Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

And Roary Up in the Tree

December 22, 2021
Stealth Roary

The tree has stayed standing to this point, although Roary has been up in it repeatedly.  Putting on ornaments definitely helped, since they were placed to block inviting openings.

Thus far, Persephone has been viewing the tree with the calm insouciance of a nearly ten-year-old cat who has seen it all.  Shy girl Mei-Ling thinks that it’s terrific that we’ve decided to give her a new place to sit under and feel safe.  She carries her treats onto the tree skirt to dine in secure comfort.

Since the tree is artificial, Dandy and Coco, the guinea pigs, have no opinion.  They would prefer we made a tree out of kale with a celery stalk trunk, and ornaments cut from various vegetables.  Carrot strips could serve as garland.

I made a lot of cookies this past week.  I’m shooting for a total of ten: cookie press butter, butter and walnut balls, pecan/maple, sugar, gingerbread, hermits, fudge, meringues, sesame balls, and…  I’m forgetting the last one…. Got it!  Linzer tarts.

The sugar cookies and gingerbread will be decorated in stages.  It’s more fun that way than doing a marathon.  My collection of cookie cutters is wildly varied, so in addition to the more usual trees, wreathes, stars, bells, reindeer and the like, we have buffalo, bears, rhinoceros, stegosaurus, rocket ships, and, of course, wolves and coyotes.  And cats and guinea pigs.  Can’t forget the cats and guinea pigs.

It occurs to me that I make cookies the same way I write: a lot of variety, not one type of cookie, or theme or motif.  Variety definitely fuels my creativity.

Now to go put jam between the layers of the Linzer tarts.  Last year I used cactus pear, the year before, raspberry.  This year will be cherry.  All three red, all three different.

May these crazy days leading up to the Christmas weekend be filled with fun for you, whether you’re travelling or home, being a guest or having guests, or simply enjoying some peace and quiet!

Wrapping Up

December 15, 2021
Lizard Dressed Up for the Holidays

At the end of last week, I turned in the page proofs for Aurora Borealis Bridge, the sequel to Library of the Sapphire Wind.  They’ll be out early next year, in February and April. 

With that job wrapped up, I took a look at the calendar and launched into all the neglected holiday preparations.  Jim and I don’t live near to any of our families, so getting gift packages in the mail is the first thing.  Next comes the Christmas letter.  That’s my department.  We do the cards together, usually to the accompaniment of appropriate music.

Jim’s been putting up decorations, a few at a time, which is nice, since it gives us a chance to savor them.  We haven’t yet put up the tree, but when we do, it will go up with no decorations other than the lights (it’s a pre-lit sort), so that we can find out what the cats will think of it.

Last year, they pretty much ignored it, but we like to give them a chance to try and knock it over before adding decorations.

My first cat and my first “on my own” Christmas tree happened the same year, so most of our decorations are of the more or less unbreakable type.  I say “more or less” because cats will always surprise you.

Breakable decorations are hung on a garland high up on the walls.  It works.

We’ll also be starting the baking this week.  We make a lot of cookies, some of which are fairly time-consuming, but it’s fun.  Nothing on earth could make me do this if it wasn’t.

This year, my mom’s coming to stay with us for Christmas.  Having a stranger in the house for more than a handful of hours will be a Major Event for Mei-Ling and Roary, neither of whom has ever had to deal with such, and both of whom tend to deal with guests by keeping their distance.  I have no idea how they will cope.  Stay tuned.

I have a few jobs to finish up, but after an incredibly intense year, where I pretty much went from job to job to job, I am trying to convince myself that a little downtime has been earned.  Even so, I’ll be working, because a writer really never stops.  There’s always creative thought going on. 

I hope this finds all of you well…  Now, maybe it’s time to put on some holiday music.

My Quiet Week

November 17, 2021
Roary Rests For Both of Us!

This was supposed to be my quiet week.  Last week was “Crazy Week Catching Up” after writing the Over Where short story, “Fire-Bright Rain.”  The previous week and a bit was taken up with getting the short story written.

So, as I said, this was supposed to be my quiet week.  Not a week doing nothing, but a week where I could focus on resolving the various and sundry leftover jobs, maybe even venture back into working on the novel I’d been writing.

