If you've read this before, feel free to skip, although there may be interesting new things to discover and know beyond the cut.
Anyway, here you go:
( This way lies a lot of information you may or may not need about the person whose LJ you may or may not be reading right at this moment. Also, I may or may not be the King of Rain, which may or may not explain why it's drizzling right now. Essentially, this is Schrodinger's cut-tag.Collapse )
- Current Mood: exhausted
- Current Music:Paul and Storm, "Opening Band."
I slithered out of there pronto, because that's just ridiculous. And I was going to contact them to say so, but I figured they must have hundreds of people doing that and they'd be bored rigid by the endless nagging (I know somewhat of how other awards are managed, and there are reasons - not necessarily good reasons, but reasons - why they are seemingly unresponsive to change), so in the end I just dropped a mildly snarky comment into James' LJ and left it at that.
And not very much later at all, he posted a reply to say that they'd altered the wording in response, so that the paperback category is now paperbacks and e-books, yay!
I think that is so cool, that they were willing and able to respond so swiftly and so satisfyingly. I am deeply chuffed with myself, with James and with the ASFA which administers the Chesleys.
And I have been over there to make a couple of suggestions on their form, and so should you.
*What's that you say? Self-interest? Nah, I just think it's a fabulous cover. T'other one I hold dear from last year isn't even on a book I had anything to do with, bar a blurb on the back cover to say how good it was.
*twitch* Let's hope this isn't just spotting where I stop tomorrow and go another week or two cramping with no result. Again.
I just got invited to do an essay based on a recent talk on raising the stakes. I’m excited about it, not to mention flattered.
We got our cherry tree planted in the bit of sunshine we had between storms. Happy about that. Also did some weed-attacks. We’ve decided we need to put a weeper system into the back yard where it gets a little swampy in the winter. Hopefully it won’t overdrain in the summer, once we do it. I also want to extend the patio and make it more usable, but not sure of the cost. It’s not something we can do ourselves, so I’ll have to get some estimates. I’d like to be able to do more outside in terms of meals and such and eventually put in a slider or French doors going outside.
I’ve reached the part in the novella where we’re digging into a nasty little murder and I finally figured out certain logistics, so I’m pleased about that.
Boy’s Upper gi is scheduled for Tuesday. Let’s hope it tells us something. He’s still on the barfomatic trail.
I bought a bunch of stuff to try recipes out for making chai. Went to Penzey’s and that was delightful. Now I have to give them a shot. All I can say for sure is that it will be spicy. I like my chai to burn the back of my throat. Here’s hoping I figure out a recipe that I really like.
Writing-wise, I’m trying to get on a schedule again. It’s really difficult giving the boy and all of a sudden my time is not as sacrosanct as it used to be. Or even a little bit like it used to be. I am working on that. Carve carve carve.
Also trying to figure out the cleaning element of the house. At least reasonably sanitary. Getting everybody to help and do chores is good.
I did some knee exercises last night before bed to help with my tweaked knee. Felt okay while doing them, but when I went to actually get into bed, it hurt. Like a lot. I figured I overdid, but today I woke up and the knee had improved. That was good. I guess I’ll keep doing them.
Now I’m going to go back to work. Writing I hope. I need to book a couple of hours making words.
I am not really good at waiting, so I am trying to write an adult mystery/suspense thing. It is ridiculously fun and sort of freeing.
It's made me wonder what other people do when they wait to hear about things work or personal-life related.
And now get ready for:
A BIG TOPIC JUMP
My daughter has really delicate sneezes where you actually hear the sounds "Ah-choo." I sneeze like I'm being murdered. I do not think this is fair. Also, how pathetic is it that I am envious of her sneezing noise? Bad mother, Bad.
And now get ready for:
A RANDOM PET PHOTO
Scotty is terribly bored by this post. He can't even read the whole thing. You can tell by his tight jowled expression and closed eyes.
