Archive for the ‘Friday Fragments’ Category

FF: Kitten Reveal!

August 16, 2019

Meet Mei-Ling!

Meet Mei-Ling, the newest member of our household.  She’s somewhere between two and three months old.  (She’s actually smaller than she looks in this photo.)  We adopted her from the Albuquerque Animal Shelter on Tuesday.  She’s a little shy yet, but very cuddly.  We hope she’ll eventually be a good playmate for Persephone, who has been missing Ogapoge, who we lost in late April.

Mei-Ling wants me to remind you about the other baby in our household.  This week marks one month from the official release of Wolf’s Search!  I am now sliding deeper and deeper into Wolf’s Soul.  I’ve also been spending some of my evenings working in the garden, and that’s cut into my reading time.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

Recently Completed:

Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes by Baker H. Morrow.   Microclimates are fascinating.  I started reading this for my garden and continued with my writing in mind.

In Progress:

Theater of Spies by S.M. Stirling.  Book Two in his series set in an Alternate World War I.  The first, in case you’re interested, is The Black Chamber.  About half-way in.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’re done with the “big name” emperors and taking a look at art, science, etc.  Just finishing art and architecture.

Also:

Re-reading and tinkering with bits of Wolf’s Soul as I move toward writing the final chapters.

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FF: Mixed and Mingled

August 9, 2019

Dandy Goes To The Theater

This week my reading has been all over the place, which isn’t bad at all.  I’m enjoying hearing what you’re reading…

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

Recently Completed:

Octavia Gone by Jack McDevitt.   A good mystery because the resolution doesn’t solve everything neatly, but instead offers some interesting moral ramifications.

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartolomew.  Sometimes it’s frustrating that writers about gardening automatically assume that anyone reading the book is in the same climate zone as them.  Still, I gleaned a few helpful bits from this, while feeling rather smug that the wheel the author seemed to think he’d invented has been in use here for centuries.

In Progress:

Theater of Spies by S.M. Stirling.  Book Two in his series set in an Alternate World War I.  The first, in case you’re interested, is The Black Chamber.  Just started.

Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes by Baker H. Morrow.   Microclimates are fascinating.  I started reading this for my garden and continued with my writing in mind.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’re done with the “big name” emperors and taking a look at art, science, etc.  It’s fascinating that, with so much to build on, the Romans didn’t make all that many advances.

Also:

I’ve been immersed in a lot of work toward future projects.  Stay tuned for official announcements…

FF: Baby Dove Inspiration

August 2, 2019

Keladry Critically Contemplates the Dog on the Cover

I just discovered that I’d missed a new book by Jack McDevitt, which makes me think getting the word out is harder than I ever imagined. So, if you missed my announcement about Wolf’s Search being out, I offer you a link.

Jim and I have had a lot of baby doves in our yard this year.  They only try to waddle away after we nearly step on them.  They prefer to look up at us hopefully from really enormous eyes, seeming to ask: “Are you my mother?”  This reminded me of a book I loved long, long ago.  So we took from the library and I gave Jim a dramatic reading.

I think this book might have been among those that inspired Terry Pratchett’s Where Is My Cow?  It has a similar progression of question and answer, although it does get weirder when the Snort appears.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

What are your summer reads?

Recently Completed:

Alpha and Omega by Harry Turtledove.  A thoughtful book, less about the end of the world than about the more subtle question: “What would you do if what you do if…?”  To say more would involve spoilers!

Are You My Mother? by P.D Eastman.  See above for why I decided to re-read this.

In Progress:

Octavia Gone by Jack McDevitt.  Just started!

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.

Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes by Baker H. Morrow.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’ve gone through Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero,  Now we’re taking a look at poetry: epic, political, sacred, and profane.

Also:

The last Smithsonian I read was very oddly balanced.  Not that I didn’t find things to enjoy, but who would have expected two very quiet pieces on literary figures and landscape side by side with two on car culture?  With one about invasion Burmese snakes…

FF: Giving the Muse Treats

July 26, 2019

Ziggy Under the Lucky Tree

Now that Wolf’s Search is out, there have been a lot of questions about how soon will Wolf’s Soul be available.  Several people have begged me not to “do a George R.R. Martin.”  If by this you mean, “Don’t be insanely successful”, well, that has more to do with you than me.  If you mean “Don’t make us wait too long,” then I’m doing my best.  Sometimes the best way for me to transition from editor mode to writer mode is to read something good.

Oh…  If you missed my announcement about Wolf’s Search being out, I just gave you a link.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

What are you reading to help you beat the summer heat?

Recently Completed:

An advanced copy of something I’m not allowed to talk about yet!

In Progress:

Alpha and Omega by Harry Turtledove.  From the acclaimed Master of Alternate History, a book we’d better hope is alternate history, because it’s about the end of the world.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  Julius Caesar has been assassinated.  Mark Anthony and Octavius are beginning to rumble.

Also:

Methodically finishing some back issues of Smithsonian, Archaeology, and American Archaeology.

FF: Is It Okay To Remind You?

July 19, 2019

Kel Contemplates The Empires

Wolf’s Search is officially released.  I’m mentioning this because I know that many of you show up on Friday to see which adorable member of my non-human family is posing with what book.  If you want to know more about Wolf’s Search, here’s a link to my announcement.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

I enjoy hearing what you’re reading, by the way…

Recently Completed:

The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones.  Final book in the Dalemark Quartet.  If you’re willing to try a series that’s going to break a lot of your expectations but  pay off in the end, then I really, really recommend this series.  Diana Wynne Jones shows another side of her talent in this excellent series.

