Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for January, 2011

Just wondering…

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

I was at, looking at the search results that come up for the Kindle store when my name is searched. (Not ego surfing! Business!) At the bottom of the page I saw the following ad:

Naturally I wondered who was using my name as a sponsored link.

I clicked to open the link in a new tab. This is what I saw:

Okay, so this textbook was written by another Linda Nagata! So I went back to Amazon and pulled up the page for the textbook and this is what I saw:

Notice there is no author name of “Linda Nagata” attached to this book. But there is an author name “Linda Webb”–which just happens to be my maiden name, but which I have never used as a pen name. Coincidence? I sure hope so, because otherwise this is creeping me out.

I don’t mention this here out of vanity or because I’m impressed that my name is well known for selling stuff (quite the contrary, I assure you!) but because it’s just so weird. Explain? Please?

For Me, Writing Fast ≠ Writing Well

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

I’m 20,000+ words into my current project. I see this as a short, easy little novel, and not a big event by any means. In fact, my primary goal is to try to write fast. (For those of you who don’t know, I’m a notoriously slow writer.) So the rules were to produce a thousand words a day and not worry about editing or getting it right, but just let the story pour out.

Since I had a rough outline and several scenes and incidents lined up before I started, the rules sort of worked for awhile. I made the word count, or more, on a surprising number of days. But around 20,000 words I started getting unsteady. I began jumping to different parts of the story, and frowning over the plot. I started writing in separate files, and in long hand.

And it all started feeling like a huge mess.

So today I broke the rules and went back to the beginning and polished and refined my opening chapter and added some back story that I’ve figured out since I started.

I’m a lot happier now.

So for a while, at least, I’ll bid the rules good-bye.

But I’m still trying to write fast.

Long, Complex, Challenging Novels

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

I’m not a fast reader. I might spend a week or ten days reading in the evening before I finish off a typical novel. So it’s ironic how much I can enjoy long, complex, challenging novels. Do you?

Here are some that have stuck in my mind over the years:

Moby Dick by Herman Melville- I keep hearing people say how boring this is, but I read it at thirteen or fourteen, so I guess the boring parts went right over my head. To quote from the novel How I Became a Famous Novelist “Instead of loving perfectly good books like Moby Dick, where a ***ing whale eats everybody, these ***s insisted on pretending to like excruciating books like . . .” Yeah.

The Broken God by David Zindell- I think I read this at least twice, and yet I never tell anyone “You have to read this book.” It’s so dense with detail I just know the readers I’m personally acquainted with wouldn’t be into it. Are any of you?

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson- Long, dense, fascinating. I read this one twice too. I even know other people who’ve read it and like it. And yet I’ve never gone on to read the follow ups. I don’t know why.

The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien- Despite my utter adoration for The Lord of the Rings, I didn’t read this until much, much later in life. I’ve since read it two or three times, and then picked up The Children of Hurin when that came out, and read it again. It is, of course, classic tragedy.

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin- I was tricked into reading this. Evidently it was a big deal when it came out, though I had never heard of it. Someone loaned me a copy, implying she had read it and it was a wonderful book. And it is a wonderful book! Rather like a fever dream can be wonderful and engrossing (although this is a bad analogy, since everything in the story is cold). I liked it so much I bought my own copy. The person who gave me the book seemed surprised I had gotten through it, and confessed she’d never read it at all.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad- Okay, this isn’t a long novel, but it is complex in the way it’s written, so I include it here. I’m not usually a fan of stories that focus on the sheer awfulness of people, but this one works for me. I had it on my nightstand for a couple of years and would read it at random. The use of language is astonishing, as in: “The word ‘ivory’ rang in the air, was whispered, was sighed. You would think they were praying to it. A taint of imbecile rapacity blew through it all, like a whiff from some corpse.” And “There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies—which is exactly what I hate and detest of the world—what I want to forget. It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do.”

Has anyone else read and admired any of these books?

What are your “long and complex” favorites?

Limit of Vision on

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Just a note for those who have Nook eReaders. My novel Limit of Vision is now up and available at

I’ll have more to say on this book later, as the Amazon listing pulls itself together.