But Monday started with the copy-edited manuscript of the Over Where novel Aurora Borealis Bridge, the sequel to Library of the Sapphire Wind, showing up in my in-box.  Mind you, I’d more or less expected this to happen sometime soon, because mid-September was when the copy-edited manuscript of Library of the Sapphire Wind made its appearance.

Library of the Sapphire Wind is a February 2022 release, and Aurora Borealis Bridge comes out in April 2022.  Two months apart… and that means the production stuff is also going to happen two months apart.

So, it’s not going to be a quiet week, but it will be an interesting one as I re-immerse myself in a book featuring characters and settings I like quite a lot.

Is this the final stage?  No.  There will still be page proofs to do.  Given how the production schedule has been working out, I’ll probably be doing those in the middle of the holiday season.

Do I mind?  Not really.  Having been a professional writer since 1994, I mind a lot more when something gets dropped on me without warning with the request that I return it by the end of the week.  Production scheduling is being handled well.  I’ll just need to set my other plans around getting the job done.

And, who knows?  Maybe somewhere in there, I’ll actually find time to write something new.

Oh… and if you’re curious about these books, they’re already posted for pre-order at various e-tailer sites, so you can get a sneak peek.  I’m going to save babbling about them in greater detail for January, when you and I both will be relaxing after the holidays.

FF: Writers Read Differently

November 5, 2021
Roary Finds an Excellent Read

This week I’ve been very aware that writers read differently than casual readers.  I’ll extend this reaction to habitually thoughtful readers who don’t write, as well.

While reading The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold, I saw a certain plot point coming.  No.  This wasn’t because Bujold was boring or predictable but, as a writer, I saw where a particular element would become crucial.  Did this make me bored?  Not in the least…  I nearly collapsed in relief when the scene finally hit and was resolved (very much to my satisfaction). 

I think this awareness of the elements of story is something editors acquire as well.  As fiction “gatekeepers” this can become a danger point.  Editors read so much that, after a while, what would have once delighted now seems “meh.”  On the other hand, a new editor doesn’t know enough, and gets excited over something a longtime reader says “meh” about.

Interesting…

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:

Quartered Safe Out Here by George MacDonald Fraser.  Audiobook.  Non-fiction.  Re-read.  Memoir of the Burma campaign in WWII, British POV.  Read by David Case, who does accents amazingly.

Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison.  Nordic mythic underpinnings to a story that’s part fairytale, more magical realism.  Main character is more acted upon than acting.  Still feel mixed about this one.

Finder by Emma Bull.  Set in the “shared universe” of Bordertown, but fully standing on its own.  A very fine story, that sometimes hit a little too close to current events in ways I can’t mention without spoilers.

In Progress:

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold.  Audiobook.  One of the FF regulars mentioned Bujold’s fantasy, and my library had this, and here I am.  Court intrigue on an intricate scale.  Very limited magic, so should suit readers of historical fiction as much as of Fantasy.

Liavek edited by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly.  When looking to see if I have any of the Bordertown anthologies (I don’t, must amend), I came across this on my shelves.  The 1980s saw the growth of shared world anthologies, with a wide variety of settings.  I’m enjoying this quite a bit. 

Also:

Our local Biopark (combination of affiliated zoo, botanical garden, aquarium, and more) magazine came out.  I read with happiness about a new baby hippo, but was brought to tears by the news that three members of the siamang family died as a result of a disease—one of the gorillas, too, but the siamangs have long been particular favorites, and we’d watched the baby grow up.  He was such a showoff.

The Muse Is A…

October 27, 2021

The whispering started last Thursday, coming up on evening.  I’d caught up with the various and sundry editorial and proofing jobs that had occupied much of the week, and allowed myself to think about starting a short story set in the Over Where universe.

(This is the setting of my forthcoming novels, Library of the Sapphire Wind and Aurora Borealis Bridge.)

Dinner time was approaching when a possible opening started swirling in my mind, so I grabbed a piece of scrap paper and a fountain pen, and started scribbling.  Then I left it and went off to help with the cooking.

By Friday morning, I realized that while I liked some of my initial idea, I did not want to go where the character I’d designed would take me.  Worse, I really felt that her take on events would not represent the general tone and feel of the series well.  Since the short story is intended to provide a little sample of the series, I needed to rethink.

