Browsing Tag


The Free Court of Seattle

So about Book 3 of the Free Court of Seattle series…

Serious planning for this book has now COMMENCED. By which I mean Dara and I had an extensive brainstorming session about this last night, with the happy result that now I have a much better idea of what is going to happen in this book. Enough that I have begun to sketch out the overall plot structure, which will then lead me into doing a proper outline.

And THAT will lead me into beginning to be able to write this thing VERY soon.

What can you expect? Without getting spoilery, you can expect that this book will feature all of the following:

  • An attempt on Christopher’s life
  • Inter-Court and intra-Court politics among the Sidhe, including followup on what’s going on with House Kirlath
  • Magic all over the damn place
  • Followup on Christopher’s backstory
  • More pieces falling into place to lead to what gets hinted at in the song “Anarchy Now”
  • Kendis being a geek actually serving a plot-useful purpose
  • Relationship advancement on multiple fronts
  • An on-camera srs bznz kitchen party
  • A plot-relevant on-camera screech-in

And if you know anything about Newfoundland customs, you can guess that last but very much not least, this story is going to feature action in St. John’s, Newfoundland! Which will also let me pull a couple of important members of Christopher’s family on camera: Thomas Hallett, Christopher’s uncle and the current Warder of St. John’s; and Caitlin Hallett, Thomas’s daughter, who’s next in line to Ward the city when her father passes.

This story will also introduce Gabien Desroches, my first Quebecois Warder character. He is a young man of the Quebecois Warder lineage–Les Gardiens, as they are called in Quebec–and he’s in Newfoundland on his turn at the traveling many young Warders do before they commit to a city. Which is how he’ll be meeting Caitlin. Bilingual sparks will be flying, and yes, Caitlin and Gabien will also be taking the lead in a later story of their own.

You guys, this is going to rock. 😀


A few things make a Sunday post

John Scalzi has a good post up addressing the question of whether self-publishing has rendered Yog’s Law obsolete. Good commentary in the comments about this, and the importance of distinguishing between oneself as “writer” and as “publisher” when one self-publishes.

I saw this come up in the last backer update that went out to all of us who supported the Long Hidden anthology: an issue of whether it’s an expression of privilege when you dismiss the use of dialect in fiction. There’s a Storify link of the Twitter discussion here, and Insatiable Book Sluts has a thoughtful post up about it here. A lot of food for thought at both of these links, for both readers and writers.

Sad to hear that Angry Robot is closing a couple of its imprints. Scalzi has cogent commentary on this here, and I know this impacts several authors whose works I’m interested in. Notably, userinfomarthawells.


For tumblr users, Dara’s started a couple of extra tumblr blogs in addition to her main one. One is called Oldphemera and is for pics of old oddities that she finds. The other is Seattle–July 20, 1971, where she’s posting scans of a bunch of old bits of newspaper she found being used as packing material. It’s a fun glimpse of Seattle from that year, as seen in the newspaper.

Check ’em out!


Next weekend I’m going to have the pleasure of attending a house concert starring Claude Méthé, Mario Loiselle, and Pascal Gemme. Pascal is of course one of the three members of Genticorum, one of the contenders in the pitched three-way fight for Anna’s Favorite Quebec Trad Band! He’s recently released an album with Mario, and meanwhile, M. Méthé is another excellent Quebecois fiddler. They’re all on the way to Fiddle Tunes, and they’re stopping in Seattle to do their house concert.

VERY excited for another chance to hear Pascal play! And also excited about hearing M. Méthé–I’ve got a couple of recordings that feature him, and this’ll be the first time I get to see him in person.

I will report on the concert in depth. Stand by for that to come!


And one more music-related thing, this time on filk! This is an excellent little academic study on filk, which is NOT a sequence of words I’d normally think of putting together. The study identifies the various kinds of filk, and explores how male vs. female filkers deal with using material by others, and whether there are any differences between genders. Fun reading. I was particularly interested that this story got picked up by io9!


