patinagle: (aurora)
Tonight's the night! I'll be watching the moon rise over the Sandia Mountains, probably with a wintry frosting of haze.

Read why this is the biggest full moon at Nasa's full moon page, then get set for the Geminids meteor shower peaking Saturday night/Sunday morning.  (Hard to see meteors around a full moon, but the brightest ones will still come through.)

Happy howling!
patinagle: (Default)
A well-meaning friend sent me an email suggesting sending a holiday card to a recovering soldier at Walter Reed hospital. Lovely idea, but a card so addressed wouldn't get to the intended recipient (see why at Snopes.com).  Here's a way to make sure your card does get to a soldier.  (Thanks to moon_happy for the heads-up.)
--------------
From the American Red Cross

Please send cards to this address, following the guidelines listed below:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Please follow these simple guidelines when sending your card to ensure it will quickly reach service members, veterans and their families.
  • All cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Cards sent after this date will be returned to sender.
  • If sending more than one card, please mail all cards together in one large shipping envelope. Cards sent in this manner do not need individual envelopes or postage.
  • Please ensure that all cards are signed.
  • Please use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.”
  • Please do not include personal information, like email or home addresses.
  • Please do not send letters.
  • Please do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, glitter, confetti, gift cards or calling cards. Any items inserted into cards will be removed during the reviewing process.
  • All cards received may be used in program publicity efforts, including appearing in broadcast, print or online mediums.
--------------

This is exactly the sort of thing that expresses the spirit of the season, in my view. I'm getting out a card to send right now.
patinagle: (Default)
Book View CafeBook View Cafe has just been launched! This is a group venture by twenty-one writers to offer their work online. You'll find fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance and other categories, with different free offerings every day.

Participants in the project include Laura Anne Gilman, Christie Golden, Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda N. McIntyre, Madeleine Robbins, Sarah Zettel and of course, yours truly. This website has been six months in the making and we're delighted to finally share it with the public!
patinagle: (Default)
Here's how they turned out (a few sugar cookies scattered in there too):

skullsskulls




skulls



display


Happy Halloween!

My Fave!

Oct. 31st, 2008 11:52 am
patinagle: (Default)
HalloweenI can't help it—I adore Halloween! Here is my muse, Nambé, in full spooky mode.

sugar skullsI've always loved this time of year. Costumes, fall leaves, aromatic smoke from fireplaces. Candy, not so much, even when I was a kid. But this year I made some sugar skulls, which are traditional for Dia de los Muertos. We will decorate them tonight. Maybe I'll make some Halloween frosted cookies, too—I do love those!

In honor of the day I've posted some of my photos from St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans to a new group blog I'm in—Mad Genius Club. (I guess mad geniuses go with Halloween too!)

Happy Halloween!

faces
patinagle: (Default)
I was out of town last week, and in the meantime it snowed, killing my tomato plants. The kits did quite well with their new cat-sitter (very professional, costs more but worth it). DH and I and four other friends crammed in all kinds of fun adventures in New Orleans, from a graveyard tour to Oak Alley plantation. Ate a lot of wonderful food, too, and heard some good music.

Our first morning home we were awakened by a flicker pounding on the outside wall, another sign of cooler weather. Today we put away the swamp cooler. Have not yet lit a fire in the wood stove, but did have it swept out before we left. We have a good supply of firewood.

The mountains seem to be holding their breath, waiting for the colder season. Aspens have mostly finished their golden glory. Here's a picture I took a couple of weeks ago.

In writing-related news, I've turned in revisions on book 2 of the fantasy series. I also recently posted about an interesting cover art coincidence on the Novelists, Inc. blog. And earlier this month I celebrated my fifth anniversary of writing two new pages every day.
patinagle: (comonplace)
Hummingbirds are gone this week. Instead, the flickers are starting to come around.

Time to get the chimney swept.

Autumn

Sep. 22nd, 2008 10:14 pm
patinagle: (Default)


It's the equinox. Time to pause and look at where we are in the season.

To me, this is not the first day of Autumn, but the middle of Autumn. Weather is decidedly cooler; we haven't used the air conditioner for a couple of weeks. Days are just about perfect, nights beginning to be cool. The hummingbirds are still around and there are lots of robins in the bird bath. Pansies, nasturtiums, petunias, bachelor's buttons are blooming happily. Tomatoes are ripening in the garden. It's time to harvest herbs.

