Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23rd, 2017

It’s Thanksgiving here in America. I hope everyone celebrating today enjoys a pleasant holiday, and if you have to work today, I hope the world treats you well and that you enjoy Thanksgiving whenever you get a chance to celebrate it.

I’d like to take advantage of today to say an extra thank you to all my readers. You give me a reason to keep plugging away at this writing gig. I’m well along with the newest novel and I’ve got a lot of plans for more to come. I just need to keep my focus and my confidence and keep the work flowing!

More soon!

Xena Rose is thankful for squeaky tennis balls.

The New Writing Schedule

November 16th, 2017

At the start of the month I mentioned that I’d undertaken a new writing schedule:

Writing more fiction is my top priority and I’ve already adjusted my schedule to accommodate that. My plan is to ignore email, Twitter, and the news until at least noon. Instead, I’ll start my day by diving straight into writing…

I’ve stuck to this new schedule since then and I’m loving it. Words are still not pouring forth in a torrent, but I’m so much more focused on the writing, on the storytelling, and for me that’s the important thing. When I’m immersed in the words, progress is going to be made.

I’ve gone back to the novel I started earlier this year. Much of the past few days has been spent getting my notes in order and plotting the remaining events that take place in this volume, along with some of the main action in the next, but I’ve also been slowly extending the word count.

A side effect of this schedule, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, is that I’ve been spending a lot less time on social media, Twitter in particular. It’s better to be writing. Right?

Award Eligible Work — 2017

November 15th, 2017

For those of you who like to nominate for the annual science fiction and fantasy awards, including the Nebula and Hugo awards, here’s a roundup of my 2017 award-eligible work.

In the novel category…
The Last Good Man
A high-tech, near-future thriller

Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost. (June 2017)

In the short story category…
Diamond and the World Breaker” is short story in the anthology Cosmic Powers, edited by John Joseph Adams (April 2017).

The Martian Obelisk” is short story available to read online at Tor.com, editor: Ellen Datlow (July 2017).

Region Five” is a military science fiction short story set in the story world of the Red. Find it in the anthology Infinite Stars, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt (October 2017).

➛ SFWA members: an ebook edition of The Last Good Man is available for download in the SFWA Forum. Once you’re logged in, you can find it by following this link.

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by.

Writing Buddy

November 14th, 2017

Last November I posted about my new puppy, Xena Rose. It’s been a year since then and she’s all grown up.

Well, mostly grown up.

Here’s what she looks like now:

Xena’s my writing buddy — every morning lately she’s slept in my lap for an hour or two as I work. Of course she’s also my “you’ve done enough writing for now so take me out” buddy. That’s all right. It’s good to get up and walk around.

Considering Xena is only eight pounds, she’s been a handful. And what a comedian! If life gets too dull around here, she will actively seek something naughty to do — steal a remote control, pull something from the recycle bin, snatch a tissue from a pocket — just to stir things up. I still use barriers to limit how far she can wander in the house, because I never know what she’s going to get into. But she’s a lot of fun. 🙂

SpotMini

November 14th, 2017

Shared from Twitter:

Does that tagline “Coming Soon” feel like a threat to you too?

Finished a Short Story

November 5th, 2017

Doubt and discouragement have weighed on me these past few years and sapped much of the fun of writing. The direct result is that my productivity has declined. It’s been taking me longer and longer to write, and I’m not nearly as good at sticking to a project and finishing it as I used to be. For example, right now I have at least three novels/novellas in various stages of development and a long short story well begun but far from finished.

But I’m happy to report that since attending the recent workshop, I’m feeling better about this whole writing gig. I returned home with a new sense of direction, with my optimism refreshed, and with a renewed determination to write more.

I decided to jump on the task of writing more while still at the workshop. I came up with a new idea for a story and promptly set to work on it, writing the beginning at the workshop, another long section on the flight home, and finishing it over this past week thanks to my new writing schedule.

At 7,200 words this is a long short story, but no longer than it needs to be. 🙂

I’ll read it over at least one more time, but as of this morning I’m calling it done — which is an incredible relief. This is the first short story I’ve finished this year.

Next on the agenda: Back to work on the story I was laboring over before heading to the mainland. My goal is to have that done by the end of the week. Fingers crossed!

Encounters with AI

November 2nd, 2017

Just noting a couple of recent incidents…

On Sunday, I stayed overnight in Portland before catching an early morning flight home. While I was there I received my usual daily email from Amazon, with suggestions on books I might be interested in — but this time every book in the email was on the business or process of writing, and all were by WMG Publishing. I might not have noticed this, except that I’d spent the prior week at a workshop put on by WMG Publishing on the business and process of writing. **Ahem** How did the Amazon AI know I was at the workshop?

Then on Tuesday, I used my Android phone to look up the number of our local plumbing company and give them a call. Afterward, I sent myself an email reminder (as I do). In the subject line I typed “Al” and Google suggested “Allen’s”. I accepted that and it next suggested “Plumbing” (capitalized). So because I called a phone number, the AI guessed the likely subject line of my email.

I told all this to my husband.
He asked, “Do you like them spying on you?”
My answer: “No! It’s creepy.”

But they’re not perfect yet. On the way home from town I asked Google to tell me the weather. It gave me the weather for Portland even though I’d left Portland over a day before. Go figure.

Home From A Workshop

November 1st, 2017

I returned home on Monday from an intense eight-day workshop on the business of writing, held on the Oregon Coast.

Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch have held the ever-evolving “Master Class” workshop for many years. It’s aimed at the needs of working writers and is updated each year to reflect changes in the publishing business. I found it extremely useful and I’ve returned full of ideas and new inspiration. I have a a lot to do.

Writing more fiction is my top priority and I’ve already adjusted my schedule to accommodate that. My plan is to ignore email, Twitter, and the news until at least noon. Instead, I’ll start my day by diving straight into writing — after my early morning play session with Xena Rose, of course.

I’ve succeeded at this new schedule for two days so far — yay me! — and I’ve already seen a significant improvement in my productivity.

Afternoons and evenings will be for everything else, as I gradually implement many of the new ideas I’ve gathered.

That’s it for now. More soon.

Reminder: Sci-Fi Bridge Fall Giveaway

October 18th, 2017

During 2017 I’ve participated in a few promotions run by Sci-Fi Bridge, an author-created group seeking to mutually expand our reader base. Sci-Fi Bridge is sponsoring one more contest that I want to share with you. Sign up for the Sci-Fi Bridge newsletter (and separate author newsletters if you choose to) during the fall giveaway, and be entered to win collections of signed print books among other things. Details are here.

New Short Story: “Region Five”

October 17th, 2017

Out Today!

I’ve got a new short story in the anthology Infinite Stars, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and published by Titan Books. Here’s the official description:

Infinite Stars is the definitive collection of original short stories by today’s finest authors of space opera and military science fiction, writing new adventures set in their most famous series. This unparalleled anthology also features past masterpieces by famous authors whose works defined the genre, making this a “must-have” book.

My own contribution is a story called “Region Five,” set in the Red story world. It doesn’t involve any characters from the novels, but it does follow a Linked Combat Squad. They’ve been assigned to peacekeeping duty in a tumultuous megacity, but everything has gone wrong…

Here’s the publisher’s UK website, and here’s the editor’s website with more information and buy-links in US stores.