Last but not least, off to go see How to Train Your Dragon 2 this afternoon. All signs indicate it’ll be stupendous great fun. Hoping I’ll stay awake during it, since I’ve been recovering from dental surgery for the whole past week and I have to take antibiotics and painkillers right now. But for Hiccup and Toothless, I’ll do my best to stay awake!

The Murkworks

2014, this is going on your performance review

Yesterday afternoon, Dara IMed me at work to let me know that she had to go see the eye doctor immediately, because she was experiencing a new round of symptoms consistent with the retinal tearing she’s been plagued with for the last couple of months. Both of us essentially went “well, shit“, and I told Dara to keep me updated. She quickly got the confirmation: yep, third round of retinal tearing, the third of the three spots that had been found in her eye.

So I cancelled the chiropractor appointment I’d made for today. And more annoyingly, I cancelled our hotel reservation for Conflikt next week. Because a new round of eye surgery means that Dara has to be weirdly positioned for another week, and well, we can’t do that shit at a hotel.


Anyway. As I’ve been posting on the social networks this morning, we got up at stupid-o’clock to report to Swedish for the procedure. It went okay, and at least this time, the tear was a bit smaller than the others. I’m to take her in for 24-hours-after followup tomorrow morning. Until then she’s to remain facedown, but once she’s confirmed to be okay, she should be able to go onto her left side for this coming week.

We’ve rather gotten this down to a science at this point so yeah, we’ll get through this. But it’s fucking irritating that we have to, especially given that this is the second time we’ve had to cancel plans to go to a convention.

And goddamnit, my birthday is coming up, and “a fresh round of medical crap”, I assure you, was NOT ON THE LIST OF THINGS I WANTED. I mean, honestly, 2014, we couldn’t at least have gotten out of January before dealing with another round of this?

Though I suppose I can’t bitch too loudly; it could be worse. It could have been late February, shooting my plans for music in Canada out from under me. WHICH I AM STILL GOING TO, come hell, high water, or zombie apocalypse.

For now though, now that we’ve gotten Dara safely home from the procedure, I’m going to take a nap. Because five hours of sleep is guh tired now zzzzzz.

About Me

And now, the hospital report

As pretty much expected, I was at Evergreen only from yesterday morning until this morning. Many, many mad thanks and props to my friend Dejah Leger, who gave me a ride to the hospital, hung out there until I was out of surgery and settled into a room, and then came back to get me this morning. We got in some lovely musicgeeking about various Quebec musicians and hard-to-find albums, too.

Everything went well and Evergreen’s staff took good care of me. I got several nurses making very sympathetic noises indeed as I explained that my wife hadn’t been able to accompany to the hospital due to recovering from her own surgery. And to my surprise I honestly haven’t been in much pain at all following the procedure. My stomach feels weirdly stiff and sore, but to the degree of “I did a whole bunch of situps” rather than being actively painful. I can move around pretty well and I’m pretty coherent. I am on mild painkillers, but so far have needed only a single Percocet and a Tylenol when it’s time for me to have any painkillers at all. We’ll see if that continues once the anesthesia finishes processing out of my system.

I’m instructed to walk as much as I can tolerate, although I am not to do any vigorous exercising, and I’m to do “active” resting as well–things that let me read, or be on the computer, or in general keeping me occupied as long as I’m taking it easy. Which, already planned for. Yay, crappy movie marathon!

It turned out to be a very good idea to cut my hair, since that helped make me more comfortable at the hospital. And I spent most of the evening alternating between looking at Facebook comments, playing Plants Vs. Zombies 2, and reading a Nora Roberts novel on my Nook. Zonked out around 7:40ish and slept off and on through the night, round about to 6ish or so in the morning. This morning, Dr. Isbell showed up to chat with me and clear me to go home, and Dejah showed up at 10 to get me, so great turnaround time there, really.

The type of hysterectomy I had was specifically geared towards minimal recovery time, for which I’m grateful–specifically, laparosopsic hysterectomy. Since I’m still pretty young and healthy they felt this would be a good choice for me. And given that I am in fact in minimal pain at the moment, it certainly seems like it was the correct decision!