I did so as I handled various and sundry small jobs, since I’ve found that the only thing that staring at a computer screen when I’m in this particular state of mind does is give me eye strain and make me cranky.

By latish Friday afternoon, a new main character had arisen in the place of the first.  Like the first, she was a cook.  She even lived in the same cottage, but her personality and mindset were completely different.  Even when I’m writing a story that has its genesis in an idea (such as for a theme anthology), what I write is character driven.  This applies as much to third-person as first-person pieces.  What can I say?  Whether as a reader or a writer, I prefer stories where how the characters perceive the world shape how they respond to events.

So, for the rest of Friday afternoon, I wrote, composing a rough draft as I am wont to do, which is not in the least polished, because I’m getting to know the situation right along with my point of view character.

Then dinnertime came around, and Jim (who is a sweetheart who always cooks “date night” on Friday) gave me the ten-minute warning.   I shut down my computer, feeling pleased and hungry.

This lasted all of five minutes.  As Jim was dishing up portions, I was back at my desk, pulling out scrap paper and fountain pen, and scribbling the next bit.  Happily, I went to dinner…

And made it until clean-up time, during which I had to stop long enough to write another scene.  Again, longhand.  And I was content, and after dinner played a computer game with Jim, except that at least once I had to stop and ask him to carry on while I went back to my desk and scribbled some more.

This time the fountain pen went dry.  Since I didn’t want to pause long enough to put in a new cartridge, I grabbed a pen out of my always handy box of Sarasa gel pens, and started scribbling. Then that pen went dry and I grabbed another.

And finally, the Muse said, “Okay.  Go enjoy your weekend, kid.  This is going to need work, but I think we see where it’s going, and it’s going to be fun.”

Saturday morning, I considered starting to transcribe those handwritten bits, but I also know that pushing too hard chases the Muse away. Since I’d really been looking forward to the weekend, I’d better take some downtime.

After all, I owed that to the Muse, right?  Some say she’s a harsh mistress, but I think she’s just unpredictable and, if you listen, very, very kind.

Reviewing the Bullet Journal

October 20, 2021
Keeping Track

Earlier this week, for reasons that probably will not be mysterious if you read my WW last week, I was thinking about the past, and so decided to take a look at the bullet journal I started back in 2017.

As I mentioned at the time, I was inspired by an article I read by Amanda Hackwith about how a bullet journal, which is designed for flexibility, could be adapted to help a writer keep track not only of day-to-day chores, but also help establish a sense that something was actually being achieved.

I’m going to quote the passage in Amanda Hackwith’s essay that inspired me to give a bullet journal a try:

“The life of a writer means I have a hundred things to keep track of at once, but not always on a precise day by day itinerary. If I stuck to the traditional appointments + daily to dos format, my days would be a constant repeat of something like ‘Write word count, Edit X, read, check email anxiously.”

So, how has a bullet journal worked for me?  Has it helped me feel I’m getting something done, or is it just another chore in addition to the daily journal and weekly “to do” list I already keep?

Overall, if I remember to look back to past events, I think the bullet journal has really helped me to feel I’m doing more than the “lather, rinse, repeat” cycle of “write, edit, read, check e-mail.  Don’t forget social media check ins.”

When I looked at the “Dream Future” page, where I listed things I needed to deal with sometime down the road, I saw that several potential projects, mostly unsold novels, still hadn’t been dealt with.

However, when I looked at the “Future Log” I’d created in 2017, when I began the journal, I was happy to see that not only had I gotten everything on the list done, I had continued in the general trend I’d established.  I’d used—and continue to use—indie pub options to get more of my backlist out.  I’d written new Firekeeper novels.  I’d written not only the “rough draft” of “Sapphire Wind” mentioned on the list; I’d also finished it, polished it, broken it into two books, and sold it to a traditional publisher (Baen Books), where it will appear as the “Over Where” novels, Library of the Sapphire Wind and Aurora Borealis Bridge early in 2022.

Yes.  Sometimes keeping a bullet journal does feel more as if I have given myself an extra chore.  Lately, I realized I was not adding pages for new projects, which, in turn, was leading to me losing a sense of accomplishing anything.  Instead, the bullet journal was becoming merely a condensed version of my daily journal: somewhat useful, but not great for my feeling I’m getting anything done.