In Progress:

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  The Roman republic is beginning to slide.  We’ve left politics to look at art and drama.

Also:

“Buffalo  Dogs” by Lawrence M. Schoen.  Short story.  If you like stories about con men, space stations, weird aliens, and even weirder alien animals, you can try this tale as a free e-book.  Not as sophisticated or thoughtful as his Barsk, but still fun.

FF: The Proof Is With Persephone

July 12, 2019

Persephone Is Proud To Protect the Proof

The photo above is of my cat Persephone with the print proof of Wolf’s Search.  That proof is one of the things I’ll be reading over the next few days.  Fingers crossed but, at a quick look, it seems to be in good shape.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

I enjoy hearing what you’re reading, by the way…

Recently Completed:

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones.  Third of her Dalemark Quartet.  This is a very odd series.  This book takes place so far in the past from events in the first two books that it’s not even a prequel.  The mood of this one was folktale/mythic, rather than the high fantasy adventure of the prior two books.

In Progress:

The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones.  Mitt from Drowned Ammet and Moril from Cart and Cwidder.  Then came a girl name Maewen who seems to be from the Twentieth Century?  I know I read a couple of these earlier, but I think I missed this one and  maybe even The Spellcoats.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’ve taken a look at the Etruscans, and Rome has just solidified its hold on the Italian peninsula.

Also:

Wolf’s Search in various forms.

FF: A Fifth of July

July 5, 2019

Drowsy Keladry

July is here and I hope to have a lot more time to read!

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

Let me know what you’re reading!

Recently Completed:

Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Robert Harris.  The best parts were Cicero’s speeches.

The Life of Greece by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We finished with philosophy, then a concluding summary.  Excellent.

Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones.  Second of her Dalemark Quartet.  A little harder to get into because her protagonists are confused and angry.  The ending is quite interesting, though.

In Progress:

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones.  Third of her Dalemark Quartet.  Just started.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  Just started.

Also:

Various magazines that arrived with the beginning of the month reminded me I have a backlog, so doing a fair amount of reading there.

FF: Not For Lack Of Trying

June 28, 2019

Kel Admires How This Cover Goes With Her Eyes

If you missed my happy dancing earlier in the week, the other writer in the family, my husband, Jim, has just had a paper on which he was the lead author accepted to American Antiquity.  This is a star in his already stellar archeological career.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

I enjoy hearing what you’re reading, by the way…

Recently Completed:

I Sing the Body Electric by Ray Bradbury.  Very much a product of their time in some ways, but the writing remains magnificent.

An Eva Ibbotson Collection (Which Witch; The Secret of Platform 13; Island of the Aunts) by Eva Ibbotson.   Middle grade Fantasy novels.  I enjoyed all of them quite a bit.

In Progress:

Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Robert Harris.  After reading Will Durant, I have this urge to tell the editor the subtitle should be “Of Late Republic Rome.”  Cicero is not “ancient.”

The Life of Greece by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  The topic is books.  How very many popular authors have vanished is humbling.

Also:

I have been proofing.  Am resigning myself to the fact that I will miss something, but by heaven it won’t be for lack of trying!

FF: The Expanded Version

June 21, 2019

Persephone Guards A Precious Edition

Summer is taking me outside more, so I’m reading a bit less. However, I did transplant eighteen volunteer tomato plants, put in four new pepper plants, and plant hollyhocks for later in the season, so all is not lost…

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

I enjoy hearing what you’re reading, by the way…

Recently Completed:

Digger by Ursula Vernon.  Graphic novel.  Smart.  Funny.  Clever.  Loved!

In Progress:

I Sing the Body Electric by Ray Bradbury.  Turns out the edition Elizabeth Leggett loaned me has more stories than mine did, so I’m reading the extras…

The Life of Greece by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We are now into the Hellenistic period, focusing on Alexandria.

Also:

Copy edit for Wolf’s Search finished.  Dedication and Acknowledgments finished.  E-book files already back to me and I’m proofing yet again.  POD still to be proofed.

FF: I’m Also Reading

June 14, 2019

Ziggy Wants To Go On An Adventure With Digger

In addition to what’s below, I’m also reading a couple of GURPS gaming supplements because they make interesting, non-stressful, pre-bedtime reading.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, 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.

I enjoy hearing what you’re reading.  You may see it appearing on my reading list down the road.

Recently Completed:

Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones. Book One of “The Dalemark Quartet.”  Very strong.  More serious than many of her works, but given that my favorite of hers—Dogsbody—is also serious, I don’t automatically think of her as a “humor” writer.

In Progress:

I Sing the Body Electric by Ray Bradbury.  About two-thirds in.  Limiting myself to one or two stories a day so I can think about them.

Digger by Ursula Vernon.  Graphic novel.  Who wouldn’t love a story about a wombat mining engineer caught up in a dark fantasy adventure?

The Life of Greece by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We have just finished Plato and are into Aristotle.

Also:

I’m just about done reviewing the copy edited manuscript of Wolf’s Search.  The cover for Wolf’s Search is nearly done and lovely.  I need to write the dedication, acknowledgements, and decide which of the review quotes to include.  More of the little steps that go into a new book…