This post is extraordinarily, ridiculously late.

I had to get up very early for a conference (well, the conference itself was at 9:30 my time, and so not that early, but here’s the thing… I had to find the headphone and mike, both of which were packed three moves ago.  I managed it just in time, but I was grumpy and weird, because I went to bed close to 2 am and got up at six thirty.  So I went back to bed after the conference.

All this lateness brings us to another thing I’m very late at, and that’s fulfilling my promises to my subscribers.  Yeah, it was the worst possible of times, as I was getting ill, and then spent a year and a half moving recreationally.  It was veddy, veddy bad. And since the move halfway through last year, I’ve not had access to my publishing email, so I haven’t even answered queries.

Is this going to change? Yes, it is, but very slowly.  I’ll make it up to you guys who have subscribed, even those who have now dropped it, and I will do as much as I can by the end of the year.

BUT one thing I’ve proved conclusively: I’m not good at doing things every week, nor shipping physical things.  Look, the problem is this: my life is jam packed, and will be probably till the kids leave payroll/are totally off our hands in three years or so.  That means I’m dealing with at least one emergency at any given time. Throw another one in, and everything comes to a halt.

So… if you look to your right, the subscription button is gone.  Again, I’ll make it up as much as possible to those who subscribed, and if you’re a subscriber who doesn’t feel the need to cancel the subscription, much appreciated.  (See where kids are still on our payroll, largely, for another three years.)

However, before April, when most subscriptions end, I’ll have something else started.  Honestly, it will probably be a serial on Patreon, I just want to finish it before I start that program.

Until then, if you feel like supporting the blog itself, the button is still up there.

I will continue to do posts.  I will continue the freebie Grant Jefferson in Portugal serial.  At some point there will be Rogue Magic (probably before the end of the year) finished and sent to everyone who ever donated.  There will be t-shirts and stuff also before the end of the year.

But we’ve just (mostly) unpacked, and anything that calls for not-usual equipment takes forever and I’m trying VERY hard not to promise I’ll do things immediately, right away or very fast.  I’m late on six books, three to Baen and three Indie and those come first.

I’d still like to apologize for not fulfilling promises, and I’d promise I’ll get to it.  My subscribers got me through some very, very bad times, and I owe them big.

That’s the housekeeping.  Well, other than to say I’ll try to have Grant a day over this weekend, and that there will be guest posts as I REALLY must finish Darkship Revenge.

Sorry for the not-really-a-post.  I’ll try to write one tomorrow.

166 thoughts on “Housekeeping

    1. Agreed. When I donate to a Patreon or some sort of subscription service, I generally am doing so because I like the primary work, not necessarily because I want extra stuff. If the subscription slows down the primary work then it’s worse than not having it.

  1. There are priorities, Sarah, and we’re not the top one. Do what you need to, my friend. We’ll still be here.

    1. Well, I for one AM the world’s top priority. I just have trouble convincing the world of that. So in the meantime, I’ll go along with the gag and wait for Sarah.

      A man said to the universe:
      “Sir, I exist!”
      “However,” replied the universe,
      “The fact has not created in me
      A sense of obligation.” — Stephen Crane

    1. Do what’s on top of your priority list. I’m just enjoying the virtual club house whether there’s programming or not.

      1. ^^^THIS^^^

        Sarah, your priorities do not include this place, really. There are enough people here that you are not actually necessary to it (well, except for paying the rent on the WordPress space…). Reminds me of Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Bar, actually, which I’ve been rereading lately when there was no energy available for anything else.

        Okay, it’s very hard to understand these things – until you try to become a writer yourself. I am just dragging myself out of an illness that took me for the last nearly a month. (BTW, nothing close to what Sarah has been dealing with, I have no idea how she does it.)

        Trying to get a schedule set up, with “reasonable” estimates – and I’m going to have to change my plans rather drastically (or pray that I’m horribly pessimistic). I’m looking at 94 hour weeks – and that is without catching up with the backlog. Even in my youngest days, that wasn’t going to happen.

        For anyone wondering, my blog will come back to life sometime this month – MAYBE.

        1. There are enough people here that you are not actually necessary to it…

          She is very necessary. We still need her and we still want her around. We just don’t need her to be on duty with us at all times. As with a mother, when all is healthy, the nature of necessary changes as the progeny mature.

  2. This post is extraordinarily, ridiculously late.

    As opposed to what? It is here on the day it was expected.