And the piñons! We have a good crop going this year, as evidenced by the dozens of cars alongside the road. Families come to pick piñon (pine nuts) wherever the trees grow--which around here is pretty much everywhere. We have quite a few on our land, and I went out and gathered a couple of handfuls of nuts already. Must get serious about it and bring in a good harvest, but I've been busy with revisions.

My fantasy novel, The Betrayal, launches in six months, on the Spring Equinox. In honor of that, I've posted a free read to my website: "Kind Hunter," the story that sparked the novel.

conned out

Aug. 24th, 2008 09:23 pm
patinagle: (aurora)
Back from Bubonicon, a fun weekend. Two cons almost back to back and I'm pretty pooped. At Bubonicon, I had drinks with Debbie Lynn Smith and her husband, Paul. She and I agreed that sf cons are an interesting phenomenon from the writer's point of view. Most writers (not all, but most) are introverts, but for a convention, a whole bunch of them come together and pretend to be extroverts for several days. By the end of it, we're pretty much fried and have to crawl back to our garrets and hide for a while.

That's about where I am at the moment. Good weekend, not enough sleep, and I need some alone time.
patinagle: (Default)
The slow days of summer are here. Fellow writers are grumbling about the lack of activity in the mailbox. Editors and writers are attending conventions, and not much is going on between.

For me, it's been a busy year so far and I'm actually enjoying the chance to catch up a bit. I have notes from my editor on fantasy novel #2, so I'm not lacking for work. I'm starting to put together some promotional efforts in support of fantasy novel #1, which has been scheduled for release in March 2009, right around the equinox.

To get a break from the summer heat, my spouse and I drove up to Telluride recently. Wow, what an incredibly beautiful place! Everywhere you turn in this tiny mountain town there are spectacular views. This one is of Bridal Veil Falls, visible from pretty much anywhere in Telluride. Just stunning. I love the mountains and this was a nice shot of inspiration for me for the settings of my ælven fantasy world. (My characters are mountain folk. Fancy that.)

Another thing that's kept me busy this summer is work on the Novelists, Inc. website. I (foolishly) volunteered to help with redesigning and reorganizing the site. It's actually been a lot of fun, though also a lot of work. Not much of it can be seen yet as the webmaster currently is at work converting the site to the new design, but the new Ninc Blog is off to a great start. Check it out!

Tomorrow I'm off to Worldcon. If you're going to be there, stop by my signing Thursday afternoon and pick up an ælven bookmark.
patinagle: (cooking)
I'm in love with chevre (soft goat cheese). I fell in love after tasting fresh chevre from a local goat dairy. It's divine just spread on a whole grain cracker. Great in salads, too.

Only trouble is, after it's been in the fridge for a while it gets very crumbly--falls apart when you try to spread it, goes all over the place. Well, I recently discovered a solution: nuke it in the microwave for about ten seconds. Not long enough to get hot, but enough to give it a smooth, creamy texture and make it easy to spread.

Here's one of my favorite ways to eat chevre:

EASY SUMMER CANAPE

chevre
whole-grain crackers
sun-dried tomatoes
capers (optional)

Microwave chevre for ten seconds. If tomatoes are dried, put in a dish with a teaspoon or so of water and microwave for 15-30 seconds.

Spread chevre on crackers, top with tomatoes. Garnish with capers if desired.

Enjoy!

Rain!

May. 15th, 2008 02:11 pm
patinagle: (aurora)
Much rejoicing! We had some rain yesterday, and today it has been almost non-stop. This is a huge blessing, since we hadn't had any rain in at least a month and my water barrels were getting empty. Now they are full! Yay!

I planned to plant flowers and herbs today. (I bought a lunar gardening calendar--much fun!) Looks like the rain has paused so I'm off to do it now.

Then back to the copyedits that arrived earlier this week.
patinagle: (Default)
Was just out potting three more pines and had a visit from a hummingbird! First one I've seen this year. Sugar water is on the stove. Now to dig out the feeders.
patinagle: (Default)
The aspens leafed out this week. Even a lot of the babies planted in previous seasons are waking up. Some of them haven't made it, which is why I put in three older saplings last year. But several of the babies are hanging in there!

I want to sow radishes today. Been looking at a lunar gardening book a friend gave me a while back. Root crops are supposed to go in during the waning moon. So I'm going to dash out and throw some radish seeds around before I get back to revising the WIP.