Now, they did go ahead and take my ovaries and tubes, too, so this was pretty much a complete uninstall of reproduction.lib, as it were. So any future attempts at reproduction on my part will have to involve cloning, or parthenogenesis, or maybe just splitting in half like an amoeba. Or maybe getting Dara to build me a duplicator, or getting a hold of the copier that can duplicate people in that episode of Gravity Falls.

And okay yeah yeah I could also more figuratively reproduce myself in my work an’ stuff.

So now I’m at home and I get to wear pajama pants and loose shirts, and watch a whole LOT of crappy movies. Dara goes in for her next eye followup tomorrow afternoon, at which point, hopefully, she’ll be cleared to look up again. At that point, the Movie Suckoff will officially begin!

Many thanks, many hugs, and much love to folks on various sites who have been sending kind words, offers of meals, and offers of companionship. Thanks again to Dejah for playing chauffeur, which is totally getting her dinner at a future date of her choosing, and probably a bottle of Sortilege as soon as I can find her some. Thanks to Geri in BC, who’s sending us some help for Dara’s stressed back and neck. And thanks to Kaye, who sent us a big ol’ gift package full of chocolate-covered strawberries and pineapples and general tasty treats!



Once Dara’s cleared to look up again and we can return the couch to its usual configuration (right now we’ve got it set up so she can lay on it as comfortably as possible and play with her iPad at the same time), we’ll be visitable. Local folks, if you want to come over, just let us know! Call me if you have my number, or email, or drop me a PM on Facebook, whatevs.

And as a lovely postscript, I’ve also just received word that my other carbon fiber flute purchase, the fife in D, is ready to be shipped up to me! And I just got my “Greetings from Mount AWESOME” t-shirt as well from Teefury. 😀

Now comes the recovery agenda for the week, and movies, and more reading. Cherie Priest just dropped her brand new release, Fiddlehead, which I happily slurped down onto the Nook; I’ll be buying the paperback of that ASAP as well. And I got a Kickstarter backer reward for my friend Chrysoula Tzavelas’ new release as well, Infinity Key! And I hope to finally finish up Chapter 14 of the Trilingual Hobbit Reread, too!

All in all this’ll be a relaxing week.

About Me

Medical update on me and Dara both

As many of you saw me posting on the social networks last night, Dara had round two of her eye surgery last night. This was done in a different facility, and this time by a different surgeon as well. Everything went pretty much okay, and I got a lot of sympathetic noises from the nurses who were looking after Dara afterwards, when I told them that I get to go in for a hysterectomy on Monday.

(It was in the middle of one of those conversations that I realized that Dara and I really have had quite the tour of many of the Seattle area’s major medical facilities. I was at UW Medical in the U district when I broke my arm; Swedish did my thyroidectomies; Dara was at Harborview for treatment for the car accident; Evergreen, of course, has been my cancer care, and they also handled last year’s fun with h. pylori and they’re handling the hysto stuff as well. And now we’ve been to UW Medical in Northgate AND to the facility over in Bellevue. And OH YES we’ve also been over to the Overlake Emergency Care Clinic as well. All told: we’ve become rather involuntary connoisseurs of all the medical care Puget Sound has to offer.)

Today, we had the followup with last night’s surgeon. Who says that Dara’s eye is looking good (and honestly it looks less scary than it did after the first round), BUT, he also says that she needs to keep her head under positional restrictions until the next followup appointment, which will be either Wednesday or Thursday; we’re scheduling that on Monday.

This, clearly, makes Monday a problem. So I am already coordinating with Dejah from my Quebec session crowd, who has kindly volunteered to be my chauffeur to and from Evergreen. This frees up Paul to be at the house in case Dara needs anything (she’ll probably be okay, but better to have someone on hand just in case), and also so that he can look after the cats (and since Fred’s on medication, that does need some attending to). So we’ll make it through this coming week, it’ll just start off a bit bumpier than expected, is all.

And Dejah is a rock star, a folk star, and a star of all other musical genres, and I WILL be buying her dinner at some later date of her choosing.