    [Parental mode kicks in] This matter has been addressed before and you continue to express your apologies for your concept of lateness. I wish you could relax a bit about the blog. This is not like a contracted book where you are being paid to produce. It is a treat which we all enjoy, but we know it is extra service, above and beyond. You should know you do it very well as far as we are concerned. We would like it if you could relax. [Parental mode off]

  3. This post is extraordinarily, ridiculously late.

    Ridiculously? Ridiculously????

    We are not amused.

    As has been recently pointed out, no daily has failed to be put up by the time of arrival posted at this site. When you post a Due Time for each daily post in the site header, and only when you have done so, you will have the right to apologise for a post being late. Until then you cannot logically apologise for anything other than a post not being earlier.

    Logic, my gel, is a cruel mistress and will brook no dalliance with her rules.

  4. Happy to volunteer if you need a completely inexperienced and underqualified guest post (see? i’m pretty sure I should have hyphenated under-qualified. good ol’ hyphen, you hide all my sins.)

  5. Bah. I donate because you’re the best writing coach ever invented. And you keep doing it. Oh, and kicking me in my political naivety. That’s good too. The rest is just whipped cream on my ice cream on my frosted cake.

      1. I appreciate that you are big on delivering on promises. It is one of your many great charms. I also know you are human. With your intent to deliver we have noticed that you will drive yourself until you get ill. Please don’t.

        I want to see you continue your output long into the future. I would rather you deliver a bit more slowly than drive yourself into an early oblivion. So, please understand this come from pure selfishness on my part: channel some of that immense drive of yours into learning to pace yourself.

  6. Not to be picky (save that I yam what I yam, as the sage of Thimble Theater has said) but I notice that the subscribe button remains has vanished in the time t is taking me to compose this comment. Now, I have no doubt that Word Press Delenda est, as I am confident in Posner remaining a moron and AN is a Tweeting Twit, but that elision is unnecessary. I strongly suspect people subscribed in order to offer a steady stream of filthy lucre to stave off starving artistry and NOT in any avidity of desire for tchotchkes.

    Relax, allow our subscribing and be simply appreciative of being simply appreciated. As the prophet (sort of) said: Let my people subscribe!

      1. For those of us already subscribed, will this require re-subscription? Because you know how upset Donatus Interruptus makes us.

        Making the levels go away is no problem, as the stupid WP never quite worked for those.

      2. This is why RES is held in such high esteem, at least by me – he made the exact point I was going to make, that you should honor the Hun’s discernment on whether they are getting their money’s worth and just keep doing your best. No one could ask for more.

        I for one have no complaints.

        Well, other than the door to the raptor containment in the sublevels was left so they could open it AGAIN and they got into the storage for the bar, so there are drunk velociraptors stumbling around, crashing into things, singing, and throwing up all over things down there. And I can’t find the pressure washer to start cleaning it up.

        Other than that, no complaints at all.

            1. No, the last shipment arrived in ‘new and improved packaging to assure greater freshness and shelf life.’ Which, of course, meant that it no longer could be stored in the designated closet, as it no longer fit. So until we have reconfigured the food storage area you will find that it is presently in the closet next to the one for TP.

                1. Better double check that — I understood it was to be put behind the left door on the third.

                  But whatever you do, do not let them get at the SJZ holding pen! Last time they gobbled them all while complaining about the bitter taste and lack of substance. Then they had the runs for a week and some of those spots required the Special Cleaning Fluid … and you know what a nuisance that is to use … sigh, if only those SJZs didn’t keep wandering in here, or could be safely returned to the Wild without fearing for their safety.

                  1. That was just to keep Fluffy and the sea serpent from snacking. The way the aardvark also hides the bonbons until he wants. . . . oh, he’s bringing out a tray now.

            2. Why waste time on Purina Raptor Chow? Just find a few SJW’s and toss them in. Admittedly some may view this as animal cruelty but in truth the raptors are one of the few creatures that can digest anything that dense. And the SJW’s quickly work to feed their fellows to the raptors in an effort to be the last one eaten its what they do…

              1. *offers Tregonsee the mop, bucket, brushes, and HazMat suit* You can clean up after the raptors’ last SJZ meal. Please work quickly. The acidic goo is pitting that expensive tile, and it is a real challenge to match those colors.

          1. I thought it was high esteam that made hair limp?
            Besides, the donate button is for Kitty Kibble; that means there is no expectation of a ‘daily post’ and no expectation of ‘on-time’.

                    1. No way I’m stupid or brave enough for that. I lean heavily towards stupid on that one, as humans have to sleep sometime, and a woman with a grudge can bring to bear near infinite patience.

                      Besides, at least ten generations of Lane women, living and dead, would be lining up to smack the fire out of me if I even thought it!

