail that augments the grammar school level text.  “More About Rosa” adds to the initial material, and is written for a somewhat more advanced reader.  The final pages include additional resources.  This is the sort of book that grows with the reader.

In Progress:

Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark.  Audiobook.  Over half-way done.  Haven’t had as much audio time as I’d like, but so far, I’m definitely enjoying.

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.  Recommended by a friend.  Just started. 

Also:

American Archeology magazine.  Some very interesting articles in this one, although I really did quibble with the statement that the reason an older mare would have been kept was as breeding stock.  I wonder what the writer would have said if the remains in question had been of a male horse?  Might they have included a gentler animal for beginning or older riders?  A pack animal?  Maybe even a pet?

Do You Dream?

March 23, 2022
Persephone Dreams

The other day, someone was complaining to me about books in which characters dream, and then “Those dreams turn out to be, well, dreams.  Not anything significant.  Just dreams.”

It turned out that the person I was talking with was one of those who “never dreams,” or, if they do, they don’t remember their dreams, which, as a case in point, is pretty much the same.

I, on the other hand, dream a lot.  I dream in full color, with sound, scent, taste, sensation all full on.  I often remember my dreams, or at least part of them. 

Take the other night…  When the alarm went off, I was in the middle of the following dream:

Jim and I were watching a new-to-us anime.  (From the art style, I’d guess it was from the 1980s.)  It featured two warring factions in a space opera type conflict.  This particular scene focused on an idealistic young pilot fighting for the greedy plutocratic oligarchy.

Following a particularly brilliant battle, in which he shot down a lot of the opposition, he is complimented over the “radio” by his commanders.  In the background, he hears lots of nasty comments calling the other side “losers” and the like.

He switches off his radio and says to the empty air: “I do not mock my enemies.”

Or rather, that’s what the subtitles say.  I’m listening to the dialogue, and I make out enough of the mixture of Japanese and English (not uncommon in some anime) to realize what he actually said.  I turn to Jim and say, “Did you catch that?  What he said was closer to, ‘Farewell, my honored nemesis.’”

At this point, the alarm went off.  And, yes, I really dreamed all of that.  No continuity was added.  I could feel Jim’s hand warm around mine.  I could hear both the background sounds of our house, and the different sound of the television.  I remember this one as well as I do because, when the alarm went off, I struggled to remember it so I could tell Jim.

I’ve often been asked what were my earliest experiences with writing fiction.  When I answer, I always need to qualify my reply.  While I don’t recall really trying to write fiction until high school or college, I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember.  Much of this goes back to trying to relate my dreams to my sister, Ann, who sometimes gently accused me of making it all up.

I wasn’t making it all up, but I was probably trying to provide continuity where there was none, which, if you think about it, isn’t bad training for becoming a writer.

Yes.  I’ve dreamed about my characters.  And, yes, I’ve written short stories based on dreams or taken in part from dreams: among them are “Between Tomatoes and Snapdragons,” “Behind the Curtain of Flowers,” and some elements from “On the Edge of Sleep.”  All of these are in my short story collection, Curiosities.

The Albuquerque Adepts had their first appearance in a dream as well, although it took Jim pointing out to me that the dream I’d just told him would make a great short story.  I wrote it and it appeared as “Hell’s Mark” in the 1997 anthology, Wizard Fantastic.  So, in a sense, I’ve been to that nightclub that has an entrance to hell… So, do you dream?  Do you remember your dreams? 

FF: I’d Like to Read

March 18, 2022
Perspehone Considers How

Most of my reading time this week has been writing time, which I don’t mind at all.  After all, I write the stories I’d like to read.

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.  The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading.  Two of the series I’m trying right now are due to FF reader mentions.

Completed:

Life by Keith Richards and James Fox.  Memoir.  Audiobook.  Finished this just as the Stones announced their next tour, named 60 for the number of years the Stones have been together. 

Highway of Eternity by Clifford Simak.  Structure is a bit peculiar, but he pulls it together by the end and I found the ending satisfactory.

In Progress:

Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark.  Audiobook.  Prologue and two chapters in.

Prospero’s Children by Jan Siegel.  This one’s been sitting on my shelf for a long while.  Decided to give it a try. 

Also:

Finished Smithsonian.  Still reading Jim’s ms.

Slowdown at the Aurora Borealis Bridge

March 16, 2022
Dandy Thinks This is Dandy

The dog did not eat my book.

Late last week I was informed that the trade paperback of my forthcoming novel, Aurora Borealis Bridge, the sequel to February’s new release, Library of the Sapphire Wind, has been delayed to April 12, 2022.

The e-book version will be available on April 5, 2022.

The reason for the delay of the trade paperback edition is supply chain issues at the printer. 

Really….  I did my homework!  So did the editor, the production team, and the great folks who weighed in along the way.  Tom Kidd did a terrific job with the cover art.

No dogs were injured in the course of this delay, and we will do our very best to get physical books into the hands of any and all who would like them as soon as possible.

In the meantime, there are always electrons.

Consider this a great opportunity, if you have not already indulged yourself, to read Library of the Sapphire Wind, to meet Meg, Peg, and Teg.  To set sail on the Slicewind, with Grunwold at the helm, and Vereez and Xerak handling the lines.

