marthawells: (Stargate)
So the hurricane is making landfall and so far we're fine. We're getting a lot of hard rain but no flooding yet and no high winds. (knock on wood) We've got lots of water stashed all over the house and managed to find all our battery lamps in case we lose power.
marthawells: (John and Ronon)
It's been a very busy week so far. Our cat Jack had to go to the vet after we noticed he wasn't eating much, acting lethargic, and he felt too warm. It turned out he had a fever of 104 and probably a UTI. He's a little better now after a few doses of antibiotics but we're still keeping a close eye on him.

And then we had a tropical storm move into the gulf that's now coming ashore and we might get as much as 10-15 inches of rain over the weekend. The first thunderstorm started about a half hour ago.

I'm working on the climax of the fourth Murderbot novella which is due in September, plus I've got most of a Raksura patreon story done.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
When I get my author's copies of a new book, I try to do cute photos of the book with my cats. Cats were not cooperative this morning:

I also usually do a drawing for signed copies, but in light of hurricane Sandy, I wanted to do something a little different.

To enter the drawing for an autographed trade paperback copy of The Siren Depths, the third Books of the Raksura novel:

1) Make a donation to an organization for hurricane Sandy relief, such as the Red Cross, or any of the organizations listed at the bottom of this post by TimeOut New York, or here on this post by Forgotten New York, or one of the organizations doing relief for Sandy's damage in the Caribbean, like Global Giving. The Huffington Post also lists a bunch of organizations you can donate to, including some international ones.

2) The donation can be any amount, though a minimum of $5.00 would be nice. (This is on the honor system, but I will ask the winners to send me the e-receipt for their donation, with the address you want the book sent to, how you want it personalized, etc.)

3) To enter, make a comment on this post with the name of the organization you donated to. It would be good if you listed the amount, but if you really don't want to you don't have to.

4) On Wednesday morning I'll draw a minimum of five winners (more if we have a lot of entries) randomly and announce them.

5) Please spread the word!

ETA 6) If LJ or Dreamwidth won't let you post here, email me through my web site and I'll put your entry in the drawing.

The things you must remember:

* these are my author's copies so they arrived early. I don't know when the book will start showing up in stores, but I bet it will probably be around mid to late November.

* the original release date for the book was December 4, so the ebooks will not be available until that date. This is something that is decided by the publisher, just like the price of the book, the availability, the cover, etc.


If you can't donate, you can enter the GoodReads giveaway, or you can enter both this giveaway and the GoodReads giveaway.

Night Shade Books has put the Kindle US version of The Cloud Roads on sale for $1.99. (Down from normal price of $7.99)
marthawells: (Default)
We have a heavy mist this morning, like a gothic novel is happening in the neighborhood. I hope it comes back tomorrow, when we're going to the Renfair with friends. Also finally got a good night's sleep last night. The bottle of hard cider probably helped.

Cheap Book thing:

Night Shade Books has put the Kindle US version of The Cloud Roads on sale for $1.99. (Down from normal price of $7.99) Probably a promo for The Siren Depths, which will be out next month. (You can read the first two chapters on my web site here.)

Hurricane links:

* How to help in New York City after Hurricane Sandy A list of organizations to donate to is at the bottom of the post.

* The donation page for the Red Cross.

* My agent, Jennifer Jackson, is doing a charity auction for hurricane Sandy relief: You can bid on a critique of a partial manuscript.

* Solar Water Disinfection I keep a collection of empty plastic soda bottles as part of our hurricane kit.

* Writer Marie Brennan has an autographed book sale to benefit disaster relief.

Fun things:

* Kickstarter for The 2013 John Picacio Calendar This would make a great Christmas gift.
marthawells: (Teyla)
A few things:

* The GoodReads giveaway for The Siren Depths, the third Books of the Raksura novel, is now open. (You can also read the first two chapters and see the preorder links on my web site here.)

* Dave Gross has posted the first four chapters of the new Pathfinder novel, Hail to the Queen.

* My agent, Jennifer Jackson, is doing a charity auction for hurricane Sandy relief: You can bid on a critique of a partial manuscript.
There is much to be thankful for. My power’s been restored. The enormous old pine that fell in my yard didn’t hit my house. My family came through the storm safely. I’ve now heard from all my co-workers at DMLA and they are all safe as well. I also want to take a moment to thank and appreciate all those who are out there getting more power, supplies, and help to those in need. There were certainly people who extended a helping hand to me, and they were a treat.