How to Send a Fax

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

1. Go to Beloved Husband’s office, crawl under desk and disconnect the HP All-In-One. (Luckily BH is not home.)

2. Haul HP All-In-One through two rooms to the nearest phone line.

3. Disconnect phone. Connect HP All-In-One.

4. Return to BH’s office. Search for manual on how-to-send-fax. No manual.

5. Go upstairs to own computer. Look for manual online. Print appropriate pages.

6. Go downstairs. Run fax test. Okay.

7. Send fax. Both pages feed through at same time. FAX-FAIL.

8. Try again. Line Busy.

9. Try again. Transmission fail. Repeat steps 8 & 9 three times. FAX-FAIL.

10. Go upstairs. Email fax recipient: May I scan the document and email it? Answer, “Yes.” SCAN-SUCCESS.

11. Haul HP All-In-One back to BH’s office. Crawl under desk and reconnect it.

Note to self: ASK FIRST if a scan is acceptable.

Currently Reading: The Name of the Wind

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

I’m a fussy reader. I start lots of books and quickly drop them (Kindle samples, you rock!). So it’s a great feeling to be suddenly immersed in what is shaping up to be a great read. My current example is Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind. I’m presently on chapter 21, which my Kindle dutifully tells me is only 21% in, which is great, because that means there is 79% to go!

The storytelling style in the opening of this book is so unusual. Maybe only a writer would comment on this first, but the tale starts off with a camera-eye viewpoint in an invisible narrator’s voice, and all the while essential information is implied but deliberately withheld–which should be annoying, but it’s not. Later on we get deeper third-person viewpoints, and then fully realized first person viewpoints, and it all works wonderfully well, helped along by frequent humorous and ironic one-liners.

Another thing you probably won’t hear most reviewers mention is that many of the characters, minor and major both, are so often very kindly and thoughtful and even loving to one another. Yes, there are fearsome antagonists and terrible things happen, but people–even strangers–are still allowed to care about each other.

Oh yes, and the story is building up nicely as well.

I read slowly so it’s going to be awhile before I report back, but so far, thumbs up!

My Picture Was In Playboy

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

True story.

No, no, that’s not me on the left. Look over to the right . . . Yep! I’m the one opposite Kona.

Playboy, Japanese Edition, June 1997

This is the Japanese edition of Playboy from June 1997. I re-discovered it while searching through storage boxes.

Notice that I’m in the company of Sherlock Holmes, Clint Eastwood, Larry Flynt, and James Cameron. One of us is a fictional character. One of us is NOT rich and famous. You guess.

Because people only read Playboy for the articles, I should mention that my article was on cloning. I believe this was the era when Dolly the Sheep was famous.

So yeah–my picture was in Playboy.

We ♥ Snow

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

One interesting thing about living with a 10,000-foot mountain in your backyard–said mountain rising out of the Pacific Ocean just north of latitude 20–is that it can still be warm enough to go swimming at the beach when there’s a frosting of snow at the summit.

These photos were taken this morning, showing a lovely snow fall at the summit of Haleakala on the island of Maui. For us, snow is exciting, since we only see it every two or three years, and since it only falls at the summit.

Snow on Haleakala - January 19, 2011

Snow on Haleakala - January 19, 2011

Goddesses: 99¢ Ebook for Kindle

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Ebook Cover For The Novella "Goddesses"

Goddesses is my Nebula Award winning novella originally published at It’s now available at a nominal price for reading on the Kindle. Please have a look and let me know what you think!

Find it here at

Writing Goals for 2011

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

1. Publish my indie novel, The Wild, in both print and ebook versions, and PROMOTE!

2. Complete a draft of a new novel,

3. Release ebook versions of Limit of Vision and Memory.

4. Release print-on-demand versions of Tech-Heaven, The Bohr Maker, Deception Well, Vast, Limit of Vision, Memory, and my YA novel Skye Object 3270a.

5. Finalize and market my first screenplay.

6. Write a second screenplay.

7. Keep up with this blog

8. Meet lots of great people in the reading and writing communities!

That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Hmm, except that part about promotion. That’s always the trick isn’t it?

Remind me to check back here next year to see how well I did.

And how about you? What are your reading or writing goals for 2011? Do share! I’d love to hear from you. And best wishes for 2011!