And Today It Is Snowing. Again.

Mar. 24th, 2017 06:07 pm
malkingrey: (Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
We have a winter weather advisory up until 9 PM.

I am so tired of this winter.

Today's fun-that-isn't: starting the job of setting up our new web page, now that SFF-Net is going good-bye forever at the end of the month. (There isn't anything there, yet, but at least we've got the domain nailed down.)

Cool Stuff Friday

Mar. 24th, 2017 11:41 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

…and then the Fridays began.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Today's Wild Accomplishments

Mar. 23rd, 2017 11:23 pm
malkingrey: (Sunny Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
I bought groceries and paid the electric bill and took my brother to a doctor's appointment.

Such are the excitements of my days, at least this month.

Also, it is still cold, and I still have a cold.

That is all.

Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older

Mar. 23rd, 2017 01:38 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Shadowshaper Cover ArtI continue to snag books out of my son’s Scholastic book order forms. One of the latest was Shadowshaper [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound], by Daniel José Older. It’s an enjoyable, relatively quick read. Here’s the summary:

Sierra Santiago planned to have an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a mysterious fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for herself and generations to come.

The “About the Author” section notes that Older lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, which is where the book takes place, and it shows. Sierra’s world feels real and fully developed, populated with interesting people and places. It’s a far cry from some of the generic pseudo-New York settings you sometimes get.

I love the concept of shadowshaping, the way the magic works as a collaboration between spirits and shadowshaper, and the possibilities of that power. One of my favorite scenes was watching Sierra discovering what she could do with a simple piece of chalk.

Sierra and the rest of the cast are great, all with their own personalities and flaws and conflicts. They feel like real people…it’s just that some of them can bring their artwork to life.

My only complaint is that the villain felt a bit flat and obvious. But the ideas behind that villain, the theme of the privileged cultural outsider barging in and making a mess of things, are totally valid and powerful. I wouldn’t want that to change; I just would have liked to see a little more depth to them.

And kudos for the awesome librarian.

I’ve seen a number of reviews praising the diversity in the book. On the one hand, I do think that’s worth recognizing, and I definitely appreciated it. On the other… I don’t know. I wish we could reach a point where we don’t have to praise authors for showing the world the way it is, and could instead just note when authors fail to portray a realistically diverse world. Does that make sense? I dunno…probably something that needs a longer blog post to unpack.

Anyway, to wrap this up, the ending was lovely and made me eager to read Shadowhouse Fall, which comes out in September of this year.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Our master bathroom always contains three bathtowels, one on the top of the double rail and two on the bottom. Whenever I change the towels, I hang three; so does my husband. This weekend we found out that each of us thought the other needed two towels, and occasionally wondered why. As far as we can determine, the third towel got used only as an emergency handtowel.

Or maybe it was for the prophet Elijah, who knows.

Maybe This Will Help

Mar. 22nd, 2017 12:57 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
I just got through installing a Firefox add-on that purports to, among other things, enable filtering of posts by keyword. I'm going to see if it will help reduce the sensation of standing in front of an open sewer pipe fire hose on the occasions when I check Facebook to see how some friends who mostly just post on there are doing.

(That's today's big accomplishment so far, after making arrangements to pay this month's electric bill.)
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

The Book Smugglers are hosting the cover reveal for my next book, Terminal Alliance. While you’re admiring Dan Dos Santos‘ artwork, you can also enter to win an autographed copy of one of my published books!

I’m really happy with this one. I think it captures the feel of the book, and Dos Santos had a marvelous take on the ship’s computer tech Gromgimsidalgak (Grom) — that’s the yellow alien on the right.

The book comes out on November 7. But, of course, you can preorder any time you like! 😉

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Shameless Self-Promotion*

Mar. 19th, 2017 11:36 am
malkingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] malkingrey


For more information, check out the About page on my editorial blog.

*(Actually, I hate this part of being a freelancer. But bills must be paid, so needs must.)

Cold.

Mar. 18th, 2017 10:23 am
malkingrey: (Sunny Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
It got down below 0°F again last night.

Dammit, this is March. It's not supposed to be doing the subzero thing this late in the winter. Or this early in the spring, take your pick. This time last year, they were declaring ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee.
malkingrey: (Sunny Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
The cold that my brother reported having two days ago, and Twin B reported having yesterday, greeted me this morning when I awoke.