In support of those people, I’m going to auction a critique of a partial manuscript of a novel. A partial manuscript will consist of up to 50 pages in standard manuscript format (approximately 12,500 words). In order to maximize benefit for the bidder, I’m going to limit this to the kinds of projects I represent, which includes both adult and YA fiction (not MG). (See my guidelines for more information.)
marthawells: (Miko)
Getting ready to leave for ArmadilloCon!


Everybody in the path of the hurricane please be careful. We're about a four hour drive from the Gulf coast, and a lot of the hurricanes that hit us flop at the last moment, but they're still scary. The ones that don't (hurricane Ike) are even more scary.

Here's a couple of my favorite hurricane preparations:

Solar water disinfection I've collected a bunch of soda bottles to do this if we have to. They're handy, because you can also use them to fill with water before the storm. (You do want to have a lot of drinkable water on hand in case the water is contaminated after the storm. And fill the bathtub, too, because you can drink it if you really have to, and also use it to water your animals or wash dishes and so on.)

This is an ebay link but it shows a bunch of different models: battery powered fans This was a recommended by a friend who spent about two weeks in Houston with no power after Ike. In our climate, once the hurricane is over, we go back to heat and killer humidity, and the fans can cool the room enough to let you sleep.

During the late summer, I always try to have a few days worth of canned food, plus extra dry food for the cats, on hand, so if one turns toward us unexpectedly I won't have to buy too much at the last minute.
marthawells: (John Sheppard)
Got some stuff done this weekend. Re-watched some Doctor Who episodes to refresh my memory for an essay I'm writing, plus made a little advertising booklet for The Cloud Roads to hand out as a freebie at the conventions I'm going to. It's got the first chapter, plus the description, some blurbs, etc. The printing was expensive (would have been more expensive without the helpful Office Depot coupon) but I'm hoping it'll be a more effective promo item than just a bookmark or a card with the cover and book description on it.

Still working on the third Cloud Roads book, and I'm now back to the point where I like it again, and really hope the first two do well enough that the publisher will want to publish it, too.

Couple of articles:

From Bill Crider: After Ike, a deluge of reinvention
Hotel employees whose homes were uninhabitable were invited by owner George Mitchell to move into the Galvez, with meals and lodging free of charge. After all, the luxury hotel still had to prepare for weddings and cruise passengers later that fall, while an $11 million renovation geared for the centennial was already underway.

“We could have said, "We're gone," and started over somewhere else, but we stayed," said chef concierge Jackie Hasan, 60, whose apartment building was condemned because of Ike damage. "We are the stewards of the people who came before us, who went through that terrible 1900 storm but said, we're going to stay, rebuild, and withstand the forces of nature thrown at us."

Jackie Kessler: Making the Darkness Visible
Heads up, WSJ: Life isn’t always beautiful and joyous. That’s not the real world; it never was. We just know more today about the issues that have been around for a long time — and we’ve come to a point where we’re not afraid to talk about these issues.

Speaking of conventions, here's my schedule for the rest of the year:

June 24-26. I'll be Guest of Honor at ApolloCon 2011, in Houston, Texas.

August 17-21. Renovation, the 2011 World Science Fiction Convention, in Reno, Nevada.

August 26-28. ArmadilloCon 33, in Austin, Texas.

November 11-13. I'll have a table at the Austin ComicCon, in Austin, Texas.
marthawells: (Default)
Sorry I've been missing lately -- my fifteenth wedding anniversary was last week, we went on a quick trip to Galveston, and this week I've been kind of swamped with stuff that needs to be done immediately.

I'm going to be at World Fantasy this weekend, in Columbus, Ohio. If you're going to be there, come say hi!

My panel is:

Saturday Noon: Panel B16: Sword & Sorcery. Scott Andrews, Martha Wells, Howard Jones, Patricia Bray. Sword & Sorcery. Clearly this "literary fossil," as Alexei Panshin once called it, is not yet extinct. But has it evolved? A discussion of the continuing appeal and the nature of the form.

I'll also be at the mass autographing Friday night.

There was talk of a Black Gate Magazine Group Reading on Friday, but it's actually on Saturday:

2nd Floor, Madison room* (or immediately next door), Hyatt Regency Hotel
Saturday, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

A number of Black Gate authors will be doing ten minute readings of their stories, including me, so come on by. It's not on the official schedule, so probably won't be listed on the program.