Now we’re just counting down to Monday at this point and taking care of various and sundry errands and household chores that need dealing with.

Anna the Piper Industries appreciates your patience during this time of erratic functionality, O Internets, and we promise to return you soon to your regularly scheduled programming of writing, tunes practice, and fangirling well-played fiddles and bouzoukis. Stand by.

About Me

Game plan for this weekend and next week

I’m taking Dara to her eye surgery this afternoon at 4pm. I’m expecting this to be pretty much a repeat of round 1, which is to say, it’ll be likely she’ll have to spend tonight constantly looking at her own feet, including sleeping face down.

Tonight I expect any entertainment is going to be strictly audio, since if Dara has to return to Feetlandia, she won’t be able to watch any TV.

Tomorrow there will be a post-op followup, to see how she’s doing and what kind of positional restrictions she has to maintain to promote healing of the eye this time.

Monday at 11am is when we need to report for my surgery to Evergreen. We are planning for this to be an overnight stay, although there is a possibility that they might send me home early if things go well enough. Whether or not Dara will be able to accompany me to Evergreen, and whether she will be able to spend the night if she does, will depend on how Saturday’s followup appointment goes.

A few of you have already offered transport duties, and that’s much appreciated. Though since we are a three-person household, Paul’s already kindly agreed to take care of getting me (and hopefully also Dara) to and from Monday’s adventures. Everybody please think ongoing positive thoughts that Paul’s health stays solid, mmkay?

A couple of you have also kindly offered to come cook for Dara and me, or bring us a meal. That is also most appreciated. If you’d like to discuss that with me further, email or PM as appropriate. Pretty much “any time Tuesday or later” will be the time frame to shoot for there.

Meanwhile I’m going to be spending this weekend doing the synopsis for Vengeance, taking care of cleaning up stuff as best I can since Dara and I both will be effectively out of commission for some days, and other necessary “prior to my brain going into Vicodin mode” tasks.

Good thoughts, virtual hugs, lit candles, playing of music, or any other positive activities are, again, most appreciated. October and November are turning out to be rough for the Murkworks this year, and apparently 2013 is making up for the off-time from medical crap we had in 2010, 2011, and most of 2012.

About Me

So much for going to OryCon

Dara had another followup appointment about her eye surgery this afternoon–and was informed, much to our dismay, that she had further retinal tearing. There had been a ten percent chance that this would happen, and apparently, she’s just managed to roll REALLY badly on her Luck roll.

This means another round of eye surgery tomorrow. And no going down to OryCon this weekend. AUGH. We’ve cancelled our hotel reservations and gotten our Amtrak points back for the train, and additionally, OryCon’s concom said oh god yes of COURSE we can have a membership refund; they’ll deal with that after the con is over.

So. Dara’s next round of eye surgery is tomorrow at 4pm. Which means I get to spend tomorrow morning writing a proper synopsis of Vengeance of the Hunter to hand over to my editor, and then I will take Dara to her procedure. She’ll have a post-op followup on Saturday as well.

This may make Monday more challenging. We’d already realized that oh shit Dara’s not cleared to drive yet, and had gotten Paul’s agreement to drive us to and from my surgery. However, now that Dara’s going to have to have another procedure of her own, this may make it difficult for her to go with me to the hospital at all. Much will depend upon whether she is still under position restrictions by Monday, since the first round of this fun required her to spend the next day or so constantly looking at her feet and having to sleep face down as well. Which would be PROBLEMATIC, trying to stay overnight with me at Evergreen. But we’ll see what happens with that as of Saturday.

Tonight Paul made us a tasty dinner, and there’s been cider, and I’m also having a shot of cake vodka, given that tonight pretty much took a hard turn into the land of Fuck Everything. The forecast of instruments being picked up later tonight is also very, very high.

Please keep us in your thoughts, folks. And if anybody finds the son of a bitch who decided to bump up our medical misfortune this year, let me know, okay? I have a heat ray and an itchy trigger finger. >:|