Now I shall go back to my usual scheduled writing…  I’d like to thank all of you who weighed in last week with information about rose water in cooking.  I haven’t had a chance to give it a try, but you can bet I’ll let you know how it goes once I do!

FF: Distorted

March 11, 2022
Mei-Ling and Roary Spar Over Who Gets to Read It First!

This week’s reading list is distorted in that a lot of my reading time is going to helping my husband, Jim, with a review of a novel he’s been working on.

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.  The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading.  Two of the series I’m trying right now are due to FF reader mentions.

Completed:

Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson.  Book Three in the Skyward YA series.  I’ve liked this series, but this book seemed more like an outline for a book, and the main characters parodies of themselves.  In his afterword, Sanderson mentions a lot of redrafting.  That said, if you get to the end, I think you will find it satisfying.  I did enough that I’ll read the next in the series.

In Progress:

Life by Keith Richards and James Fox.  Memoir.  Audiobook.  Reaching the stage where he recounts clashes with Mick.  Audio is well presented, with different readers, including Johnny Depp and Richards himself.

Highway of Eternity by Clifford Simak.  I can’t remember if or when I read this, but it sounds good.  I love a lot of Simak’s work.

Also:

The latest Archeology magazine was very interesting.  I’m now looking at a very slim Smithsonian.  Apparently, the paper shortage is hitting them.

Questions Looking for Answers

March 9, 2022
Robin Bathing

This week, the things I am wondering about include:

Would rose water (the type you cook with, not perfume) taste good in tea?  Or how about in frosting?  Or maybe in butter cookie or sugar cookie dough?

Is the first robin a sign of spring when a couple usually winter over in your yard?

(The answer to that one is “No.”  The sign of spring is when the migrating robins come through in sufficient numbers that they empty the bird bath daily.)

When will the flickers vanish and the quail start showing up again?

When did I get used to fifty-degree temperature shifts?  Like nighttime temps in the low-mid-twenties and daytime touching seventy?

I’m also thinking a lot about a book I’m writing, but I’m not one of those writers who enjoys talking about works-in-progress.

Take care.  Be well.  Any questions?  Even more importantly, any answers to my questions about rose water?  I’d love to be pointed to recipes, although I can’t make any that require liquids to actually reach the boiling point.

Do you know why?

FF: Alien Worlds

March 4, 2022

Roary is Cutatronic

I have to admit it, Keith Richards’ life is far more alien to me than that of the protagonist, Spensa, in Brandon Sanderson’s space adventure series.  I think I could walk into Spensa’s life.  I’m not sure I could handle Richard’s.

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.  The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading.  I’m reading Cytonic because an FF reader recommended the first book in the series.

Completed:

Trickster in the Front Yard by Jim Belshaw.  Non-fiction.  A collection of this Albuquerque newspaper columnist’s work from late 1990’s into early 2000’s.  Alternatingly laugh out loud funny and very touching.  The columns post the original September 11 attack are an interesting window into the mindset of that moment.

In Progress:

Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson.  Book Three in the Skyward YA series.  Once again, Sanderson has found a way to keep his focus tight, which can be tough in a series with so many characters.

Life by Keith Richards and James Fox.  Memoir.  Audiobook.  I read the book in print soon after its release, but some of the temptation of the audio version is that Keith Richards is listed as among those reading. 

Also:

The latest Archeology magazine.  So far, quite interesting.  And reading in three different books about a craft I’d like to try.  Expanding my skill set always seems to help my writing.

Wanna Guess?

March 2, 2022
Persephone Prepares to Inscribe Her Guess

Want to guess what’s my least favorite part about being a professional writer?

I’ll wait.  Write your guess down.  Now read on…

Basically, I love my writer’s life.  I love telling stories.  I don’t even mind doing edits or proofs.  You can’t beat the dress code or the commute. 

What does make me curl my toes is self-promotion.  I don’t mind chatting with readers.  Actually, that can be a lot of fun.  I don’t mind signing books.  Or doing panels and readings at conventions.  What I do mind is talking into a vacuum about my work.

That’s why it’s incredibly nice when other people step in and help me with the process.

This week, I have links for you to three different interviews, in three different formats.

For those of you who like watching podcasts, here’s a link to a chat I had with David Butler about my new release, Library of the Sapphire Wind.  This is one of the best interviews I’ve done recently, because David Butler not only read the book in advance (you don’t know how rare that is), but he came up with thoughtful and intelligent questions that I could answer while providing the minimum of spoilers.

For those of you who like audio, here’s a link to the same podcast, audio only.  You don’t get a glimpse of Goliath, the carousel horse who resides in my living room, but you can listen even if you don’t have screen time.

Finally, for those of you who like print interviews, a few weeks ago, I did one with the lively Angelique Fawns for the website Horror Tree.  The emphasis on this interview was how I manage my work day.  Hidden in the answers is some personal stuff about what has shaped my priorities over the years.

In a few weeks, David Butler and I will be talking again about the forthcoming sequel to Library of the Sapphire Wind, Aurora Borealis Bridge.  I’ll make sure to post the links to that as well.

If you’re the sort of person who likes interviews, I have a list of links on my website.  Not all interviews are included, but those that are there were chosen because in some way I found them fun. 

Now my question for you…  How many of you guessed right?