Which is harder than it seems/should be. What do you leave in? What do you take out? How many versions do you have? (some places have a 100 words requirement, others 250, some 500…)
What do you want to see in a bio? How far out do you want to know about upcoming books/how old is too old for information to be included? Mention pets, or don’t mention pets?
Here’s the one I sent to various conventions for 2014:
Laura Anne Gilman is the Nebula-nominated author of the “Vineart War” trilogy, the popular Cosa Nostradamus books, and the forthcoming “Devil’s West” series (Simon & Schuster, 2015). She also writes mysteries under the name L.A. Kornetsky (COLLARED, FIXED and the forthcoming DOGHOUSE), and has been known to sell the occasional short story or three. A former editor for Penguin, she now runs d.y.m.k. productions, an editorial/writing service, and keeps herself busy splitting her time between writing, editing, and traveling.
When I’m acting directly as L.A. Kornetsky I mention the animals, because hey, writing an animal-featuring mystery series! But do CatofSize and the Kitten of Thursday and the Time-Share Puppy belong in LAG’s bio? (of course they think so…)
"Big ugly squid." I wish I was still that innocent, still unaware of what...they really are. Once you know, once you really understand - or if you are among those damned to witness it yourself - once you know, you will never forget. It keeps me up at night, and if not for my physician's pity I would never sleep at all.
Squids. It's charming, frankly - the Old Gods, with bloated and frowning faces writhing with tentacles like the beard of Neptune. Like a God of Egypt, with a man's body and an animal's head. A curiosity, and little more.
The truth...well, I cannot tell you the truth, not properly, as a man of science should. These things are beyond our science. Still, I understand things about them that explain some of the reports, and perhaps you can carry on my research now that I can no longer pursue it.
It comes down to dimensions. We possess three - height, width, and depth. Grip a billiard ball, feel your fingers wrap around it, and you will understand. Now imagine a creature that existed in only two of those three dimensions, in a universe that described a simple plane through our own. To that creature, the billiard ball would appear to be a simple circle, growing and shrinking as it passes through the plane of the creature's universe. Imagine how our hand would look - strange fleshy circles filled with pulsing fluids, shards of bone, glistening meat. The creature could never understand what it was really seeing, as it could no more conceive of a hand than it could imagine a creature like us, moving freely in three dimensions and gripping billiard balls on a whim.
The Abominations, as you aptly described them, are to us as we are to that benighted creature. They exist in dimensions beyond our own, whose nature we can hardly guess. When they appear to us, we see only fragments of their bodies - long stretches of writhing flesh, glistening with juices that should not exist outside of a body, which whip through the air and vanish back where they came from in a way that our minds simply refuse to accept. Witnesses have tried to describe these as great tentacles, words failing them in the presence of such incomprehensibility. Those who heard the stories seized on this, and explained them as resembling cephalopods. This is a comforting lie, as there is nothing in the most stygian depths of the darkest sea that is not our beloved brother compared to the horrors of the Abominations.
This is a creature who is incomprehensibly alien, and our only glimpse is a sickening flash of writhing, elongated flesh that slips into our world and back out. Worse than the appearance of the creature, though, is it's disappearance - your mind knows, on some level, that this creature - this hateful, hungry god of a creature - is not moving it's body between "here" and "away", but between being a glimpse of a writhing horror, and a horror that watches unseen.
Imagine our two-dimensional creature again, and imagine yourself to be a cruel child. If you chose to torment the creature, it would be powerless to resist. It cannot perceive you unless you chose to intersect it's plane - you can watch it's every move, and it cannot hope to escape your gaze. It would be the simplest thing in the world to push a pin through it, like a butterfly on a card. Take a glass of water and push it into the creature's plane and it will find itself trapped, drowning, in an inescapable sea. The creature is entirely at your mercy, and always will be.
Same as you. Same as me.
2. Next week, I am going to talk to the creator of Zombies, Run! about the episode(s) I am writing.
3. I have a book due in about two months. I have to write so much in between now and then that I get sort of sick thinking about it.
