Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for January, 2014

Huge Surf! A Ten-Year Event!

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Anyway, that’s how the surf was being described ahead of its arrival, so I decided to head down to Maui’s north shore to take a look–and there were certainly some big waves coming in, but I don’t think they came anywhere close to the predicted fifty feet. No doubt they showed up larger on Oahu, where the really big surf is to be found.

Here are a few photos–nothing wonderful, but at least I have something to show for the day. 🙂

Maui, north shore surf, January 22, 2014
This couple is standing on a bluff well above the beach. You can see from their size that the surf is not tiny, but it’s not gigantic either.

The second draft of The Red: Trials

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

…is done.

For certain, generous definitions of “done.” The story is missing a two to three page epilogue, which I’m putting off until I have a better idea of what else, if anything, I’ll do in this story world.

For some reason, I don’t write in classic trilogies. Episodic novels are more my style, which explains the duologies of Deception Well/Vast, The Dread Hammer/Hepen The Watcher, and now The Red: First Light/Trials.

At any rate, this is a solid draft. I’m printing it out now, will read it over again and revise in that form, then send it off to beta readers, hopefully by the end of the month — with an epilogue attached.

More on Awards & Self-published Books

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

At the end of December I wrote a post “Awards & Self-published Books” as a response to Shaun Duke’s thoughts on the logistical problems of considering self-published books for literary awards.

Shaun has responded to my response, and while I have not persuaded him (and he has not persuaded me), he has some interesting thoughts. Here is his conclusion: (SP ==> self-published)

I’ve read some amazing SPed books, mostly by chance or word of mouth, but the field is so overwhelmed with people hoping they’ll be the next super rich SPer that it becomes nearly impossible to survey the field in any meaningful sense. I can’t effectively make those consumer evaluations because assessing the quality of a given work becomes nearly impossible. What is this author’s track record? I don’t know, because this is their first book. How do I know they got their book edited? I don’t. How do I know the words inside are better than the cheap cover on the outside? I don’t. How do I know they treated the writing process like a professional? I don’t. The gambles pile gets larger and larger…

All of which should be taken as excellent, persuasive reasons for indie writers to treat their book with at least the care a traditional publisher would take with it — and hopefully to exceed that level of care. As Shaun points out, the situation is especially challenging for a first-time novelist with no track record at all.

I offer no advice on whether to try for a traditional publishing career or to go indie. Everyone is different, and all of you will have to consider your own circumstances and ambitions, and decide for yourselves. What I do advise is to strive to sell in the short fiction markets to establish yourself, and to read, read, read — know your genre, and know what you like and why. What is it that sets the work of your favorite authors apart from all the others? Understand that, and translate the lessons into your own work.

As for getting super rich? Well, there is always the lottery. 😉

Read Shaun’s post in full here.

Stage 1 Achieved on a Fitness Goal

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Last March I read a post somewhere on women training to do pull ups and decided to make pull ups a fitness goal. Today, for the first time since then, I did one, albeit underhand (aka “chin up”). And then I did another, and a third, with resting in between. So three sets, one rep. 🙂 But hey, a few days ago I couldn’t do even one, so this is a BIG deal for me.

From here, the goal is to increase the reps and work up to being able to do multiple pull ups with an overhand grip.

Funny side story: in my early twenties I did a lot of weight training (as I’m doing now) but I could never do chin ups. Then, after carrying babies on my hips for a few years, I remember that I knocked off three chin ups without much problem. Go, motherhood!

I think one reason it’s taken me almost nine months to get to this point is that my training has been inconsistent, with long lapses in my visits to the gym. Also, it took a while before I got serious enough to start piling on the weight when doing the critical exercises. I do a variety of upper body exercises, but for me, the most important one proved to be the lat pull down, with my grip adjusted on the horizontal bar to simulate the way I would hold a bar if I were doing pull ups. I’m presently lifting 130-lbs on the lat pull down when using an underhand grip, and 110 pounds with an overhand grip. (I weigh around 127 lbs.)

I’ve seen maybe three women do pull ups at our gym. I talked to one of them, and she said to work on exercises to strengthen the core, so I started pushing that too.

And today it paid off.

If you’re wondering, I’m fifty-three years old.


Fitness Roundtable with Lisa Mason & Kevin J Anderson

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Lisa_Mason_Summer_of_LoveWriter Lisa Mason has put together a New Year’s Day roundtable on fitness and diet that includes myself and Kevin J Anderson, chatting about what we do to stay healthy. Check it out — you’ll soon notice that I am the most laid-back and undisciplined of this trio!

Part 1: Move It!: Keep Fit, Keep Writing: A Roundtable with Kevin J. Anderson, Lisa Mason & Linda Nagata

Part 2: Chow Down!: Keep Fit, Keep Writing: A Roundtable with Kevin J. Anderson, Lisa Mason & Linda Nagata

Lisa Mason is the author of ten novels including Summer of Love, A Time Travel (A Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book), as well as dozens of stories published in magazines and anthologies worldwide. Her latest release, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories was called “a must-read collection” by the San Francisco Review of Books. Visit her at Lisa Mason’s Official Website.

Kevin J. Anderson has published 125 books, more than fifty of which have been national or international bestsellers. He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as a unique steampunk fantasy novel, Clockwork Angels, based on the concept album by legendary rock group Rush. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series, the Terra Incognita fantasy trilogy, and his humorous horror series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie PI. He has edited numerous anthologies, including the Five by Five and Blood Liteseries. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers of WordFire Press.

Writing Goals For 2014

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Happy New Year!

Back in 2011, when I was just getting serious about indie publishing, I started posting an annual list of writing goals that I would try to accomplish in the ensuing year. “Goals” in this sense are things that I can accomplish through my own efforts and perseverance, as opposed to “dreams” which require the cooperation of others (for example, having a novel sell madly well) .

So here are my writing goals for 2014:

1. Revise and polish the existing first draft of my next novel, The Red: Trials. Publication is tentatively scheduled for May.

2. Write and finish two more Zeke Choy stories, bringing to an end the cycle that began with “Nahiku West” and continued in “Out In The Dark.” If I can pull it off, the last story will be long, maybe a novella.
3. Write the initial draft of another novel. I’ve been debating what that novel should be, and though I haven’t decided yet, it will almost certainly be a sequel to something. Maybe this one?…>>

4. Write at least three pieces of short fiction that are not part of the Zeke Choy cycle.

5. Write at least three nonfiction posts that I feel comfortable marketing to high-circulation websites. (Nonfiction is very hard for me.)

That’ll do it. This is already feeling far too ambitious.