First Draft: “done”

October 29th, 2014

Okay, I called it at approximately 6:30pm: it’s rough, it’s ugly, but it’s a first draft of book 3 of The Red trilogy.

So… yay!

It will get a lot better as time goes by. :-)

1st Drafts & Copyedits

October 25th, 2014

It’s awkward to have a post on an expired sale as the lead post on my blog, so I thought I’d write a brief update on where things stand with the ongoing project, just to have something fresh here.

Over the past months — and especially the last few weeks — I have been consumed with writing a first, very rough draft of the third book in The Red trilogy. I’d hoped to finish it last weekend, but alas, no. Then I was sure I would finish it by the end of the week. Nope!

I do have excuses, though. On Tuesday the copyedited manuscript for The Red: First Light arrived from Saga Press. (Read about what a copyeditor does here.) Yes, that book has been copyedited before, prior to its initial publication. So of course the copyeditor only found some stylistic elements to “fix,” right? For example, there was much debate about how to present the initials “L. T.” when soldiers are pronouncing them “ell-tee.” I settled on the solution in the previous sentence, following a reference in the Chicago Manual of Style. Others counseled me to just go with “LT” — and that’s what the copyeditor decided. I don’t have any huge objection to this. I just hope it gets pronounced the right way when people read it.

So, it was all just technical stuff like that, right? Uh, well, no. Let’s just say, “Mistakes were made.” Not many, not obvious, but given how many times the manuscript has already been looked at… ::sigh::

So I spent much of the week processing copyedits and entering the changes into a copy of the manuscript. I’m almost done, and plan to send the manuscript back to Saga Press on Monday, but the process has consumed a lot of time that would have normally gone to staring at a computer screen wondering how to end book three…

Which brings me to the next excuse for not having finished quite yet — a new idea introduced itself, a means to add another level of drama and tension to the last big scene… but I’m still working out the motivation behind one obscure character, and that’s holding everything up. It’s gotten frustrating. To say the least.

At this point, I think I need to write “an” ending and then get started on the revision so that I can ultimately write “the” ending because things do change between drafts. Wish me luck!

Kobo Weekend Sale

October 17th, 2014

Skye Object 3270aYou can get 50% off the ebook edition of my novel Skye Object 3270a at Kobo. The sale runs through Monday. To get the discount, you have to use coupon code SAVE50.

Skye Object 3270a is the only middle-grade/young-adult novel I’ve ever written. It’s set in the Nanotech Succession story world, taking place in the same setting as my adult novel Deception Well — though it doesn’t have a direct connection with that story.

Read the opening online here — and if you’re acquainted with younger readers who like high-tech adventure, please let them know.

Skye Object 3270a is also available in a print version.

Saga Press is Going to be DRM-free

October 8th, 2014

Saga Press — the new publisher of The Red: First Light — is a new imprint of Simon and Schuster. Their first books won’t be out until next spring, but today they made this announcement:

New York, New York, October 8—Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced today that all e-books from the forthcoming science fiction and fantasy line will be sold without DRM.

“The science fiction and fantasy community were early adopters of electronic formats, and have enthusiastically embraced DRM-free content while showing great respect for authors’ works under copyright. In launching our imprint, we are pleased to offer this convenience to our readers and test the waters of DRM-free publishing,” said Joe Monti, executive editor of Saga.

This is terrific news. My ebooks have always been DRM-free for the convenience of readers who might change devices, or need to make back-up copies. So I’m very pleased to know that my novels to be published by Saga Press will be DRM-free as well.

Here’s more on the topic, from Joe Monti, my editor at Saga Press.

And here’s another post in which Joe talks about the start-up process behind Saga Press.

Support Greg Bear – preorder WAR DOGS from Powell’s

October 2nd, 2014

WAR DOGS by Greg BearThis news just arrived from author David D. Levine:

As you may have heard, Seattle SF author Greg Bear recently had emergency cardiac surgery and spent a week in the hospital. The surgery went well and he is home and recovering, but he will not be able to tour or do other promotion for his brand new book War Dogs. Also, because of the ongoing Amazon-Hachette dispute, War Dogs cannot be pre-ordered from Amazon. However, it can be pre-ordered from Powell’s (http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9780316072830-0) as well as Seattle’s University Bookstore, Mysterious Galaxy, and Barnes and Noble.

Greg is a fabulous writer and has always been friendly and extremely generous to other authors and Clarion West students. Please help support him by pre-ordering War Dogs, reviewing it, mentioning it in a blog, talking about it with friends, asking your library to order it, etc.

Spread the word!

Greg is a terrific writer, and he was a supportive voice early in my career. If you’re interested in reading War Dogs, please consider David’s suggestion. I’ve already ordered my copy!

Update: In the comments, Bill Martin notes that Amazon already has the Kindle edition available for download. So if you’re into ebooks, there’s another option.

Blue Angels @ Hickam AFB

September 29th, 2014

This past weekend the United States Navy’s Blue Angels performed in Honolulu, flying out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, which is adjacent to the Honolulu International Airport. It’s the first air show I’ve had the good fortune to attend since I was a child, and despite the blazing sun, the heat, the crowd, and the traffic jams getting into and out of the base, it was a terrific day.

I brought my camera along and I took some pictures, but seriously, why did I bother? I was there with my daughter, Dallas Nagata White, a renowned Honolulu photographer who has been an invited photographer at other military air shows. “Do you want to use my pictures for your blog post?” she asks me. “Well, YES!”

Find Dallas online at DNW Photo. You can follow her on twitter @dallasnagata.

Enjoy!

Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
The F-22 Raptor performed shortly after we arrived, displaying amazing capabilities.
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Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
The C-17 plays a big role in my novel The Red: First Light. At the air show, I was finally able to look around inside a C-17 named after Hawaii’s long-time senator–The Spirit of Daniel Inouye. Unfortunately, the line to view the cockpit was so long I wasn’t able to see that section.

Another C-17 performed in the air, demonstrating flight speeds, maneuverability, and the ability to do a combat landing, with a very short run from touchdown to full stop.
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Route Map

September 29th, 2014

One of the really cool things about flying in one of Hawaiian Air’s Airbus 330s is the flight tracker that plays on the video screen. It provides all sorts of continuously updated data such as airspeed, air temperature, windspeed, altitude, time in the air, time to the destination, distance flown, distance remaining. It also shows the plane’s position on maps displayed at different scales, including one of the entire world, with night/day shown.

Here’s a really awful, shaky photo of one of the maps, taken just before we arrived on Maui:
Route map

The only reason I’m inflicting this on you is because I am so intrigued that seamounts and oceanic trenches are included on the map!

If you squint you might be able to make out that, west of Seattle, two seamounts are labeled: the Bowie Seamount, which is apparently a navigation hazard to ocean-going traffic, and the Eickleberg Seamount, which Wikipedia refers to as the Cobb-Eickelberg Seamount chain. There is also the Cedros Trench off Baja California, and the Hawaiian Ridge.

Why are these features on the map?? Knowledge of their positions can’t be of any use to an aircraft — they’re all underwater. And why are these features on the map, and not other underwater features? I have no idea! I do like having them labeled though. It’s an acknowledgement that there’s more to the world than we usually notice. I just want to know why! :-)

Ello

September 28th, 2014

I think I first heard of Ello last Thursday. My initial reaction was “I’m not signing up.” But by Saturday, I figured I might as well grab my name. So that’s what I did.

If you’re on Ello, find me @lindanagata.

We’ll see how long this lasts. :-)

Rainier National Park: Lakes Trail

September 26th, 2014

A pond on Lakes Trail

Ron and I visited Rainier National Park this past weekend. The last post talks about our hike to the lower glaciers along Skyline Trail on a blazingly hot Sunday. By contrast, on Monday morning we woke up to a light rain. This was a more familiar face of Rainier — but neither of us wanted to hike in the rain, so we wondered if we should stay. We were paying a lot for our hotel room and there is no TV, no Internet, no cell phone communication in the park. If the day turned out to be too wet to go hiking, I resolved that we would just check out a day early.

But by 10:30am the clouds broke up and the sky turned blue, so the hike was on!

This day was considerably cooler, but it was not cold. Late morning through early afternoon was sunny, but by late afternoon clouds had returned and I expected to get wet — but then the clouds broke up again. So once more, we were incredibly lucky with the weather.

We weren’t quite as lucky with the trail. The Lakes Trail drops down below the visitor center to Reflection Lake, but there are two branches to the trail. The shorter one turned out to be closed because of ongoing repairs on a road that the trail crosses. So instead of hiking down, we started off hiking up above the visitor center on the same trail we’d taken the day before, to a junction with Lakes Trail, where we began our descent. This trail provided a very different experience from the day before, as we traversed meadows and passed through groves of evergreens. Along the way there were a couple of incredible view points, one of Steven’s Canyon, and the other from Faraway Rock.

Once we reached the bottom, we crossed the road and started up again, this time aiming to reach Pinnacle Peak, which we did in the early afternoon. We then turned around and hiked back down to the road, and then up again, to Paradise Inn. Total mileage for the day was 10.8 miles.
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Rainier National Park: Skyline Trail

September 25th, 2014
Just inside the park entrance at Chinook Pass/ Cayuse Pass

Just inside the park entrance at Chinook Pass/ Cayuse Pass, September 20, 2014

Ron and I just got back from a ten-day trip to the state of Washington. We did a lot of sightseeing, including three nights at Paradise Inn — the only hotel in the park, located very close to the visitor center. This was the third time we’d been to Rainier. The first time, there was still a lot of snow on the ground, so we just drove around and had only occasional views of the mountain. The second time, the weather was rainy, there was ice in the parking lots, it was late fall so the visitor center was closed, and except for a brief glimpse, we didn’t see the mountain until we were driving away. But this time the weather was amazing!

The clearest day was the day we arrived. The sky was a stunning blue. But since we arrived late in the day, we didn’t do any hiking. The following day, Sunday, was incredibly hot — hot, at Mount Rainier! — I could hardly believe it. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky until very late in the day, but there was a brown haze, so it wasn’t quite as clear as the previous afternoon. I’m not complaining, though! We were incredibly fortunate.

I was concerned that the weather might turn wet by the next day so, prioritizing what we wanted to see — glaciers! — we set off from the Visitor Center, heading up Skyline Trail. We took the right branch of this loop trail so that we could venture directly to Paradise Glacier Trail. Skyline starts off paved on both branches, but gets a little rougher later on, especially after branching off to the glacier trail. Overall, though, trails were excellent all over, with just a few places suffering erosion. This being a gorgeous weekend, trails were also full of people out to enjoy the day.

We hiked a total of 8.7 miles, getting as high as the ridge alongside Pebble Creek. We didn’t try to hike up any further. If we had, we would have been crossing Nisqually Glacier below Camp Muir. The camp, I believe, is a staging area for those going to the summit.

The worst part of this hike, oddly enough, was the asphalt trail at the base, directly above the visitor center. This is the left branch of the loop trail, and was so incredibly steep that it was painful to descend after a full day of hiking.

Here’s the nicely paved start of the right-hand branch of Skyline Trail:
Beginning of Skyline Trail, the right hand branch of the loop
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