          1. Oh? Is that why I heard we had a request for a fire pump that moved more than the LAFD Warner Lawrence’s pumps will? (that would be 38,000 gallons a minute btw)
            Someone is looking to get something really, really, wet (or put out a really big fire)

            1. Hmmmm. And that would explain the enormous semi-rigid hose I saw coming out of the top of the minion pool . . . I think I’ll let someone else check and see where it leads.

  7. Late! How could you possibly be late? For a Wizard/Writer (no one knows the difference) is never late nor early and posts at the exactly right time!

      1. The camo is for camouflage, but I think I used it because I liked how it sounded and cat seemed to short.

      2. All cats are camouflaged! Those furry, adorable bodies you see are only the tiniest portion of Their feline existence that They allow you to perceive. Were you to behold the fullness of Their beings, you would be driven mad in adoration and terror. Thus They keep themselves camouflaged until Their purposes are fulfilled and the time is right to expose humanity to the heart- and mind-shattering glory of their true overlords!

        Why yes, I have been reading old weird fiction and Lovecraftian material. However did you guess? 😀

            1. Hah – the Muse’s catspaw apologizes, but the seed has been planted, as planned. Sarah’s Muse flicks it’s tail approvingly from the windowsill, never opening it’s eyes.

              1. Ooooh, incarnate muses related/similar to magical familiars! That idea has some poten- No! No! Bad pilot!

                1. Are you at ComicCon? We can’t go this year. Much to everyone’s disappointment, except for possibly the baby, who is not clear on the benefit of sitting in the car seat.
                  Please do tell how it is, if you are there.

                  1. Not this year. Being self-employed with a new business means my boss isn’t wealthy enough to send me this year. 🙂 Maybe next time.

        1. Cats are known to tell tall tales about themselves.

          Only a third of the stories about themselves are true.

          The problem is knowing which stories they tell about themselves are true and which are false. 😈

          1. And there you have the story beginning, edited to Cats always tell tall tales. Only about a third of them are true. The problem is knowing which are true, and which are that dream cats spin around themselves to bedazzle mortals.

            1. If it weren’t for that one white front paw, Agate would be better known as Coaldust. The children claim the that the white is to show that Agate’s all goodness under the black coat, yellow eyes and crooked tail tip notwithstanding. Agate, of course, disagrees.

        2. I prefer dogs myself. Having been Man’s faithful companions for so long they have no ambition for world domination as cats do. Dogs are Canis Fidelis.

        3. Speaking of camo kitties…

          I recently was told of how a friend of mine had a schoolfriend who knitted a kitty sweater that, well, was a camo pattern that matched their back yard, and wanted to show it off.

          Friend said “…where’s the cat?”

          “In the back yard, wearing the sweater I wanted you to see.”

          Friend stares at her, eyebrow raised.

          Lightbulb goes on. “…We didn’t think this through very well, didn’t we?”

          They located the cat, which had been lounging under a bush, only because his head rose slightly when a bird landed in the yard. Friend later heard that they were getting quite a few dead birds as gifts on their front porch.

    1. I think I used to be yellow, I kind of liked being yellow … [Drama Lama on] Oh were, were, have you gone dearest yellow? Shall I morn you always? Will you ever return to me my dearest yellow I must know! [Drama Lama off]

      1. “Happy lama, sad lama, drama lama, crazy lama…” if you can read that in the correct sing-song then maybe your kids are the same age as mine.

        1. I’m one of the kids, actually I’m a teen or my mom wouldn’t let me read the comments here. PS I’m only the sister of the households TRUE drama lama. She has offered to give me lessons, I refused.

        1. That would be news to the makers of a (particularly useful in hot/high altitude operating environments) helicopter developed by Aerospatiale.

          Also to His Holiness from Tibet.

          Though I had a lady friend who owned a llama named Dolly. Loved her sense of humor. My friend’s that is; the llama was cantankerous as all get out.

            1. I have tried being a Drama Wallaby, but gosh darn it, we’re just too darn cute, so I had to become a comic wallaby … and, because we wallabies are so generally short I found myself being a low comic at that.

          1. The one-l lama,
            He’s a priest.
            The two-l llama,
            He’s a beast.
            And I will bet
            A silk pajama
            There isn’t any
            Three-l lllama.*

            — Ogden Nash

            ( *The author’s attention has been called to a type of conflagration known as a three-alarmer. Pooh.)