4. Yesterday I did a Skype visit with a middle school in Omaha. Earlier I had been given the choice between doing it at 9 or 11 my time. I chose 11, but I guess they thought I chose 11 their time. Carrying a cup of coffee, I wandered into the spare bedroom around 9:10, planning to see if we still had Skype on an old computer. Only when I opened it up, there the kids were, waiting for me. Luckily, I was at least dressed. I actually managed to pull it off. I think.
5. I spent part of today scanning in sections of a 120-year-old family photo. The little girl was my grandmother. The guy with the crazy mustache was my great-grandfather, and he was very protective of his youngest child. Ten years or so after this photo was taken, he would be charged with murder for gunning down grandma's boyfriend. For kissing her. He only served two years. Presumably because of this traumatic incident, Grandma didn't get married until she was in her 30s.
A little over two weeks ago, I finished writing THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES (what's that, you say? Go here for all the details!) Since then, I've been trying to get caught up on business things while hoping, as I always do, that the book didn't suck. Even after finishing a dozen novels, I still am not a good judge of my own work. All I know when I finish a novel is that I love the story and characters, but that doesn't mean anyone else will :). It's why I usually get at least one critique before I even send a completed manuscript to my editor. Preferably two, if my critique partners aren't buried under their own deadlines. I had a full critique and two partials on THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES before my editor saw the final version, so for the past couple weeks, I've been nervously hoping that I ironed out the worst of the kinks in my pre-editorial-note revisions.
Yesterday, I got the much-anticipated email from my editor telling me that she LOVED the book. Cue relieved happy dancing! Revisions arrive on Monday, so I'll be back to work on it then. Once those are done, I can finally start to post excerpts online. I've been holding off because I wasn't sure what scenes would stay or go, but after revisions are completed, I'll know, so stay tuned! I can't wait to share Ivy and Adrian with you :).
She’s everyone’s favorite Romanov. In fact, she’s usually the only Romanov people know by name. If you’ve been reading the other posts in this blog tour, you already know that the animated Anastasia movie is basically all lies. Why?
Because she’s the one who supposedly escaped and survived the executions.
Before I go on, I have to tell you something— this blog post is going to get kind of dark. So, to help, I’m going to put some photos of kittens here and there. If things are getting too dark for you, look at the kittens, okay?
Okay. Here we go.
Who was Anastasia?
Anastasia was the youngest of the Romanov sisters— her brother, Alexei, was the youngest over all. She was a pretty delightful and mischievous kid— one of the family doctors said she “held the record for punishable deeds in the family”. She played outdoors, liked acting, and was especially close to the other younger sister, Maria, who she shared a room with. When she grew older, she would visit the Red Cross hospital and play checkers with wounded soldiers and occasionally write poetry. Simply put, she was pretty cool. I think you would have liked her.
(Anastasia and her siblings)
What happened to her?
The entire Romanov family was executed in Ekaterinberg by a group of Reds who’d had them under various forms of house arrest for over a year. The execution was brutal— I won’t go into detail, but know that I cried over it several times while researching TSARINA. Actually, if I think about it too hard, I still cry over it.
Why do so many people think she survived the execution?
When the bodies of the Romanov family were excavated in 1991, they’d been exposed to the elements so long they were skeletonized. Through DNA and skeletal analysis, they were able to sort out who the Tsar and Tsarina were, as well as the handful of servants that had been executed with them. They also were able to identify Olga and Tatiana, the oldest two Romanov sisters, and then a third skeleton, which they believed to be Maria.
And then they were out of skeletons. Anastasia and Alexei weren’t there.
Actually, it could have been Maria and Alexei that were missing— the Russian scientists said that Anastasia was that third found skeleton, and it was Maria who was unaccounted for, while the American scientists working the case said it the third found skeleton was Maria and Anastasia was the missing daughter. Maria and Anastasia were similar in size and, obviously, would have the same mitochondria DNA since they had the same parents, so it was impossible to tell for sure. For the sake of this post, let’s assume Anastasia was the missing daughter.