And I was definitely becoming inclined to forget to pat myself on the back for accomplishments that didn’t fit into the write word count, do that edit or review routine.

Therefore, this week, I’m recapturing my resolve.  I’ve created a page for my current backlist project: new e-books of Artemis Awakening and Artemis Invaded.  I’ve created a page for Star Kingdom 4, now titled A New Clan, for which I was astonished to see I hadn’t created a page.  I’ve created a page for the short story set in the “Over Where” universe that I’ve been asked to write.

In other words, I’m going back to my early resolution to not make the bullet journal a glorified “to do” list encased in hard covers.  I’m going to make it something that will remind me that my working steadily, constantly, actually gets me somewhere, and the fact that I keep doing variations on the same thing, doesn’t mean I’m not getting anything done!

As I said back in 2017, sometimes it’s easy to feel like Sisyphus, never making it to the top of that hill.  I’m glad to say that the bullet journal, even if it is another rock to push, reminds me that time and again I’ve made it to the top of that hill.

I’ve Lost Another Friend

October 13, 2021
Sally at the Bubonicon Tea

Last Friday, one of my best friends, Sally Gwylan, was hit by a car and killed.

Many of you know Sally’s work, even if you didn’t realize it.  If you’ve read one of my novels in the last ten or more years, Sally was quite likely one of the beta readers.  If you read my new Firekeeper books, Wolf’s Search and Wolf’s Soul, Sally was the copy editor.

Copy editing is one of those jobs that can ruin a friendship.  Last week, I explained that the job of a copy editor is.  Copy edit is when someone goes through the manuscript and nitpicks it to death.  A good copy editor catches little inconsistencies, asks weird questions, and makes certain that how you punctuate is consistent.  The copy editor also puts in notes for the people who will be formatting the book.

Sally was amazing.  She liked the quirks of punctuation rules.  She was patient with my inability to hyphenate consistently.  We had great chats about optional commas.  She loved looking up obscure data points.  I always felt my books were secure in her hands.

Sally was such a talented copy editor that she did copy editing for other writers, including Carrie Vaughn.  So, if you’ve read some of Carrie’s small press works, you’ve also read Sally’s work.  She also work-shopped over the years with many of New Mexico’s writers, and you’ll find her listed in their acknowledgements, too.  One of the things Sally planned to pursue after retirement (she worked for a law firm doing data control) was copy editing and proofreading.  Now she’ll never have the chance.

Oh, and Sally was a writer in her own right.  The same perfectionism that made her a perfect copy editor made her quite possibly the slowest writer in creation.  Nonetheless, she completed and sold several works of short fiction: “Salt” in Infinite Matrix (2002), “In the Icehouse” in Asimov’s (2003), “Rapture, Parts 1 & 2” in Strange Horizons (2004), and “Fleeing Olsyge” in Clarkesworld (2018). 

She also indie pubbed a Depression era alternate history novel called A Wind Out of Canaan, about a runaway from an abusive home coming to the realization that she’s gay.  In her journey, Philippa joins a group of hobos and, while with them, accidentally stumbles onto the fact that there are people from another world on Earth, and that their activities may have a great deal to do with the severe changes in the weather, and some of the political movements of the time.  It stands alone, more or less, but Sally was working on a sequel.

I’m talking about all these dry things because I’m hiding from a grief so huge that, if I admit to it, it’s going to swallow me whole.

Sally and I met over twenty years ago at a party at Walter Jon Williams’ house, sometime in the late 1990’s.  I’d moved to Albuquerque in late 1995.  In 1996, I started my first garden.  I had a lot of questions, and whenever I’d ask one, the one asked would inevitably end with, “I think that’s what I’d do, but Sally Gwylan would know.” 

So, I went up to her, introduced myself, and thus started a discussion about gardens, and weather (especially wind and rainfall).  She did know a lot, having been a market gardener for a while. She also gave me the tubers for my Jerusalem artichokes, known to some as “sunchokes.”  Our garden chats only stopped this week, because she wasn’t here on Monday for our usual call.

We talked about other things, too, of course.  Books and movies.  Gender identity.  Animals, wild and domestic.  Hobby activities.  Each week we blocked out an hour and a quarter for our call.  It was rarely enough.