            1. I will pedantically point out that in Spanish, the LL pronunciation varies, contingent on your location. In Mexico City, it would be Yah-Mah, like a German saying yes to his mudder, but in Bogota, it would be JJ-Mah like an extra helping of Js on the pajjamas. 🙂 But in no case I am aware of is it used as an English “EL” sound,

  8. Oh, there was supposed to be an earlier post? Never noticed. Got called to work extra hours today and am just now checking the non-work internet.

  9. Early or late, I will wait. Do you not KNOW what a breath of fresh air this blog is (including the commentators)? Your writing, here and in your books, is one of my reasons for being grateful for the existence of the internet and Baen. Pace yourself and keep well. As said above, I want you to be around writing for a long, long time.

      1. I know you don’t know me well here, but I can send a guest post or two on spec. Like it? Use it. Don’t like it? I’m a big boy, and have suffered bigger blows to my self-esteem. I’ll live. To which email should I send?

    1. My take: Sara’s been moving an awful lot recently, enough that it must be either a vocation or a hobby. If she were doing it professionally she would have been getting paid, and she wasn’t, so it must have by default been some form of recreation…

      1. I last moved in 1985. There is still so much trauma in my mind from the event that I can’t imagine 4 times in 1.5 years. I still haven’t found everything from my last move, it will probably be your great grand children that find the last stuff of yours.

          1. Been there! We’re under the illusion (delusion) that we’re mostly unpacked (completely ignoring the Too Many Boxes to park in the garage, and the piles lurking around the house). This leads to buying things we can’t find… knowing that they’re In A Box, Somewhere.

          2. RE: re-buying stuff – We were home educating The Daughter at the time of the last move. I am still contemplating how many copies of The Federalist Papers and The Anti-Federalist Papers a household needs to have on hand. Admittedly it would be easier to determine if I could locate all of the ones we have at one time. It seems they keep taking turns at hiding.

        1. Not counting student housing in college, I’ve only moved three times in my life. Hubby and I are hoping that this is the final time. Nice big house (4 BR, 2 BA) on one level, in a state we adore–TX. It’s close to 2 airports (DAL & DFW), both of which are hubs for major airlines: Southwest and American. It’s a great suburban town. Plano about 20 miles north of Dallas. It’s hot in the summer– but that’s what A/C is for!

      2. Every few years since the 1940s, someone floats the idea of the “housing pod.” Basically a prefab house that can be moved from site to site, stacked into apartment complexes, etc. Buckminster Fuller, US Steel, and others have all made proposals.

        While not really a bad idea, I suspect most people look at them and think “mobile home at house price.”

    2. It means moving so often in so short a time that you are effectively recreating your world. You know; if two moves equal one fire, then four are the full catastrophe.

  10. OK, my comment about cats telling tall tales about themselves (only a third are true), reminded me of a short story that I read years ago (pre-1980?).

    In the story, a man decided that cats could talk and decided to learn their language.

    He was assisted in this attempt by his Siamese cat.

    Well, he learned to understand his Siamese but the cat told him this story about the origins of cats and told him that cats would be destroying several major cities to show humans “who was the superior beings on Earth”.

    Well, the man believed the Siamese and immediately took his family on a long camping trip.

    However, he left the Siamese at home and when his wife asked about the cat, he told her that the cat could take care of itself.

    When they return from the camping trip, nothing has happened except that the Siamese had starved to death, not being able to get out of the house.

    Then the unnamed Narrator comments that Siamese cats are known for making up strange stories.

    I don’t remember much more about story (including the author & title) but I seem to remember that there was an implication that the Narrator wasn’t human. 😀

  11. This post was not late. Late is when there is no new post until after I wake up in the late afternoon/early evening. This post was early enough I woke up to a new post that already had a good number of comments thereon.

    And priorities… you is writer, so write. We do understand at times post might be “Gone writing.”

    Also: moo.

    1. Perhaps she meant late as in deceased, terminal, passed away, joined the choir eternal?

      In which case I must demur; it lives. It LIVES.

  12. “This post is extraordinarily, ridiculously late.”

    Thirty lashes with the Flaming Wet Noodle Of Doom for you.

    …[rummaging]… [muttered swearing]… [things falling over, more swearing]…

    [Honey? Where’s the Noodle of Doom? What? Why it it at the cleaners? Ohhh, right.]

    Ahem. Thirty lashes for you, later. At some future date. Maybe. If I can get it re-lit.

        1. I’d say we could kindle it… but after that debacle where B&N did a search-and-replace globally on all nook press ebooks with that word, I’d dread seeing what the Huns and Hoydens would come up with if they say “We can nook that for you!”

