January 7, 2015

Shadows is here!

A Little Light Relief

 

 

 

 

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2015/01/the-pop-quiz-at-the-end-of-the-universe-robin-mckinley

 

 

They had a little trouble with my footnotes for some reason.  Do you know ANYONE ELSE who has EVER had a little trouble with my footnotes?  ::hums a little tune::  They also left out the hellterror in the intro, which I will do my best to prevent her from finding out or she would hunt them down and eat . . . all their sandwiches.  And their shoes.  And possibly their desks and their computers.  Certainly their mobile/cell phones.  And their coats.  And . . .

Highlighting missing footnotes in pink which saves getting HOPELESSLY ENTANGLED in explanations.  And a couple of nonessentials I’ve kept in just in case there are any OCDs out there# who are worried about the accuracy of the footnote sequence. 

* * *

*  I like footnotes.  I’m not sure I can think without footnotes any more.  I never was good at joined-up thinking.  . . . Yes, Tor has provided a lovely long list of questions to choose from, but way too many of them are based on a knowledge of pop culture, and my idea of pop culture is Bryn Terfel singing Sweeney Todd.  I have to answer what I can.^

^ Also, that ratbag David Tennant has already pinched All Stars for his Doctor Who incarnation, so I can’t answer the one about what my Doctor Who signature costume element would be. 

** I don’t remember yesterday too well, let alone blogs or interviews from years ago.  I can safely guess yesterday involved dog walking^ and eating chocolate however.

^ Known in this household of three four-legged fur factories as ‘hurtling the hellmob’.

[*** See answer 3, below:  this refers to frelling]

† hellmob = two whippet/deerhound crosses, one mini bull terrier

[†† Also see answer 8, below:  this is about getting what you want]

††† But about getting what you need, that’s why I grew up to write about heroines.

‡ You don’t know Creeping Jane?  http://mainlynorfolk.info/joseph.taylor/songs/creepingjane.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKIECgIW1rA

 Speaking of heroines.^

^ They could have given her a more gallant name however.

‡‡ I can so imagine Diana getting into automatic writing though.  Given her sense of humour I don’t entirely envy the person chosen as channel but . . . ::waves pen hopefully over blank sheet of paper^ and looks around::

^ I suppose there’s no reason you couldn’t channel onto a computer screen but it’s so, you know, realistic.  Who wants to be ordinary about Channelling from Beyond?+  I feel there should be long flowing skirts involved too.  If you’re a bloke you can wear a tabard or something.

+ Especially not channelling Diana Wynne Jones, who had epic conflicts with her technology.

‡‡‡  Horses aren’t pets.  And neither are dragons^.  Neither is Narknon [BLUE SWORD], although I suppose Fourpaws [ROSE DAUGHTER] is—just.  Majid in SHADOWS is not.  In my experience Maine coon cats rarely are.

^ And Lois [DRAGONHAVEN] as a baby was a NIGHTMARE.  Not ideal at all, unless you have a dangerous martyrdom complex.

§  And CHALICE and SUNSHINE are essentially Beauty and the Beast too. Oops. Well but it’s such a good story.  I don’t want to give it up too soon.

* * *

# Who, me?

Pub day

 

Those ebooks you’ve been waiting for?  Today’s the day. . . . * 

Robin McKinley Ebooks

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.**  ::Confetti::  Fireworks?  Sure.  Why not.  Also fireworks.  And champagne.  Definitely champagne.

And if you forget, splendid Blogmom has put a permanent link in the right sidebar. ***

* * *

* Not that I want to lower the level from high exquisite thought-provoking literature that provides deep and astonishing insights into the paradoxical mind and authentic heart of humanity^ or anything like that but WE FINALLY HAVE A DISHWASHER AGAIN.  That is, the kind with a door in the front and a mains plug in the rear and lots of SHELVES in between and you PUT YOUR DIRTY DISHES in it and CLOSE THE DOOR and TURN IT ON . . . and go back to your book or your knitting or your piano^^ with a happy sigh.  I AM SO TIRED OF WASHING DISHES BY HAND.  Especially the part about redoing all the ones that Peter thinks he’s already washed.  Arrrrrrrgh.

^ Plus dragons, vampires, sighthounds, rosebushes etc.

^^ Also FINALLY I had a voice lesson today+ THAT WAS NOT A DISASTER.  This is the first non-disaster since the house move, I think, and the gruesomely long summer break during which I FORGOT EVERYTHING I HAD ONCE KNOWN and found myself incapable of relearning any of it in a strange new sitting room++ which was way too SMALL so I was making TOO MUCH NOISE. +++

+ Yes.  It’s usually on Monday only Nadia’s car broke.

++ Except it wasn’t strange!  It wasn’t new!  It is lovely friendly Third House and I am a MORON!#

# This is not news, of course.  Especially when applied to singing, knitting, bell ringing, etc.

^^^ I’m still making too much noise but I’m getting used to making too much noise.#

# Eeep.

**  Also YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY. ^

^ I’m not sure how you go about wrapping ebooks and putting them under the Christmas tree, but please try.

*** YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY BLOGMOM.

AMA link is live

 

Anyone in England who doesn’t stay up late, or anyone in America who has other plans for the evening, or anyone in [insert other part of the world] who can’t make the official AMA live time for whatever reason good and  significant to you, you can post questions NOW.

Reddit – Robin McKinley AMA

Niall has convinced me I really need to go bell ringing tonight, but as the AMA intro says I’ll be back later to answer questions.  Having a look at the ones already up . . . I may have blog material for the next several years . . . .

THANKS, ALL YOU ASKERS.

PS:  And for those of you unaccustomed to internet society wailing brokenly about the need to create a reddit account to post a question–and I am totally with you on this:  I only joined up because I’d agreed to the gig–the Nice Man says:

There is a link towards the upper-right corner of the page that says “login or register.” All they need to do is pick a username and password, and fill in the text thing to prove they’re not a robot. No personal information is needed; even an email address is optional. 

 

Italics mine. Hey, I did the register thing.  You can too.

 

 

Oh, cool/hot/awesome/slang of the moment!

 

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/oct/16/neil-gaiman-russell-brand-modern-fairytale-makeover-princess

This is a really interesting article anyway full of stuff I need to check out but don’t miss the last paragraph.*

And thanks for all the happy chirping noises about last night’s news.**

Lenni

Is it a bad thing that I already own The Blue Sword as an e-book? I would NEVER knowingly get a pirated copy of anyone’s book. That would be BAD! The e-book that I have looks very professionally done. I’m confused! I’ll have to get another copy (a legit? copy) of the e-book when it comes out.

You’ve probably got one of the ones that were briefly and in the publisher’s mind legitimately available a while ago. When said publisher had it politely pointed out to them that in fact what they were doing wasn’t totally pure and square and holy they were very embarrassed.  They were so embarrassed it’s taking a while to winkle them out from under the bed, convince them that All Is Forgiven, and persuade them that we really want to do it again, just the right way this time, okay?

Katinseattle

Well, I’m conflicted. Congratulations for the e-books. But I’ve already bought them in old fashioned, space gobbling, real book style. What excuse do I have to buy an e-reader?

Good heavens. Have you never found yourself standing in an endless queue and wished you’d brought with you that really good book you were reading but it’s large and heavy and you were only going to be gone ten minutes because there are never any queues this time of day?  Or equivalent?  E-editions are pretty much a scam that I’m allowing myself to be gorgleblorged by because of the Library in Your Knapsack thing.  I wouldn’t dream of having keeper books only in e-format.  I just have more editions of stuff I’ll want to read again.

And as Lenni says you don’t have to have a dedicated ereader. I have the Kindle app on my iPad.  If you’re portable-tech-free you have a slightly more epic struggle with your conscience ahead of you but . . . well, I’ve told this story many times before, but I only bought my first computer because the office shop could no longer get parts for my IBM Selectric I typewriter.  I forget why I let myself get gorgleblorged*** by the idea of an iPad† but I use her constantly, however often I want to throw her against the wall for her tantrums about Microsoft.

Cmarschner

I can’t wait to be rescued from a long wait somewhere by pulling up a comforting favorite story on my phone.

Yes, exactly. But I am fascinated by you people who read on your phones. My eyes can do it but, dunno, my brain can’t.  It’s like people with little tiny writing.  My hand can do it BUT MY BRAIN CAN’T.  I have big sprawly handwriting.  I guess I must have big sprawly eyes†† too.  I was actually going to buy the next size down of tablet for portability reasons next time but then I thought about the pleasantness of reading double page spreads like a REAL book on the iPad . . . and then I read about the iPad Air which weighs about two butterflies and a feather and I thought, fine, I wasn’t seriously planning to downsize my knapsack anyway.

* * *

* Thank you, Gomoto^, although why one of my American readers was faster off the mark than any of my English ones . . . is one of those little mysteries of the modern global-internet world.

^ Also Rachel on the forum, but her post went up later, and I also don’t know which side of the pond she’s on. Or even which pond.

** One person out in public on Facebook and a few people more privately on email have said that they aren’t buying anything of mine till I produce the second/third/ninety-seventh/final volume of PEGASUS.  It’s not always easy to tell tone of voice from a stranger in print, but I have the impression that these declarations are typed in some dudgeon, possibly high.  What people choose to do with their disposable income is up to them, of course, including whether or not they buy books and if they do buy books whose books they buy.  But just in case this has slipped anyone’s mind . . . I’m not not producing PEG II, III and LXXXIX out of any disturbingly perverse desire to alienate readers.  Um, why would I?  I need to keep eating.^ Also I’m a storyteller by blood and bone;  I don’t exist in my own mind let alone anyone else’s if I’m not telling stories.  I would love to have PEG II already out and PEG III being wept over by final-stage copyeditors^^ and myself be contemplating writing that story about the bottle of sentient champagne.  But I’m not.^^^ I’m not because PEG II is moving approximately as quickly as it’s going to take all those plate tectonics to bring Africa back to West Quoddy Head.  I’m not happy about this.#  But it’s not up to me—rather like producing my books in e-format isn’t up to me.  You can, of course, nag me, about ebooks## or PEG II or LXXXIX, but it won’t produce any results except making me miserable.###  Control freaks seriously don’t like things to be out of their control.  And storytellers hate not telling stories.