The raised bed that is my tiny veggie patch is looking good. I haven't planted anything there yet, but the chives are fixing to bloom and the parsley wintered over and is a large, enthusiastic, vibrant green clump!

After May Day I will plant nasturtiums. Looking forward to them - I so enjoyed them last year!

In the meantime, I am still putting ponderosa seedlings into pots. These are from the same source where I got the baby aspens, the New Mexico Forestry Division. If you own 2 acres of land you can get seedlings very inexpensively. The catch is you have to buy them in lots, so I've got twenty pine trees to plant. Most are going into big pots until I can get to them on a less urgent schedule. Even just getting them into pots is a good deal of work, though. I had Chris drill holes in the bottoms of a bunch of old cat litter buckets. Not pretty, but a good size, and the price is right.

Last night we froze so I sent poor Chris out in his pjs (cause that's more than I had on) to fetch in the bucket of seedlings that haven't yet been planted. I should put them outside again, now.

OK, back to work!
patinagle: (Default)


I love the mountains in spring. Weather so unpredictable. A snowstorm came through last night and left us with a couple of inches. It will be gone by noon, but in the meantime I'm grateful. We need the moisture. This will stave off fire season for a little longer.

And I always welcome an excuse to build a fire in the wood stove.
patinagle: (Default)

Visit Novelists, Inc.Last weekend I attended the Novelists, Inc. Conference in New York. I am still processing all the great ideas and information. What a fantastic conference, and well worth the time and money!

This was my fourth NINC conference, and the first one I've been able to get to in New York. All of the conferences I've attended have been great. I think this one beat the rest, though. They just keep getting better every time. For someone who intends to make a career out of writing novels, this is a terrific group. Not only do you get to meet lots of wonderful writers (like Mary Jo Putney, Rebecca York, and Laura Resnick), you also meet industry professionals who have great information to share.

I had the pleasure of meeting my editor, Liz Scheier, who is lovely and gracious. Six degrees of separation came into play when I discovered she already knew my travel buddy and roommate, Pari Noskin Taichert, from a Southwest Writers Workshop conference years ago.

Theresa Rebeck was our keynote speaker, delightfully entertaining. She talked about her own writing experiences, and boy could we relate! (There's a fun interview with her on the NINC website.)

Sessions included panels with agents, publishers, editors, and publicity professionals. Writer and publisher Lou Aronica gave a fantastic presentation to cap the conference. He brought some things into focus that I had been trying to understand for years. I'm still absorbing what he talked about, and I'm going to be making some changes here in the blog because of it.

This is not a conference for aspiring writers. It's for experienced writers, and that makes all the difference.
patinagle: (aurora)


George R. R. Martin has donated several signed collector's items to raise money for Match It For Pratchett, including a wonderful limited edition, leather bound copy of FEVRE DREAM. They are being auctioned now on ebay.

Happy Spring, everyone!

2 pages written today

Points in The Race:
26 for short stories
11 for novels
----------------------
37 total
patinagle: (aurora)


Like TerryPratchett?

Did you know he's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's?

Did you know he donated half a million pounds (that's about a million dollars these days) to Alzheimer's research?

Visit the Match It For Pratchett website and contribute your mite to matching his donation. This research is underfunded - help fix it!

Nuff said.

2 pages written today

Points in The Race:
27 for short stories
11 for novels
----------------------
38 total
patinagle: (Default)


Really noticing the change of season the last week or so. Trees are waking up and spewing pollen. Nights not so cold - we're building fires in the evening instead of all day. Still getting snow (6" Saturday morning) but it melts off faster.

Birds are more active, and we heard a coyote out back tonight, taunting the local dogs. There's an underlying buzz of energy as the sun is returning.

Lots of new activity on the personal front, too. Taking a sign language class with my beloved. It's challenging and also lots of fun. Been reading a LOT lately. So many friends with books out! Which is extremely cool.

2 pages written today

Points in The Race:
19 for short stories (need to get some back in the mail)
11 for novels
----------------------
30 total
patinagle: (Default)


This is a really fun movie based on a great book by New Mexico science fiction writer Steven Gould. Jumper the movie is an action flick, emphasis on the action. While it doesn't have the depth of the novel, it delivers plenty of excitement, some poignant moments, and a couple of great laughs. As my beloved spouse puts it, "Nothing says 'I love you' like Samuel L. Jackson with a cattle prod."

See it today, then go read the book (cause it's even better).

2 pages written today

Points in The Race:
24 for short stories
8 for novels
----------------------
32 total

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