        1. It has been far too long for me to admit since I last thought of anything by Richard Armour. I discovered him on The Parent’s book shelves … and oh joy.

          Thank you for the reminder.

  13. Sarah, tell Dan I enjoyed Ninth Elucid. If I start getting my act together again (recently moved the family) he may even get a review.

    For now, I need to sleep. Taking toddlers out for haircuts, birthday parties and eventually setting my computer back up will come after that.

  14. We just got side-swiped by a tropical storm. Still 100 percent on personnel; dogs unverified but believed OK; vehicles seem OK; cats thought to be the same. Just mud puddles, no surface flooding in the immediate area. Lights, phone, cell phone, and internet OK.

    Reports of cousin three miles away lost power and towns 10 and 20 miles south lost power.

    NB: We are perhaps closer to I-95 than US-17 and thus on the left side of the storm.

    Quick check of the radar shows that the center of TS Hermine appears to be just east or northeast of Kill Devil Hills on the northern Outer Banks of NC.

    1. Please continue to keep safe. Hope the dogs will be verified soon.

      TS Hermine appears to have slowed its progression up the coast, and is expected to stall or meander in an area off the north-east for a while before finally moving on.

      1. A-OK. Still cloudy and a little breezy.

        The National Hurricane Center ( has Hermine slowing down in the ocean; as of 5:00 PM EDT “post-tropical cyclone” moving ENE 12 mph which sounds like Virginia coast and Maryland are going to get soaked and buffeted. Winds are back up to 70 mph.

  15. Hmm, let’s see, we’ve got 1 hurricane-lite, 1 earthquake, I’ve got singing locusts (not enough for a true plague, though). No Riders on Pale Horses yet.

    1. Yipes! A 5.6 earthquake in the Oklahoma; “divers places” indeed.

      Y’all might wanna get your reservations made in the non-smoking section of eternity while you still can, if you haven’t already.

      1. Oklahoma has been having lots of earthquakes these past years.

        Which is a change, since the state building code allowed/allows wood frame construction for three story commercial buildings.

        There are three explanations.
        1. Unknown seismic phenomena.
        2. The environmentalists are right about some form of oilfield activity when it comes to certain formations found in Oklahoma.

        Ask around, and you will find a native who will tell a tale of a mythical war long ago in that land. The war between the lords of earth and sky ended with them imprisoned in their tombs, neither alive nor dead. Sometimes, when they are greatly angered, the earth shakes. As it was told to me, the general reason they are angry is gay marriage and environmentalism, and the specific reason is Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

        1. If you can find a good fault map of OK, there are all sorts of ancient mountain ranges, fault systems, sub-surface uplifts and other geologically interesting things underfoot. Just because it’s not as currently active as, oh, CA doesn’t mean that OK, TX, or KS don’t have their moments when the earth moves. I suspect this morning’s movement is one of the major deeper-level faults, not a waste-water injection related near-surface slippage.

          1. From what I’ve heard, it was a deep fault that went.

            IE nothing that could have been caused by human activity.

            1. The amusing part is, long before fracking was a thing and wastewater injection was common, the government decided in western colorado that they were going to extract salt out of the Dolores river to reduce the salinity of the downstream Colorado river. They had no idea what to do with the salt when they were done, so they just injected it into the ground. We haven’t had major earthquakes here, but a few minor barely perceptible ones have happened from the fault they injected the salt into.

              1. There were plans to do something similar to the Canadian in Texas until among other things 1) $$ stopped flowing and 2) someone pointed out that it was increased water pressure behind a dam that was causing the brine problem. If you inject the super-brine back into the ground, it might emerge again downstream even stronger. A bit like nuking Godzilla.

          2. Oklahoma is in the big portion of part of North America that is slowly being crushed. It is being pushed from the Atlantic into the fault system in California that causes the Earthquakes there.

            I’ve been wondering if the Rockies might make the crust there thick enough that stress is concentrated to the east.

            1. Hard to say, because of the Rio Grande Rift zone and the uplift going on (slowly) south of the Permian Basin. The volcanoes in NM are technically dormant, not fully extinct, the last I read.

      2. My husband finds it hilarious that his dear darling displaced Alaskan wife just slept right through the general chaos and cat-assisted uproar.

        When I woke up (having more to do with freaked-out cat and sunlight than earthquake), my response was to tell him that if we get another one, I’ll insist we finally make the water heater look right. (Seriously; water heaters without earthquake straps Just Don’t Look Right to me.)

        1. Everywhere I’ve lived in the States has been earthquake territory, so I didn’t realize that not having straps was even an option.

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