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The Ravel’d Sleave of Care

the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
–Shakespeare, Macbeth Act 2 Scene 2

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Lessons learned from a trilogy: an interim report, and Kindle Unlimited observations

A few months ago, I wrote about an experimental trilogy, with which I hoped to improve my marketing dynamics and revitalize my writing career after some health-related doldrums.  The trilogy is “Cochrane’s Company“, and its third and final book, “The Pride of the Damned“, was published on Monday this week.  So far, it (and the trilogy as a whole) are selling nicely, thank you.

The Pride of the Damned - blog size 350 pixel

Dorothy and I have learned a great deal in the process of writing and publishing this trilogy.  Many of those lessons are works in progress, and I’ll elaborate on them in another article a month or two down the road.  However, some are immediately apparent, and I thought you might like an advance look at what we’ve either found out, or had reinforced by the market.  Some of the lessons are new to us.  Others are old news, but reinforced by current market trends.

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Where did it all start?

It all started with Aunt Alesia and the Balas rubies, and that dance at the Austrian embassy in Paris.

Purists would go farther back, maybe as far back as the day a couple of years ago when I was concentrating really hard on the Axiom of Choice and accidentally selected several objects out of my kid brother’s miscellaneous collections of plastic junk. Without touching them. You could make a case that it all started there. Read more

The Importance of Habits

So, first, an apology for missing last week – I took vacation from the 5th through this coming Friday, so I was basically in weekend mode on the 4th and 5th – which means I completely spaced any kind of idea of writing the post. My bad.

I’m also hitting a specifically female time of life which is making me spacier than usual as well as having less energy. The culmination of which is that it took 5 days of doing bugger-all before I started on some much-needed house cleaning.

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History vs. Reality

Lately, I’ve been reading C. Warren Hollister’s Medieval Europe: A Short History, since it’s a subject that I know pretty well (at a certain level, anyway) so I can read a few pages before bed, fall asleep, and easily pick it back up the next day. As far as the scholarship goes, it’s a bit… bizarre. The author seems to think the Battle of Tours-Poitiers took place in 733, which made me go, “huh?” because I’ve never before heard it associated with that date, and there’s a little whitewashing of some very nasty people, but that can be chalked up to having to cram a lot of information into a ‘short’ history.

And, anyway, I’ve moved to the point where I’m reading the book not for the facts, but in search of a spark. No, I don’t need any more projects; I’m rereading the information to help integrate things I already know, to draw conclusions that I never considered before.

Last night, I started wondering what future people will think of our era. I’ll try to stay away from politics, and so should you in the comments, but I can’t help wondering what will be put in the history books. Will people assume that we all thought the same way, or will the books skim over the last few decades with summary sentences like, “It was a chaotic time, with many factions fighting for control. Eventually, the ______ faction triumphed, and the conflict died away”?
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Keeping Love in Its Place


Note this is not a marital advice column.

You’ve heard the saying that you should kill your darlings.  Honestly, it depends on who your darlings are and what.  I don’t subscribe to absolutes in terms of writing advice. However I know there is a type of love that will harm your writing, something that falls under “killing your darlings.”

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All Is Chaos and Disorder

Or, Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone, Again

It was gorgeous in the PNW when we took Mrs. Dave to the airport to wend her way elsewhere. Baker was out, the Olympics crowded the far horizon, and Rainier dominated the sky as we sped southward. Nary a cloud in the sky. I could wish I’d gotten more sleep, but such isn’t our pattern, and I’m learning to deal with that. Even the littles seemed cheerful, which lasted right up until we left Mrs. Dave at the curb.

Mrs. Dave is fine, though still pretty wiped from all the travel. On the other hand, we haven’t seen the sun since we got home. Coincidence? I can barely rub two sentences together today, so this is likely to be pretty scattered. My apologies.
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