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    • michelle

      Living Room Etiquette   07/25/17

      Welcome to my living room on the internet.   Let me talk a little bit about the history of my home on the internet. I started out blogging on LiveJournal, which is a blogging community. And I talked about publishing and process, but in a fairly general way.   And that worked for a number of years.   What I almost never talked about was my books. But over time, people found my LJ, and they wanted to talk about my books, and I felt a little self-conscious talking about my books on LiveJournal, where the community was more general and more social, and talking about my books felt a little conspicuously like shouting: Me Me Me!   So: I started my author web-site. I posted sample chapters. I talked--when I had any news--about my books. I didn't post often, because I didn't want to drive people who came to the web-site purely for news or information away.   And that seemed to work.   But a funny thing happened. I'm not, and have never been, Robert Jordan, George Martin or Patrick Rothfuss in terms of my reach. I don't have the kind of buzz they generate, and I'm fine with that. I'm not Misty Lackey or Melanie Rawn, either.   I write my books. I try not to say too much about them, because some people hate spoilers. I try not to complain too much about the process, because every job anywhere is difficult sometimes. But… I can't really talk about my books as if I were a reader, because I can't ever approach them as a reader would for the first time. Or even the twentieth.   And sometimes people want to talk about the experience of reading my books. But given my general invisibility on fantasy reader radars, they haven't found many places in which they can do that.   A few years ago, my readers began to talk to each other - on my web-site, because they found people who were also interested in talking about my books there. On a release-day post about the latest novel. This made some readers unhappy because of course discussing the books meant spoilers. I then made a separate SPOILER thread, which people could easily avoid.   That worked, and I made a spoiler thread for almost every subsequent book.   So readers who wanted to discuss the book with other readers spoke to each other on the spoiler threads. I stay out of the spoiler threads. I stay out of the discussions about my books. And I've been able to do that because, while people don't always agree, they don't descend into acrimony and flames.   But the spoiler thread for Cast in Peril was 369 comments long. And that's a lot of comments, and possibly a long load time.   And I thought: maybe it's time to try forums.   I wouldn't have considered forums at all if the spoiler threads had descended into invective and angry ranting; they never have. The people who post and discuss on them have been helpful and reasonable, even when they don't agree with each other.   And what I want out of forums is for that to continue. I don't expect my forums to be crowded; I don't expect that they'll need to be moderated or policed, because of the history of the readers who have posted on my web-site.   But forums in general have rules and policies, and it's best to be clear about those up front, in case of future need. So.   The Living Room rules:   1. Since it's my Living Room, there's a strong possibility that children and grandmothers will stroll past or stop in, since both frequent my house. So I'd ask you to keep that in mind when it comes to profanity. Swear as much as I do.   2. Door to door salesmen frequently interrupt social gatherings, and they're not there to join the discussion. So: don't be that person. This isn't a tupperware party, and I don't want anyone to attempt to sell things to my visitors. If you notice that someone is advertising cheap watches or winning lottery numbers or any variant thereof, report it - and ignore it. It'll be cleaned up and swept out the door.   3. No flaming. Which is to say: no personal attacks or insults. I don't expect this will be a problem because it hasn't been - and I'd really like that to continue. Also, and this is a personal thing: don't accuse someone of trolling just because they disagree with you. Sometimes people disagree; they're not doing it to enrage or derail.   4. Things NOT to discuss on these forums: Real-world religions (any). Real-world politics (any). Explicit sexuality (because: children & grandmothers. And, to be fair, me). There are many other places to discuss any of these things - and I ask that you discuss them there. Here is not the place. This is possibly the only thing I'll be draconian about.   If, in the opinion of the management, you break these rules, we'll probably ask you to sit out the topic. If you break these rules more than once, we may ask you to sit out the week. If you can't communicate without breaking these rules, this is not the forum for you; there are lots of forums on the internet that will be more to your liking.   Also: I believe that readers should be able to discuss what they want to discuss, even if what they want to discuss is how a particular book I've written didn't work for them. For obvious reasons, I would like to personally avoid those discussions because I don't want to be a damper, and because it's not possible for me to be consistently objective about my own work. It's not entirely possible to avoid these discussions on the web-site; on the forums it will be. I've asked Tchula Ripton to moderate, as she's been the list-mom on the Yahoo West list for a number of years.   So on those parts of the forum where the discussions are about my works, she wears the big hat where necessary, because I'm not there.   As for the forums: any member can create topics, and any member can read any forum and reply there. If, for instance, you want to get people's opinions on ebook readers, you can start a post in the “Random†category, and ask.