I also helped Sally build her house, quite literally.  Usually when people talk about building a house, they mean they’ve hired contractors to do so.  Not Sally.  She built hers with adobe mud and straw.  She took living off the grid seriously, but managed a very tidy lifestyle with a solar panel for electricity, water she hauled from town, a composting toilet, and propane for cooking and to run her fridge.

Sally loved figuring out how things worked.  Unlike me, she did her own formatting and cover design for her e-books.  She sewed or retailored (on a treadle machine) clothes for herself.  She built her solar oven.  And the toilet.  And a water-wicking system for her plants.  Many of our conversations were about her building projects.  The most recent was figuring out the most efficient way to do laundry by hand.  (Why?  Because she hated how the machines at the laundromat left her clothes smelling.)  She was delighted to report that a standard salad spinner worked pretty well as a “spin cycle.”

Even in her late sixties, Sally was energetic.  She rescued her cat, Horace, in the middle of rush hour traffic out on I-40.  Horace had been hit, and she got him to the vet.  Later, when one leg failed to heal properly, she sewed him booties to protect his paw.

The picture above is from the Tea at Bubonicon, where she always worked backstage, helping Pati Nagel make tea.  At some point, she’d excuse herself to go participate in one of her other passions, “shape note” or Sacred Heart singing.

Okay…  That’s about all I can manage without breaking down.  Again.  Thanks for listening.

This Year’s Jerusalem Artichokes

Mixed Impressions

July 28, 2021

“So, this is where the magic happens,” said a guest upon seeing my office for the first time.

I agreed, because I knew this was meant as a compliment about my writing.  Even then, though, I was thinking how, weirdly enough, my office is where the least magical part of my story creation is likely to happen.  My office, my desk, my computer, are just where the stories get written down.

Well, most of the time.  Actually, a lot of my stories start out handwritten because, as I’ve mentioned before, there seems to be a more direct channel between my imagination and a form of transcription when pen and paper is involved.

Where does the magic happen?

On the edge of falling asleep.  In the shower.  When weeding the garden.  Cooking.  Washing dishes.  Folding clothes.  Doing something crafty.  In the middle of a conversation, when something said sparks an idea…

I rarely have a magical creative moment when staring at the computer screen, willing myself to write.  On the other hand, I do set myself goals when working on a project.  An artistically poised dilletante is definitely not how I see myself.  I’m proud of the fact that I make deadlines, and that I work hard to make sure that I do.

Does this give you a mixed impression of what it’s like to be the writer that’s me?  If so, perfect!  I am nothing if not a suite of contradictions that come together to create stories.

I’m curious.  Where do your “magical moments” happen?  I’m definitely not restricting this to writing.  They might be related to some other art.  Or even something to do with your job or the classes you’re taking.  Inspiration belongs to all of us.

Oh!  The associated photo is of a goldfinch among the Russian Sage in our yard.  I thought the mingling of tiny bird and even more minute flowers had a definite impressionist feel.

Seizing Opportunity

July 14, 2021
A Opportunity Accepted

Many thanks to all who helped Jim decide which photo to enter in the little local contest.  With your prompting, he chose “After the Dustbath.”  Responses overall were interesting, but this one seemed to hit people both on an artistic level, and on an “awww-so-cute” level.  It also seemed to appeal because of the sense of motion it contains.

Several comments (as well as e-mails) asked me about Jim’s photography.  So, here’s my very amateur attempt to reply.  First of all, all four photos featured last week were hand-held, no tripod.  Jim used a long telephoto lens for most of the photos, although “Cedar Waxwings” was taken with his regular lens.

None of these photos were taken at a zoo, aviary, wildlife preserve, or any location where the birds’ freedom of motion was restricted.  Three, in fact, were taken in our yard.  The sandhill cranes were photographed at a facility created as a rest stop for migrating wildlife.

In the case of the photos taken at our house, Jim often had minimal time to prepare.  The set-up was likely something like this:

“Hey!  Quail out front!  With chicks!”

Camera is then grabbed, pointed, focused, and photos are taken.

Jim doesn’t have any of those fast clicky devices used by professional photographers who specialize in action shots.