^ And buying other people’s books.

^^ Tears of joy, mind you.  Supposing it ends with III, which is to say it better had or I may become a full-time professional practising homeopath after all, not everybody is going to be spectacularly happy in all ways after the climax but this is still a McKinley story and there will be some kind of a big shiny hurrah somewhere near the end.

^^^ Except at my 3 am equivalent which is about when most people are heading off to work, or the local builders are arriving and turning their frelling radios on to the Maudlin Pop Drivel station.+

+ I keep forgetting to check if U2 are trying to break into my iPhone.

# In fact I am wildly, frantically frustrated and crazy over it.  Just by the way.

## Including, inevitably, what goes wrong, because things will go wrong.

### You can’t make a horse win a race even if you’ve bred, fed and trained her perfectly. You can’t make a rosebush cover herself in huge fabulous flowers+ ditto.  And horses are horribly expensive to keep and rose-free rosebushes are mostly pretty ugly.  It goes like that sometimes.

+ Unless you’re a character out of ROSE DAUGHTER

*** Or ‘sandbagged’ if you prefer

† NO NOT COMPUTER GAMES. COMPUTER GAMES ARE THE DEVIL’S SPAWN.^

^ Yes of course I play several. I might not be so outraged if I played them a little better.

†† And a big sprawly brain. If it were tidier I might be getting on with PEG II quicker.  Sigh.

The ebook announcement you’ve been waiting for, with supplementary arrrrrgh

 

Well of course I knew this was coming. I signed a contract, right?  Months ago.  But I was fallen on in body by everyone involved and FORBIDDEN to announce the news before time.*  And then at the last possible minute, of course, because that’s how these things go, MAJOR FAILURE IN COMMUNICATION OCCURRED, so not only did I not see the final of anything, the frelling press release went out two days ago and the only reason I knew about it was because I started getting deluged by emails (and one or two tweets) from people saying FINALLY!!  FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY YOUR BACKLIST IS COMING OUT ON EBOOK!!!!!!

Arrrrrrrrrrgh.

So here’s a link to the press release:

http://www.openroadmedia.com/blog/2014-10-14/newbery-medal-winner-i-the-hero-and-the-crown-i-by-robin-mckinley-available-as-an-ebook-for-the-first-time-along-with-seven-other-beloved-fantasy-titles

. . . But you might want to check it again in a few days when certain details have been AHEM tidied up a little.**

* * *

* And very frustrating it has been too with the increasing numbers of emails pleading for me to produce or permit ebook editions of my backlist. IT’S NOT UP TO ME.  IF I COULD WAVE THE ABRACADABRA WAND I’D’VE DONE IT YEARS AGO.^  The problem with a lot of us old people is that we were writing books long before ebooks existed and renegotiating terms as the ebook revolution scampers around us and our elderly text-only contracts going nanny nanny boo boo hahahahahahaha is kind of a drag.  Not to mention complicated.  And before you send me a list of 1,000,000 authors even older than I am who got their backlists out on ebooks decades ago^^ yeah, well, that’s them, okay?  See:  ‘clever’, below.  It also depends on your publisher or publishers;  some divisions of some publishers are farther into the twenty-first century than others.^^^

^ No I don’t personally love ebooks, but I certainly read them,+ and I totally understand the comfort of having a vast bursting library on a skinny little tablet in your knapsack.

+ And anything I like a lot I then have to buy in hard copy. Those cheap ebook come-ons from amazon unfortunately work a treat on me;  I generally only buy stuff in e- that I don’t know and might not otherwise get around to.  So this totally generates more income for other writers from this out-of-control reader.

^^ Before ebooks existed. But that’s not going to bother a bunch of clever SF&F writers.  Please note I specify clever.

^^^ And just by the way you emailers who think it is funny or okay or persuasive to tell me that if I don’t produce legitimate ebooks you will be forced to buy evil pirated editions . . . this is not funny or okay or persuasive.  Pirate editions are illegal, and every one you either buy or download free is another kick in the teeth to writers who are trying to earn a living.  Don’t do it.  If the ebook edition—of any author’s book—is not available, live with it.+ Worse things happen at sea.

+ You might also keep in mind that begging the author to do something about the nonexistence of ebooks only makes the author miserable because she can’t. If you want to harass the whatsit out of someone, try the original edition hard copy publisher.

** And before you ask, BLUE SWORD belongs to another publisher. Communication has failed on that front too but it will be available as an ebook.  Soon.  I’ll try to remember to post here when I know.  But, hey, you may hear about it before I do.^

^ xxxx****&^%$£”!!!!!!!!!!!

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