While we were in Galveston, we got a chance to do the Ashton Villa Haunted Tour, which is actually the Ashton Villa Post-Hurricane Ike Restoration Tour, with bonus ghost stories. The house, built in 1859, got three feet of water in it during hurricane Ike. (This sounds like a lot, but it got nine feet of water during the 1900 storm that killed between 6000 and 12,000 people. It flooded, but didn't wash away or implode and kill everybody inside, so go house.) The Ike flooding ruined the downstairs floor and damaged the entire collection of ground floor furniture. The furniture has been restored now and is stored upstairs in the bedrooms. (For a mansion, it's not actually that large a house, especially compared to the Moody Mansion or the Bishop's Palace, which is built like a combination castle/bomb shelter.) The floor is still being replaced and the walls are being worked on.

(One of the people on the tour with us wanted to argue about all their decisions, particularly why the older women who were working in the house during Ike didn't save the collection (chairs, tables, couches, the piano) by carrying all of it up the 30-40 foot grand staircase designed by the human mountain goats common in 1859. If I never hear the words "why didn't you just--" again, I will be a happy, happy woman.)

One of the cool things we heard was about the buried basement. After the 1900 storm, the seawall was built and the grade of the island was raised by several feet. A lot of people at the time had their houses jacked up to the new level, but the Ashton Villa didn't bother, and the family just had the basement filled in with dirt. (Which is why the house sits flat on the ground now, unlike the other mansions on Broadway. The short ornamental iron fence in front also extends several feet below the ground -- the only thing they moved up was the gate.) After Ike when they had the floor torn up, they started excavating the basement to find out what was down there.

They found a crypt under the basement.

They have no idea who, if anybody, is in it. But it certainly casts the family's decision to fill in the basement on top of it in a new light.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
Yesterday was the two year anniversary of hurricane Ike.

Here's a link to's Big Picture One Year After (I've actually met the man in picture #11. He's the owner of Bistro LeCroy on the Strand in Galveston, and we've eaten lunch there several times. Which you should all do if you have a chance, because it is truly delicious and worth far more than the small amounts they charge for it.)


From [profile] jess_ka: Abra SW is posting a serialized steampunk novel, to get donations for her mother's cancer treatment: The Circus of Brass and Bone Five Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won't) It's all good advice, but the section about power strikes me as especially true.
The thing is, it's the desire itself that's poisonous...These are the people who are only nice guys because of fear of retribution if they do otherwise, so their main goal is to become strong enough that no retribution is possible...

So it's not just that power will destroy you. It's that the urge itself is bad news. That desire for power is a vicious, ravenous animal and feeding it only makes it strong enough to tear its way out of your belly and go on a bloody rampage.

I think there's a lot of bad online behavior that goes back to a desire for power, like trolls, online dogpiles, etc.
marthawells: (Default)
He's only posted the first part, but I suspect this is going to be a good story: The Time I Met J.K. Rowling by Lev Grossman You wouldn’t think it, but Time has some major-league Harry Potter fans on staff. Senior staff. They can rattle off trivia like they were Newt Scamander or some shit. But I was the books guy, and the most visibly nerdy staff member. So I went.

And another good story: Ursula Vernon reviews the book Life List It’s the sort of inspiring story that would make a great movie, if it wasn’t about something as incomprehensible to the average viewer as birding–she was told that she had terminal cancer and perhaps six months to live. Given few treatment options and a near-certain death sentence, she decided to forgo treatment and to go birding around the world as long as her health would permit.

She lived for eighteen more years and was the first person to ever see more than 8000 birds.

Oh, for those of us who are about to start hurricane season, (or anybody who might end up in a situation where the tap water is contaminated), I've been meaning to post this: Solar Water Disinfection is a method of disinfecting water using only sunlight and plastic PET bottles.
marthawells: (Atlantis Dark Sky)
I keep trying to remember to update over here too, but failing miserably. Most of my posts are still over on Live Journal, and I'm not sure that will change. All my icons and photos are over there.

Anyway, here's my hurricane Ike Anniversary post:

The Big Picture: One Year After Hurricane Ike. There are some really poignant before and after photos of Galveston here. From photo 2 on, click on the photo to get the alternate version.

One of the big differences that's hard to see in photos is the dead trees. Galveston used to have tree-lined streets, but the saltwater killed a huge number of them.

We were in Galveston on vacation when Ike was about to come in, and left at the first mandatory evacuation, so we were back home by the time it hit. Here's my before and after photo set.

And this one, showing the Ike waterline on the Strand:

Photo 10 on The Big Picture, where it says "Murdoch's Pier and restaurants amid the debris..." That debris was Murdoch's Pier. There was nothing left of it but the pilings, but it's being rebuilt. It was originally built in the late 1800s and rebuilt after the 1900 hurricane.

Dallas Morning News Before and After Pictures

The Short but Eventful Life of Ike from The Big Picture, September 2008.


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