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Showing posts from August, 2008
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Image via WikipediaI was at the Farmers Market yesterday and the air was winey with the scent of scuppernong and muscadine grapes. I bought a few pints, the deep purple and rich green of the two varieties blending together in my berry bowl for a classic summer treat. I keep the grapes on the counter and grab a few as I walk by (they're each the size of small apricots), remembering I need to dispose of the seeds along the way.

There's a great deal to be said for eating local produce. I knew the grapes were coming into season in North Florida, and it was something to anticipate. Late summer brings the grapes, along with lots of squashes, tomatoes, eggplant and melons. Soon the season will turn again and we'll get the new crop of pecans, persimmons, and when it's nice and cool, salad greens.

Getting into the rhythm of your local seasons puts an entirely new twist on how you cook, and how you eat. I'm just glad our Farmers Market (Downtown on the Plaza, Wednesdays, …
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Image by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr Tropical Storm Fay, the aftermath

All things considered, we got off easy. Lots and lots and lots of rain, but I was really glad the roofers were able to come out a couple weeks ago to do their repairs. If there was ever a test of the new skylight's seal, this was it. And it seemed to do just fine.

We lost power for about an hour Friday afternoon, then again for 30 minutes later in the day, but it wasn't bad at all. I put my houseplants out for a good soaking and it seemed to cheer them up. The dog was unhappy 'cause there were no "walkies", but I see the sun poking through this morning.

So all is well in North Central Florida once again.
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Image by sandrino via Flickr Tropical Storm Fay

I've done my hurricane prep, like a good li'l Floridian, so at this point I'm just keeping an eye on the storm. Landfall could be around Cedar Key, north of Tampa Bay, which would put the storm 60 miles west of me. That means we could still get high winds, heavy rain and the possibility of tornadoes.

I'm feeling pretty calm though, 'cause I just had my roof and skylight repaired, so barring a tree crashing into it (which happened during the hurricanes in '04), we should be in good shape. And I have my blue tarp, just in case.

The water, batteries, spare meds, gas grill, camp stove, land-line telephone, etc. are on hand. I have bread, canned goods and peanut butter. The upright freezer is packed with ice bags, so if we lose power everything should stay frozen for at least 48 hours. I have empty bleach bottles I can fill with tap water for washing. The one thing I didn't have last time which I swore I wouldn…
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Squee! I just got my first fan email from Estonia! I was wondering who was reading my Estonian editions, now I know at least one reader.

Thanks, Kristin, for taking the time to write!
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Image via WikipediaTips for New Writers

Tara asked me to share some of what we discussed at Worldcon. I wish I'd taken notes, but when I'm on the panel and interacting I'm so caught up with what's going on it's hard to keep track.

Here though are some of the things we discussed. Much of it you've heard before, but it bears repeating:

Keep writing. Keep your butt in the chair. Develop disciplined habits. Study the work of successful authors in your field. Keep telling yourself "I did this once, I can do it again." Don't take rejection personally--editors are critiquing your work, not you. Be nice to everyone you meet--they're all potential readers. Do self promotion, but don't get so caught up in it it keeps you from writing. Develop regular writing times.

I learned other authors also suffer from the "2/3 curse" where you're 2/3 of the way through your work in progress and you don't want to do it anymore and you…
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HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION

Worldcon (Denvention3) was fantastic. I arrived Wednesday in plenty of time for my 4:00 panel, Survival Tips for New Writers. The other panelists were David Coe and this year's Campbell Award winner, Mary Robinette Kowal, and along with the audience I picked up tips from them on how to improve my work habits.

On Thursday I had a full day of panels. How do Ebooks Change Writing--an Ebook Writing Primer was intriguing, and moderator Dave Howell worked hard to keep us focused on the topic and not wandering off into weird ebook stories. We talked about interactive ebooks with hyperlinks, but also about how many readers seem content with ebooks simply being an exact copy of a print book delivered through different media.

Aaaargh! The Pirate Panel was just what you might expect from the title, an exploration of why we like pirates so much, and where pirate history and mythology collide. The other panelists--David Riley, MistyMassey and Linda Donohue al…
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It's Worldcon Time!

See you there!