So, doesn’t that mean it’s possible she and Alexei survived?
It never was particularly likely, seeing as how the soldiers who were there that night insisted that everyone was killed. I mean, why kill the servants and the dogs (seriously— they killed the family’s dogs) if you’re just going to let a legitimate heir to the throne survive?
But, the whole matter was put to bed in 2007, when two final skeletons were found in the forest near Ekaterinberg. These skeletons were in really bad shape. While the other skeletons had been burned and buried, these had been cut up, smashed, and appeared to have acid damage. The theory is that the Reds didn’t want anyone to know that the royal family was dead— at least not right away— so they wanted to do a really, really good job of hiding the bodies. Because Anastasia and Alexei were the smallest…
(you’re going to need a kitten for this)
…the Reds used their bodies to test out various disposal techniques— like dissolving them in acid, burning them, throwing them down a well, etc. When that didn’t work, they decided it was easiest to just bury the rest of the family and leave Anastasia and Alexei’s bodies elsewhere. They were hoping that anyone who found the bodies would assume these were just regular-old-graves, since the number of bodies wouldn’t match the number of missing Romanovs.
I heard some lady says she’s the real Anastasia.
Yeah, that lady is lying. Or maybe she’s just confused. I don’t know. Over the years, dozens of people have claimed to be Anastasia. Some have even claimed to be Maria, Tatiana, or Olga, and a few men have insisted that they’re Alexei. I would love it if that were true, but it’s not. DNA proves that the entire Romanov family is accounted for, now. Even if we can’t be totally sure whether it was Maria or Anastasia temporarily lost with Alexei, we now have seven bodies to match with seven family members.
Where is Anastasia now?
Before Anastasia and Alexei’s bodies were found, Russia held a state funeral for the other Romanovs, and interred them in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. You can see video from the funeral services here:
When Anastasia and Alexei were found, their bodies were interred alongside the rest of their family. They’re all together now in the St. Catherine chapel of the Cathedral.
Here is something that I think you should remember though: The most interesting thing about Anastasia isn’t the theory that she might have survived. The most interesting thing about Anastasia is that, really, she wasn’t that interesting. She was just like you, or me, or any other teenager. She happened to be royalty, sure, but she also loved her siblings, was a bad speller, ate too much chocolate, and had a purple bedroom with butterflies on the walls.
So, instead of remembering what didn’t happen— her escape— maybe we can remember the things that did happen, and the Romanov family as they really were: People.
People with kittens, in fact:
Mirrored from JacksonPearce.com.
I hate DST—if you want to get up earlier, just… get up earlier. Why torture the rest of us?
I’ve looked into it and the persistence of DST in the US is linked to tax credits for corporations for “energy saving programs.”
NIH and the New England Journal of Medicine have reported that DST leads to increased injury and accident rates. (There are at least 4 well-founded studies in the US that support the claim that accident rates of all kinds rise up to 10% for up to a month following the start of DST in the US every year, but there's no matching fall in accident rates at the end of DST.)
DST change-over is also associated with increases in heart attacks, cluster headaches, and “cyberloafing” (wtf?)
but many people will argue that it gives them an “extra” hour of light and it’s somehow “good” for us, though the only demonstrable thing it does is take an hour of sleep off our plates and shift our circadian rhythms.
Folks will tell you that farmers benefit and that it lowers electricity costs
but neither of those latter are any more true than the first. Farmers get up with the sun, the cost of electricity doesn’t go down due to DST,
and the length of a day doesn’t change.
the fact that corporations can claim “participation in DST” as an energy saving program for tax credits is why it’s here
I make this rant every year and about half the people who reply will say they like it.
DST makes no sense: You don’t get more light by changing the hands on your clock. and now that we're increasingly a time-independent society (even factories work 24/7 and most offices offer flex time) DST makes less and less sense.
So why do we still have it and why does it last more than 6 months?
Have a good week, all.
Skirt of the day: long blue batik print