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    Lurking around, and seeing what interests life brings along...
  1. Movies You've Seen Recently

    The Hitman's Bodyguard. What can I say, but this is a very good film about romance. You might not expect it, but it's true. Plus, there's a whole heap of enjoyable banter between Ryan Reynolds as the bodyguard and Samuel L Jackson as the hitman who'se tried to kill him 28 times, as they play the odd couple on the run from Coventry UK to the ICC in Hague being chased by everybody.
  2. Fifth Element had offbeat visuals and design that clicked with the style of the story, and connected with the dialogue and the script itself. More than just the action scenes, but the entire physicality of everything. It's also interesting for a film that has Gary Oldman chewing the scenery as the "villain" who never actually meets up with the heroes of the piece. In fact, to a large extent they're pretty unaware of each other. Plus, frankly, it has to go down as one of my favourites for Lee Evan's and that whole "negotiation" scene.
  3. Cast in Flight excerpt

    Heh, I just sat down and went through the series trying to nail down the time line and the passage of it between the books. So if the story in each book roughly covers 2 days to a week, lets be generous and say 4 days on average (apart from the Peril/Sorrow combo that has about 7 weeks of travel time included) and as far as I could establish the following is the rough gaps between the books: CinShadow > 2-3 weeks > CinCourtlight > 2-3 weeks > CinSecret > 1 week > CinFury > 2-3 weeks > CinSilence > 1-2 weeks > CinChaos > day and a half > CinRuin > 10 days > CinPeril > no time > CinSorrow > 3-4 weeks > CinFlame > 3 weeks > CinHonor > 1 week? > CinFlight So, again being generous, this means that the total time passed since Kaylin got sent back to the fiefs, re-met Severn, met Tiamaris for the first time and was marked by Nightshade is roughly 32 weeks. Just about half a year for everyone to adjust to all the changes. You can see why that amount of world-changing events happening can get Teela and Tain to start questioning the validity of boredom. Although at this rate, I would expect the Human Court to start having their own spies picking up certain details and asking questions about Kaylin being at the heart of so much, even with the Dragons and Baranni trying to keep their secrets. Politics after all is constantly going on....Especially after several near city destroying moments.
  4. Cast in Flight excerpt

    Finished the kindle version on the day, still waiting on my dead tree copy to actually arrive... So now we know what a certain dragon has been spending time on... and who gets to start shipping the different dragons of the court after Helen's "The Emperor isn't really a good match for her.."?
  5. The Dungeon......

    Hit the first anniversary of my mother's passing. I have to admit, I really did think I'd have managed to get somewhere by now. Job hunts slide into the awkward when your IT and Business skills are 15 years out of date, and all of the government grants for education seem to fall in the "you can get them if you're not over 24" and you have no money to take any of the actually useful courses. Well I've been continue to hammer away on the attempt to get my life restarted and once more into the working world. Which keeps hitting a wall. I will also admit that I'm definitely sliding into that partially resentful feel over half my life having disappeared as her carer because it's left me in this position. Which then adds a touch of guilt because I recognise that resentment kicking in after the fact. However, for the chance of doing something useful I'll be starting a work placement with a charity group for the next 8 weeks. What's supposed to be a mix of business, book keeping, research, marketing, minor IT stuff and bid writing.

    On the slightly pedantic side, I don't think that the fiefs are considered part of the city itself. More as.. attached to. Plus, throw in a certain amount of dimensional weirdness and flux, and I wouldn't be surprised that distance within and around the fiefs aren't exactly what they would be to everyone outside them...
  7. As I'm re-reading Oracle, the one point that jumped out at me for the entertaining evolution.. is what happens when the right people suddenly realise that Jewel (via Finch) has collected the three devious minds of Jarven, Hector, and Haval all working in combination. That could have a few interesting expressions around the city.
  8. Random Things of Interest

    For the random literature related thing... Think you couldn't possibly lose your amazon publishing account, think again
  9. Random Things of Interest

    On that general spreading of the signal... Just One Book
  10. Michelles' web site

    Well, as long as it's been the proper distractions of an author writing, I'm sure the fans will generally forgive those sorts of absences... It's not like we're complete and utter slave drivers or raging crack-addicts over it all... <whistles innocently>
  11. ASPCA - North Carolina Adoption Event

    Sometimes it's just about boosting the signal so more people are aware of it.
  12. Right, for any folks out in North Carolina ways.. After what's being recognised as the largest companion animal/pet rescue in the 150 year history of the ASPCA, there are a whole lot of animals in need of homes. ASPCA - Adoption Event
  13. Random Things of Interest

    An interesting bit on sobriety, alcoholism, and AA. Alcoholics Anonymous Saved My Life But I Lost My Faith
  14. A nice little point on writing... TOR - What We Don't Like to Mention
  15. I've been having a hunt around, but apparently there are no English translations of the Crane-Iron Pentology by Wang Dulu. For those who might not know it, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the 4th book of the series. Apparently, the story runs thus: So alas, unless I learn to competently read Mandarin, that's as close as I'm going to get to finding out the original stories.