"Hello!" it said. "I'm going to be moving into your joints and your sinuses for the next few days!"

"Bleah," I said in reply, and reached for the decongestant and the ibuprofen.

If I'm somewhat less in charity with the world today than is my normal wont (and face it, my normal wont isn't anything to write home about at the best of times), then that is probably why.

At least the sun is shining.
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Life has been…let’s call it hectic. A random sampling of recent excitement includes a minor car accident (everyone’s fine), a $200+ insurance mix-up (I think they’re straightening it out now), a podcast interview (I’ll post links when it goes live), increased work at the 10 hours/week day job, and more.

All manageable, but there’s been an ongoing sense of running without ever getting a chance to stop. (Though Amy and I did sneak out to see Logan earlier this month. Yay!)

And then there are the various writing-related projects. Here are the updates on those!

Terminal Alliance

As some of you may have seen, the official release date for Terminal Alliance has been moved back to November 7. This is on me. Writing my first science fiction novel has taken longer than I anticipated, and I’ve needed additional time to make it as good as possible.

Happily, I turned a complete manuscript in to my editor last week, and am now working on final revisions. Everything is on schedule for that November release, and I’m happy with how the story and characters have turned out.

I’m particularly happy with the cover art Dan Dos Santos did for the book. The big cover reveal has officially been scheduled for this coming Monday, March 20. I can’t wait to show it off! There should be a giveaway to go with it.

Invisible 3

Mary Anne and I have responded to all but five submissions, and we’re hoping to get back to those people within the next week. I’m really excited about the essays and poems we’ve accepted so far. We don’t have a firm schedule yet, but I expect we’ll see some of the essays as guest blog posts next month, with the anthology going on sale in either late April or May.

Other Writing

I revised and returned a story called “The Fallow Grave of Dream” for the anthology The Death of All Things. The story has not been officially accepted or rejected yet, but regardless what happens, I’m very proud of this one. It’s short — only 2700 words, and the first story I’ve ever done in present tense, second person. It’s about death and dreams and disability and family and love and hope and despair, and it’s just really different from anything I’ve done before. One way or another, I look forward to sharing it with you.

Obligatory Hugo Reminder

For those of you doing your Hugo noms, my Magic ex Libris series is eligible for the Best Series Hugo, and our cat Chewie is eligible for Best Melted Cat.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

The Kindness of Strangers

Mar. 15th, 2017 12:24 pm
malkingrey: (Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
Twin B was out toiling in the knee-deep snow of the driveway (and when you consider that Twin B is over 6'2" tall, that's a lot of snow), when a friendly local with a snowplow blade bolted to the front of his pickup passed by and did a pass up the whole driveway out of the pure goodness of his heart. Twin B offered him a home-made blondie for his trouble, but he declined; I told Twin B he'd just have to do a good deed for a random person the next time an opportunity presents itself.

There's a blood drive coming to town soon; that may work. Twin B has excellent blood -- there's some early-childhood thing that most people catch that he dodged somehow, which makes his blood particularly good for neonates and the like.

(Just how much snow did we get? Well, so much snow that the cap on top of the bird feeder -- which can reach up to a peak of six inches or more -- could no longer sustain itself and collapsed.)

And More Snow.

Mar. 14th, 2017 04:26 pm
malkingrey: (Snow)
[personal profile] malkingrey
Winter Storm Stella is upon us. Colebrook is north of the blizzard area, at least, but we're still scheduled to get 10 to 20 inches of snow. Himself is down at the ambulance HQ in Groveton, where -- being no fool -- he intends to stay over for the night.

Twin B has made a first pass at the snowplow ridge at the foot of the driveway, on the grounds that if he doesn't go out and clear it every few hours or so (as the local snowplows throw more stuff up), then he will have a truly titanic job of it on Wednesday when it needs to be done so that Himself can get home.

I'm making Swedish meatballs for dinner, because it's finally warmed back up enough in the kitchen that making 48 or so mini-meatballs by hand didn't make me cringe just to think about it. Having Twin B on hand to assist also helped, if I'm being honest.

Now I need to make myself a cup of tea and get to work on writing the letter of critique for my most recent editing gig.
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