The photo accompanying this piece was taken in our back yard, by flashlight (held by me), for no other reason than that we’d never seen a toad actually sitting on the lily pads of the miniature waterlily in our teeny pond.  The toad knew us so wasn’t scared.  In fact, he started singing, and thus the photo.

This brings me to the value of seizing opportunity.  So often I’ve encountered people who refuse to do something because they don’t feel sufficiently assured in advance that it will be worth their while or “pay off.”  The recent trend of self-publishing and the related one of “monetizing” crafts has added to the sense that no one should do anything for any reason except to make money.  That’s such a pity.

The two novels I recently sold (Library of the Sapphire Wind and Aurora Borealis Bridge aka “The Over Where Duology”) were written without any promise of anything except that I’d really have a great time writing them.  And I did.  Even if these books had never sold, nothing could have taken that joy from me.

The Firekeeper books, my most popular series to date, come from the same happy place.  I wrote Through Wolf’s Eyes because I wanted to, even though I was surrounded by people who held forth that a professional writer like me, who already had several published novels (including some like Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls and Changer, which had received a lot of critical acclaim) should never take on such a big project without a contract.

But I did, and in addition to making me happy, I made a lot of other people happy, too.

So, seize the opportunity, whether to write or craft or dance to your favorite song…  Or join our toad friend, and sing for no other reason than that you feel like doing so.  Joy is its own reward.

The Value of Unlearning

June 30, 2021

In many ways, I live on an alien world.

Last Thursday, our eighteen-day streak of temperatures over a hundred (usually with highs between 103F and 108F) finally broke.  Okay.  Our high was still 98F, and the next day we went back to 100F but, as many people in many locations unaccustomed to these highs are learning the hard way, there’s a lot of difference between 108F and 98F.

(We’ve had a high this year of 112F, and I’m really hoping not to top that.)

Our weekend actually was, for us, cool, with highs in the high eighties, and lows in the sixties and even, one astonishing night, the high fifties.  We’ve even had clouds, although, as of this writing, no rain that wasn’t in the form of individual, nameable drops.

People often think that my part of New Mexico is like the stereotype of Arizona: hot, no “real” winter, towering cactus, like that.  Leaving aside that the stereotype of Arizona doesn’t apply even to Arizona as a whole, it certainly doesn’t apply to my part of New Mexico.

We get cold temperatures well below freezing.  The only reason we don’t get more snow is because on the whole our climate is too dry.  And, as mentioned above, we get hot enough that we could probably (although I’ve wondered why anyone would want to try) fry eggs on the sidewalk.  Our rain comes in seasonal monsoons, the establishment of which watched for with a fervor that goes back long before the arrival of colonists from Europe.

The opening photo illustrates the extremes that our yard has to deal with.  On the left is our pomegranate shrub.  If you look carefully, you can see the dead limbs poking out of the green.  That’s cold damage, a result of our nighttime temperatures in October dropping without warning from the high forties to well below freezing for four nights.  It also hit our ash tree and apples, as well as killing a couple of established shrubs.

On the right you can see our squash plants.  The yellowing on the leaves is not a result of insect predation or disease; it’s from dealing with temperature extremes.  Even with only a few days of temperatures below a hundred, we are seeing indications of recovery.  If we’re lucky, the zukes will start setting fruit.  The plants only twenty feet or so further east, that get less sun, grew much more slowly, but seem to be setting.

When I first moved to New Mexico, back in mid-1994, I came from a very pleasant area in south central Virginia, where growing things was almost ridiculously easy.  Here I had to learn a bunch of new skills, new plants, and face new challenges.

Of course, there are bonuses, too.  One of Jim and my dreams was to create a habitat that would invite quail to come into our yard.  When we achieved that goal, we hoped that someday they’d actually bring their chicks to visit.  As the picture below shows, we have achieved that goal, too!

In a way, my move to New Mexico gave me a lot of insight into what it would be like to be a colonist on a planet ostensibly “hospitable” to humans.  The ability to adapt would be as important, maybe more important, than any suite of technological skills or access to a databank of knowledge.  Unlearning would be as crucial as learning.

On that note, I’m going to enjoy every breath of cooler air while I dive into the final push to address the editorial notes on the second of my forthcoming “Over Where” novels, Aurora Borealis Bridge.